Storycraft: The Complete Guide to Writing Narrative Nonfiction

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University of Chicago Press, Oct 12, 2012 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 266 pages
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From the work of the New Journalists in the 1960s, to the New Yorker essays of John McPhee, Susan Orlean, Atul Gawande, and a host of others, to blockbuster book-length narratives such as Mary Roach’s Stiff or Erik Larson’s Devil in the White City, narrative nonfiction has come into its own. Yet writers looking for guidance on reporting and writing true stories have had few places to turn for advice. Now in Storycraft, Jack Hart, a former managing editor of the Oregonian who guided several Pulitzer Prize–winning narratives to publication, delivers what will certainly become the definitive guide to the methods and mechanics of crafting narrative nonfiction.

Hart covers what writers in this genre need to know, from understanding story theory and structure, to mastering point of view and such basic elements as scene, action, and character, to drafting, revising, and editing work for publication. Revealing the stories behind the stories, Hart brings readers into the process of developing nonfiction narratives by sharing tips, anecdotes, and recommendations he forged during his decades-long career in journalism. From there, he expands the discussion to other well-known writers to show the broad range of texts, styles, genres, and media to which his advice applies. With examples that draw from magazine essays, book-length nonfiction narratives, documentaries, and radio programs, Storycraft will be an indispensable resource for years to come.

 

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Contents

Introduction
1
1 Story
6
2 Structure
20
3 Point of View
41
4 Voice and Style
62
5 Character
75
6 Scene
89
7 Action
107
10 Reporting
146
11 Story Narratives
163
12 Explanatory Narratives
183
13 Other Narratives
203
14 Ethics
219
Acknowledgments
241
Notes
243
Bibliography
247

8 Dialogue
127
9 Theme
136

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About the author (2012)

Jack Hart is a former managing editor and writing coach at the Oregonian. He received the first National Teaching Award from the American Society of Newspaper Editors and a University of Wisconsin Distinguished Service Award for his contributions to journalism, has taught on the faculties of six universities, and was named the Ruhl Distinguished Professor at the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication. He is the author of A Writer s Coach.

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