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A writer stares at a blank page, sweating. How to get started? If only there were a simple guide somewhere to writing articles for the Internet, newspapers or magazines!
So you want to write the perfect article? Welcome. I’ll tell you how.
The essential starting point is that you must have a clear central message. What are you trying to say? What’s your point? Clarity on this makes everything that follows much easier.
Start by reading part 1 of this series “7 tips for writing the perfect article” (links in bold italics are to other posts of mine on this website). It shows how to decide on your message and make sure what you are writing is relevant. Later, in part 3, How to write great Nut-grafs & Cosmic Kickers, you can see two worked examples based on the model set out below.
Once you are clear on what you want to say, it’s time to get started. “The best way to start work is to start work”. Structure is everything.
Many journalists use a simple template. There are lots of ways of doing this; but the following, based on advice from a US journalist friend, has worked well for me in numerous feature articles during my time as a freelance journalist. A worked example is at the end of this blog.
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Your article should consist of the following elements. I’ve set them out in the order in which they will appear (more…)