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What can my hs football games pieces use?

Discussion in 'Writers' Workshop' started by SteveRomano13, Sep 7, 2014.

  1. SteveRomano13

    SteveRomano13 Member

    Here's my latest game story I did for Masslive.com. Please can someone give me some advice on what my writing can use. Also don't say quotes because it's a long story why they're not in the article. Any help is appreciated

  2. BDC99

    BDC99 Well-Known Member

    First, you need to come up with a better lead, if this is a standalone story and not just recap/capsule type game. What does the game mean (district/rivalry/etc)? I'll take a further look at it, but the play-by-play stuff looks pretty solid and complete, although it's almost too complete (too wordy).
  3. BDC99

    BDC99 Well-Known Member

    Also, Drury should be "it" ... Green Wave are "they" under my paper's style but should really be it, as well.

    I said the story looks solid and the play-by-play complete, but it should not be in strict chronological order. Pick the key drives or plays and put those at the top, then sprinkle in the other drives as you go. Kind of hard to explain, but read some beat writers' game stories and you'll undertsand.

    As far as being wordy ...

    On the first possession of the game, Greenfield elected to punt after going three and out. The Blue Devils fumbled the punt and the Green Wave recovered to gain back control of the football. On the very next drive, Greenfield once again punted, and again Drury fumbled, resulting in another recovery for Greenfield.
    There is no reason to say they "elected to punt" ... they went three-and-out is sufficient And you don't need to say "they recovered to gain back control of the football." "they recovered" is all you need.
  4. Batman

    Batman Well-Known Member

    You fell into one of the traps that often befall young writers -- going chronologically instead of figuring out what the most important part of the game was and pounding it home. Unless there was a game-changing sequence (injury, early flurry of points, tone-setting play, something like that) you should avoid like the plague starting your play by play in the first quarter. And unless it's one of those instances, no one gives a damn what happened on the first series of the game.
    In this game, when the first quarter was largely an exchange of punts, none of that mattered in the final outcome. In fact, these three paragraphs:

    ... could probably have been boiled down to this ...

    ... It's much cleaner and more economical. It cuts out the clutter.

    You also bungled the lead a little bit. Its basic structure isn't terrible -- I'd rather see you go the basic nuts-and-bolts route than end up badly overwriting something -- and you did identify Nate Stump as the biggest piece of the game. However, you need to tell us why some of the things you included are important.
    The guy was 1 of 3 passing and only rushed five times, but scored two touchdowns on those limited touches. THAT'S your lead. Something like...

    ... wraps up why we're mentioning Stump, who only had a few touches; what he did; why it was important; and how Drury beat Greenfield. All in one tidy 75-word package. If you read nothing else in that story, you know what happened.
    Always try to put the nut graph high up in the story. One paragraph that sums up everything -- who, what, when, where, why and how. It shouldn't be lower than the third or fourth paragraph of the story. Always try, when you're writing, to make the first 5-6 inches be able to stand alone. After that you can get into more detail. But those first 5-6 paragraphs should have everything a reader (and editor) needs to figure out how this game turned out the way it did.
  5. BDC99

    BDC99 Well-Known Member

    Well said, Batman. That's a pretty good lead for what sounds like a pretty crappy game.
  6. SteveRomano13

    SteveRomano13 Member

    Wow, thank you everyone. I actually feel like I learned so much from those comments. You guys are amazing.
  7. BDC99

    BDC99 Well-Known Member

    No problem. Just keep at it. The more you can learn and the harder you work, the better it'll get. Feel free to post more, and I'll take a look when I have the time.
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