2014 - Fall

How Books are Built: The Basics of NonFiction Narrative

Course Number: JOUR-GA 1050.001

Day & Time: Tuesday, 3:30pm-7:00pm

Location: 657

Instructor: Michael Norman

This is a lively seminar about the most difficult aspect of book writing: How to structure a narrative. Through careful reading and exercises, we will attempt to discover how fine non-fiction books are made. We will read five book-length narratives (among them Praying for Sheetrock by Melissa Faye Greene, and The Duke of Deception by Geoff Wolf) then take those books apart, chapter by chapter, to discover what material the writer collected, how and why the writer organized that material and, finally, what structure the writer used to create a compelling narrative that attempts to hold the reader from first page to last. Seminar members, working in teams with protocols supplied by the instructor, will “present” the books for analysis and lead a discussion of them.