Meet your instructor—best-selling author and longtime New Yorker staff writer, Malcolm Gladwell. Malcolm outlines what he has planned for your class and reflects on the idea of writing as a calling.
2. Structuring Narrative: The Imperfect Puzzle
Malcolm likes an imperfect argument—the perfect argument is too obvious. Learn how Malcolm builds an open-ended puzzle into his story, “The Ketchup Conundrum.”
3. Holding Readers: Tools for Engagement
Data is a big part of Malcolm’s stories. Learn three ways Malcolm helps readers digest data and engage with complex ideas in his writing.
4. Holding Readers: Controlling Information
Learn how to use surprises, guessing games, and suspense to invite readers into your story.
Malcolm shares his guiding principles to uncovering a good idea for a story through research.
6. Selecting the Story
What makes a story worth pursuing? Malcolm talks through his criteria for spotting a unique story and the first steps of story development.
7. Developing the Story
Learn how Malcolm grows the idea of a story, and how he tests new ideas with family and friends.
8. Developing the Story: Analogous Worlds
Using David and Goliath and “What the Dog Saw,” Malcolm teaches you how to look for patterns and draw connections between seemingly disparate ideas.
The interview is the critical foundation for developing character in nonfiction. Malcolm teaches you how to conduct an interview to uncover what is uniquely interesting about your subject.
10. Characters: Descriptions
Malcolm breaks down two pieces of his own writing—one written for The New Yorker and one for a medical journal—to illustrate how he brings a new character to life.
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