I recently subscribed to Rolling Stone, mostly to indulge in Matt Taibbi’s articles and the best biweekly political barometer in print, “The Good, the Bad, and the Scary.” But I cannot abide by their tendency to print what amounts to a transcription of an interview.
It’s lazy writing at best, and filler at worst. I don’t care if it’s by the publisher himself, the indomitable Jann S. Wenner, buyer-out of Disney. I love the cover photo of Barack Obama looking happy and bashful, with only the mailing label obscuring part of his shoulder, but so much more could have been done here.
I wrote two stories for the publication I work for and caught myself doing the same thing in each: relating the time (“last week,” “Sunday,” “today”) to when I wrote the article instead of when it is to be published. Keep this little detail in mind as you write for periodicals, or you’ll have a pissy copy editor at the other end.
A friend of mine is writing a military thriller novel, and it needs a lot of work, to say the least. We’ve already talked about various problems it has, including pacing, transitions, dialogue, jargon, and point of view, but it has enough potential and enough examples to blog about to be worth reading. Red pens notwithstanding.
You are not a lolcat. Remember that when writing your papers, stories, novels, poetry, whatever.