A quick checklist of the six stages of layering a story. 

Layer 1: Basic facts
The bare outline of who and what the story is about

Layer 2: More facts and a timeline
Expand basic facts with more detail
Find a beginning, middle and end

Layer 3: Narrative detail
Add the who, what, when, where and what happened next

Layer 4: Deepen and strengthen
Add more substance to the important themes in the story

Layer 5: The human element
Add emotions, feelings, upsets, hopes, fears, wishes, disappointments, with the emphasis on direct quotation

Layer 6: The unexpected
Listen for those small insightful bits of information or speech that make a story come alive

The information gathering stage is now complete. The work of writing has yet to begin. Narrative techniques to increase the power and impact of the story will be dealt with in a further section.

Next section: INTERVIEWING