A Change in My Writing

A buddy of mine told me last night that my writing for The Chronicle has been “really good.” At first, I didn’t really think anything of it. After sleeping on it for a night, I started to compare how I was writing at The Recorder to what I am doing now.

The stories that I am writing now are much different, so I had to take that into consideration. Also, I am working at a daily newspaper now, not a weekly. At The Recorder, we were writing stories that tailored to students at a college. We were trying to get students to just pick up the paper to make them aware of things and happenings that may interest them. That was a constant struggle.

(For my stories from The Recorder go here.)

My writing, now, is geared towards thousands of people. It’s a whole different kind of writing. From the people I have met, all they want to do is read the paper. Since some of the towns we cover never get into the bigger papers, The Chronicle is their source of information, besides the Internet. They, for a lack of a better word, rely on us to cover things so that they can read it the next day.

All of the stories that I have written are just letting people know that something is going on, or that something happened and we thought it was a pretty big deal. I didn’t really cover events at The Recorder. I’ve noticed the difference in stories obviously, but I guess I never noticed the change in my writing until my friend said something to me.

Sorry, I’ve digressed.

I just read through a bunch of my stories from the last semester and even before that. I can see the differences. My stories now are just easier to read. I have a common theme in the story and everything I say goes back to that, whether that theme is an event or a person. My college stories seem to miss that a bit. It’s nothing against me. My writing wasn’t concentrating on one thing in each story.

Also, my stories today are much more focused. I saw myself going on tangents and adding things to stories that really have no business being there. I’m rereading my stories before I send them so many times, I think, I just edit the nonesense out. It’s a practice that I am slowly learning to love, but, right now, it’s still a pain.

My main point here is that my writing is a lot better than what it was. ( I still have a problem with than vs. then haha) I still tend to write more than I should, but it’s always on the same common theme and they flow much, much better.

I just reread this story from today’s paper and it’s smooth. There isn’t anything that, at least I don’t think, shouldn’t be there. There’s a bit of context and extra quotes that I wanted, but it all works I think when it’s put into place. Each element to the story goes back to the third graders, all 170 of them.

One thing that I know that I still have to work on is my use of the word “that.” Mike thinks it’s a useless word. I tend to agree that I use it ALL THE TIME, but sometimes you need it. Sarah told me the other day, so I’ve been looking for it in my stories before I send them to Mike. It’s a bit tedious, but it makes Mike happy and that’s good enough for me.

Right now, I am working on a feature story. My first at The Chronicle and it’s going to be tough. I’m not used to writing those kinds of stories. I have a lot to get into the story, so it’s going to be LONG. Well, at least I want to get a lot into the story. I may work on it a bit this weekend. I’ll keep you posted on that, obviously.

-Jon

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