Posted by: nancyisanders | October 1, 2013

Highlights: Type a Sample Article

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This is my cat Pitterpat wandering around my desk. She does this every day when I sit down to type on my computer. (I think she’s trying to steal ideas for her own stories!) Eventually, she settles down to take a nap on Jeff’s computer chair at HIS desk (which is next to mine). But first she has to take a little ramble over mine.

I wanted you to see this photo because for the next step I took on my journey to write and submit a nonfiction article to Highlights, I sat down at my computer and typed out one sample published nonfiction article from Highlights that I’m using as my target article.

I did this for 3 reasons:
1. To train my brain.
Every time you type out a published article or section in a book, your brain gets trained to flow and move in a similar pattern to that the published piece. At multiple levels. I like to do this whenever I can to help train my brain to write in a particular genre.

2. I want to analyze this one article. I want to test it for the Flesch-Kincaid Reading Level. I want to know its exact word count…overall and in specific spots. It’s so much easier to do this in Microsoft Word.

3. I want to dissect it. I want to plot its structure and its pace and its format. Then after that this will help me plot out my own outline for my own story before I write it. Over the years, I’ve had to plot out my stories and articles for publishers before I write one single word so that they can approve or tweak or change it before I start to write it. At first, this was such a pain. But over the years I’ve learned how essential this process it to writing a successful story that pops and sizzles with pizzazz. So I’m planning to do this with this article as well.

So now it’s your turn. If you haven’t done this yet, take that article you tucked away in the file folder, “Sample Article to Target” that was published fairly recently in Highlights.

Type it out, word for word.

Then come back here ’cause in my next post we’re going to talk stats and analyze that article.


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