By Stuart Jones
Top Ten Tips!
Rick Bragg’s story and style of writing are great examples of how a writer should illustrate scenes vividly and with personal style. Most of his descriptors come outside of quotations and can be found in his well written body. Another example of this writing kind of strong descriptive writing is Andrea Elliott and her story An Imam in America which won a Pulitzer Prize in 2007 for feature writing. Elliott describes the bricks, the windows, the sun and even the flag as her character moves past them. Elliott truly enables her readers to be present with the character and witness the story. Read the full story at http://www.pulitzer.org/archives/7138.
Thomas Boswell has the ability to pace his stories at his own will. He’s capable of bringing the reader through slowly and building the action and then swiftly moves
into a fast paced sequence of events with just as much eloquence as the first scene. Then he brings it back down again, but all this to keep the reader engaged and tight to the pages. A writer who exhibits this well is Julia Keller of The Chicago Tribune who wrote “A Wicked Wind Takes Aim” in 2005 that won the Pulitzer Prize for feature writing. Her story about a tornado that only took 10 seconds to wipe out a town varies its pace deftly. She starts with a fast pace that gets the reader’s heart pumping as she recounts those 10 seconds of touch down. Then she slows it down as she recaps the aftermath with interviews. Read her full story here http://www.pulitzer.org/archives/6902.
Turn around is critical when it comes to any story. Especially stories that are found to be most impactful
when they are released close to the time of the event. Jonathon Bor’s story of the heart transplant is a reporter’s accomplishment of a lifetime the way that he reported for 48 hours straight and then turned the story out in 90 minutes. He exemplified the importance of working and forming the story during the event so that when the time came to write, he was able to turn it around efficiently. Any breaking news story is a great example of this necessary style of efficient reporting and writing. However one that exemplifies it well is “A Rampage of Firestorms” by Louis Sahagun, Joel Rubin and Mitchell Landsberg who won the Pulitzer Prize for breaking news reporting in 2004 when it ran in the Los Angeles Times. This team had to gather information and visit the site of the monstrous blaze and then return back with accurate information that they could print for the next morning. Readers expect to be filled in quickly and accurately and now even more so with online journalism. Read the full story here http://www.pulitzer.org/archives/6760.