The Elements of Story (Paperback)
Field Notes on Nonfiction Writing
Harper Perennial, 9780061689154, 320pp.
Publication Date: September 7, 2010
“A splendid book for journalists (new or old), fiction writers, essayists, and critics. But it could also be of great use to the intelligent common reader, the man or woman who wonders why it’s impossible to finish reading certain stories and why others carry the reader in a vivid rush to the end.”
—Pete Hamill, author of A Drinking Life
In the spirit of Strunk and White’s classic The Elements of Style, comes The Elements of Story, by Francis Flaherty, longtime story editor at The New York Times. A brilliant blend of memoir and how-to, The Elements of Story offers more than 50 principles that emphasize storytelling aspects rather than simply the mechanics of writing—a relentlessly entertaining, totally accessible writing guide for the novice and the professional alike.
Praise For The Elements of Story: Field Notes on Nonfiction Writing…
“Flaherty’s book will be the classic yardstick for how to grab readers and not let go until they see and hear and think exactly what the author has seen, heard, and thought.”
“Ailing writers, not to worry. There is a Story Doctor in the house. His name is Frank Flaherty, and his powerful medicine is on every page of The Elements of Story. It belongs on your shelf right there next to that other Elements book.”
“Frank Flaherty has found the perfect voice to guide writers in creating muscular yet nimble prose. He’s encouraging and friendly (exuberant, even!), assured and wry. A delight to read, The Elements of Story makes me itch to write.”
“A virtual Merck Manual for story doctors, filled with insightful diagnoses and effective prescriptions.”
“Francis Flaherty has turned his love of writing into a book that will help journalists produce nonfiction that provides life enriching articles that can hold their own against the most imaginative fiction.”
“Frank Flaherty’s writing guide is fluid, fun and filled with brilliant advice for anybody who wants to improve their work, break into this country’s top newspapers or get a glimpse into an editor’s mind.”