Filmmaker’s Process Style Guide

Formatting for Internet Readers

Many people these days scan through articles instead of thoroughly reading them. The following formatting rules are helpful for making it so the content still communicates important information, even if readers are scanning.

  • Golden Rule: Every sentence should compel the reader to move on to the next sentence.
  • Sentences themselves should be relatively short and direct.
  • Short paragraphs, too. Usually no more than three or four lines.
  • Use selective bolding, italics, and other types of formatting to hammer home important points.
  • Break your article into sections, and use sub-headings to differentiate between sections.

Tone, Style, and Best Practices When Writing

  • If you can, connect with the audience through honest, personal stories relating to the topic of the article.
  • Don’t be afraid to admit when something you tried went wrong, or could have been better.
  • Honesty and vulnerability are often the key to compelling writing. It’s difficult to put yourself out there like that, but it will make your stories stand out from the crowd.
  • Address as many different sides of a topic as you’re able to, but don’t write about what you don’t know.
  • Offer your opinion on a best practice when discussing how to do something, but explore the merits of other options, and the drawbacks of your own approach as well. 
  • If possible, talk about times you tried other methods, and let the audience know what you liked/disliked about them.
  • Feel free to use first-person
  • If you’re not an authority on a particular subject, don’t try to write like one.
  • Even as an authority, the goal is not to say you know what’s best. Simply offer your perspectives and experience so that others can take what is useful to them from your writing.
  • Address the audience in your writing.
  • Include yourself with the audience in a “we” group from time to time. Make them feel like you’re a part of their community and vice versa. 
  • If you’re driving home an important point, feel free to refer to the audience as “you” as if you’re talking to one specific person.