Friday, August 19, 2011

Five for Writing Posts from Son of a Bold Venture Blog

I first mentioned it in a Feb 2011 blog post and lately have thought more about the Five for Writing Series done by Chris Jones on his Son of a Bold Venture blog. Concept as introduced in this blog post by Jones is five questions he e-mails to a writer and then their responses... with the writers covered (and each Series post) hyperlinked below:

1. Gene Weingarten - a Washington Post columnist and humor writer... winner of two Pulitzer prizes for feature writing. Notes the absolute need to get correct the details of what's been written.

2. Wright Thompson - an ESPN website writer who also provides some excellent and heavy on sentiment work for the ESPN/Bill Simmons site Grantland. Provided both links to some of his past work and content about the writing process and concept of becoming interested in a topic, hopping on a plane and go learn about it, and then recording it's details in print. Thompson also covers his seeming penchant for producing first person writing (reminds me J.R. Moehringer in this regard).

3. Jeff Pearlman - columnist for the Sports Illustrated website and author of multiple books about famous teams or athletes... Dallas Cowboys, New York Mets, Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds and now Walter Payton. Blog post has some solid writing process stuff both in relation to physical act of writing (where it works for Pearlman) and what type of book subject is (and isn't) going to attract readers.

4. Charles P. Pierce - highly esteemed Esquire and Boston Globe writer. Makes some interesting points in this post about writing the perfect words to describe something. Somewhat related to this, the post also had some good content on the power of language and rhetoric (which Pierce then expands on really really well in this Esquire piece).

5. Glenn Stout - editor of the Best American Sports Writing series and himself a book author. Post contains Stout's mention of the unequivocal need for a writer to tell a story with confidence and in a manner that doesn't let the reader's attention wane. Also of interest from Stout was his writing about words as his job... not that he doesn't enjoy it, but he's got to work to get paid. Also linked to this piece was an SI story "Heavyweight Championship Of The Word" by Jeff MacGregor on the writer W.C. Heinz.

6. Gregg Doyel - CBS Sports columnist. Nothing specifically stood out from Doyel's responses to the Five for Writing questions, but as Jones writes, he deserves definite credit for the incredibly fast turn-around answers provided to the questions posed.

7. Drew Magary - writer for the websites Deadspin and Kissing Suzie Kolber... now author of the novel The Postmortal. Almost counter to some of the other Five for Writing authors who wrote about the power of words, Magary writes about about the notion of words arranged on a page for the enjoyment of readers... and financial gain for the writer. As part of this is his commentary about viewing a novel as being a promising track to wealth given the (free) availability online of so much sports commentary or humor writing out there.


Not to forget the blog host himself, there was a similar Q&A blog post done with Jones by the aforementioned Jeff Pearlman... this time on Pearlman's blog. Big take-away from this piece was late in the Q&A how Jones described the experience of writing in the flow... just as Charlie Pierce's above noted description of writing the perfect words.