Day 6, Confusion and Confessions

I must be sending the wrong tributes to our Rain Gods. Only 4 mm in the gauge for the whole weekend. Rubbing salt in, Emergency Services sent me 3 SMS warnings that my home was about to be pummelled by hail, and left awash with gurgling drains.

Can’t help wondering if the discussions held between self, and the scrawny, hair-suit rain god, is being transmitted at the same rate as my ISP, Telstra Bigpond Cable.

Meaning that the last message to the afore said rain god was in January this year, and might only just been received.

That message read “slow the bloody rain down, you miserable sod, or the fruit on my grape vines will get a dreaded botrytis”

 Before entering class I paused and reflected on the importance today, beside the fallen Elephant. Remembering…. Remembering the mates we all had, who never quite made it back from our various conflicts.

The eleventh Hour, of the eleventh Day, of the eleventh Month.

Until next year then, my living friends.



Now, this is important too – To day I learned with more than a little dismay, that I had completely misunderstood what I was supposed to do over the weekend.

Teacher said we were to get all the research and information for the final story, work it into something usable, so that the remaining time could be spent making it readable.

Definitely not what I thought I heard, when talking to Gazza about his coffee machine the other night.

 Its now a little after 11pm on Monday evening, I have just caught up with where I was supposed to be, by that time last night.

Back to the Blog of today, and think of all I should have absorbed, for disgorgement to digital word, tonight.

As an aside, I now have a certain empathy for the Goose, that produced the Pate de fois gras I will be consuming at Thursday’s Beefsteak and Burgundy luncheon. I am sure I better understand now, how forced feeding works.

One of the key issues in writing, is getting a story read by a wide audience, and text alone is the least intimate form for getting the message across.

So, how to improve the situation?

Well for start there needs to be a caption, to grab the reader and create a need to read on.

A bit of a Kicker.

The introduction should paint the overall message of the story we are trying to tell – a sort of precis, but interesting, and holding out the main issue, for all to see.

Always try to place a picture, or map, or some visual artefact close to the banner, but do make sure that it does not impinge on other stories close by.

If using quotes, and a good story should have at least three, make sure you have some medium to verify that what you have written, is accurate.

If you are not able to make that recording read what you have written back to the Talent, and have him/her confirm it is correct. While its not the best solution, it’s better that not having a quote at all.

Always do your research for for legal implications, and introduce clearly, any legal matters in the story.

 Use the software Murally, to create the story line with sticky notes – I am a long way from using that right now and feel it may be some another incarnation before any understanding of the usefulness takes hold. Pinned up there with the usefulness of Twitter.

Things not to do when writing

Don’t use an Acronym without first elucidating– I used HUMBUG, in the as yet unpublished story, then went to type out what it stood for [its a computer group I have hung out with for about 15 years] I was stunned when I found I had to go back to the web site to find what the letters really stood for. I like to think that in this particular case I was having a bit of a senior moment [like loosing my car keys for the last 3 days]

Moving right along ….

Do not use slang or jargon unless writing to a niche group [Like the HUMBUG group?]

Remember your audience – hmmmm, mine is very small, and all very polite.

Don’t assume that your audience knows what you have just said or written – I can see a pattern coming up here. I’m no longer sure what I just wrote, either.

 With Interviews to camera

One needs good footage, use cutaways to enhance the story, eye witnesses can be good, even when they are not sure what they have seen? What?

Check sound – you cant get away with poor sound. I have found Truth at last.

 For Elements of an Audio story

Use a good voice for the presenter, get sound grabs of relevant noises, use atmospheric noise if it fits with the story line. Use music to set a mood, but be aware of copyright restrictions

And finally –

Not all stories will have these elements.

 Somewhere about this stage of the lectures, I found that I had left the laptop battery charger at home, and the warning light was blinking. So I made my excuses and bolted for an early train.

The rest of the tale will unfold …. Later, I’m sure

 Good night all.

PS. I’m sure that all will have noticed, that this blog has broken almost ever single guide line we were given today.

Think Images, Links and a Cosmic picture at ‘The End’.

2 thoughts on “Day 6, Confusion and Confessions

  1. If nothing else your blog entries are always entertaining Tony! I can see that you’ve worked hard to absorb as much as you could from the day’s lessons. There are a couple of ‘almost right’ learnings in there, which reflects back on how well I explained things…

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