With everything I read, I pay attention to the writing style. It’s the main way I learn to write better. Jason Smith’s article, Confessions of a Drug-Addicted High School Teacher, is some of the best writing I’ve seen.
If you haven’t read the article yet, go read it. You won’t be disappointed. And it’ll keep me from spoiling the story as I share my notes about it below.
The introduction to the article is top notch:
“One year may not sound like enough time for a life to come apart at the seams, but a year in the life of a drug addict can be counted by drama, bullshit and tragedies in the same way rings can be counted on a tree.”
It’s going to be a good story. You know it won’t drag, because the whole thing only lasts a year. The description is visceral, given the part about life coming apart at the seams. Such a strong opening is a welcome change from the weak, boring introductions you often see.