How I Got Started Writing Feature Articles
Isn’t it funny how things work out sometimes? Back in July, 2019, I launched this website as a way to connect with readers, anticipating the release of my first book. A year (and a few months), two books, several short stories, and countless book reviews later, I was looking for a new way to grow in my writing and connect with a wider audience.
I submitted work to publications, found through Authors Publish Magazine but wasn’t having much luck getting anything accepted. Rejections are never easy but I kept working.
I also submit work to a few of the weekly writing contests hosted by Reedsy Prompts, again with limited success. Until recently, that is, when my story, “What Is your Emergency”, was short listed. Find it here.
And then something unexpected happened. I received a message through Goodreads. The message was from an editor with Mystery & Suspense Magazine asking if I was interested in writing a feature article. Needless to say, I was really excited! After a few email exchanges, I had my assignment. I was asked to write an article on book-to-film adaptations of spy novels.
My Research Process
While I was really excited to get a feature article assignment, I was also a little nervous. This was a first for me. But a quote from Tina Fey came to mind: “Say yes and you’ll figure it out later.” So that’s exactly what I did.
First, I started off with a search for similar articles to see what was already out there on the topic. Surprisingly, there wasn’t much out there on this. Plenty of articles on other genres of book-to-film adaptations but not spy novels.
While I’m an avid reader of mystery/suspense/thriller, knowledge of films of the genre was pretty limited. So, next I compiled a list of books that have been adapted to film. I wanted to encompass a broader range of themes. So when narrowing down my final list of books, I kept this in mind.
The Writing Process
Included in my assignment was a target word count the publication wanted. So when I sat down to start writing, I knew I needed a plan to be sure I would meet their requirements. Since this was set to be a “listicle”, an article based around a list, I considered the books I planned to include and divided up the required word count so I would be writing about the same amount about each book, and its film adaptation.
I elected to leave the introduction for last. This allowed me to work through the body of the article and draw on common themes to tie the whole work together. Placing the bulk of my word count in the body of the article also relieved the concern of needing to write a lengthy introduction in order to meet my word count requirements.
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Meeting the Deadline
Not wanting to keep the editor waiting, I made sure to submit my work a little ahead of the deadline. This also allowed a little extra time, in the event there were edits I needed to make.
Read the Article
I’m pleased to report, the editor was very happy with my work. You can check out my article, Spy Thriller Books-to-Movies. I’m also pleased to report that the editor accepted a pitch from me for a second article. My next article, on female sleuths in mystery novels is schedule for publication on March 19th.
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