Monthly Archives: December 2012
When you find yourself rushing headlong to your keyboard with the idea of publishing something based on a topic or factoid, ask yourself what the story is. What is the beginning, the middle and the end.
A story needs characters and, usually, tension or at least a resolution.
Just today, I was handed a letter composed by two faculty members from the university where I work. It was the letter they had sent out to solicit donations for their planned ascent of Mt. Kilimanjaro this spring.
“Dear, Ms. Smith,” it started out. We’re out to fight cancer and we’ve been campaigning for months… With your help, we’ll be able to raise… In the last paragraph, the duo explained that they planned to raise money through people sponsoring them to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro. Whoa! Put the brakes on. That should be the first sentence. That’s the story. From there, the beginning (how the faculty members made that decision), the middle (what they’re doing to prepare), and the end (successfully making the ascent or not) writes itself.
by Ed Carpenter — He’s a bad mutha … shut yer mouth.