In a post last week I highlighted an article about an ESPN contributor who was a con artist as an example of how not to do a break. The article started from the very beginning of the story and proceeded for thousands of words without ever giving me any reason to really be interested in what was happening.
Yesterday, in an ironic twist, I come across another piece about a sports and media-related scammer where the article structure is awesome.
In the first three paragraphs writer Jim Owczarski described a person named Montaous Walton who had contacted OnMilwaukee.com to pitch an article about how he had recently signed with the Toronto Blue Jays organization.
He was supposed to be a, “23-year-old undrafted free agent, a second base prospect who reportedly posted a world-class 6.3-second, 60-yard dash.”
Then in the fourth paragraph the writer drops this bomb, “Montaous Walton, the baseball player, is fictional.”
Now I’m hooked. I want to know the story.
Compare this piece to the other article and you’ll see how two similar stories can be told in very different ways.
You will also see the value of a having a good structure for an article or a break.