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caption-writing tips

get it write.

When writing out your caption, ensure it has accurate grammar and spelling. Avoid the use of 'text slang' unless it's relevant to the caption.

It certainly makes for a better caption if the reader is able to read your submission through, first time, without having to try to understand what it is you mean.

It's the same with stand-up comics. If they got halfway through a punch line, fumbled, then tried to start again, the build up is lost, and the audience are likely to be less receptive.

comment 5 comments
written by Davie Marshall
15/01/09 10:37am

avoiding cliches

There are some caption ideas that seem to crop up a lot. 'Budget cuts hit [insert film sequel here]' is a common example. Tempting as they are, I try to avoid them - unless there's a new angle on it, of course.

comment 4 comments
written by Christionion
15/01/09 1:43pm

hold your horses

Very simply: Don't post unless you have something funny. Please don't feel like you have to caption every picture. It's like those movie sequels you wish were never made because they ruined the rest for you. Remember, God kills a kitten everytime you...post a rubbish caption.

comment 3 comments
written by Ian M
16/01/09 8:37pm

brevity

Short people are funny.

There are also many captions I feel would benefit from being cut down to size. 'Looks like a crossed line again.' might have worked better as simply 'crossed line' But long captions have their place too. I enjoy stuff like 'Lesson 3: When walking your pot, it is crucial to allow interaction with other pots and owners. This will ensure a richer understanding of the environment and more importantly, their boundaries.' Fantastic. Surreal. Hilarious.

comment one comment
written by Christionion
15/01/09 1:28pm

be your own competition...

...your own harshest critic, walk the road less taken, inspect the narrow back-alleys. The neighborhood looks more interesting and will surprise you often. Refine, condense, check spelling, grammar.

Did you laugh? Chuckle? Hoot? Smile? Grin? Amuse yourself?

You did?

Screw the down votes, then.

The greatest artists/musicians create for themselves first and if the audience follows...bravo.

comment 5 comments
written by Mitch
17/01/09 3:40am

dissect

The passive object in relation to the active object in relation to the surroundings. Puns help, twisting word/phrases meanings, assonance, common knowledge, current events. If you are completely stumped go lateral and perhaps pick up on one specific point of the picture and embelish it. To be honest, I'm not even sure where they come from, it just happens.

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written by Flip Vicious
25/02/09 2:44pm

puns

Hanging is too good for a man who makes puns; he should be drawn and quoted.
Fred Allen (1894 - 1956)

comment add comment
written by Mitch
21/01/09 3:58am

be yourself

I think the best thing to do is just take a look at the picture and if something pops into your head that makes YOU laugh, write it down. Don't try and think about what other people will like because then you will end up with something generic. You will be surprised by how many people will share your sense of humour!

Personally, I love the weird slant people put on pretty normal pictures.

comment one comment
written by Ian M
16/01/09 8:24pm

vote as well as write.

It sounds simple, but I always check latest submissions and vote on them. It's what keeps the site moving. If you don't take time to read other captioneers input, it's much like a comic playing to an empty house, or one talking over them for the whole set.

Also, when voting, don't forget, there's a 'thumbs up', a 'thumbs down', but also the option to remain neutral if you don't really have anything truly for or against a caption.

comment 8 comments
written by Davie Marshall
15/01/09 2:28pm

stating the bleedin' obvious

I wish people wouldn't bother. It's more satisfying if we have to fill in something ourselves. Just being unexpected has merit. In fact the best captions are sometimes completely surreal. One way I try to do this is to invent a new way to explain what we see. Occasionally there's a small detail in the picture you can pick up on to help tell the story.

comment 2 comments
written by Christionion
15/01/09 2:54pm

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