After finishing reporting, one needs to sit down with a highlighter and a note pad. Read through it to be reminded of important information, and clarify what the real story is. Highlight facts and figures that are relevant to the story for expert soundbites or quotes. When it comes to quotes, I like to complie all of my must use quotes onto one document, ready to be inserted in various parts of my story. Keep any annecdotes and stories and make sure to be on the lookout for leads and closers. Get rid of any dead weight or wood, and take out all parts of the story that are not vital to the main point. Then categorize your notes.
When you start writing, it is better to just do it in an orderly way, because it gives the right side of the brain room to develop. Likely the product will be a dull feature, but still be clear and done. Waiting for inspiration to strike can lead to rushing or missing the deadline all together.
The basic template for structuring all stories is, a gotcha lead to spike the readers intrest, and then a billboard paragrpaph, to tell the reader why the story is important. Next is the bulk of the story, which is evidence. After that is a memorable ending that will imprint on the readers mind.
A round-up story is introduction, billboad parapgrpah, then context and background. After that is a statement of argument, and then three reasons why. After that is the conclusion. It can also be structred as: introduction, billboard paragraph, cultural impact, concerns/counterargument, eeconomic impact, and then conclusion. This is used for news features, especially weekend newspapers and news magazines. The Tick-tock stucture is doing a story in chronological order. It is best for complex or investigative features, and to add tension in a quieter story. It can be over any period of time, and can also mention the ending of the story at the beginning. It gives fresh and close up detail.