Friday, January 12, 2007

How I hope *NOT* to write

Through a maze of links (God bless the Web) I ended up at this article. I watched the game in question, and I agree with the conclusions of the author. It was easily the best game that I watched this football season. It's possibly that it's the best college football game ever. (I'm not willing to commit on that last part.)

But what bugs me about this article is the writing. My general plan for writing something persuasive is to open with my premise, present the data, and close by re-emphasizing the premise. It's my general hope that the data will speak for itself. Unfortunately, this guy does not follow that pattern. In his article, he hand holds the reader down the path he wants them to go. He keeps interrupting the data to affirm his premise. Examples:
  • But after 25 minutes of entertaining and unpredictable football, the fun was just starting.
  • But as the night's events would show, the Broncos still had a lot of greatness left to achieve.
  • This instance of role reversal created an even more compelling Fiesta Bowl narrative.
  • It was at this moment that the 2007 Fiesta Bowl began to assume mythical proportions as a game that would break all the rules and defy all the odds.
  • Once again, it seemed as though Goliath was finally beginning to wear down David, only in a more dramatic way with the clock ticking down.
  • The dramatic tension inside the domed stadium grew exponentially....And then things got reallyinteresting.
  • It only added to the drama that was unfolding in the Desert.
  • The narratives just kept getting more poignant and powerful as the proceedings continued to the amazement of all.
He hadn't stopped describing the game, but this is where I couldn't take it anymore. I found the constant commentary in the middle of the data to be really annoying. When I'm writing, I hope to elicit a different reaction. "Yes, I agree" or "No way" are fine reactions. Obviously I prefer the former. But "get on with it" is something that I'd like to avoid, and it's the reaction I had reading this article.

Of course, don't forget that the criticisms from someone like me, whose major writing accomplishment to date is an unread blog, should probably not be taken very seriously by someone who's actually managed to convince people to pay him money for his writing. Still, this is the blogosphere. We don't need no steenkin rules!

Perhaps there are some things to learn from this article:
  1. He's getting paid. I'm not. Maybe his strategy is more effective than mine.
  2. Annoying people like me is probably not a hindrance to being a paid writer.
Nevertheless, one purpose I have for this blog is to improve my ability to write. I really would like to avoid annoying my readers the way this guy's article annoyed me.

(I'd ask, "What do you think?", but as the only reader of this blog, I already know the answer!)

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