Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Different opinions

I had my second assignment back from my journalism course today and although the comments were mainly positive and encouraging, the tutor suggested something I'd never heard of or seen before. She advised me to put the first word of the first paragraph in each article in capital letters and not just the first letter. I've never done this before and never seen it in any books about writing that I've read before, either. It threw me a bit as I've had several articles accepted for publication now and none of the editors have mentioned this. Has anyone else done it?

I just found it an interesting comment The course is great and I'm enjoying doing it. I realise that courses don't suit everyone but I'm glad I'm taking this one. I've learned so much already and I know I will continue to learn more that will improve my writing.

I've got one article out there awaiting a verdict and one more to edit to resend out soon. Then it's back to the drawing board to have a think about what subjects I might write articles about next. It's a good job that assignment four is about doing just that - it couldn't have come at a better time for me as I was having some difficulty in thinking about what to write next. So I thought if I did some fiction for a while and assignment three (letters and fillers) by the time I get to do assignment three I will have some great ideas.

It's an ongoing process: thinking of ideas, pitching ideas to editors, researching, interviewing, writing the article, submitting, resubmitting, writing from a different slant and pitching to other markets. Never ending! And you have to keep on top of it if you want to see a steady stream of your work published.

Happy researching and writing

Julie xx

8 comments:

  1. It is endless, isn't it? Good thing we enjoy it!

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  2. Interesting Julie, a bit of an odd request though as I thought most editors don't want fancy fonts or layouts. Surely they do all the bits like that when they publish the piece?
    It will be interesting to see what comes back now with other people
    Di
    x

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  3. It's a real labour of love isn't it, Helen!

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  4. I'll do it for the assignments for her but I think I'll just carry on as I have been doing when sending them out to editors as I've never had any complaints so far from editors and none of them have requested that I change how I'm submitting my articles. I always follow the style of the particular magazine I'm aiming at anyway - which she said was a good idea.

    Julie xx

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  5. Hello! I'm a tutor, writer, and - although I've never edited - I've worked closely alongside many editors in magazine offices. Capitalising the first word is a terrible piece of advice. Some magazines do it, some capitalise several words, some use a drop capital, some use this font, and some use that font... none of it matters. *Never* attempt any 'design' or fancy fonting. This is the designer's job. Editor's want text, as Diane rightly says, and they want it as unfussily as possible. I've come across this before, and nobody I've ever spoken to about it thinks it's a good idea. To be honest, I'd consider it amateurish. It's also incredibly trivial. It matters so, so little. You're hardly going to get rejected because of it. Urgh. Sorry. I think it's now out of my system... Wishing you all the best. Alex.

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  6. Hi Alex and thank you so much for your most welcome comments! I'd never heard of it before either which is why I blogged about it. I've never done that for any of the articles I've sent out and had never seen it advised anywhere else. But hey ho, I guess every writer/editor/tutor has their own peculiarities and waays of doing things.

    As I said, I'll just do as my tutor advises for the articles I send them, but do it the way I've always done to the articles I submit to real editors! I was just interested in what other writers thought.

    Take care

    Julie

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  7. Ha, I admire your restraint! I'd be tempted to tell them! I was inspired by this - and indeed Diane's comment - to blog about 'designs and fancy fonts' myself today, so we'll see if anyone has similar experiences or alternative views. Will report back if so - or please feel free to take a look and comment. Cheers, Alex.

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  8. That's one of my problems in life I think, Alex, I'm too restrained!! I just took the attitude 'whatever' with them and reminded myself that as I had got the articles accepted they were obviously deemed good enough for publication by the editors. I think they are a control freak! I was, after all, doing them a favour by working hard to produce the articles and giving them publicity!

    You can't pleae everyone all the time so you just have to go for the best you can do and as I was the one who had studied the market and seen the style of articles my target magazines publish and they hadn't, I had to strike a middle ground that they and the editor and myself as the writer was happy with.

    What I have learned is not to rely on interviewees memories! That's why I record my interviews on dictaphone and keep the recording until a couple of months after the article has been published. That way, if an interviewee comes back to me claiming they didn't say something or they didn't mean something the way I've written it - I can send them a copy of their interview and they can hear that, yes, in fact, they did!

    Yes I'll come over as I'm interested to know what others think and whether they've come across this advice.

    Julie

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