2011 Writing Prep: Work on Your Ledes

A good lede (lead) draws readers into the piece. It’s purpose is to pique interest, tell readers what the piece is about and transition them into the body of the article. It also needs to develop rather quickly. That is a lot of weight to place on a paragraph or two, which is why it’s the area writers agonize over the most. As with most things, writing improves through practice, critique and analyzing others. This exercise incorporates all three. Rewrite the ledes you come across throughout the day. Newspaper or magazine articles, blog posts – it doesn’t matter, simply read [Read more…]

10 Popular Article Writing Questions – Answered! part 2

5. How do you write a great lede? The lede is one of the most important components of an article. It hooks the reader, tells them what the article is about and encourages them to continue reading. Before writing the lede, ask yourself “What is this article about?” Go through your research and find the information, statistic or anecdote that best represents the article’s information and formulate your lede around it. Also check out “Driving Rules for Getting to the Point with Your Lede” and “Lede On, Hook Your Readers Every Time” 4. What makes a good article? A good [Read more…]

Down with Deb Ng! Headline Writing 101

Headlines are an important, often overlooked part of article writing. They are what prompt readers to click the link, pick up the magazine or buy the paper. Blog posts, magazine articles and news articles have unique characteristics that will be addressed individually in follow-up posts, but there are a few guidelines that apply across the different styles and medium of the articles. Interesting & Descriptive Headlines should attract reader’s attention while giving a brief overview of the article’s content. Sounds easy right? Well, given the dearth of boring and vague headlines in media there’s got to be more to it. [Read more…]

Creating an Outline that Works for You

While creating an outline is an important part of the article writing process, it doesn’t have to be your 6th grade English version of an outline. Outlines can be made to fit your style including as many details as you’d like, however there are some parts of an outline that you must include in order for it to really work as a framework from which you can base your article: How it begins When outlining your article, it’s best to formulate your lede (lead) paragraph. The lede paragraph, depending on the type of article, can tell the readers what they’ll [Read more…]

Outline Your Way to A Better Article

All great works start with good foundations and articles are no different. An outline is a great tool to give your article solid support and using one has many benefits: Faster Writing Many writers think taking the time to write an outline adds one more time consuming step to the writing process. The truth is, having an outline speeds up the writing process by giving writers a road map to their article. It is much harder to write a clear, focused and coherent article off the cuff. If you tend to write your articles straight from your head, how many [Read more…]

Brainstorming Technique #2 Freewriting

Freewriting. It sounds like a cool, pill induced experience, but it is actually a perfectly normal way to get all your ideas on paper without stopping to edit or organize. Freewriting is simply writing without stopping. This technique is actually a great way to start the writing process before you move on to outlines. It allows you to see everything all at once and this often leads to stand-out elements and angles for the article like ledes, quotes and important facts. Another great outcome of freewriting is it is actually freeing! Often writers get bogged down in the process of [Read more…]

Driving Rules for Getting to the Point with Your Lede (Lead)

The other night The Wizard of Oz was on and I watched Dorothy and her crew sing about following the yellow brick road. It was a simple instruction, but it dawned on me the yellow brick road was a terribly convoluted roadway, with twists and turns all over place. Who were the city engineers on that project? Sheesh! Some ledes are the same way. They are good enough to hook the reader, but take so long to get to the point readers lose interest and turn the page or hit the back button. Here are a few rules of the [Read more…]

Lede This! #2

Ok, the first Lede (Lead) This!” didn’t go so well as we had no participation. Maybe it was the stunning cuteness of my little lion or the (hopefully) super busy week all our FWJ writers had, whatever the case we are going to try again. I’m a little late getting this up, it’s been a crazy week over here as well. Remember a good Lede (Lead) is what captures your audience’s attention and gets them to read the article. Brush up on your skills and get featured here at FWJ – the number one site for freelance writers! The Rules: [Read more…]

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