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Any Writers in the Group?

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by BurbLover, Sep 20, 2006.

  1. BurbLover

    BurbLover 1/2 ton status

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    I am going to take a stab at writing articles for a website I frequent. I think this could be fun as it is my primary hobby, which is dirt stock car racing. My plan is to attend said races and then do a write-up for fans that were not there. It would be no more than a normal newspaper article and would end with the overall results of the race.

    I was wondering if there are any writers on the board that could give me some advice? I'm mainly interested in how you get the feeling of being there in words, along with a sense of wanting to read more from the reader.

    Anyway, any advice will be greatly appreciated, as long is it's along with my topic :) TIA
     
  2. firefighter184

    firefighter184 1/2 ton status

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    I write a fair amount of stuff for fire service articles both locally and nationally. I also write lots of letters to the editor of the Rocky Mountain News and get published all the time. What do you want to know?
     
  3. BurbLover

    BurbLover 1/2 ton status

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    The big thing is I haven't written anything "for fun" since high school, and I graduated in '89. :crazy: I want to be able to watch an event, take notes, and write an article that makes the reader want to:

    1) keep reading
    2) wonder when the next article is coming
    3) feel like they were there

    Also, when taking notes, what types of comments do I need to make for myself?

    I'm just not sure how to do this. Maybe I'm worried for nothing, but I wnat this to work. If I can make it work out, it might become a part time gig for me, which will get me into a lot of races for free w/ a press pass (and that's better than pay).

    So, any words of advice?
     
  4. 4by4bygod

    4by4bygod 1/2 ton status

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    I'd hang out in the pits and get to know the drivers, and maybe get some quotes from them. you don't have to focus on negative stuff, just let the fans get to know the drivers as people.. you can also make witty observations about what you see, like erma bombeck, or dave barry.

    I'm assuming you race as well, so coming at it from that perspective would work.. give the reader some insight as to what goes on in the mind of a driver, the preparation, goals, dreams, whatever..

    As far as "how to" advice, focus on being concise.. don't use 20 words when 8 will get the point across.. and write.. a lot.. with practice you'll develop your own style.

    I met a guy at the don garlits HOF banquet who did just what you are about to do.. he just did write ups at the local strip, focusing on one or two classes, and he parlayed that into a full time gig with drag racing illustrated.. he said that people didn't read his early stuff until he started humanizing his subject, letting the fans know who the drivers were, and what they're about.

    Tom
     
  5. Bubba Ray Boudreaux

    Bubba Ray Boudreaux 1 ton status

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    Been there, done that.

    Be straight forward with the readers, while being able to give them a "taste" of the action. Being "colorful" helps, but don't overdo it.

    Here's some of the stuff I've done to maybe give you an idea. I don't have any of the race reports I've done though.................

    Blazerfest '02

    Da 'Fest '03

    VORRA Season Review
     
  6. BurbLover

    BurbLover 1/2 ton status

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    Thanks for the info. A little more background. I've never been part of an actual race team, though I have been helping one local late model & modiied team recently. I've been a fan of dirt racing for nearly 30 years. As for hanging out in the pits and getting to know drivers, I've been doing that for awhile. I actually do a weekly "Racin' Report" at one of the local tracks. I get on the PA system about an hr before the show starts and give the what's going on in motorsports. I start with NASCAR/Formula 1/etc and end up with the local info. I also do a weekly status of what's going on with one particle driver who is originally form Tucson and has made it semi big time. As a matter of fact, he's being watched right now by RCR & DEI together for the development program and he just turned 21 last week. I've compiled a great list of "insiders" who know everybody. Some are affilieted with major companies linked directly to Everham Motorsports, DEI, RCR, Toyota's NASCAR division, etc

    So, I've made a very good report with several of the drivers/teams who either know me as Mark or BurbLover (login on several sites) or at the very least by my face. I have gained the confidence of some teams as to gray areas they are working in with them knowing that I won't spill the beans. So, getting the inside scoop isn't the issue here, it's putting my thoughts, feelings, emotions, & observations on paper in a manner which others will find intrigueing. Does that make any sense?
     
  7. Bubba Ray Boudreaux

    Bubba Ray Boudreaux 1 ton status

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    Also, what has been said about getting to know the drivers. This gives you insight to stuff going on that people don't see on the track.
     
  8. BurbLover

    BurbLover 1/2 ton status

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    Thanks Bubba!! I briefly looked at those and that kinda gives the flavor I'm looking for. I can be smart alecky and humorous, but I want to be viewed as worthy of being read as well. I'll read you stuff more throughly this week. I have two event slated for Fri & Sat, so I'm going to try my hand as this then.
     
  9. BurbLover

    BurbLover 1/2 ton status

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    Yeah. See my post above this. My guess is I was typing it as your were posting this.
     
  10. Bubba Ray Boudreaux

    Bubba Ray Boudreaux 1 ton status

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    I don't know about you, but I always waited until I really felt no pressure to write. It helped my mind flow better........................
     
  11. BurbLover

    BurbLover 1/2 ton status

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    That makes sense. So much for deadlines:D

    I guess only time will tell. Maybe I'll write something up this weekend after the events and email it to you. Since you have a love for auto racing, you would at least have the background of the desired audience. And then maybe you could give me some pointers :laugh:
     
  12. 4by4bygod

    4by4bygod 1/2 ton status

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    Yep, that makes sense.. maybe a good place to start is to decide if you want to be informative, or entertaining, or a mix of both.. then find a writer you like who writes like you want, and emulate him or her.. don't worry about being a plagarist, it happens in music all the time.. after a bit, you'll develop your own style. just be you, and it'll work..

    Tom
     
  13. Bubba Ray Boudreaux

    Bubba Ray Boudreaux 1 ton status

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    You got me thinking about this a little bit more. My program when I covered VORRA was simple.

    Set the table
    Present the food
    Clean 'er up

    As the season goes on, it's always good to toss in a quick recap of who's doing what. Like Driver A is battling Driver B for the championship. Gives it a little more drama.

    As for the races in Prairie City, stuff was simple; but doing a desert race is a different animal.

    At the track, you want to occupy the best viewing real estate possible. At PC, it was the announcer's booth. Although I really didn't see eye to eye with the announcer and he would be half sloshed and sort of sucked on some technical aspects, it was the best for me and that's what mattered.

    The format was two races per class over the course of a day. There was something like 5-6 classes, so there was a lot of racing to cover. Of course, it's easier than the short track, roundy round stuff cause the track was a lot bigger with a smaller car count.

    My formula was simple though. I had a spiral notebook and pen in hand. I would watch the race, usually keeping track of the front runners. Each lap, I would jot down a couple quick notes if there was any action. If there was bumping and banging, a few more quick notes. There's probably no person alive that could interpet my notes, but when I got home, usually about two days later, while the race was fresh in my mind, it starting getting put to paper.

    During the races, I usually didn't have any time to chat with anyone. Practice was the day before, so I did my chatting then and after the race, if anything real significant occurred, I'd chat with the drivers about it.
     
  14. Resurrection_Joe

    Resurrection_Joe 1 ton status

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    Uhmmmmmmm....... I wrote paying articles for ORC, and I write professionally, so if you need any help, lemme know...... specifics please
     
  15. BurbLover

    BurbLover 1/2 ton status

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    Thnaks all for the replies. I have also become pretty good friends with a guy from Phoenix due to the AZ dirt racing circuit. He currently freelances for fun w/ a few sources. He just got back from Eldora Speedway (Tony Stewarts Dirt Rack in Ohio) for the Wold 100 and his article is kind of what inspired me. Him & I have been emailing the last few days and his advice and alot of the advice from this post are going hand in hand.

    Having said that, I plan (for now) to focus on articles to do with the top class of the night's feature event. Not the entire night. I'll see how it goes. I also need to learn the art of writing a good interview pretty quick as I'll be in MO for a BIG late model race the first week of October and there is a driver there I really want to do an article about.
     
  16. Bubba Ray Boudreaux

    Bubba Ray Boudreaux 1 ton status

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    What's ORC?





































































































    :haha: :haha: :haha:

    So what was the pay compared to The Dusty Times?
     
  17. Resurrection_Joe

    Resurrection_Joe 1 ton status

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    It payed suprisingly well
     

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