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Saturday, March 24 • 3:00pm - 4:00pm
Writing to Climax: How to build narrative momentum in nonfiction when the reader already knows what's going to happen

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For lot of us these days, our bandwidth to read news is near capacity. Often, it's not enough for a subject to be important. To keep a reader's attention, the story must build a compelling narrative, but breaking through to reach an audience in the first place means establishing the story's urgency, and news value, as early as possible. Which makes for a common dilemma: What to spill at the top of the story and what to save for later? Unlike so many of the literary tools that have clear applications in journalism, developing a plot that twists and arcs toward a dramatic crescendo is sometimes a hard thing to pull off in the news business when the big ending — the death, the bankruptcy, the scandal — has made headlines long before the reader lays eyes on your lede. Using examples from both fiction and non-fiction, including his own efforts in BuzzFeed stories about hate crimes and police brutality, Albert Samaha will explore this challenge and the structural tricks available to overcome it.

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avatar for Albert Samaha

Albert Samaha

Reporter, BuzzFeed News
Albert Samaha is a national reporter covering criminal justice for BuzzFeed News. He has written in-depth stories about hate crimespolice brutality, the longterm impact of incarceration, the fragmentation of gangs in Chicago, the worst prison bus crash in Texas history, and the disillusionment... Read More →


Saturday March 24, 2018 3:00pm - 4:00pm
Terrace Lounge

Attendees (44)