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A story writing process by Ira Glass
An instantly actionable method of synthesizing information into a story.
I attended a virtual conference called Block by Block hosted by Notion, and Ira Glass, host of This American Life, was a guest speaker.
During his discussion about scaling the creative process with Notion's COO Akshay Kothari, he began explaining a process he uses to tackle the daunting creative task of converting many hours of interview transcriptions into a story, and I instantly started taking notes as I felt it was broadly applicable.
So here it is.
As you read through the information you have collected for a piece of content you're working on:
- Highlight all valuable passages that could be used to tell your content's story.
- Add 2 asterisks (**) next to the passages that are **vital** for the story.
- Add 1 asterisk (*) next to passages that enhance the story but could be left out.
- Write a one line summary of each passage.
- Put all one line summaries together and organize them to create an outline.
- Use the outline to begin writing the story.
This process is simple, battle-tested, and proven, which is why I believe it resonated with me so strongly.
However, time will tell if it truly is of value to me, but I will try any strategy at least once to see what sticks.