Monday, March 18, 2013

Second Double

Well, here we go again. Crazy thing to say considering that I'm publishing this blog minutes after the last one, but bear with me for this one is actually in good time.

My thoughts on completing yet another double are scattered. I once again completed both drafts Sunday (yesterday). They have not yet been evaluated by the instructor, but I trust they will be fine.

I trust this mostly because I have become rather formulaic in how I approach writing my stories in this class. With good notes, it feels as though 80+% of the writing is done for me by the quotes (direct and paraphrased) that I gather from events. This info really fills up the pages, so to speak, and helps to ensure that I never have another Eurydice style situation on my hands where I've exhausted my notes with only 150~ words on the page.

Nowadays, I can get 750~ words with 2250~ words worth of notes remaining.

So how do I know what to keep and what to ignore? Well, I'm still working on ingraining this. There's no perfect way of doing this, for one; gut feelings are important. I try to ask myself what is most important to the story. You can't worry about getting every single little fact into stories.

This approach should certainly vary based on what you are covering. What I did this week with the Film Club and Budgeting seminar provide two different sides to the level of detail one can take in writing an article.

With the Film Club article, I was light on detail. I mentioned that the event on April 19th was free and that the Film Club was looking for actors. I also mentioned when additional tryouts would be.

However, much of what I quoted was left out. I did this as said quotes did not approach the foreseeable draw of the event (i.e., to be on camera and be seen by many).

With the Budgeting article, I used many more quotes. 80+% of the article may literally have been the words of others. This is not a cop out, but rather necessity given what the article is. To speak with authority on subjects you are ignorant about is foolish, but doubly foolish when you are a journalist as first person should be avoided if possible.

By letting quotes tell the story, I filled the article with helpful tips and tricks that should help any student who finds him/herself pinching a few pennies. I hope it helps someone, at least.

~ Bryan Hohns,
Copy Editor (who rarely edits)

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