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Can you write in segments?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by imjustagirl2, Oct 3, 2007.

  1. imjustagirl2

    imjustagirl2 New Member

    I can't. I have to have a lede before I can write. And then I just go top to bottom. Writing running stories for deadline is hard as hell for me.

    So right now, I've sent e-mails to my deputy SE to help me figure out which lede he likes best of the three I've written. He's in the middle of something else, so who knows when I'll find out. So now my choices are to try to write some background that I'll just end up rewriting anyway, or sit around and wait.

    Did/does anyone else struggle with this? And if you did and are now cured, how did you do it? I'm stuck.
  2. Angola!

    Angola! Guest

    I can't either IJAG. I always see people in press boxes writing stuff at halftime and I just can't do it. It makes it so my story seems disjointed in the end because I wrote it at two different times.

    I do put down notes and other key facts so I won't forget them, but I can't write parts of my story without my lead.
  3. Is this a gamer?

    I actually start with the nut graf and write the whole story out. Somewhere in that non-lede story is your lede. I promise. 99 percent of the time, I pull a good turn of phrase or an interesting stat/quote/observation and turn that into my lede.

    If it's a feature, I do it the same way. Start off with some simple lede just to get me started. Again, somewhere in the story is your lede.
  4. imjustagirl2

    imjustagirl2 New Member

    It's a feature. A really in-depth feature that I think can be really good if I don't shoot myself in the foot. It's why I'm going through our deputy sted just writing it and letting him have suggestions afterward.

    Each lead kind of takes it a different direction, but still with the same central topic. It's why I can't just start writing and then make whatever lede we decide on work.
  5. Barsuk

    Barsuk Active Member

    For me, that's a completely different issue.

    I prefer to write the lede first and often do, but sometimes the lede just isn't coming to me. Rather than sit and twiddle my thumbs, I start writing other parts of the story (usually things I know won't be in the lede) and it often jars loose an anecdote or turn of phrase that eventually becomes the lede.

    But as far as writing during halftime or before the game is decided, that's completely worthless for me because I'll end up scrapping most of it or rewriting it almost every time. What seems important at halftime usually ends up being quite unimportant by the end of the game.
  6. Idaho

    Idaho Active Member

    Sometimes I break my
  7. Idaho

    Idaho Active Member

    sentences into segments.
  8. Joe Williams

    Joe Williams Active Member

    I'm at other extreme. If I had to go back to a typewriter and paper, writing from top to bottom, I'd be a goner. I can only write now by going up and down, moving blocks of copy around, sometimes writing my lead last (after having a rough idea of it in my head, for angle's sake).

    If I was working in an old Hollywood version of a newsroom where you had to hand them a page at a time for editing and typesetting, I'd be hiding under my desk, hanging onto to every page until they all were done.
  9. BNWriter

    BNWriter Active Member

    I find I have a couple of assignments where it is almost necessary to do the story in segments:

    The biggest of the two is a Special Olympics Summer state games piece I do every year in which *every* team in the coverage area gets mentioned. Since there are 5-7 teams, depending on if they qualify, I prefer to write that story in segments.

    I've written it in one sitting before and it about killed me. :)
  10. expendable

    expendable Well-Known Member

    I can write a gamer in segments if I have to, but like most I imagine, I choose to write from top to bottom. I second what Barsuk says. Anything I write at halftime will most likely be one or two lines of filler by the end of the game anyway, unless it's already a blowout.
  11. 93Devil

    93Devil Well-Known Member

    Different topic, but the same slant...

    Have you ever tried to write a research paper for graduate school after writing newspaper stories for over a decade?
  12. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    I prefer top to bottom, but have written many a story then figured out what the lede was. Sometimes you can figure out where to start only after you've started writing.
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