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Writing mulitple projects at the same time : Conversation question • Page 2 • Writing Forum | WritersDigest.com

Writing mulitple projects at the same time

Every month in Writer's Digest's InkWell section, we pose a question related to the writing life. Tell us your thoughts.
Fictional Cowboy
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Re: Writing mulitple projects at the same time

Postby Fictional Cowboy » Thu Jul 31, 2014 8:22 pm

~ Cowboy

If you're so inclined, feel free to correct my punctuation. I'm relearning.

DISCLAIMER: My posts are always my opinions, my thoughts and information based on my research. There are exceptions, and no one right way, to do everything.

James A. Ritchie
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Re: Writing mulitple projects at the same time

Postby James A. Ritchie » Thu Jul 31, 2014 9:23 pm

Well, Writer's Digest and Writer's Market are great places to find out abut magazines and guidelines. I honest believe far too many freelance writers start too small. They start writing for content sites, for itty-bitty magazines, for no pay sites, and no pay magazines, etc. This can be a trap that's hard to escape. Even the biggest magazines out there will buy from brand new writers, ones with no credits at all.

Read the magazines, figure out what they like, send the magazine a good query, and they will give you a chance. You just can't go by size. You have to go by what and where yu think your ideas fit in best. I used to go to the library, check out almost as many periodicals as they had, and take home six months worth of each. Most good freelancers I know do some variation of this, at least when starting out.

Rights aren't as much of a factor as many think. Good magazines have good rights contracts without need of negotiation.

The best way to start out is to jump right in, with only one step before this. You do need to learn how to write a good query letter. There are many trustworthy books and websites devoted to every stage of freelance writing. Freelance writers are usually even more willing to help than fiction writers.

Fictional Cowboy
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Re: Writing mulitple projects at the same time

Postby Fictional Cowboy » Thu Jul 31, 2014 9:51 pm

~ Cowboy

If you're so inclined, feel free to correct my punctuation. I'm relearning.

DISCLAIMER: My posts are always my opinions, my thoughts and information based on my research. There are exceptions, and no one right way, to do everything.

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DarkHorse
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Re: Writing mulitple projects at the same time

Postby DarkHorse » Sun Aug 10, 2014 9:42 am

. [/quote]

Will do. Regarding pitching magazines, I've heard different stories. Some say sending a query letter is enough. Others say to include a complete article according to the magazine's guidelines. Still others have said to send a query letter with an portion of the article you're pitching. Is a query letter really enough?

[quote]

I've had a few articles published in magazines here in the UK so of course there may be a different outlook on this in the US.

I was always told that the easiest way to make yourself look like an amateur is to send in a finished article. So I always send in a query letter.

What has worked well for me, and of course it will be different to everybody, is to send an outline of 'I would like to write an article about XYZ from the point of view ABC.' I then go on to the proposed title of the piece, what the byline would be, then I do a short first paragraph of the article. This, I believe, gives the editor chance to glimpse your writing style as well as understanding what the idea of the feature is.

I then go on to bullet point the questions that I will raise in the article, including names of people that I might want to interview, resources that I would want to quote from etc. And one thing I was very careful about from that very first approach, was to make the tone of the query read like I do this all the time - I'm a professional, this is all in a days work, if you see what I mean.

So absolutely no sense of 'I'm a rookie, me, you would be doing me a huge favour if you could publish something by little old me, oh wonderful Mr Editor.'

I'm sure you know that, so don't want to come over as patronising in anyway, but I know most of us writers live in a permanent state of feeling we are not good enough. Just don't let it show!

Go get 'em! :)
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mammamaia
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Re: Writing mulitple projects at the same time

Postby mammamaia » Sun Aug 10, 2014 10:49 am

each venue's submission guidelines trump all advice to the contrary... so one should just send what is specifically required, nothing more or less...

if a magazine's website doesn't include submission guidelines, or leaves it up to you, imo the most professional/least amateurish approach would be to send the complete article [in proper format, of course] with a standard cover letter... this allows the editor to simply accept or reject the submission, saving him/her time and energy wasted by having to deal with an outline and then request the ms be submitted...
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James A. Ritchie
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Re: Writing mulitple projects at the same time

Postby James A. Ritchie » Mon Aug 11, 2014 10:53 am

It always comes down to guidelines. I don't know of a top magazine that wants anything except queries for feature articles. Some, however, want a full article for departments and columns, and almost all want a complete article for humor, simply because humor is so subjective.

There are magazines with guidelines that say, "Query, or submit complete manuscript." In this case, it's probably best for a new writer to submit a complete manuscript, if writing it doesn't take a month and a half. The query letter is the lifeblood of a freelance writer, but when starting out, take every opportunity to show off your work.

The best way to look professional is always to follow guidelines. Pretty much every magazine out there has guidelines. Some are easier to find than others, but they are there.

123count
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Re: Writing mulitple projects at the same time

Postby 123count » Wed Aug 13, 2014 8:29 pm

It really depends on the person.
There are others who can do multiple tasks at one time
but for me, I finish one first then move on to the next one.
If there is a need to do other writing tasks, it's only minimal.
But it's a good way to gather ideas.
The more you write and read, the better are the flow of your ideas. :)

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