If you write articles for the web or for print you probably already know that there are myriad stories and topics to write about. However, with the advent of citizen journalism and blogging, generating unique story ideas for the web can be an uphill battle. But it doesn't have to be because as any seasoned writer knows, it's all in how you spin it. As Tom Wolfe once said, "The way you shape real life is just as valid as any you could make up". In this article I'll show you how.
While looking for a topic to write about for the web or print always keep one question in mind: What is newsworthy or sufficient interest to the public? They are things that affect us all. Spinning the article to make it unique comes after picking a newsworthy topic- not before. Don't write about something that is obscure for the sake of obscurity because it will not be read. Write what your curious about. Write about what's going on in the world. Write about issues that affect everybody, not just a small group of people.
There are 5 main concepts to think about when choosing a unique story idea for the web:
–Intrigue (People like to be in the know about things, so write about topics that are "secrets" or have some air of mystery to them).
-Out of the ordinary (Birds are not interesting, but birds that carry potentially deadly viruses that threaten to wipe out humanity are interesting. Same goes with people).
– Impact & consequences (Questions to ask are: Does this topic affect me? Does it affect my family? Does it affect my community? My country?).
– Proximity (Even if your writing for the web, this rule still applies. People from Kentucky want to read about what's going on in Kentucky irregardless of where they get their news from).
– Timeliness (Don't write about yesterday's news, especially when writing for the web).
Once you choose your topic (one that fits into at least one of the concepts above) it's time to give it a spin or angle. If you can do this successfully your article will not only be a quality piece of work, it will get read. Unique story ideas for the web are extremely important because people have thousands of choices to pick from. To generate a unique story idea for the web you have to work your idea.
How to work your unique story idea for the web or print:
– Talk to people! Tell everyone you know about your unique story idea and they will offer opinions, contacts, resources and quite often the spin you need to make your story idea even more interesting.
– Let the story evolve. Be open to criticisms, suggestions and newsbreaks.
– Think about your market. Write for a certain demographic. Ask yourself, who will read this?
– Twist a general topic. Abortion, as a topic, has been done. Young girls who self-abort with so-and-so pharmaceutical drug during the breaks in their ballet class probably hasn't been. What would interest you more?
– Carry a note-book with you at all times. Unique story ideas for the web or print come at the strangest times. Make sure you always have something to write them down on/with. Listen to conversations on the bus. Eavesdrop on the ladies at your doctor's office, unique story ideas are everywhere.
– Admit that you don't know everything. Instead of focusing on what you know, focus on what you don't. This makes for a robust article and puts you in the chase.
– Facts, Facts and more Facts. Opinions these days are cheap. They exist everywhere, and so many of them are empty or subjective. When writing about your unique idea for the web or print be research intensive because it will pay off. People will take your work more seriously, which means a higher readership overall, and a more original story.
Once you choose your unique story idea for the web or print, and have worked it so there is a interesting spin, your ready to begin writing. With a clear vision of your story idea for the web, actual writing time will be cut in half because there will be no struggling to get it out. If you absorb the topic and organizne the structure beforehand it will ensure that all the parts fit together. What was once a unique story idea for the web or print will materialize into a unique, quality article.