A Blog About Writing (Guest) Articles

Written by: Doc Godin
Published: 18.08.2010
In September 2009, a lowly peasant MetalStorm user by the name of Dr.Rock ascended the ranks into elitism. Such a glorious rise may seem...well, glorious, upon first impression (and oh boy was it ever!) Soon after I came to the harsh realization that with all the free albums, fat pay checks, scoring hookers & cocaine with rock stars, and back stage meet & greets with Miley Cyrus, there comes a price that really ruins even a life as luxurious as this. That price? The duty of (trying) to check all your lousy site edits, and even more tedious; proofreading your articles.

Most people who have submitted more than a handful of articles over the past 11 months have probably had at least 1 article rejected by me. So now you know, you weren't singled out, I'm just a genuine asshole. Admittedly, I do derive much pleasure from crushing your hopes and dreams at journalistic fame, but I'm going to let you in on a few step-by-step secrets on how to prevent me from clicking "delete" after reading your articles. To some, these steps may seem very obvious, but considering the amount of peoples work I - and the other staff & elites - have to delete on a regular basis, I feel some of these problems need to be addressed.

Keep in mind this is targeted almost entirely for articles, not necessarily reviews.

Step #1: This is the most important; choose your subject matter wisely! Before submitting, hell, even before opening your word processor, ask yourself this: Would anyone actually give a shit about reading this? If the answer is no, then don't bother. If the answer is yes, then proceed to step #2.

Step #2: Don't tell your life story. This is an extension of step #1 and is probably the most frequent problem I come across: People feel it's necessary to describe their personal history/journey with an album, band or genre. Don't do this, frankly nobody really gives a shit. It's actually a really narcissistic thought process to think that your personal history is more important than others to the point where it merits an article. There are plenty of forum topics to show what a self-righteous prick you are. Avoid using that one letter word "I" at all costs. Still think you've got a good idea for an article? Then proceed to step #3.

P.S. - I am aware of the irony of this tip.

Step #3: Set the tone. Make sure you're in the right mindset for the article, as personality does shine through on a well written article. Is it happy, full of praise and rejoice? Sterile, straight-forward and to the point? Or perhaps bitter and critical? Once you know your tone, groom it properly, make sure you have control. Without control over the tone of your article, the entire thing may get interpreted wrong:

Bitter and critical? Whiny or bitchy.
Sterile/Straight-forward? Boring or dry.
Happy, praise and rejoice? Fanboy asskissing.

So you're in the right mindset to set the mood for the article? Move on to step #4.

Step #4: Make sure you know what the fuck you are talking about. If you open the article with something along the lines of "although I'm new to this...", stop, go back to the drawing board and apply some research. Deleting articles for this reason is not only for quality control of site content, but also to keep you from being lambasted by the entire community. Imagine you are writing for a newspaper, how far do you think you'd get like that?

Here's where the forums can be particularly helpful: read topics related to your subject matter. Open your mind to others viewpoints and ideas, as some food for thought.

So you know what you're talking about? Move on to step #5.

Step #5: Be firm and confident in your article. This is why step #4 is so freaking important. Imagine you are making a business deal, and the deals success relies entirely on your presentation. This presentation happens to be your article, your winnings in this bargain? People take your viewpoints a lot more seriously, and your article is well received. No one will make a business deal with a person who comes across as wishy-washy or doubtful. If you have doubts at all, chances are you did not research your topic as well as you could have.

So you're confident in your article? Move on to step #6!

Step #6: EDITING! First and foremost, do not type out your article in the submission box! I learned this the hard way when I first started doing guest reviews. If your article gets rejected, all your work is lost. Make sure it is saved on your computer, so if it is rejected for an easily fixable problem, you won't be S.O.L. Now, editing is something I'm sure you all know about fairly well: It's all about cutting, adding, revising, correcting etc, so there really is no point in going deeper into that, just make sure your spell check is on, and you re-read the entire thing a few times before submitting. Add the proper MS UBB codes and formatting, and you're ready to unleash your creation unto the MS readers, then afetrwards - step #7.

Step #7: This one is for the aftermath of your article being published. Don't get discouraged! 9 times out of 4 your first article is going to suck, really bad. I've been writing reviews & articles for almost 4 years now and I still put out some pretty crappy material from time to time. If someone comes along and tears apart your work, don't take it to heart, look for constructive criticism even in the most insulting of comments. MetalStorm has over 300, 000 unique visits per month, do you really think all who come across your article are going to agree with you? Take the insults in stride and use them to make your future work better. Learn from your mistakes.

So, in an easy, summed up version:

1. Choose your topic wisely.
2. Avoid a first-person narrative.
3. Set your tone.
4. Know your topic.
5. Be confident.
6. Edit, revise, tweak, proofread.
7. Learn from your critics.


Now you're ready to write better articles.


 



Written on 18.08.2010 by
Doc Godin
Former EIC. Now just a reviewer guy.
More articles by Doc Godin ››




Comments

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PrettyMao - 18.08.2010 at 01:49  
Holy-comma-splice-error Batman! The, comma, abuse, in, this, article, is atrocious,!,

Written by Doc Godin on at 02:00
I still put out some pretty crappy material from time to time.


Written by Doc Godin on at 02:00
P.S. - I am aware of the irony of this.
Susan - 18.08.2010 at 06:08  
Funny post, PrettyMao, but not true! (I did laugh out loud at your choice of quotes, nice )

There is remarkably little comma abuse here. Maybe against your personal comma asthetic, perhaps? Hmm? But I only found ONE incorrect use. Chill out

Doc, funny and useful article. Especially nice choice of cover photo, haha.
BlueMobius - 18.08.2010 at 07:30  
Or just do not write articles for this site at all, because how many people that write articles on this site actually go on to make any money elsewhere for articles they write? Probably .01 percent. Go to J school and learn a few things about being a journalist first folks.
Doc Godin - 18.08.2010 at 09:50  
Written by BlueMobius on 18.08.2010 at 07:30

Or just do not write articles for this site at all, because how many people that write articles on this site actually go on to make any money elsewhere for articles they write? Probably .01 percent. Go to J school and learn a few things about being a journalist first folks.

Writing articles & reviews over the years is what got me the position on here, and it's given me a lot of great experiences. It's too early to say whether my experience working on the site is going to get me any further, but at the very least I had a lot of fun chatting with bands, and hearing new music I wouldn't have heard otherwise. I used to have a dream of going into journalism professionally, but unfortunately there is becoming less and less paying gigs out there, so I'm happy with new music and free concerts as my reward. So yes, writing articles for this site does get you somewhere, just no monetary gain.
Marcus - 18.08.2010 at 12:13  
Written by BlueMobius on 18.08.2010 at 07:30

Or just do not write articles for this site at all, because how many people that write articles on this site actually go on to make any money elsewhere for articles they write? Probably .01 percent. Go to J school and learn a few things about being a journalist first folks.

Maybe people enjoy writing or like to contribute? D'oh!
Uirapuru - 18.08.2010 at 18:55  
These are great tips.

And my guess is that they should be taken seriously, even if the only reason you write is to improove English vocabulary or text skills.
PrettyMao - 18.08.2010 at 19:47  
Written by Uirapuru on 18.08.2010 at 18:55
And my guess is that they should be taken seriously, even if the only reason you write is to improove English vocabulary or text skills.


Written by Doc Godin on at 02:00
P.S. - I am aware of the irony of this.
JÄY - 18.08.2010 at 19:52  
Sweet graphics!
BitterCOld - 18.08.2010 at 22:55  
The old school Strongbad pic is great.
Uirapuru - 18.08.2010 at 23:15  
Written by PrettyMao on 18.08.2010 at 19:47

Written by Uirapuru on 18.08.2010 at 18:55
And my guess is that they should be taken seriously, even if the only reason you write is to improove English vocabulary or text skills.



So what? I'm still on the way
Black Conundrum - 19.08.2010 at 02:17  
Great article! It is pretty helpful with writing articles.
Doc Godin - 19.08.2010 at 05:47  
Written by BitterCOld on 18.08.2010 at 22:55

The old school Strongbad pic is great.

Why are you always the one to pick out odd bits of trivia like that?
Derwood - 19.08.2010 at 06:10  
Regarding Step #2, I actually value a little background info (but not a life's story!) regarding the author's relationship with the subject because it helps to give a sense of the perspective the article is written from. I find it's relevant to how I interpret what is written.
Lamahe - 19.08.2010 at 10:40  
Written by Derwood on 19.08.2010 at 06:10

Regarding Step #2, I actually value a little background info (but not a life's story!) regarding the author's relationship with the subject because it helps to give a sense of the perspective the article is written from. I find it's relevant to how I interpret what is written.


Totally agree, actually that's what I'm missing very often...reference opinions and so on...
DayFly - 19.08.2010 at 12:16  
Written by Derwood on 19.08.2010 at 06:10

Regarding Step #2, I actually value a little background info (but not a life's story!) regarding the author's relationship with the subject because it helps to give a sense of the perspective the article is written from. I find it's relevant to how I interpret what is written.


Depends on what you expect from an article and whether or not you think it ought to distinguish itself from a blog entry. I personally hate it when I find a review or article that reads itself like a diary entry. Any publication is subjective, of course, but that does not mean the author gets a free pass on explaining him- or herself with nothing to offer aside from his opinion. Writing an article is not [i]art[/t] and as such, it should be able to stand on it's own. If it requires interpretation, the author did not do his job.
Boxcar Willy - 29.06.2012 at 15:31  
Written by BlueMobius on 18.08.2010 at 07:30

Or just do not write articles for this site at all, because how many people that write articles on this site actually go on to make any money elsewhere for articles they write? Probably .01 percent. Go to J school and learn a few things about being a journalist first folks.

How about it's fun to contribute and write?

I like to use MS as sort of an aid, by writing reviews here, and my new article, I'm slowly (but surely) become a better writer, which is always good
BlueMobius - 30.06.2012 at 02:22  
Written by Boxcar Willy on 29.06.2012 at 15:31

Written by BlueMobius on 18.08.2010 at 07:30

Or just do not write articles for this site at all, because how many people that write articles on this site actually go on to make any money elsewhere for articles they write? Probably .01 percent. Go to J school and learn a few things about being a journalist first folks.

How about it's fun to contribute and write?

I like to use MS as sort of an aid, by writing reviews here, and my new article, I'm slowly (but surely) become a better writer, which is always good :thumbsup:


Two-year-old comment is two years old.
Boxcar Willy - 30.06.2012 at 05:46  
Written by BlueMobius on 30.06.2012 at 02:22

Written by Boxcar Willy on 29.06.2012 at 15:31

Written by BlueMobius on 18.08.2010 at 07:30

Or just do not write articles for this site at all, because how many people that write articles on this site actually go on to make any money elsewhere for articles they write? Probably .01 percent. Go to J school and learn a few things about being a journalist first folks.

How about it's fun to contribute and write?

I like to use MS as sort of an aid, by writing reviews here, and my new article, I'm slowly (but surely) become a better writer, which is always good :thumbsup:


Two-year-old comment is two years old.

Slow Teenager mind is slow.
Void Eater - 30.06.2012 at 10:20  
You met Miley Cyrus backstage? What does her butt smell like?

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