When I was in high school, one of my English teachers convinced me to go join the journalism class, which was responsible for our newspaper The Flagship. I had a great time working on it, so much so that I took on editor-in-chief at Caltech as a freshman. Oops! It was tons and tons of work for very little payoff… but I still had fun. So when I joined Wizards and realized I still had a desire to write about things happening, I talked with Greg, the events coverage coordinator, and he agreed to let me try.
I am now at my fourth Pro Tour doing coverage, and it’s awesome! It’s a lot of work, and the hours are a little… weird. And the particular context in which I am doing event coverage – of Magic, and of Magic players – can sometimes be frustrating (Magic players are very opinionated, for example, and not very hygienic sometimes). But it’s still awesome, and I am very happy to have the opportunity to write.
Writing about Magic games is an interesting balance between play-by-play and story. It’s pretty important to have a narrative thread to keep the reader’s attention, and except for the very best players, you don’t want to flood readers with game states. I have found it is way easier to write down the play-by-play while sitting there watching them play, and then revise into a real story afterward if I can. Oftentimes, when you look back to do a first and second edit of your work, you can feel themes emerging.
Maybe it’s silly to think this way about specifically articles about Magic games, since they are so inaccessible to an uninformed audience, but I have definitely appreciated seeing my writing in new light from doing event coverage.