When I made the career leap to become a freelance science writer, I was determined not to go back to school and saddle myself with more student loans (I knew that the “making a living” […]
Elements of Craft
One of the perks of science writing is getting to visit places few others ever go, from the cold reaches of Antarctica to the bowels of a particle accelerator. Writers on assignment for a […]
When I set out to write an essay handbook for science writers, the first problem I ran into is that no one is quite sure how to define an essay. Aldous Huxley wrote that it […]
The challenging thing about medical stories is that they can go off the rails before you’ve written the first word—when you choose what to write about. Every week brings hundreds of studies unveiling results, an […]
One hundred fifty miles off the coast of Washington State, while I was video-documenting a three-week science expedition in 2011, the optical block of my primary video camera died. Fortunately, I had backups, but the […]
While some readers may not leap to read about faraway Earthlike worlds or the latest brain-mapping technology, everyone loves a good story about people, and science is always a human endeavor. People shape science, science shapes people, and profiles can transform scientific discourse into gripping narrative that keeps readers turning pages and scrolling tablets.
Sometimes I write a story’s ending first, and sometimes it pops into my head when I get there. Other times it feels like I’ve already said it all and I struggle with the kicker. But easy or hard, endings deserve as much care as beginnings.
Structuring long-form nonfiction writing defies simple rules. Sometimes, you should start at the beginning of a story; other times, the middle or even the end. Sometimes you should follow a single narrative as it unfolds; […]