Journalistic Writing: Building the Skill, Honing the Craft by Robert M. Knight
Should I lead with a lead bottomed lede?
“By taking the time to craft an introduction, or “lede,” you’re saving time” Knight writes.
As the greenhorn of the company, I must admit I’m always trying to prove my usefulness, hidden in my restless struggle and need to catch up with the publishing industry. It’s both refreshing and annoying to myself and to my coworkers alike, I’m sure. Being new does allow me the beauty of ignorance. No, not the bad ignorance. The good kind, where the light bulb comes on or the holy 2 x 4 of understanding finally whacks. My poor tenth grade English teacher.
So, I picked up Knight’s book with the expectation of learning how to write, edit and publish a magazine in a mere 300 pages and a few lost nights of sleep. Are you singing “High hopes, she’s got high hopes…”? I have to admit, the book was a little overwhelming. I even read one review that claimed they fell asleep in the first ten minutes. Not true. Knight, however, does have high hopes. His why write 600 words, when you can write 135 great words philosophy is the book’s mantra. He has carefully crafted an easy to follow plan of attack for print and internet publishing alike.
Noteworthy hints include: the writer has to examine if the story is newsworthy? Are they leading the reader on with just enough information to entice? Does the story develop or build interest for the reader? Knight gives many how-to examples as well as how not to. He warns the writer to be honest. He also warns the writer about cliches. Have you counted mine yet?
This book makes a great addition to the shelf of self help writing books. Great reference material. It’s definitely a keeper.
* At the time of reading this book, I was unaware of Mr. Knights passing in 2012.