Story Craft

Essays on how the craft works, and how to work the craft.

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14 Tips for Building Character

By Story Craft June 1, 2005

This essay is adapted from Rick Meyer’s notes for a talk at the 2005 Nieman Narrative Editors’ Seminar. Rick’s presentation was paired with Laurie Hertzel’s talk on scenes. We probably ought to declare something right away, so no one … Read more

Building Character: A Checklist

By Story Craft October 15, 2004

Newspaper folks talk a lot about getting people into stories. But all too often that means trotting out direct quotes from a variety of sources. True characterization taps an array of techniques that novelists … Read more

The Line Between Fact and Fiction

By Story Craft September 7, 2004

Journalists should report the truth. Who would deny it? But such a statement does not get us far enough, for it fails to distinguish nonfiction from other forms of expression. Novelists can reveal great truths about the human condition, and … Read more

Tips for Reporters

By Story Craft March 1, 2002

Note: The following is an edited transcript of a talk by Jim Collins at the 2001 Nieman Conference on Narrative Journalism. It was published in the Spring 2002 issue of Nieman Reports. These are things I have learned from my … Read more

Narrative Journalism Comes of Age

By Story Craft October 1, 2001

Editor’s Note: This essay originally appeared in the Fall 2000 issue of Nieman Reports, the Nieman Foundation’s quarterly magazine. Narrative writing is returning to newspapers. No one has added up the reallocated column-inches to quantify this change, but there are … Read more