Story Structure

Story Structure
• Before you write, plan what you
want to write
• The process begins while you are
reporting the story
• In all writing, every
sentence and every
paragraph serves a purpose
Two key questions to ask:
•1. What do I want to
•2. Where does it go?
• Sort your answers into four
categories, and these
become the four sections of
the story.
The four sections of a basic news story
• 1. The Lead
• 2. The material that explains and
amplifies the lead
• 3. The background (if necessary)
• 4. The less important material (if
space permit).
Single-element Story
• The lead is the most important
• The explanatory material builds on
the lead.
• The background gives readers the
context and relevance of an event.
• The less important material adds
details that readers may be
interested in, but do not need to
understand the story.
Single-element, with themes
• 1. The lead-most important idea.
• 2. Explanatory material- builds on
• 3. Introducing of lesser ideas.
• 4. Background (if any, if
• 5. More elaboration of lead and
lesser ideas.
• 6. Secondary material (if any)
Multiple-element Story
• 1. Lead. Idea A; Idea B.
• 2. Explanatory material.
Elaboration of Idea A and Idea B
• 3. Introduction of lesser ideas.
• 4. Background (if necessary)
• 5. Further elaboration of big ideas
and lesser ideas
• 6. Secondary material (if space
• LONDON — In the end, Friday’s
wedding between Prince William
and Kate Middleton may not have
ushered in a new dawn for the
frayed royal family or brought a
renewed era of optimism to a
country beset by financial woes, as
some predicted in the overheated
countdown to the big day.
• But it proved that the
British still know how to
combine pageantry,
solemnity and romance
(and wild hats) better than
anyone else in the world.
• It was an impeccably
choreographed occasion of high
pomp and heartfelt emotion, of
ancient customs weaked by
modern developments.
• Viewing estimates for the
ceremony, at 11 a.m. British time
on the dot, hovered in the three
billion range, give or take 500
million. Australians held bouquetthrowing competitions; people in
Hong Kong wore Kate and William
• New Yorkers rose by dawn to
watch the entrance of guests like
Victoria Beckham, teetering
pregnantly in sky-high Christian
Louboutin heels, Guy Ritchie, the
former Mr. Madonna, and assorted
monarchs from European countries
that are no longer monarchies, like
• In London, the Metropolitan
Police said, a million people
lined the route of the royal
procession, and half a million
gathered in front of
Buckingham Palace to watch
the bride and groom, now
known as the Duke and
Duchess of Cambridge, kiss
(twice) on the palace balcony.
• People paid attention almost
despite themselves.