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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.… (mer)
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Storycraft: The Complete Guide to Writing Narrative Nonfiction av Jack Hart

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    Writing for Story: Craft Secrets of Dramatic Nonfiction (Reference) av Jon Franklin (steve.clason)
    steve.clason: Franklin's earlier work was a source for Hart, and the two cover much of the same ground along a different path.
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Good exploration of how story structures can be implemented in non-fiction narratives. ( )
  HippieLunatic | Jan 17, 2021 |
An excellent guide to the mechanics of good nonfiction story writing. Examples are from a newspaper journalism perspective, and something feels slightly dated but I can't put my finger on why, but the details are very helpful. ( )
  patl | Feb 18, 2019 |
Storycraft is an exposition of the techniques and practices for writing compelling (well, that part is largely up to you) narrative fiction. Hart employs the methods he describes himself, thus providing a running demonstration, and are also many examples from some very good practitioners.

He may not have covered any new ground. I've only read lightly on the subject before and never had any sort of "aha" moment here, but there are lessons writers need to learn somewhere -- about the narrative arc, outlining by scenes, the different uses of summary and scenic narratives -- and there are some useful "rule-of-thumb" guides to structuring types of narratives, my favorite, or at least the one I remember, is the formula for the 1,000-word personal essay: 650 words of highly specific narrative, then "the turn", 150 word of specific to general transition, then 200 "quite abstract" binding the narrative to things in general. Hopelessly formulaic, but taken as a guideline rather than a rule maybe useful.

The writing books I've read generally start with consideration of the sentence, recommending we quickly write the piece without any editing then spend the bulk of the time in revision. Hart suggests, instead, that we first take some time to structure the narrative, THEN write a draft. Most probably do that instinctively, but it's worth pointing out. ( )
  steve.clason | Oct 8, 2011 |
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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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