Get Hooked On Writing!

Issue # 3 Tuesday, May 19, 1998

This Week's Author: Linda Davis Kyle

Linda Davis Kyle is an American writer whose works have been published in North America, Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia. She is the editor and publisher of Writing Now.

Next Week's Author: Sandra Toney

Next week: Sandra Toney discusses the value of writing sequels to classic novels, long after the original authors' death.


Maximizing Your Research

Once you know your market, your audience, what your editor wants, and your topic with its special slant, you can narrow the focus of your research. If you discover that you will be able to find more than enough information to produce your article, you can feel safe to submit your query.

During your preliminary research, you also can find the names and postal addresses, e-mail addresses, and phone numbers of authorities whom you possibly can interview to supplement your library and 'Net data. If you line up some experts prior to sending your editor a query, it can help to get that important "go-ahead." You will know that you can deliver what you promise--a must for successful writing.

Researching with Multiple Purposes in Mind

Before you begin your full-fledged research to produce "one" article, you can formulate your approach to cover several diverse angles on your chosen topic and collect materials for each of those areas during your research sessions. Still, you will want to stay well focused on each of your individual slants. At first, you may choose to research only two different aspects of your subject.

Staying alert for key words that pop up repeatedly will help you to begin to recognize good possibilities for additional slants. Paying close attention to your target magazine's bent can also help you to discover areas that are likely to work. As you gain experience, the task of collecting information on multiple angles becomes easier. You will know exactly which of your target magazines will welcome your proposed topics.

Offering Some Examples

For example, let's say that you already have received your go-ahead to write on eye care and safety for a magazine for parents of youngsters ages three to ten. It is merely a step away to uncover loads of useful information on eye care and safety for the mature population. You can use the same authority for different slants for different magazines. Just be sure to ask your expert a wide range of questions so that you have plenty of "gold nugget quotes" for each slant you are covering on your wider, all-encompassing "umbrella" topic. As you prepare your assignment on "Guarding Youngsters' Precious Vision," for example, you also can collect information to pitch a new query to a magazine dedicated to serving readers ready for bifocals.

Seeing Ubiquitous Possibilities

As you become more accustomed to researching several different slants simultaneously, you will start to see possibilities everywhere. For example, as you research to generate your article, "Keeping Mature Eyes Safe," you could prepare to write an article on safety goggles worn for sports, safety eyeglasses used in chemistry laboratories, and wraparounds worn to do landscaping and lawn work. You also can "click" up an abundance of information on fashionable eyewear--sunglasses, gradient-tinted lenses, and colored contact lenses. No longer will you be writing some piddling little article now and then. Instead, suddenly your writing projects will become a clamoring, rowdy crowd elbowing themselves to the front of the line for you to finish them. Most importantly, you have made the research you completed for one article create the base of several more.

Achieving Your Goals

With the well-defined goal to find very specifically targeted information, you can find an incredible number of possibilities for articles. You will have an abundance of useful information to share with your readers. Your research sessions can take a bit more time, and you must be a bit more methodical in your approach; but if you manage your time and your materials carefully and professionally, you can count on greater earnings, as well.

Happy writing!

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Part of the original Sideroad.
Text © 1998, Linda Davis Kyle.
Editor: Shara Smock.
Production: Erin Grainger.
The new Sideroad is now receiving traffic at

Shara Rendell-Smock, authorContributing Editor Shara Rendell-Smock brings a wealth of writing experience to the Sideroad; She has written more than twenty computer software manuals, numerous newspaper articles (including a monthly health column for The Sarasota Herald-Tribune) and published two books (see below.) An original member of the Sideroad team, she wrote 27 issues of - "Go to Health! Because Life's Too Short - before taking on the Writing section.

Shara's books can be ordered from her web site at

"Getting Hooked"

"Living With Big Cats"