ORGANIZATION is as important in creative nonfiction as it is in fiction. You need to have a plan before you actually sit down to write. You don’t want to ramble. This is as annoying in a writer as it is in a public speaker. You need to make sense of all the materials you have gathered.
Some writers actually do outlines, which serve as blueprints for their essays or narratives. At the very least, they help the writer to focus, to be coherent.
We generally think of structure in architectural terms. We speak of a blueprint, of blocks, of scaffolding. There is another way of looking at it.
The right structure will take you where you need to go.
Someone likened the magazine article to a moving van, a conveyance with much room to hold things which nevertheless has to be packed just right. A conveyance with a place to go and a reason to get there. Structure means packing properly and heading the article in the right direction. (Jacobi 1991, p.77)
To carry the metaphor through, the type of trip you are taking would probably determine what type of van you will choose—its size, whether it has full suspension or 4-wheel drive, and other such features. Your subject itself will suggest the type of structure on your material.
-most natural for an account of a trip, or a travelogue. This refers to an arrangement of events in a linear fashion, as they occurred in time. ex. “Camiguin” by Clinton Palanca
-used for how-to articles; a step by step type of organization ex. Oro, Plata, Mata: Filipino Building Beliefs (2000) by Ernesto
The book contains a wealth of information, presented in a casual, conversational style which makes for very pleasant reading. It includes humorous anecdotes (like the one titled
“Lucky Deluge,” about a contractor who, after having just turned over a 14-story office building to a Chinese client, learned that the valves on the overhead water tank at the building’s roof had