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Documentary Storytelling, 3rd Edition by Sheila Curran Bernard

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CHAPTER 7

Case Studies

If you want to figure out how something is put together—a table, a car, a sweater, a movie—you often have to take it apart, carefully; look at all the pieces, and understand, at a profound level, what it's made of, how it's fitted together, and how the component pieces work together as a single unit. That's what this chapter is about, but reading the results of someone else's efforts is only marginally as useful as doing it yourself. Authors in other disciplines do this, through a practice sometimes described as “close reading.” They examine craft issues: how an author accomplishes something through dialogue, detail, pacing, the use of specific words, the rhythm of sentences and paragraphs.

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