Writing for story: craft secrets of dramatic nonfiction by a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner

Front Cover
Plume, 1986 - Education - 284 pages
37 Reviews
The new 'nonfiction' - the adaptation of storytelling techniques to journalistic articles in the manner of Truman Capote, Tom Wolfe, and John McPhee - is an innovative genre that has been awarded virtually every Pulitzer Prize for literary journalism since 1979. Jon Franklin shares the secrets of his success. Franklin shows how to make factual pieces come alive by applying the literary techniques of complication/resolution, flashback, foreshadowing, and pace. He illustrates his points with a close analysis and annotation of two of his most acclaimed stories, so that the reader can see, step-by-step, just how they were created.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
4 stars
3 stars
2 stars
1 star

Best book on non-fiction writing I've ever read. - Goodreads
worth reading for tips on technique. - Goodreads
I enjoy reading books on the craft of writing. - Goodreads
User Review - Flag as inappropriate

This book was required reading for one of my college classes, and I loved it. Franklin teachers writers how to write nonfiction like fiction. He wrote Pulitzer Prize stories, including "The Ballad of Old Man Peters." This is one of my favorites stories and I reread it periodically for inspiration. 

Review: Writing for Story: Craft Secrets of Dramatic Nonfiction

User Review  - Jeremiah Graber - Goodreads

I appreciated how the author attempted to strip away the "mysteries" of writing a story. His main theory is that if a story is good, it will follow a very prescriptive formula of conflict and resolution. But as much as I liked the story, I must say the last chapter really was ridiculous. Read full review


The New School for Writers
Mrs Kellys Monster
The Ballad of Old Man Peters

9 other sections not shown

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

All Book Search results »