June 30, 2009 / Copywriting

List of stock questions for writers after they have presented their first draft

Written by Kristin Pitts

What happens in your story?
Can you write an active rather than passive story?
What is your favorite part of the story?
What is the best part of the story?
If the writer cannot answer these questions, the nugget probably is not going to be found in the rough draft.

What is the most important thing you want to convey about this sport/organization/event?
If the writer knows what their “message” or “theme” is, this may be the dynamite that gets you to the nugget.

Can I get an example of that?
This question is primarily used to generate more specific ideas from vague statements like, “They play fun games.”

Who was the most interesting person you talked to?
Why was he or she interesting?
Who cares?
Why should I care?
If you do not have an answer, or if the answer is no one, you have not found the story.

May I see your interview notes?
Look for key quotes that haven’t been used, quotes that lead you to ask more questions, details that are not clear, and holes.

Kristin Pitts