Some Writing Suggestions for GaG Editors and Take Writers

Some Writing Suggestions for GaG Editors and Take Writers

First off, I don’t want make it like I’m some expert or big shot in charge because I don’t even consider myself one, and just to even be sure it was okay for me to post this I did first ask our wonderful chief editor, lol. I also don’t really want this to seem like I’m giving any tips, but rather some suggestions for the community on writing.


Although I’m not a bona fide blogger with a resume or anything, I've been writing many different things since teenhood - including 2 whole novels I never got published and for good reason, lol - and blogging on other sites around the web like Google+, WordPress, and Experience Project, the latter having been a very important tool of expression online for me over the last 3 years. Although it got to be a pretty crappy site, EP’s notorious feature of posting “stories” was probably the thing that pulled many of us members in the most, and with an enormous variety of topics from many, many different users. But after coming under scrutiny for the murder of a girl by a man she met there, EP finally shut itself down in May.


I do consider myself to be better at writing than I once was and more creative, but no actual expert. So take these as friendly ideas more than tips.


Write what YOU really care about…

While plenty of us do talk about what matters to us or is close to home, still a lot of people who write Takes on GaG do it for the publicity. They just want to be noticed and write a lot of stuff that we all could easily read in any magazine. And especially when the same person is spitting out Take after Take, I begin considering them as content spammers who I eventually start tuning out and pass over their stuff on the home page. Some people purposely overdo it and write random stuff just to be seen or gain popularity. Don’t fall into the game of it just because you see people you know or like doing it and think it’d be a great strategy for you.


I’m not much of a wildlife guy, although I do have my favorite animals and creatures (dolphins, elephants, and reptiles), but I do admire that @RainbowFanGirl has written some sincere stuff about animals because she loves them. It’s refreshing to see somebody write about something like that that really matters to her and what is so very different from a lot of the content here. I also sometimes see that @loveisbeautiful will only get 1 or 2 comments to some of her Takes, but I love that she too writes about what's interesting, cool, or fun to her. In fact it's kinda sexy that she's the only one who really talks about that stuff ;-)


Take your time…

As Editors, we’re encouraged to post Takes frequently (at least twice a week), and I understand that and respect it, but I will still take my time on what I write and think it through. Plus my mom’s writing instructions have always stuck with me: draft it, and then go back over it. That’s a general rule anyway, but the way my mom taught us is to be thorough not just with grammar but also context. Make sure what you write is clearly understood and written as well as possible, and if people still aren’t understanding it then the problem falls on their comprehension.


For me, I write when it matters, and what matters to me. As I tell some people here: when I have something to say I’ll let you know. I can spend days on a Take draft, and have other ones I’ve only had in store mentally for weeks but get around to each one in time. I’m not in a hurry, and it’s not a race for me to try to get my stuff up on the screen so I can be seen.


So I do encourage everybody to really take your time. When you do, your content will mean more and you will have spent time saying exactly what you wanted to if you allow yourself.

Learn from other Takes…

Gain new perspective from reading other people’s stuff, or even learn from their mistakes. This too can help you be better at writing your own Takes. And as they instruct writers: you have to read to be better at writing.


A lot of people on GaG really just read the title of a Take or skim through it so they can hurry up and be one of the first to comment or so they can antagonize the author just to see people vote them up. In fact, antagonism may be the most common comments. A lot of Gaggers don’t really read Takes to learn something new or agree, but really just to be critical. Avoid that as well. In the early days I myself was like that here, but over time I started thinking: “Why do I need to criticize this Take? Why can’t I see some truth in it and have a balanced opinion?” And that’s what I do now. Some Takes I really will fire on because it is clearly imbecilic, but for the most part I’ve learned to see what can be good in them, or what’s both good and bad, and to even be as civil as possible in disagreeing.

If you want people to regard your content seriously and fairly, you have to do the same with theirs.


Avoid trends…

Group-thinking is heavy on GaG, and especially in the area of Takes. One person writes about something, and then a bunch of other people follow behind with their own posts, and some won’t even give credit to the original author as @Stacyzee mentioned in one of her recent Takes.


Trendy writing is also a cheap way for some Gaggers to attempt stardom. They figure if they can write what everybody else writes they can get attention. And then some people do trendy writing because they think it’s more favorable: “Well, if everyone else is writing about that topic it must be because it really is important so I should write about it too.” Don’t get caught up in that thinking either.


We see a heck of a lot of Takes about “nice guys,” “slut-shaming,” feminism, ANTI-feminism, who’s hot, guys blaming girls for not being able to get laid, girls blaming guys for their makeup choices and styles, what guys are doing wrong in bed, etc. and I myself have written some things on a few of these, which is fine from time to time, but it doesn’t have to be or need to be constant.


Avoid too many numbers and lists…

This may be the biggest trend, and it’s gotten so bad now that I can log in and see several Takes on the homepage about “5 Things” this, “7 Reasons” that, or “10 Ways” such-and-such, to the point where I just overlook most of them now. List writing on GaG has become much too rampant. I get it that some people do like writing them, and not all of them are bad, and I’ve written some myself, but it seems to be as if it’s now just a really easy way of getting something up for a lot of people here, and sometimes as click bait. It doesn’t require a lot of thought, just adding thing after thing.


In American magazine writing and blogging, it’s like a signature thing to write lists on “10 Reasons/Things” this or that because it pulls us in so the magazines and online columns and news sites can gain traction. But that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the most creative way. Rather it’s just the easiest way to get attention, which can sometimes come across as a cheesy eye-grabbing strategy more than being sincere.


Don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting that people stop doing it just because I don’t like it, but that we need to try to be more creative about it. I only wrote two list Takes in the early days with numbers in their titles, and now I avoid it and refuse to ever use numbers. I’m fine with some list Takes - some of them have been really cool and fun to read like @blondfrog ‘s Take about sexy black women, and @zombiebabe ‘s about reasons why women might hate each other, but all the others don’t necessarily need to be so Cosmo-style, copy-cat, and overdone.


Be original, and don't back down…

In the midst of the crowd, be the color that stands out here. Don’t be afraid to be the person who brings us something new or different. And even if it’s a much-used topic, you can still present a new perspective to it. Don't opt out of writing things that matter to you because you think other people are gonna think it's stupid or criticize you. Do what you want. If I read your work and disagree with you, I'll let you know it, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't write it.

This also includes not going Anon. Yes, I know it's allowed and that we all have the right to do it, and for very personal things I can get that, but for once just try speaking your mind about an intense subject without hiding. Stand your ground and be bold. In the early of days of me being on GaG and feeling my way with it I did post anonymously sometimes, but now I never do it. It's weakness to me. I don't run from anybody and I'm not afraid to face my battles. I stand my ground and leave myself wide open, and couldn't care less who knows it or hates it. You don't have to either. I am constantly encouraging and advocating this here and always will.

Now let's get to work, team :-)

#GaG #myTakes


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ManOnFire is a GirlsAskGuys Editor
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What Girls Said 13

  • Thank you. :)

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  • Thanks for this, it's an excellent take! In terms of trends and lists, us editors are constantly being pushed like machines to produce things like that so GaG can get more publicity. They've realised that we can bring more money for them so they make sure we keep writing, especially on controversial things and news. So you could argue that some editors are simply doing what is being asked of them.

    I think it was better back in the day when people wrote because they liked it and GaG took a step back. Now, they're pushing us to write and write so we're all running out of steam and passion that we had before. I also feel like I'm being used now, for the reason I stated. It's so obvious in those messages we receive regularly. "Loads of people died - write a take on it!". I ignore those messages now and only write what I want to or on things I feel strongly about, which usually means a better myTake anyway. Your myTake has made me want to write one I've been thinking about recently, just haven't had the time or energy to research more into it (there's quite a bit) and write it up. :P

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    • I absolutely agree with you. There is an expectation, and I do see the way everybody writes all the same tired stuff about what's in the news. I did write about the police shootings against blacks, but that was because it really mattered to me, not because it's just what we're hearing about.

      You made some great points.

    • That sad moment when admins will (probably) read this opinion and completely ignore this coz all they need is money.

  • Great Take, will definitely keep this in mind :)

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  • Writing has always been a hobby of mine , so I find myself having a lot to say (I come up with ideas pretty frequently).
    I follow my own trend here. I think that's what makes me stand out.
    I never liked flocking together with a crowd.
    Individuality is something that is great.
    Nice take !

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    • That point you made in your Take really stood out for me.

    • Ahh yes !
      People like to lurk behind what is hot , write about it and not give credit to the original person.
      It's almost as bad as plagiarism.

      I like that you follow your own trend and write about what interests you.

  • Ew, who do you think you are? Superior to the rest of us? Puhlease.

    JK.

    Pretty good tips. I always stay true to myself when it comes to my writing. It's important to. It's easy to get caught up in writing about the popular topics just for comments and approval. I've written about a lot of personal stuff. I like to try to connect with people on a deeper level.

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  • 3mo

    This is great advice. You have some great suggestions that I will do.

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  • Yeah I wrote a take of male features and people just completely went wild for the next few days. It's a basic topic but so many people joining in on it made me not want to continue writing about the same one anymore. Killed so many ideas

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  • Very helpful Take. :)

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  • Great points, especially about the anonymous takes. I especially hate that when it's over-the-top controversial.

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    • Me too. I would much rather they show some balls and let us see who they are. When I write controversially I never hide about, never need to, and never will.

  • I have a complaint and beg for an explanation. The title of this website is "Girls ask Guys." It is not, "Open Blog for People to Express Their Opinion on Anything That Interests Them." Why then are so many My Takes off topic? I mean off-topic to the original intention of this website. I agree some people write just to be seen and that annoys me for it is obvious who does it just by reading the first paragraph. Allow me to go off topic.
    Now what I'm about to say is very serious and touchy. Some of us would want to write about our experiences but they would create/a\backlash of negative comments. They would come from the virgin//prude section.. Growing up and always living in a big city I am glad to see such a large section of people waiting to get sexually involved. However sexual experience is expected once you're over 25. That is at least in New York City Atlanta San Francisco etc. So a 28-year-old woman is not a slut. That means shaming is out of the question. People actually go to bars and get picked up on a routine basis. That may not be someone's ideal if they are 18 and in the virgin prude section. But the social scene in big cities at least is vastly different than the idealistic virgin view. And nobody asks how many girls or guys you have been with.. And nobody cares.

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  • Good advices and a very good mytake :)

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  • I am an Editor, so all my Takes are instantly promoted and often they are featured. I'll say I have a 50% success rate of getting a Take promoted+featured, which yields 200 Xper points. I use the points to exchange for Amazon gift cards.

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  • Very nice take :)

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What Guys Said 9

  • GAG Take Writing 101- use 'ClickBait' :)

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  • Thanks very much for this! :) I hope people take the advice.

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  • One of the reasons I just don't ever intend to become an editor is because most takes feel like they were churned out to fill a quota.

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  • Here's my advice, GAG

    Take off the minimum take requirement for editors so they don't have to fill a quota so that they start writing meaningful myTakes again

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    • I would give you MHO if it was allowed on Takes.

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    • Wow, dude, that was so spot on! A lot of Takes ARE just nothing. I do like to post my favorite stuff from time to time too, but not in such excess like the others.

    • Exactly! I hope this gets around to admins!

  • Thank god someone wrote this. For some reason, GaG likes to make 15 y/o feminist bitches who never proofread editors, and that's why so many of the Takes on here are absolute trash.

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  • I agree.

    "As Editors, we’re encouraged to post Takes frequently (at least twice a week)"
    I disagree.

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  • Something that has been bugging me a lot is the use of pictures. Sometimes the author illustrates said point with a picture that captivates the idea very well, however, more often than not, pictures are used as FILLERS, as waste of space.

    More on the subject of pictures: sometimes a take is posted pictureless, as it were and reportedly, a mod has taken it up for themself to Edit that take with... you guessed it... pictures while they don't even know what the author had in mind.

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    • I definitely agree with you on that. Sometimes the use of pictures is done very poorly, and I actually don't like using a lot of them because they can distract the reader.

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    • @Stacyzee Yeah, that is a problem on GaG. Most readers are ADHD-ish, and I'm aware of that, but I refuse to simplify what I write to get their attention. If they're not interested because it has what they feel is too many words, oh well. Move on. But for any and everyone else, please do engage.

    • I too have broached this subject before in a take which I think may have been removed. I think if you don't insert some pictures, they will be inserted for you because apparently it makes it more click worthy and will get more viewership for those that cannot be bothered to read actual text as is. So now even when I write something, I just throw some in because I'd rather at least I be able to chose them, then someone inserts what they think should be in there. I'm certainly no Picasso, but it's kind of like someone walking in behind him and adding in a few extra brush strokes.

  • The only thing I don't agree with is the criticize thing. Let me say that I usually do it. I read half the content, but not usually the entire thing of each point or paragraph. It's kinda a bad habit, but what can I say? But I do read enough to get the gist of the point, paragraph or take

    But the point I want to make is that mytakes should be fairly sound. If you point out a flaw, then it shows that the reader is engaged instead of just commenting. Also, I am someone who uses logic and common sense. If you say 1 thing, I expect it to be fairly sound and logical. The mytaker took the time to make the take and be critiqued. The point of the take is generally to inform or enlighten the reader in some way. The 1 thing I hate is reading a take that is factually correct, but contextually wrong. In other words, missing the point of an argument or point, thus polluting and promoting bad content. I have a few examples, but I'm sure it will start a flame war I'm not in the mood for 😑

    But like I said, besides that, I like this take and agree with a bunch of them. Especially original content and critically thinking. This seems fairly shameless, but here's my take I wrote earlier today. I'm sure someone has an issue with it, but it's mostly thought out
    www.girlsaskguys.com/.../a29909-an-ode-to-american-politics-if-i-reformed-the-system-lawd-hammercy

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    • Pointing out a flaw for most people here is about wanting to have the superior argument. It's not always important for us to criticize the content but try to get where the person is coming from.

    • That's true in most people wanting to feel superior. And yeah, criticism is necessary if it's needed. I agree that it's important in seeing the other person's perspective, but think of a car. Let's say a Lamborghini. It looks dope as shit, but let's ignore the faulty engine cause that shit hot. If the engine is dumpster fire, the car is worthless. If the person has flaws in their take, the entire take is flawed

  • Some very good advice on writing takes - Just a funny thing occurred to me, your tip for regular editors to write two takes a week - On another account I used write Takes (quite long granted) but from inception to completion was easily 12 hours between crafting, typing, rereading and editing till word perfect. It was always the guts of about 3 days, two a week would kill me.
    I digress - Enjoyable take.

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    • The 2-Takes-a-week thing is actually the staff's suggestion to Editors, lol. I'm not really that comfortable with it myself unless I actually have 2 things to write.

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