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Handbook of Magazine Article Writing [Paperback]

Jean M. Fredette
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Dec 1990
A complete guide to every type of magazine article writing, featuring 33 chapters of writing instruction.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 246 pages
  • Publisher: Writer's Digest Books; New edition edition (Dec 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0898794080
  • ISBN-13: 978-0898794083
  • Product Dimensions: 22.9 x 15.3 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,209,922 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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In order to answer the question I've just asked in the title, I decided to interview myself. Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
This book is a must-read for anyone serious about breaking into the freelance writing market. Each chapter is an article that explores a different aspect of the writing and selling-your-writing process. Learn the tricks of the freelance trade through articles about: writing irresistible query letters; landing interviews with famous and busy people; selling the same article many times; ending your articles gracefully; making your leads sparkle; and drawing your readers in with titles.
All articles are written by successful and established writers. Each chapter gives fresh perspectives and provocative insights from people who really have "been there, done that." Unlike some how-to books that get dry somewhere around the middle of the book, this one keeps your attention all the way through. Writers use their own real-life examples to demonstrate techniques that produce salable work.
In addition to being insightful, this book is also very encouraging for the ! rookie. Again and again the reader is reminded that there's always a market for good, fresh writing. Examples of new writers' sales to major publications inspire the beginner to shoot for the stars. This book not only motivates but it also equips you with the knowledge you need to get started.
Five stars for this invaluable resource!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Sound and sensible advice 25 Feb 2012
By Niki Collins-queen, Author TOP 500 REVIEWER
Jean M. Fredette wrote in the "Handbook of Magazine Article Writing" that the best style is clean, no frills and bare-bones. His basic tenet is "Show me, don't tell me." Having writing talent is a potential it does not mean you are a great writer. His writing recommendations include: Use of the five W's (who, what , where, when and why), the inverted triangle. (Put the most interesting information first or you'll loose the reader.) Draw your readers in with interesting, fresh, effective titles. Write in an active voice.
For example compare these statements: "The passive voice is avoided by good writers" versus "Good writers avoid the passive voice." The second is more vigorous and concise. A passive voice makes for passive readers.
Get help when you need it. Nobody can tell you what your words mean to you. But others can tell you what your words mean to them. Be sure you're ready for feedback. Don't ask if you only want praise. Never be a name dropper. Instead of just naming the places, animals, people and plants cultivate the essence of the place so you can interpret it for others. Although a writer looks for the specific and the universal. Choose the specific where possible.
For example compare the sentences: "You can take a ferry between European Turkey and Asiatic Turkey" versus "The ferry zigzagged between European Turkey and Asiatic Turkey letting off and taking on passengers and cargo at dozens of docks." The passive voice (universal/general) the active voice is more detailed and specific. When describing places include the location, time of day (dawn, noon twilight), the season (summer, spring, fall or winter), history, people, animals, plant life, smells, sounds and food.
Fredette's book has sound and sensible advice. It is indispensable for the beginning writer, the seasoned pro and the editor.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.9 out of 5 stars  12 reviews
64 of 65 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent resource for both beginners and old pros 21 July 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
This book is a must-read for anyone serious about breaking into the freelance writing market. Each chapter is an article that explores a different aspect of the writing and selling-your-writing process. Learn the tricks of the freelance trade through articles about: writing irresistible query letters; landing interviews with famous and busy people; selling the same article many times; ending your articles gracefully; making your leads sparkle; and drawing your readers in with titles.
All articles are written by successful and established writers. Each chapter gives fresh perspectives and provocative insights from people who really have "been there, done that." Unlike some how-to books that get dry somewhere around the middle of the book, this one keeps your attention all the way through. Writers use their own real-life examples to demonstrate techniques that produce salable work.
In addition to being insightful, this book is also very encouraging for the ! rookie. Again and again the reader is reminded that there's always a market for good, fresh writing. Examples of new writers' sales to major publications inspire the beginner to shoot for the stars. This book not only motivates but it also equips you with the knowledge you need to get started.
Five stars for this invaluable resource!
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Same Answers to the Same Questions From Another Generation 10 Jan 2004
By Book Mark - Published on Amazon.com
Handbook of Magazine Article Writing answers often sought-after questions, such as:
- What do editors look for in your work?
- Is a cover letter always essential?
- Can you sell the exact same article a number of times within certain groups of publications?
- And, How do you keep your readers reading?
With 33 experts, including Don McKinney, James Morgan, Lois Duncan, John Brady, and Candy Schulman, this book proffers advice on everything from queries to the mechanics of writing an article. With so much talent packed into this 246-page book, the difficulty of publishing a newer edition is understandable. However, this book would benefit if it were brought into the age of the Internet.
If you are looking for the basics on article writing, and want it only from the masters of manuscript, then the Handbook of Magazine Article Writing is for you!
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lives up to its name!! 29 May 2001
By investor - Published on Amazon.com
I was very pleased with this book and constantly refer back to it for practical ideas and assistance. I expect a handbook to provide the nuts and bolts, or practical side, of writing and this book came through in that area. As a novice, I need a step by step guidance and found much of it here. It's defintely an important book on my shelf!
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A good read but not very informative 10 April 2002
By ROBERT MILLER - Published on Amazon.com
This book was easy to read and had some valuable information but skipped over a lot of the nuts and bolts. I would pass on it next time.
15 of 21 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Worst Book EVER read 21 Oct 2002
By Luis M. Nieves - Published on Amazon.com
This book is writen by a series of authors. Each chapter is written by a single author, and each write about a single theme. However the chapters are too shallow. No good substance found for a serious person trying to write a good article that may be a good candidate for publishing. The autors are more interested in telling how good they are (in their own perspective) than willing to teach anyone about their supposed knowledge.
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