Thursday, 15 September 2016

Water, water everywhere ...

Having been preoccupied with writing non-fiction books about the Great War, I've recently been getting back into the game of pitching articles. I had quite a lot of success previously with this and have a column in writing magazine as a result of my efforts.

I mentioned in the last post that I'd been reading up on pitching articles as I was feeling a little rusty with it being so long since I'd last tried. I found, however, that it wasn't just the mechanics of pitching that interested me - it was the confusion over ideas and just what to pitch. It was like stage fright!

So how do you find that one idea that editors will snap up, and how do you keep doing it? One of the things that jumped out of my research was the need to come up with a unique angle because every other writer and their dog will be hitting the ordinary angle.  To me, it's a case of water, water everywhere ... But I'm afraid to dip my toes in. Where do you even start?

One idea I came across in a book about short story writing, but which can be useful also for feature writing is to pick a topic and brainstorm potential feature ideas from this. Then you disregard the first three as these will be the ideas most other writers will come up with too.

I've decided to give that a go. It's early days but I'm already finding some interesting results. If you're new to the pitching game, or, like me, just getting back into it, give it a go. What other advice have you found helpful?