Saturday, August 4, 2018

Workshop: How to Use the Craft & Elements of Fiction to Create Engaging Nonfiction: Deborah Heiligman

Deborah Heiligman is the author of 31 books. Her most recent book, Vincent and Theo: The Van Gogh Brothers, won the SCBWI Golden Kite Award for nonfiction, the YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction Award, the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award for nonfiction, a Printz Honor, others.

Deborah's tips for writing nonfiction:

  • Read fiction while writing nonfiction. You can't make things up with nonfiction, but many of the same elements in fiction can be used in nonfiction (scenes, story structure, openings, plot).
  • Read like a writer.

  • Watch movies. Think cinematically, which will help you to write scenes.
  • Listen to writing podcasts. Liz Gilbert, Longform, Tin House.

Heiligman also offered these plot structures to study (Google):

  • Over coming the monster 
  • Rags to riches
  • Quest, (Vincent and Theo: The Van Gogh Brothers) 
  • Voyage and return
  • Comedy
  • Tragedy
  • Rebirth

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