So you think you can write? Wonderful. Now you’ve decided to post your stuff on TNC. Brilliant. And it is marvelous in our sight? Not really. You see, being part of the team behind an open publishing platform is a great thing. We get to hear from you, which is honestly pretty amazing. It’s great…
So you think you can write? Wonderful. Now you’ve decided to post your stuff on TNC. Brilliant. And it is marvelous in our sight? Not really.
You see, being part of the team behind an open publishing platform is a great thing. We get to hear from you, which is honestly pretty amazing. It’s great to get such a wide range of opinions. It keeps the site lively and diverse. We also understand that seeing your work online can give you an unparalleled sense of validation. Someone out there read your piece and thought it was cool enough to share with their readers. That’s kinda awesome. On top of this, you get paid too – isn’t TNC just awesome? Still, we want to help you feel awesomer.
Sadly, we can’t do that if you commit what seem to be regularly recurring Nigerianisms. As one of the senior editors here, I read a lot of submissions and I honestly wonder if some contributors were sent by my village people to frustrate me. Here’s why:
- they Decide to randomly Capitalise the wrong words for REASONS i will Never understand.
- Simple punctuation including commas and full stops are totally absent in fact they appear to be such a huge problem that the article is little more than a barrage of endless sentences that become so difficult to read that they inspire many members of the TNC editorial team to take up alcoholism as a coping mechanism
- They misquote popular sayings, phrases or proverbs so awfully that it is pretty clear they lack tension to details.
- Their articls are litered with typos.
- dey write like dia sendin TNC a whatsapp msg
This doesn’t even scratch the surface. Other infuriating traits I’ve observed among prospective TNC contributors include:
You decide to write a letter to yourself, your unborn child, your mother, your father, your neighbour or your dog. That is totally fine. Try to ensure such streams of consciousness have a point – some kind of narrative progression or even a memorable ending.
If you’ve penned a whole piece about getting out of bed, walking down the road to buy bread and going back to bed – and nothing remotely interesting happened in between those moments, or there’s no mad twist at the end like revealing you’re Daniel and the bed was actually the lions’ den all along – it is highly unlikely your post will get published.
I appreciate this is a touchy subject because many contributors are clearly sensitive and introspective individuals so it’s easy to get lost in one’s thoughts. Nevertheless, unfortunately, many posts produced in this mood are, quite frankly, boring. They won’t generate any form of engagement, readers won’t be happy and you won’t get paid. It has to be said. Sorry.
This is the only word that comes to mind when I come across articles that appear to have been written by people who completely forget that they are writing for an external (predominantly young, i.e. 18-35, Nigerian) audience. Writing for an audience is not necessarily about changing who you are or how you express yourself, but simply being aware that your post has to be somewhat engaging.
This is related to the rambling point, but is more about seeking out relevant topics. If you’re going to write an article about the art of Japanese apple picking, this is probably not the right place to publish such a piece. Yes, it might tick all the editorial boxes and it might even get published but will it engage your audience? This is a lesson I personally remind myself of constantly since I tend to write for vastly different audiences. Some jokes fall flat with some groups and rock the crowd with others, just like one man’s hot topic bores the next guy to tears. Be mindful of your audience.
It’ll save us having to write you a kindly worded note about why your post isn’t going up on the site.
This might appear slightly contradictory, but just goes to show that human beings are very interesting creatures. While some contributors write about incredibly random topics that don’t resonate with their audience, others submit articles covering over-flogged subjects. What’s our top culprit? Love, of course!
Feminism is a close second!
Yes, we post a lot of boy-meets-girl stories, but you have NO IDEA how many more we hold back. Don’t get me wrong, love and relationships will always be worth discussing, but when every post is asking what love is, or if love is bitter, or if true love will ever come, it makes the TNC team want to hunt Cupid down and shoot him for causing all this rubbish.
If you’re writing about a popular subject, at least seek out a unique angle. Try a different style, add a twist or think about it from another point of view. For instance, if you’re inclined towards penning man-bashing articles because Segun cheated on you, consider writing an article from the lothario’s perspective. Diary of a Demon, perhaps. See, that’s already more interesting than “Lord God Almighty, why did you create Yoruba men?”.
Not kissing the boss’ behind but I think Mr Toolsman is a good example of someone who does this well. That man has shown he can spin one topic in 10 million ways and he’ll still make you want to drop a comment or at least share with a colleague at work
and end up starting an argument in the office.
Most importantly, ladies and gentlemen, please remember that there are MILLIONS of topics out there other than love, sex and relationships. Discover them. Write about them. And send them in. We cannot wait to read them.
Ah, this is my pet peeve. Many writers either veer off point during a piece – which might have to do with the earlier point about rambling – or downright contradict themselves. See an illustration below:
Why Dogs Hate Cats – a piece by Funmi Ogunlusi
If you’re like me, you’ll know about the enduring canine/feline beef that doesn’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon. In fact, the cats have tied wrapper and staunchly refused to give in. The dogs sef are singing “We no go gree”. But who decided it was important to “gree” anyway? Why does the moon shine at night? Why is rocket science not taught in primary schools? When will Jesus return?
You get my point, right? Good. If you’re guilty of this, please stop. At once.
Please understand that this is not an attack. Actually, we have received so many mails from contributors asking us to constantly give pointers and I’m sure we’ll do more of that going forward. Many of these things are common mistakes, so don’t feel too bad if you’re wincing at the realisation that I’m talking to you. Absolutely no one on this earth is perfect, and that is even more true when it comes to writing. Typos, for instance, are far from unforgivable. We all make little errors, especially when we type fast. Similarly, it’s not always easy to tell when you’re rambling or repeating yourself.
This is where proofreading comes in. Brethren, please proofread. Read over your articles, and get someone else to read over them too. If it’s top secret and you don’t want anyone else to see it, read over the post twice. The simple act of double-checking your work can solve every single one of the problems I mentioned. Proofread and ask yourself if the post makes sense, if a reader other than yourself would care about it or if that is the correct spelling of “inadvatently”.
If the exposure and the money isn’t enough incentive for you, I can tell you now that we have something MAJOR planned for our top performing contributors every year. I’m talking something international so, if you haven’t started contributing, you might want to send us your first submission today.
God bless you as you comply.