Today my book shot is something a little different. It’s not a shot of a flashy cover. Nor is it a shot where any degree of creative thinking has been used in its composition; it’s simply a fairly mundane shot of a book, with a fairly mundane cover.
It is however the pages within this book,‘Telling True Stories’ , where the real ‘magic’ lies. Quite simply this is a book that should be read by anyone engaged, or learning to be engaged, in the art of telling true stories. It contains advice, good advice, from some of America’s top journalists and nonfiction authors and I’ve found it to be both hugely helpful and incredibly insightful (Wow, a double alliteration )).
I’m a huge fan of creative nonfiction, and the content of this book promotes that kind of vibrant story telling ethos beautifully. As an example there’s an article in this book by Tom Hallman about the emotional core of a story being the most important thing to focus on. He illustrates this so eloquently by running through how he dealt with a particular press assignment; turning an article which would have been dull and boring (a graduation ceremony at a local college), into something that throbs with emotional content (focussing solely on an older student who was graduating, who had been a long-term custodian of the college). Hallman quotes large swathes of his published story in this book and it reads superbly.
Talking of promoting creative nonfiction, now would also probably be a good time to plug the fairly new, but utterly inspiring Creative Nonfiction Writing Forums which have sprung up recently. They’re the creation of writer Gene Wilburn (and co-moderated by Steve Brannon), and although still in their formative stages, a helpful, friendly and intelligent community (which excludes me of course) is building up around the subject of creative nonfiction.