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Quotes and writing

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by SportsDude, Feb 11, 2007.

  1. SportsDude

    SportsDude Active Member

    How do you approach writing your story and inserting quotes. I usually write my lead, transcribe my quotes, then build my story around them. I'm curious as to see how others do it, especially on deadline and especially with gamers.
  2. scribe21

    scribe21 Member

    That's a secret.

    JK: I usually write lead, build the meat (non-quotes) and then add quotes. Really it all depends on how much time I have. It really varies. Also, Whether or not I use a tape recorder also is a factor. Different approaches for different people I guess.
  3. shockey

    shockey Active Member

    the lead, for me, is almost always predicated off the best quote. if no quote is worthy, then the situation becomes the lead. the best quote should play well off the lead, imo.

    it's sort of like cover or back-page heds often coming off the art.

    guess it's a chicken-or-egg deal.
  4. BYH

    BYH Active Member

    I make them all up.

    Remember: It takes two to lie: One to write and one to read.
  5. SCEditor

    SCEditor Active Member

    I always type out all my quotes first, just so when I start writing the story, I know what I'm working with. Like Shockey said, if there's a quote that jumps out and works best with the lead, you already know what you got when you start writing. Plus, it helps to just transcribe everything and not have to go back and forth with a tape recorder.
  6. I write the story and anyplace there's a bad transition or a quote needed, I leave an extra line break. Then I transcribe the quotes when I'm done and insert them wherever necessary. Works like a charm.
  7. Eagleboy

    Eagleboy Guest

    Depends on the situation. If I'm on deadline, I'll write most of a gamer and then transcribe what I thought were the notable quotes in the story afterward. If it's a Saturday afternoon game and I have time to work, I'll take a while and transcribe most of the interview, if not listen to all of it over again.
  8. SportsDude

    SportsDude Active Member

    Well, that approach did get Jayson Blair to the New York Times :)
  9. dawgpounddiehard

    dawgpounddiehard Active Member

    Same here. I think, no matter how strong your lede is, if you can find that one go-to quote tie it in with your lede... you can grab the reader right there.
  10. huntsie

    huntsie Active Member

    Usually have a pretty good idea of the framework of the story shortly after the interview...the lead usually emenates from the best quotes and flows from there and the best quotes jump out.
    If it's a feature and you have some time, it's best to listen to the whole interview and you can frame the story in your mind.
    On deadline, you've probably got a quick frame for the story based on the quotes you've just heard.
  11. Riddick

    Riddick Active Member

    For me, it all just seems to come together in my head. Not sure how to describe it all. The best quote usually goes first and it all plays out from there.
  12. blondebomber

    blondebomber Member

    I agree, especially when you're dealing with a pack journalism setting and sometimes quotes sound different live than on a computer screen. Can't tell you the number of times I transcribed a tape and had a quote jump out at me after it didn't seem like a big deal when first said. Or vice versa ... You talk to a guy who seems to say a lot, a real motormouth. Then you transcribe the tape and realize he really didn't say anything of substance.

    I think you have to know exactly what tools you're working with before you write the lead.
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