Sunday, March 06, 2005

The last sting

Leaving a sting!

I can't believe I forgot to include James Kilpatrick as one of my favorite columnists. In today's Birmingham NewsSunday paper,(I can't get the link to work) he quotes from newspaper editor, William Polk who said: "No self-respecting bee every sat down without leaving a sting."

The first rule, a lede that grabs your reader's attention is usually enough to get the piece rolling. But the close is where the sting has to snap. One "trick" is to end with a strong word, a punchy word, a word that leaves a mark.
He evaluates a few columns that do it well and end with words like, gun, quits, mate, start. He then compares them to columns that don't do so well. They end with words like, technology, bugeting and investigations. (all from the New York Times)
So,,, I went on a hunt and checked out the T-News and here are some last words: " them, belief, won, graven-images."
Check out the last word in your Newsweek piece. And watch out for boring last words.


At 2:17 PM, Blogger Lauren Champlin said...

This is great advice! The last word really does make an impact on writing.


Post a Comment

<< Home