I am coming off of my latest general assignment shift, which was yesterday. I did two stories about two very different things, a murder case and an after-school program at a local elementary school. Talk about opposite sides of the spectrum! But I had a really great day working with other reporters, so I am content with this shift under my belt.
In class today we talked about leads, everyone’s favorite thing that’s simultaneously the bane of their existence. Leads are so important because you want to tell the reader what’s happening, but also draw them into the story.
For me, leads are my favorite thing even though they challenge me. One of the things I am really proud of as a writer is my creativity, but I often feel like I need to stunt my “vocabulary urges” for the sake of hard news and AP style. I was overjoyed when we talked about using creativity and vibrant verbs in leads today because that’s what I want to do!
I want my personality to come off in my writing and I feel as though readers connect with these kinds of stories more. As my professor said, a really good lead has a clear sense of the writer’s voice shining through.
Going forward, I am always going to remind myself to use that creativity and read my lead a couple times over to evaluate if I could make it snappier.
Finishing off the week feeling good and excited to dive into my next story!