My post about the parallels between directing biopics and writing biography.

BREVITY's Nonfiction Blog

A guest post from Rachael Hanel

Rachael Hanel Rachael Hanel

As someone who writes nonfiction exclusively, it’s no surprise that my favorite movie genre is the documentary. Give me a two-hour film about anyone, anything, from anytime, and I’m mesmerized. For several years now, I’ve taught an introductory mass media class in which I show one documentary a week. Even after the 20th or so viewing, Bowling for Columbine and The Tillman Story captivate me just like they did the first time I watched them.

My love of the actual extends to the documentary’s close relative, the docudrama. We still get a true story, but with the plot, narrative arc, scene, and character development found in fictional films.

Sound familiar? Creative nonfiction writers are also told to use those foundations of classic storytelling. The docudrama is the filmic equivalent of creative nonfiction. What can docudrama directors tell creative nonfiction writers about crafting…

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