Immortalize that Hunting Story

Hunting stories – full of lies, half-truths, and mingled with a little bit of honesty.  A good hunting story gets passed around like a good pair of good bino’s.  Today many people immortalize these stories by publishing their adventures in blogs, e-magazines, e-journals, and traditional printed magazines.  Not everyone gets their story published though, not because it isn’t worth telling but often because the content needs some work.  At Muley Freak we’re contacted by hunters who want to publish stories in the blog section of our website.  We love reading followers stories, seeing the success, and have featured several in our #EarnedIt series of articles.  Every hunter has a story worth telling, the trick is engaging the reader so they feel the adventure as you did.  Even hunts where tag soup’s the end result can be a great story to publish if done right.  The question we always get from folks who wants to submit a story is what makes a good story to publish and how should it be written?  Here are some tips for getting your hunting story published.

The Tips

1) Pictures, Pictures, Pictures

The photos you take can be as important, or more important than anything you write.  A great article with no photographs or poor photography will rarely be published.  On the other hand an article not written as well but with crisp, clear, and well composed photos still stands a chance of being resurrected with some changes to the writing.  Although cameras on phones are getting better and better they still don’t compare to real cameras.  Even a lower end DSLR camera can be leaps and bounds above a camera phone.  We often get hunters who submit a story to us with only pics off their phone that just don’t cut it.  Can phone cameras work, yeah, but an article with quality pictures from a decent camera have a leg up on the cell phone hunters.  Also, pictures don’t need to be of antlers and harvested animals only.  Take photos of landscapes, rivers, other animals, plants, the pack in, gear, and whatever else is part of the hunt.  Use these photos to help tell the story, not just the glory shot of a harvested animal.

Quality pictures with quality cameras can make a big difference. Also taking photos that help tell the story like this help. PC: Muley Freak

Quality pictures with quality cameras can make a huge difference.  Also taking photos that help tell the story like this picture of the hike into some beautiful Alaskan backcountry helps. PC: Muley Freak

2) Grab the Reader

Most often that first paragraph is where the reader will either engage or retreat.  That lead in paragraph can be one of the most important paragraphs you write.  Be creative and set the tone for the rest of your story.

3) Find the Story embedded in the Story

This is something we always tell hunters wanting to submit an article about their hunt.  There’s usually some other side story surrounding the hunt, or a bigger picture theme to the hunt, if you know what I’m saying.  For example, one story we featured was about two brothers and the only time they’ve ever hugged was after they killed this big buck and how it’s still a running joke in the family.  Another article was about how hunting has been a challenge and healing strategy for a quadriplegic hunter.  Think about how your story is going to be original, interesting, and uniquely yours and different from what has already been published.

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This photo came from an #EarnedIt article submitted by a follower that was not only about hunting but about friendship, trust, and healing.

4) Get to the Point

Don’t go on about the minor details.  We’ve read through stories where every useless detail is painfully described like what they ate for dinner, when they set the alarm clock, how long it took to fall asleep, what time they woke, how they loaded the truck and so on…and on…and on.  No one cares about those details, get to to the point and get on with it.

Give your drafts to people you know who are smarter than you

5) Use the People You Know Who Are Smart

This means start with a draft and be willing to do several re-writes.  Give your drafts to people you know who are smarter than you, that’s what we do.  Tell reviewers to be honest and don’t look for people who are just going to praise you, ask for and take the criticism gratefully.  I can read something I personally wrote a million times and in my head I know what I am saying but when I give it to someone else they see stuff I don’t.  It’ll help the flow, make more sense and help correct grammar.  Do this before submitting to your intended place to publish.

6) Be Flexible

Different places may have different formats or changes they would like to see in the article to fit their needs.  Be willing to adapt your article for different applications.  Ask what those format they would like the article in.

7) Have Fun With It

Lastly have fun with it.  If it becomes a burden maybe it’s a story to share word-of-mouth.

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