The Elements of Story

The Elements of Story : Field Notes on Nonfiction Writing

4.09 (182 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

Free delivery worldwide

Available. Dispatched from the UK in 2 business days
When will my order arrive?


"A splendid book for journalists (new or old), fiction writers, essayists, and critics. But it could also be of great use to the intelligent common reader, the man or woman who wonders why it's impossible to finish reading certain stories and why others carry the reader in a vivid rush to the end."
--Pete Hamill, author of A Drinking Life

In the spirit of Strunk and White's classic The Elements of Style, comes The Elements of Story, by Francis Flaherty, longtime story editor at The New York Times. A brilliant blend of memoir and how-to, The Elements of Story offers more than 50 principles that emphasize storytelling aspects rather than simply the mechanics of writing--a relentlessly entertaining, totally accessible writing guide for the novice and the professional alike.
show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 293 pages
  • 132.08 x 198.12 x 22.86mm | 226.8g
  • English
  • Reprint
  • Illustrations, black and white
  • 0061689157
  • 9780061689154
  • 486,735

Review quote

Frank Flaherty s writing guide is fluid, fun and filled with brilliant advice for anybody who wants to improve their work, break into this country s top newspapers or get a glimpse into an editor s mind. --Susan Shapiro, author of Only As Good As Your Word: Writing Lessons from my Favorite Literary Gurus"
show more

Back cover copy

Most writing books dwell on common issues of style and grammar. Yet most writers also confront complex problems of story design. This fifty-rule guide by Francis Flaherty, a New York Times editor, offers much-needed solutions and sage advice to address these concerns.

"Sometimes, say things sideways," Flaherty writes. "The reader will be grateful." "White is whitest on black," he observes. "Let contrast work for you." Through such hard-won, story-level insights, sprinkled with examples from real stories and leavened with a good dose of newsroom memoir, The Elements of Story merits a spot on every writer's shelf.
show more

Rating details

182 ratings
4.09 out of 5 stars
5 31% (56)
4 49% (90)
3 18% (33)
2 2% (3)
1 0% (0)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X