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Preview story feedback

Discussion in 'Writers' Workshop' started by Cullen9, May 1, 2012.

  1. Cullen9

    Cullen9 Member

    Hello all. I was hoping to get some feedback on this story. It's a preview for championship high school basketball game. I had to copy and paste the story, so if there are any weird characters it's may be from that.

    I really appreciate any and all feedback. Thank you!


    ALDEN — The last time Profile Mountain showed any sign of being a bad basketball team, it was the fourth quarter of the season finale against Milan.

    Turnovers. Bad passes. Cracking under pressure.

    But if Milan thinks that’s the same Profile Mountain team it will see in the rematch Saturday, the Mountaineers obviously haven’t kept up with their game film. The sixth-seeded T’wolves will flash their newly polished game against top-seeded Milan in the Division III championship game in Springfield on Saturday at 5 p.m.

    After upsets over No. 3 Campbell and No. 2 Conant, as well as a dismantling of a tough Franklin team in the first round, Profile enters the title game with a mountain of momentum.

    But there’s no way Milan can look down on its Cinderella opponent, right?

    “We're thinking so,” senior guard Pat Chase said. “We may not be the best team, but we've played like the best team.

    “I think (Campbell and Conant) undermined us and that's the whole game. If that happens again, we definitely have the upper-hand.”

    The T’wolves have used that edge — that no-one-thinks-we-can-do it attitude to their advantage this past week.

    Profile entered the quarterfinal game against Campbell 0-for-2 against the Cougars this season. The T’wolves figured the third time was the charm. Campbell figured it would be the same old story.

    The Cougars will watch from the stands Saturday.

    Against Conant in the semifinals, the Orioles went in touting a one-loss season against an out-of-state Brattleboro (Vt.) team, no less. Many predicted Milan and Conant would be fighting for the championship in the last game of the season.

    The Orioles will have to buy their tickets Saturday, just like everybody else.

    Now, the T’wolves stand as one of the final two teams. They stand where no one thought they would be. They stand in Conant’s spot or Campbell’s spot or Hopkinton’s spot.

    A spot they proved they deserve.

    “We want it bad,” junior forward Austin Parrot said. “We've put so much time in and worked so hard for it. I think we deserve it. So many people have said we're not a championship caliber team, but we have to go prove that we are.”

    The Timberwolves know what they’re getting into Saturday. Milan features senior guard Curtis Arnette, a pure shooter who, baring an upset, will walk away with the D-III player of the year award this season.

    “He's the best player in our division,” Profile Mountain coach Tom Board said, “and probably in a few other divisions, too.”

    Arnette scored 26 points against the T’wolves in Milan’s 65-49 season-ending win. Profile will look to cut that number in half in the championship game.

    “Double him and don’t foul him,” Parrot said of how to stop Arnette. “If you foul him and he goes to the line, he makes a lot of his shots. You can't give him too many and-ones. He's a big part of that team. So if you can double him and take him out, it will hurt them.”

    For the T’wolves to win Saturday, they will need to play like the first three quarters of the Feb. 16 season finale — and forget what they did in the fourth.

    Milan owned a slim 45-43 lead after three quarters in Alden. Profile played the Mountaineers tight, but in the fourth the T’wolves unraveled.

    “In the fourth quarter we turned the ball over like 10 times,” senior guard Zach Derrick said. “We tried to force things and we didn't try to run our offense.”

    Since then — since that very quarter — Profile has been almost flawless in its playoff run.

    “This year we lost a couple games we should have won,” Derrick said. “We knew we would be contenders, but as soon as we got past Campbell it was like, ‘Wow. This is our year.’ ”

    Derrick, a guard who can score from anywhere, will be one of Profile’s key players in the championship game. Campbell and Conant tried to shut him down — and at times succeeded — but Derrick has no problem finding open teammates for points.

    “I think we're going to have a size advantage against Milan, but they're a lot more physical than us,” Derrick said, “so we're going to have leave everything on the court for our last game.”

    Most of that size advantage is Profile’s trio of big men: Logan Rand, Jay Maine and Parrot. All three can dominate the boards, all three can score and all three can play tough defense.

    “I think rebounding and defense will be key,” Parrot said. “The last time they played us they outrebounded us. But if we can outrebound them and not foul as much, we'll be OK.”

    Profile also has Chase, a fast guard who has made a name for himself draining clutch 3-pointers, and Ethan Henderson, the first guy off the bench to spell the starters.

    The T’wolves have accomplished a lot since the playoffs started, but at the end of practice Thursday they were reminded of something important:

    The season isn’t over yet.

    “Just making it to the finals is a big accomplishment,” Parrot said, “but winning the whole thing will put the icing on the cake.

    “We made it, but now we have to finish it.”
  2. Versatile

    Versatile Active Member

    The lede suffers from the use of an introductory clause. Ledes in particular benefit from strong, clear subjects and verbs. Your lede subject and verb were "it" and "was." Consider a revision such as, "Profile Mountain looked like a bad basketball team the last time it played Milan, in the fourth quarter of the season finale."

    You use a lot of cliches: "mountain of momentum," "Cinderella opponent," "third time was the charm," "same old story," "They stand where no one thought they would be," "The season isn't over yet."

    You also use a lot of em dashes, often incorrectly. An em dash should only be used to indicate a break in the thought or a list within a thought. Your using em dashes where commas would work. And most of the clauses you're separating with those em dashes are unnecessary.

    You have to be able to write a straightforward story before you can try the fancy stuff.
  3. Cullen9

    Cullen9 Member

    I greatly appreciate the feedback, Versatile. It's very helpful.
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