Saturday, 18 April 2015

Bea Original

“Beware using well-worn themes” - “Avoid predictable plots” – “avoid stereotypes”

These comments are taken from magazine guidelines which if followed should make our job as writers easier. For their part presumably editors hope that by issuing guidelines their job will also be eased by reducing the amount of inappropriate submissions they receive.

Before writing I do my research. I find it helps to immerse myself in previous issues until my thought processes are attuned to what I believe the editor wants. It has to fit the house style, reflect the right tone and uphold the publication’s ethos. (As well as being interesting, entertaining, uplifting, etc)

But above all the story I write or the article I pitch has to be new. It has to be original. Ooh, this is a tough one. On the one hand it has to be something that I know from my research the readers will like. But it is not good enough simply to reproduce what has gone before. The challenge is to create something different. But not so diverse that it moves beyond the parameters set out by the magazine’s editors.

It’s not easy: it is said there are only seven stories in the world. It is dispiriting to receive a rejection letter or email telling me that my beautifully crafted, cleverly plotted, much loved tale is in fact a well-worn theme and one that has been used before.

Oh well, back to the computer. There are still six stories left to write.

No comments:

Post a Comment