Friday, February 11, 2011


Assignment 1

"Horses and dolphins and unicorns — these are all borderland creatures; gateway animals to other worlds," she says. "They help us imagine wonderful other ways of being in the world. They let us be cowgirls and oceanographers and mermaids and princesses."

This is from a story about a new book by Peggy Orenstein that tries to explain why girls seem to love horses, unicorns and dolphins. This quote is a good example of a crystallizing quote placed high in a story. It’s colorful and interesting and almost mimics the mystical subject matter of the story, while still explaining the core importance of the story.

"When he walked at 17 months without any braces — without anything — it just took my breath away," Brett's mom says.

In this story about breakthroughs in pre-natal spinal surgeries, the crystallizing quote is placed too low. I think this story would be much improved if it focused more on the effects of these breakthroughs on living, healthy patients affect by the surgeries. The story does do this, but it also clouds the reader’s perspective with technical science jargon. This quote makes the point that these new developments in surgery are new and have large impacts on the future health of these patients. The story would benefit from a narrative lead that focused on one specific patient and then moved on to discuss the larger practices and surgeries. In my opinion, the quote is a powerful one and would benefit from being placed higher in the story.

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