Follow The Story: How To Write Successful Nonfiction

Stewart, James B.

Published by Touchstone/ Simon & Schuster, 1998
ISBN 10: 0684850672 / ISBN 13: 9780684850672
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New York. 1998. Touchstone/ Simon & Schuster. 1st Edition. Very Good In Wrappers. Paperback Original . 381 pages. October 1998. paperback. Cover design by Cherlynne Li. ISBN: 0684850672. inventory # 25916. FROM THE PUBLISHER - In FOLLOW THE STORY, bestselling author and journalist James B. Stewart teaches you the techniques of compelling narrative writing. It is the indispensable guide to writing successful nonfiction books, articles, feature stories, or memoirs. Stewart provides concrete directions for conceiving, reporting, structuring, and writing nonfiction — techniques that he has used in his own successful books and stories. By using examples from his own work, Stewart illustrates systematically a way of thinking about and executing stories, a method that has helped numerous reporters and Columbia students become better writers. FOLLOW THE STORY examines in detail: How an idea is conceived; How to ‘sell’ ideas to editors and publishers; How to report the nonfiction story; Six models that can be used for any nonfiction story; How to structure the narrative story; How to write introductions, endings, dialogue, and description; How to introduce and develop characters; How to use literary devices; Pitfalls to avoid. Learn from this book a clear way of looking at the world with the alert curiosity that is the first indispensable step toward good writing. Bookseller Inventory #

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Synopsis: An indispensable guide to nonfiction writing from the Columbia Journalism School professor and Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist behind the bestsellers Blind Eye, Blood Sport, and Den of Thieves.

In Follow the Story, bestselling author and journalist James B. Stewart teaches you the techniques of compelling narrative writing, from nonfiction books to articles, feature stories, or memoirs. Stewart provides concrete directions for conceiving, reporting, structuring, and writing nonfiction—techniques that he has used in his own successful books and stories. By using examples from his own work, Stewart illustrates systematically a way of thinking about and executing stories, a method that has helped numerous reporters and Columbia students become better writers.

Follow the Story examines in detail:

  • How an idea is conceived
  • How to “sell” ideas to editors and publishers
  • How to report the nonfiction story
  • Six models that can be used for any nonfiction story
  • How to structure the narrative story
  • How to write introductions, endings, dialogue, and description
  • How to introduce and develop characters
  • How to use literary devices
  • Pitfalls to avoid


Learn from this book a clear way of looking at the world with the alert curiosity that is the first indispensable step toward good writing.

Review: Forget everything you thought you knew about journalism. James B. Stewart shuns pyramid style and all its accoutrements for a more creative type of nonfiction, nonfiction that tells a compelling story. Stewart's ideas about nonfiction stem directly from his experience as a writer and editor of The Wall Street Journal's lengthy page-1 feature stories, which explore subjects, as Stewart says, "in depth, with style, and often ... with wit." "Good writing," Stewart says in Follow the Story, "is rooted not in knowledge, but in curiosity." Curiosity too, says Stewart, "is what make readers read the stories that result." Using examples from his own writing (for the Journal, The New Yorker, and SmartMoney, and also from his books Blood Sport and Den of Thieves), the Pulitzer Prize-winning Stewart shows how to turn your curiosity into ideas, story proposals, and then the stories themselves. Each part of the writing process-- cultivating sources, gathering information, writing the lead and the transition, structuring your piece, and then concluding it--is discussed with authority and demonstrated masterfully. Stewart also includes chapters on how to use (but not overuse) description, dialogue, anecdotes, humor, and pathos to strengthen your work. --Jane Steinberg

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Follow The Story: How To Write Successful ...
Publisher: Touchstone/ Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: 1998
Binding: paperback
Book Condition: Very Good In Wrappers

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