Interviewing (Part 8)

Now for the write-up of the article after your interview. Do it soon so your memory is still fresh. The colder your notes get, the less you will be able to decipher them. Plus time will dull your enthusiasm for the interviewee and the subject matter.

I take detailed notes. When I am ready to do the write-up, I transcribe my notes onto the computer. Then I listen to the digital recorder and add anything necessary that I didn’t get down on paper. I stop the recorder frequently, double checking my words for accuracy and clarity. Plus you want to be sure to capture the interviewee’s mannerisms and pet phrases

The next step is to edit, edit, edit. Trim the dialogue. Chop it to the core. Write and rewrite. Remember that the person wouldn’t need you if they could write their own story. You will have lots of material you won’t use. Ultimately, you may even have enough for two articles. I had 26 cassette tapes (this was before digital recorders)  from Deo Miller in my bag of oysters, and I was searching for the pearls that would make interesting stories for the book, You Start with One. It isn’t easy to find the pearls.

Your article or chapter must have a focus and must stay on that focus. It must include a beginning, a middle, and an end. When you reach the climax, be brief and be gone.