Author's Guidelines (continued)

Tip: When you start to write an article, first draft a quick outline of the basics that you would like to cover. Tweak the order a bit if necessary. Remember to include some sort of introduction and at the end a wrap up. Once you have your outline established, simply start writing as fast as you can, let your thoughts flow; jot down the ideas as they flash through your mind, and don't worry about how you spell something. The thought process is strange, almost magical. When you are talking or telling a story, you don't worry about spelling or proper diction or whether you have slipped back into a regional dialect, you just tell the story. Write it down. Then go back later after you have finished and start to clean it up.
First get the ideas down on paper (or the screen) and then go back and fix it after your brain has put in all the important and interesting details. During the rewrites you can rearrange your thoughts that were out of sequence. Have a friend read it before you send it to us, and get his opinion.
Your opening paragraph must grab your readers' attention and make them want to read the rest of your article. A slow start will lose them and your article will not be read. Just think of how you read most magazines: You read the first couple of lines of an article, and if the story grabs you, you will then finish the story.
After you finish your article, put it down for a couple of days and then go back and read it again. This will help you put yourself in your readers' shoes, and see it from their viewpoint.

All the readers of Amateur Astronomy thank you in advance for being willing to share your thoughts and experiences with the rest of us. We are here to provide a forum for the average amateur astronomer to communicate with others from all over the world.