Walking back to the office blocks and seedy bars in town, the people of Lifefunk.com have apparently started to collect on the free copy written for their website. Nameless are the insipid reviews and lifeless is the supposed funk.
One of the initial emails that was sent out to prospective writers read, "We'd like to invite you to begin contributing. This involves signing up as a contributor, choosing the assignments you want, and then going out and doing them."
Fine statement indeed if ever there was dreck to flood the eyeballs of the starving writers of the world. In an earlier tease the operators, known only as Bona Sijabat and Alison Jones, assured writers that they would provide those who chose to submit — in all that it is known in the dictionary — with referrals and a chance to place extra lines on their portfolio.
Yet looking at the entries placed on the site there is no distinction between the entries. Hardly anything that can be attributed to one writer over another. Funky? Very.
Eager writers-to-be of the site had these pointers below to bland out their writing:
lifefunk.com - Style Guide Edition1.0
When writing a profile/ introduction, you will want to focus on what sets the venue apart from the rest. This means keeping an eye out for distinctive features and details.
The aim of the introduction/ profile is to capture the 'vibe' of a place in words. You want the consumer to have a general idea of the atmosphere of the place without having ever walked in there.
Imagine the introduction/ profile as a short commercial- it should try to encompass the general image of the place in a snappy way that always assumes the reader is a friend of the writer. Feel as though you are TALKING to the reader, rather then presenting a list or essay of a place.
Use present tense where appropriate. This makes your information seem more exciting and fast-paced. "Stumble off the sidewalk and into this inviting alternative..."
The first sentence needs to grab the reader's attention; the second sentence must hold their attention.
Don't use clichés e.g. "hip and happening" or "best-kept-secret"- they are boring and uninspiring. Instead, add a twist or turn it into a quirky phrase to give it an edge e.g. "best-kept-secret-that-everyone-knows-about".
Focus on what is unique about the venue and use it to build upon. Be aware of how the name of the place, its décor, and its image work together, and use these points to pull your profile together and give it consistency. e.g. of the Mars Lounge:
"Team the selection of truly lethal cocktails with the cosmic decor and one really does feel a million miles from earth."
Approach the venue as though it were alive- what kind of character does it have? What is its personality? These points should be evident in your description. Use personification e.g. "...the lounge is nestled discreetly above..."
Attach unconventional adjectives to nouns to give the reader a clear picture, e.g. 'effervescent corner store'.
Similes and metaphors go a long way- but once again use them in an unconventional way e.g. "the décor resembling something more similar to your grandmother's lounge room then an eatery".
Use words that are excessive, e.g. instead of 'hot' use 'scorching' or use 'gorgeous' instead of 'good-looking'. They make the profile more engaging and exciting.
Finally, make sure your language and tone is appropriate to the general atmosphere and tone of the place. Do not use fun and cheery words for a venue that is sultry and sexy.
The indignity of being unpaid and unnamed isn't enough. To complete the package, throw uninteresting uniformity into the mix. Now you're ready to join the ranks of the exploited.
Written on Wednesday, 29 October 2003