Writing feature stories provokes me to love and hate. If it weren’t for the requirement of interviewing several sources, I could send my hatred packing.
I love doing interviews. People like to talk about themselves. If you ask the right question (a fine art in and of itself), you might get enough goods for stories on five different subjects.
I hate interviews. It’s difficult to find time in my overloaded schedule, so I have to fight the urge to look at my watch. Typing out the script afterwards is just a complete bummer. This is when a fast typing transcriptionist would really be a welcome addition to my staff.
Oh yeah, I don’t have a staff.
This sort of love-hate teeter totter keeps things interesting in the world of all work and no play. It might be smart to remove sharp objects from my reach, just to be on the safe side.
Back to feature story writing: interviews are an integral part of any feature. These quotations and anecdotes make the story come to life. My fantastic use of prose and ability to wordsmith believable narrative isn’t highly desirable in journalistic writing.
Is it any wonder I want to write fiction?
I did interviews for my novel, too. All three of my point of view characters sat down and told me anything I ever wanted to know about them. Probably more that I needed to know.
According to my character building guru, K.M. Weiland, there’s no such thing as knowing too much about your characters. I highly recommend her Crafting Unforgettable Characters workbook. It launched my protagonists from my mind to the page, which is where they need to be for readers to fall in love with them.
What’s your experience with interviews? Love them? Hate them? Never done them? If you’re a writer, I recommend you sit down with your main character over a nice hot mocha. They’ve got something to say.