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Techniques for maintaining interest




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There are many other ways a writer can keep the middle moving. Here are some of them.

Parallelism. Parallel sentences help the reader move quickly through the story. Parallel constructions mean the sentences are worded in the same grammatical order. Some of the words can be repeated for effect, especially those at the beginning of the sentences.

Pacing. Vary the length of sentences. Follow long ones with short, punchy ones.

Anecdotes. You often use anecdotes in your leads, consider them for the middle of your story as well. An interesting little story or experience can brighten a long story or a bureaucratic one.

Dialogue. When possible and appropriate, use dialogue in your story. It works well for feature stories, news stories about council meetings and especially stories about court cases.

BBI: Boring but important stuff. Many stories, especially government stories need explanation or background that could be boring. Don’t put all the boring information in a long block. Break it up into small paragraphs and place it where it will fit, but not in one long, continuous section. Also consider graphics as the way to present statistics and other information that could clog the story.

Simple sentences for complex information. The more difficult the information is, the simpler your sentences should be. Use short sentences with simple construction, especially for bureaucratic information that would be harder for the reader to be comprehended.

Lists. Itemizing information, especially results of studies or the main points in government actions, is an excellent way to keep the flow going through the middle of your story. You may use lists in a couple of ways:

· To itemize a group of statistics or any other cumbersome information

· To highlight the key points within a story

Cliffhangers: Mystery middles. Give readers or viewers a mystery, and make them want to find out what happens next. In writing, this kind of suspense ending is called a “cliffhanger”. It is usually reserved for the ending of stories arranged in sections or in series, when another part appears the next day. But cliffhangers can also be used in the middles of a story to entice readers to keep reading.



Cliffhangers are excellent devices for stories on the Web. At the end of a cliffhanger in the middle of a story, you could place a hyperlink to entice the reader to click to the next section. This method is much more conductive to narrative storytelling, especially in a long feature, but it can be applied to a hard news if the story stops at the crucial point. The headline is also crucial. It can give a clue to the story, but it shouldn’t give away the punch line.

 

Explain what is meant by these phrases from the text:

To read out loud

To type up the notes

To win awards

To flow naturally

Chronologically

 

Give synonyms to these words and phrases from the text, use a dictionary if necessary:

A hap-hazard process

To anticipate

Cause and effect

To elaborate

To clog the story

Crucial point

Punch line

 

Give Russian equivalents to these words and phrases from the text:

Transition

To pave the way

A punchy sentence

Council meeting

Suspense ending

To give a clue

To itemize

 


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