Seeing Story Everywhere: Story Craft in Technical Writing


Elisa Sawyer


February 4, 2015 - 2:00 PM


February 4, 2015 - 3:00 PM


9401 Lee Highway, Suite 300, Fairfax, VA 22030   View map

Time and again, a pattern of story arc emerges as people describe themselves and their world. Often called “The Hero's Journey,” this arc was recognized and described by Joseph Campbell and also by countless writers who write about writing. Neuroscientists are now suggesting that the human brain is hard-wired to respond to the story arc. It is perhaps for this reason that a good understanding of story craft can help us organize complex and voluminous information in ways that increase its usability and accessibility.

Story craft involves building character, creating drama, and creating an arc that draws an audience along a journey, usually with a protagonist. A good story creates fascination that can draw an audience into an unfamiliar world. Though not always obvious, all of the elements of story exist in technical communication. The presenter will involve the audience in discovering how an understanding of story craft and techniques taught in creative writing master classes can improve our technical writing, even when we are handling highly technical information.




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The Society for Technical Communication advances technical communication as the discipline of transforming complex information into usable content for products, processes, and services.