My "New Kings" and "Telling True Stories" Entry- Megan Hayes

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I found both of these readings really intriguing and entertaining, which made me enjoy reading both of them. I really liked how in the book "New Kings," Ira Glass talks about not just reporting a story, but adding a little something extra to it, or even making it more personal and putting yourself into the writing. On page 3 of the reading, Glass talks about how he doesn't think that it is bad when a story or piece of writing turns into a fable. He explains how, "everything suddenly stands for something so much bigger, everything has more resonance, everything's more engaging" (3). I agree with that, because when I read a story that I can relate to or a story that makes me feel an emotion, I am much more interested in it. It means more and it impacts me in some way. For me, I like reading stories about people's lives and an experience that they've been through. It makes me understand the person they are better and it draws me in. I also enjoyed the part in the introduction of "New Kings," when Glass talks about how Bill Buford, "makes it clear how much of reporting is simply wandering from one place to another, talking to people and writing down what they say and trying to think of something, anything, that'll shed some light on what's happening in front of your face" (7). I thought this was an interesting statement, because I never really thought about just talking to people and getting to know them and what there doing as a way to find your story. I think that that is a good idea. I know for projects that I have done in the past I have tried to think of questions to ask and the topic that I want to do, ask the questions and that's it. I feel like actually engaging in general conversations would help for a better story and topic to come around. On page 9, Glass talks about how ideas add to the stories and that stories, "would have trouble existing at all, without the scaffolding of ideas they've erected to hold the thing up." I think that Glass proves some great points in just the introduction. He has made me think about what I can change in my writing to add to it and make it better. One question that I have is where do you draw the line with how much personal emotions and details you put in a story? Is it ever to far, or is it more of an opinion on what is too much?

One thing that I liked in the book, "Telling True Stories," is the way that Jacqui Banaszynski showed her details and didn't just tell them. She describes the details by making you feel like you are there and by making you feel the emotions. Banaszynski did a really good job making me feel like I was there. I could picture what was going on each step of the way by reading how she was describing it. I really liked the statement that she made on page 5 about how, "stories are for eternity, when memory is erased, when there is nothing to remember except the story." I liked that, because when you read a story and can picture those situations and can relate to the person telling it or the thing that it is about, it can stick with you forever. I also liked how in Part 1, Gay Talese mentions on page 9, how you don't just interview the person, but you become part of their environment and atmosphere. When I have done a phone interview with someone for a story that I was doing in class I didn't really get the full picture of that person or how he or she really felt about a situation, like I would have been able to do if I got to actually see and be in the same place as that person. I really liked Part 1 of this book, but one question I have is when is it not okay to use a narrative approach? Do you use a narrative approach, even if you are told to just state the facts of a story?

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This page contains a single entry by hayes256 published on January 20, 2010 10:40 PM.

I want to be a king of nonfiction! was the previous entry in this blog.

Reading assignment for 1/21 by James Patrick Buchanan is the next entry in this blog.

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