Nonfiction Writing Advice from Adrian Nicole LeBlanc

leblancContinuing to share some of my favorite advice from The New New Journalism, a few tidbits I’ve found particularly helpful from the interview with Random Family author Adrian Nicole LeBlanc:

“Voices obsess me. Sometimes I get hooked simply by the way someone says something — phrasing, lilt, what’s not said, pauses, what’s said repeatedly.”

“I obsess over the first paragraph for days. And it almost always gets cut, or moved around and becomes the end of a section.”

“I generate my outline from my first draft. It’s a process of distilling, of trying to figure out my original intentions, and then ordering them.”

“I can’t absorb so much of what is going on so much of the time that I cling to the details.”

On how she reconstructs scenes: “Get as much information from as many sources as possible, conduct repeated interviews with them about their memories of the event, and, if possible, have them take me to visit the scene.”

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