Starting Off The Right Way

via positivetosuccess.com

via positivetosuccess.com

In the middle of deadline recently, Louisa looked my way and said the hardest part of any story is starting it.

I took a few seconds to think about it and I agreed. We left it at that and I quickly made a draft post on my blog to do a post on it.

I always struggle with starting stories. It doesn’t matter what they are about, either. It’s just something that happens and I work through it. I never really thought about it, until Louisa brought it up.

She didn’t have a reason as to why it happens. She seemed just as perplexed as I was.

For me, the first three grafs of any story are the toughest. I always try to spice up my leads, which mostly end up getting tweaked anyway. The next grafs are crucial, in my mind, to get the most information into the story as high as I can. It’s a struggle and I take my time with it.

Sometimes it’s easier than others, but I’ve gotten pretty worked up about it. It’s not something I take lightly and, as I’ve said before, I hate “wasting” time.

The best trick to “combat” this, I feel, is to brainstorm about the story you are going to write before you write it. No, not like a prompt in college, but take some time in your head to “see” the story and how you know it’s going to flow.

For the lead, think of what the headline might be and tailor the lead to whichever way you are leaning.

For the next two grafs, keep it simple and get the information in there. If it’s too wordy, you can come back and change it anyway. But once you get those three grafs down, the rest will be smooth sailing. Or, at least, it should be.

If that’s not easy enough, just skip the first three grafs and write what you know  you have to. Get the quotes in there and put an ending on the story and come back to it. There’s nothing worse than wasting time on deadline. And, if it’s your first story of the day, you want to start off the day right.

No matter what, keep writing.

Jonathan

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One Response to Starting Off The Right Way

  1. Pingback: The Next Step and a New Year | Just Starting Out

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