I am about halfway through the draft scripts. I’m pleased with our first attempt at this type of writing, but a few trends have become clear.
1. Read your writing aloud at least once and revise it before you record it. Everyone’s prose is clunky the first and second draft and you will need to do several revisions. Make at least one revision based on the sound of the prose spoken aloud (which will be the eventual form it takes).
2. Get more specific and detailed to give a sense of the human drama, individual agency, and contingency in our situations. In some cases, discussion of the experience of a situation will make it more compelling — the setting, for example. In other cases, knowing more about the individuals who are making the decisions and taking the actions within an organization is the key. In some cases, the context is key. I’ve said before, this should not read like a term paper that we deliver aloud. This is an audio story — it’s a different type of writing and we are going to have to go over it a few times to get it right.
3. Keep your segments short and your audio varied. Just about everyone is going to have to revise and edit to keep things moving.
4. Get your interviews done as soon as possible and get your transcripts done so you can fill those [interview here] gaps in your script.
5. Also, data. I want numbers. How many people? How many votes? How did the people translate into votes? No generalizations — give me data!
5a. On the data: no election stands alone or can be interpreted on its own. If we are making claims about a statewide election, we need to compare our race with other statewide races or previous/later races for the same office. Was it a larger margin of victory? Smaller? Make sure you tell us.