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NCAA Tennis Feature

Discussion in 'Writers' Workshop' started by fl2010, Apr 5, 2007.

  1. fl2010

    fl2010 New Member

    Hello everyone, this is my first post here on SJ. Just heard about this site at the USBWA sportswriting student seminar last week in Atlanta. Anyhow, I'm a college freshman, and this is my first real long in-depth feature. I already know many things I'd do differently, but am always curious to get plenty of opinions from other sports writers. Thanks in advance. I won't take it personal, so if you hate it, simply say why.

    It's too long to paste in here.

    Here's the link:
  2. MartinEnigmatica

    MartinEnigmatica Active Member

    Ok, ignoring the line editing, I'll take a conceptual approach. You need a singular focus here, instead of toggling between a half dozen potential themes. At different points in the story I thought it was about his brother, his stellar record, his career before UF. There are some good story lines you could take here, but it currently reads like a chronological wandering of his life, and the only impression one gets at the end is that he's a good tennis player with a couple things that set him apart.
    You did a good job compiling information about him, reporting stuff beyond his tennis success. But to make a really compelling or interesting feature, you have to select what's most interesting about the person you're highlighting and explore that more deeply.
    For instance, you open with the brother thing. From that opening, we get the impression that the "sad twist" of his ideal family support has left some kind of indelible impression on Levine. But then it jumps to his not having a loss and right into his history. If you run with the brother angle, show some scenes of the brothers interacting, ask some more probing questions of the Levine brothers and their parents...how it's affected his playing, how it's inspired him, whatever.
    That way, readers are pulled in and held until the end. It sounds like you'll have more opportunities for more features, so try to implement some of that on the next one - definitely keep at it.
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