It would be almost impossible these days to open many information or ‘information’ sites and not see a list or listicle, as they became known. Whole sites are devoted to those, and it seems that the ones that deal with various curious ideas, phenomena, or even bizarre events are the ones that are predominant.
For writers, whether they like it or not, these sites seem to be the ones that offer most writing opportunities and the ones that actually pay, and pay well. In many ways, listicle writing has become a prerogative for any writer that wants to do writing online.
For some reason though, a lot of writers shy away from listicle writing, being of an opinion that it is ‘second-grade’ writing that turns their words into a daily agenda or a shopping list, killing narrative or a plot in their writing.
Well, actually, with the constant use of these ‘electronic typewriters’, busy schedules and social media, snap questions that demand even snappier answers, the ground for the listicle era has been set, and writers certainly have their part in the whole thing. The only question remains is — do you want to keep rejecting listicles or do you want to adapt your writing to the situation.
In essence, the key benefit for writers in writing listicles is not just the writing itself but the fact that one of the key writing tools, research, really has to be sharpened up and developed, because if you really want to write good listicles, your research skills have to be at its best.
On the basis of good, solid research, there can always emerge a pattern, a narrative a plot that can be developed later on, or actually through the listicle itself. It all depends on your skill, imagination and the information you have at hand.
So, as Gordon Lightfoot wrote and sang some 45 years ago in “The List”:
“There’s a little song on my list for tonight
Would ya like to try and make it rhyme…”
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