20 ways to organize a story

Looking for fresh approaches to your articles or blog posts? Check out this guest post by writer Kate Harold.

20 Ways to Organize a Story

By Kate Harold

When you write story after story like I do, you run the risk of getting stuck in a rut – where your stories can start to feel a bit stale. The standard article format of intro-details-conclusion is functional. However, use it too much and your readers may begin to think Ho-hum.

Stop Your Stories From Falling Flat

How can you keep your writing feeling fresh? Mix things up by altering how you organize what you write. A simple change in structure can help breathe new life into a long list of blog posts or newsletter articles. See if you can liven up your next story using one of these techniques to organize it:

  1. Listicle: A story like this one, based primarily on a list. Often includes a number in the headline.
  2. Q&A
  3. Chart/Charticle: An article with a chart as the leading feature.
  4. Age-based: For topics that cover varying ages, i.e. investing through the years.
  5. Chronological/Timeline
  6. “By the numbers”: Popular with sports statistics, but can be easily be adapted for other industries.
  7. Recipe: Can be engaging when used for non-food-related topics.
  8. Do’s and Don’ts
  9. Whys and Why Nots
  10. How to
  11. Problem/Solution
  12. Step-by-Step Guide: Use numbered steps as subheads.
  13. Quiz
  14. Pros/Cons
  15. Myths/Facts (myth buster)
  16. Slideshow: Group of related photos for online viewing, with short text to accompany each.
  17. Round-up: Several ideas that fall under one theme, with a brief description of each.
  18. Expert Roundtable: Group of experts offering varying insights on a subject.
  19. Then and Now
  20. Did You Know?

A quick glance through this list often helps me think of a subject in a new way. And when you can present a topic in a way that feels new, you can bet your readers will notice.

About Kate Harold

Kate Harold is an award-winning freelance writer, editor and proofreader based in Cincinnati, Ohio. She writes primarily for the healthcare industry, but has covered a hodgepodge of other topics including steel cranes, circus clowns, and caps for spray paint cans. Learn more about her at www.kateharold.com


Image courtesy of basketman at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.