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 6: What Are the Components?
What Are the Components?
A narrative comprises a matrix of components, all of which harbor an array of choices. What’s the best opening? Who are the main characters? Who will tell the story? This chapter identifies the major components inherent in narrative — including beginnings, endings, point of view, character development, setting, and dialogue — and how various storytellers choose their approach to each.
Strumming the keyboard, I glanced away from the blank computer screen and out the window of my third floor home office. Grey clouds gathered above the rooftops and an icy wind bent the bare trees sideways. I fantasized about a massive snowstorm, so white, so powerful that my attention would be directed to survival, not the taunting, blinking ...