3    From idea to publication

‘Why are you here? Why aren’t you sitting at home writing?’ John Steinbeck said. The author of Of Mice and Men and The Grapes of Wrath and Nobel Prize winner was addressing his writing class at their first meeting.

He had started with the most important bit of advice he had to give. You have to develop your writing skills by doing it. All the rest – the lectures, the books like this one – is advice that you must adapt and apply to your particular purposes, to what you write, and the important thing is to write regularly. You don’t become a good cook by reading cookbooks.

This chapter covers the whole process of producing a feature from idea to the piece on the published page. The following chapters expand on the ...

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