Creative Nonfiction (CNF) is a form of writing set apart from other nonfiction works by its focus on storytelling. Because creative nonfiction is a vast, multi-faceted genre, it can be difficult to nail down a straightforward definition of precisely what it is.
Purdue's OWL (Online Writing Lab) identifies two major aspects of the content of creative nonfiction: first, it relays events honestly, and second, it reflects on how those events impacted the writer. Unlike authors of works of history or biography written with the intent of informing a reader, creative nonfiction writers do not seek objectivity; rather, the events depicted in their pieces are typically meant to convey a broader message, be it about their emotional connection to the subject, a note about the workings of society, a theme in their lives, or some other meaning they identify with those events.
The efforts of creative nonfiction writers to accomplish the communication of meaning are assisted by careful use of words and voice, a practice reminiscent of that of poets. Just like poets, creative nonfiction writers consider both the sound and meaning of the language they use and structure their thoughts carefully in order to evoke strong images and emotions in their readers.