The Art and Craft of Storytelling

A comprehensive guide to classic writing techniques.
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The Art and Craft of Storytelling
by Nancy Lamb
Writer's Digest Books, 2008
ISBN: 978-1-58297-559-7

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When you consider the thousands of years of storytelling that comprise our literary tradition, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the shadow of so many works. But there are common threads that link all stories—from Beowulf and Hamlet to Gone With the Wind and The Godfather to the story you’re drafting right now in your head. These threads form the foundation that supports story—a foundation Nancy Lamb shows you how to access and master.

Whether you’re writing a novel, a memoir, or a screenplay, The Art and Craft of Storytelling offers time-tested ways to translate a concrete idea into a polished work. In this book, you will find strategies for:

• Creating a successful a beginning, middle, and end while moving smoothly from one stage to the next
• Crafting memorable characters, choosing the best point of view for your story, and constructing authentic, compelling dialogue
• Integrating and navigating the more subtle elements of story, such as voice, tone, premise, and theme
• Understanding genres and subgenres and how they apply to your story
• Structuring plots that transform a ho-hum story into a page-turning read

The Art and Craft of Storytelling
gives you all the tools you need to contribute your own story to our great tradition, to open new worlds to your readers, and to introduce new ways of thinking. This is the power and purpose of story. And by your writing, this is the tradition you honor.

About the Author
Nancy Lamb is the author of forty-three books of fiction and nonfiction for children and adults. She has taught writing at workshops in Singapore; Athens, Georgia; and Big Sur, California, and is currently working on a new book. She can be reached through her Web site,

Advance Praise for The Art and Craft of Storytelling

William Faulkner probably never read anything like this. James Joyce surely didn’t have to. But for all the would-be writers out there, gripped by uncertainties and insecurities, Lamb’s book is a source of real how-to wisdom—the answers to every conceivable question a novice might confront. Invaluable.
—David Markson, author of Wittgenstein’s Mistress


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