Mike Dariano

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Telling True Stories (Quotes)

Telling True Stories: A Nonfiction Writers' Guide from the Nieman Foundation at Harvard University was sitting on the New Releases table at my local library and I picked it up on my way by. Writing books always grab my attention because I usually enjoy reading about what writers have to say and they inspire me. It's like watching Food Network and wanting to cook.

This book is much closer to King's On Writing than Clark's Writing Tools because it's filled with essays about what the writers were thinking and experiencing while they were trying to tell true stories. I've been reading it more like a magazine than a book, devouring the interesting articles while skipping the others. Here are some parts that stood out as especially good.

Tracy Kidder on first drafts:

I write as fast as I can to prevent remorse for having written badly... I try not to worry if I've done something drastic, such as changed my point of view on page 200. I write terrible, enormously long rough drafts. The first draft takes the longest and is the most painful. Sometimes there are a few paragraphs or sentences that are actually worth keeping.

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