Advice from the Masters: William E. Blundell

Jul 9, 2014 | Better Writing

Yesterday was the 125th anniversary of the first issue of the Wall Street Journal. I think that the Journal is one of the best written newspapers in the world and one of the people who helped make it so was William E. Blundell. He was a reporter and editor at the paper for years. He also conducted in-house training on how to write feature stories, what some people call “explanatory journalism.”

The good news for those of us who don’t work for the Journal is that Blundell turned his training into a book, The Art and Craft of Feature Writing. If you’re serious about writing, you’ll find a wealth of material in the book that will help make your writing better.

There’s so much in the book that’s valuable that it was really difficult to pick one key bit of advice. Should I share Blundell’s ideas on writing as a flowing process and not a series of discrete steps? Or, perhaps, I should tell you about his six-part guide for planning and writing an article? In the end, I decided on the following, taken from the Introduction.

“For Pete’s sake, make it interesting. Tell me a story.”

Want more? Check out the complete list of Advice from the Masters posts.