How to write a news story outline

From accidents and robberies to stock plunges and hurricanes, information is gleaned in moments from the black and white print that graces the daily newspaper. Nearly every newspaper article follows a specific format that allows readers to gather important information quickly and efficiently.

How to write a news story outline

Tweet Story outline and story structure—are they different terms describing the same thing? Structuring is a technique, by which you employ accepted theories of storytelling to give your story its best shape and form.

To return to one of my favorite analogies, we might say outlining is creative while structuring is logical. This is why the outline is the perfect place to structure your story. When you use both together, they balance each other with their blend of strengths.

Outlining is about so much more than just structure. Outlining is about brainstorming multiple possibilities, getting to know your characters, and harmonizing your plot, character, and theme lines. To force structure on a story at too early a stage is inevitably to force the story itself.

This tendency is the chief reason some authors feel story structure and outlines create passionless, cookie-cutter stories. The farther I get into the outline, the more structured it becomes. The First Plot Point: The First Half of the Second Act: This notes a period of reaction for the protagonistin which he tries to cope with the events of the First Plot Point.

The First Pinch Point: The Second Half of the Second Act: This is a period of action for the protagonist. Armed with his new understanding, found at the Midpoint, he can now take the action right to the antagonistic force. The Second Pinch Point: Like the First Pinch Point, it is an emphasis or reminder of the antagonistic force and a set up for the Third Plot Point.

The Third Plot Point: For myriad examples of how all these elements play out in popular books and movies, check out the Story Structure Database.

By now, you should already have a good grasp of the skeleton of your plotthe heart of your character arcs and themesas well as your backstory and potential plot holes.

You know where your characters start out and where they end up. So how do they get there? How do they move from Point A to Point Z? Which scenes offer the trademark set-piece action for your story, the moments readers will remember most vividly after they close the book?

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Start by looking for your major plot points: These three are your most important scenes. Your entire story pivots around them. They should pop right out at you. At what point, in the middle of the story, does your character begin shifting into a place of empowerment in both his inner and outer journeys?

how to write a news story outline

Can you make any of these bigger, more interesting, and with higher stakes? These plot points define your story. List all your major structural beats on the left side of a piece of paper, then fill out the right side with the scenes you feel meet the respective requirements. The blanks will pop out.

You may be able to fill in some of them right away. Others you can make a guess at for now. And still others will provide you the next round of questions you need to ask to start connecting the dots between your major plot points, so that you can create a seamless plot.

What needs to happen to fill in the blanks between your known plot points? How will your protagonist first brush the main conflict at the Inciting Event?

How will he or a proxy initially reject the Call to Adventure? How will your protagonist react to the events of the First Plot Point?

What pinches from the antagonistic force will provide new clues and turn the conflict on either side of the Midpoint?There are a few basic rules for writing and structuring any news story.

If you’re accustomed to other types of writing – such as fiction – these rules may seem odd at first. If you’re accustomed to other types of writing – such as fiction – these rules may seem odd at first.

Media / Political Bias. There is no such thing as an objective point of view. No matter how much we may try to ignore it, human communication always takes place in a context, through a medium, and among individuals and groups who are situated historically, politically, economically, and socially.

Inside | Real news, curated by real humans

Writing the news requires the person to have a particular set of skills not only in terms of writing them, but also gathering the needed information for the story itself.

Being in the news is a challenging industry. Search the world's information, including webpages, images, videos and more. Google has many special features to help you find exactly what you're looking for.

A good approach is to assume that the story might be cut off at any point due to space limitations. Does the story work if the editor only decides to include the first two paragraphs?

If not, re-arrange it so that it does. The same principle can apply to any type of medium. More Tips. It's About People News stories are all about how people are affected. Draft your outline using the information from the previous steps. To organize your information you can choose to use a more traditional outline format.

For example: I. Who II. What III. When III. Where IV. Why V. How List the information you found according to each heading. Review your outline.

How to Outline a Newspaper Article | Pen and the Pad