Tricks: Narrative Scripting Made Easier

We've been looking at ways to make narrative podcasting more effective, and I couldn't help but think of a trick from the field of anthropology that makes a huge difference when it comes to dealing with hours and hours of tape: coding!!!!

Pulling out the best pieces of audio

For those of you who transcribe your audio files and highlight or "select" specific parts that are meant to be kept, this will make a lot of sense. See, often times, as you're making your way through your transcript, deciding which piece of tape is worth keeping and which is worth chopping, you're highlighting specific sentences or phrases. Some people even take these highlights and start rearranging them in Google Docs as they start shaping a script. The problem is, if you're just highlighting, you quickly end up with a large dump of selects, and wonder, how in the world will I organize and structure all of this?

Efficiently organizing audio

That's where the simple social science concept of coding your interviews can be incredibly helpful. Coding for social sciences is, according to our friend Wikipedia, really a process of categorization meant to speed up analysis. You might start with a hypotheses about which codes, or buckets your episode will eventually entail. For example, I start with buckets like "background," for my interview subject's personal background information, or a bucket like "childhood" for thier deeper motivations. This way, when I add a number of selects to a piece of paper they're already pre-grouped into these initial themes. It makes structuring an episode a whole lot easier, especially when that episode has come from a few different sources of audio. Thoughts? Other tricks you want to share? Share a comment!

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