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I am young and looking for a critique of my work

Discussion in 'Writers' Workshop' started by pride of pleasantville, Mar 12, 2010.

  1. hi guys. I am an 8th grader, who is big into journalism, and sports broadcasting.
    I joined bleacher report the other day to start writing articles to help my self and was hoping to receive feed back from people in the business.
    http://bleacherreport.com/users/270914-thomas-prizeman: this is my page, and my article links are on there.
    And I know people do not like bleacher report, but it does give young people a platform, and good practice at being in the field. And just because i am not at a game does not mean i can not write a story on it. I think Bleacher report does help young journalist (like my self) who can work at the craft. And because of this i think it will make more kids appreciate and enjoy journalism.
    Thanks, Thomas Prizeman
  2. I just wrote my best article ( I think) Here is a link. Any tips or a critique would be appreciated. Thanks, http://bleacherreport.com/articles/362191-pat-venditte-more-than-a-gimmick?just_published=1
  3. spud

    spud Member

    I'll bite.

    Couple things I noticed:

    - I didn't see a single quote in there. I know you talked to him. What did he say? Paraphrasing is fine, but let him speak for himself too.

    - The second person 'you' is tricky. Don't use it unless you know what you're doing. It doesn't really work in the context you've provided.

    - The numbering thing you've done below your lede is clunky and doesn't hammer home what you want it to. I like the framework of the idea you've got, but get to the point quicker. Leading with something, "Pat Venditte wants to be known as more than just a gimmick," then going into why that is, would eliminate a lot of the issue.

    - Work on your syntax and sentence structure. There are a lot of sentences there that don't jive.

    I wouldn't assume that's the thing all kids love about him as a person. That's pretty damning if so. Go more toward the angle that it's an oddity. You can call him baseball's six-fingered man or something.

    Is the spotlight really that glaring for switch pitchers? Maybe it is, but you haven't convinced me. And I don't know any pitcher, spotlight or no, who doesn't want to climb the ladder. Don't just tell me about how he signed autographs (and even as a minor-leaguer I'd assume it's not all that uncommon), show me. Paint the picture.

    Reilly's really slipped recently, but check out how he did Venditte's story. Should be a pretty good lesson. Check out the people he tracks down, the avenues into the story he explores, what he highlights, what he leaves out...

  4. I would quote him but i talked to him about 2 years ago. I remember the conversation very well, but not exact quotes (thought it would be better not to quote him if i was not sure.) thanks for your input. 1 question. Instead of using "you" what do you suggest I do. because I try to avoid using "I" in my articles. Thanks.
  5. when i posted the story on my blog i made some changes. http://standstories.blogspot.com/ take a look.
  6. budcrew08

    budcrew08 Active Member

    my comments in bold:

    After talking to Pat Venditte for 5 minutes, you realize 2 things.

    1. He loves kids, and will sign autographs forever if the team would let him.

    2. He wants to be know as more than just a "Gimmick"

    Not a fan of this lead at all. It's to split apart for my taste. I like the gimmick part, maybe a lead playing off the fact that he wants to be known as a bonafide major league prospect and not some sideshow freak that can pitch with both arms.

    He became infamous for his first minor league appearance against the Brooklyn Cyclones, a short season Single A Mets affiliate, as a member of the Staten Island Yankees. When he faced Ralph Henriquez, a switch hitter, a 6 minute ordeal followed with both players switching sides switching sides is a weird way to say it. How about switching stances? numerous times. Finally, the umpires decided that the hitter must declare what side he he who? Henriquez seems obvious, but you are talking about two "he's"would hit first and then the pitcher would decide which arm he would to use.

    I'd add a transition here, something like "After the lengthy ordeal, Veditte Rule No. 1 in this business -- you HAVE to get the names right. Typos on names will not fly. struck him out on 4 pitches.

    Soon after the Professional Baseball Umpire Corporation (PBUC)created these rules for ambidextrous pitchers, named "The Venditte Rule":

    The pitcher must visually indicate to the umpire, batter and runner(s) which way he will begin pitching to the batter. Engaging the rubber with the glove on a particular hand is considered a definitive commitment to which arm he will throw with. The batter will then choose which side of the plate he will bat from.
    The pitcher must throw one pitch to the batter before any “switch” by either player is allowed.
    After one pitch is thrown, the pitcher and batter may each change positions one time per at-bat. For example, if the pitcher changes from right-handed to left-handed and the batter then changes batter’s boxes, each player must remain that way for the duration of that at-bat (unless the offensive team substitutes a pinch hitter, and then each player may again “switch” one time).
    Any switch (by either the pitcher or the batter) must be clearly indicated to the umpire. There will be no warm-up pitches during the change of arms.
    If an injury occurs the pitcher may change arms but not use that arm again during the remainder of the game.

    There's no reason at all to quote the whole rule. Just paraphrase the rule into a quick sentence or two about what it entails and how it affects Venditte.

    He laughed as he talked about it now, but at the time when? right after the at bat? two weeks later? need a better time element you could tell he did not find the whole thing very funny.

    The thing most people do not notice most about him is his glove. It has 6 fingers and 2 webs, that was specially made by his father, so that he can switch to pitch with either hand at any time.

    It is probably the weirdest looking glove, any one anyone is one word has every seen. And he lets all the kids try it on.

    But when talking about the famous "switch hitter vs switch pitcher at bat" you could tell, that he had talked about this a lot.

    He admits that he is not over powering overpowering is one word from either side, (he is a natural righty)clearer. say, as a right-hander, throwing between 87-92 mph fastball with sentence needs an adjective to describe the curvecurveball. As a lefty he only throws his fastball about 82 mph fastball but has a devastating slider, that could fool any hitter plus a change up.

    Back in Nebraska, where Venditte grew up, his father taught him to use both hands since the age of 3. They would stay up until 12 am midnight, but if you are using the other, it's 12 a.m. sometimes pitching with both hands. Don't start a sentence with and if you can absolutely help it.And during the day, no rest from the busy ambidextrous training as between schooling sessions from his mother he would pitch and punt footballs with both legs to get the proper leg motion when throwing with either hand.

    After a good career for Omaha Central High School, where he received Second Team All- Nebraska Honors, he walked on to the Blowercase baseball team at Creighton University. He was told by coach Ed Servais, that he could only pitch with one hand as a freshman to avoid a circusneed hyphen here betwen circus and like. it's not a circus atmosphere, it's not a like atmosphere, it's circus-like like atmosphere. But as a sophomore, he was allowed to use both hands paying dividends for the Blue Capital Jjays as Venditte had a a 3.02 ERA in 62 and 2/3 innings.

    As a lowercase jJunior he got even better, holding opponents to a .185 batting average and transpose it -- 1.88 ERAERA of 1.88. He was named first team All-MVC (Missouri Valley conference) and led Creighton to the conference tournament championship. He was named MVP of the tournament. After being named 3rd team All-American, Venditte was drafted in the 45th round by the Yankees but opted to stay in school.

    As a senior he had a3.34 ERA, and led the Blue Capital Jjays to a 3rd place finish in the MWC Wait. is it MVC or MWC? regular season.Then in June, Venditte got drafted by the Yankees again, this time in the 20th round.

    Talking to him, you realize that he just wants to be like another pitcher, hoping to climb his way up the ladder. Captial WWhen he was in Charleston, manager Torre Tyron, the skipperdont need this, it's just jargon put him out there on a night when he couldn't get the save because the CBS evening news Evening and News need capital letters, it's the name of the show was in town. He recieves critasim spelling errors on receives and criticism from all types of people saying that he will never be good enough to make the majors, that he is a fun thing for the fans but not a real "prospect". That is a more of a PR machine than a good pitcher.who said this? you should really try to quote someone else or find an article and CITE THAT ARTICLE, in an extreme pinch.

    He did not want all the spotlight that came with being a switch pitcher.But he took it graciously, signing autographs and answering questions long after the rest of his teammates left.

    This year talking about 2009, right?he ended at high A, Tampa, where he played half of the season after being promoted from Charleston (A) on June 26. He finished with a 1.87 ERA, 22 saves and 87 strikeouts in 49 games between the 2 numbers below 10 are usually written out, except for scores teams.
  7. thanks for your help. some things you said should have been changed already were, but the other were very helpful.
  8. mustangj17

    mustangj17 Active Member


    You should purchase a stylebook for a few bones on Ebay. Even if it is an old version. Everytime you write, get in the habit of using your book to check if things are formatted correctly, spelled correctly, etc.

    You'll find, after using the AP Stylebook enough, you will learn most of the things in there.
  9. What is this stylebook? Can you tell me. Sounds like it could help me.
  10. Stitch

    Stitch New Member

    You found this site, but you can't type in AP Stylebook into Amazon?
  11. I did. However I was still a little bit confused.
  12. Hank_Scorpio

    Hank_Scorpio Active Member

    It might be perfect for you. You can win every argument with it. :D


    Don't need to use Ebay. There is a whole section of books devoted to writing in your local Borders/Barnes and Noble.

    You need basic grammar and spelling, though, before you start looking at the Stylebook.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2014
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