10 practical steps for finishing your short story — with examples

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For about 30 years, I slogged away trying to write a novel. But I just never had the plotting smarts or the emotional stamina, and I became like a madman running again and again at a brick wall, doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.

Then, one day, and only a couple of decades overdue, I had a rather marvellous thought. You’re used to writing short things — articles, web pages and the like. You’re a sprinter, not a marathon runner. Why don’t you have a go at short fiction?

As a journalist and content…


Some parents are firefighters and soldiers and doctors. And some, er, aren’t.

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Hello! My name is Kyle and I am seven years old.

Today I’m going to tell you about my mummy’s work.

My mummy is a senior seo content producer.

She works in an office with lots of other people.

She writes lots of things. It’s very busy work.

Mummy has to drink a lot of coffee to keep herself going.

Mummy has three stress balls.

Mummy works on the Internet.

The Internet is like a giant library.

But the Internet is not a library in a building. It’s in everyone’s computer.

Mummy helps to make it easier for people to…


Wondering what the stars hold in store for you this week? Spoiler: it’s not good.

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Taurus (April 20 to May 20)

Sometimes life has a way of throwing a challenge your way that’s the very last thing you want. But maybe that’s OK, because there’s nothing more positive than overcoming a long-held phobia, no? With your tough bull’s hide, you could be well equipped to power through. Feel the fear and do it anyway!

Perhaps you’re at a dinner party, or on holiday, or at a leaving do. A ring has formed. People are taking it in turns to enter the circle and show off in various expertly elaborate and hideously spontaneous ways. The spotlight is coming round to you. …


100 tips for writing clear, impactful marketing copy & content for online users

OVERVIEW

1. Plans, ideas, stories
2. Structure
3. Signposting and scannability
4. Brand voice
5. Editing and crafting copy
6. Persuasion
7. Working with content stakeholders
8. Further reading

PART 1: PLANS, IDEAS, STORIES

Planning content and telling your brand story in a reader-focused way.

#1: Make it all about ‘you’ (not ‘we’ and ‘us’)

The #1 principle: great digital copywriting puts the user first at every opportunity…

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When we see a piece of content that is all about the brand itself, all ‘us’, ‘we’ and ‘our’ and no ‘you’ or ‘your’, the effect is quickly off-putting. Great digital copywriting puts the user first at every opportunity, in every way. …


Find inspiration for your next pitch from some of these less-than-obvious sources of ideas

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Anyone who pitches articles or writes stories is always on the lookout for more sources of ideas. There are lots of well-trodden sources, but here are a few I use that might be less obvious…

Foreign titles

Publications from other countries — readily available online — can be a rich source of ideas. Based in England, I get lots of ideas from titles in the US, Australia, Canada, Scotland, and more. But I also look at European titles. I once found a French health magazine with an article called ‘Why are you always late?’ …


Couldn’t have done it without you guys…

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This story, Let’s Go To The Supermarket!, has its roots in a walk I took with my son, Jonny, to get a few bits and pieces from our local store in Bridgely. It was a routine shopping trip except that, at some point on the way back, a tiny light bulb exploded in my head. Somehow, by the time we got home, I had the essential motivational arcs and narrative fabric of the whole saga locked and loaded in my skull. The final result — 18 months, 27 drafts and a fair amount of blood, sweat and tears later —…


DEFINITELY NOT THE BEST MEDICINE

War stories from, like, a literal proverb-denier

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Hey. Whoa. Just leapt there — and guess what? I did not even look. OK, slightly sprained ankle now, but all in a good cause.

Some people chase rainbows. Some tilt at windmills. And some apply lipstick to pigs. I’m here to tackle proverbs head on.

I get up at dawn to shoo the earlybirds off my worms, I always put my worst foot forwards, and I like to offer vagrants a small menu of donation options because, yes, beggars can be choosers. Not looking before I leap is, like, literally my middle name.

I always judge a book by…


‘A wonderful lesson in humility — 5 stars.’ Review by Don@GodisLove29

Photo by Bruno Oliveira on Unsplash

Overall Rating: 5 of 5 stars
1 customer rating

I was initially disappointed by the condition of this product on arrival. The likeness of the divine lady was so clear in the photo, her wondrous beatific face picked out in amazingly accurate, contrasting shades of grilled bread and surrounded by a halo of a quite different, doughy shade. The whole thing was uncanny. As I’d just banked my weekly paycheck, and the cost of the holy toast was only almost exactly double that, it was obvious to me that here was another of His wondrous signs! …


Lessons from owner-managers you can apply to your own writing business

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You may not think of yourself this way, but if you aspire to make a career out of your writing, then you are an entrepreneur or small business owner. Like writing professionals, business owners have to wear many hats — production, IT, marketing, credit control, business strategy, finance etc.

They are time-poor and see their business not as some 9-to-5 occupation but as an all-consuming passion. They have to balance planning for future growth
with ensuring present survival.

So here are some classic tips from small business owners that you can apply to your writing business…

Never stop learning

Entrepreneurs are resourceful, self-motivated…


As writers we need to do much of the promotional hustle ourselves — here are some tips on getting started

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Marketing, branding, networking, self-promotion, negotiating… there are many aspects to the commercial mindset that a writer has to get their head around these days. You may be daunted by the thought of having to sell yourself, but by starting small and slowly pushing yourself, you’ll find it gets easier all the time…

Think about your market

Your book won’t magically find readers, so think about what sort of people might buy it. If your book is about AI, you might target people with an interest in tech; if your book is about the Civil War, you might target people with a passion for history.

Meet your audiences where they live

dan brotzel

Funny-sad author | Hotel du Jack @SandstonePress; Work in Progress (formerly Kitten on a Fatberg) @unbounders | Pushcart, Slackjaw, Pithead, X-Ray, Ellipsis

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