Hey, it’s Charlie Rinehart-Jones here again writing to you guys about writing about Magic. I’ve found that a lot of people think they have what it takes to write articles about Magic. I have some tips that have helped me on my journey to writing about Magic.
1. Have a Main Idea
Too many articles, especially about Magic, are written by people who don’t really have a centered idea of what they want to write about. The problem is that these articles come out like blog posts, in that they have no center, no nucleus. Blog posts are really hard to read for the average person, because everybody has their own stream of consciousness about Magic and people would rather read articles to try and gain specific and powerful knowledge, rather than unconnected ramblings. For example, people would much rather read an article that says “Why card X is better than card Y” than “Why I like card X and my thoughts on B/G Constrictor, plus a tournament report.” So your articles, like any piece of academic writing, should have a serious and focused point.
2. Decklists Do Not Replace Content
A deck is much more informative when it also gives archetypal exoskeletons. We use this technique often on Spellsnare.com because we all support the idea that Magic players are smart and if they just want to get a decklist online, then there are much easier ways to do that than reading an article that we put our time into. I find on many sites that writers tend to think “the more deck lists that I give the better, and people are going to like my article because it has a lot of decks in it.” In reality, it usually diminishes the value of the article because it is monumentally less focused. I find that many writers want to provide their readers decklists, I would just hope to remind those writers that while they can be informative, they must be used supplementally, and not to replace the central idea of what you’re writing about.
3. Equivalencies are Super Harmful
Something that works in a lot of writing is comparison. Relating some sort of content to another kind is something that allows the reader to swallow the content much more easily. However, I find that a lot of content in the Magic world has comparisons for comparisons sake. Because Magic is such a multi-faceted and interesting game, a lot of comparisons can be harmful, as they’re not entirely true. People writing Magic content should do their best to create a unique scenario in their writing to explain what they are trying to say, rather than giving up and comparing it to something similar. I find that this happens often and drastically decreases the efficacy of a lot of Magic writing by making it harder to read and much more choppy.
4. Maintain Ingenuity
The best way to get people to read your article or to care bout what your saying is to make sure to do something different. A concept that I talk about when playing Magic is divergent strategy vs. current strategy, meaning that unless you are the best at what you do, you should probably be doing something different. I feel that taking care of topics that aren’t going to be discussed is a good way to get your name into the writing about Magic world. It’s ok to write a tournament report or deck tech, but try something different, because if you do it well even once then you can really make a splash. Former Spellsnare.com writer Ryan Saxe is a great example of this. His topics were in-depth and unique, which drew in people and kept them excited for his weekly content. His writing was unique enough that Starcitygames.com offered him a weekly position with them as their Draft Guru. Be unique and you will stand out from the crowd.
5. Keep Doing It
This seems very obvious, but it’s important to continue writing and reading Magic content. Skill in writing about anything grows exponentially, and the fact is that the more you write, the better you will get at it. Writing about Magic is a dream, but it is easy to get discouraged, just do it when you want to and keep trucking. Realize that like Magic, every mistake you make makes you a better writer and it’s the series of mistakes you will make that will make you into the writer you want to be.
Thanks for reading,
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