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BEHIND THESE MOUNTAINS VOL. I

Sunday

1-8 Let One Idea = Endless Writing

(c) 2010 by Mona Vanek

Writers who successfully grow their business begin by mastering essential steps. This series of Insider Tips will show you proven steps to success.

Say you've just seen, learned or experienced something for the first time. Wow! You want to write about it! You're going to make money! But wait -- if you want your writing to pay off big for you, there are steps to follow before you sit down and write.

Your "point of view" turns your material into many stories. The best brief discussion of POV can be found here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Point_of_view_(literature).

Most topics have too much potential for one market. You need to "topic spoke" your experience or idea into twenty or so topic ideas. How many ways can you think of to slant your idea? Some writers call this exercise brainstorming or mind mapping.

Using a a large sheet of paper (or legal-size tablet) for this step. Write the idea in the center and circle it.
  • Then, like a wagon wheel, draw a few lines out from the circle around your first idea.
  • At the ends of each "spoke" write something about the central topic.
    • Circle each of those ideas. Then pick one circle and draw lines out from it.
    • At the ends of those lines, write all the ideas that comes to mind when you think of what was in the circle you spoked from.
 Keep going until you're drained of ideas. Force as many different articles ideas out of it as possible. Apply how-to, why, what, when, and where possibilities.

For example, a story on road killed deer could be topic spoked to the following separate idea-circles:
  1. A general piece on animals in the road
  2. How insurance companies rank road-kills
  3. Which states have the highest deer road-kill rates
  4. How to safely avoid hitting an animal in the road
  5. Why animals jump in front of vehicles
  6. Is the auto industry doing anything to prevent this phenomenon? (ie: different head lights, sound-emitting devices, reflectors, etc.?)
Using other slants, you might write about:
  1. How to handle hitting an animal when your kids are in the car
  2. How to explain a road-killed pet to a child.
    1. Think parenting publications
    2. General magazines
    3. Men's magazines
    4. Children's magazines
    5. Religious magazines
    6. Handouts
Near each spoke, jot down as many different TYPES of magazines as you can.

Think of your topic from many points of view. By each idea, make notations of potential market categories for them. (Check categories in Writers Markets.)

Rearch and read everything you can find on your topics. Set up file folders for each one and put every scrap of information you find into the folders. Then, don't limit yourself. Keep your topic spoked idea files growing. Nothing you learn will be wasted.

You'll use and reuse your research as you spoke out different articles from each research project you pursue, and find yourself writing endlessly.

Check into the Java application, Free Mind (a free software download) which allows you to make mind maps very easily: http://freemind.sourceforge.net/wiki/index.php/Main_Page.

For more options,scroll to the the Alternatives Link to get here: http://freemind.sourceforge.net/wiki/index.php/Main_Page#Alternatives_to_using_FreeMind.
Now you're equipped to let ideas lead to endless writing.
End

Next, 1-9 Treasure Hunting For Markets: http://tinyurl.com/23dqt4b

Chapter 1: http://tinyurl.com/2es3w63

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