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Tony Rogers

Learn to Write Well, and Learn to Write Quickly

By January 24, 2013

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There are two objectives in mastering the craft of news writing - learning to write well, and learning to write quickly.

The importance of learning to write well is obvious. But equally important is the ability to turn out well-crafted articles on tight deadlines. Newsrooms today move faster than ever. The digital news organization runs on a 24/7 schedule, which means your deadline is always now.

Fortunately, learning to write fast is like any other skill. It involves three things - practice, practice, practice. The more you do it the better you'll get at it, and over the course of a semester long journalism class you should see your writing speed increase dramatically. Articles that take you an hour to write in January might take only 45 minutes or even just a half- hour by May.

The way to get started is to simply force yourself to write quickly. Most deadline news stories can be written in an hour or less, so force yourself to finish your articles in that amount of time. If that means keeping a stopwatch or an alarm clock next to your computer or laptop, then so be it. Whatever works for you. The point is, when that hour is up, finish writing and send the story to your editor. Then move on to the next story.

Below are some links to articles about newswriting as well as some exercises that you should find helpful. Again, force yourself to write the exercises quickly. You should be able to complete each of them in under 30 minutes.

Want to Learn to Write News Stories? Just Follow the Format

How to Structure News Stories

In the Newsroom, Writing Fast is as Important as Writing Well

Newswriting Exercises

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