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Discussion in 'Writers' Workshop' started by willwork4job, Feb 9, 2011.

  1. willwork4job

    willwork4job New Member

  2. Batman

    Batman Well-Known Member

    Your lede is a little wordy. Not necessarily bad, just wordy. You can easily cut a dozen words out and make it so the reader doesn't feel like they're running a marathon.
    You should also be careful with how you use numbers, particularly early in a story. Try not to include too many in one paragraph (they can run together in the reader's mind) or before your first mention of the final score. Especially right before the score, like you did here with Memphis' record. Save the records for a second reference of the team, a summary stat paragraph or after your lead quote.
    I'm also not a big fan of including the number of fans in a story unless it's some sort of record or abnormally large crowd. Just seems extraneous to me. Opinions may vary, though.

    After your lede, you do something a lot of young sports writers do with play-by-play that drives me nuts -- you start at the beginning. I've covered a lot of basketball games in my day, and I've never seen one decided by the first basket of the game. So why start there? Unless it's something significant like, "Coleman threw down a vicious dunk to put the Tigers ahead 2-0 less than 10 seconds into the game. It started a 12-0 run, and they never trailed in routing UCF 77-61," you're just wasting the reader's time.
    Since that's not the case here, pick up the action later on. The 32-14 run was obviously the turning point, so start with that. Mention the first few baskets and jump right into it. Cap it with a quote from a player or Pastner about how that was the turning point.

    Other than that, you do a good job of not getting bogged down in play-by-play in what seems like a lopsided game.
    On the bad side, this particular story struggles to get a good flow going. The second half of it reads like you strung together a bunch of notebook items into your gamer.
    I'm not sure what your production schedule is or how much space you had to fill, but you shouldn't feel like you have to use all your material in the gamer. Save some for a follow-up. In this case, Memphis did a good job defensively and apparently reversed a recent trend. That's a perfect second-day story you can crank out in 30 minutes.

    On the whole, good job. I've seen much, much, MUCH worse. I'm nitpicking more than shredding, which is always something to feel good about. It seems like you've got bad habits more than anything, so keep working at it and you can break yourself of them.

    YGBFKM Guest

    That's not about what you do for a living.
  4. spud

    spud Member

    Should I tell him?
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