How did Lewan make this piece so compelling? Of course, the event is made for narrative. But notice how it’s told: the relentlessly active verbs—the ship teeters and plunges, the water sloshes, the windspeed spikes—the vivid detail, strong pace and suspense. Lewan uses the serial approach handily, ending each installment with a cliffhanger moment. And so the reader thinks: “Gotta buy tomorrow’s paper to see what happens.”

Bruce DeSilva, the series’ editor, says: “The story was, I have been led to believe, the very first serial narrative ever to move on the AP wire. It received huge play, including the Style section of The Washington Post, and led to a very happy ending for the writer: a quarter-million-dollar book contract.”

Read “Storm Gods and Heroes,” by Todd Lewan

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