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 […]
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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.
Kathryn Schulz’s New Yorker story “The Really Big One” opens in Japan, moments before the 2011 Tohuku earthquake. American seismologist Chris Goldfinger, who is attending an international conference in the city of Kashiwa, feels the room begin to shake.
Great investigative projects usually begin with journalists brave enough to be guided by their own curiosity even if their sources—or their colleagues—think they’re a bit daft. Such journalists allow themselves to articulate the embarrassingly obvious, […]
Well begun is half done. Scratch that—no clichés. Um. Just as breakfast is the most important meal of the day, the beginning is the most important part of a story. Snore. And that first bit […]