One way to keep viewers engaged in a story from beginning to end is to write it as seamlessly as possible. What that means, in my mind, is making sure that every line connects to the next, whether it’s all narration or a mix of narration, sound bites and nat sound pops. And one technique for writing seamlessly is what’s sometimes called “parallel parking.”
Let’s say you have a sound bite that includes a relatively long pause. You might be tempted to tighten it up and cover the edit with a cutaway. But there’s another option: let the video roll and insert a short line of narration during the pause.
See how it’s done in this masterful story by Steve Hartman of CBS News. He parallel parks two short bits of narration into a sound bite one minute in.
There’s a lot of great stuff happening in that story in addition to the parallel parking, of course. Hartman reveals the twists in the story with expert skill, giving nothing away too soon. So please, watch it all the way to the end!