Proudly presented from www.writerssecrets.com Book Series
Excerpts from Volume 2 in the Writer’s Secrets Series
“Writing About Famous People You Don’t Know”
by Dr. Jeffrey Lant
Available at: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01IG0PC9E
This series has has been developing for a very long time, for over fifty years in fact.
Dr. Jeffrey Lant has an extraordinary online writing course which compliments this Writer’s Secrets Series. In it, you’ll learn how to write the kind of meaningful prose you desire.
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Writer’s Secrets Vol. 2 – Writing About Famous People You Don’t Know
Lucky you! You have arrived at the rest of your life. What you
learn in this chapter you can use and profit from every single
day you remain alert and willing to learn. In short, we here
today begin your great adventure.
Barbra Streisand has a signature tune that goes like this…
“People who need people are the luckiest people in the
world” (from the film “Funny Girl”, 1968). And this applies
especially to writers, for everything we write will be almost
entirely, if not exclusively, about people.
In this chapter, I’m going to give you the essence of what it
takes for you to rise high and triumph as a writer. Let us begin
at the beginning, as a writer about people and their multifarious
To begin this chapter, I suggest that you read the five portrait
articles I have written and included in this book… about Abigail
van Buren, Arthur Godfrey, Jacques Brel, Elizabeth Taylor, and
Pete Seeger. If you do, my comments will be more
understandable and useful to you. I have written hundreds of
profiles, ranging from the completely unknown subjects, to the
household names. Indeed, I am one of the major profile writers
of my generation. I want to pass on my mantle to you. It is worth
To begin at the beginning.
As I have said to you before, the actual physical act of writing
should be the last thing you do to succeed as a writer. Good,
solid preparation skills are required. Start by reading each day,
a standard metropolitan newspaper. In it, you will discover
thousands of names and stories. Some are obscure, some of
transitory interest, others of cosmic significance.
Your job is to be totally at ease with humanity, to the extent that
you are bold, and even audacious. Your job is to understand
completely all aspects of humanity in all of its manifestations…
good, bad, but never indifferent.
Make it a point, each day, and I do mean every day, to read
through every kind of story and determine which ones would be
of the greatest interest to the greatest number of people, and
which can benefit from your peculiar “eye”.
You may ask, ‘What is an eye?’ Simply this: it is the inner
compass that enables you to immediately determine the value,
standing, and significance of any particular person or subject.
In short, what is worth writing about, who is worth writing about,
and what or who deserves to be dismissed, without further ado.
In any given day, by following this methodology, you will find
one to ten new subjects you can write about. I have a scientific
way about dealing with these potential leads. I take a pair of
scissors and a big box. I put my newspaper page over the box,
and cut out the articles which promise to become, in my
practiced manner, my next articles, hence, my next successes.
My aim at this point is clear and simple: which people and
subjects are of the greatest importance and value, interest, and
excitement. In other words, how can I influence the greatest
number of people, get the greatest possible response, and let
us not forget, the most money. For one way or another, there
must always be that.
Your job is to keep looking for subjects every day of your life,
until your box, no matter what its size, is overflowing with
possibilities. And when I say overflowing, I mean precisely
that. I have drawers in my office filled with ancient clippings for
articles which are still (mostly) relevant to write.
Next, review your clippings and prioritize the subjects you want
to write about. I advise you to write about subjects which have
a long shelf life. For example, presidents of the United States
and other high political figures of nations worldwide, movie stars
with proven careers, or ones that look likely to succeed.
Write too, about legislators of note, and scientists who are
engaged in momentous tasks.
Write too, about sports figures, particularly those who look like
a good long term investment. Think also of authors, and your
fellow writers. Think of people who are on the cutting edge of
any aspect of human affairs. Who is looking out for aliens in
outer space? And who is rushing ahead with a microscope and
a microbe, destined to change the world?
Keep in mind, that any individual person, given the precise set of
circumstances, is worthy of your pen. Remember, writers do not
merely report, we are visionaries. We see beyond the present
realities, and hoist our colors to any significant mast. We do not
merely report the news, that is for lesser souls, we explain the
news and the people who make it.
Now let us look at aspects of the five articles I have provided in
this volume on –
Abigail van Buren, Arthur Godfrey, Jacques Brel and Pete Seeger
About the Author
Dr. Jeffrey Lant is known worldwide. He started in the media business when he was 5 years old, a Kindergartner in Downers Grove, Illinois, publishing his first newspaper article. Since then Dr. Lant has earned four university degrees, including the PhD from Harvard. He has taught at over 40 colleges and universities and is quite possibly the first to offer satellite courses. He has written over 40 books, thousands of articles and been a welcome guest on hundreds of radio and television programs. He has founded several successful corporations and businesses including his latest at …writerssecrets.com
His memoirs “A Connoisseur’s Journey” has garnered nine literary prizes that ensure its classic status. Its subtitle is “Being the artful memoirs of a man of wit, discernment, pluck, and joy.” A good read by this man of so many letters. Such a man can offer you thousands of insights into the business of becoming a successful writer. Be sure to sign up now at www.writerssecrets.co
More can be found on Dr. Lant on his author page at: http://www.amazon.com/author/jeffreylant/
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