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The Elements of Story: Field Notes on Nonfiction Writing

1 rating: 3.0
A book by Francis Flaherty

“Frank Flaherty’s The Elements of Story is a model of good sense, a clear, well-lighted path through the jungle of nonfiction narrative. It represents so much accrued wisdom that even veteran writers will want to keep it on hand, and it’s … see full wiki

Tags: Book
Author: Francis Flaherty
Publisher: Harper
1 review about The Elements of Story: Field Notes on Nonfiction...

A field guide to words

  • Sep 5, 2009
. . . and how to use them to tell true stories. The title of Flaherty's guide to nonfiction writing plays on Strunk and Whites The Elements of Style Illustrated which famously captured the essence of writing with precision in a very few words. Flaherty's "Elements" take a few more words to document because he is dealing with bigger subjects--story themes, characters, plot, and action that make up the whole story for non-fction writers, who for Flaherty are newpaper journalists, but the principles would apply to any style, length, and medium of nonfiction.

The book can be read quickly and profitably end to end, but will find better use on a working writer's bookshelf next to the Strunk and White's. I'd be surprised if Journalism schools (sorry-- "Communications" schools in this mediagnostic era) don't add this small gem as required reading for every student.

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