My Reporting instructor is constantly preaching the importance of details to a story. A general explanation is necessary of course, but it’s the little details that make a good article into a good piece of writing.
And so he quotes, “Get the dog’s name.”
I recently got some business cards made (mostly for networking purposes, I’m lazy and I hate writing out 3 different ways to get in touch with me a few times a day) and I had “What is your dog’s name?” printed on them.
Granted, few will get it, but a business card is of no use to anyone unless it is remembered, even as “that card with the weird question…”
It also reminds me to get the details along with the nitty gritty. Most of the articles I’ve written this semester weren’t any good until I got a random detail.
* the name of the man who sorted bread at a food shelter
* a teacher’s description of the perfect day
* the definition of “career flexibility”
These details added a depth to each story, a link between the subject and the reader, beyond simple transmission of information. This is the link that makes the reader keep on reading.
By the way, what IS your dog’s name?