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Writing coaches always tell you to read other writers to unlock the secrets of their particular mojo. Author Marilyn Johnson found inspiration in an unlikely place: The obituary column. "Good obit writers can bring someone -- well, to life," she explains. "It's a demonstration of great writing and I was very interested in how they did it." She was so interested, in fact, she started writing obituaries herself -- and then wrote a book on the subject called The Dead Beat. We spoke to Marilyn about the obit genre:

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I came across this list of terrific writing books as a sidebar to a Detroit Free Press article on storytelling. To read the article, please click here. [Editor]

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What makes a story so compelling you can't shake it from your mind? To find out we called up veteran public radio broadcaster and award-winning storyteller Tony Kahn, a special correspondent on the news magazine The World, and the creator of Morning Stories, a weekly feature on WGBH Boston radio and web where people tell true tales in their own voice -- tales that stick.

Tony has honed his storytelling skills by writing, producing, narrating and hosting over 50 radio and TV programs and series for PBS, NPR, Nickelodeon and others. In an interview we read on the online Transom Review, he says:

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Blog Excerpts

A Case for Web Storytelling

A List Apart, a terrific site that "explores the design, development and meaning of web content" argued the case for web storytelling last August. Author Curtis Cloninger writes, "Much ink has been spilt lately bemoaning the lack of quality content on the web. 'Sure the site flashes and whizzes and startles, but what does it have to say?'" Read the entire entry here.
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Blog Excerpts

Seven

This entry comes from an outstanding blog called Gangrey that describes itself as "prolonging the slow death of newspapers." It highlights great writing from papers across the country. This entry appeared on 07/26/05:

Just how many stories ARE there? Got in the mail in a package from Amazon.com a big fat book called The Seven Basic Plots. In it a dorky British guy named Christopher Booker says that's how many stories there are.

  1. Rebirth
  2. Tragedy
  3. Comedy
  4. The Quest
  5. Voyage and Return
  6. Rags to Riches
  7. Overcoming the Monster

That's it.

Discuss.

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1 2 3 Displaying 15-19 of 19 Articles