For Diana Sugg, writing a big story is a little bit like eating a slice of pizza.
Don't try to bite off more than you can chew at the beginning, said Sugg, a Pulitzer Prize-winning editor at The Baltimore Sun. Start with the small end. The slice — and the story — gets wider the farther in you go. At the beginning, find something appetizing and easy to "swallow" — an element of surprise, for example, something no one else has written about.
As you reach the end, bring the heavier elements in.