Writing Articles

Why Create An Online Magazine?


By E. P. Ned Burke

As an online magazine publisher, not only can you easily achieve the benefits a conventional magazine publisher enjoys without having to chop down several trees in the process, you can also conveniently spread your writing influence and expertise to your base of subscribers as well as to the entire world.

On the Internet, it is very possible to gain respect and make money by becoming an online magazine publisher. And the best way to do this is by starting your own online magazine.

In a nutshell, you set up a web site for your magazine and then alert your subscribers when a new issue goes live on the Internet.

You do not have to invest in expensive printing equipment to run your magazine publication, resulting in a lot of time, money and effort saved.

If you do not have the imagination to create a product for sale, then publishing your own online magazine can be one of the wisest decisions you will ever make, given the benefits of impressive marketing power and influence it can offer you, as well as the opportunity to show off your writing talent.

There are many advantages to publishing an online magazine. The most obvious reason is that it is so easy to start one that any individual can do it.

You can do this from the comfort of your home and all you need to get started is a computer, a web site, and an auto responder equipped with broadcast features. Auto responders such as GetResponse.com and aWeber.com are very popular, but I prefer VerticalResponse.com because you don’t need to pay a monthly fee, if you don’t want to. You can simply pay as you go, which is a good feature when you are first starting to collect subscribers.

In spite of the low start up costs, you can make money from several profit centers within the spaces of your online magazine issues. You can make money from selling advertising space, just to name one.

Most importantly, you get to build your own personal media and spread your influence, making you more valuable to other editors and publishers. If you decide to write a book, your online magazine will be a perfect vehicle to promote your work. And having your own magazine sure helps get your foot in the door of big name publishers.

When choosing a topic for your online magazine, you must consider some important success factors that can determine the flow and goal of your magazine.

You should write non-time sensitive contents such as short tips, mini stories, personal essays, advice articles, or interviews. Doing so enables you to create content in advance so that you can conveniently dispense it to your subscribers at a later schedule.

Topic-wise, you will do well to cater to a starving market that will always want the kind of content you offer. And by this, I mean that you should zero in on a demand that has been, is, and will always be there.

Relationships and dating are niches that have been on earth long before the World Wide Web came up, for example. The food niche will always be there as long as there are chefs cooking for anyone with a stomach to fill.

Having said that, you also want to have a steady stream of products or services of your own or from an affiliate that you can sell to your mailing list and make even more money.

This is just another reason why the online magazine niche will remain one of the hottest niches there is, as information on products and services or quality entertainment never goes out of style.

Writing E-Books - Cheaper Than A College Education

By E. P. Ned Burke

Thanks to the ever-widening horizon of the speedy internet, this is the picture of the future: A vast library with no bookshelves, no book counters, and no hard cover or paperback books. The entire space is empty, save for rows upon rows of swivel chairs facing slim and sleek monitors. It’s still a library, still a storehouse for thousands (millions!) of free or inexpensive books. But there is a big difference.

Tomorrow's library is going to be a world of billions of e-books, taking up a very tiny fraction of computer memory space compared to today's rooms filled with costly heavy books.

If you're a writer, you need to think of the future. You will need reference books, tons of them. And you’re probably spending a fortune on books right now that clutter up your house or apartment. But e-books on writing and other subjects is a no-hassle solution. Why are e-books indispensable? Here are some reasons:

* If you’re in need of knowing more about some points you can either cross-reference using hyperlinks, or copy the points and find out the relevant information over the Internet.

* You can store millions of e-books on your computer’s hard disk and, as a result, your study room remains spacious and uncluttered. 

* You can print your e-books and bind them with inexpensive coil rings and even carry dozens of them anywhere, with a weight much less than your portable laptop.

* If you are a senior or have poor eyesight, you will benefit from reading e-books because a simple mouse click on your computer can enlarge the size of text at any time. E-books, unlike traditional printed books, allow you to adjust the text size or font face whenever you want.

* Tired of reading? Wish someone could read it to you? Well, once again, e-books are your answer. With downloadable e-books, it’s a simple matter of using a text-to-speech software program to automatically convert your e-book into an audio book.

* Thousands of e-books on writing can be found easily online and downloaded quickly and inexpensively. Look for a one-stop information and learning center that will meet all your needs on one site, rather than having to surf the entire web.

This is what Minhaz Parvez of Bangladesh has to say about his experience on how e-books helped him write a cook book:

“I’ve never even baked bread, all by myself. I’ve nonetheless seen that cook books are now selling like crazy. So I decided to be a writer for the wannabe chefs out there. I punched ‘e-books, cooking’ into Google and wow! I came up with many digital pages that squeezed a writer out of me. But, my search did not end there. I went even further and found more web sites and e-books. Enough information to fill a book! And so now, me the non-cook, has his own cook book that will soon hit the bookstores.”

So face it! The future is now. And ‘how to ebooks’ will give you the information and inspiration you’ll need to stay ahead of the learning curve of today’s ever-changing world. The price for knowledge has never been so low. 

Top Home Businesses: Learn to Write Articles

By Mike Muir

One of the most effective means of marketing your Website is by writing business related articles. Ordinary people like you and me are more than capable of writing articles about their own experiences.

Writing and distributing articles is an extremely effective way of attracting visitors to your site. Don't believe that you need years of experience to be able to write articles.

Once you've started your own online business, and have been through a few hoops, you'll already know far more than the millions of people online, who're looking for information!

Write from your own experiences in getting started with your internet business. Help other people through the elimination process you've been through, in examining the options you considered, and describe what prompted you to go the route you've chosen.

You will certainly have made some mistakes along the way. Write about them, so that others will benefit from your experiences. Describe the steps you took to correct your mistakes, and in this way you will be seen as a genuine, helpful person, who is prepared to share your experience, to the benefit of others.

You don't need fancy linguistic skills to write articles; write in plain, simple, down to earth English. It's a good

idea also to read articles by other authors, to get ideas about style and content and you'll find that reading articles will trigger your own thought processes, and then you're ready to have a go!

Once you start writing, you'll find that the ideas and the words suddenly start to flow. When that happens - keep going and don't get too bogged down with grammar and spelling. You will need to correct these later, but try not to interrupt your creative flow.

Once your readers realize that your site offers useful information which can assist them in establishing their own businesses, they will come back for more information. The trick then is to keep a ready supply of fresh, informative articles, to be published once or twice a week. The search engines love fresh content, and this will move your site up in the page rankings.

Once you've written your articles - spend time proof-reading very carefully. You will quickly lose credibility if your article is thick with grammatical or  spelling errors, and your expert status will be lost.  Your computer has a spell-check, so do use it.

Keep paragraphs no longer than two or three sentences - this makes for much easier reading than long, complicated paragraphs. This also helps reinforce a punchy direct style which has more impact on your reader. Remember you're writing to provide information, so avoid long flowery phrases and overly complicated explanations.

Articles should ideally be between about 450 and 600 words long. Most readers are looking for a quick overview, and something too long will deter many of them from reading your whole article. Cover the points you wish to make clearly and succinctly, rather than in too much detail.

Remember of course that you'll also get better with practice, so break the ice and have a go! It will be worth the effort for sure.

About the Author:  Mike Muir writes informative articles aimed at assisting new home business owners. For more useful information please visit his Blog at: http://www.mikeshomebiz.com/blog

Want more information about online business opportunities? Please go to http://www.mikeshomebiz.com

Ebook Publishing Is the Fastest Way to Make Money Online

By Cory Threlfall

There are many different ways to earn a living via the World Wide Web these days.  Some individuals sell items on auction websites whereas others engage in freelance writing for web content in order to bring home a paycheck.  For those who express an interest in writing web content, one of the fastest ways to make money online is to do so by ebook publishing.  There are a few reasons why this type of online publishing is the best and quickest way to gain an income online.

Can Be Published in a Quick Manner

As opposed to written text in a physical form such as books and magazines, ebooks are items which can be published in a quick manner.  As soon as the writer is finished writing the ebook, they can be well on their way to having it published online.  The way in which the Internet works allows individuals to take their ideas, whether it be in the form of ebook publishing or otherwise, and then put it online as soon as they are ready to do so.  This quick way of publishing this variety of written material makes producing ebooks and getting paid for them a fast way to make money online.

Distributed to a Large Group of Individuals All At Once

Another reason why ebook publishing is the fastest way to make money online is that this type of web content can be distributed to a large group of individuals all at once.

When the ebook is completely written, the next step of publishing the item can be easily done.  Some individuals will sell the item on their website whereas others will go through online publishers in order to get the job done.  No matter which route is chosen, the writer of the ebook will be able to provide all Internet users with the ability to view and purchase their ebook online.  The more people who view and ultimately buy the ebook published online, the more money one will make in a speedy fashion.

Little or No Overhead Involved

Those who may be considering ebook publishing as a way to gain a quick income online will also find that they will be able to keep much of the money that is paid to them by purchasers due to the fact that there is little or no overhead involved.  All that ebook writing and ultimately publishing really takes is one's time, creativity and perhaps a small fee if using an online publisher to advertise the ebook.  Therefore, the less overhead that is nvolved, the more money the ebook writer will be able to keep.

Ebooks Can Be Sold Online On a Continual Basis

Another way that ebook publishing can be considered a fast way to make money online is that once it is written, the ebook can continually be sold online so long as the material does not become outdated.  This means that the writer of the ebook can simply sit back and relax while their ebook basically sells itself.  As opposed to a web  content writer who has to constantly submit new articles and only be paid on a per article basis, ebook writers need only write the book once and then have it be sold time and time again online, usually for quite a favorable price.

This is another important reason why ebook publishing is the fastest way to make money online and something which all web content producers should considering doing.

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How Many Articles Can You Write in an Hour?

By Jeff Schuman

When it comes to article writing, there has long been a debate about whether to write for quality or whether to write for quantity. One thing I would ask you to consider right here and right now....

How many articles can you write in an hour?

Let me give you some parameters that might help you answer that question.

First of all you do not need to write article masterpieces. Your articles need to contain a useful theme, and they need to be written with proper grammar and good spelling.

Your goal is to get traffic and nothing more from these!

Writing on the Internet is different than writing in other areas such as newspaper, magazines, books, and so on. An article on the Internet really only needs to be 250 to 300 words in many article directories.

You can quickly do this if you have a grasp of the subject that you are writing about. One of the keys to writing quickly is to have either your article titles, or at the very least the theme for your articles, laid out in place before you when you start/

With this in mind, you really do not need to do any research, and you can quickly begin to write articles that contain an introduction, a body with three or four bullet points, and a closing that summarizes what you just wrote about.

I can tell you from personal experience I can write an article in less than 10 minutes using the Dragon voice recognition software. Those of you that know how to type much better than me can write an article in less than 10 minutes as well if you know what you're doing.

So in summary, how many articles can you write an hour, my answer would be I can consistently knock out five to six articles per hour all day long if I want to. This article took me less than 10 minutes to write!

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Self-Publish Your Book and Tell the Big Boys to Take a Hike!

By E. P. Ned Burke

Many authors regard traditional publishers as pompous, totally unfair creatures with little, if any, consideration for the feelings of another human being. And, in many cases, they are right. So forget 'em. Self-publish your book now!

When an author's work is rejected from some snobby NY firm, you can be certain the publisher responsible for this dastardly act will be blacklisted for eternity. Authors have even resorted to voodoo and witchcraft to bring about revenge, I am told.

It's true that many big money publishers regard authors with the same amount of enthusiasm as a shot of penicillin. That is, they realize they need a few of them to fill up pages of a book which they in turn sell for a profit, but somehow they can't shake the feeling they are being fed nothing more than fungus on moldy cheese.

Actually, authors are a hard-working lot. Many are very prolific, like Charles Hamilton, alias Frank Richard "Billy Bunter." He was known to produce 80,000 words a week of finished copy. His lifetime output was said to be more than 72 million words. The fact that Charlie never married might have had something to do with his many hours of productive labor. But who can say.

Erle Stanley Gardner of Perry Mason fame worked on as many as seven novels at one time. Before he died in 1970, he dictated up to 10,000 words a day.

Then there was John Creaset, the British novelist, who pounded out two complete books in a single week. (Talk about touch-typing!)

A few authors did get paid well. Consider Hemingway being paid $30,000 for a 2,000-word article on bullfighting for Sports Illustrated in 1960. That's $15 a word for writing about some guy throwing the bull.

And let's not forget that "Big Publishers" often make mistakes. All you have to do is consider the people who turned down "Gone With The Wind" because they felt it was too long. Numerous publishers also rejected the novel "Peyton Place" before it was accepted and eventually sold 12 million copies.

But what publisher, or anyone else for that matter, would ever dream that six million people would go out and purchase a simple boy/girl postcard created by Donald McGill in the early 1900s with this caption:

He: "How do you like Kipling?"

She: "I don't know, you naughty boy. I've never Kippled."

This goes to show that an author must (for a better choice of words) stay the course. If he or she has talent and persistence, that author may eventually find a traditional publisher equally gifted and farsighted who will be quick to recognize these attributes.

But don't count on it. Instead, self-publish your book. At least that way you can see your book in print in a matter of weeks, rather than years. And no matter what you've heard, YOU will always be the one responsible for promoting your book ... unless, of course, you're James Patterson or Stephen King.

E. P. "Ned" Burke has been in the publishing business for 30 years. Besides holding the title of editor of various newspapers in Florida and Pennsylvania, he was also the publisher of Yesterday's Magazette, New Writer's and Writer's Guidelines and News magazines.

He has published seven novels and numerous articles and short stories. Currently, he is the president of E. P. Burke Publishing  and serves as editor of Yesterday's Magazette, and The Perspiring Writer Magazine.

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How To Earn Cash By Writing - Some Questions Answered

By Donald Massey

One of the most interesting and viable options to earn money through the internet is by writing articles. If you have a flair for writing or if you want to put to use you knowledge on many subjects, it is not difficult to earn cash by writing. You can opt for freelance writing which is considered by many as arguably the best way to earn money online.

How can I earn money easily by writing?

The million dollar question - how can I earn money or make money online? The answer is simple. 'Freelance writing' - which involves writing for people having a content requirement. These people usually have products or services to sell and need content to promote their business on the internet. The content that you write is put up in these sites for people to read and understand about the product or services offered by the site. It can also be used to announce something new the site has to offer.

You can write just general content, content which is targeted at search engines which includes keyword oriented writing, content for encyclopedias, ezines, press releases e-newsletters, knowledge sharing websites and much more.

Thus, there are plenty of options available in online writing jobs.

Freelance writing offers great advantages as well as freedom. You can choose to write in your time without feeling the constraint of a regular 9 to 5 job. You can also voice your opinions or concerns and get paid for them too! If you are someone seeking a way to voice your opinions on subjects which you specialize, writing articles or blogs or ezines is a great way to showcase your ideas and bring awareness to people.

How good or bad is the payment for online earn cash opportunities?

Payments received for online jobs are very good and lucrative. Freelance writing jobs can earn you considerable cash, using the internet as a means for receiving and submitting your work. However, to be able to earn a considerable and rewarding income, it is advisable that you write on subjects in which you possess in-depth knowledge.

Another best practice is to register on web portals that act as mediators between you and the person or company offering you an online writing job. As you will probably never know or meet the people offering you the online writing job, you may be duped and cheated out of your payment. This is where such portals make life easier for freelance writers. You can also ask the job provider for a token advance payment as a show of good faith to safeguard your interests.

Indirect advantages of online writing jobs

Online writing can take you across writing projects which enhance your knowledge and writing skills. These jobs can be done from the comfort of your home, your office, during weekends, in other words, whenever you have extra time to spare for writing. Many online jobs give the benefit of flexible work hours, so you can pick and choose projects and the time you want to do them, while earning good money at the same time.

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The Power of Word Pictures

By Gary Eby

It is the last full day of our vacation in Yachats, pronounced "ya-hahts".

This amazing place was named after the Yachats Native Americans who were hunters and gathers in the 1500's. There are several translations of the word, but the one I appreciate the most truly characterizes the environment here: "as far as you can go along the beach."

I am in our living room, nestled up in the lounge chair, looking at the omnipresent ocean through our panoramic view windows. The sky is cloudy at 7:30A.M., with streaks of power blue on the horizon, hinting of a possible clearing.

Ocean waters appear foamy, grayish-white, but they play surf music with wave cymbals and splash drums. Sometimes they erupt into blow-hole spectaculars—actually shooting spray twenty or more feet into the air between the volcanic rock fingers.

I have no idea what I will write about today. And you know what? That's okay. I will just let it flow; but I do want to provide more advice to aspiring writers, and some energetic support to all who delight in the healing power of words.

First idea, I think writers should capture images that inspire and connect emotionally with the reader. For example, the last two sunsets here were an almost out-of-body experience for me. We can all relate to sunsets, right?

Along these lines, I recall the sun sphere presented its magical illusion of disappearing into the ocean horizon. The sky became a radiant portrait of pastel colored ribbons, gleaming with flame red, tangerine, soft pink, and all shades in between.

Such a vision was accompanied by a sea chorus, singing to all of us about the mystery and wonder of life.

Next idea, I suggest writers read their material out loud. The sound of words casts a rhythm of sentences, which comfort, inspire, and reveal pathways to better stories. Or, they can even point the way to emotional healing.

To illustrate this, I remember the hike I took yesterday with our son Jason and our 14-year-old granddaughter, Kaidyn. I experienced considerable comfort and pleasure from reading out loud the following passages:

We started at a place called Cape Perpetua, high in the mountains off the Highway 101 South, heading out of Yachats towards the quaint town of Florence. The ocean view from the roadside observation station was enough to take our breath away.

In the distance was the pine tree covered peninsula that formed one arm of the U-shaped bay. Pulsating, whitecap waves, in parallel lines rolled endlessly up and over the volcanic rock slabs below. The rocks appeared to look like gigantic, distorted, black and white checkerboard squares.

This scene compelled us to move down the hilly hiking trail, which descended through ferns and Queen Annes Lace fauna to explore the rock formations at the oceans' edge. These ancient protrusions, we soon discovered, kept hidden wondrous tide pools, stocked with fishy sea smells of anemones, multicolored star fish, and purple and pink sea urchins.

We laughed and shouted to each other when making new discoveries, played out against a background of surf timpani and blow-hole eruptions. The water spray, sea energy, and excitement underscored the incalculable value of family love, and the awesome glory of life itself.

Last idea, whether you are a writer or not, I can't emphasize enough the importance of slowing down to stop and breathe. When you live more in the moment, your positive inner voice will guide you to achieve whatever you seek—published books or healthy lives.

I believe we move too fast in American culture, or we just numb ourselves out with mind altering behaviors, distractions, and electronic devices. Let me share with you how I slowed down on my vacation.

At 10:30A.M this morning, the clouds had moved out, the sun is gloriously back, framing the sky with a collage of deep blue, power blue, and pale pinks on the ocean horizon. I walked outside to the grassy cliff behind our rental home, and simply paused to listen.

I became aware of the sea concert carried on a salty, windy breeze that embraced all of my senses. I assumed the crouching Tai Chi position, took a deep breath for three seconds, exhaled slowly for six; and floated my arms up like the extended wings of a great swan.

As I went through my healing ritual of breathing, stretching, dancing, and affirmations, I noticed my son and granddaughter observing me through the windows. They were laughing and copying my various closed-hand prayer positions. I smiled back, gave them a thumbs up, and finished the process of standing still in the blessed moment of the now.

Oh yes, the message (my inner voice spoke to me) was about the acceptance of humility and gratitude that comes from recording these precious moments; and the joy of sharing them with all who find comfort from a writer's word pictures.

Mr. Eby is a Master Social Worker with more than 30 years of professional experience. He is an author published by SterlingHouse. He currently works as a therapist and counselor at Options For Southern Oregon, the local mental health agency. He has also provided online life coaching services on eBay for many years. For more information visit his site at http://www.squidoo.com/garyeby

How to Tug at Your Readers' Heart Strings

By Mervyn Love

When we think about emotion in a story the word can mean different things to different people. The main divide and therefore the main difference is, of course, the male/female one. It might seem obvious, but if there is any doubt as to which you are writing for, men or women, think about it because your story must be couched to suit.

As a general rule women want to be moved by love, sympathy, uplifting sentiments, incidents of caring and nurture, etc. This is not to say that they don't want excitement, danger or cliff hangers, but most women will respond to the higher emotions more readily than men.

Men want, again as a general rule, to read about action, danger and success in conflict. The emotions they respond to are fear, anger, sometimes hate, triumph and anything that shows the hero feeling fulfilled by overcoming the obstacles that have been thrown his way. Which is not to say that they don't like the love element, but it is often, shall we say, on a more basic level.

Now please don't hold up your hands in horror and cry 'stereotypes!' Face the facts: men and women really are different! As a general rule.

When you begin a story take a good look at your hero or heroine and decide exactly how they would react in the situation you are about to pitch them into.

This means working out where they have come from in their life journey to date. Are they bitter as a result of life's trials, or are they resigned to their fate? Or what? A word of warning: don't make your hero too well balanced. Remember, 'well balanced' can also equal 'boring'.

Remember also that your hero or heroine should be flawed in some way. So decide what that flaw is and the experience that produced it. Then colour their emotions and reactions accordingly.

Your readers want to experience what your characters are feeling so they can live vicariously through them. To do this you have to show what a character is feeling. This can be done by simply describing what is happening, such as:

'Amanda felt the hot blood rush to her cheeks.'

The context of the incident should tell the reader why. Is she blushing with embrassment, or is she angry?

You can let the character say what's happening:

'Stop talking like that! You make me so angry!'

For the male characters you can say something like:

'Dirk strode swiftly across the room, anger blazing in his eyes. His fist caught Parfitt squarely on the chin and sent him reeling. "Don't you dare talk to Amanda like that, you miserable toad!"'

Space the emotional scenes in your story so that the reader isn't in a constant state of emotional tension. It's OK to build these scenes as the story comes to a climax; just don't overdo it.

As a general rule (there's that phrase again!) readers want to feel satisfied, fulfilled and relieved that good triumphed over evil in the end. Learn to give them the emotional fix they're looking for and you will build a loyal readership eagerly awaiting your next story.

Mervyn Love writes on several topics including creative writing. His website http://www.WritersReign.co.uk has a mind-boggling array of resources, articles and links to keep any writer happy for hours. Subscribe to the WritersReign Article Writing course here: http://www.writersreign.co.uk/WRac.html

7 Formulas for Writing Articles That Get Read!

By Alexandria Brown

Many of us have been asked to write an article at one time or another. Maybe it's a contribution to the company newsletter. Or a promotional article to gain publicity for ourselves or our companies. Some of us write articles regularly for clients.

No matter why you're writing an article, it's your responsibility to make it be interesting - otherwise no one will read it. (Except you.)

So how can you make your article interesting and engage your reader? It's all about the ANGLE. First pick your topic. For example, let's say your topic is something boring ... "car wax." Now, here's where many people start writing.

Stop! You need an angle! What aspect of car wax do you want to write about? Is there anything new or sexy in the world of car wax that people are interested in? Some ideas: how the new generation of car waxes helps protect your paint job for twice as long, OR, an overview of the best five brands of car wax on the market, OR what the best type of wax is for your particular car. Get it? These are all angles. (By the way, I've never even waxed my car, so please take these ideas with a grain of salt! ; )

Ready to brainstorm your angles? Here are seven article "formulas" to get you started. Some elements of each may overlap with each other, but each formula is truly a distinct animal.

1. The How-To

People love how-to articles! They lead the reader step-by-step through how to reach an objective. They also sometimes offer resources the reader can contact for more information.

What expertise do *you* have to share? Turn that subject into an interesting how-to for readers. Examples: "How to Make Your Employees Stick Around Forever," "How to Find the Best Dress for Your Figure," and "How to Promote Your Business for Free."

2. The List

This is one of the most basic formulas and the easiest to write. Give a short one or two paragraph intro, then launch right into your list. Keep each item to a few sentences max. People love numbers, so number your list and give your total number in the title! Examples: "31 Ways to Organize Your Office," "15 Tips for Pain-Free Feet," "Five Reasons Management Won't Be the Same in 2001".

3. The "Straw Man"

Here you set up a premise and knock it down, showing the benefits of your alternative view or approach. This is ideal to use when you're discussing the drawbacks of a new practice or method that's controversial right now. Here's a great example we often see on the covers of health magazines: "Are High Protein Diets the Key to Fast Weight Loss?" You get all excited, thinking you've discovered an amazing dieting revelation. But the article reveals, point by point, that high protein diets are unsafe for the long term, and that of course the only reliable way to lose weight is through diet and exercise. Oh well! Back to the treadmill....

4. The Mini Case Study

Raise a provocative question and then answer it with three or four real-life examples. Example: For an article titled, "Should You Quit Your Job and Go Freelance?" you could begin with a few stats on how today's workforce is leaving the corporate world in search of solo bliss. Then you could feature a few real cases, each with different outcomes to show all sides of the issue.

5. The Interview

Choose a credible expert to interview for your article. For example, if your topic is the latest trends in banking, you could interview a top banking industry analyst. Present it in either a traditional article format or do a Q&A format.

6. The Trend

Trends aren't just for fashion! Whenever a trend sweeps a certain profession, you'll suddenly see dozens of articles covering the topic. From the latest hairstyle to the latest tax shelter, people want to know all about these trends - their origins, benefits, and drawbacks.

7. The Study Finding

These articles report the results of a study or survey. If you do a bit of research, you can probably dig up a recent study on which you can base your article. Examples: "Blue Chip Companies Cutting Marketing Budgets Across the Board," "Armadillos Now Deemed America's Favorite Pet," and "More 20 Somethings Finding Love Online."

Alexandria Brown is president of AKB Marketing Communications. Her FREE monthly e-zine gives "how-to" tips on writing compelling copy for Web sites, brochures, and e-zines. Learn how to attract new clients and strengthen your customer relationships! Subscribe today at http://www.akbwriting.com or by e-mailing to: KBMarCom-On@lists.webvalence.com 

Story Endings are Important, But How do You Get There?

By Mervyn Love

Should you know exactly how your story ends before you start or leave it to chance? Different writers go about it n different ways. Find out what suits you best.

There are four methods you can use to plan how your story will end:

1.  Just do it.

This is where you start writing from page one and hope it will all turn out right in the end. Fingers crossed.

Some writers deplore this approach, others find it works for them.

You've got an idea for a story and maybe the main characters are coming alive in your head. You've no idea how it's going to turn out, but you want to go for it anyway. And with luck and a dry wind you may well get there. So go for it. Time will tell whether you've got the creative tide running strongly enough to bring you safely into harbour or not.

The danger here is that your story might get stuck on the sandbank of I-don't-know-what-to-do-next or totally shipwrecked on the rocks of This-is-a-load-of-rubbish. If the former, then there may be hope of rescue. Read your story and jot down the main events so far. Now put your thinking cap on and decide seriously how you want it to turn out. Then do 'what ifs' to find a path into clear water and on to landfall.

2.  Bare bones.

This is where you write down the beginning, middle and end of the story, but otherwise leave it to develop itself.

Not a bad plan this one unless you're writing a mystery or detective novel and you need to plan things out more thoroughly than that.

For short stories it should work well.

3.  The whole caboodle

This is more applicable when writing a novel or a very long short story.

Write a detailed synopsis, maybe broken down by chapter or section, so that you know exactly how it's going to work out in the end.

Some authors use the 'cover-the-wall-with-A4s' method. Take a sheet of A4 for each chapter and write on it what is going to happen in that chapter. Then stick them on the wall in chapter order. This makes it easier to see at a glance what's going on and how everything links up. Use different coloured pens if you want to follow say a subplot through so that you don't forget anything.

This has the advantage, providing you've got the wall space, of being able to change things quickly, add, delete or merge chapters as you go along. You could use Word for Windows and read it all on screen, but it's just not the same.

4.  Suck it and see.

Write the first chapter or section to get a sense of whether it will run to a satisfying conclusion. You may or may not know what that is to begin with.

This method is good if you have a novel in mind and don't want to work out a detailed synopsis to start with.

When that first chapter is finished and it excites you, gives you goose bumps or simply that yeesss! feeling then you may be onto a good thing and it's worth taxing the brain cells to get the whole framework sorted out.


From personal experience this is what I think works:

Methods 1 and 2 work well for the short story; 3 is best for the longer story or novel, and 4 works OK for either.

Mervyn Love writes on several topics including creative writing. His website http://www.WritersReign.co.uk has a mind-boggling array of resources, articles and links to keep any writer happy for hours. Subscribe to the WritersReign Article Writing course here: http://www.writersreign.co.uk/WRac.html

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