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Parts in a game story????

Discussion in 'Writers' Workshop' started by YoungGun7, May 17, 2007.

  1. YoungGun7

    YoungGun7 New Member

    what do you guys think is the best way to write a game story? what facts about the game do you put first, and how much play-by-play do you use?
  2. Bullwinkle

    Bullwinkle Member

    Always start with the most important part: the final score. Never give a chronological account of what happened without first telling readers "who won." Some on here will tell you the first numbers in a gamer should be the final score. I would agree.

    As far as the lede and some of the early paragraphs, it all depends on what happened in the game. It is your job, as a journalist, to decide what should go first. Did something unusual occur that changed the outcome of the game? Did a player turn in a remarkable performance? Did a team snap a longtime losing streak to the rival school? Was there a fight? Did the coach give you a great quote? Were there any prevailing pre-game circumstances?

    Again, it really depends.

    Some random points (I'm pressed for time, will try to contribute more later):

    — Try to avoid giving a complete play-by-play. No need to say, "The Bulls scored first, taking a 2-0 lead, and stretched it to 8-4 before the Knicks pulled even at 12-12." Is that stuff really important to a game that probably ended somewhere in the 80s to 100s? Each story is only afforded so many inches; use them wisely.

    —Keep the numbers relevant and don't go crazy with them. If Luol Deng had 30 points and 10 rebounds, that's notable. But are his two assists? Probably not. Don't overwhelm readers with too many numbers. That goes for all sports you might cover.

    —Don't be afraid to highlight the particularly dubious performances. If somebody stunk it up — maybe a superstar? — and it had a huge effect on the outcome of the game, then include it.

    —Where was the game won/lost? Or, what was the prevailing storyline? This is what the bulk of the story should be surrounding. Use observation and quotes to support this. Build the story around it. Again, it's your job to find the most important part of what happened. Lead into it strongly, and then build around it.
  3. YoungGun7

    YoungGun7 New Member

    thanks for the reply. i have done a few gamers, but most of them had too much play-by-play. i didn;t know this was a bad thing until i started reading this site. i'm all ears, well i guess i should say eyes for learning.
  4. MilanWall

    MilanWall Member

    It also depends who you're writing for. If you're writing about the pros, you probably don't need to mention every little thing they did or every single player who scored more than one run/basket/etc. But if you're writing about some local teams for a small weekly or daily, your readers will appreciate it if you mention as many players as you can, within reason.
  5. budcrew08

    budcrew08 Active Member

    Agreed. And to go back to Bullwinkle, highlighting (lowlighting?) a bad performance can be OK, IMHO, but if you work for a small paper covering preps, for example, you don't want to kill a kid unless his/her error lost the game. I think for high school players, a little bit of nice can go a long way. If you cover any type of college or professionals, they are fair game to get ripped if they screw up.
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