Writing For Story:
Craft Secrets of Dramatic Nonfiction by a Two-Time Pulitzer Prize Winner 1986
Post by B.J. Campbell
Casually in search of more history on the topic, I Googled “how to write non-fiction.” Got 159,000,000 hits. Just for fun, I asked Google for the same info on “fiction.” Over 28,000,000 came up.
My profound conclusion: Lots of people have wondered about these two topics.
If you are always able to sit down at your desktop and create a compelling fiction or non-fiction story that satisfies readers, leaving no one confused or disappointed, good for you! Perhaps you are a natural storyteller among writers…or you have read and applied Jon Franklin’s book, Writing for Story.
, what readers most want is story,
which is to say---structure. So he dedicates much of his book to the
elements of a story. Whether we write
non-fiction or fiction stories, or would write one or the other if we could
figure out the structure, his book is for us.
Anyone who is serious about the craft of writing stories should read,
enjoy and apply this book. Franklin
As one sample of his approach, he bases writing on his theory that all dramatic stories have three parts, components or focuses. He defines and examines them with key words, like this.
· Complication: simply any problem encountered by any human being. It is an event that triggers a situation that complicates our lives.
· Development: the character’s actions as he attempts to resolve the complication. This tends to be long but easiest to write.
· Resolution: simply any change in the character or situation that resolves the complication.
It is from this structural beginning that
launches his plan for a story-development technique that applies to both
fiction and non-fiction writing.
Subsequent chapters give writers further insight to apply his practical
theory, and literary techniques of complication/resolution, flashback,
foreshadowing and pace. Franklin
Writing for Story is well worth more than one read. I recommend this significant book to any author who wants an effective delivery plan for a good non-fiction or fiction story. If writers practice what
day, eventually, our writing will not only improve...our writing will shine. Franklin
Notes from Reviewer, BJ Campbell:
All of the stories listed below are from my book, Close Calls: The True Tales of Cougar Bob. At www.cougarbob.com under the section heading “About the book,” these non-fiction stories are posted. You are invited to read
first, then to read the Campbell stories below
and decide which stories employ ’s
“Learning to Count”