is about getting to the point. It's about providing as much
information as possible in a small space. It's about detail.
And it's about making what's written to be compelling.
and educator Elliott Brack honed newspaper writing into a
12-word course. If you follow these tips, you'll become a
better writer. These tips might look easy -- but good writing
is a lot harder than you think. Here are Brack's rules:
2. Short Paragraphs
3. Active Voice
4. Liberal Use of Quotes
5. Inverted Pyramid
a little explanation:
Short Sentences. Use short sentences. If your sentences
are more than 21 word long, most people won't understand what
you're trying to describe.
Short Paragraphs. Try to keep paragraphs to two sentences
in length. Pick up your morning paper and see how many paragraphs
are more than two sentences in length.
Active Voice. Make your sentences sing. Don't use passive
voice. Instead of writing, "The ball was hit by Henry
Aaron into center field," you should write, "Henry
slammed the ball into deep center field."
Liberal Use of Quotes. Newspaper writing is about people
and what they are communicating. Therefore, your writing should
use quotes liberally. Quotes add spice, detail and personality
Inverted Pyramid. This means you should put the most important
information at the top of your story. As you continue with
the story, add more detail, but keep putting the most important
information as close to the top as you can. Why? Because most
people don't read past the first four or five paragraphs of
a story. Get the important stuff at the top.
Elliott E. Brack, 1979-2001