GSWW: Challenge 1.1 - "We Should Tell Mom"
The winning article for this challenge was written by Corey Holmes. Read his article about Blizzard's lawsuit over a Hearthstone clone.
Hey Folks! Welcome to the very first GameSkinny Writer's Workshop.
In GSWW, you’ll be doing challenges designed to help you build and perfect writing skills. Through these challenges and our live-streamed editing workshops, you’re going to learn the ins and outs of journalistic writing on your favorite topic: video games.
This workshop is for the week of Monday, Nov. 10th - Saturday, Nov. 15th! Read on for more details.
For Our Inaugural Week, We're Working On News Articles.
In the gaming world, new stuff is happening all the time. There’s all sorts of news out there, and it’s changing every minute. Writing a news article should be an exercise in brevity and objectivity. Keep news pieces short, simple, and factual. Click here to see a great example of a GS news article.
First and foremost, a news article must answer these five questions:
- What: the event, announcement, etc. that your piece is about
- Who: the people/groups/institutions involved (devs, companies, industry figures, etc.)
- When: how long ago it happened, or when it will happen.
- Where: where the news/event took place, or where it will take place
- Why/How: the reasons that the event occurred or what brought it about.
All five of these questions should be answered in the first few sentences of your article. Tell your reader the most relevant pieces of information immediately. All other information (like background, extra content, speculation, quotes, etc.) comes after you answer those five questions.
Remember: All news articles must have a source so the information can be verified!
This Is Your Mission, If You Are Willing To Accept It:
In the gaming world, new stuff is happening all the time. There’s all kinds of news out there. Pick one piece of recent gaming news to tell your parents about. Imagine that you have to explain it to them. Start writing down the words you’d use to explain it. Now write about it as a GS news article.
Try to answer any questions you think they would have about this piece of news.
Your dad, for example, probably knows that Dragon Age: Inquisition is releasing soon. He may even know that it's an RPG for next-gen consoles. But he probably has no idea that BioWare has been teasing skill sets and customization screens. He probably also has no idea that BioWare released Dragon Age: Origins for free play until Inquisition drops.
See how that works? Imagining that you're writing to your parents is a great way to ensure that your writing is clear and informative. Don't assume that your readers, even if they are gamers, know everything about every game or developer. Your readers (like your parents) may need a little bit of hand-holding in order to fully understand what you're writing about. That's what we're practicing in this challenge.
Remember that just because news pieces are short and sweet, doesn’t mean they have to be boring.
You can approach the same piece of news a lot of different ways. The approach you take to a news article is called your angle. Let’s use the news article linked above as an example:
What’s the news?
- Blizzard is cancelling its Titan MMO project after 7 years of development.
The author of this particular article chose to present the news, then offers a few reasons (other than the official ones) for why Blizzard might have chosen to cancel the project. That’s his angle. Another writer, however, may choose a different angle by writing about what the cancellation could mean for Blizzard’s future. Someone else may approach it from a historical angle, talking about what had already been accomplished on the project.
- News articles must be at least 150 words.
- Answer the five questions: what, who, when, where, and why?
- Find an angle that makes your article different from others
- Make sure you source your information.
- Fill out all parts of your Bonus Points tab.
- TAG YOUR POST'S BONUS POINTS TAB WITH THIS WEEK’S CHALLENGE TAG: GSWW 1.1
- Having trouble finding news? Check outlets like Twitter, Feedly, and Reddit for fresh updates.
- If your news source is another blog, see if you can find that source’s original source. Oftentimes, going to the source of the source will provide you with even more information that can help you develop your angle.
- Get Creative! You don’t have to be boring to be factual. Play with the wording of your title and how you present your information. You can also use the styles menu to play with inserting images/videos, extra links, headers, pull quotes, block quotes, etc. Get in there, tinker around, and see what happens!
Remember to invite your friends to join our GSWW challenges!
And follow our tag, #GSWW on Twitter, Facebook, etc. for updates, hints, and questions.
Again, this week’s tag is: GSWW 1.1
(We can't keep track of your piece if your tag isn't there!)
The winner of this challenge will be announced during our live Twitch.tv GSWW stream. During these streams, I (your loyal weekend editor) will sit down with you all to workshop, promote, and feature some of your articles.
This week’s stream will go live Sunday, Nov. 16 at 9:00 pm EST. To watch, click here.
Good luck, gamers. And happy writing!