Crafting Compelling Leads

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I found the text on Leads to be of significance. A great example of revising a lead to make it more interesting is the story from Frankfort, Ky. "Thou shalt post the Ten Commandments on the classroom wall, says a 1978 Kentucky Law. Thou shalt not, says the U.S. Supreme Court. Help! say confused local schoolboards." This revised edition catches the eye and draws the reader in to keep on going in the article. The article still gets all of the particlulars across to the reader but it does so in a fun fashion. If a reporter can find a new spin or take on a story then it can bring out the newsworthy details in a memorable fashion.

I also found it heartening when the author wrote, "There's no ready formula.You must use your ear as well as your eye." I already know that this book will definately help me when I next go to write my lead. Anyone know of a hearing aid I can get or an eye doc. willing to perform cheap laser eye surgery?

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4 Comments

Before you go under the knife, think about the small steps you can take each time you try to write a lead. I know I'm introducing a whole new set of writing values, many of which contradict what worked for you in high school English. But have faith -- it will all come together if you work at it a little bit each time.

Jackie Johns said:

The example from the text also stuck out to me -it seems like the archetypal example of what this chapter is trying to convey about writing leads.
This lead in particular also reminds me of my high school yearbook days of writing captions for pictures - short, concise, and descriptive, yet catchy.

Jara White said:

I agree that the revised lead was way better and added more to the article. I also feel that being able to write a creative lead is a great talent/ability to have, but it's also seems somewhat hard to achieve given all the rules we're faced with.

Nessa said:

My entry refers to a similar problem- the art of tightrope walking in journalism. Descriptive but not too descriptive, concise but hook the reader...it can make a writer crazy! Especially for those of us that are, how to put it, a bit overzealous with the words (wordy)- it's hard to compact an entire intro from an English paper into one or two sentences for a lead.

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This page contains a single entry by MadelynGillespie published on September 19, 2007 11:01 PM.

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