The heart of the matter

This morning, my newest story went up on the Missourian website, a piece about a cinematographer who’s had a couple of Sundance movies and is working on his first documentary.

I’m proud of the story and the work I put in to pull it together. The initial interviews went fairly smoothly, and I stretched myself to really pull out stories and details from my sources. The real challenge, though, was in the editing process. This piece went through a few drafts as Jeanne pushed me to really find the heart of the story, rather than just sounding off a bunch of information. It took me a couple of followups, but when I finally nailed it, I ended up with a much more engaging and well-rounded piece.

While this story showed me that I still have a lot of space to grow as a feature writer, I also saw a bunch of ways that my reporting is improving. I still struggle with weak verbs, and I tend to be a little wordy, but I’m learning how to rein myself in and take my writing up a notch.

Also on a celebratory note, this is probably the least panicked I’ve ever felt in the hours preceding and after publication, which I think speaks to my growing confidence as a reporter. (OK, I think some of that is owed to trying to cram for a test on top of turning the story and being a little stir-crazy from not having much to do following the snowstorm, but I’m running with it, and I’m just going to be proud of it.)

New story: Cinematographer Andrew Droz Palermo documents struggle, life in Rich Hill


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