As a writer, I am often surprised to find that the story that I “went after,” isn’t the story I truly want when it is all said and done. Rarely, do I not find a story behind the story. I find that it usually comes out, in some random way, some almost whispered truth that is just tossed out there before the subjects finishes a thought out thought.
I have never not found people and the lives, their history or experiences, amazingly brilliant. Even the worst of interviewees leave me leaving with a smile…. and a fleeting thought, that “wow, I didn’t see that coming.”
Stories are much like this bird that caught on photograph… It wasn’t the bird that drew me in, it was the breath-taking lake. But, once there, it was this bird that kept me captive. I marveled about how carefree it was, while other birds were dive bombing the local fisherman, and landing and flitting all around… this one seemed to simply be enjoying life. I watched him for the longest time before my hubby said it was time to go. As we pulled out of the parking lot and Tom asked if I saw this thing, or that thing.. I had to admit that I didn’t.. I was lost in the unexpected.
Good interviews are like that for me. I leave them having learned something new. Having mined some little nugget that I couldn’t have predicted. I left with the story…..behind the story.