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To become a writer of any type, you must have experience. Yes, this is that sick twist of fate that irks every newcomer to any job. To get experience you must work, but to work you must have experience. Oh world, how cruel you are! Fret not, experience can be gained through other means. Just how to go about getting experience depends on the preference of the individual, however there are many options available.
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One of the easiest and most successful ways of gaining skill is through schooling. If you are currently in college, enroll in a writing class next semester. If you have already finished or have no plans to attain a degree, enroll in a non-credit writing class at the local community college. Many colleges also have a school paper or journalism club that students can become a part of.
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Often the only way to get work experience is through volunteering. The gaming industry is full of news and fan sites in which the news and articles is supplied by fans. The most enjoyable way to volunteer and remain excited about the experience is to choose a game that you love, which also makes the writing easier because you will be writing what you know. Keep a print copy and a list of the links to the articles you write to use as samples of your work. Sites such as IGN Vault Network and MMORPG.com accept volunteer writers, and give editor feedback to help new writers improve. Magazines such as Becket Massive Online Gamer also look for volunteer work and accept ideas and submissions from writers as well.
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Low pay jobs fall into the same category as volunteer. While writing for these gaming sites you will either receive very low pay for your work, or you will be paid for some work but not all. For instance, some sites might pay you for reviews, but expect articles written for free between reviews. Other sites might pay per page view only. However, do not be discouraged, because as with the volunteer jobs, the real pay is in experience. Sites such as Associated Content and Examiner.com both offer low paying writing opportunities.
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Schmooze isn’t just an option used by Sims, but a real life technique that can gain you insights into the gaming world. Be social on fan site and official forums; get to know not only the player, but also the game developers and community managers as well. As people get to know you, they will also get to know your work, and you will soon see opportunities for exclusive articles and interviews coming your way. Starting a gaming blog is a fantastic way to not only write about games and enhance your skills, but to also get to know others in the community and industry. Free blogs can be set up at WordPress.com and Blogspot.com.
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To quote Willa A. Foster, “Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction and skillful execution…” Even when you are volunteering or receiving low pay, be sure to produce high quality work. You want great samples to show prospective employers. A good managing editor will want to see good quality, regardless if the work was from a volunteer opportunity.