Jan 6, 2012

Review: The Beat: A Baseball Short Story


The Beat

Do you ever have a moment when reading a story and the plot makes you pause?

That's what happened when reading “The Beat: A Baseball Short Story” written by Jessica Quiroli.

Initially, I didn't know where the story was headed. Was it going to be about about a pitcher and the excitement/nervousness of his upcoming Major League debut? Or how a female reporter has to cope with being in a male-dominated environment?

These are the two main characters introduced in the beginning of the story, but while the story is centralized around the female journalist, the decisions by the baseball player move the book forward.

The story seemed to be more about how we never really know people even when cameras and photographers are all around them. When reporters throw out questions, they never really ask the right ones.

I won't give away the twist because getting to the surprise is part of the fun.

This is Quiroli's first published fiction piece. She's a journalist who writes about minor league baseball, which is probably where many of the experiences and personalities in the book have come form.

She chose the self-publishing path because at around 8,000 words, she felt it was the best fit for her (There'll be an upcoming interview with the author in the next few days).

My biggest concern was that it took a little long to get the story moving. There was a lot of description in the beginning: who people are, where they come from and what they look like. Some of those details aren't necessary. It's good to have in your notes about the characters, but readers don't need every detail. Often times, readers can pick up on subtle cues about characters on their language, opinions and mannerisms through the course of a story.

Having spent a lot of time in a press box, I enjoyed the banter going on in between reporters in the old media vs. new media battle. That's definitely a topic worth exploring for Quiroli or someone else.

Once the story got moving, however, I felt compelled to keep going.

The main character, Lauren Day, is interesting as she struggles with a number of emotions. She fights with what she wants to do and what she is supposed to do for her career - all the while others give their opinion. Does she wants to be a good journalist or a good person?

The second half reads better as we dive into relationships and plot points.

Quiroli says she plans on making Lauren Day a central character in upcoming stories. It will be interesting to see how the character grows throughout the series.

(Based out of five)
Story: 4.5
Characters: 4.5
Dialogue: 4.5
Editing: 3.5
Readability: 4

Overall: 4.2

You can The Beat: A Baseball Short Story on Smashwords.


No comments:

Post a Comment