September 20, 2007

Fiddles and Dinner

"Like a fiddle string, a good lead is the product of the right tension. Or, to get the metaphors out of the way, the lead is an hors d'oeuvre, intended to whet the appetite, not to provide a three-course dinner" (23).

Exceptionally corny metaphors aside, this was actually a good way to introduce the topic of the lead. Personally, I find leads agonizing...I'm just not very good at introducing a story. A prose piece, fine. English paper, great. I'm a wordy person by nature, but condensing all the important details down into one solid hook for a news article, rough.

There is also a fine balance to getting the right lead...a line that seems to be a difficult one to walk. You don't want to be too wordy yet...wait, don't be too vague either! Make sure to get all the important details in but, hold on, you don't need everything single one in that sentence. Oh, and make sure it's interesting- gotta hook the reader.

The same line must be walked for sentences in general, as noted in chapter 4. Make the sentence tight, yet be descriptive. Not too long or too many words but wait, make sure it's not vague and write for the readers. It seems like journalism is one big tightrope walk.

Posted by VanessaKolberg at September 20, 2007 8:55 PM | TrackBack
Comments

Yeah, I can definately understand where your're coming from with the whole tightrope thing. You also have to tie in that particular obstacle into the main article so it's like performing an opening trick to get the audience hooked, then running on ropes that continually get smaller and smaller! And if you hanev't noticed, I'ma wordy person too. I really think that you posted a great comment!

Posted by: Madelyn Gillespie at September 20, 2007 9:56 PM

Wow, so I'm not the only one that has trouble writing leads! I agree with what you said, simply because I'm wordy by nature as well, and it's hard for me to be straight to the point and creative at the same time!

Posted by: Stephanie Wytovich at September 20, 2007 11:17 PM

Wow, so I'm not the only one that has trouble with leads? I completely agree with what you said simply because I'm wordy by nature as well, and I have trouble being straight to the point and creative all in the same!

Posted by: Stephanie Wytovich at September 20, 2007 11:19 PM

I have trouble with writings leads, so I usually just start off with a quote. My background in writing has extensively been creative and academic, so engraved in my mind for the past 1o years or so has been "the wordier the better". I am often too flowery and expressive: this style of writing does not belong in a newspaper.

Posted by: Daniella Choynowski at September 21, 2007 1:09 AM

Tightrope walk... good metaphor. A few students have noted that Chapter 3 and Chapter 5 seem to offer contradictory advice, or at least one exists to correct the possible excesses of the other.

Posted by: Dennis G. Jerz at September 21, 2007 8:20 AM
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