Soldiers in their trenches near the front lines of the war in Ukraine in August 2022.

Story Craft

How a 9/11 narrative guided a gun violence narrative 22 years later

August 25, 2023

Reporters from The Dallas Morning News pieced together a tick-tock of a deadly mall shooting, starting with "normal aspects of life"

Story Craft

Climbing the “ladder of abstraction” to evoke empathy and elevate your message

May 31, 2023

A concept adapted from theories of rhetoric can help writers choose details that add both intimacy and universality to a story

Story Craft

Endings: How to leave readers satisfied ~ and wanting more

May 19, 2023

In Narrative Elements 4, Lauren Kessler pays practical attention to the oft-neglected challenge of story endings

Story Craft

Character: The beating heart of narrative

May 11, 2023

In Narrative Elements 3, Lauren Kessler outlines the reporting tools that turn predictable profiles into compelling character studies

Story Craft

2023 Power of Narrative: Revving the story engine

May 10, 2023

Atavist editor Seyward Darby on the writing craft that drives readers through a story to the end: Plot, characters, scene

Story Craft

2023 Power of Narrative: Prepping for profiles

April 27, 2023

Washington Post profile writer Geoff Edgers loads up on advance research and background interviews in advance of interviewing a celebrity

Story Craft

Reporting and writing scenes: The foundational building block of stories

April 20, 2023

In Narrative Elements 2, Lauren Kessler explores the multiple methods of reporting required to collect the raw material for meaningful scenes

Story Craft

2023 Power of Narrative: The investigation and birth of a personal essay

March 24, 2023

Essayist, poet and author Hillery Stone explores the essay process through the death of a dog and the growth of a tomato plant

Story Craft

The making of a (born) journalist

March 17, 2023

Carl Bernstein of Watergate fame may have been hard-wired to be a reporter but he also worked hard at his craft

Story Craft

How to free your writing with free writing

February 8, 2023

Timed free writing — no stopping, no correcting, no fretting — can leapfrog mental paralysis to a "shitty" but valuable first draft

Story Craft

A whimsical request inspired some essential writing tools

February 7, 2023

Writing scholar and author Roy Peter Clark responded to a quirky (and somewhat brash) letter with a lifetime list of writing wisdom

Story Craft

A veteran newsman teaches writing through music

February 2, 2023

Chuck Haga and his students exchange favorite music of their generations to explore metaphor and meaning that can make writing sparkle