How Rebecca Skloot Built The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.

Rebecca Skloot, author of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, has been interviewed a multitude of times on the story behind the book, but The OPEN Notebook chose instead to focus on these two interesting topics: the structure of the story, and Skloot’s decision to put herself in the book.

Skloot, who received her MFA in nonfiction at the University of Pittsburgh, is certainly no stranger to structuring stories, and can in fact, become quite obsessed with it.

“My philosophy is,” Skloot tells The OPEN Notebook, “once you understand what structure is, then you can talk about characters and narrative arcs and how to fill in the story. But for me, structure can just completely make or break something.”

To read the full article, including Skloot’s own personal photos of her impressive color-coded index card collection made while organizing the story, click here.


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