I took a nice trek down to the office this morning (it had rained again), soothed by the fresh cut grass and birds…and road killed cat. Traumatic.
Jamie Dean talked with us about feature reporting. This was mildly terrifying because it involves structure and recent studies would suggest this is a major difficulty for me. When I think I’ve actually figured it out, I think it’s just because there is a strong, logical thread in the story. I keep coming back to being muddled with the rest.
She also talked about why stories matter and how people learn. There were strong, resonating undertones of all I’ve ever read about fiction writing and also about interpreting our stories in life. But I haven’t heard them connected to journalism. It made everything a hundred times more wonderful/easier/scarier/more beautiful.
One of the differences in magazine writing vs. newspaper writing is you get the chance to ask “What does this even mean?” and “What will happen next?” You have more time (theoretically) to investigate the past and look down the road. Feature stories should be more mature, older stories that have some meat beyond what just occurred. These were all helpful distinctives.
Jamie Dean also told us a lot of exciting stories I think I will remember, even if I lose my five pages of notes…
Kevin Martin came and talked to us more about the business side of news existence (it wasn’t quite as depressing as it sounds because Mr. Martin seems like a very upbeat, get it down personage). He and his wife had already been giving off strong awesome vibes before we went to their house last night. Today confirmed all suspicions.
Mr. Martin said his main job is, “making sure the editorial people have what they need to do their job well.” That means they even do office cleaning. Also, he tried to fix the infamous chair.
We took Associated Press stories after lunch and dispersed to desperately call any personages who could help contribute. You could say I’m having some issues with my story. I need to find the theme, drama, question, point… Right now it is basically:
- here is this bull rider who had a concussion
- he also fractured his head when he was 12
- who knows how many other injuries he had
- oh, here’s some other people who had concussions
- now this guy is going back to bull riding
- the end.
The only theme/conclusion I see is, “bull riders have something wonky in the upper stories–physically and, all evidence suggests, intellectually.” Cry.
Off to break my head on it. Also the four books I picked to review were all duds, so I have a new one of those too. Need to read and review tonight. Good thing I have garlic stuffed green olives.
They’ve actually been really easy on us the last two days. Can’t wait for tomorrow.