The Snipette Style
What kind of articles do we want? What are we looking for? It’s actually hard to say.
We try to showcase a diverse selection of topics, formats and writing styles, so almost anything goes. Our criteria are based more on how you tell the story than what the topic is. There were some things that just felt more “us”—and we didn’t exactly know why. So we tried to think back. We tried to ask why. We tried to see what they had in common. This is what we got.
At Snipette, we are looking for something with Understandability, Perspective, and Fun. And that’s really it!
Below is a rough guide to the kinds of things we’d like to see from you as a writer. While they don’t all have to be a part of every piece you write, they are what we’re mainly looking for as editors.
There are many articles online. Some cover complex issues, and others don’t. Some are easy to read; others are not.
Usually, the easy articles cover simple topics, and the hard ones cover the complicated.
And that’s the problem.
When a complicated article speaks of something complicated, it’s hard to read, especially with all the complicated terms. That’s why, at Snipette, we try to keep the descriptions simple. Don’t speak as a professor to a student, but as a friend to another friend. (That’s what good professors do, too).
Explain things in a way you would understand yourself. Why call it “electromagnetic waves of assorted wavelengths outside the visible range”, when you can say “invisible colours shooting through the air”? In Snipette articles, even atoms can “feel fidgety”.
Is your article feeling too dry? Add some emotion and description.
Don’t just state that the albatross migrates. Say how it feels, winging its way across the ocean, over the air currents; following a path that it knows by heart, a path that has always been. Linger in the scene for a while; let your readers sit breathe.
You don’t have to be an expert to write about a topic. If you’ve just learnt about something, it often works better, because you’ll know what helped you understand it, and help others understand it the same way.
So you write from your opinions and your world view. That’s to be expected. You’re only human, after all. But do you have to be?
At Snipette, we value perspective. We want you to think outside the box. We want you to write from the point of view of someone else. Maybe even something else.
Step into someone else’s shoes. Try their clothes on. Become them while you write.
Or make an assumption that most people don’t. Things that make perfect sense in their own way, but unexpectedly so. Things that make people wonder how they never got there themselves.
Snipette pieces don’t always have to stick to one topic. Take two completely unrelated subjects, put them together, and see what emerges. You’ll begin to find parallels and similarities where you’ve never noticed them before!
That isn’t to say we don’t love a good old-fashioned argumentative piece — especially a well-written one. But don’t be afraid to toss convention out of the window and try something different.
Snipette pieces don’t have to always be serious — in fact, they are often fun! Don’t hesitate to add a touch of humour here and there.
Most articles go straight from Point A to Point B, like a canal transporting water. But they don’t have to. They can twist and turn in unexpected ways, meandering like a jungle stream. Throw a spanner in the works. Highlight obvious exceptions. Contradict yourself to make a point.
Are you writing about two different things, which will join up later? Do you need to switch scenes between the two topics? Puns make good pivots for changing the subject mid-article.
Of course, just because something’s fun doesn’t mean it has to be funny. If it doesn’t come naturally to you, you don’t have to force humour through. You can just be engaging.
If something interests you, then you’re in luck, because that interest will automatically come through in the article.
Similes and metaphors help, especially ones that seem unusual, like the stream one we used above. They let people experience something new through something they’re already familiar with. Just don’t stretch a metaphor so far that it snaps. (See what we did there?)
The end of an article is often a hard bit. You can, of course, just summarise what you just said. Close your case. QED.
But are those articles memorable? Will you remember them later? At Snipette, we try to finish articles with a flourish. Add a pun, contradict your whole argument, or think of a comment that’s almost related, but not quite. Put it there.
Keep people thinking.
In the end, if you find what you write interesting, then others will, too. So close this page, forget about the rules, and just write!