What we can learn about storytelling from 9/11

Writers, especially journalists, try to take the real stuff of real life and turn it into a story. But what do we mean by story? Used loosely, the word "story" can apply to any text with a byline on top of it -- pieces, reports and articles. But at its core, a story means something different, and special.

A story is a mode of experience, transportation to another time and place, back to the eruption of Vesuvius, or the sinking of the Titanic, or the Kennedy Assassination or the destruction of the Twin Towers on 9/11.

The events of 9/11 and their 10th anniversary inspire important questions about the power of storytelling, why stories matter, which ones to tell and how to tell them. We talked about this and more in this week's writing chat, which you can replay here ...

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    Roy Peter Clark

    Roy Peter Clark has taught writing at Poynter to students of all ages since 1979. He has served the Institute as its first full-time faculty member, dean, vice-president, and senior scholar.


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