Telling True Stories: Navigating the Challenges of Writing Narrative Non-Fiction
Allen & Unwin
1 Jan 2014
It's etched into our neurological pathways; we can't live without it. Telling true stories is one of the things that makes us human, and a strong narrative has the power to profoundly change the way we think. Truman Capote's ground-breaking In Cold Blood set the tone and narrative non-fiction now appears in print and online journalism as well as in books. Capote's work is also a classic case study of the thorny issues arising in telling true stories: how to maintain editorial independence while becoming close to your subject; how far to take the narrative when reporting on real events; whether an 'omniscient narrative voice' is appropriate for non-fiction; and what kind of relationship to create with the reader. The stakes are high: true stories deal with real people, often at turning points in their lives. Matthew Ricketson uncovers the techniques of some of the best international practitioners from America, Australia and Britain, and shows how to produce authentic, vibrant and memorable writing.