I have been sooooo busy! And I love it! In between work on client projects, I’ve been putting together the outline for the Fandom Writers Guide, an eBook full of writing advice for fandom writers, reviewers, critics, and anyone writing about the films, books, comic books, and games they love. This guide started out as a writing guide for the Gurus at NrdFeed, a website that specializes in fan articles and reviews.
I’ve been editing for NrdFeed for about a year now and the only thing I love more than watching NrdFeed grow into something amazing is watching the site’s Gurus grow into better and better writers. It’s amazing and fun and wonderful and something I feel beyond lucky to be a part of.
As I’ve edited for these writers, I’ve been taking notes on the things they struggle with and ways they can improve their writing, along with both creating and collecting tools and resources they can use. I have a ton of info and I can’t wait to finally share it all.
Recently, I realized that the information and resources I had could benefit more than just the writers at NrdFeed. They were perfect for anyone who wanted to write about the things they love, especially fandom and review writing. So, I started the Fandom Writers Workshop, where I’ll share individual chapters of the writer’s guide as blog posts, as well as templates, worksheets, resource lists, writing prompts, pep talks, and more! I’m also making a version of the NrdFeed Writers Guide for writers, bloggers, and reviewers of other sites, blogs, and publications. Continue reading
Writing great articles isn’t always easy, but there is an easy way to ensure that you always include each of the most important article elements. This template can serve as a starting point for any article or blog post you have to write, from simple advice style posts to complicated guides. Give it a try. Then, let me know what you think in the comments section below. Continue reading
Want to write better articles in half the time?
Wouldn’t it be great if there was a simple way to cut your writing time in half and still create great, original articles?
Actually, there is.
I’m talking about templates.
As a freelance writer, blogger, and editor, I use a lot of templates. I have templates for article queries, job proposals, contracts, product descriptions, reviews, blog posts, and of course, articles. I use these templates in all of my creative work, from freelance projects to personal blog posts. I rarely start a project without either creating or tweaking a template.
When I first started writing professionally, I believed, as many people do, that templates limit creativity. It’s a popular myth that using templates results in writing that is rigid, boring, and amateurish. Some people even believe that using a template is cheating or lazy. I believed that once, too. But I know better now.
When used correctly, a template can be an amazingly helpful tool in your writing endeavors. A well made template gives your article structure without sacrificing creativity. It ensures that you include all of the most important elements, allowing you to focus on content, creative thoughts, and original ideas, safe in the knowledge that the resulting article will be well structured and organized. With a template, you can spend less time worrying about how to write your articles and more time actually writing them!
So, what’s the catch? Continue reading
Write Great Article Conclusions with this Free Template
In the last post, I shared with you my basic introduction template, a catchall template that can be used to write articles on nearly any subject you can think of. Today, I’m tackling the opposite end of the article, the conclusion.
Like the introduction template, the conclusion template is a collection of things to touch on or consider when writing an article, review, or blog post. You can use it to create strong article conclusions that engage readers and inspire them to act. Continue reading
If you’re anything like me, you struggle with writing introductions.
Introductions are often the most challenging part of article writing. The blank page is intimidating. The cursor blinks, mockingly, and every sentence that comes into your head sounds silly, stupid, or wrong in some way. You have plenty of ideas for the rest of the article, but you’re stuck on the first paragraph. You’re tempted to skip the intro entirely and get right to the meat of the article, but you know that the introduction is worth the effort. Without it, no one would even get to the meat of the article. So, what do you do?
I’ll tell you what I do. I use a template.
Does this make my introductions seem forced, boring, or stiff?
Does it prevent creativity or make all of my articles sound exactly the same?
Using a template simply ensures that my introductions and articles include all of the necessary parts. Rather than stifling creativity, they inspire it. Each and every template line is a writing prompt that allows my writing to flow a little more easily, a little more naturally. They make the difference between an introduction that feels forced and one that actually works.
I’m not alone in this. Many writers use templates to create great introductions.
Now, you can too. Continue reading
The Most Important Paragraph in your Article
Most readers make a decision within the first two or three sentences whether they’ll continue reading or move on to something more interesting. And this is a generous estimate. If you’ve ever picked up a piece of paper, read a sentence or two, and put it back down again, you know how easy it is to lose a reader’s interest.
There’s a popular saying in the writing world:
“The purpose of the first sentence is to get you to read the second. The purpose of the second sentence is to get you to read the third. And so on.”
If your introduction paragraph is boring, disorganized, or lacks crucial information, your reader will stop reading and go look for something better to read.
As an editor, I usually spend much more time editing a writer’s introduction than I spend on any other paragraph. This is even more true when I’m working with a new writer. Most people write like they talk, spending about the same amount of time on each sentence. Unfortunately, this results in weak introductions and readers who don’t stick around to see what the writer has to say. Of course, once you know how important those first few sentences are, you can ensure that your readers keep reading by writing great introductions every time. Continue reading
You love your fandom.
Maybe love isn’t a strong enough word.
While others simply enjoy the characters, relationships, stories, adventures, emotions, and overall awesomeness that make your fandom so great, you are actually inspired by them.
When you see a new episode, movie, or comic book, you want everyone to know just how great it is and how much it affected you. You want to inspire others to love the show the way you do, talk about the things you find interesting, or just give the fandom a chance.
Unfortunately, it’s all too easy to fall into the trap of always writing recaps. While recaps can be interesting and entertaining, they are also very limited. Your own thoughts, feelings, and experiences get lost in a pile of plot points and events.
Recaps are great if you want to skip to the next episode without watching the ones before it or refresh your memory about the most recent episode before the next one airs. They can also be helpful for making sense out of a confusing episode, movie, or comic book. But if you want to write an article or blog post that appeals to a wide variety of people, you have a ton of great options to choose from. Continue reading
Do you write about the movies, TV series, comics, books, games, or fandoms you love?
You’re not alone! Most of the writing done about books, movies, TV, comics, and games is done by people just like you; smart, passionate people who love writing about the things they enjoy. Unfortunately, most of the writing advice available online is written for businesses, brands, professional journalists, or students. There’s a lot of helpful stuff out there, but there aren’t many resources or websites devoted specifically to fandom writing.
That changes today.
The Fandom Writer’s Workshop is a collection of writing advice, templates, worksheets, & resources, created just for fandom writers, reviewers, & critics. You don’t have to be a professional journalist to write great reviews and fandom articles. You just need to know what works and what doesn’t.
You need to know:
- What people expect to get out of book, game, or movie reviews
- How to deal with or avoid spoilers
- How detailed your scene or event descriptions should be
- What words and phrases readers hate hearing in reviews
- How to include images without copyright infringement
- How to encourage people to comment and share your posts
- How to get your reviews and articles posted on popular fandom websites
- How to use social media as a fandom writer
- Where to find the best free software, apps, and online tools
- What free resources are available to fandom writers & how to use them
- Why article templates are so helpful and how to use them to write completely unique articles
- Who is doing fandom writing exactly right and what you can learn from them
These things are the heart of the Fandom Writers Workshop.
The Fandom Writers Workshop is just getting started. Luckily, I’ve got over a year of notes, guide chapters, templates, and worksheet drafts to add. Most of it needs at least a little editing before I can post it, but I’ll work as quickly as I can to make these resources available to you.
What would you most like to see?
- Writing Guides?
- Or maybe you have a specific question about fandom writing. If you do, please ask it here and I’ll see what I can do.