Some alternative writing stylesLesson 6 described the more common styles of narrative you can use to write your story from six-word memoirs to short stories. And, in lessons 7, 8 and 9, you learned about how to start constructing your stories around these styles. However, to conclude this short course, I thought I would just mention some alternative writing styles/genres which give you the opportunity to approach your writing from a slightly different angle or perspective.

Newspaper reportNewspaper report

If your photo is of a place, an event or an activity (for example, a sports event, a family occasion, a holiday destination) try writing your own newspaper report. Newspaper reports typically use the 5 Ws (who, what, why, where, when) to tell the reader as much as possible. They are also often written in the inverted pyramid style. The inverted pyramid simply means starting with the most important information and then working through the other details in order of importance finishing with the least important stuff at the bottom. Look back at lesson 8 to remind yourself about the 5 Ws technique and then see whether you can come up with an audience-grabbing headline and introduction followed by a newspaper-style report about the subject of your photo.

Write a letterLetter

Imagine you are writing a letter to a friend or relative and describe who and what is in your photo. When you write a letter you will be much more relaxed about style, grammar, spelling etc. and so your writing will tend to flow much more easily. Writing a letter is a bit like telling your story aloud – you may not remember things in the right order and the construction of your sentences and paragraphs won’t necessarily be perfect but your unique voice and style will naturally shine through.

Review

Write about your photo as if it is a review for a local newspaper or magazine. A review of a film or play typically includes some details about who is in the play or film and where and when it is set, together with a brief description of the characters and action and an analysis of whether it is any good or not and whether the reader should go to see it. Have some fun seeing how many of these ideas you could incorporate into a review about the content of your picture.

Assignment 10

Below is a list of things you should do to complete the Lesson 10:

  • Look through some newspapers, pick out some reports which catch your eye and make some notes about the content.
  • Using the notes you have just made, organise them in order of importance following the inverted pyramid style.
  • Imagine you are writing a letter to a close friend or relative telling them  about your photo.
  • Look out some reviews of plays, concerts, films etc. and make some notes about what makes them interesting and engaging.
  • Write your own review about your photo.

Although this is the last lesson of the course do make sure you complete the final assignment in your Writing the Stories Behind your Photos Workbook. Keep your completed workbook as a handy reference for your writing both now and in the future. Also check out my quick reference guide How to start creating stories from your photos which is available for just £2.47.

Back to Lesson 9 Some basic writing tips

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Chris Lightfoot
Author of Writing the stories behind your photos and founder of 50something HQ