The New Kings of Nonfiction:
After reading this introduction I am excited to see what the rest of this book has in store. I've never really read nonfiction before for pleasure, which I believe will change starting now.
I enjoyed what Glass had to say about having empathy towards her interviewees. "I have this experience when I interview someone, if it's going well and we're really talking in a serious way, and they're telling me these very personal things, I fall in love a little" Glass said (pg 11). This really moved me in a way because I can totally see myself doing this same thing. I have a tendency to take things very personally so when someone tells me something, something so personal, I want to believe that they trust and respect me. For example, I've only written for The Statesman a couple times but when I was interviewing people I started to sympathize with them. One business woman told me an elaborate story about how her business was failing due to the economy and how she now doesn't know what to do to keep herself on top. This led me to asking so many questions that I was completely off topic by the time the interview was over.
This idea of empathizing with your interviewees leads me to one question for the class; is it possible to ask too many questions in a way that you start becoming unprofessional?
Telling True Stories:
All of the authors in this first part had incredible insight towards writing. The person I connected with most was Halberstam who gave some great advice on reading. "When you find a reporter whose work you admire, break his or her code" Halberstam said (pg 13). This really made me think about my own writing. If I read more, then I'll have so much more material and experiences to base my writing off of. It's almost like the authors and teaching you first hand to be a better writer which is very inspiring.
I think this idea of reading good writing improves your own writing, correlates directly to what Boo said in Difficult Journalism That's Slap-Up Fun. Her idea of storytelling as a three part process (pg 16) where thinking goes in-between reporting and writing is fantastic. In order to become genius writers you must look at what others have written, think about it and then to try create your own original piece. Seems difficult, but I suppose that's why we're all in this class in the first place.
A question I leave for the class is; do you think you'd be able to do what Boo and Banaszynski did by taking the roads and exploring the world, hoping that a story would come upon them, and when it did, staying there for months and even years to get the full idea?