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AUDIO: How to structure your story

You've done all of your reporting and now it's time to write, but how do you structure your story?

Jacqui Banaszynski, winner of the 1988 Pulitzer Prize in feature writing, explored this issue during the 2014 IRE Conference in San Francisco, demystifying the process and offering insight on how to think beyond the traditional inverted pyramid format.

One useful structuring device is the broken – or woven – narrative, which allows journalists the ability to weave together narrative material (scenes, characters, dialogue) with expository information. Banaszynski cites Alex Kotlowitz’s book “There Are No Children Here” as an example of how this can work.

As a college intern at the Wall Street Journal, Banaszynski would read stories in the WSJ and draw boxes around each of the sections. She would take notes and try to explain what the journalists were trying to accomplish in each part of their story. Banaszynski shares this deconstruction process and explains the different structural elements of a WSJ article.

Banaszynski also explored how to combine elements of the broken narrative with the Wall Street Journal structure

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