Channeling Elmore Leonard: How to make a story hum
What good is all that reporting if your writing fails to grab and hold? Create suspense. Use dialogue. Shift perspective. Experiment with Chekhov's gun, but beware of bullets (the newspaper kind). And whatever you do: Skip the boring parts.
Ken Armstrong is a senior reporter at ProPublica. Previous stops: The Marshall Project, Seattle Times & Chicago Tribune, where his work helped prompt the governor to halt executions and empty death row. He’s won Pulitzers for investigative reporting and explanatory reporting, and shared in two staff Pulitzers for breaking news. He’s won six IRE Awards, a Peabody for radio, an Edgar for books, and a lifetime achievement award from Columbia. Twitter: @bykenarmstrong
Writing the Investigative Story
Writing tips for composing an investigative story.