4 Simple Tricks – How to become a ‘good’ magazine writer
Information is fine, but what makes an article interesting is an Art. And this art is equally important for every kind of writing, regardless of the genre you have been writing for. You may be writing for a news magazine or a business magazine or fashion & lifestyle magazine or may be for technology or kids, or women or sports or health or sports or entertainment magazine… any genre for that matter.
It is not necessary that if you are a serious business or financial magazine writer then to hone your writing skills, you need to read similar kind of magazines or books only. In fact, you can learn from lifestyle magazines or men’s magazine or any respected magazine from various other verticals. That is true that to sharpen your knowledge and updates about your own subject/genre you need to read good books and magazines from your respective genre, but to learn the art of writing, you should go beyond your domain.
If you are open to learn from other magazines (then the first and the biggest hurdle you have already cleared) keep this in your mind that you have not picked up this particular magazine to read, you have to learn from it. You need to know what you should look carefully in order to learn. At the first glance it may not appeal to you and may not interest to you. But, remember your aim for picking up this magazine and go through it as per the following fourguidelines. These four points are key areas where you need to focus when you are reading any article from this magazine.
1. Headline: Read it carefully.
Read it very carefully, read them again… and one more time. Try to figure out the sole intention of the author for putting this particular headline for this article. What is the important characteristic of this headline – Is it inviting? Or is it provoking? Or shaking? Or promising, teasing, pinching, hurting, touching or is it sensational? Because, a headline for a magazine article, plays the most critical role to attract a reader when he is just flipping the pages carelessly.
2. Opening: See the starting lines and the opening paragraph.
Pay your attention to the opening sentences of the article how the author is trying to get you into the story. How is he trying to create your interest to read it further- may be by raising your curiosity in some particular topic or by promising some benefits if you read the complete article.
3. Words: Observe the selection of words.
A good story-teller always takes care of the flow of his story. He knows when a particular element needs to be introduced and how it should be introduced. He carefully selects his words to convey his exact meaning what he wants to say. He maintains the pace and the sequence of information or events in the article so that reader should not feel jerks through his smooth ride of reading the article. Look how the author has added some extra information to add value to the article. Look how does he engages, hooks and controls the attention of the reader using his tone of writing or may be through adding some personal connection with the reader.
4. Ending: Never miss the climax.
Closing is also very important, so never take it easy. Article should not have only a smooth ending but also look how a good author makes sure that his closing is fulfilling the promise he has made though his headline. He ensures that at end of the article, his reader must get some take away from the article.
Once you start reading other good magazines on these grounds, you will start gauging the quality of each article and that eventually improve your own writing skills in return. Whenever you visit to the newsstand next time, pickup a couple of good magazines from different genres and read their articles carefully and learn from them. Someday, somewhere, someone else might be learning ‘the art or writing’ by reading an article in your magazine which is written by you. Cheers!
– G S Virdi
Editor and Magazine Consultant