Archive for August, 2008

Intros: hooking your reader

Most writers, including myself, tend to write their way into an article or story. We only ‘warm up’ by about the second or third paragraphs. On editing, you will hopefully see that your first paragraph can usually be scrapped, or incorporated elsewhere in the piece. For non-fiction writing, a good tip is to consciously start with a who? where? when? what? working intro, then give it some sparkle on the rewrite. For more on the 4W intro, see my post on How to Write a Feature Article and for fiction intros see how to write a short story, although it can equally be applied to novel openings.

For some excellent tips on creating the perfect intro visit Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen’s article on Writing Great Leads in which she encourages you to shock, challenge or provoke your readers into reading on. Laurie, along with yours truly,  is one of the regular contributors to the Write On blog carnival.

Cape Town Workshops filling up

Cape Town creative writing workshopsThere are only five more places left on the Cape Town workshops, so if you want to ensure a place, book today! Remember, your place is only confirmed after you pay. I will be away on holiday from 30 August – 6 September, so if you have any queries during that time email gill at mseed dot co dot za. She will be able to give you directions to the fabulous venue in Stellenbosch and bank details to pay your workshop fees.

I’m looking forward to seeing you there!

Book Club Reminder

bill-bryson-shakespeare-the-world-as-a-stageFor all you Crafty Writer Book Club members, we will open again this weekend to discuss Bill Bryson’s Shakespeare: the World as a Stage. That gives you a few days to finish, revisit or speed read the book. For those of you new to The Crafty Writer, once every two months (give or take) we discuss a best-selling book from a writer’s perspective. Continue reading ‘Book Club Reminder’

The dreaded covering letter

One of The Crafty Writer readers asked me recently to give her some advice on writing a covering letter for a picture book she’d written. Well I’ve already dealt with non-fiction covering letters for books and articles previously, but I haven’t looked at fiction. Note, this can be applied to adult and children’s books alike. So here goes. Continue reading ‘The dreaded covering letter’

11 Types of Articles to Write for Magazines

franklynn-peterson-the-magazine-writers-handbookDo you want to write an article for a magazine, but aren’t sure how to package it? Here’s help: brief definitions of eleven article formats, from round-ups to research shorts. Fellow freelance Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen has posted this very helpful outline on her site The Adventurous Writer. Anyone who gives a list of 11 things, rather than 10, has got to have something extra to say!

I found this article on a blog carnival I participated in over on The Incurable Disease of Writing. Check it out for a great round-up of the best on the web.

And don’t forget that our free non-fiction writing course also offers you some ideas on what and how to write for magazines.

Do you want to write full time?

It was the droll WC Fields who said: ‘Work is the curse of the drinking classes’. Well, the same can be said of the writing classes – at least full-time work that takes you out of the house and away from the thing you love the most. But before you give up the day job, read this sound advice from fellow freelance AmyM over at Three Questions and Answers.

For a British-based reality check, you should also check out my post on Can You Earn Money as a Writer?

Freelance writing for the internet

As an internet-based forum, The Crafty Writer thought it was high time we offered you some advice on writing for this medium. So we asked freelance web writer and editor Suzanne Elvidge to share her top tips on writing for the internet. Suzanne specialises in biotechnology, pharmaceuticals and healthcare, though she says she will write anything that results in an invoice. She writes poetry and short fiction in what she laughably calls spare time, and is plotting a novel and a book on being green. And now, over to Suzanne.
Continue reading ‘Freelance writing for the internet’

Writing for women’s magazines

The Crafty Writer asked top women’s magazine writer Lorna V how new writers could break into this aspirational market. Lorna has written for glossy, mass market and specialist women’s magazines in the UK and abroad, as well as national newspaper supplements. Her experience also includes editing Time Out’s consumer section. She’ll be running a three day Writing for Women’s Magazines course at the London School of Journalism in September, and also runs tailored individual courses through her website.
Continue reading ‘Writing for women’s magazines’

Happy Birthday, Crafty Writer!

The Crafty Writer is one-year-old today! Twelve months ago on 4 August 2007, we went live with our first post. Since then we’ve had an eventful year as we’ve brought you quality articles, interviews, courses and workshops on the business and craft of writing.

The Crafty Writer's first birthday
Image courtesy of jek in the box
Continue reading ‘Happy Birthday, Crafty Writer!’

Writing Fantasy Fiction

Fantasy is probably the most popular of all children’s genres; however much of it is still read and enjoyed by adult readers. One only has to look at the highly successful Harry Potter series to see how much influence this type of writing has. But as a writer you need to be aware of a few facts and conventions of the genre before trying your hand at writing fantasy.

writing fantasy fiction
Image courtesy of ginieland Continue reading ‘Writing Fantasy Fiction’