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In your opinion

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by boots, May 30, 2007.

  1. boots

    boots New Member

    What makes for a good read? Give me what you want to get out of a story.
     
  2. fishwrapper

    fishwrapper Active Member

    Probably difficult to quantify, but I'll give it a whirl:

    I want to be left with an abstraction that I didn't possess before sitting down to read.
    Whether it be insight, information, a phrase, a scene, a background, a spectacle, a life, or a moment in life. The idea of wanting more without feeling something was omitted.
     
  3. Frank_Ridgeway

    Frank_Ridgeway Well-Known Member

    I want to be transported to somewhere I haven't been, even inside someone's head (although sometimes I want to be transported to a familiar place, so that's not it). No, I want to be transported so skillfully that I am unaware of myself, my surroundings, the voice of the writer I'm reading, engrossed in the action to the point that any symbolism is lost on me (yeah? it's about man's search for universal truth? well, I'll be damned, I thought it was about car chases.) until maybe the second time I read it. Clever doesn't do it for me, I want to be taken away for a while. Shallow? Yes, but true. It amazes me when I come on here and read some of the analysis of, say, Lost or The Sopranos. Not that it's bad to notice deeper themes, it's educational for me because I'd miss a lot if it wasn't for the folks here who analyze it. Me, I'm just along for the ride, and if the ride doesn't interest me on that most basic level, none of the other stuff will, either.
     
  4. Danny Noonan

    Danny Noonan Member

    Well said as usual, Frank. A good read for me gets me interested and involved in a subject that might not have previously interested me and leaves wanting to read more/find out more. Hook me at the start, and good, or else there's 10,000 other things in this world I can move on to and gotta get done.
     
  5. TyWebb

    TyWebb Well-Known Member

    I guess it is just the way people are now, and I'm no different, but I like a story that gets to the point. I want to know why I should be reading it early. And that is not just done with a nut graph. Give me something to look forward to, some kind of payoff or theme revealed.

    Also, reward me for continuing to read the story. If the best parts of the story are at the beginning, why should I make it to the end. If the best parts are in the end, why should I read the beginning. Good stories should have a series of payoffs for the reader, whether it be a good quote, an exciting scene or a giant revelation.
     
  6. boots

    boots New Member

    The best stories I've found are the ones that left me hungry for more.
     
  7. Lollygaggers

    Lollygaggers Member

    One of my favorite lines about sportswriting I ever heard was to make your readers laugh, or cry, or both. I prefer both. A story that is personal, with a light touch, that makes me feel empathy, not just sympathy, with the subject is about as good as it gets. What doesn't do it for me are cliches, typical feel-good stories and poor attempts at broad topics where it's clear someone didn't do enough reporting and is just filling space.
     
  8. TyWebb

    TyWebb Well-Known Member

    This may go without saying, but I think it is something a lot of writers stop looking for: a unique angle. Recently read a story about the Dakar Rally in Men's Journal. I had to extend my lunch break by 15 minutes to finish it because I had never read anything like it in my life. I'll read through gamers and "look how far this guy has come" features, but when a writer finds a unique story that hasn't been told, I'm hooked.
     
  9. forever_town

    forever_town Active Member

    There are a lot of variables that depend on the kind of story I'm reading, but if there's some kind of spark there, I'll keep reading.
     
  10. moonlight

    moonlight Member

    Make me think the story is going on around me.
     
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