Feature Response: Terrible Things

Written on November 22, 2010 – 8:19 am | by katierobertson

CWG Magazine recently published a feature on their site on the band Terrible Things, which can be read here. The writer, Kendra Beltran, used some interesting techniques in terms of composition and the online presentation of the feature story. In order to write the feature, Beltran interviewed drummer Josh Eppard and attended the band’s first local L.A. show.  She did background research on the formation of the band, which can be seen in her introduction in which she talks about the members of the band and the previous bands that the members played in.

Beltran’s voice comes through in the feature, which is one of the reasons it is so enjoyable to read (for example at one point she writes, “In the end, we ran out of time because Josh had to load his shit (his words not mine) and we continued our gabfest before he took the stage in L.A.”).

I think Beltran chose a type of composition for this feature that is well-suited to blog-type postings on the Internet. While most magazine features tend to be much more linear, this particular feature was composed of six very short paragraphs that introduced the band and why Beltran was writing about them (they recently played their first local show).  The next part of the story then transitions into list format, in which a title presents a given topic (for example, “Josh Eppard on the Terrible Things”) and then subtitles below setting up the response to certain questions (for example, “Missing loved ones” and “Talking shit on other bands”).  This type of format would appeal to the casual online reader who can easily skip from point to point.  It would not be necessary for the reader to sit down and focus on reading the article start to finish.

Beltran’s interview seemed to be very free-flowing and the topics varied greatly. I think it probably would have been interesting to see if the drummer would have cooperated with a more formal sit-down interview.  I think Beltran probably let the drummer dictate the course of the interview more than a normal feature writer would, but in this case it worked well.

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