I know I’m probably a little biased since I have a background in journalism, but interviews make writing stronger. Period. Before you click away and tell me you write poetry or fiction, listen up.
All types of writing can benefit from expert insight.
Three Ways to Include Interviews in Your Writing
1. Fiction: Have you ever struggled to accurately describe and develop a serial killer in your murder mystery? I hope so. Consider scheduling an interview with a police officer,
detective or psychologist to learn the common mannerisms and backgrounds of serial killers. This research can transform your writing into a piece of well-researched, true-to-life fiction!
2. Poetry: In the past when I’ve written poetry, I’ve hidden in my little cocoon and let my creativity flow. Then I shut the notebook and never let anyone read it. Well, if you’re more courageous than I, and plan to publish your poetry, interviews can lend greater detail and description to the prose.
Musing about the beauty of roses? Talk to a horticulturist or master gardener to learn how many species and colors there really are. You might be the first person to write about the one variety without thorns or a variegated rose with red and pink petals and how it’s the rose to offer your true love. (Or, something like that. Remember, I’m not a poet or rose expert!)
3. Blogging: More and more blogging clients are asking me to interview experts to back up facts or to get personal quotes to create more compelling, original stories. Take a peek at this quote from a lifestyle article I wrote over five years ago for a local newspaper.
“I was very impressed with the appearance, the atmosphere, the residents, the employees. There just seemed to be a lightness in the air. Employees were laughing and joking. You could clearly see they enjoyed what they were doing. And residents, you could clearly see were content and happy,” Richter observed.
~ From “Family Finds Balance and Happiness in the Dunes: An Interview with Tom Richter of Dakota Dunes, South Dakota”, North Sioux City/Dakota Dunes Times, 2008.
The emotion and sincerity conveyed directly through Mr. Richter’s words paint an idyllic scene. I couldn’t paraphrase that quote and make the same impact on my readers.
So, have I sold you on the power of interviews yet? There’s no need to shy away from talking with an expert. Think of an interview as a conversation. You’re simply talking together and gathering knowledge.
Do you use interviews in your writing? Why or why not? Comment below!
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This blog post was updated on 2/25/16.
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