Monday, July 27, 2015

Bio Writing

Colon Camp was almost two months and I'm still banging away on these Colondar bios.  They're done soon and I need to bang these puppies out, but they simply can't be rushed.  This writing is so unlike anything else I do.  I don't know what the bio is going to be about until I've started writing it for awhile, and I'm often changing not insignificant things until the very end.

I feel these bios write themselves.  I spend some time soaking up all of the information about each model I have -- their application, the long bio that they provide, their application photos, and my interview notes (which can be quite a few pages, especially if we have an interview that went over two hours).  Often I'll read through a bit of their own personal blog and their Facebook pages to learn a bit more about them.

And then once I have all of that information, I sit and let it all percolate.  Many of these bios are smart cookies and/or eloquent writers, and the bios that they provide with their application would be just fine for telling their story in a widely-distributed publication, with only minor tweaks.

So what's my role then?

Good question.

The bio that each model provides is usually typical a description of events that happened to them in chronological order.  That's exactly what we ask of them, but what we want to appear in the Colondar is more of a story.  Something that's a little shorter than what they typically provide (there's no room to tell the world everything about each model that we would love to tell).  We want their story to be something positive, inspiring and/or uplifting; something unique to them; and (at least for the bios I write) to be a bit informative about CRC awareness.

I just banged out my first one, which took quite a while to get done, which leaves only 3 left.  I tend to be a bit of a perfectionist, which is definitely an albatross around my neck on this task, but I keep working on the stories until they're done.  And the stories tell me when they're done.

To borrow the Ernest & Julio Gallo tagline, "I will deliver no bio before it's time."

The writer deep in thought.