From the Master of Creative Nonfiction…

Tom Wolfe said there are exactly four technical devices needed to get to “the emotional core of the story.” They are the specific devices, he said, “that give fiction its absorbing or gripping quality, that make the reader feel present in the scene described and even inside the skin of a particular character.”

The four: 1) constructing scenes; 2) dialogue — lots of it; 3) carefully noting social status details — “everything from dress and furniture to the infinite status clues of speech, how one talks to superiors or inferiors … and with what sort of accent and vocabulary”; and 4) point of view, “in the Henry Jamesian sense of putting the reader inside the mind of someone other than the writer.”

tom wolfe

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