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Adaptable styles
by Lynda Archard
©: June 25th 2000

Research and information articles are always an advantage to the adaptable writer. After you have collated your information it can be used again and again and it gives you a chance to be versatile with your style. You must follow set styles of most magazines but there is no reason why you can't write several angles to the same theme for practice, web pages and all types of magazines suitable for the subject. Some editors might love your unusual angle on a mundane theme. It just takes a bit of thought with a versatile mind to find a new idea.

Lets say that you have just written an article on the local attractions in your town, which might also make a good web page subject. First a detailed report can be written using the facts on the most interesting places. You can list how much entry fee is needed and what a visitor would get for their money. Side-bars are extra pieces of information to compliment the main feature article in some way. This might be a short snap of information about a few things that a tourist might miss if they don't know the area well. Often visitors to London miss the places in back-streets which I take for granted because I live here. I could include side-bars that state how many tourists visit per year and mention local speciality shops that are hidden from the town centre. Keep side-bars short and catchy for feature articles.

Secondly, where did you find your material? You might have collected some of your information from the library. Perhaps a short lively article for teenagers could suggest the resources available here. My local library now has an Internet cafe that overseas visitors could make use of. This one could inspire you to create an article that will encourage older people to use the Internet too. Point out the positive uses and include a factual how-to side-bar. Then re-write it for another magazine.

Thirdly all of your information could be useful for a fiction story set in your town or the library. You know the facts and descriptions are accurate and you can use different sets of characters for different genres.

Last but not least is your web page. I have searched for information on my home town and I never seem to find much. Just don't give the details of your exact address!

There are so many reasons to keep your information. In a couple of years you might want to check your details again and compare if they are the same. If more people are visiting your town then discover why, is there a new attraction? There is another article waiting for you to write.

Any subject that you can think of has the possibility of variety and adaptability. What was your last article subject and what style will you use when you rewrite it?

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© Lynda Archard