Secrets of Great Storytelling (Particularly for Memoirists)

Author:
Publish date:
Image placeholder title

If you've been reading this blog long enough, you know how strongly I
recommend Ira Glass as a resource on learning how to storytell. Even
though his medium is radio, the same concepts apply to written stories
as well, particularly personal stories.

I recently discovered Ira's Manifesto over at Transom. As I've said before: It has the ability to change your stories overnight.

Two nuggets to get you interested:

Some
stories definitely aren't worth pursuing. These are stories where
everything reminds you too much of other stories you've already heard,
and stories where there's no sympathetic character (it's hard for the
story to carry much feeling if there's no one in the story to relate
to), and stories where everything kind of works out as you'd sort of
expect. Surprise is important. …

And yes, there are ways to get
a story to work. Often this means you have to think about what the
heart of the story is about, and figure out how to make that more
present. This can involve adding moments and scenes that build up the
central conflict (and pruning away the ones that don't). It can mean
making explicit what the story means, stating more directly what the
point of the whole thing is. More about that below.

Another reason to click-thru: The great Q&A session that follows each part of the manifesto. Rewarding.

Brian Freeman: On "Rebooting" Another Writer's Legacy

Brian Freeman: On "Rebooting" Another Writer's Legacy

In this article, Brian Freeman, author of Robert Ludlum’s The Bourne Treachery, discusses how he took up the mantle of a great series and made it his own.

Sole vs. Soul (Grammar Rules)

Sole vs. Soul (Grammar Rules)

Learn how to distinguish the sole from the soul with Grammar Rules from the Writer's Digest editors, including a few examples of correct usages.

How to Make the Most of a Virtual Writing Workshop or Conference

How to Make the Most of a Virtual Writing Workshop or Conference

In this brave new world of virtual learning and social distance, Kristy Stevenson helps us make the most of the virtual conference.

When Is Historical Accuracy Inaccurate?

When Is Historical Accuracy Inaccurate?

Writers of historical fiction must always ride the line between factual and fictitious. Here, author Terry Roberts discusses how to navigate that line.

What Is Creative Nonfiction in Writing?

What Is Creative Nonfiction in Writing?

In this post, we look at what creative nonfiction (also known as the narrative nonfiction) is, including what makes it different from other types of fiction and nonfiction writing and more.

writer's digest wd presents

WD Presents: Four WDU Courses, a Competition Deadline Reminder, and More!

This week, we’re excited to announce four WDU courses, a Competition deadline reminder, and more!

Funny You Should Ask: What Is Going to Be the Next Big Trend in Fiction?

Funny You Should Ask: What Is Going to Be the Next Big Trend in Fiction?

Funny You Should Ask is a humorous and handy column by literary agent Barbara Poelle. In this edition, she discusses the next big fiction trend, and whether or not all books are the same.

From Script

A Change in Entertainment Business Currency and Disrupting Storytelling with Historical Significance (From Script)

In this week’s round up brought to us by ScriptMag.com, learn about how crypto currency is making a wave in the entertainment business, what percentages really mean in film financing, the pros and cons of writing partnerships, an exclusive interview with three-time NAACP Image Awards nominee, co-creator and former showrunner of CBS’ 'S.W.A.T.' Aaron Rahsaan Thomas and more!

Writing Mistakes Writers Make: Putting Off Submissions

Writing Mistakes Writers Make: Putting Off Submissions

The Writer's Digest team has witnessed many writing mistakes over the years, so we started this series to help identify them for other writers (along with correction strategies). This week's writing mistake is putting off submissions.