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FAQs


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

rudeness

Some contributions invite us to poke fun at the person in the picture and that’s all good fun. I try to avoid being too rude though. The victim may be a friend or relative of the person who submitted the picture. Anyway, being cruel is not the same as being funny – doing a ‘Russell Brand’ doesn't win my respect. I think this applies to swearing too. Implied references are so much more fun than blunt crudeness.

comment 3 comments
written by Christionion
15/01/09 3:12pm

4r's review, research, write, re-write

It doesn't look like much has been added here for a while so I thought I would share a few things that I have found that have been really helpful.

Review:
*Look at the upcoming pictures. For those that may be unaware (I was for at least 2 1/2 months) you can click on the orangey upcoming photo timer box (in photos) and it will transport you to all upcoming photos.
*For each new picture analyse the detail, what is the focal point, surroundings, situation etc
*Also look for what's not there but could/should be.
*Link words or phrases to the picture i.e For a juggling dog picture you may link, Mutt, Fido, Circus, trick, toss

Research:
*Use a thesaurus to look for other words which could be used instead of the ones you thought of i.e Circus, show, festival, spectacle. http://www.thesaurus.com/ is quite good
*Look for phrases, film titles, idioms, songs linked to the words. http://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/ is particularly good.

Write:
*Try to be punchy and concise
*Read it to yourself and try to imagine you are reading it for the first time. Does it make sense? Is it clear what is meant? Or is it like one of those text messages that makes perfect sense to you but to no-one else.

Rewrite:
Once you have written your caption and submitted it is never too late to edit it, make it shorter, make it longer or even change it completely. Some of my best captions have come from last minute changes of mind. You may also see the general trend of the styles of captions people are voting for and realise you are totally off the mark (these types can however do quite well). Different styles may include puns, be scenario based, use wordplay or punchlines.

Hope this is helpful to at least one person out there.

Leroy

comment add comment
written by Leroy Brown
05/02/15 11:47pm

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

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

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

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