Developing narrative nonfiction writers at any stage of their career Write Choices: Elements of Nonfiction Storytelling helps writers cultivate their nonfiction storytelling skills by exploring the universal decisions writers confront when crafting factual narratives. Rather than isolating various forms of narrative nonfiction into categories or genres, Sue Hertz focuses on examining the common choices all true storytellers encounter, whether they are writing memoir, literary journalism, personal essays, or travel stories. Write Choices also includes digital storytelling. No longer confined to paper, today’s narrative nonfiction writers must learn to write for electronic media, which may also demand photos, videos, and/or audio. Integrating not only her own insights and experience as a journalist, nonfiction book author, and writing instructor, but also those of other established nonfiction storytellers, both print and digital, Hertz aims to guide emerging writers through key decisions to tell the best story possible. Blending how-to instruction with illuminating examples and commentaries drawn from original interviews with master storytellers, Write Choices is a valuable resource for all nonfiction writers, from memoirists to essayists to literary journalists, at any stage of their career.
Chapter 4: What’s the Focus?
What’s the Focus?
A former student once said that only one word will appear on my tombstone: Focus. True enough. I am a fiend for focus. In the following pages, we explore how to find meaning, the narrative’s soul, amid the chaos of memory and mass of notes and tapes, observations and interviews. We ask the tough questions and seek clues for that central message in place, character, and detail, as well as in research and reflection.
The numbers matched. What Katie Campbell needed to pay for grad school was exactly the same amount the donor agency would pay for her eggs. She was 27, healthy, a runner and writer and photographer. Why not? Some bloating, some discomfort, a few needles and she ...