Writers, share your tips, tricks and advice for churning out a great story - what has helped you in the past, and what do you feel newbies can benefit the most from?
Something that helps me a lot while writing news stories is remembering that a news story is about ONE thing. If the story cannot be summarized in a sentence - it is probably multiple stories collapsing into one and that confuses readers. It helps me a lot if I note down the answers to the following questions before I begin writing the first draft -
- What is the story?
- Why is this interesting - i.e. why should anyone care?
- What scientific background is absolutely necessary to understand this story?
- The 5 Ws - Who, what, when, where, why (and how)?
- What would be a good way to begin telling this story (the lede)?
This helps with the next step - outlining, which gets rid of the blank page and makes writing the first draft much less scary, at least for me.
I came across an amazing piece on TON on the evaluation of an idea before pitching, really helpful.
Veteran science correspondent and journalist Robert Krulwich delivering a commencement speech at Berkeley about journalism and his experience in science journalism. Extremely inspiring!