Lately, I have led you on a hummingbird tour of 1) better leads; 2) better interviewing and 3) story framing. Yes, I realize we have alighted only briefly on all these subjects.
There is a method to this, um, method (call it what you will, my friends).
All of these subjects are related to finding a focus. Some reporters find their focus when they sit down and write a lead. Some can find the focus in the middle of the interview (and then they can hear the lead).
Framing, of course, is an early attempt to focus a story (and sometimes, it backfires). Thursday, we’ll finish up that conversation about leads really quickly so we can talk about nut grafs. If you don’t know what your story is about, your nut graf will make that very obvious. If your story has changed since you wrote your lead, your nut graf will tell on you.
Chip Scanlan has some good thoughts on nut grafs. We’ll talk about what he has to say, and then, we’ll do a little show and tell.
Seen a great nut graf lately? Send it to me via email before midnight tonight and win a prize.