Oh the tangled webs we weave

Long-form journalism requires a delicate balance.

More space means more room for characters and scene setting, but tipping the scales too far results in confusion for readers.  Characters become muddled, places and times are botched or mismatched, and general ridiculousness ensues.

Two fantastic articles found me after a long wait, as the Thanksgiving break has allowed me to catch up on some much-needed personal reading.  Sorry research reports and case studies, you just don’t fill that void.

ESPN’s Tom Friend masterfully stitches together the portrait of the day that will forever live in Mizzou sports history as the “Fifth Down,” a loss to conference rival Colorado on an unparalleled set of circumstances.

Friend sourced the hell out of this story, finding each important person involved and then identifying the connections between those people to make everybody relevant.

From the August issue of FastCo. magazine, Danielle Sacks crafts the story of longtime advertising hotshot Alex Bogusky and his search for a soul.  Seriously.

I am not completely familiar with her writing, but this story should be in contention for major awards.  She tows readers along with Bogusky in his search for fulfillment, then capsizes the plot with a wicked head fake halfway through.  You’ll be questioning your motives and Bogusky’s.  I smell a movie deal…

Finally, a cup of chocolate mousse to soothe those two hearty entrées. From NPR, a history of the panacea of the literary world: OK.  It involves U.S. Presidents, Mark Twain, and Choctaw Indians, among others.  Okay?  OK.

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