• Seven Guidelines to Lead Writing 

    Good leads are based on the writer's clear understanding of the theme of the story. All else follows. This is why finding the theme is No. I in our list of guidelines for writing readable leads:

    1. Find the essential element(s) of the story.

    2. Decide whether a direct or a delayed lead better suits the event.

    3. If one element is outstanding, use a single‑element lead. If more than one is, use a multiple‑element lead.

    4. Use the subject-verb-object sentence structure.

    5. Use concrete nouns and colorful action verbs.

    6. Keep the lead short, under 30 or 35 words.

    7. Make the lead readable, but do not sacrifice truthful and accurate reporting for readability.