#RIPRobinWilliams tweets show how to serialize your story What can you learn from Norm MacDonald's Twitter tribute (would that be twibute?) to Robin Williams? What can't you learn?! MacDonald shows us how to serialize our stories, how to get the word out in 144 characters or less — and when to stop typing. Here are six tips to take from MacDonald's … [Read more...] about Take a tip from Norm MacDonald
How small is small?
Mini narratives can be as brief as a paragraph In The Emperor of All Maladies, Siddhartha Mukherjee shares this tiny tale: "In 2005, a man diagnosed with multiple myeloma asked me if he would be alive to watch his daughter graduate from high school in a few months. In 2009, bound to a wheelchair, he watched his daughter graduate from college. The wheelchair had nothing to … [Read more...] about How small is small?
‘Every sentence is a little drama’
How to build plot, scene and character with verbs Things that make your copy more creative: Storytelling. Human interest. Wordplay. Concrete details. Verbs. Verbs? Yes, verbs, writes Constance Hale. "What I want writers to understand," writes the author of Vex, Hex, Smash, Smooch: Let verbs power your writing, "is that every sentence is a little drama. There’s a subject, … [Read more...] about ‘Every sentence is a little drama’
How to get stories in an interview “Who?” “What?” “When?” “Where?” “Why?” These questions are journalistic tools that can help us find stories — or condemn us to a lifetime of cranking out just-the-facts-ma’am pieces. To do more of the former and less of the latter, shift focus. When you’re interviewing for story, Richard Zahler of The Seattle Times suggests, reframe the … [Read more...] about Do tell
Find your ‘I wish’ song
Get the story started The first song the main character sings in a Disney movie — not to mention many other film and stage musicals — is the “I wish” song, reports Ira Glass in a recent episode of “This American Life.” In the “I wish” song, the protagonist declares what she wants. That motivation launches the story’s action. “Funny Girl” starts with Barbara Streisand … [Read more...] about Find your ‘I wish’ song