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PostPosted: Sat Mar 26, 2016 6:58 am 
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This course starts tomorrow,

The course contains six topics - what makes a good news story; writing news; writing features; opinion writing; politics and journalism; and investigative journalism - and explores these in relation to a case study running throughout the six weeks. Although the scenario is entirely fictitious, participants will engage in tasks and discussions that reflect real-life situations in journalism.

Each week contains a variety of learning activities that will introduce concepts, challenge assumptions, facilitate understanding and hone new skills. You’ll be encouraged to discuss your thoughts with peers and tutors, generate and edit small pieces of writing, and comment on others’ work.

since my paternal grandfather had a newspaper "Dunfermline Press" and my father used to write magazine articles, I hope this will be of interest. BTW I too have had a couple of pieces published.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 26, 2016 12:13 pm 
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Lori has signed up :hyper:

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2016 5:40 am 
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You’ll also hear about the way journalists look for answers, which is by trying to answer the questions of the 5Ws: Who, What, When, Where, Why.

Good journalism is about stellar researching and interviewing skills. This is how news stories are created and therefore, research and interviewing are the basic building blocks of good reporting. You’ll learn from the best practices of journalists from around the world and at the end of the week you’ll get to apply what you’ve learnt on your own.


Why is it the "W's" again, the Forensic and the writing courses had this too so should be dab hand at the 5 W's

This I found interesting never heard of it

TED questions, "Tell me" "Explain" "Describe"

Journalism experience about the three Cs, this courage, credibility, sustainability, and consistency.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2016 11:45 am 
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:dancing: Now on the 4 F's, this is so interesting, and a lot of it can be used in writing stories too.

First, Fast, Fierce and Factual

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2016 11:55 am 
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I'm following this thread with interest. I'm not interested in being a journalist myself though I am interested in some of the concepts related to it as it relates to the actual writing. I'm glad you made this thread though I'm interested in the details behind the 'Fierce' of the four Fs. Are they referring to fierce determination in reporting the story faster than everyone else, or is it something else?

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2016 12:10 pm 
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PhoenixRising wrote:
I'm following this thread with interest. I'm not interested in being a journalist myself though I am interested in some of the concepts related to it as it relates to the actual writing. I'm glad you made this thread though I'm interested in the details behind the 'Fierce' of the four Fs. Are they referring to fierce determination in reporting the story faster than everyone else, or is it something else?

To be honest I'm not sure yet still reading it up.

But I must say that the "W's" relate to Forensics, and to Screenwriting and now here, I suppose it depends whether you are a writer or a detective.

Quote:-We want to be on the scene first, and we want to be fast. So we want to be fast when we file. We want to hit all platforms, because we're very multimedia now. You want to hit it on social media. You want to hit it on the Twitter or the Facebook, the social media site. You want to get your web audience alerted. Then you want a quicker follow-up on web. Then you want your videos. Then you want your ScribbleLives, you name it. So that's two points. You're first, you're fast. You're fierce. So we want to give them details that are fierce. You're giving them the detail, the wow factor, if the story warrants it. And the F would be factual.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2016 9:09 am 
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oooo I like this bit even for writing stories

They should be dramatic in their content, but that doesn't necessarily mean dramatic in their language. Also, the reader should be pitched straight into the action. There's no need to set the scene

There should be one idea per paragraph, particularly for online news, because big chunks of ugly text will put readers off.

like this quote too

Some people-- there's different kinds of journalists-- there are some people who are amazing writers and maybe struggle a little bit more with getting the story, getting out there and finding all the facts and rummaging around. And there's different stories that are easier to write and there's tough investigative work that might be a challenge to write. What I would say is that you've got to start somewhere.

which is of course true of us budding authors too.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2016 10:15 am 
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TRUE

And one of the key things I remind people is if you're bored writing it, then people will be bored reading it.

If you're really struggling to write, I think it means that maybe you don't have enough opinion in there, you don't have enough facts, and you've got to work harder at it to make it interesting.

Now, we'll add to that by showing you how to improve your writing. To do that, we'll focus on accuracy, brevity, and clarity, ABC.

useless piece of information

Numbers between one and nine tend to be written as a word while 10 to 999,999 are written as figures.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2016 10:08 am 
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Today, accuracy, brevity, and clarity, ABC.

And there was me thinking ABC stood for Airway, Breathing, and Compression as in DR ABC in 1st aiding :rofl: :gibbssmack: be sensible Pat

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2016 10:26 am 
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Both ABCs are important. I really like breathing. It works for me...or something. :P

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2016 10:47 am 
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PhoenixRising wrote:
Both ABCs are important. I really like breathing. It works for me...or something. :P

:hug2col:

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2016 12:51 pm 
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:rofl: Now to annoy the h*** out of readers of my stories

Try to avoid adding full stops, the 24 hour clock or hyphens. For example 4.a.m., 1400, 5-11pm. For dates write: 25 December 2011, NOT 25th or the 25th. For speeds: use 30mph NOT 30m.p.h. Never use brackets – this slows readers down.

Ages can be written in between commas: ‘The Prime Minister, 59, celebrates his birthday today’. It can also be used in full with hyphens: ‘The singer songwriter will be hosting a joint birthday party with the 59-year-old Prime Minister’.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 03, 2016 6:00 am 
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From the opening paragraph to the final sentence, a well-written feature should challenge a preconception, and it should take you behind a story which is in the headlines and actually, in some cases, take you to places in the news and in current affairs that you've never thought of or dreamt of.

Maybe put this to use in story writing.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 03, 2016 7:12 am 
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akaeve wrote:
From the opening paragraph to the final sentence, a well-written feature should challenge a preconception, and it should take you behind a story which is in the headlines and actually, in some cases, take you to places in the news and in current affairs that you've never thought of or dreamt of.

Maybe put this to use in story writing.


Yes indeed. Food for thought here. Makes you look under the surface.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 03, 2016 7:19 am 
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another snippet:-

Continuing to improve your writing View 1 comment

The main areas to focus on are:

Description is very important. This begins in research phases. Use your notes. Don’t rely on memory. Use vivid and powerful adjectives - but sparingly.

Structure - This is all about what order you choose to tell your story in. Beginning, middle and end? Or will you unpack it in a different order?

Character - Even in journalism the premise of a strong ‘character’ is important. What makes an individual special? Or different? Can you explain their unique characteristics? How would you describe them? All of these small details are important to note and convey.

Details - These are the hidden gems. Spotting a small ‘telling’ detail can focus the reader’s attention hard on something which you think is significant. They show that you have done your research and were very aware and alert when researching and then writing the final article.

Research - Is the foundation and glue which grounds your article and holds it together. Readers can spot good research. It informs your questions, priorities and conclusions. It gives the article innate authority. It adds substance.

In-The-Field Research - An article can succeed or fail based on the genuine research you have done outside the office. Whilst desk research is vital, the next layer is out-in-the-field. This indicates your hard work. It allows you to report ‘first hand’ from a location. You can describe it in detail and freshness. It’s one of the key elements that makes journalism special and distinct from other forms of writing.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 03, 2016 8:06 am 
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Oh great, now we have an assignment of 300words to write on something local and of interest that will pull the reader in...................I know "Quicksand found in Forth" :rofl: that should pull in the readers.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 03, 2016 1:31 pm 
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sadly I seem to have stalled. I cant' write anything. like anything at all. grrrr.

I'm falling behind in the class too.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2016 5:33 am 
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DeepBlueJoy wrote:
sadly I seem to have stalled. I cant' write anything. like anything at all. grrrr.

I'm falling behind in the class too.

:hug2col: aww hun I'm sorry, wish I could help you.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2016 10:58 am 
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akaeve wrote:
DeepBlueJoy wrote:
sadly I seem to have stalled. I cant' write anything. like anything at all. grrrr.

I'm falling behind in the class too.

:hug2col: aww hun I'm sorry, wish I could help you.


thank you luv. :kisscheek:

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2016 9:21 am 
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:rofl:

You must ‘work from the facts outwards. Never a thesis inwards’. It’s tempting to have a picture in your mind of what the story is and then write your article to fit that preconceived ideal. But it’s dangerous. Hypothesis can be useful in certain areas of an investigation. That’s fine. But when it comes to publication, you cannot jump ahead of what you know. By all means, present questions which remain. Just don’t try and bend the facts to suit your thesis. That’s what fiction writers do!

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2016 10:20 am 
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akaeve wrote:
:rofl:

You must ‘work from the facts outwards. Never a thesis inwards’. It’s tempting to have a picture in your mind of what the story is and then write your article to fit that preconceived ideal. But it’s dangerous. Hypothesis can be useful in certain areas of an investigation. That’s fine. But when it comes to publication, you cannot jump ahead of what you know. By all means, present questions which remain. Just don’t try and bend the facts to suit your thesis. That’s what fiction writers do!


Fiction writers would do well to remember this too. Sometimes I get so caught up in my research, I forget the point of needing to know the research. It can be really hard to cut it off because you have all these interesting tidbits in your head and you want to use them.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2016 10:36 am 
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PhoenixRising wrote:
akaeve wrote:
:rofl:

You must ‘work from the facts outwards. Never a thesis inwards’. It’s tempting to have a picture in your mind of what the story is and then write your article to fit that preconceived ideal. But it’s dangerous. Hypothesis can be useful in certain areas of an investigation. That’s fine. But when it comes to publication, you cannot jump ahead of what you know. By all means, present questions which remain. Just don’t try and bend the facts to suit your thesis. That’s what fiction writers do!

Fiction writers would do well to remember this too. Sometimes I get so caught up in my research, I forget the point of needing to know the research. It can be really hard to cut it off because you have all these interesting tidbits in your head and you want to use them.

This is so true. I can't even tell you the number of times I've (tried to) read a piece of fiction, and the writer has been so intent on using every single piece of interesting information they picked up in their research that it has utterly distracted from the story they were trying to tell. No one wants to read a piece of fiction and feel like they're actually reading a rehashed Wikipedia article. Facts can get in the way of the story, even if they're completely accurate. It's good when the writer knows what they're talking about - it's bad when the desire to prove they know their stuff wrecks the story.

Some people manage to weave in a lot of their research and do it sooooo seamlessly that you barely even realise all the things they've managed to get in there. Other people, the character opens their mouth and turns into an encyclopaedia and it's boring.

In general, I'd say if in doubt, leave it out. Include only the information that's vital to telling the story, even if that means there's a bunch of interesting stuff that never gets used. Not an easy skill, from a writing POV, but from a reading POV, one really good way to put a reader off is to include things in order to use all the research, rather than because the information discovered is actually relevant to telling the story. And on the other hand, a story where I pick up all kinds of interesting titbits without really realising it, because the research is seamlessly and almost invisibly wound into the fiction and doesn't take centre stage in lieu of the story? That's a fantastic bonus.

I'd liken it to the Lord of the Rings movies and Gollum. That's an incredible piece of CGI (and not the only one in the movies), but if the viewer comes away going wow, amazing CGI, it's missed the mark. What they wanted was for people to come away being moved by the performance, and having all but forgotten Gollum was CGI. The CGI is like research. It was vital to be that character, but if it's done well enough, the last thing it should do is draw attention to itself. In an ideal world, the work that goes in should be almost invisible unless one goes looking for it.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 16, 2016 10:38 am 
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I do a lot of research in my stories, that is, if I feel they need. I know when I wrote for Linda I tried to incorporate her history with mine and with the Marines (worked out well). I also have been know to "Quote" as Ducky does in the series, it may go down like a lead balloon on some people, but I feel when Ducky talks he needs the whole encyclopaedia, which some people may find boring, but then they probably feel Ducky is boring rambling on as he does.

Any my story, my life, but to bore people more, 25/30 for end of term exam, which is not a bad 83%.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 16, 2016 11:42 am 
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Good job on the 83%. I agree about Ducky. He would need the whole encyclopedia. I sometimes wish the show would let Ducky finish more of his stories because they start out so fantastic. I would love to just sit with David McCallum, drink tea and just listen to him speak. I bet he's a very interesting person in real life.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 16, 2016 11:45 am 
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I think the thing with Ducky is that he's always interesting or at least funny, if only in his delivery. If you can get away with a lot of information and making it entertaining, that's a whole different ball of wax. Ducky has a lot of stuff to say, and can get longwinded, but he's rarely boring.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 28, 2017 4:14 am 
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I have again started the futurelearn course on writing and one of the lessons was "Why writers write"

Escapism, life, boredom a need to belong, a need to explain who and what you are... oh dear the 6 "W"s.
Who -am I
why -am I here
what -is happening to me
where - have I been where am I going
when - will it happen
how - will it happen
OK off now to write that romance novel set in the South of France, or maybe that romance set in colonial India.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 28, 2017 9:45 am 
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akaeve wrote:
or maybe that romance set in colonial India.

Oh!
Have you seen the film Lagaan?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lagaan
The "romance" is definitely more B or C plot, but it's an awesome film set in that time frame.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 28, 2017 9:49 am 
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K9Lasko wrote:
akaeve wrote:
or maybe that romance set in colonial India.

Oh!
Have you seen the film Lagaan?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lagaan
The "romance" is definitely more B or C plot, but it's an awesome film set in that time frame.

No I haven't must look at

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 28, 2017 1:51 pm 
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akaeve wrote:
K9Lasko wrote:
akaeve wrote:
or maybe that romance set in colonial India.

Oh!
Have you seen the film Lagaan?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lagaan
The "romance" is definitely more B or C plot, but it's an awesome film set in that time frame.

No I haven't must look at

And there's cricket.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 29, 2017 5:00 am 
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K9Lasko wrote:
akaeve wrote:
K9Lasko wrote:
akaeve wrote:
or maybe that romance set in colonial India.

Oh!
Have you seen the film Lagaan?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lagaan
The "romance" is definitely more B or C plot, but it's an awesome film set in that time frame.

No I haven't must look at

And there's cricket.

Yes and Polo you have to remember Colonial India, oh and the steam trains.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 29, 2017 5:57 am 
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I haven't fully looked into this site but looks interesting

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/M ... rFlawIndex

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PostPosted: Mon May 01, 2017 3:03 pm 
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akaeve wrote:
I have again started the futurelearn course on writing and one of the lessons was "Why writers write"

Escapism, life, boredom a need to belong, a need to explain who and what you are... oh dear the 6 "W"s.
Who -am I
why -am I here
what -is happening to me
where - have I been where am I going
when - will it happen
how - will it happen
OK off now to write that romance novel set in the South of France, or maybe that romance set in colonial India.


Hi luv!

Is the Journalism course being offered again? I didn't get notice of it and I didn't get a chance to do it last time when I signed up for it. I did the 'start writing fiction one and it was really helpful and got me writing quite a bit.)

Blue

PS: Have you read any of the epics set during colonial India -- such as The Far Pavilions by M.M. Kaye; The Raj Quartet by Paul Scott or A Passage to India by EM Forster? When I was a teen, I was a bit of an addict of all things India and I read a bunch of fiction set during that period, and no surprise, I ended up writing a little bit in one of my fics about a character who was born in that period.

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PostPosted: Thu May 04, 2017 10:30 am 
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DeepBlueJoy wrote:
Hi luv!

Is the Journalism course being offered again? I didn't get notice of it and I didn't get a chance to do it last time when I signed up for it. I did the 'start writing fiction one and it was really helpful and got me writing quite a bit.)

Blue

PS: Have you read any of the epics set during colonial India -- such as The Far Pavilions by M.M. Kaye; The Raj Quartet by Paul Scott or A Passage to India by EM Forster? When I was a teen, I was a bit of an addict of all things India and I read a bunch of fiction set during that period, and no surprise, I ended up writing a little bit in one of my fics about a character who was born in that period.

Must admit no I have not or watched the TV series'ss as I would hate to think I was copying, but was going to work on research and also my grandfather was there for a wee while pre 1939.

s for the journalism, one course started on 28th March but you could always register an interest

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2017 8:26 am 
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So I found this new course wasn't sure what it was about but DISCOVERING SCIENCE: SCIENCE WRITING UNIVERSITY OF LEEDS

it is in fact writing a factual story for scientific papers but the structure is basically the same a writing.

The main story follows, and this is where you will either captivate or lose your readers. There are different ways to tell a story.

A story can be told from just one viewpoint, or have a conflict within it. It could be a long and involved tale, weaving in many different side stories, or be short, engaging and to the point.

A good basic structure to follow when writing a story is as follows:

Write the most recent and important news first.
Follow this up with other important information.
Add background and less important information.
This approach is called the inverted pyramid. It works well for short news articles, or blogs and press releases.

Use quotes
Instead of using your own words to make a point, you could use direct quotes from people with expertise in the subject you are exploring. Quotes break up a story, make it more personal and add authority. Direct quotes can also offer a chance to add colour to a story – to lighten it, show that real people with real emotions and personalities are involved in science.

well I do use quotes when writing Ducky because it is the way Dr Mallard speaks.

and then we have the ending,
Write a solid conclusion
There are different ways to finish a story. If you’re following the inverted pyramid method, a story can often just fade out. To bring the reader back to a pertinent point from the start of the story, you can do the following:

Return to a fact about the main character.
Finish with a call to action.
Talk about the next steps.
Discuss the hopes or fears for the future.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2017 8:28 am 
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Do
Write active sentences to keep the story alive. For example, write “Chemists have made a cancer-busting drug” instead of “A cancer-busting drug was made by chemists”. Science journal articles tend to be written in the passive voice – converting to the active voice is a skill that science writers need.
Consider the order of the points made in your story, and ensure that there is a sensible flow to the topics covered.
Try to keep points clear and separate. If possible, you should aim to make only one point per paragraph. This will help you to structure your article.
Quote experts and opinion-makers. Let them tell the story. (In Week 2 you will explore interview questions and techniques in more detail.)
Finish your story by providing a comment on future prospects or next steps. Your reader will then be interested and curious to find out what happens next.
Don’t
Don’t use three words when one will do.
Don’t state your opinions as fact without having any evidence or an expert voice to back them up.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 29, 2017 11:41 am 
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not sure if anyone interested

https://prowritingaid.com/en/Landing/Eb ... ium=ebook1

For a limited time, download this free e-book.
Whether you are writing a novel, essay, article or email, good writing is an essential part of communicating your ideas.

This e-book contains the 20 most important writing tips and techniques from a wide range of professional writers. Some focus on the minutia of specific word selection; others focus on the more complex ideas like finding the right metaphor, policing your work for Purple Prose, or figuring out when it’s time to send it off to potential publishers.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 16, 2017 10:46 am 
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nice little free course for the summer

http://www.open.edu/openlearn/history-t ... -section-0

Do you want to improve your descriptive writing? This free course, Writing what you know, will help you to develop your perception of the world about you and enable you to see the familiar things in everyday life in a new light. You will also learn how authors use their own personal histories to form the basis of their work.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2017 7:41 am 
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this is interesting.

http://www.christopherfielden.com/short ... ng-course/

Syllabus
The course is still under development, but will include:
a copy of my book, How to Write a Short Story, Get Published & Make Money
one on one mentoring and critiquing from award winning editors and authors
detailed short story and flash fiction writing advice
a 6 point short story publishing plan
a full guide on how to conduct successful market research
GUARANTEED publication - you will be published online and in an anthology that will be available in print and eBook formats all over the world
access to exclusive advice and critiquing groups
much, much more
When it is completed, the full details will be available here.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 24, 2017 1:22 pm 
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when I was at my Book Festival event there was a section for Q's and A's and one Q someone asked was "What makes a good writer?" Reading came the answer.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 24, 2017 2:14 pm 
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I've met big readers who are still terrible writers, but I've never met a genuinely good writer who isn't also a big reader. Reading a lot is no guarantee, but in my experience, it makes an enormous difference.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 17, 2017 10:11 am 
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http://fortheinterested.com/two-minute-writing-tips/

The Two Minutes It Takes To Read This Will Improve Your Writing Forever

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 19, 2017 12:44 pm 
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akaeve wrote:
when I was at my Book Festival event there was a section for Q's and A's and one Q someone asked was "What makes a good writer?" Reading came the answer.


I second Sarah's endorsement of this. Reading is a prerequisite... but I have one that should be obvious, but doesn't always seem to be.

WRITE.

A lot.

Though just writing for its own sake without some idea of the process, won't make you a better writer, once you've studied/mastered the basics, at least to a degree, write your arse off. There is NO substitute for practice. I may have had great ideas 1.5 million words ago, but I have fluency and insight into what works now that I didn't then. I do and I will continue to study and learn all I can about the craft, but... There is NO substitute for practice. Just thought I needed to say it again!! 8-)

Read.
Read as much as you can.
Read critically.
Read analytically.
Read in a thoroughly catholic manner.

Write.
Write a lot. Write regularly.
Edit a lot... read your own work critically and analytically.
Try to write about different things.

If you don't write a lot, you will never gain insight into your writing or gain fluency.

If you don't write regularly, you'll never finish anything. A lot of people have an idea floating around that they want to write. The only way to get any idea down is to commit to writing it down and just do it. Even if you write when uninspired, it will help you get the idea out. The discipline of writing really does make a difference between getting it down and just playing with the idea of being a writer.

Get feedback. This one can be hard, but it is absolutely vital. Unless you never plan to share what you write, you MUST get feedback as you go along. reviews at minimum, but an honest beta who doesn't owe you 'loyalty' (like family or friends do) is really gold.

The value of taking a class or signing up for an online course such as those given by future learn, is that it forces you to do all the above... You must read, write, and give and receive feedback. You also, of course, get study material and instruction.

Often, though, the participation is more useful than the formal course material. Reading other people's work critically, and formulating a cogent review/critique helps us gain insight into what we are doing. We can be more objective about other people, than we can be about ourselves. One way to do that in your fanfic reading is to review every chapter or almost every chapter of a story, especially if you like it... Analyze WHY you like it and tell the writer. It will help you and them.

We 'see' what they wrote... but often don't 'see' what we have written... We often 'see' what we THINK we have written. When we analyze a book, a story or a TV show's writing, we see what works... if we examine the choices the writers of our favorite shows make, we will start to see patterns, and even see prejudices and perspectives of the writers begin to reveal themselves.

People who read us will see these things too.

Just now, I wrote 'right' instead of 'write' -- because in my head they sound the same. Of course, that one I caught, but when we're writing something complex, a lot of times we think we've communicated something very different from what we have actually communicated.

Blue

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