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Combine Player Feature

Discussion in 'Writers' Workshop' started by JennaLaine, Feb 26, 2010.

  1. JennaLaine

    JennaLaine Member

    Just posted this. It's a feature on an NFL prospect...

    <a href=http://blogblitz.nfl.com/tampa-bay-buccaneers/entry/lorenzo_washington_versatile_defender_deserves>Lorenzo Washington Combine Feature</a>

    Looking for feeback on that, or any of my writing really :)
  2. ADodgen

    ADodgen Member

    I'm still reading the story, but I'm wondering if the video has to be in the middle of a sentence. Obviously not a critique of the writing, but it is distracting.
  3. cjericho

    cjericho Well-Known Member

    that's the way they do it on nfl.com, she has no control over that.
  4. Point of Order

    Point of Order Active Member

    I thought the story was pretty good. I think your strongest stuff was at the end. I covered this guy and you told me some stuff at the end that I didn't know before. I think you could have collapsed paragraphs 5-13 down into just a few sentences and it would have been stronger. For example, the spring awards you mention wreak of being pulled straight from the media guide. Those tidbits probably informed your angle of him being a good leader but I don't know how much they add for the reader.

    You quoted the guy, his college position coach, and a scout, which is a really good job of getting multiple sources. I think your last quote, or part of it, could have been used much higher in the story to give your angle, which I took as being that this guy is a sleeper type guy and a late rounder who could turn out to be good because of intangible leadership qualities, more credibility up front.

    From a writing perspective I thought it was well done and flowed nicely; I didn't have any hang-ups with anything stylistically. I'm one of those who thinks "Washington said" is better than "said Washington," but I'm not all snobbish about it, so whatever.

    Good luck to you. I hope I provided some useful feedback.
  5. OCsports

    OCsports New Member

    Solid overall. Flows well. As someone who knew next to nothing about this kid, I learned a lot from this piece.

    But I did have a couple problems. Like Point of Order said, your best stuff is at the end. You really delve into your quiet leadership angle that you established early on. It would be nice to see that higher in a profile, especially with that momentum killing video. Sorry, but I'd like to see that thing to the side.

    With that in mind, 221 out of 275 words before that video are quotes. I'd paraphrase a lot of that.

    That's a 100+ word quote. A lot of it is jargon and it kind of repeats itself. The basic point here: He's versatile.

    I'd keep, "I could move him anywhere I wanted to move him and he could play. You have to be smart to be able to do that because with these schemes, when you change positions, you’ve got to know the different techniques that you have to use, and that’s the thing that he brought to the table."

    More concise and manageable. Gets the same point across, too.

    Then this:
    Just as a reader, I'd like to hear more about the relationship with his mother for this kind of story, but I understand how that might have been tough to really delve into at the combine.

    Then there's Bruce Smith... Why? Not trying to be cynical. Yeah, he was inducted last year, but if you're going to mention him, I'd like to know if he patterned any parts of his game after Smith or something to that effect.

    Like I said overall, solid and info-filled. I hope what I said made sense. Good luck!
  6. ADodgen

    ADodgen Member

    I want to echo a couple of comments from OC. First, I really enjoyed it. I don't know a lot about teams outside the Big 12, so it's always interesting to me to hear about the lesser-known players from other conferences.

    It is a LOT of quoting. I love that you went out there and got the quotes. Obviously far better than a story with too few. That said, it's a lot of someone else's voice, especially up top. I'd rather be hearing your voice, particularly in those places that could be paraphrased more efficiently.

    The parallel structure here feels somehow off to me. I feel like it'd work better for a longer list of qualities, maybe without the quotes between, just a sentence illustrating that quality. As it stands, maybe putting "It's also the mark of a man who moved..." as a way of contrast between the first and second sentences which begin with that phrase.

    It's a small thing, and not one I'd sweat. It just makes the rhythm feel a little funny.

    Again, I really enjoyed reading it, and at the end of the day that's all I ask out of most stories: pleasant to read, imparted some knowledge I hadn't had previously. Well done.
  7. JennaLaine

    JennaLaine Member

    Thank you so much guys. I was a little nervous posting on here, but you guys gave some really valuable feedback. Thank you so much for taking the time to read it, and share your thoughts! :)
  8. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    I liked it. Solid with a good lede and nice ending quote.

    Structure seemed fine to me, but I agree I would have edited down some of the quotes. The jargon is tricky since it is an NFL site I would let more go.

    It appears this was reported/written but if it was before the Combine. I would have tried to tie it in to the Combine, maybe asked how he prepared, what tests he feels good about/nervous about.

    If it was appearing after the Combine, I would have added a list of his times/scores.
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