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Story critique

Discussion in 'Writers' Workshop' started by kingkroz1017, Mar 5, 2008.

  1. kingkroz1017

    kingkroz1017 New Member

    Hi guys and gals,
    This is a story I wrote this yesterday. Would just like some feedback on it. I've become more focused on writing clearer, tighter copy. Just looking for more ideas how to do that. Things to remember.

    Anyways, here it is:

    OGDEN -- It was a historic win.
    One of the biggest upsets in Big Sky Conference women's basketball postseason history.
    Should Northern Arizona's 64-59 shocker over Montana in Missoula, Mont., during the 2007 Big Sky tournament semifinals have ever happened though?
    According to the Big Sky office on Tuesday, the answer is no.
    A misinterpretation of the conference's tiebreaking procedures led to the Lumberjacks being incorrectly seeded fourth, instead of third.
    Idaho State, Weber State and Northern Arizona finished their 2007 league seasons tied for second place with identical 11-5 marks in conference play. According to league tiebreaking procedures, the head-to-head record of all teams in the tie is used to determine seeding.
    The Bengals had two wins over Weber State and split the season series with NAU, giving them the No. 2 seed. Last year, after removing ISU from the tie, it reverted back to a two-way tie between the Wildcats and Lumberjacks. The teams split, but Weber State beat top-seeded Montana and was awarded the No. 3 seed by virtue of that win.
    According to the league's tiebreaking procedure, the Lumberjacks should have been the No. 3 seed with a 2-2 mark against the tied teams. Weber State would have been seeded fourth.
    Assuming that both teams had still won their respective quarterfinal games, then Northern Arizona would have instead faced Idaho State and Weber State would have played Montana.
    "I apologize for this," Big Sky Conference Commissioner Doug Fullerton said in a release Tuesday. "The tiebreaking procedure can be complex, even to those who interpret it. It went undiscovered until my staff found the error on Monday. We will take extra measures by adding clearer text and more examples of tiebreaking situations in the (Big Sky) Conference Code."
    The error was discovered on Monday while researching potential tiebreaking scenarios for a possible three-way tie for the fifth, sixth and seventh spots in next week's women's tournament.
    That potential tie involves Weber State. Should the Wildcats finish in a three-way tie for fifth place with Northern Arizona and Northern Colorado, Weber State would not make the postseason because of a 1-3 head-to-head record among those teams.
    Weber State wraps up its regular season on Saturday against second-place Idaho State at Reed Gym in Pocatello, Idaho.
    The Wildcats will have a better understanding of their potential postseason fate following Thursday's NAU-UNC game in Greeley, Colo.
     
  2. jlee

    jlee Active Member

    This is the kind of thread to start in the Writers' Workshop (found at the top of the Journalism Topics Only forum). You'll get plenty of good advice there.
     
  3. friend of the friendless

    friend of the friendless Active Member

    Mr 1017,

    I stumbled through the lead and the sentence fragment that followed.

    The two big things are
    A: upset
    B: administrative goof up

    You should be able to get both into the first two sentences. Just sorta roughly it might read:

    Northern Arizona's victory over Montana was one of the biggest upsets in Big Sky Conference women's basketball postseason history.

    It wasn't just a result that few saw coming--fact is, according to league rulebook, the game shouldn't have even been played.


    I'm just thinking out loud, not writing out polished copy, but I'd say you need both up top.

    YD&OHS, etc
     
  4. forever_town

    forever_town Active Member

    FOTF,

    I agree with the substance of what you're saying about removing the fragments, although I'd argue for keeping the first sentence and having this sentence: "Northern Arizona's victory over Montana was one of the biggest upsets in Big Sky Conference women's basketball postseason history" be the second graf.

    I might change the third graf to the following: "It wasn't just a result that few saw coming. According to the league rulebook, the game shouldn't have even been played."
     
  5. jgmacg

    jgmacg Guest

    Thread moderated to reflect the best angels of everyone's nature.

    Decorum, ladies and gentlemen. Always.
     
  6. mustangj17

    mustangj17 Active Member

    I would reword this:

    Should Northern Arizona's 64-59 shocker over Montana in Missoula, Mont., during the 2007 Big Sky tournament semifinals have ever happened though?
    According to the Big Sky office on Tuesday, the answer is no.

    I know it can be done, but I am never a fan of asking a question in a story, even if the next line has the answer.

    Go for your goal of tighter copy. Maybe something like this.

    It was a big win in the Big Sky conference tournament, but Northern Arizona's 64-59 shocker over Montana should have never happened.

    Now you've drawn the reader in, and avoided the question. You got straight to the point and now you can get with the facts, like what the conference officials said and what happened.
     
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