In the spirit of Strunk and White’s classic The Elements of Style, The Elements of Story: Field Notes on Nonfiction Writing offers 50 rules to story doctoring—perfecting the architecture and structure of a story to create prose that is riveting and persuasive. The hard-won techniques and strategies Francis Flaherty shares here have been culled from his 12 years teaching at NYU and 20-plus years as a journalist. With excerpts from published articles and stories straight from his experiences in the newsroom, this book provides story-level insights and principles that will benefit every student.
Flaherty provides writers at all levels of experience with real solutions to specific, common, and especially difficult problems of story writing. Unlike most on the shelf of writing books, The Elements of Story is not about run-on sentences, errant punctuation, or ambiguous antecedents. Instead, Flaherty warns students about common missteps and provides helpful guides like how to move a story along, write descriptively to “paint the setting,” and make a theme more impactful.
Praise for The Elements of Story:
“An essential read for both freelance writers and students of journalism.”—Library Journal
“A splendid book for journalists (new or old), fiction writers, essayists, and critics.”—Pete Hamill, author of A Drinking Life
If you would like to consider The Elements of Story for one of your classes, please order an examination copy. If you've already decided to require this book, please request a desk copy.