In chapter 1 of Journalistic Writing, Robert Knight talks all about letting the story come to you and traps that a writer can fall into. I feel like it was more of an overview than an insight for me, however.

Style, jargon, and big vocabularies are all traps Knight addresses as he talks about good writing skills. His reminder to the writer to apply the KISS principle (keep it simple, stupid) while writing is helpful to me personally, because I tend to go overboard when writing. Having a big vocabulary can also trip me up, as I like to write with a certain tone of voice.

I also found the spelling of “lede” rather than “lead” to be useful; I’ve never seen it spelled that way, on or not on purpose. I also like Knight’s emphasis on not needing an outline. For me, an outline just wastes time and actually hinders my writing more than it helps. I do my best writing when I just sit down and write it all at once as it comes to me. He mentioned that a good lede can actually take the place of an outline, because it sets up the story.

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