Writing Non-fiction with the Punch of Fiction


For today’s post, I borrowed a piece of writing that I thought did a good job of adding a bit of punch to a news item. The original article in its entirety can be seen at http://www.zerohedge.com/contributed/2012-07-12/preparing-inevitable. I’ve excerpted a section for educational purposes.

Hope you find this helpful when you write something like a magazine article. If you can add a bit of spice to your writing style, it may make your submission stand out to an editor. Be a good chef: know when to draw the line on the seasonings. Too much can spoil the dish.

Nuff said:

One thing we haven’t had to contend with much in the past is the impact of a computer glitch on our lives. My favorite example occurred right here in San Diego on July 4th.

The long awaited, highly anticipated, state-of-the-art fireworks tribute to American independence is an event so spectacular that people drove hundreds of miles just for the “oohing” and the “aahing”, and the gut punching of dozens of thunderous explosions spread out over forty-five minutes.

Billed as the Big Bay Boom it is a fireworks lover’s heaven. The show itself was produced by the venerable century old firm, Garden City Fireworks, all the way from Millington, New Jersey.

No amateurs flickin’ bics in a trench somewhere. Four separate locations, including three barges brought into the bay itself, would serve as launch pads.

Because of the uniqueness of the site, this would be one of company’s biggest shows of the year and they do hundreds of them from coast to coast.

As darkness set in, people positioned themselves for what was to come.

And, then it began.

Oh, and it was magnificent! No one could recall ever seeing anything bigger or hearing anything louder. One observer described it as looking “as though a flaming planet were roaring right at us.”

It was an apt description. It had that Steppenwolf song “Born to Be Wild” lyric quality to it, “Fire all of our guns at once, explode into space.”

And then…. it was over. Done, fine, the end.

They had indeed fired all of their guns at once and the show was done in 15 seconds, pretty much guaranteeing some kind of Guinness record I would imagine.

Officials referred to the event as “premature ignition.”

But hey, it happens to all of us at one time or another, right?

The Big Bay Boom was just that, one big boom. Only a computer could do that.

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3 responses »

  1. Great piece. I felt so bad for the show’s organizers and the folks responsible for the fireworks’ execution, not to mention all of those people who waited so long to see the show. It will be a fireworks show that’s remembered for years, but not for the reasons they’d like it to be.

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