Thursday, December 8, 2011

Aliens have Landed!

YOU are a newspaper reporter, and you are sent to write a feature about an alien who has landed on the school's playground.
YOU have to create an exciting lead (see last week's post) that offers up a summary of the story right away and immediately captures interest.
Tough to do? Yup.
GIVE-AWAY Leads or SUMMARY Leads--the kind reporters use--tell us up front what has happened. No guesswork, like in other leads. But Summary Leads can make your reader curious and dying for the details.

Try this:
*Answer the old Who, What, Where, When, and How questions. It's a way to involve your reader and get out important (alien) info briefly. Yes, briefly. WRITE TIGHT, as we writers like to say.

*Ditch all the extra stuff that doesn't matter in a news story. We don't need to know if Mrs. Fartsky gave out homework that day or Principal Purplelips yelled at a student.

*Delete or rewrite sentences that offer up your opinion, like:
I think...
I wonder if...
I bet he'd like...
Maybe he came from...

* Delete or rewrite sentences with personal pronouns ("we" or "he", etc.)

* Tell the whole story.


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