This chick, man, without the benefit of dying herself, has broken down the process of dying into five stages: anger, denial, bargaining, depression and acceptance.~Davis Newman, All That Jazz
Essentially, there are 7 steps involved in the writing process. Generating story ideas, collecting information, finding a focus with the lead, selecting the best material, creating a plan for the story, creating a draft, and revising/clarifying. When generating story ideas, the world is a reporters story book. We have to intrigue our curiosity when writing stories, and by doing this, the article will become much more interesting and entertaining to the readers.
When collecting information, we must make sure that we always check, and re-check the information we have obtained to make sure that the article is as accurate as possible. Also, we should try to gather twice as much information as necessary so that we will have everything that we need and more.
The third step in finding a focus with the lead, which is the most vital tool for finding the focus of your story. (Leads should be the first few lines of the article and should set the tone, voice, etc. for the article.)
Selecting the best material is another important factor to keep in mind while writing a story. This is most effective when your focus is crystal clear. Also, we need to make sure we keep it as brief as possible. Use the best few items instead of using most of the best material that you have.
The fifth step is creating a plan fo ryour story. It helps many writiers to make an outline so that they can keep track of where they want their article to end up.
The next step would be creating a draft. In this step writiers have to be able to pace themselve. Working fast allows the momentum of the story to keep up, and keeping the pace slowed down allows the focus to remain clear.
The final step is revising and clarifying. This will help catch mistakes as well as give writers suggestions that may end up improving that article, as well as their future articles. This step has the potential to change a reporters writing for the rest of their career.
These seven steps, which can be found in "America's Best Newspaper Writing" by Roy Peter Clark and Christopher Scanlan, are steps that every writer should follow to ensure a well written article as well as make us better writers and reporters.
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