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Telling True Stories


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Table of Contents

1 Why true stories matter

2 What makes a true story?

3 Learning from the journalistic method

4 Learning from the novelist's sensibility

5 The Janet Malcolm dilemma: developing trust with principal sources and keeping editorial independence

6 The value of thinking about what is fact and what is fiction before writing

7 The narrator's voice: more than a question of writerly choice

8 Description: finding the balance between vivid intimacy and unnecessary hurtfulness

9 What if you weren't there? The difficulties of reconstructing scenes and dialogue

10 Interior monologues: are they 'one more doorbell to push', or the province of fiction?

11 What do readers expect of narrative non-fiction?

12 Building a relationship of informed trust with readers


A checklist for writers of narrative non-fiction


Selected bibliography


Promotional Information

Explores the key challenges in writing narrative non-fiction, and shows how some of the best in the business do it - an invaluable guide for anyone who wants to tell true stories well.

About the Author

Matthew Ricketson is the author of the bestselling guide Writing Feature Stories and of a biography of children's author Paul Jennings, and editor of The Best Australian Profiles.

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