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I Have a Confession
by Florence Cardinal

I have a confession, and this is good.  Confessions are   worth money and they don't even have to be true.  The   majority of the stories are fabrications from the minds of   professional writers looking for a paying market.  Many of the stories do have a basis in fact.  For example,  remember how, when you were sixteen, the person you thought  you were in love with ditched you for another and you thought your heart was broken.  Two weeks, or two days, or two hours later, you met someone new and forgot all about the unfaithful lover. Use this incident of unrequited teenage love as a  springboard, to  many different stories. 
Your heart was broken, so you: 
(1) Ran away from home. 
(2) Threw yourself at the guy or gal with the bad reputation. 
(3) Tried to commit suicide. 
(4) Did your best (or your worst) to break up your ex and the new love. 
Any situation, using a bit of imagination, can be turned into one or more fictional stories.  
Confessions can involve people from teenagers to senior citizens. Any situation that involves relationships, family disagreements, raising children, or living with the elderly could be the basis for a confession. 
True confession stories deal with important issues such abortion, spousal abuse, sexual abuse, alcoholism and drug addiction. Confession magazines also publish stories about gambling and teenage prostitution and many times the stories offer helpful solutions to problems. 
Confession magazines aren't high paying markets, but they do pay -- usually from three to five cents a word for stories from 1000 to 10,000 words.  This is an excellent place for a beginning writer to get some practical experience and earn a little cash.  Experienced writers can turn out a few confessions to increase their income. 
One drawback: Authors are not identified, so the stories are difficult to use as clips. 
To get started writing for this market, buy several copies of the many different magazines available.  Read them. Study the stories, the articles and the advertisements. Decide what age group and social class the magazines cater to.  People from blue collar workers to college students read confessions, as do people of several ethnic groups. It's easy to tell what type of story is preferred by studying the contents of each magazine. 
Once you know what age group and social class you want to write for, close your eyes and brainstorm your own life, and the lives of your family, friends and neighbors. Before long, some incident or memory will spark your imagination, and you, too, will be able to say: I have a confession. 

© Copyright 1998, Florence Cardinal

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