They’re cliché, have been done a million times and pretty much no one reads them past the second graf. Dun, da, da, dun: They’re weather stories.
Since starting at the daily I can’t begin to tell you how many weather stories I have done. It’s really rainy, it’s really cold, it’s snowing, it’s spring time and yesterday it was really hot.
Yes, that is correct. I wrote a story about the heat, which personally speaking as someone who has lived in Florida for 23 years it’s kind of a given.
It’s hot in Florida most of the year.
Alas, I am general assignment and I was asked by my editor to put it on my calendar.
I’ve really taken a liking to writing out things in “Step” format. So here is how I write a weather story, typically.
Step 1: Call the National Weather Service
Step 2: Talk with a meteorologist and somewhere in the minutia of weather talk get a funny anecdote about the weather to add some element of fun.
Step 3: Get two more sources and you’ve got yourself a Centerpiece story full of fun weather facts.
Now Step 3 is where you can really add your own personal twist to the story since its open to just two other people. Well Thursday my brain was not in work mode it was in “I really want this day to be Friday and almost over” mode so the ideas really weren’t flowing.
That’s when chatting with work folks really pays off. They offered me all kinds of suggestions. My favorite was calling someone who serves cold beverages.
So I typed in Sonic and up popped all the local joints. After a quick chat with the manager and a detailed list of their customers favorite summer drinks, I was on my way.
Next up I decided to think of who would be stuck outside working in the heat: lawn care workers.
So I opened up my phone book and scanned. Perhaps this thought strikes you when seeing interviews, how do reporters choose one company out of hundreds?
Well I decided to go with the one with the best name: Looks Good Lawn Care, priceless.
Then a story was born. It was simple, took less than an hour to do all the interviews and the writing was easy as pie.
Weather stories may not be the most entertaining, they may not get the juices flowing and people may not care to read too much of the actual story, but by golly as least they’re easy to write.