Monday, December 3, 2007

What is an Idea?

I've got all these ideas, but I don't know which markets to try. Help!

Many beginning writers struggle with ideas, so be proud of the fact that you've got lots of them! However, as you've realised - having ideas isn't enough. Once you have an IDEA, you then need to find an ANGLE.

Let's take the following as an IDEA:

"Healthy Eating"

Now I'm sure you'll all agree, healthy eating is a sensible idea. But that's all it is at the moment. It is not an idea for an article - yet. What we need to find is the right angle. What that angle is though - depends upon the readership of the magazine.

So if you were looking at a magazine about Parenting (Practical Parenting for example) the angle I might take is how to get children to eat healthy foods. For a pregnancy magazine, a healthy eating article could be angled to tell it's pregnant mothers to be what the benefits of healthy eating are to their unborn child.

A walking magazine may be interested in healthy foods that give their walking readers extra energy to tackle long walks, whilst a magazine aimed at mature readers may want an article about how to eat healthily on a tight budget. Best of British magazine readers may find an article about how we ate healthily as a nation during the Second World War, despite having limited supplies.

So on the face of it, healthy eating is a good idea - but it isn't THE idea. It is in fact, your overall theme. By identifying the different ANGLES of that IDEA, we have actually created 5 different article ideas for 5 different markets.

Therefore, don't think ideas - think angles - and how to twist your ideas to be of interest to the readership of the magazine siting in front of you.

Good luck.