Ground Story, Sky Story

BREVITY's Nonfiction Blog

168The brilliant Stephanie G’Schwind weighs in at Essay Daily this morning on what she has learned reading creative nonfiction as editor of Colorado Review.  She begins with her idea of the parallel narratives that run through many of her favorite essays:

I tend to think of these narrative lines as the story on the ground and the story in the sky. Sometimes the story in the sky is closely related to the story on the ground, other times it may seem unrelated, almost random. A seemingly natural tendency has been for the parallel narrative to be research-oriented: astronomy, arachnology, historical events, etc., for example. But throughout the essay, the two narratives riff on each other, speak to each other (sometimes directly, sometimes indirectly), creating resonance, and in the end come together in such a way that they are greater than merely their sum—and we will have moved from a personal…

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