Being in the orbit of NYC gives me access to things that being in Upstate New York doesn’t. Specifically there was a talk by Glenn Stout, series editor of the Best American Sports Writing anthology, at Le Poisson Rouge.
I took some notes (I appeared to be the only one taking notes, this in a room full of reporters) and I was the only one who wasn’t drinking beer (this makes me the freak in a room full of reporters. This reporter doesn’t have $10 for a pint of Guinness. Plus I’m slow-carbing it. ANYWAY.)
Here’s some great quotes from the great Glenn Stout.
On what makes a great story:
“Thorough reporting, you can’t have a story without thorough reporting, even if you’re working on memoir.”
“Leave them [the reader] some place they haven’t been before. Stories are made of stories. You need scenes.”
“It’s written from within. They’re confident from the first word as if every word is destiny.”
“You miss the words and you feel immersed in the experience. It’s like walking into water that is body temperature.”
“It unfolds and answers question. Creates a three-dimensional picture, plays to and involves the senses. We’ve got five senses, use a couple of them.”
“Every story has a sound, singular, emerge transformed like you have forgotten to breathe.”
“You’d better give them something at the end.”
“Every story I put forward is because I want to read it again.”
“The best written stories sound well. it’s gotta stick. It’s the one you want to share.”
“Long form refers also to the time spent reporting.”
So, that’s a chunk of what the talk was about. Good stuff. Share those quotes with someone you love.