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- Heath Meriwether on How to write a good lede.*
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Author Archives: Heath Meriwether
How structure will make you a more effective writer.
The reporter sits there wringing her hands, then sighs as she throws her printout on the desk. “It’s just a mess,” she says, “I just don’t know where I’m going with this.” This not-so-imaginary scene in a Craft classroom, the … Continue reading
Posted in Writing Advice Tagged crains new york business, endings, global quotes, ledes, nut graf, paragraphs, patrick clark, structure, topic sentences, transitions Comments Off on How structure will make you a more effective writer.
In writing, the magic is in the details.
We’ve talked often about how reporters should work hard to capture storytelling details in their notebooks and infuse them into their stories. In writing, the magic, not the devil, often is in the details. We were intrigued, then, with how … Continue reading
How to write a good lede.*
Writing a good lede* is one of the most formidable challenges any journalist faces. You’ve got an instant to catch readers’ attention or lose them forever. You’ve got to find an organizing idea in a notebook full of information, ideas … Continue reading
Posted in Writing Good Leads, Writing tips Tagged Channon Hodge, David Lewis, Geoffrey Decker, Jere Hester, John McPhee, keep it simple, Matt Draper, Wayne Svoboda 5 Comments
Get punctuation and grammar right — or else.
There’s no quicker way to lose readers than to use incorrect grammar and improper punctuation. If you can’t get the basics right, readers figure, you also can’t be trusted to get the facts right. Pronouns, punctuation and possessives seem to … Continue reading
Posted in Grammar and Punctuation Tagged AP Stylebook, grammar, pronouns, punctuation, tim harper, use of the possessive Comments Off on Get punctuation and grammar right — or else.
Here’s the nut of the matter.
I didn’t have to think long when asked recently for the number one problem I see in students’ writing. It’s the nut graf, that simple but hard-to-execute idea of telling readers why they should care about your story and, importantly, … Continue reading
Posted in Writing Advice Tagged Chip Scanlan, Eugenia Miranda, Lisa Riordan Seville, nut graf, Overflow magazine, Patrick Wall, Philadelphia inquirer, Poynter Comments Off on Here’s the nut of the matter.
Clink. Clank. Sounds of reporting, writing, fill the air.
Imagine you’re in your first weeks at CUNY and you’re assigned to interview the country’s reigning horseshoe champion. Hey, in New York, where everyone shows up for a “press availability,” it could happen. What do you do in the few … Continue reading
Posted in Uncategorized 1 Comment
Here's the drill: Read, Report, Write, Review, Repeat.
Here’s an easy-to-use formula for writing at CUNY: Read + Report + Write + Review + Repeat = Better Writing. Let’s put the microscope on each element to give you a sense of how it works: READ – In the … Continue reading
Posted in Writing Advice, Writing Good Leads Comments Off on Here's the drill: Read, Report, Write, Review, Repeat.
'Clear Seeing': The art of the lede.
The Write Stuff always is looking for good ledes and how writers put them together. When Michael Cohen wrote about St. John’s University student Dariana Casado, both a model and a woman boxer aiming for the Olympics, he wanted to … Continue reading
Posted in Uncategorized Comments Off on 'Clear Seeing': The art of the lede.
Reading is one secret to better writing.
“The smell of death was overpowering the moment a relief worker cracked open one of the hospital chapel’s wooden doors. Inside, more than a dozen bodies lay motionless on low cots and on the ground, shrouded in white sheets. Here, … Continue reading
Posted in Writing Advice Tagged Gene Weingarten, Pulitzer Prizes, Read good writing, Sheri Fink, Stephen King 2 Comments
Hook your readers early and often.
With the longer, more in-depth stories required in the spring semester, there’s the temptation to use a long wind-up to pitch your story to readers. In fact, as Jere Hester reminded Write Stuff, it’s more critical than ever on these … Continue reading
Posted in Writing Advice Tagged Almudena Toral, Jere Hester, nut graf, Reader hooks, Shane Kavanaugh, storytelling details, vivid quotes Comments Off on Hook your readers early and often.