Inquiry-Based Podcasts: A Reference Guide

NARRATIVE STRUCTURE
  • Anecdote/sequence of actions → reflection/theme (what does it mean?) → repeat
WHAT MAKES A GOOD STORY?
  • New and surprising
  • Character → to identify with and to interact with others
  • Fiction framing → conflict, changes, resolution (or maybe not)
  • Event
  • Sequence of actions
  • Suspense → makes you ask questions
  • Staging a drama as you get facts
  • Reflection → bigger picture, what does it mean?
  • Visual
BRAINSTORMING
  • Pitch stories that fit the elements of a good story, then make a theme to glom them together
  • Stories → question → drives how you interview and put the story together
EDITING
  • Add and take away “um,” “uh,” pauses to make it feel natural and human
  • Music provides a mood + tone
  • Music frames the story, allowing a shift/transition in mood, character, storyline, etc.
  • Vamps, melodies, underscoring
INTERVIEWING
  • Not enough to tell a story—you have to explain what it means
  • Prompt details
  • Ask leading questions of the bigger picture
CUTTING THE AUDIO
  • Log → paraphrased transcript, not stopping the audio
  • Pick favorite moments
  • Make a clean list of those moments
  • Outline in order of storyline
  • Write script
    • Different kinds of stories
    • Suspense
    • Step by step account of anecdote
    • Imagery
INQUIRY-DRIVEN PODCAST CHARACTERISTICS
  • Stories that ask big questions
  • Surprising, engaging characters
  • Authentic voices
  • Robust narrative structure
  • Intricate uses of sound as part of storytelling

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