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Book details
  • Genre:LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES
  • SubGenre:Composition & Creative Writing
  • Language:English
  • Pages:40
  • eBook ISBN:9781483515991

Storytelling

by John Leggett

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Overview
Anyone who has tried to write knows that storytelling is an art, just as making music or painting a portrait, and we admire it when it is well done. When it is well done, we are often astonished by its appearance of simplicity, says John Leggett, author of Storytelling. Leggett, a former editor who for 17 years was director of the prestigious Iowa Writers' Workshop, says “It looks so easy that we feel we can do it equally well ourselves. It is only when we do, that we discover how even the simplest tale offers a gallery of opportunities for getting it wrong. A badly told story spreads boredom, or pain, just as surely as sour notes from a violin.” In this guide, Leggett builds a case and gives guidelines for telling stories that keeps readers interested, providing insights into character, plot, point of view, voice, theme, scene and “the big story.”
Description
Anyone who has tried to write knows that storytelling is an art, just as making music or painting a portrait, and we admire it when it is well done. When it is well done, we are often astonished by its appearance of simplicity, says John Leggett, author of Storytelling. Leggett, a former editor who for 17 years was director of the prestigious Iowa Writers' Workshop, says “It looks so easy that we feel we can do it equally well ourselves. It is only when we do, that we discover how even the simplest tale offers a gallery of opportunities for getting it wrong. A badly told story spreads boredom, or pain, just as surely as sour notes from a violin.” In this guide, Leggett builds a case and gives guidelines for telling stories that keeps readers interested, providing insights into character, plot, point of view, voice, theme, scene and “the big story.” Says Leggett, “A storyteller's struggle with a character, a motivation, a situation, a bit of scenery, a line of dialogue takes place in the crucible of language, and a writer's growth demands an ever-greater facility with that language. It follows that he or she who engages in such struggle on a regular basis, comes that much closer to moving mountains and working other worthwhile miracles.” This small guide helps writers on that journey.
About the author
John Leggett is author of the novels Wilder Stone, The Gloucester Branch, Who Took the Gold Away, Gulliver House, and Making Believe, and the biography Ross and Tom. His short stories, articles and reviews have appeared in The New Republic, Esquire, Harper's, Mademoiselle, The Ladies Home Journal, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Los Angeles Times. He was an editor at the publishing firms Houghton-Mifflin and Harper and Row, and for 17 years was director of the prestigious Iowa Writers' Workshop. He has taught at the Squaw Valley and Santa Barbara Writers' Conferences, as well as at the Napa Valley Writers' Conference, where he was director.
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