Brendan Borrell was feeling low about his career. He had been freelancing for several years and no longer worried about paying the rent. But he wanted more adventure in his work. He wanted to tag […]
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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.
Let’s say you want to write about science for kids, and you want them to actually enjoy reading it—no one wants to sound like the adults from a Charlie Brown cartoon. For starters, the best way to write science for young people is to put yourself into the mindset of your readers.