No excuses, cut the tape and start writing!

I took the penultimate interview I need for my story this morning. The very last one is dependent on a time schedule that remains beyond my control. Still, I now have enough tape to really get things going.

First, though I need to finish cutting up the tape from the interview this morning. I know that we don’t (and I probably never will) cut actual tape, but I still like how that sounds. It’s not quite editing yet; I’m just going through and piecing out different sound bites and labeling them. From there I continue to pare down until I just have the really good sounding pieces. I don’t need facts and figures from the people I interview; I need how this experience feels, what they think it will mean for their communities and families. How they think all this will turn out. I can get numbers from anywhere. What makes tape so special is what you can’t know about a person without asking them.

Once I have a set of good pieces of tape from each of the people I have interviewed I have to start putting those pieces in a semblance of an order and….begin writing! I’m half anxious, half excited to start writing. I probably mentioned this before, but writing for radio feels so different! Putting my segments (known as ‘selects’) in some kind of order will prevent the story from jumping around. It is not only the script that has to have a narrative and tell a story, the tape has to too. In a reading from Community Voices (Sound Reporting by Jonathan Kern) mentioned that some editors listen to pieces of tape in order before even hearing a script to prevent the story from simply being interconnected (but not necessarily related) good pieces of tape.

Sarah is away until Tuesday and before she left she mentioned hoping to have a listen to what I have when she gets back. I’m hoping to have the tape I want to use in the order I want as well as (maybe?) the host introduction to my piece which, as I learned at last week’s Community Voices meeting, is really important to the set up a story. But more on that later, I hope.

Have a great weekend!


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