Archive for the ‘articles’ Category

Route 1 Reflections

Tuesday, November 9th, 2010

Four days a week I have a 20-30 minute commute to school, and lately my drive on the traffic plagued Route 1 has been dominated by thoughts of my digital story. In Sunday’s post, “Digital Storytelling Tools Breakdown” I had the below quote to say about my writing process, and I want to expand on it a bit more:

“Unless it’s a very foreign topic to me, I’m not the type of writer who outlines an article or paper. Typically, when I sit down with my computer, I find the detail or part of an anecdote in my notes that interests me the most and start from that point, adding the remaining facts above and below it until the story feels complete. I’ll probably stick with this technique for this project, as everything usually “falls into place” with this method for me.”

While I normally don’t outline an article in the sense of creating a document or marking up a piece of paper that summarizes the points I want to include, I do spend a lot of time thinking about the story.

Over the past year, my boss has given me several pieces of great advice that urge me to improve as a writer. One of the tips she recently shared that aligns with what I mentioned about my process and seems to work best with feature stories is immediately after an interview, write down the point(s) you remember the most, without looking at your notes. Often, you may find this is the most interesting or engaging aspect of the story, and it can potentially give you a starting point.

I didn’t return home after my two interviews with Andy and write down the points that stuck out most to me, but as I’ve thought about the anecdotes she’s shared so far, there are a few things she mentioned I keep returning to that seem to speak the most loudly about her family’s military life experiences.

I’ve been repeatedly running her responses to my questions through my head, mentally arranging them into an order and considering how to transition from one point to the next. So, while I’m not planning on paper, I do have a general idea of how I want to present her family’s story in article form. My writing process doesn’t just entail finding that one detail and taking off from there when I sit down to write; rather, with the benefit of time and a flexible deadline, I begin putting the pieces of the story together in my head and take off from there when I’m ready to write.