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Write Choices: Elements of Nonfiction Storytelling

by Sue Hertz CQ Press
Pub Date:
Pbk 256 pages
AU$59.99 NZ$63.47
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Write Choices: Elements of Nonfiction Storytelling helps writers cultivate their nonfiction storytelling skills by exploring the universal decisions writers confront when crafting factual narratives. Rather than isolating various forms of narrative non-fiction into categories or genres, Sue Hertz focuses on examining the common choices all true storytellers encounter, whether they are writing memoir, literary journalism, personal essays, or travel stories. Write Choices also includes digital storytelling. No longer confined to paper, today's narrative nonfiction writers must learn to write for electronic media, which may also demand photos, videos, and/or audio. Integrating not only her own insights and experience as a journalist, nonfiction book author, and writing instructor, but also those of other established nonfiction storytellers, both print and digital, Hertz aims to guide emerging writers through key decisions to tell the best story possible. Blending how-to instruction with illuminating examples and commentaries drawn from original interviews with master storytellers, Write Choices is a valuable resource for all nonfiction writers, from memoirists to essayists to literary journalists, at any stage of their career.


A wealth of pedagogical resources encourage and instruct nonfiction writers at any stage of their career
Blasts the boundaries separating the various forms of narrative nonfiction, addressing universal choices all writers of true tales face
Challenging Choices boxes in each chapter highlight how writers have decided to proceed at a particularly difficult juncture in their writing process such as developing a character or revising a draft
Web Choices sections in each chapter detail the decisions involved in creating additional multimedia to complement prose narratives
Try This writing exercises throughout the text provide opportunities for readers to apply and explore writing strategies presented in each chapter
Content gleaned from interviews with over 60 nonfiction storytellers, both print and digital, exposes readers to established writers and editors representing all nonfiction styles of writing
An emphasis on rich content and how to collect it celebrates external content, even in memoir and personal essay, and offers the reader simple approaches to collecting content from people, institutions, and the Web

Chapter 1: Whatas the Big Idea? Where Lurk Subjects? What's the question?Chapter 2: Whatas the Form? Internal narratives External narratives Internal and external narratives Short essay? Kindle Single? Full-fledged book?Chapter 3: Whatas the Content? What do you know? What do you need to know? Where do you find content?Chapter 4: Whatas the Focus? How do you find focus? Where do you find focus? When do you find focus?Chapter 5: Whatas Structure? How do you find the structure? What are some structure options?Chapter 6: What are the Components? Whatas the opening? What point of view will guide the story? Who are the characters? What is the setting? Dialogue or direct quotes? What is the ending?Chapter 7: Pulling it all Together What we talk about when we talk about a first draft? What we talk about when we talk about revising