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Critique this long feature story

Discussion in 'Writers' Workshop' started by td truckers, Nov 2, 2007.

  1. td truckers

    td truckers Member

    It takes a few minutes to read obviously...perhaps a charticle would of been best for this story...

  2. jgmacg

    jgmacg Guest

    td -

    Thanks for posting with us.

    Two quick thoughts this morning:

    - First, "have" not "of" in your post above. A small thing, but important. And important all the time.

    - Second, your piece is mostly fine, but I suspect it would be twice as good at half that length. There's a lot of air - by which I mean insubstantial information or unnecessary language - in the story. As an exercise, I'd suggest you go back and try to cut it in half. Seriously. Pretend your editor has come to you the night before the piece is scheduled, and tells you that you've gone from 60 inches to 30. What would you keep in that circumstance, and what would you cut? It's hard to do, but it's also a terrific way to learn what's really important in your own work.

    Again, thanks for sharing your work with us.
  3. friend of the friendless

    friend of the friendless Active Member

    Mr Truckers,

    Usually I look at the lead and wonder if it might have been better. I'm sure this is the case with this story.

    To the extent that there's drama in this guy's story I'd like it up top: Can we show him persisting? Taking what must be the millionth two-hop grounder, rote, do it in his sleep. How many hours he has spent on this field or other fields ... "show don't tell" is a cliche but it is for good reason.

    As far as the remise goes ... I don't think this is a story about a guy persisting through challenges, tough times, etc. The most interesting element to me is he's someone who did persist when it would have been easy to give up and now he has signed up for the inner-city teaching job. He couldn't/wouldn't quit but now is heading off in an entirely different direction. When he's prepared to walk away, he will ... with any reservations, longing? Maybe it's a line that should have been further questioned.

    Just my thoughts.

    YHS, etc
  4. dawgpounddiehard

    dawgpounddiehard Active Member

    Agreed. The lede you have is something I've seen too many times. "Intense. In a word, that is the story of... yada yada yada."

    Of course, us journalists are look at these things with a more critical eye. You're audience would not think like this. But, the difference between a good feature and a great feature are things like this.

    If persistence is really a word that best describes this guy, why not give us an instance in his career/life where he's show persistence?
  5. td truckers

    td truckers Member

    Thanks guys, much appreciated...
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