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Tag Archives: Jon Franklin

The Music of Narrative: Songs from great literary journalism

A story without sound lies too dead on the page. Imagine “Mrs. Kelly’s Monster,” by Jon Franklin, without the pop … pop … pop of the operating-room sensors. Or Tom Wolfe’s “The Girl of the Year” — the 1964 New York magazine classic on “it” girl Jane Holzer — without the manic rhythms: She is gorgeous [...]

Want to write great narrative? Study screenwriting.

“That’s all fine,’’ the L.A. film executive said briskly, “but who’s the antagonist?’’ Cut to: Me, author of a soon-to-be published biography of the 1940s/’50s wrestler and pop culture figure who called himself Gorgeous George. I’m on the phone with the woman in charge of selling HarperCollins books to the movies. Time: 2008 or so. [...]

Pinned: Storyboard 75, the annotated “Frank Sinatra,” football, submersion journalism, JFK, Dave Chappelle,

Pinned for your storytelling pleasure, a roundup of recent great reads, vids, tips, etc.: In case you missed it, Part 1: Gay Talese and Elon Green annihilated Storyboard traffic records this week with their critically acclaimed annotation of “Frank Sinatra Has a Cold,” the latest installment of our Annotation Tuesday! series. And in the archive: [...]

Amy Ellis Nutt and the wreck of the Lady Mary, Part 2

In Part 2 of our annotation of Amy Ellis Nutt‘s Pulitzer-winning “The Wreck of the Lady Mary,” Nutt, of the Newark Star-Ledger, explains how the investigative track of her five-chapter narrative unfolded. Yesterday, in Part 1, she walked us through the story conception and first two sections of the series, which chronicled the sinking of an [...]

Amy Ellis Nutt and the wreck of the Lady Mary, Part 1

This is the third in an occasional series of line-by-lines with narrative writers and their work, adapted from a project called Annotation Tuesday! on Tumblr. Earlier, we featured the Tampa Bay Times‘ Michael Kruse and his story about a woman who disappeared inside her own home; and  Jon Franklin‘s classic “Mrs. Kelly’s Monster,” the inaugural winner of the [...]

“The Power of Storytelling,” Part 4: Chris Jones on why stories matter, Pat Walters on endings, Walt Harrington on integrity

In Part 3 of our recap of Romania’s “Power of Storytelling” conference on narrative journalism, radio producer Starlee Kine talked about story forms and themes; Esquire‘s Mike Sager talked about listening, and about suspending disbelief; and Pulitzer winner Alex Tizon talked about writing one’s own story. In Part 2, Pulitzer winner Jacqui Banaszynski wrote a short essay about why she and eight other North American [...]

The best of Storyboard: What’s that sound?

The best stories – even the written ones – have audio. Maybe it’s a sensibility: voice or style, which Ben Yagoda explores in his craft book The Sound on the Page. Maybe it’s a structural/pacing device (think of the pop, pop, pop of the heartbeat in Jon Franklin’s “Mrs. Kelly’s Monster”) or the lingering effect of [...]

Jon Franklin and “Mrs. Kelly’s Monster”

Jon Franklin’s “Mrs. Kelly’s Monster,” which in 1979 won the inaugural Pulitzer Prize for feature writing, ran 33 years ago but never loses its power to captivate or instruct. Franklin followed a brain surgeon through a tense operation on a woman named Edna Kelly and wrote a tight, timeless narrative that stands as a model [...]