Writing about People
Wolf Creek Christian Writers meet together every Monday morning to learn something new that will improve our skills as writers. We are never disappointed with the investment of these two hours, and that makes for dynamic participation.
We are currently spending three weeks learning the principles of conducting good interviews and writing up the stories. On July 31, Hank Slikker brought a lesson from chapter 12 of the book we have begun studying: On Writing Well by William Zinsser. The interview is a “road to discovery,” whether we are looking for facts or seeking to find the gem of a story about the person we choose to interview. A good interview requires background research, a list of insightful questions and then organizing the results into a compelling story.
Hank illustrated his lesson with an account of the interview he conducted with Betty Slade last year. He researched her long background as an artist and asked how she transitioned into a writer. The resulting story, published as one of Betty’s weekly columns in the Pagosa Lakes Sun, touched several corners of the lives of the readers.
This week we all have the assignment of interviewing a person of interest and writing their story. A few of our members have extensive experience conducting interviews but most do not. We will submit our stories to our small group for critiquing on Monday, August 7.
Paul Strand, senior correspondent for Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN), will be our guest teacher on August 14. Drawing on his extensive experience in broadcast journalism, Paul will instruct us on how to get a great story from a well-conducted interview. There is a wonderful story (even a novel) in everyone and it is up to us as writers to discover that story and write it well.
Following this series, we will continue our study of Zinsser’s classic book. The schedule is elsewhere on this website.
Mondays — 9:00-11:00 a.m.