By Shawn Coyne
Published: March 24, 2017
This is the second in my Storygridding Nonfiction series. To read the first, click here.
“The Story Grid is interesting and all for fiction,” many say to me, “but I’m a journalist and I deal with facts and interview transcripts, you know ‘the truth’ … so it’s not going to be helpful to me.”
Au contraire, mes frères et soeurs.
The Story Grid is a way to clarify your writing intentions, especially for nonfiction writers. Once you know what kind/s of story you want to write, it then provides prescriptive advice to best realize it.
A pile of research with loads of facts, interviews and ephemera does not a compelling nonfiction book make. But that pile does hold the clues necessary for you the writer to organize those facts and interviews into a compelling argument that puts forth a well-conceived judgment of what exactly the data means.
For example, when my oldest son and I come home from a walk and we find a trail of bread crumbs from the mudroom to the kitchen (fact number one), and we discover a jar of peanut butter on the counter (fact number two), with a butter knife with a glob of peanut butter and raspberry jam soiling one of my finest linen napkins (fact number three) and after interviewing my wife and daughter about their whereabouts the previous hour (they were working through a violin lesson in my daughter’s bedroom), the story that I concoct based upon that information is not difficult to construct.
Posted in What It Takes
by Penick, Harvey
If authenticity is a virtue, this is the supreme manifestation of it. Harvey Penick and John Wooden both radiate that quality of true-blue excellence and generosity, which explains why both have produced so many champions and are both so revered by all who knew them. Simply sensational.