Thomas Steinbeck Speaks: The Secret to Writing

In this video, Thomas Steinbeck talks about the secret to writing, which he calls “the minimalist school” of writing. It’s about knowing the events story in such detail, that it’s “like your testifying” – but never going overboard with the details, he warns.  You must include your audience and let them participate – “let the audience do the reading,” advises Steinbeck, because the audience is part of the work.

Drawing from his background as a journalist, Thomas Steinbeck writes essential details only: “Who, when, why, where what – you only cover those things in which the reader really needs the information in order to form picture for themselves,” he explains in the video. What makes the book your own, according to Steinbeck, is that “you’ve decorated it” – your passion comes through.

Check back for more videos in this series.

This video was created by Jon Williams of Table Rock Productions – (805) 451-7608



  1. [...] People would much prefer to hear a truth that’s more in scale to their own experience… rather than creating grandiose situations. That can be a lot of fun in fiction, but it takes your audience out of relevance. —Thomas Steinbeck [...]

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