Waiting For The Lede To Smile Demurely in a Negligee

Okay, you've been researching a story for weeks. You've tied up nearly all the loose ends. You can't think of anybody else to call or visit or any more tiresome records to plow through. You must be ready to write your story? Right?
     I'm not so sure. Oftentimes, I've found, when I'm really ready to write my story (knowing my material well enough that I'm totally in command), the lede just pops into my head without warning. I'll be walking down the street (thinking of nothing in particular) when suddenly the lede arrives. Then it’s time to write. Before then, you just spend a lot of time in front of the computer spinning your wheels. 
     Another thing, you cannot will good ledes in existence (by lede I mean more than an opening sentence, I mean the whole beginning to your tale, the thing that implies everything else, that sets the story in motion). You have to wait for the lede to come to you. 
      So walk around, try writing the story in your head (much quicker than using a pencil or keyboard), play with organization. Then one day when you're standing there watching the squirrels run down the power lines the lede will suddenly come to you as a willing maiden. 
     At that point, the hard work is over. All you have to do is do the deed--write it down, polish the transitions, correct the spelling and submit the expense account.


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