Show, don’t tell — keep us interested

not teaching,still THINKING … Comedians might “tell” jokes, but they do so with such a “show” of explicit details and colorful anecdotes that listeners can visualize what they are hearing. And that is how comedians get their laughs. Journalists, too, use the same approach. They include anecdotes, examples and details in their storytelling because these […]

Seeing is believing — show, don’t tell

Three elements in stories keep the audience interested and prevent a story from becoming just a recitation of statements and quotes. Anecdotes Examples Details How you use these in stories will make a difference in the end. More important, however, is capturing them in the first place. It takes time and patience and lots of […]

10 questions in 10 minutes – writing tips

If you have gathered information and conducted interviews for a story, and now you’re stuck on how to write it, here are some questions to ask yourself that might help. They are designed to extract all the good material you already have in hand. If you’re editing someone’s work and are attempting to improve it, […]

Journalism first and gems in the middle

It arrived in the mail this week. Landed in our mailbox. The one at the curb, not in the computer. A postcard. Imagine that. I cannot recall the last time I received a “picture postcard.” This one was from Lake Placid, and it was sent by a friend who surprises us from time to time […]

Top 10 ways to show, not tell

It’s not easy to top the previous post, with a video of burned muffins and all. Watching those muffins burn to a crisp in a 10-second, time-lapse video is “showing” at its best. But let’s not forget all the other ways to “show, not tell.” Here is a Top 10 list to keep in mind […]

Bedbugs bring out good enterprise

If you’ve been reading the stories about the infestation of bedbugs in New York City this summer, you’ll find this enterprise story interesting. At The New York Times, an enterprising reporter looked into the businesses and professions that benefit from the pests, under the headline, “Bedbugs bad for business? Depends on the business.” What makes […]