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Follow the Story: How to Write Successful Nonfiction
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Follow the Story: How to Write Successful Nonfiction

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  115 ratings  ·  10 reviews
An indispensable guide to nonfiction writing from the Columbia Journalism School professor and Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist behind the bestsellers Blind Eye, Blood Sport, and Den of Thieves.

In Follow the Story, bestselling author and journalist James B. Stewart teaches you the techniques of compelling narrative writing, from nonfiction books to articles, feature stori
Paperback, 384 pages
Published October 14th 1998 by Simon Schuster
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May 02, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Required reading in Michael Pollan's class at the UC Berkeley School of Journalism. (Of course, I've never been in a Michael Pollan class, nor have I ever been to UC Berkeley. I do, however, check colleges I like for English class syllabuses -- many are posted online. I find a lot of interesting books this way. It's sort of like being back in school, but without exams or angst.)

Great chapter here on writing leads, particularly the advice that a good lead "must attract and hold readers by re-crea
Feb 27, 2009 rated it really liked it
This book is a great insight into Stewart's creative process and a nuts-and-bolts look at how you turn a set of facts into a real story with characters, an arc, and dramatic tension. If you are curious about how great nonfiction writers write, check this out.
Dec 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A tough and long read but through the book, James shows the meaning of writing to get a point across, how to write good journalism in such away as to get it published, read and understood.
Javier HG
Mar 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Este libro le encantará a aquell@s a los que les guste escribir, contar historias, o simplemente escribir mejor. Porque de lo que va "Follow the story" es de cómo escribir bien una historia real: cómo generar las ideas, cómo tratar y cultivar a tus fuentes, cómo desarrollar la historia de manera que el lector se "enganche", y de cómo terminarla.
El libro ya tiene unos años (la edición que tengo es de 1998) y más de un@ pensará que ya no es relevante porque "ahora tenemos las redes sociales y se e
Oct 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Follow the Story is excellent for nonfiction writers (but, fiction writers might profit from reading it, too). It is loaded with details and lots of relevant examples to explain Mr. Stewart's concepts, process and practices. He both tells and shows readers in an informative, instructional and entertaining manner how he writes. I really, really, really enjoyed reading and learning from this book!
Robin Meadows
Apr 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: writing
I just took a fabulous workshop on narrative structure and this book is quite long, so I skimmed it for what I wanted - his great tips on structure that apply to any story, including leads, how to get away skipping the dreaded nut graf, endings, and most of all why write nonfiction in the first place. James Stewart's answer is: "What matters is whether a story makes an impression, prompts further thought and reflection, and is remembered." And I like that.
Oct 25, 2011 rated it really liked it
This book offers an invaluable guide towards getting started with the genre of non-fiction writing, particularly the chapters on Curiosity, Structure, Description, and Dialogue (my personal favorites).
Jul 14, 2015 rated it it was ok
I've read several books about writing non-fiction. One thing they have in common is that they don't follow their own advice (Follow the Story) to compose a narrative. Go figure. There are some interesting tips here, but overall it's more like a textbook than a story.
Jul 27, 2012 added it
Stewart has a lengthy writing style for a reporter. But he has good advice. My fav chapter was on humor and pathos.
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James Stewart is a modern-day muckraking journalist, covering everything from malpractice to fraud and law.

While at The Wall Street Journal, Stewart won a Pulitzer Prize in 1988 for his reporting on the stock market crash and insider trading. Stewart is a graduate of Harvard Law School and DePauw University. He lectures frequently on values and ethics in American business and politics. He is a mem
“Some people may be more gifted than others, but excellence in writing, as in any art form or craft, involves discipline and practice.” 2 likes
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