Writing for Story
Craft Secrets of Dramatic Nonfiction
By Jonathan Franklin
(Plume, Paperback, 9780452272958, 288pp.)
Publication Date: September 1, 1994
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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 McPheeis 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 journalistsand more experienced ones, toowill 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
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.
"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."
"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 storycomplication/resolution, flashback, foreshadowing, and paceand, 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."