“Why, you may ask, should you write serious nonfiction as a story?”

rabinerThe authors’ answer to this question: “[T]he first job of any book is to get itself read.” Narrative tension, they observe, “remains a highly effective tool for keeping the reader engaged with the material” (179). If that’s so, why don’t all writers use narrative techniques? Perhaps because it’s harder to do well than it looks. The authors show us how it’s done, and they do a wonderful job of modeling their advice. This book is engaging, lively, and provocative. In addition, it offers sage observations, which is probably why Harvard University Press recommends it to authors of serious nonfiction.

Susan Rabiner and Alfred Fortunato, Thinking Like Your Editor: How to Write Great Serious Nonfiction — and Get It Published (New York: W.W.Norton & Company, 2002), 179.

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