Narrative nonfiction authors face many decisions along their journey from proposal to print. Whether curating material for a historical snapshot, recreating conversations for a travelogue, or painting a scene for a memoir, the challenges are the same: where to begin, what to tell and leave out (and in what order), how much dialogue versus backstory to employ, and—of course—that elephant in the writing room: to what extent are we constrained by the truth?
The path among these questions is generally one writers forge on our own, guided by our personal styles and criteria. What we share, however, is the desire to convey engrossing stories that captivate our readers. In this seminar, we’ll employ examples of great storytelling to:
- examine strategies for merging fact and craft;
- discuss how different target audiences might respond to different approaches, and;
- address specific challenges faced by students in composing their respective stories.