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Evaluate me

Discussion in 'Writers' Workshop' started by hoosier122, Sep 3, 2010.

  1. hoosier122

    hoosier122 New Member

    This is an intro topic and request to have my writing evaluated. Please don't hold back. While my title says sports editor, I actually do it all - photography, writing and pagination.

    All articles by "Chris Johannes" and Staff were written by me. I'll post my previous job experience (or lack thereof) and education when I attempt to defend it.

    Don't hold back. Rip into it.

    Click on 'Sports' http://www.spencercountyjournal.com

    Here was my lead story from this week to simplify things:

  2. Sports_Scribe

    Sports_Scribe Member

    I'd move this to the "Writer's Workshop" thread.

    One thing I noticed with the football article was that you didn't mention where the game took place. In your nutgraf, just throw in the stadium name or just say "... at (Team Name)." Not a big thing, but it'll help your article somewhat.
  3. hoosier122

    hoosier122 New Member

    As I said only stories with the byline of "Chris Johannes" were written by me. "Heritage Hills routs Tell City Friday" was written by our managing sports editor, who is also sports editor for the paper that covers Tell City. All other stories in the sports section were written by me.

    Most of the stadiums are rural football fields and don't have names for fields or stadiums, but I see what you mean. Even though 'LINCOLN CITY' is the dateline you, as an outsider, don't know if that's Heritage Hills, Tell City or a neutral team's football field.

    Thanks for the feedback. If this is moved to the proper field, hopefully I get lots of suggestions.

    We are owned by Landmark Community Newspapers Incorporated. What are opinions of it?
  4. Sports_Scribe

    Sports_Scribe Member

    Sorry 'bout that. I read the article quickly and didn't catch the byline part.
  5. 93Devil

    93Devil Well-Known Member

    I always liked to use the lead to tell a small story or paint for the reader the story the game told.

    For example...

    When preparing for Gibson Southern, South Spencer head coach Jason Fischer was worried about his team's ability to control the Titan offense.

    Turns out, it should have been the other way around.


    Quote about the 1,000 yard runner


    Quote about last week's lost and how they were better this week.



    You have good quotes and a lot of good facts about the game, but I always liked to think I was entertaining the reader along with delivering the facts. A good story, I think, is a mix of the two.

    I would also get a quote from a player or two.
  6. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    My thoughts on the South Spencer-Gibson Southern gamer:

    Your lede is South Spencer shutting out Gibson Southern in the second half to win 27-9 but I don't know if that was the key to victory or you trying to illustrate the defensive dominance.

    Your second graf has some good examples but then instead of backing it up with a quote to hammer that home, the quote by Fischer was blah.

    In fact, here are your fist two quotes by him:

    "I expected them (Gibson Southern) to try to establish the run. Their running back, Matt Brown, had 1,000 yards last year. Our run defense was a little better this week than against North Posey."

    "Our offense looked a lot better," said Fischer. "We seemed more familiar with it.

    "We were a little worried, because Jared’s back has been bothering him, but he played well."

    Those are pretty vanilla and don't really help you get a sense of the game.

    Then here is your next-to-last quote from Fischer on it being his first victory:

    "It’s indescribable," he said. "It’s better than I thought it would be. It may sound a little strange, but other than the births of my sons and marrying my wife, this is probably one the best days of my life."

    I would have run with that, built the lede around that. The game wasn't really close so, go lighter on the play-by-play and heavier on reaction to giving the coach his first W.
  7. Boom_70

    Boom_70 Well-Known Member

    This would be a good business model for The Deseret News now trying to do things on the cheap. They could have SJ do their editing for free.
  8. 93Devil

    93Devil Well-Known Member

    You know, I did not even get to the end of the story (that should say something). That quote was too deep about his first win/kids, you gotta throw that up top.
  9. hoosier122

    hoosier122 New Member

    I think it's hilarious that everyone is saying I should of had more player quotes and details about his first win. I had both, but they were edited out by my managing sports editor.

    Here was my first version

  10. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member


    You are not going to make friends coming on here asking for input then blaming your editors.

    You had quotes, sure, but you buried the very best one.
  11. 93Devil

    93Devil Well-Known Member

    Hoosier, your first three inches need to make the reader want to read more. Not everyone gives two shits about these teams. You got to make the ones who do not give two shits, give two shits.

    Have your lead make the reader ask questions to themselves that they will find in your story. Why was it the other way around?

    A quick hook...
    When people talk about the special days of their lives, they almost always include days with their family family.

    High school football coaches include another important day - their first win.
  12. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    Your first version is over 800 words, not including the box score. For a gamer, 500 is about the limit. The ME did you a favor by cutting it.

    BTW, I tuned out after the first three 'grafs.

    I noticed the first quote wasn't introduced properly. I'm amazed at how writers can't put the attribution in the right place, or have any at all. There is no reason why the first speech tag should be at the beginning of that graf.

    Why is Coach capitalized? Is that the paper's style?
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