Map out your story on Ann’s roller coaster grid
The best stories show, then tell, then show, then tell, again and again and again. And the best pieces mix up their concrete details with stories, statistics, scenarios and more.
How does your story shape up against that standard? To find out, use this grid to map out your story.
On it, note which kinds of concrete material you use in and where. This will help you analyze your copy for common problems. For instance:
- You’ve got 14 statistics and no anecdotes? You might want to go out and find a story. You want to hit several types of concrete detail, not just flat-line with a single type.
- Your introduction and conclusion are packed with concrete details, but there’s nothing interesting in between? Spread the evidence around.
- There’s not a single concrete detail to be found? Go back to the reporting stage and dig some up.
Now find the geographic center of your piece. “Is there a gold coin in sight?” The Poynter’s Clark asks. If not, add one.