Photo by: Heidi Landa

February 3, 2016 / Copywriting / Coverage

You can find a story angle, even when you’re stumped

Written by Benjamin Rascon Gracia

Coming up with an interesting angle for a yearbook story can often be a challenge. Either the angle is too vague, or too specific, and it’s nearly impossible to cover the story. Finding an angle that’s just right will help with writing the story later on.

But many writers find themselves stumped when it comes to finding the right story angle. Many times, the writer is focused too much on clichés and every day events and they’re unable to find an interesting angle that can be used in a great way.

So how do you come up with an angle for a story when you’re stumped?

To start, the first thing every writer must do before coming up with an angle is to pick the topic. That’s easy. For example, let’s say you pick football as your topic.

Once you have picked the topic, look back at all the events that happened in it. In football, they generally have practice and games. This is where most writers get stuck: they stop here and use a very broad angle.

Simply writing about football practice and football games is too generic for yearbook. “Football games are great!” or “Football practice is fun!” These angles just don’t work. You want it to be something unique to your school and your year.

Yearbook writers need to keep going further. Now that you have established football practice and games are events that happened in football, start thinking outside the box. What unique and special stories happened at those practices or games?

This is where simply talking to people comes in handy. Going to someone who would know about these events is one of the most beneficial things you can do. In this case, football players or coaches would be the best sources.

Make sure you ask a lot of questions; their responses could very easily provide you with an angle. For example, let’s say the football coach tells you the players have rap battles before every game to get hyped up. Now you have an amazing story angle about the football team that most likely is very unique to your school.

Asking around is one of the best things to do when you’re stumped for a story. Don’t be afraid to go up to people and ask them a question; it will only help in your search for the right angle. Though this can be a challenge, always remember to never give up on a story.

As my adviser says, there are good writers and there are quitters. Which one are you?

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Benjamin Rascon Gracia

Benjamin Rascon Gracia is in 8th grade and is a copy and accuracy editor in his second year as a member of The Scrapbook yearbook staff at Westfield Middle School in Westfield, Indiana. He enjoys being a yerd and writing stories, as well as helping others with their copy.