Tuesday, 6 February 2007
Bizarre Articles 101
Okay, something a bit different today. This is a basic introduction in how to write like your heroine Vicky.
Step 1: Finding your story. Keep your ear to the ground, your eyes on the wires, or get out there and do some good old fashioned sleuthing. Or if you can't be bothered, nick something from Sunday's Observer.
Step 2: Make your first mistake as early as possible, preferably in the second sentence, as Vicky demonstrates in our example by saying "...NBC decided to make two more series of the US version of his hit comedy The Office." when in fact they have officially committed to only one more. (Mr Gervais actually makes the same mistake on his own website, which is presumably where Vicky picked this up from.)
Step 3: Ignore all logic to make your second mistake. "Now he has secured a leading role in a Hollywood rom-com — just three months after bagging a part alongside BEN STILLER and ROBIN WILLIAMS in Night At The Museum." Simply brush aside the fact that the film was released a mere 6 weeks ago, which means Ricky would have had to have been given the part, filmed it, and then let the boffins do their CGI work all in the space of about 7 weeks. Also ignore the fact that the wrap party for the film was in February 2006.
Step 4: Make an incredibly obvious statement sound like gossip by putting the the words "I hear" in front of it. For example, "I hear the new movie deal will see the Extras star rolling in extra cash." Yes ladies and gentlemen, Ricky Gervais will be PAID (in MONEY) for being in this film. Amazing, eh? How did she find that out?
Step 5: Further lessen the impact of your story by having two sources not telling you the name of a film and then passing on this non-information to your readers. It makes you look much more competent and powerful to let your readers know that PR people are refusing to tell you anything.
Step 6: Follow a statement such as "Ricky insists he’s happy as he is." by then referring to the subject as "The roly-poly actor...". This will then demonstrate that you are above your subject in both looks and personality, and that even if he claims to be happy, it's important that he (and the readers) are reminded that he is FAT.
Step 7: Re-jig the original quotes to fit your own story, giving no credit to your original source.
Step 8: Sit back for five minutes, then continue writing your 15th article of the day on Kate Moss and Pete Doherty, or Britney Spears.
That is the end of the class, please remember to take your copies of the Sunday papers with you.
Posted by Darwin at 18:32