Sunday, June 12, 2011

Grant year, weeks 22 and 23: revising and research

I'm still working through my 50 pages plus synopsis for Hachette. Each time I do a read through I find more things to fix or tweak. Each time I do a read through I find it harder to maintain focus. I think because it's such a short segment of text, after a while you start thinking, 'yeah, yeah, I've read this a thousand times'. But then when you really focus and think, does this really work? I know what it says, I know what it means, but will someone coming fresh to it understand? That's when I find new things to fix.

The research has been very low-key but also necessary and rewarding. It's the sort of thing I could have done before I started writing, but then again I had so much information buzzing around my head when I started writing, it probably wouldn't have sunk in. I've been looking at investigative journalism. I watched 'The Moonlight State' and I'm reading Phil Dickie's The Road to Fitzgerald.

Both look at corruption in Queensland in the 1970s and 80s. Dickie's book has been particularly useful from the point of view of seeing how small pieces of information are pulled together to reveal a bigger picture. Car rego numbers, lease information, information about companies and who owns them. Each piece of information, on its own, doesn't mean much. But put them all together and you can bring down a government.

The Road to Fitzgerald is a great read. Highly recommended.

And it's important for Skin Deep because in the first draft, Harry just sort of gets this information and doesn't really do much and then all of a sudden he's got this massive story. Part of his journey should be to rediscover his passion for journalism and to play a more active role in his own narrative. It sounds pretty obvious, right? But often these details can get lost in a first draft.

Posted via email from garykemble's posterous

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