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Storycraft
Cover of Storycraft
Storycraft
The Complete Guide to Writing Narrative Nonfiction: The Complete Guide to Writing Narrative Nonfiction
by Jack Hart
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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.

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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Table of Contents-
  • Introduction

    Chapter 1: Story
    Chapter 2: Structure
    Chapter 3: Point of View
    Chapter 4: Voice and Style
    Chapter 5: Character
    Chapter 6: Scene
    Chapter 7: Action
    Chapter 8: Dialogue
    Chapter 9: Theme
    Chapter 10: Reporting
    Chapter 11: Story Narratives
    Chapter 12: Explanatory Narratives
    Chapter 13: Other Narratives
    Chapter 14: Ethics

    Acknowledgments
    Notes
    Bibliography
    Index

Reviews-
  • Library Journal

    March 15, 2011

    In his latest book, Hart (A Writer's Coach: The Complete Guide to Writing Strategies That Work) focuses on narrative nonfiction, a genre he got to know well during his career as managing editor of the Oregonian. Each chapter covers different aspects of narrative storytelling for burgeoning writers who want to hone their technique and find their voice. Hart provides excerpts and diagrams to help writers execute scene, character, and action. The chapter devoted to structure is particularly helpful. As in Hart's first book, most of the examples are drawn from his experiences collaborating with successful writers. He also discusses distinctions among different forms of narrative and ethical dilemmas faced by creative nonfiction writers. VERDICT This much-needed book fills a niche, particularly as it also covers the editor's perspective. Beginning and advanced writers, particularly journalists, will find useful tips on how to make their writing resonate with readers.--Karen McCoy, Fort Lewis Coll. Lib., Durango, CO

    Copyright 2011 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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Storycraft
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The Complete Guide to Writing Narrative Nonfiction: The Complete Guide to Writing Narrative Nonfiction
Jack Hart
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