Intro from Jay Allison: Radio students from all over the country, plus Canada and Australia, came to live on Cape Cod for a couple of months to attend the Fall 2012 Transom Story Workshop. Rob Rosenthal and Sarah Reynolds ran the class with dedication, and made sure the students came away with skills enough to craft lovely pieces… which they did. The students found remarkable stories sitting under the noses of us who’ve been living here for decades. Come listen. It’s impressive to hear such work from a group of people just starting out, and it’s encouraging too, because there’s bound to be more of it.
About “The Great Race”
I found this story by following my own feet. Because like the story star Pete Stringer, I love to run. The difference between Pete and me? 44 years, 208 marathons.
So coming into my first interview with marathon man Pete, I was prepared for a story about running. And it took all of two minutes for that notion to go out the window. Because as Pete explained his pathway into long distance running – via alcoholism, homelessness and unemployment – the story shifted from athletics to addiction. As an over-prepared, questions-typed-and-grouped-in-a-logical-order type gal, this was a superb lesson for me. If and when required, toss that preparedness out the door and listen up!
In putting together the story, I placed myself within Pete’s orbit – interviewing him, his wife, the participant’s of the running group he coaches, even recording the sound of his breath during the Cape Cod Marathon. And I loved it. Loved getting to know Pete and his running world. The downside was that I amassed 12 hours of tape and 3-4 possible stories. And it was in the sorting through these miles of tape, and in the script writing (and re-writing), that lesson 2 was lodged. Be ruthless. No matter how many fascinating sub-plots, intriguing friends/family members, or (completely unrelated) but simply enthralling stories you’ve collected, be ruthless. Find that nut, that kernel of all the possible stories that you simply MUST, simply WILL tell, and stick to it.
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