This article was primarily put together as a guide for those writing Community Week articles here at projecteducate - but it could be useful for the wider dA community and if you read and feel like contributing an article for the next Community Week - then fantastic!
Editorials and Informative Articles
Educational type news articles are becoming increasingly popular on deviantART and especially as part of Community Weeks here at projecteducate. It's important to write these to the best of your ability to ensure that you're giving accurate, up to date information. Here are a few tips to improving your articles:
-Break up your paragraphs with images. Give examples of what you're talking about. There's no use in going into technical detail only for the reader unable to ever visualize what you're talking about.
-Be accurate, but don't copy. Anyone can go and read a wikipedia article and so they don't need you to re-generate one for them! Be accurate with your information, but write it in your own words.
-Inject humour. Be sure to put some light humour in where appropriate. It helps to break up a sometimes long and enduring article and also gives the sense that the person who wrote it is human and not a machine. Check out a recent article that I wrote here.
-Break it down. I've found lately that writing about the 'top ten' of something, or 'top twenty tips' for something else often engages people's attention a lot more than if I just wrote a wall of text. Also people are more likely to retain short, succinct bullet points or pointers than they are lots and lots of paragraphs. Here's a great example.
Check through your article before you post it. Utilize sta.sh for writing your article, saving it and even sharing it for others to check it over for you. Be sure to format as neatly and clearly as possible, don't use fancy writing that people can't read, or lots of images that aren't going to load. Check out Urbex which is an informative article mixed with a feature that I regularly write. Using a short sharp paragraph of text about something juicy and adding images in afterwards works quite well.
Interviews are often one of the most overlooked type of article here on deviantART and capturing your audiences attention can be really tricky. But there are a few easy and simple ways in which you can engage people and be a successful interviewer.
-Don't list your questions -make them chatty. Imagine that you are talking to your Interviewee face to face. Obviously with this being the internet you don't need to write every noise they might make in person and every filler that they say, but think of your interview as you would any piece of art and try and carry it out to the best of your ability.
-Break up your text. Inserting images, either of the artists own work or of work they enjoy - or even pieces that illustrate what they are saying - helps to break up an article really well and keeps your readers interest a little more than if you present them with a wall of text. Here's a fantastic example of a great article that also incorporates features too.
-Vary your questions. If you regularly interview artists on deviantART then writing out and asking the same questions over and over can get pretty tedious. When I've interviewed a lot of people in the past, I may have sent the same questions out to each one but with a disclaimer that I may not post all the questions and answers. I also chop and change the layout so the format isn't always the same.
-Get creative. Writing is an art, just like painting and taking photographs. So injecting a bit of creativity into your interview wouldn't hurt at all. Try and think of creative questions. One of my favourite is below:
You're going on an all expenses paid holiday and you can take a writer, comedian and actor/actress. Which three would you take and why?
-Open your questions. Asking questions that require a yes and no answer, will sometimes only get you a one word response. Try and ask open questions, popping 'and why?' on the end sometimes helps but don't do this too often! When you get your answers back and if you want to know more about something don't be afraid to ask for more, it will improve the overall result.
Remember to read through your interview afterwards and ensure that the responses the artist has given you are accurate, checked for spelling and correctly formatted. Writing your questions in bold and the answers in normal style font will help separate out who is the interviewer and who is the interviewee. For another example check out this Fantastic interview.
If this article has given you some inspiration then do check out jane-beata's which will be posted tomorrow. Both articles together should give you plenty of reasons to sign up to Community Week in December! Just note projecteducate with your idea!