‘Voice’ Part II: Profiles in courage

Last week we examined five different styles of voice by one writer, Kim Murphy. Let's keep the conversation going this week by focusing on one of the hidden qualities behind a writer's voice: a [...]

‘Voice’ Part I: One writer’s catalog of versatile styles

I want stories with voice," your editor is saying. "And discipline. And detail. I want stories that evoke a sense of place." And here's the kicker: Your editor wants all those qualities in the [...]

Six questions to ask yourself before you type that anecdotal lead

Nothing winks more seductively at a reporter with a complex news-feature than an anecdotal lead--the promise of a way to quickly personalize the abstract and set the stage for a broader [...]

Curb your dependence on dependent clauses

In an effort to create a debate on a significant grammatical issue that appears to bedevil many newspaper writers, I would like to undertake a discussion of overwritten dependent clauses.

Those long sentences are sabotaging you

We do it because there is so much perspective to inject. We do it because we're convinced nobody reads past the first graf. We do it because we think the extra clause or phrase or [...]

Lessons from covering the extraordinary

Here’s a nightmare: You’re assigned to write about a phenomenon so arcane that only a small group of policy nerds and engineers understand it—and yet so potentially devastating that it threatens [...]