Claudia's Reviews > Telling True Stories: A Nonfiction Writers' Guide from the Nieman Foundation at Harvard University

Telling True Stories by Mark Kramer
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Mar 06, 09

it was amazing
bookshelves: nonfiction, book-club
Recommended to Claudia by: E-Team study book
Recommended for: Serious writers
Read in March, 2009

I read this for my work on National Writing Project's E-Team, a group who reads and responds to others' writing all summer long. We were to read, looking for connections to our work as responders...ways to help other see their work, and to give suggestions for revision. As with every other book we've studied, my first thought was all the ways this book would help my OWN writing...I keep feeling guilty for thinking of that first. Essays by various journalists and editors, the focus here is narrative journalism...how to tell a 'news' story or a memoir using the elements of fiction narrative. I marked countless pages, took notes of lines I loved, and collected some essays that I think will help me make suggestions and ask questions to help deepen writers' vision of their work. Ladder of Abstraction, Storyteller's Lexicon, Lessons from the Jury Box, and Summary Narrative vs. Dramatic Narrative all will help me...IF I can remember them in the furious crush of reading this summer.

My favorite quotes: "Writing is like scraping off a piece of yourself; people can see beneath your skin" and "Each of us has a storyteller's voice deep inside..."

This book inspired me to read ELECTRIC KOOL AID ACID TEST just to see Tom Wolfe, the hero of every one of these journalists, at his best.

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message 1: by Shirley (new)

Shirley I loved your review,and I think it's possible to read about writing on many levels concurrently: our own writing, supporting writers, editing, etc.


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