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Tough Story --- looking for feedback

Discussion in 'Writers' Workshop' started by Blake1288, Jan 11, 2011.

  1. Blake1288

    Blake1288 New Member

    All feedback is greatly appreciated.

  2. ringer

    ringer Member

    I thought it started strong and the whole thing was very cleanly written, but you have to say more about who Kendal is. Age? Grade? What kind of cancer? Was she an athlete? A cheerleader? I have no idea what her connection to the team was, besides being a classmate.

    It also took me till the 6th graf to realize that Kendal was a girl. At first, I thought you were using mystery as a technique - deliberately spacing out the details to generate suspense - but then, all of a sudden, the tone flipped and it turned into a game story, complete with stats and a quote from the coach about having too many turnovers.

    All you had to do was a little more reporting and even out the tone and it could have been a hit. But in the end, I think it was a miss -- or maybe a near miss.

    I like your clean writing style though.
  3. JRoyal

    JRoyal Well-Known Member

    Pretty sound story, but toward the end it falls into editorializing.

    I've been around a lot of teenagers over the years, and this is probably true. But some of these kids, esp. if they didn't know her well, will likely shrug it off in a couple of days. Without something from the kids backing it up, this is your opinion, and may not even be a correct opinion. Sure, the kids paid tribute, but if a couple of guys start doing it, esp. if they're captains or just team leaders, then the rest of the team is likely to follow even if the kid didn't mean much to them. You're ascribing emotions that may not be there, or at least emotions that weren't brought out in the story. I'd rather have more details on how the players knew her and less game detail honestly, or at least fewer of the quotes like this one:

    Weak quote that adds nothing to the story and you could get in about any loss.
  4. Blake1288

    Blake1288 New Member

    The site was littered with information about Kendal. There were three stories on her in the past day.

    I went to cover the game, this happened and I wasn't told about it until about halftime. I wasn't certain on which direction to go. I wanted players reactions because that's all they were talking about post-game. I still had a game to report on -- that's why all that is in the story.

    Thanks for the feedback.
  5. Blake1288

    Blake1288 New Member

    I don't know why, but I was pretty adamant about that last line getting it. I did still have a game to report. Like I said, the site I write for was littered with information about Kendal.

    Thanks for the feedback, it's appreciated.
  6. ringer

    ringer Member

    You can't assume everyone reads everything on the site. And you certainly can't assume that people who look up the story a few years from now will have a clue. The piece should stand alone unless it's clearly a sidebar.

    Weaving in small details like age, type of cancer, her year in school, relationship to the athletes you quote, really doesn't take much work. It personalizes the story.

    Check out some examples of how the NYT covered lacrosse games after Yeardley Love was murdered. Notice how specific the references are. Notice how they weave the relationships into the attributions after the quotes.



    Hope that helps.
  7. Blake1288

    Blake1288 New Member

    That's awesome... Thank's.
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