How-to stories sound easy. Inherent problems are that experts often are reluctant to give free advice. Writing clear and easy-to-follow directions is hard. Ever tried to follow directions on assembling a bicycle or even a bookcase?
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And making directions interesting to read may require a miracle. While a profile story delves into and focuses on the personality of a person, how and why that person thinks and acts the way she does, the activity story is much more narrow in scope in that it focuses on one action, one theme, one aspect.
News values apply, especially novelty. A job story might focus on the unusual occupation and the people who do it — like those who wash the upper floor windows of the skyscrapers downtown or the head of the local police bomb squad. Or a job story might focus on the unlikely person doing a particular job — like the grandmother working in heavy construction or the first male nanny.
Or it may just focus on the recent accomplishment — a new book, a new movie, a new award — of a person. The hobbyist story is about a person or persons and their extraordinary pastimes or collections. The reporter is looking for the extraordinary, the biggest, the best and can check by talking to other collectors, dealers and clearinghouses. Even if the collection in itself is not extraordinary, a story still might be warranted if the collector is unusual or the activity is unusual for the collector. For example, if the mayor had a nearly complete collection of every Three Stooges film ever made, a story probably would be justified.
Stories about inventions also appeal to readers because people are interested in new things — claims of cold fusion, light bulbs that never burn out, cars that run on vegetable oil.
One problem with these stories, however, is that those inventions that truly signal a major advancement often are secret until patented. Timing is key. Localized The localized story takes a news event or situation from outside the immediate area and applies it to the local area.
Localizing a story addresses the question of whether certain problems, situations or developments happening in another community can or is happening here. For example, if teenage violence is up in Cincinnati, is it also on the rise in Dayton? How does the proportion of Dayton working mothers compare to the national average? Overview or Situationer The overview story looks at an issue or situation and covers it in depth, from beginning to end and all the places in between.
These stories often involve a lot of research and documentation. The idea may come from a specific incident, which prompts the reporter to ask the broader questions of how and why. Or the writer may start with the broad questions and in his reporting gather the illustrative examples involving particular people.
For example, the overview story might deal with the problem of alcoholism among the elderly, the trend toward part-time employment and how families cope without health benefits, or the increase of burglaries in the city and reasons why. Profile The profile story probes the character, background and extraordinary qualities of a person. The focus is on who the person is, how he got that way, and why he thinks and acts the way he does. The profile reveals a personality by presenting anecdotes, narration and description.
The profile lets the person speak. When readers finish reading the profile, they should feel that they know the person and have spent time with her at home and at work.
A story that is a compilation of statistics — birthplace, education, awards, jobs — is not a profile. A story that relays information about just one aspect of a person is not a profile. The person selected for a profile will be newsworthy in his or her own right — the university president or community official. Or that person, although not prominent, will be unusual or simply worthy of attention — the man who tends the rare plants at the arboretum or a local bag lady who teaches street kids math.
News values apply. Writers need to ask: What makes this person interesting now? Why should readers read about this person now?
Then, for the nut paragraph — the significance of the story — the writer must ask: What is it about this person that readers need to know to have some sense of who this person is? Whether directly or indirectly, they also inform readers about the latest activities in the arts who, when and where and advise readers how to best use their resources.
Some writers make the review or critique interesting and entertaining on its face. Reviews and criticism are different in that reviews generally approach a work from the perspective of a consumer and focus on summarizing the work and its major features. Assessment of the work is kept to a minimum. Seller: aamstar-hookedonbooks Published: Condition: Very Good. Fair to good. Short stories by Steinbeck, Kafka, E.
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White, Isherwood and others. Text itself is clean. Featuring Steinbeck, Kafka, E.
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White, Isherwood, and others. Disclaimer:A copy that has been read, but remains in clean condition.
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BRADBURY, Ray (Douglas)
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