Follow the Story: How to Write Successful Nonfiction

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Simon and Schuster, Oct 14, 1998 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 381 pages
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An indispensable guide to nonfiction writing from the Columbia Journalism School professor and Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist behind the bestsellers Blind Eye, Blood Sport, and Den of Thieves.

In Follow the Story, bestselling author and journalist James B. Stewart teaches you the techniques of compelling narrative writing, from nonfiction books to articles, feature stories, or memoirs. Stewart provides concrete directions for conceiving, reporting, structuring, and writing nonfiction—techniques that he has used in his own successful books and stories. By using examples from his own work, Stewart illustrates systematically a way of thinking about and executing stories, a method that has helped numerous reporters and Columbia students become better writers.

Follow the Story examines in detail:
  • How an idea is conceived
  • How to “sell” ideas to editors and publishers
  • How to report the nonfiction story
  • Six models that can be used for any nonfiction story
  • How to structure the narrative story
  • How to write introductions, endings, dialogue, and description
  • How to introduce and develop characters
  • How to use literary devices
  • Pitfalls to avoid


Learn from this book a clear way of looking at the world with the alert curiosity that is the first indispensable step toward good writing.
 

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Contents

Introduction
9
Curiosity
15
Ideas
25
Proposals
59
Gathering Information
87
Leads
109
Transitions
148
Structure
167
Dialogue
211
Anecdotes
231
Humor and Pathos
253
Endings
272
Conclusion
300
Acknowledgments
307
Appendixes
309
309
371

Description
194

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About the author (1998)

James B. Stewart is the author of Blood Sport and Den of Thieves. A former editor of The Wall Street Journal, Stewart won a Pulitzer Prize in 1988 for his reporting on the stock market crash and insider trading. He is a regular contributor to The New Yorker and Smart Money.

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