Presentation on theme: " Refining Your Writing. After your lead… The rest of the story will unfold naturally as you weave details and background information between quotations."— Presentation transcript:
Refining Your Writing
After your lead… The rest of the story will unfold naturally as you weave details and background information between quotations using the quote-transition- quote-transition format. Generally, yearbook stories will be organized chronologically, but stories that lack a clear timeline will follow a logical system of organization determined by the writer.
Work just as hard on your ending as you did on the lead. Every story must come to a complete and satisfying end. The story shouldn’t just stop, it should give the reader the impression that the end has been reached. Options for conclusions 1.Return to the scene introduced in the lead to bring the story to a close. 2.Describe the reaction of people in the story to the end of the event — the dance, the game, the play. Or show what people did at the end. 3.Find a quote that provides a natural conclusion to the story. The best endings leave the reader with something that resonates, something to remember.
Use active not passive voice throughout. Avoid any sentence that begins with “There are…,” “There was…,” or “There were…,” etc. In a sentence written in the active voice, the subject of the sentence performs the action. In a sentence written in passive voice the subject receives the action.
Write tight without compromising content To accomplish this, you should work to remove redundancy.
Show, not tell This is not an easy skill to learn. It’s easier to describe the football player as tough, a teacher as fascinating or the homecoming queen’s gown as beautiful, but don’t. Observe carefully and accurately. Provide just enough detail to paint the picture and let the reader react rather than telling him/her your interpretation. Use fewer adjectives and strong, interesting verbs. Be careful that the adjectives you choose do not unwittingly signal the writer’s bias.
Think cinematically Use the techniques of a cinematographer. Think about your favorite movie and the way the camera presents a variety of angles to tell the story. These same techniques can be used in good writing. Present the overview picture… show where the story is taking place. Move in closer… show people and how they interact. Go for the close-up… provide small details that others may not have noticed but that add depth to the story. Create slow motion by showing action or layering detail in short, choppy sentences. Create the sense of fast forward by presenting action in longer sentences that utilize verb or gerund phrases.
Provide pertinent details, but use only those details that add insight or meaning. Readers want to know the name of the dog, the type of car, and the type of clothing. “Her crystal-studded Miss Me jeans” paints an entirely different picture from “her skin-tight Mossimo leggings.” o He walked across the stage to shake hands with the principal. o He limped across the stage… o He galloped across the stage… All three show a person walking across the stage, but the latter two quickly paint a picture.
A cliché is an overused and worn-out expression used to convey a popular thought or idea. For example… The ball is in your court Think outside the box As useful as a lead balloon Every cloud has a silver lining
Proverbs A short, well-known saying which sates a general truth or a piece of advice For example… A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush A leopard cannot change its spot A chain is only as strong as its weakest link Actions speak louder than words
Idioms A commonly used expression whose meaning does not relate to the literal meaning of the word For example… I am over the moon I’ll take any port in a storm This will be a piece of cake That will cost an arm an a leg
Catchphrases A well-known term, especially one that is associated with a particular famous person For example… “Come on down!” (The Price is Right) “Yabba dabba doo!” (Fred Flintstone) “You’re fired!” (Donald Trumpt) “That’s what she said” (Michael Scott)
Similes and Metaphors Similes compare one thing with another to create an analogy. Metaphors state one thing is another to create an anaology. For example… He drinks like a fish She is cute as a button That will put the final nail in the coffin I am banging my head against a brick wall here
Libel is a published false statement that is damaging to a person’s reputation. (words, photos, symbols, etc.) Slander is the action of making a false spoken statement damaging to a person’s reputation
According to Walsworth, sound journalism includes practicing noble ethics, checking for accuracy and knowing libel law. Ex: a student from a school in Arizona received a $4,500 settlement after he was identified as a “quitter” in a yearbook photo of the wresteling team. Ex: in a yearbook from a school in California, someone faintly printed the word “gay” on the soccer photo of a freshman boy. The mother filed lawsuit claiming negligence and libel against the school and a former teacher. According to the lawsuit, the student suffered a loss of reputation, shame, and hurt feelings and was made vulnerable to hate, contempt and ridicule.
So…be careful and scrutinize everything you print. Even if what was printed is unintentional and with out malice, “negligence” is grounds to file a law suit.
It may seem obvious that you can’t lie about people or hurt reputations, but it may not be instinctive for you to second-guess what you intend to print. Questions to consider: 1.Are you hinting at an idea, even if you are not saying it directly? 2.Are you giving an opinion that you assume someone has? 3.Are you “just kidding” on a subject matter that others may not understand? 4.Are you negatively portraying an individual or institution?
The Associated Press Stylebook provides guidelines for news writing. Newspapers, magazines, and PR offices use AP style, but some publications have developed their own style guides. Ex: New York Times Principles of AP Style include: consistency, clarity, accuracy, and brevity