Friday, November 26th, 2010

Writing Prompt: You’re in the News!

Good Morning!

You’ve opened the newspaper today to see your picture splashed across the front page with the headline,” ___________________.”

What does it say?

Is the picture only of you? Or, is there someone with you? If so, who is it?

What did you do?

Here’s Your Prompt: Write the news story about you. Make it exciting.

Write the story in journalistic style, referred to as “inverted pyramid.”

In inverted pyramid writing, the most important facts are made known in the first paragraph, and detail gets less and less important as the story progresses. (This is so that if the newspaper runs out of room, they can cut off the bottom of the story without having to re-edit.)

So, in the first paragraph, answer the questions: who, what, where, and when?

Don’t “editorialize” this lead paragraph, that is: don’t make your opinion known. You don’t want to slant the story! Include only the facts.

You can add a quote or two in this first section. Make sure these quotes pertain directly to the story: perhaps an eyewitness account or two of what happened. What did those people see?

The questions “How?” and “Why?” can be answered in the middle of the story. They will add additional detail.
Sprinkle in a few quotes with the extra detail here, too. These quotes can be opinions. What do people think about what happened?

Make certain that you have quotes from differing points of view: some from people who agree with the story, some from people who don’t. (This is called “fair and balanced” reporting.)

One last thing, journalistic stories are measured in column inches and contain 20-30 words. Your assignment: write 20 inches.

When you’re done, send it to me! I’d love to read about you.

2 comments to Writing Prompt: You’re in the News!

  • Great prompt and information on writing a news article. This could be an interesting exercise to do for an event in your WIP. Perhaps especially if you’re stuck on what will happen next.

    • Hi Kerryn! Thanks for stopping by.

      I’d not considered using this prompt for a scene for a WIP…that’s a fabulous idea! In fact, I have a WIP that’s languishing right now. I’m going to give it a try! Thanks!

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