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