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Is this a short story or news story?

"The more that quotes resemble dialogue in form, the livelier they are. An exchange gives readers a special sense of participation."
--Cappon, Chapters 6 and 8

This was a pleasant surprise. Sometimes when writing news stories, I feel so out of my element that I don't realize I can use any techniques that I've learned from other styles of writing. I think that's why they spent a whole chapter about tone. It just comes naturally when you're writing a story where you can make everything up, but I've found myself trying to write something that has a humorous tone but then switching to a more straightforward tone when I realize I can't keep it up while sticking to the facts. But one way you can make a story more exciting is by using dialogue the way you would in a short story. It seems like the example they use, where they quote the question that was asked and have the person repeat it back as a statement, may be redundant, but I like the snappy effect it had. You probably wouldn't want to use it when it takes up space that could be used for more important information, but if you have the space, it really helps set the scene better. I wasn't aware that the reporter was able to inject him or herself that much into their own story, but the examples they used seemed really effective. I guess that technique, like anything, can be abused and can make it more about the reporter than the subject if used too much. But all the same, I like it when reporters can dispense with the pretense that the people quoted just made these statements of their own accord; it's a lot more involving for the reader when you can make them feel like they were present at the interview.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on September 29, 2009 6:09 PM.

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