Saddam and editing

I found this piece of writing interesting because it was a profile on a famous figure and not once did the writer ever interview that individual. In this article, Bowden's investigative research is very apparent, especially his interviews with people who were military leaders and friends of Saddams. One aspect I liked about this article is that the writer cut it up into chapters. I was able to better understand the subjects and the information. I can't imagine how much material Bowden had to write this story. He could have written it in so many different angles. In Telling True Stories, Sonia Nazario talks about how to transform your notes into the best structure. She writes about how having more then one draft is necessary. For one of her stories, which began as 95,000 words, she went through ten drafts to cut-down on the length. Between the drafts she did two things
1: she reduced "the length" and focused "relentlessly on the story's central purpose"
2. she had to cut out characters
She says after the story gets narrowed down she was able to write the story sharper and more focused. I wonder how Bowden's process was when writing this article about Saddam. There must have been so much information, but how did he decide what to include. She says writers should ask certain questions when trying to trim down their writing...
1. Is this really necessary?
2. How much is lost by cutting it?
3. How much would be gained by speeding up the narrative?
4. If I keep it, how can I make it better, shorter?

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This page contains a single entry by hanse933 published on April 5, 2010 4:12 PM.

Saddam's power, isolation, and vanity was the previous entry in this blog.

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