Sorry to vent, but I am so sick of Constant Contents submission process. I just got another rejection because of this:
==== Editorial Information for Your Article: ====
The main idea of your article is "Following a few simple tips can be the difference between a hectic morning send-off and an easy-going, drink-my-coffee-in-peace kind of morning."
Yet the reader must slog through half of the article's contents before arriving at the main idea. Please use a proper introductory paragraph with your main idea included so that the reader is immediately directed to the ideas your article is meant to convey.
These words are not interchangeable. Please do not confuse them. If you aren't sure when either word is appropriate, please see the following reference: http://esl.about.com/od/grammarintermed … cm_its.htm
I understand that possibly SLOGGING through the first half of my article, as they put it, may take some time, but its supposed to be entertaining for the reader so that they can identify. Also, because of one little it's/its slipup, they refuse it? Can anybody review my article and give me some critical info on what I'm doing so wrong as to be rejected all the time? You can find that article in my hubs as "Parenting Tips: De-Stress the Morning Routine"
Thanks for any info
I have to agree with CC. Although your piece is well-written, it is something like six grafs before you get to the point.
A well-constructed article has an introductory paragraph, with a "lede" (first sentence) that grabs the reader's interest. It's short (100 words or less), to the point and never ends with "Read on to find..." or "Following are...".
If I was the editor for this article, I would get rid of the whole "Morning Rush" section (or reduce it to one succinct sentence), and turn the "Common Stress" section into your intro.
Hope this helps, and good luck!
From what you have explained, the relevant part of your article starts here:
"Following a few simple tips can be the difference between a hectic morning send-off and an easy-going, drink-my-coffee-in-peace kind of morning."
This is in the last paragraph of Section Two, about half-way through your story.
I think you would do well to appreciate that many readers come in search of instant gratification. If, in the first few seconds, they do not find what they are looking for, they will bounce off your page. Shallow, maybe, but those are the realities - both on HubPages and elsewhere.
Ok, so no lead up? Is that what it boils down to? I think I see what you all mean, but at the same time, I am a writer who likes to tell stories and if I can't engage a reader, why would they read it anyway? I guess CC must be more like eHow right? Oh well, possibly CC is not for me. Thanks for the critique.
No, don't give up! Your intro should outline what you are going to say and then you can go into more depth. This helps the reader decide whether they wish to continue with the piece or not. Your intro should be a concise description of what the piece is about. It's a bit like telling your mate about the block buster film you've just seen. You don't take 1 and a half hours to outline the plot do you? Yet your mate will still have a pretty good idea what went on in the film in a matter of a few minutes. Your intro also sells your article. Spend time on it, link the subsequent paragraphs to it and refer back to it in your conclusion. It's just a literary game. Alternatively, you can always start your stories with an outrageous or unbelievable set of comments, that make people sit up and read. Make sure that your not breaking any rules though. There's outrageous and there's outrageous. Keep the faith megs!
Meg, why do you think a "lead up" engages the reader? If a reader comes to your article and doesn't get a clear idea what it's about in the first paragraph, they won't scroll down - they'll go elsewhere.
By all means, use some humor or empathy, but waffling around for several paragraphs before you give the reader any helpful information is not "engaging" them.
Marisa, I thought that lead up was important to setting up the situation. I want it to be identifiable.
I should have made myself clearer.
The content of your lead in is fine, in the right place. I just don't think the right place is the first paragraph.
In any writing, you have to grab the reader in the first few lines. Parents may identify with your lead in, but it doesn't offer them a solution. If they're on the internet searching for something, they want a solution, not just empathy.
So I'd be starting your article with this sentence:
'Wouldn’t it be great to send children to school in the morning feeling relaxed and organized? Wouldn’t that work day be a little more agreeable knowing that everything and everyone is properly taken care of?
Following a few simple tips can be the difference between a hectic morning send-off and an easy-going, drink-my-coffee-in-peace kind of morning."
That's a great introduction - any parent would read more eagerly. After that, you can take a step back and set the scene, to show you really understand their situation.
Don't worry Marisa, I understand. And I know what you are saying. You're probably right, but I guess thats just not my style. I've never really had a problem grabbing a readers attention, and I've had my work published in newpapers and magazines with great feedback. I guess my problem is that I'm not right for CC. Which is fine. I can't be a right fit everywhere, right? But thanks again for taking the time,
That's the key - if you work at it, you can find a way to combine both. A lot of my work is writing short, punchy articles and sales letters designed to suit the short-attention span of internet browsers.
On the other hand, I have a couple of clients who want magazine-style articles, which I love writing.
Between the two types of writing, I manage to scratch a living and still maintain the passion for my profession. It is a decent compromise
Megs, I think the difference with magazines is that people are reading at leisure. Plus, they can see the entire page at once, so their eye can scan down if they're looking for specific information.
On a web page, all they can see is what's "above the fold". And they've usually arrived for a reason, so they're looking for a solution. You can deliver that in a roundabout way if you like, so long as you let them know, right at the beginning, that you're going to deliver.
I would leave your article exactly as it is, except for moving the bit I suggested to the beginning - then go back to painting the picture.
For Constant Content, the opening paragraph is what sells the article to the client, because that's all they see.
Great idea Marisa! I hadnt thought of that, and of course that intro wouldn't detract from the main article at all
You don't have to throw away your intro completely.
Cut it out and use it elsewhere, on a social bookmarking site, as your blurb. It's 100% original, it will draw people in, they'll click through and read the rest of it.
I agree completely. Capturing the reader's attention in the opening paragraph is pretty universal no matter where you write.
I am not crazy about constant content either BUT I have only written one piece. My issue is that I don't like the idea of writing a piece and letting it sit somewhere. When I wrote for newspapers you were given an assignment and YOU wrote it. The editor would let you know if you had to do a rewrite but nevertheless you wrote it and you got paid!
I am having trouble HERE now because I am presently having to write out of a public library because my computer is down and for some reason HP is giving me a warning about my IP address. They will not let me publish because of it.
Hellooo? i am at a public library! Do they have any clue how many people use these facilities?
This is the message I got when I tried to publish a hub!
Sorry, because of rule violations associated with your account or ip address, permission to publish new hubs has been revoked. You can still edit your existing hubs and save your changes to this hub by clicking the done editing button. Your right to publish may automatically be restored through time and adherence to the HubPages rules. Fixing or deleting existing flagged hubs may also help.
I am at a public library!
WHAT are they talking about here!?
It says "account OR ip address". Could there be some problem with your account?
I enjoy and appreciate all forms of writing. I can always find something new in everything I read here.
Megs, I LOVED that article! I think the only people who won't empathise and "get" the intro, are those people who've never been throughthe hassle of getting children up and ready for school in the morning!
Without an intro such as you wrote, it would have been just another boring article about perfect motherhood or whatever.
Yours was REAL! I've been there, done that, wrote the book (well no didn't write the book or else I'd now be a published author LOL) but you know what I mean.
Your article was perfect IMO. The intro you needed because how else would you engage a reader about laying out clothes the night before, or setting the breakfast stuff at child height, if the intro didn't suggest what might happen if they didn't.
I liked it too, and wouldn't have had any problems with reading it as it - although not a favorite topic of mine.
Thanks Izzy, I appreciate your comments, I sometimes feel like im fooling myself when things like this happen and that make me feel like I'm the one who has a delusion that I write well But then I get a comment like yours and, well, thanks.
Finika, Hubpages have a known problem with certain IP addresses. I hope you got the issue fixed. You could have emailed team at hubpages dot com but as a new user you wouldn't have known that, and anyway by the time they responded to your email you'd be at home in bed or it'd be the next day. They can sort this for you though. Please email them.
I liked the article, too - an interesting read. Sadly, it does not fit the short and sweet nature of the internet.
You could always try keeping that one on HP, so that your fans can enjoy it, and rewrite the second part as a standalone article for CC.
That way, you get the best of both worlds - you publish a lovely article and also make some money for little extra effort
Megs, I read the Readers Digest every month for years! I loved that magazine! As you'll know they did a lot of articles similar to the one your wrote. Not the same or on the same subject, but with the smae ability to engage the reader.
You write like that.
The internet wants different things, it seems. They want keywords and you have to write for the search engines - although I really don't know about Constant Content or any of these people - but I suspect its the same.
But your average Joe on the street wants to read about things that are interesting to him. Its finding those things that is so difficult! He wants to read about the side effects of drinking too much beer,for example. He types in 'drinking too much beer' and the first 100 articles he sees are those who wrote about drinking too much beer with those keywords repeated loads of times through the article, and on the header and sub headers, almost to the point where it barely makes sense.
I don't like most of the stuff I read online. I don't like to see words repeated and I certainly don't like to see re-hashed articles all containing the same content in every way except words.
Maybe the whole concept of how its done online will crash and real writers like you will find a place
Hy, here's a very simple writing tip that works for book and article writers. If you feel there may be too long of a lead into the article or item you are writing, take the halfway point that is right slap bang in the middle of the article, as it might be nearer to the "real" start of the article than it's physical beginning that you have there. Also, this increases the chance of putting the reader in the depth of the subject.
Famous book writers and film makers have done this, they literally started halfway through the thing as they spent too much time building up the thing in the beginning. George Lucas began his so-called trilogy of stories at "part 4 a new hope" (of what was 6 parts / films) History proves he was right to do this, it was the best part of the whole franchise. You should trust your own judgment and go with what you are comfortable with, and there's no harm in being open to a little criticism. You will genuinely learn from the feedback from others. Some Hubbers are doing this writing thing full-time. I hope this helps you a bit!
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