Producing a Piece of Writing from a Transcript
Fiction is definitely my love, I am an escape artist of epic proportion. However I am starting to enjoy factual writing and even transcribing. My client recently asked me to record and then transcribe a conversation with his dying brother. I knew this would be hard. I carry with me at all times a big bubble of emotion but that had no place in this situation I had to be in control, professional and then I had to do my job.
There are a few stages to creating a piece of writing from a transcript but first you need the transcript, headphones in and get typing. There will always be that annoying moment where a plane goes overhead or someone interrupts you but generally after a few attempts the words are all down. This resembles a first draft manuscript, messy but its where all the content lies. The second draft is taking out all the he said, she said, just, so’s and then, then, thens. Then next is where you try to make sense of the words by putting them into sentences. Nobody talks in readable sentences, apart from the cast of a Jane Austen movie!
The third draft is where it starts to get interesting the content now makes sense but it needs a rejig. What the client said first might just be preamble and need completely cutting, whereas what they said last could be the introduction. This is the bit I love, a nice big wordy jigsaw.
Sitting next to the bed I was amazed at the presence and power in his words. This guy could of been one of the characters in the new Tarrantino film! He had swagger, a lovable rogue who draws you in with his compelling narrative and a sense of humour as dry as the Nullabor Desert! Fact can draw you further into another world faster than even fiction is capable. Transcribing might be a slightly more laborious job than fictional writing but nothing worthwhile is ever easy.
My book Sharks & Lovers is available to download here: