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I am my own worst critic.

Discussion in 'Writers' Workshop' started by JD, Nov 1, 2007.

  1. JD

    JD Member

    However, in finding this site, I am all but ready to see what my peers think of my work.

    My name is James Darnell, and I reside in Sacramento, CA. As for my journalism background, I started as a sports stringer for the Elk Grove Citizen newspaper in nearby Elk Grove, last January. This past month, I was given an amazing opportunity to take the next step in my career, as a full-time sports writer with the Woodland Daily Democrat, in Woodland, CA. I am 20 years old, and have had no college experience or any participation in journalism classes, so I see my current employment situation as being quite the accomplishment. Anyhow, enough about that.

    I love what this site has to offer, and plan on posting my pieces for anyone willing to read them, and tips or advice is strongly supported by me. Here is one of my more recent pieces:

  2. TyWebb

    TyWebb Well-Known Member

    I just gave it a quick glance, but a few things stuck in my mind.

    At first, I thought I was reading an advance on an upcoming game: "you can forgive Spartans' head coach Rod Totton for being a little eager to face Mercy on Friday."

    The rest of the story sounds like a nuts-and-bolts gamer. The flow of the story is a little confusing to me. I think thats because the first thing you mention is last week's game. You don't give me the result of the game you were writing about until the third graph.

    Get to the point higher and get to the point sooner.

    Also, the standard rule is no numbers (or at least no scores) before the final score of the game you are writing about. In your story, you have 31-3, 9-0, 5-0 and 0-4 before I get to the final score, 39-6.

    Another thing, in the middle of the story, you get into the flow of going drive by drive, score by score. Avoid this. It is kind of a drag to read. Hit highlights, hit trends and hit the meaning of the game hard, but avoid play-by-play.

    A few extra points (nice pun, eh?):
    -Don't say battled "courageously". It smacks of homer-ism. I try to avoid battled all together, but it really isn't that bad to use.
    -You mention a clipping call that was declined. No reason to put it in there. Had no effect. Drop it.
    -Talk to players. It is easy to just quote a coach, but you will improve your interviews and writing if you talk to players. Adds depth to your story, too.
  3. JD

    JD Member

    Awesome.....Thank you very much. I'm going to post more stories right now!
  4. TyWebb

    TyWebb Well-Known Member

    Don't be in any hurry. It is tough for posters here to find time to read through stories and make suggestions. Let this one get picked on a few more times then try posting another. You'll probably have better results.

    Thanks for posting and keep working. The more you write, the better you'll get (or its supposed to work that way).
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