8 Ways to Reduce Snooze in a Long Story

Posted on May 11, 2017 in Blog, Fundamentals
  1. Headline

Grab the attention of your distracted reader with a powerful headline—make it pithy and make it colorful.

  1. Deck

Explain your story through this précis, building on the headline—a phrase or a short sentence or two will do the trick.

  1. Running Heads

Show your reader through the content by adding bold subheads for new sections or topics.

  1. Call-out quotes

Give your story some breathing room by setting off a zesty quote from within the content.

  1. Sidebars

Add a related shortie to your main story set off in different color and type—such as a results wrap-up, author’s blurb, list, where to find more information, push to website.

  1. Photos

Take the dullness out of reading by telling more about your story through photos—first- rate pictures amplify the impact of the piece by adding emotion and showing a new angle or example.

  1. Captions

“See the cat on the hot stove.” Please, more than a label! Write a conversational addendum that ties your photo to the storyline and gives the reader extra insight into the main point.

  1. Infographics

America is crazy about data. Tell your story through pointed and visually interesting graphs and charts.

…and stick to predetermined word counts; design your pages and panels in graphic chunks; avoid long running text; and edit down the HOS Letter. Sorry, heads.


Resources: Headline Writing 101 at neilpatel.com; WordCount at michellerafter.com; visme.co for build-your-own infographic; writing captions at theslot.com/captions.

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