Welcome to a new community-first blogging platform. As The Skrive's Product Manager, I can assure you, dear visitor, that our aim is to serve our users - both the content creators and readers.
Scroll through this forever-in-progress to getting started on The Skrive. As you are creating, we are developing behind-the-scenes to create a platform that works for us - instead of profiting from us.
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Write Now, It's Easy
- Just start. Sharing your story does not require expensive equipment. (Click to learn how some are using their smartphones.)
- Focus on quality not quantity.
- Your writing on the web should be conversational and approachable. Writing as humans naturally do is a good way of doing this.
- If your writing doesn’t feel natural or approachable it distances the reader.
- It should be written how you speak, only better — editing the phrases to be succinct and precise. Avoid vague sentences - i.,e., instead of saying “some” use a specific number.
- Use short paragraphs - write chunky.
- “Kill your darlings.” Always ask, is this the best way I can explain this?
Review Style Guidelines
- Headlines should be active tense, engaging, accurate -- six to eight words in Title Case.
- Check headline’s SEO with headline analyzer
- Intro sentences (Ledes) should be one sentence -- 25 to 35 words.
- Avoid passive writing.
- Try to keep the “doer” in the front of the sentence.
- He was arrested and charged with murder by the police.
- The police arrested and charged him with murder.
- Always start a new paragraph with the start of each quote.
- Always write quotes this way:
- “My journalism instructor told me to write quotes like this,” she says. “He insists this is the proper way to do it. I can put more than one sentence after the attribution.”
- Commas are inside the quotes, not outside. WRONG: “... attribution”.
- Other ways to quote people are acceptable, but this style will never be wrong.
- TRY to write “Jones says,” not “says Jones.
- Put the attribution after the first sentence. No need for attribution again in the same paragraph.
- Ensure correct pronouns when referencing attributing quotes.
- Attribute as much as possible – particularly any information that could be questioned. It helps the reader know the information can be trusted. Explain to your reader where you got your information.
- Titles are capitalized when they precede someone’s name. Mayor Bailey recently began his second term vs. Fred Bailey, mayor of Hillandale.
- Times: Use the days of the week, not today or tonight in print copy.
- Spell out numbers less than 10. Avoid starting sentences with a number.
- Email: One word, no hyphen. Related words are generally hyphenated: e-reader, e-commerce.
- URL addresses should be short - Theskrive.com - and always be sure to link back to sources.
- Street Addresses: Similar to months, five letters or less road related words are not abbreviated. This includes “road”, “way”, “court”, “lane”,“drive”, etc.
- Further/Farther: Further relates to a degree, i.e., “he got further than I thought he would”. Farther refers to a physical distances, i.e., “he ran farther than everyone else”.
- Toward/Towards: This is a good rule in general, but you should never add an “S” to the end of toward. The same rule applies to forward, backward, etc.
- State Abbreviations: States can get tricky because most people are used to the two-letter postal abbreviations for states but the AP style has unique abbreviations for most every state. CA becomes Calif. and Fla. is Florida’s abbreviation to give a couple of examples. Note that 8 states do not get abbreviated: Utah, Ohio, Hawaii, Alaska, Iowa, Maine, Texas, and Idaho.
- United States/U.S.: Use United States in full when referring to the country as a noun. Only use U.S. abbreviated when it’s used as an adjective. Note the difference in: “When I arrived in the United States I converted my money to U.S. currency”.
- Temperatures: An exception to the numbers rule is that temperatures one through nine are reflected with digits, save for zero. So you would say “it will be a low of 9 degrees today”. Also I’ll point out that when saying “temperatures in the 50s”, there is no apostrophe on the 50s.
- Seasons are always lowercase.
- Months : Seven of the 12 months should be abbreviated as follows: Jan., Feb., Aug., Sept., Oct., Nov., and Dec. whereas the five shorter months with less than five characters a piece, meaning: March, April, May, June, and July are written out in full.
Still have questions? Want more information about best practices? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.