Writing for Story: Craft Secrets of Dramatic Nonfiction

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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. And now Jon Franklin, himself a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner and undisputed master of the great American nonfiction short story, shares the secrets of his success. Franklin shows how to make factual pieces come alive by applying the literary techniques of ...

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Overview

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. And now Jon Franklin, himself a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner and undisputed master of the great American nonfiction short story, 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. This lively, easy-to-follow guid combines readability and excitement with the best of expository prose and illuminates the techniques that beginning journalists—and more experienced ones, too—will find immensely helpful:

  • Stalking the true short story
  • Drafting an effective outline
  • Structuring the rough copy
  • Polishing like a pro
  • and the tips, tools, and techniques that will put your stories on the cutting edge
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What People Are Saying

From the Publisher
"All in all, an impressive introduction to a difficult subject, done with disarming candor. Franklin provides concise, no-nonsense tips … in a lively, easy-to-follow style that's refreshingly free from the usual 'creative writing' jargon. It's a technique that beginning journalists, and even those more experienced, will find especially helpful and revealing. Franklin knows what he's talking about and shares his knowledge with admirable generosity."
Kirkus Reviews

"Learning to write the short story, always a challenge for budding fiction writers, is for Franklin … the royal road to success in feature writing today, Thoroughly and methodically, he shows aspiring journalists how to 'nail down' the operative elements of a story—complication/resolution, flashback, foreshadowing, and pace—and, through close analysis of two of his prize-winning features, what to do and in what order to do it … a sound, fertile book, recommended for attaining effective writing skills."
Library Journal

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780451625557
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 5/5/1987
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 5.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Jon Franklin is a well-known pioneer in creative nonfiction. His innovative work in the use of literary techniques in the non-fiction short story, novel, and explanatory essay won him the first Pulitzer Prizes ever awarded in the categories of feature writing (1979) and explanatory jounalism (1985). His books include Writing for Story, The Molecules of the Mind, Guinea Pig Doctors (with J. Sutherland), Not Quite a Miracle (with Alan Doelp), and Shocktrauma (with Alan Doelp). He is a professor at the University of Oregon.

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Table of Contents

Preface
I. The New School for Writers
II. Mrs. Kelly's Monster
III. The Ballad of Old Man Peters
IV. Stalking the True Short Story
V. Structure
VI. The Outline
VII. Structuring the Rough
VIII. Contemplating the Structure
IX. Polishing
X. The Nature of Art and Artists

Appendix A: The Annotated Monster
Appendix B: The Annotated Ballad

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 15, 2002

    The best way out of the "English Teacher Trap"

    No other author I have ever read has so clearly and methodically broken down the mysteries of good writing (as opposed to the kind you were likely taught at some point in school). The book alone is worth more than three terms of most college-level writing courses, in my opinion. The very best of its kind -- and equally relevant to writers of fiction and non-fiction, short-form and long-form.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 23, 2001

    One of the best books I have ever read

    I read this book almost 2 years ago and I have never forgotten it. I thought so much of it I loaned it to a friend but have never gotten it back, but I don't mind. I think anyone who is interested in doing some writing or wanting to learn how to write better would really enjoy this book. I look forward to ordering another copy and reading it again. Its truly an outstanding book!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2009

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    Posted October 29, 2009

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