« Portfoolio 3 | Main | Vulgarity and Newswriting. »

Somethin' about a catchy hook, look! Take 2

AP Guide to News Writing (Chapters 3-5)

"The more action your lead conveys, the better. Strong verbs are important."

Leads are the hook of the story. What this chapter was getting at was to make it spunky, and as catchy as possible. Readers don't want to read the same thing over and over every time they open up a newspaper. There cannot be clumsy structure, or boing words. Verbs like, "went and stayed" and the sort need to be spiced up. For instance, I was reading a news story about an upcoming video game called Mass Effect, and the controversy that it may bring. The lead was short, sweet, and layed out what I will see if I continued reading the article. It used words that added color to the story, and held my attention.

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://blogs.setonhill.edu/mt/mt-tb.cgi/10459

Comments

I agree with you that dull verbs need to be spiced up. "Went" is just not striking enough. It brings questions like....how did he go? ....run, walk, fly, bus, zap into the future?
News is all about the details. If someone replaced a detail like "Zapped into the future" to "went" I'd be pretty disappointed.

You wrote about how leads need to be catchy, and I must say, your title for this blog is pretty catchy, or at least different. But yes, leads need to get the information out there so if thats the only thing you read, you still know what the paragragh is about. But, they also need to keep the readers attention, which is why there is always the Nut Gruf that follows.

Good point. It's odd becuase before I took this class, I never really payed attention to the work my verbs were doing, and your entry really proves that they are one of the most important aspects to newswriting in general. They truly are the influence that either keeps are reader intruiged or makes the fall asleep!

The news story that you linked to is a good example of a lead, and is right on target with what you're saying.

Yes, you have valid points. If the verbs are not strong who will stay? Not many when the hook is boring and has no style to it.

Yes, you have valid points. If the verbs are not strong who will stay? Not many when the hook is boring and has no style to it.

Post a comment

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)

[Future Spam Check]