Sunday, August 01, 2010

The writing editions

Why is it so hard to do a writing edition of Third?

Karina e-mailed me asking that last week so I thought I'd do a post during a break for Third this week.

Here's one thing, Karina, the pitch meeting.

Everyone pitches what they think is the topic that needs to be covered. Now Ava and C.I. are always united. In part because they've already tossed around ideas on the road which usually means Kat and Wally (also on the road with them) have heard the idea so they're all four supporting. The rest of us are tossing out ideas as well. We may or may not have lined up support. And then we have to sell them to everyone else.

Now Ava and C.I. are firm in their ideas. They're not abstract and they don't toss out ideas that they don't believe can be written. "Is it interesting?" isn't the last question they ask. The last one is: "Can it be written?" And a lot of what we work on at Third comes from ideas that can't be written and we realize that many, many hours later.

Even good ideas can falter in the writing.

So there's all of that.

Equally true is that there are a group of people that can generally save anything or at least make it worth reading. I'd put Ava, C.I., Betty and Ty as the big four who can do that. There are others and we can all do it to some degree on a good day. That's in the writing.

It's also true that those four do a lot of hidden work on features where they're editing a sentence or rewriting a paragraph and suddenly the thing works where it didn't before. But on editing, the Power Six would be those four plus Dona and Jim and I think I'd rank Dona as the best editor of the six.

In addition to writing on topics, there is research and scouring online. Right now, my assignment is to go here. I'm usually on scouring with Ava and C.I. (we're in groups of four) and one other person. I told Ava and C.I. I was going to be blogging so they know they're carrying the bulk here.

Now after everything's semi-written, it's time to figure out what's worth posting online and what isn't. And that can be very sad because you have to be honest and say, "That's just not worth reading, let alone posting." And there are many articles we've said that about.

So that's how it goes.

Go to Third later this morning (or around one p.m. EST) and new content should be up. (Hopefully up a lot, lot earlier.)