Patrick Radden Keefe shares the ins and outs of writing his bestselling non-fiction novel Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland. Of the four years he spent on the book, he claims 90 percent went into research and outlining and only 10 percent into the actual writing. So what did that process look like? In a candid conversation with Dutch journalist Inge Oosterhoff, Patrick Radden Keefe talks all about the best way to tell a true story and how to arrange the truth into a compelling narrative that reads like a novel. He explains why he believes access is overrated, why footnotes offer creative freedom, and how he came to terms with the understanding that there were stories he didn’t need to tell.
An insightful look behind the scenes of book-writing with Patrick Radden Keefe. He will teach you about the eight big beats and how screenwriting helped him to outline and sequence the story. How compression, juxtaposition and cutting can help you to keep the momentum of the story going and your audience engaged. As Radden Keefe puts it: ‘You don’t always have to finish the thought.’ A podcast that is a true must-listen for anyone with ambitions to write a non-fiction bestseller!
Host and interview: Inge Oosterhoff
Editing, mixing and sound design: Wederik de Backer
Research: Inge Oosterhoff, Roos van der Lint, Evelien Kunst
Executive producers: Judith Eigeman and Laura Das
Senior production: Evelien Kunst
Music: Chad Crouch
Audio excerpts: Penguin Random House audio and the radio documentary ‘The Chaplans Diary’ by Lorelei Harris for RTE Radio 1.
This True Stories online podcast was made for the Narrative Journalism Foundation which aims to support Dutch journalists who want to improve their skills in working in a narrative form (verhalendejournalistiek.nl/conferentie-2020). The Narrative Journalism Foundation receives support from the Democracy and Media Foundation, Pictoright, Lira Reproright, the University of Amsterdam and the Evens Foundation.