This inspiring collection of 19 essays from veteran news writers explains how to weave storytelling skills into nonfiction narratives. Journalists of all backgrounds and levels of experience will discover dozens of exercises that have been tested successfully in newsrooms, workshops, and classrooms, and will cover everything from the fundamentals of reporting, writing and revising to more specialized elements like creating rhythm, cadence, and voice; employing dialogue and scene-building; and such devices as foreshadowing, symbols, and metaphors. Contributors are all veteran journalists, including Mark Bowden, author of Black Hawk Down, and several Pulitzer Prize-winners.
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Chapter 1: Taken- I wake up to hear distant marching footsteps. Today's Cell Block would be emptied, its occupants taken to the Compound. My Cell Block is #24. We aren't chosen in order. That would take the fun out of things, right? I look around the empty gray room. Empty except for the teenagers, that is. Tons of us. I'm 16. 13-19 year olds are held in this Sector. The other Sector holds 5-12year olds. Below that age are the Un-Altered. They are experimented on, tested. They come out morphed, different. But they don't discover their Alterations until after they reach the Compound. So that they're safe, I was told at the child Sector. But I know better. It's so that they can't escape. We're Altered so that adults can see what may happen to genetically-morphed people. The footsteps get closer. I listen intently. The marching stops outside our Cell Block. I stiffen. It's our turn. The door that only opens on the outside slides away. Soldiers march in. They're all full-grown adults. The soldiers tie each of our hands behind our backs with a flexible metal material, like rope braided from iron. The soldiers shove us out, herding us in a big group. I look around at the gray buildings on either side of me, lined up. The sky is gray, the ground is gray. I look around to see teens peering from the 2 windows in front of each building. The soldier shoves me forward. I drop my head and shuffle on. We leave the rows of buildings, and come across a huge, dark gray building. The soldiers force us all inside. ********** We're all standing in a huge gray room with a set of massive double doors on one wall. "Line up!" Booms a soldier. We obey, lining up shoulder to shoulder. Another soldier walks up and looks on something on the underside each teen's wrist. The tatoo. All of us have one, but not all are the same. He reports to the Sergant what each tatoo means. The soldier comes to me. He gruffly grabs my tied wrists and turns them over, revealing my tatoo. A dragon with a pair of wings slightly extended. "Avian-hybrid, dragon-speaker." He growls and moves on. I blink. What does that mean? Finally, he finishes, leaving me wondering. The soldiers unbound our wrists and lead us to the doors. Two guards open the doors and step aside. The soldiers march us through, and through a huge, open electric fence. They throw us in and shut the fence. We're in a huge grassland. As soon as the gates close, we shake off our confusion and bolt into the wilderness. I wander for a while, curious about everything here. That's when I hear the scream. -Wild Fire