This March, Create cannot think of anything better than to draw your attention to a journal entry from our beloved Guide Editor in Chief, Dmitri. Take it away, Dmitri!
What the Edited Guide Needs...
...is a good 1000-word entry. (Or less.)
This is not a rant. This is a CHALLENGE.
Look, guys, here are a few indisputable facts:
1. We WANT people to read the Edited Guide.
Even if you prefer to use h2g2 as a personal messaging system, you are aware that to pay the rent, we need readers.
2. Everybody out there is at least as lazy as you are.
That means, if it ain't interesting, they'll click away.
3. People don't know something's interesting unless you convince them it is.
What I personally want people to take away from my entries is, first of all: 'Wow! I didn't know that. And I'm glad I do, now.'
The SECRET to GUIDE ENTRY SUCCESS is:
- Write short - Get in, get out, don't linger to perorate.
- Use hooks: Make the first paragraph a grabber.
- Respect the reader: Ask yourself, 'Why would somebody else want to know this, and how much do they need to know?' not, 'How can I abuse this person's attention?'
Everyone who reads this, and GETS IT:
PLEASE write a VERY SHORT GUIDE ENTRY. About anything that takes your fancy: your favourite recipe, a book/film we haven't covered (no, not the whole publishing history, etc, plus blow-by-blow plot description, leave that to that encyclopedia, we ain't an encyclopedia), interesting place around the corner from you, odd factoid you just learned, gizmo in your junk drawer, how to repair a cracked fireplace (someone just did this in my living room, took him 5 minutes, and he jawed with me the whole time), etc, etc.
A87786120 - Who Is that Novelist, and Why Is He Writing Me All These Letters?
1002 words. The title is almost longer than the entry. Okay, not really. But see what I mean?
A87777346 - Bat People, Sea Serpents and Hogzilla - Is Seeing Believing?
870 words. As God is my witness.
A87725460 - La Cucaracha: Political Lessons from the Cockroach
Okay, wordy, 1177 words. But half of that is song lyrics and snarky footnotes with jokes in.
Please help us out here - we want pithy! And YOU CAN DO IT!
I swear, it won't take you a whole hour to write one like that.
Okay, and a week or so of putting up with Peer Review. But take a hit for h2g2. It's your duty.