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Newbie with a feature on a landspeed record

Discussion in 'Writers' Workshop' started by jsanmateo, Oct 20, 2008.

  1. jsanmateo

    jsanmateo New Member

    Shifted over from the news side a couple of months ago and found I really liked writing sports. I'm still a relative newbie in general (Only 4 months out of college) but trying to improve and find my way in this business. Here's my first CP for the sports section.

  2. jgmacg

    jgmacg Guest

    J -

    First, thanks for posting with us. Sorry it took a while to get here, but lately I'm only able to read stories down on weekends.

    A couple of quick and incoherent thoughts this morning. Most important among them this: while mechanically competent, I think the story commits the cardinal sin of being a little dull. A large part of the value for readers of an Xsports story like this one is the vicarious thrill that comes to them as they read it. So you need to convey some of the risk here, and some of the sensation of what's being done. This you can only do by rendering more of the story in scene. By which I mean this: we need to be in the cockpit with this guy, if only briefly, seeing what he sees, hearing what he hears and feeling what he feels. Especially during a crash. As a writer, you get at these things by having him describe, in as much detail as he can muster, those things to you during your interview.

    One scene near the top to draw the reader in. One near the bottom to pay the reader off.

    So right now, I feel like we're heavy on biographical detail and light on experiential detail.

    We're also heavy on quotes, which is the habit of newspaper features.

    I also ask most of the young writers here to include a physical description of the subject in their stories - even if it's brief; half a sentence - rather than rely on the pictures running with the story. Same with the tools of the subjects' trade - in this case, the motorcycle. Nothing flowery or overblown, but a clause or two about the actual substance of things under discussion.

    Those are the bigger notions I'd share this morning. Let the piece sit for a few days, then go back and reread it with these ideas in mind. See what comes to hand in terms of solutions. Rereading and re-imagining stories after they've run is a terrifically good habit for young writers.

    Again, thanks for posting.
  3. Sneed

    Sneed Guest

    Just stumbled across this and even though it's old, I'd like to say....*phew* thanks. I do that all the time and just figured I was nutty.
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