There's something about a great story that sticks with you: the way the author strings together a series of words that capture your attention and grab you along for a ride.
The great Gary Smith once told me that in order to get a reader to fully immerse himself in a story, you have to first welcome him to cross a threshold into another world, where he might discover some sort of truth about himself or the world he lives in. When those first words are pitched, you’re attempting to cast a spell on the reader that will make time and the world around him vanish, where he will step into the life of another human being whose struggles could help him reach such discoveries about his own world. In the proper sequence of sentences and paragraphs, words can produce significant meaning—they can have impact, they can create change.
But like in any relationship, words need a significant other: a writer to give them meaning, purpose, the power they deserve. A wordsmith to help a reader immerse himself into a story.
To cross the threshold.
I'm Matt Keyser, the host of Damn Good Writing. Each episode, we'll dive into a damn good story and break it down with the writer. What makes the story great? What was the writer's process behind it—from idea to reporting to writing to publication? What were the struggles and how were they overcome? What advice do they have for us other writers out there who scream at our keyboards when the writing gets tough?
And because great storytelling crosses a variety of mediums, we'll also speak with authors and songwriters and screenwriters and podcasters.
Damn Good Writing will be available for free in April on all major podcast platforms.
If you have a writer you'd like to hear from, please, email me at bymattkeyser[at]gmail[dot]com.