Anatomy of a Homeless Man’s Feature Story

“Just like any other day, Mandy watched him from behind the coffee shop counter slowly walking east on Main St.”

No that is not the introduction of Nicholas Sparks’ new book- that is the beginning to the feature article we had to read on Monday. Apart from the fact that the entire piece sounded like a made for TV movie, or a bad “heartwarming” book, I also didn’t find any sort of plot progression in the piece. There was nothing that the plot was moving towards, no climax, nothing that made me think, “That was a great piece.”

I do appreciate how the author did add the first story of the baristas not letting the main character pay for his coffee. Every other anecdote of getting coffee was redundant afterwards. A lot of the dialogue was unnecessary as well. There was a lot of normal everyday interactions in the piece and those parts of the conversation didn’t add anything to the story. If anything, they made the story longer and more tedious to read.

All of the information about the main character was at the end of the story instead of the beginning, almost like a last minute rush to fill a word requirement. The much needed description of the homeless man should have been placed at the beginning of the story so you can understand why he acts the way he does and put a “face” on the character, instead of being a hollow filler character that simply orders coffee.

Overall, I appreciate the time the author took to research and write this story, and I’m assuming they did it to the best of their capabilities. However, it completely missed whatever target they were trying to reach and turned out to be a boring, semi-Lifetime movie like story.

Originally Published on: Feb 10, 2011 @ 18:43


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