The general rule is: Look around in omdb and orientate yourself to other (good) articles. :-)
The content of an article stays in the reader’s memory more lastingly, the better it was researched. It is therefore worth investing a little time in preparatory work before writing a new article: good research is already “half the battle”. In addition, it should always be checked to what extent a certain topic has already been dealt with in another omdb article. This avoids a topic appearing twice in the database.
The structure of an article
A good and consistent structure is essential for the appearance of an article in omdb. Subheadings are particularly helpful for clear structuring and should therefore not be missing in any longer text. Headings should be short and concise and contain no links. Entire sentences as headings are distracting. Colons, question marks and exclamation marks should be avoided in the headings.
All parts of the main article should be identified by normal headings. Chapters within a part are separated by subheadings.
The total length of a story chapter should not be much longer than three screen pages (at a resolution of 1024×768). If your text gets longer, separate certain topics and create a subpage for them.
Reading flow and links
In order to be able to use the database information from omdb correctly, meaningful references should be set in each article. However, linking within an article also has a major impact on how the article looks. Therefore, links should not be inflationary, but rather economical, but meaningful. Too many links distract from the important links and make reading difficult.
Good links should only lead to places where there are either explanations (foreign words, technical terms, etc.) or further information about the movie.
Basically, there should be no links to non-omdb websites within an article. Instead, these should appear under “Further information”, in the form of footnotes at the end of an article, or in the list of sources. Exceptions are word explanations on Wikipedia or locations on Google Maps.
In addition, links should not simply be written in their URL, but embedded in the context as far as possible and provided with a “name”. It is always good, especially under the item “Further information”, if the link name goes into more detail about the content of the link. For example, instead of simply writing “reception,” you should write “The international reception of the movie.”
When writing articles, the following typographical rules should be followed:
- Movies, literature, and music titles are always written in italics.
- Movies that have already been created in omdb are always linked as well.
- Quotation marks are used for quotations, not for names or movies.
- Bold, underlined or crossed out fonts should be avoided.
Images, similar to a movie poster, can also be displayed for plot keywords. Find a suitable image that makes the respective keyword recognizable. For all images used, there should be clarity regarding their license: therefore, the authorship of the respective image must always be checked and stated.
The plot chapter
The plot of a movie should be summarized in about two screen pages. It should be described factually and not emotionally or subjectively. Any personal judgment of the plot is undesirable; there will soon be the opportunity to write reviews.
Expression and style
Omdb wants to be a reference work for movie fans. All texts should therefore be written in full sentences and not just in bullet points.
In addition, each article should also be understandable for laypeople. Special, cinematic technical terms that are not generally known should only be used rarely. If a technical term cannot be avoided (or is even explicitly important), it should be explained or at least be linked to an explanation (preferably on the relevant omdb page).
Abbreviations that are found in everyday writing (e.g.; Dr.; etc.) can of course also be used in omdb articles. On the other hand, you should write out less common abbreviations, because: omdb has enough space for terms written out!
Foreign language quotations
Quotations that are not in English should be translated (as far as possible, at least analogously). A visitor who does not speak the respective foreign language would otherwise not gain any information.
Selection of links and literature
Articles should not contain links to external websites. Internal links to omdb pages are of course welcome. Quotations should always be given a footnote, which then states the exact source of the quotation at the end of the article.
A small, carefully selected selection of external links completes each article. These links should guide the reader to where to find additional information that other users may find valuable. As in a printed encyclopedia, this also includes references to publications that are as recent as possible. A selection of links and literature can always be found at the end of an article under the heading “Further information”. Excessive or uncommented lists of literature and links are not welcome there.
Last but not least: Many places can be easily linked via Google Maps. A link to the map is particularly useful for film locations or other important locations.
By intensively dealing with a movie or by doing good preparatory work and research, you can quickly write more useful articles about a movie. For these articles, subpages should be created for the respective film page.
IMPORTANT: It is necessary to think beforehand where to place subpages!
Example: If you are writing an article about Lord of the Rings and you want to write about the “Culture of the Hobbits”, you might think of it when describing one of the movies, e.g. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. Such a text would be correctly positioned as a subpage of the _Lord of the Rings_ trilogy, since Hobbits are of interest in all Lord of the Rings movies.