What is narrative non-fiction and how do you write a piece so powerful it is nominated for a Pulitzer? In this interview, Matt Hongoltz-Hetling talks about his process for finding stories worth writing about and how he turns them into award-winning articles.
In the intro, I talk about Spotify (possibly) getting into audiobooks and Amazon (possibly) getting into podcasts as reported on The Hotsheet, and the New Publishing Standard. David Gaughran's How to Sell Books in 2020; a college student who used GPT3 to reach the top of Hacker News with an AI-generated blog post [The Verge]; and ALLi on Is Copyright Broken? Artificial Intelligence and Author Copyright. Plus, synchronicity in book research, and my personal podcast episode on Druids, Freemasons, and Frankenstein: The Darker Side of Bath, England (where I live!)
Today's show is sponsored by ProWritingAid, writing and editing software that goes way beyond just grammar and typo checking. With its detailed reports on how to improve your writing and integration with Scrivener, ProWritingAid will help you improve your book before you send it to an editor, agent or publisher. Check it out for free or get 25% off the premium edition at www.ProWritingAid.com/joanna
You can listen above or on your favorite podcast app or read the notes and links below. Here are the highlights and the full transcript below.
- From writing for pennies an article to writing a Pulitzer–nominated article
- What is narrative non-fiction?
- How does narrative non-fiction differ from fiction?
- Where ideas come from and how to begin forming a story idea
- The necessity of being respectful of the real lives being examined and written about
- Portraying interview subjects with shades of grey
- Turning hours of source material into something coherent
- Finding the balance between story structure and meaning
- Knowing when an idea is appropriate for a book
You can find Matt Hongoltz-Hetling at matt-hongoltzhetling.com and on Twitter @hh_matt