Six Great Writing Tips

Posted December 18, 2019 by Bill Wheelhouse

Here’s a stocking stuffer of simple yet important writing tips for TV, Radio & the web.

These tips come from Poynter and the wonderful Al Tompkins

  • Focus your story by summarizing in three words. Use one theme per story, one thought per sentence. Select, don’t compress, what goes in your stories.
  • Tell complex stories through strong characters. Viewers will remember what they feel longer than what they know.
  • Use objective copy and subjective sound. Your text should contain objective words and facts. Let the people in the story give opinions, express feelings and evoke emotions in their soundbites.
  • Use active verbs, not passive ones. Consider the difference between “the gun was found” and “the boy found the gun.”
  • Give viewers a sense of time passing. Show the character in more than one setting or situation.
  • Leads tell the viewer “so what.” Stories tell the viewer “what.” Tags tell the viewer “what’s next.”

Taken from Reporting, Writing for TV and the Web: Aim for the Heart, a self-directed course by Poynter’s Al Tompkins at Poynter NewsU.