I must admit that I struggle writing long-form journalism. This may sound strange to say after writing 3 books but I spent the first 12.5 years as a journalist writing for Japanese newspaper where we used reverse pyramid structure
You cut from bottom up
The assumption in Japanese newspaper writing is that your reader already knows what the story is about or that they've been following along, so you provide very little context.
When I started writing in English again, I sucked.
Over the years I've been lucky enough to have had 5 mentors who patiently taught me how to do it better.. @Tim_OConnell great editor. @gabrielsnyder (@Atlantic) @lucas_wittmann & @csdickey at @thedailybeast
@KyHenderson (Vice)
@Tim_OConnell helped me find a narrative voice.
@gabrielsnyder gave me great advice: "Write it first or write it better."
@lucas_wittmann let me know that you can add humor to straight news
@csdickey sets a great example in his writing & edits
@KyHenderson taught me Vice style
I learned from @csdickey one thing I never really thought about: You have to assume that many readers aren't following your story. They may be coming to it for the first time. You can't assume they know the subject, or the story so far. You have to explain it, almost every time,
In the last month, I've written two long form pieces for @thedailybeast about bitcoin, which many people don't understand, and the hacking of Mt. Gox, which was once the world's largest bitcoin exchange and collapsed with nearly half a billion dollars worth of Bitcoin missing.
Here is my primer on Bitcon, Mt. Gox, the rise of cryptocurrency and the strange battle over a company that was once bankrupt and now worth $1 billion. thedailybeast.com/the-bitcoin-ba…
This is the harder story. It is a profile of a slightly off-beat but well-meaning guy, Mark @MagicalTux Karpeles & how he ended up being arrested by Japanese police who tried to force him to confess to a crime he didn't commit.
It's about second chances.
I've been a special correspondent for @latimes
I've written for @vicenews
I have to say that the most fun I have is writing for @thedailybeast because you don't have to pull your punches. But you have to tell an engaging story
And writing for @Marchialy: labor of love
That's my meditation on long-form journalism. Give these 2 pieces a read and see if they work. 😉
Everything you wanted to know about #bitcoin, stealing $500 million of it, Japan's justice system and @wizards_magic
First, thedailybeast.com/the-bitcoin-ba…
Then, thedailybeast.com/mt-gox-bitcoin…
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