Sunday, January 18, 2009
Writers specialising in fillers and readers' letters receive much high fees, word for word, than virtually any other writing genre. Fillers are small pieces, often just 100 words or so, and they can generate hundreds or even thousands of dollars in writing awards or for what editors pick as the week's best letter or filler. But writers have to be constantly on the lookout for unusual subjects for their fillers and they must always be hot on market research. These tips will help grow your income from filler writing:
* Keep your eyes and ears open for anything remotely interesting to use in your letters and fillers. Look for unusual household tips, try your hand at writing poems, look for press errors and other popular filler types.
* Study other published fillers, especially those in magazines you'd like to write for. You can't, of course, copy other people's work but there is no copyright on ideas, so what you see in one magazine can be borrowed to form the basis of a filler you write for another. Other things to watch out for include recipes, jokes you can change a little, recipes you might alter slightly, crossword and puzzle grids you can adapt to use in your work.
* Study at least a dozen or so publications of the type you would like to write for. Rank these in order of preference, according to filler types, payment, subject matter. Start writing and submitting material for those highest on your list.
* Think pictures. Think illustrations. Instead of sending just words to your target publication, include a photograph, maybe a cartoon or line drawing. As always, careful study of your target magazine will establish editorial preferences.
* Search your own experiences for material ready to be written up as it stands or amended to suit.
* Always have a notepad and pen at hand, and preferably a pocket camera and mini recorder. It's amazing where inspiration and ideas strike and how often there is nothing handy to record the incident. My best ideas come when I'm in the bath, ironing, gardening, or walking the dog! Those notepads pinned to every wall and popped into my handbag have repaid their cost many times over!
Once that's done you can look forward to regular high rewards for just a few minutes' easy work.
Avril Harper is a highly successful freelance writer and the author of HOW TO BE A FIVE MINUTE WRITER
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How to Write Fillers, Writing, Poetry