Do you love bodybuilding and strength-related sports? If you have something to shout out to the bodybuilding community, now is your chance. Muscular Development magazine officials have afforded a 500-word space for anyone to get published.
John Romano, Muscular Development Senior Editor, request subscribers to submit 500 words pertaining to bodybuilding – anything goes. You must join the MuscularDevelopment.com forums to be part of this unique process. As a member, vote for the story that impresses you the most or submit your own.
I submitted a winning entry during the competition’s initial launch, early this year. Bodybuilding’s Hidden Secret: Power was published in Muscular Development’s August 2007 issue. Romano quickly sent out a free magazine subscription, something he does for every contest winner. Members are ineligible for three months after earning a place in the writer’s role of honor, to keep one person from monopolizing the contest. Be sure to check the posted rules for updates regularly. The rules are frequently altered to evolve with increasing participation. They primarily serve to keep abuse and mischief to a minimum.
“THE WAY I SEE IT, that was awesome. I know I’m not alone in thinking, “Oh, yeah, the time variable” Duh! How come I haven’t considered that, like, ever?
That was well written Warrior. Nice and clean and to the point. One of the challenges in having a target word count is that you gradually trim your writing style so you say the most with the least number of words. Aside from the light bulb going off over the time variable, what was evident to me was the economy of words in this piece. Warrior said a lot in a compact space; not one word was wasted.
Your T-shirt and subscription to MD are on the way. Good job!”
Senior Editor, Muscular Development magazine
To get published, you need to please those with voting power: MuscularDevelopent.com forum members. Search through the previous months’ winning entries (either from back issues of Muscular Development or the Web site) to reveal winning trends. Remember, your target word count is 500.
Consider submitting with a clear and descriptive headline to catch interest. Generally, you should write the body of your story using an inverted pyramid format. Get to the point then support it. This type of writing captures interest by letting readers know important details right away.
Narrative stories do not have to use a traditional inverted pyramid of interest. They usually save significant elements to effectively build up a climax. But be sure to introduce a reason to keep reading in the first paragraph.
Write fast and then edit slow. Quickly get your ideas on paper – clear and compact. Next, prune through any unnecessary words or phrases. Try your best to keep an active voice with strong statements. Then trim around the edges. If it is possible to cut out a word, cut it.
“Writers sometimes don’t realize that an inherently dramatic tale is made even more dramatic through focus, purpose, compression and underwriting,” explains Paula LaRocque, author of The Book on Writing. “They often overwrite the dramatic story, which paradoxically drains it of its strength.” LaRocque is full of great tips for transferring thoughts to print. She was elected to the Associated Press Managing Editors Executive Board in 1998. The APME honored her in 2001 with its Meritorious Service Award for exemplary contribution to journalism.
“Good description is fast, spare, specific and showing,” states LaRocque “Weak description is slow, wordy, vague, abstract and telling.” Avoid rambling with redundancies. She suggests keeping sentences short with one main idea. Also, write like you talk – minus the fancy cliches, jargons and fads. For example, you do not “relish in the consumption of elongated yellow produce 24/7.” You rather “enjoy eating bananas everyday.”
Avoid beginning your sentences with long dependent phrases. Nobody talks this way. You wouldn’t say, “in preparation for the professional bodybuilding competition, Joe cycled his carbohydrate intake.” You might say, “Joe cycled his carbohydrate intake to prepare for bodybuilding competition.”
LaRocque also suggests avoiding intensifiers like very, extremely, totally, wholly, entirely, utterly, really or completely; as well as taming with quite, rather, slightly, fairly or somewhat. Instead of, “bodybuilders must be really focused and very determined athletes to present an extremely competition-ready physique.” Try, “bodybuilders must be dedicated to obtain competition condition.” Which is stronger and easier to read? Intensifiers are used while thinking out loud; on the other hand writing should be straight to the point, using the best word to convey a message.
Before you publish, look once more for grammar or spelling errors. Spelling and grammar errors are not well tolerated by readers in this day and era of word processors and sophisticated programs. OpenOffice.org is an office sweet provided free of charge by a community of open-source developers. It is a multiplatform, multilingual solution to the expensive alternative, Microsoft Office – many users never notice a difference. OpenOffice.org is compatible with all major office sweets.
Be ready for inspiration next time you are training or discussing the bodybuilding way of life. Then start writing. Take advantage of this chance to appear in Muscular Development, the best bodybuilding magazine on the newsstand. Your first step is to complete the free registration at the MuscularDevelopment.com forums. Then head over to the 500-word submissions’ forum.
The more participation this contest develops, the better the results. Do not ignore this great opportunity. Good luck to everyone who enters. If you choose not to write, vote!