How to write a story

1. Find and research your topic

To bolster your story, explore diverse perspectives and gather information on your chosen topic. Assess which perspective interests you the most, while also considering the availability of substantial evidence to support your narrative.

Additionally, ask yourself the following:

  • What is your story about?
  • Why are you writing about this topic (i.e. purpose)?
  • What is the main question you want to solve?

Now, it's time to gather further evidence to effectively support your story. Your readers should both feel and comprehend your narrative. To achieve this, seek out statistics, case studies, and quotes from experts and critics.

2. Headline

Create a catchy headline. It should grab the readers’ attention and convey what the story is about. It should

  • Draw attention
  • Be informative
  • Be short and snappy, preferably 40-60 characters
  • Use signal words: What X can learn from Y or This is how X is cleaning rivers
  • If a headline evokes emotion, we are more likely to click: How clean water makes you healthier and kinder

3. Introduction

The opening paragraph needs a captivating hook to draw readers into the story. It could be a scene, question, quote, or teaser statement. Next, briefly summarise the topic to answer the readers' burning questions: What's the point of this story? Why should I care? Finally, raise the main question of the article, implying that the answer lies ahead if they continue reading.

4. Body of the feature

Now, let's delve into the core of your story. The body comprises crucial details, statistics, and expert quotes, divided into paragraphs. Within this vibrant section, you'll gradually address the main question, paragraph by paragraph, building suspense. Craft captivating subheadings for each paragraph.

5. Conclusion

The concluding stage of your story should effectively unify all elements and leave a memorable impact on the reader, evoking a reaction or prompting action. Summarize your ideas here and ultimately inspire your readers to take meaningful steps.

Read these examples

Floating farms and food security
Mohammad Shahadat Hossain travelled to the remarkable floating gardens in Barishal, Bangladesh. This historic farming system might be one of the best adaptation techniques in agriculture in flood-prone areas.
The Source of Life
Freshwater ecosystems are essential to humanity. But these biodiversity hotspots are now among the most threatened on Earth. It’s time to protect and restore freshwater for generations to come. We share our journey to floodplains and wetlands in India, Vietnam and Thailand.
Battling for survival along the warming source of Blue Nile
With increasing incidence of erratic rainfall and flooding affecting their crops, groups of small holder farmers switch from rain-fed summer farming to irrigated winter farming through a government-assisted programme, and find it immensely beneficial for their income and food security.
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