When writing a feature, it is important to have a strong beginning. Capturing the readers attention with a headline is one thing; getting them to read beyond your first paragraph is another. That requires a momentum that keeps the story moving.
But what about the end?
What is it that will make the reader want to go back to see who wrote the piece, and make him or her want to read your subsequent pieces?
A strong ending is as important as a strong beginning. An article can’t just peter out. Leaving your reader with an empty sense of, ‘that’s ten minutes of my life I’ll never get back again’ won’t endear him or her to revisit your work again.
I learned this skill of linking the beginning to the end, from one of the great American sports writers of the past four decades, Mike Lupica. I actually recall the very tennis article that taught me this link lesson, to this very day.
He had the gift of topping and tailing a good story with power, humour and subtlety, all combined neatly into 1,500 words.
I never had the privilege of meeting him when I was a UK tennis journalist, but today, a couple of decades on, I would go back to read his work again and again.
Think about your ending as much as your beginning. Add your meaty quotes in the middle and link the outside of the sandwich together. Your reader will thank you for it.