Monetising crossword puzzle writing

Monetising crossword puzzle writing – a puzzling profession

Solving crossword puzzles can be considered as a prime hobby for many people all over the world. Since the very onset of the tradition of solving crosswords, newspapers in almost every city and every country have contained a crossword in the local language, as well as books and magazines from all parts of the world. There have been various educational books that have been released in the past, which have contained a variety of crossword puzzles from the first page to the last, solely aimed at the education of children.

For centuries now, crosswords and other word puzzles have been in existence in the human society, with proof of historic existence found in the ruins of several ancient cities. Once considered to be a hobby of geniuses and intellectuals, crosswords, as believed nowadays, can be solved by anyone who has a clear head, a grip over the language, and the ability to apply logic and reasoning.

Tips for crossword puzzle writers

The times might have changed, and we might be living in a modern world, but even today, we have newspapers delivered to our doorstep daily, and these newspapers contain at least one crossword puzzle for us to solve. Many people buy a newspaper for this very reason only – to solve the crossword – as it is considered to be an extremely popular hobby. More often than not, before jump straight from the sports page, to the page with the puzzle, and spend at least two to three hours to finish the entire thing. So as you and we understand it, new crossword puzzles and new clues are required every single day.

So for all the puzzle enthusiasts out there, this could be a wonderful profession. If you are good and strong in the English vocabulary, and have a knack for puzzles, then you can definitely try your luck as a crossword puzzle writer. Let us look at some tips that you can follow to become a wonderful and acclaimed crossword writer. Read on to find out more.

Tips for all crossword puzzle writers

Follow these tips if you want to become a successful puzzle writer:

Always come up with a theme for the puzzle before you start writing. Stick with subjects like history, travel, geography, TV, film, celebrities, etc. Revealing your theme to the newspaper and magazine readers is not essential, but make sure to leave hints among the clues so that the readers and solvers can understand the theme on their own.

List words you want in the puzzle, pertaining to the theme you have chosen. A preliminary list of 25 or 30 words should be adequate to start with. Think of understandable clues pertaining to each and every selected word, and if you thing that the clue neither to revealing nor too complicated, then list it in the puzzle.

Mix up long and short words to create your puzzle. But always remember not to include any words which are below four letters, and it will be too easy then. The best idea would be to go for letters which are mostly used in English words, such as all the vowels, especially E, and other consonants like M, S, L, T, etc. It would be wise on your part to avoid words containing the last three letters of the English alphabet as much as possible.

Make use of pencil and graph papers whenever you sit down to draw up a brand new crossword puzzle. Choose some of the longest words included in your list and try to connect them proportionately at the centre of the graph paper, as these will act as your X-axis and Y-axis for writing the remaining puzzle. When you have done this, try to fill in the smaller words, with the axis in mind.

When you are done filling up each and every grid with words, make it a point to number all those boxes where each word would start, as it will help the solver to understand where he or she needs to start the puzzle. This needs to be done on the basis of two word lists – the ACROSS list, and the DOWN list, created on the basis of the axis.

The next part is a bit of fun. For all the words that you wish to include in the crossword, think of clues that the solver will have to read and think about in order to come with the right answer or solution. The clues will depend on where the crossword puzzle will be printed. For any newspaper, the clues can be anything from simple to having a medium difficulty level. But for dedicated crossword magazines, the clues need to be a bit on the advanced side to ensure that the puzzles are somewhat of a challenge to the solvers.

If you want to make things interesting in terms of clues and the pertaining words, make use of a thesaurus, preferably from Oxford or Webster Merriam. But be mindful of the fact that a thesaurus can only be used when the theme of the crossword puzzle is purely scientific or based completely on the grip the solver has on the English language. For other themes like movies, celebrities, etc. the tabloids and magazines would suffice.

Selling your written puzzles

Newspapers and magazines are always in search for crossword puzzles to print in their daily and weekly editions respectively, so if you are as good as you think, then the publishing houses will definitely buy your crosswords. The best option would be to mail them and inquire as to their crossword puzzle needs. Always make it a point to start with the smaller publishers first. With a slow rise in your popularity, the bigger banners will contact you by themselves.

The bigger banners usually have puzzle writers on their payroll, who supply them with daily puzzles. So it might be a bit difficult to get recruited by these houses at the onset of your puzzle writing career. Just have some patience and start working with the smaller publishers – fate will soon smile upon you.

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