Reading Between the Lines


Words matter. Finding the right word matters even more. That’s why I love the delete key. I can type and retype to my heart’s content. (Or until my deadline hits.)

The great Leonardo da Vinci said, “Art is never finished. Only abandoned.” And I’m pretty sure he was talking about the art of copywriting.

To craft the most powerful story, sometimes we have to read between the lines.

This is especially true after recording an interview and trying to reassemble soundbites for maximum impact.

Check out this meet-the-doctor-script that I pulled together from an interview with a plastic surgeon who specializes in repairing children’s cleft lips and palates. This particular doctor desires a branding video that will captivate the hearts and minds of parents with children in need of craniofacial reconstruction.

It was a 45-minute interview. The transcript yielded more than 4600 words. My job was to cut and paste soundbites in order to create a script that spanned 2.5 minutes, which is approximately 400 words. Challenge. Accepted.

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