Background has a bit of an image problem among science writers. It’s clearly the underdog to its more exciting cousins, the lede and the kicker, which seem to get all our creative attention. Background, […]
Post Tagged with: "Structure"
Science writers often endure bad weather, arduous field conditions, uncooperative subjects, and other hardships to report stories. And we do it with glee. Most of us love every minute of following scientists into the field, […]
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 […]
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.
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 […]
You’re assigned to cover new developments in a complicated field. You know you have to include summaries of some results, and enough background to give readers a good overview. How can you bring some deliciously compelling narrative to a summary-type story?
You’re finally ready to sit down and write your feature. How do you organize your interview notes and research? Seasoned writers and editors share tips on how to break down your ideas and combine them into a great story—either by outlining, chunking them out, or just letting it happen.
It happens again and again: The assignment calls for 300 words. I write the perfect story—in 800 words. Then I’m fighting to cut the damned thing down to size. My search for a better way […]