1. Welcome to SportsJournalists.com, a friendly forum for discussing all things sports and journalism.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register for a free account to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Access to private conversations with other members.
    • Fewer ads.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

First gamer

Discussion in 'Writers' Workshop' started by MNgremlin, Dec 2, 2014.

  1. MNgremlin

    MNgremlin Active Member

    I'll post the pre-copy edited version to see if you guys make the same corrections:

    MARSHALL - After starting in two exhibition games, redshirt freshman MJ Delmore has come off the bench in all five regular season games for Southwest Minnesota State. On Saturday night, the Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin, native showed his ability to provide an offensive spark off the bench in the team’s 78-58 victory over Northern Michigan University.
    Delmore entered the game for the first time with the team trailing by two. His first shot of the night ended a 1-9 start from the field for the Mustangs.
    It was only the beginning for Delmore, as he finished the night with a career-high 18 points, which included going 4-6 from three-point range.
    “We were able to play MJ with Drew [Osmundson] a little more tonight, which provided him some open opportunities to catch and shoot," said SMSU coach Brad Bigler. "He took advantage of the moment, and showed what he’s capable of doing.”
    Delmore was not the lone Mustang who was hot from long range. As a team, connected on 12 threes in 20 attempts.
    Bigler said that the hot shooting also opens things up inside for centers Mitch Weg and Carter Kirk.
    “We’re going to probably shoot more threes this year. When that’s the case, for Mitch and Carter, that helps their games. Those long rebounds and rebounds that are high where they can be physical. We want to make sure we give them opportunities to make those plays.”
    The Mustangs were strong on the glass, grabbing 14 offensive rebounds and finishing with a 42-35 rebound advantage over NMU.
    One point of emphasis for Southwest against NMU was to limit turnovers. The Mustangs committed just five turnovers in the game. Through the team’s first five games, the team’s lowest turnover total was 11. SMSU was coming off a 14-turnover performance the previous night versus Michigan Tech.
    “[Against Michigan Tech], we let them play a little bit and we had a lot of turnovers," Bigler said. "Coming into tonight, it was more about structure and being organized, and I thought the guys handled it well, executed well and the fewer turnovers was the result.”
    With the win, the Mustangs conclude the nonconference portion of the schedule at 4-2. They will open up conference play Tuesday night at home against Sioux Falls. Friday and Saturday, Winona State and Upper Iowa come to town.
    Bigler knows that this will be a tough test for his team.
    “This week is going to be a grind. Three great opponents, all three of them are going to be big games, with heated moments and a lot of adversity. Our guys will have to be ready to go.”
     
  2. Matt Stephens

    Matt Stephens Well-Known Member

    Try to avoid lead-in clauses, especially in a lede. We all start paragraphs with lead-in clauses from time to time, but if you're using one, there's probably a better way to start a sentence.

    "After starting in two exhibition games, redshirt freshman MJ Delmore has come off the bench in all five regular season games for Southwest Minnesota State."

    That could easily become:

    "Southwest Minnesota State has found a spark off its bench in M.J. Delmore." (or something like that). It's quick, to the point and I already know what your story is about.

    I don't really care that he started the exhibition games, that doesn't need to be the first thing I read. And saying someone has come off the bench in five games isn't grabbing anyone. Immediately tell me why I should care about this person.
     
  3. TopSpin

    TopSpin Member

    Agreed with Matt on lead-in clauses. The utilization of subject-verb-object syntax helps do away with that.
     
  4. MeanGreenATO

    MeanGreenATO Member

    That's great advice. I've been trying to shy away from that as well.
     
  5. HandsomeHarley

    HandsomeHarley Well-Known Member

    Delmore entered the game for the first time with the team trailing by two. His first shot of the night ended a 1-9 start from the field for the Mustangs.
    It was only the beginning for Delmore, as he finished the night with a career-high 18 points, which included going 4-6 from three-point range.

    I don't like these two sentences.

    ... ended a 1-of-9 start ...

    ... Delmore, who finished ...

    ... 4 of 6 from 3-point ...

    I can't stand the transitional "as".
     
  6. joe_schmoe

    joe_schmoe Active Member

    I agree with the advice Matt gave as well, and I admit even after 20 years in the biz I still find myself guilty of that sometimes.
    I have more edits, but here's a few quick ones:

    "The Mustangs were strong on the glass, grabbing 14 offensive rebounds and finishing with a 42-35 rebound advantage over NMU."
    First, you don't have to say over NMU. We don't assume you are talking about any other game now.
    "The Mustangs were strong on the glass, grabbing 14 offensive rebounds and finishing with a 42-35 rebound advantage." is fine.
    But, I'd actually restructure the rebounding to emphasize the total rebounds more than 14 offensive, unless you have a quote or statistic about the offensive rebounds being critical.
    Also, I never see NMU's mascot mentioned. And be consistent in school/mascot references. In the above sentence (The Mustangs were strong on the glass, grabbing 14 offensive rebounds and finishing with a 42-35 rebound advantage over NMU.) if you kept that, change the NMU to Wildcats.
    Also: "They will open up conference play" Kill the word UP.




    And out of curiosity to other writers: Does your paper/site prefer to use three or 3 for 3-pointers? We always just call them 3s here.
     
  7. Matt Stephens

    Matt Stephens Well-Known Member

    We usually go with 3-pointers on first reference. Unless the game was determined by a barrage of 3-pointers where I'm saying it repeatedly, I'll use the full thing.
     
  8. MNgremlin

    MNgremlin Active Member

    Thanks all for the advice.

    My original intent was to soften the lede, but I ended up burying the lede in the process.
     
  9. awriter

    awriter Active Member

    You're trying to do way too much here. It's as if you're tying yourself into knots because you're overthinking things, trying to be too creative. Your sentences are also wordy and repetitive. You need to tighten things up. My advice is for now, just try to master the basics. Read AP gamers. Use them as a template. Over time, when you get more comfortable, then try to be a little more creative. Also, for a college game, you should get the overall and conference records in there. If a team is on some sort of win or losing streak, mention that. I didn't see much detail about what happened in the game, either. What was the key run? Who were some of the other top performers? Did anybody for the visiting team do anything of note? What did the visitor shoot? How many turnovers? How good is the team your school was playing? Was this a big-deal non-conference win or was it pretty much supposed to go the way it did? If I were covering the game, the first few grafs might read something like this:



    "MJ Delmore scored 18 points, and Southwest Minnesota State beat Northern Michigan 78-58 on Saturday.
    Delmore, a redshirt freshman, hit 4 of 6 3-pointers while scoring a career-high. And the Mustangs (4-2) nailed 12 of 20 on the way to an easy victory.
    Delmore came off the bench for the sixth straight game and quickly provided a spark, nailing his first shot after Southwest missed nine of its first 10. The Mustangs quickly pulled away from there.
    Along with the accuracy from long range, they grabbed 14 offensive rebounds and finished with a 42-35 edge on the glass. Southwest also did a better job taking care of the ball, committing just five turnovers. That was less than half its previous season low (five) and it came after the Mustangs coughed it up 14 times in a (loss to/win over) Michigan Tech."

    I'm not saying that's some sort of Pulitzer-worthy story by any stretch, but there is a flow. There are few _ if any _ extraneous words. One more thing: MAKE SURE YOU TALK TO PLAYERS after the game.
     
  10. 93Devil

    93Devil Well-Known Member

    You have to talk to Delmore if you are playing him up like this.

    Have your lede in your head before you walk to the locker room, and then build your story there with interviews and proper questions.
     
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page