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Thursday, August 20, 2009

How to make your treatment look great

You guys already know what goes into a great treatment content wise. But sometimes, if your layout is crowded or confused, your cool idea can get lost.

A good layout means that you give the producer / reader / funder the very best shot at reading your work easily. Help them help you. This post is about giving your documents a layout which makes them easy to read and have some impact - and to do that very easily so you can concentrate on what you do best, the story and content.

There is lots of advice on design and layout on the web. But this is written especially for writers (used to dealing with nothing more sexy than 12pt courier) and assumes you only have Word at your disposal, no fancy layout program or photoshop. In fact, I thought I would write the advice within the layout itself.

If you click the above pics they will scale up. And you can download them as word docs below to allow for your own adaptation of these generic, bland, core versions. My over riding advice is to get to grip with 'styles' within Word. That way you can change the look and feel of the whole document with just a few clicks rather than going through tweaking with each paragraph.

Download example 1 here and example 2 here.

If the links above don't work then the actual URLs are:


potdoll said...

good stuff.

i always try and find a font that suits the tone of my treatment, too. it really helps me.

Tim Clague said...

Good idea - but to be used with caution. For example, a comedy treatment doesn't mean use comic sans.

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Unknown said...

Hey Tim,

Looks useful. Indeed, I tried to downlaod it and failed - don't know if the fault is mine, yours or some creepy internet thingy, but if you have a mo would be nice to get a copy!



Tim Clague said...

I seemed as if Blogger changed the code slightly. But anyway - I have relinked correctly PLUS put the actual web addresses at the bottom of the blog post so if all else fails you can simply copy and paste them into your browser address bar.

Elinor said...

Thanks again Tim - can't believe I missed this first time around!

Tim Clague said...

Some thoughts from Russell Southam...

Rule of thumb for any narrative that is to be placed over a coloured pic is to use White (you show black) and sometimes white text with a duplicate black text layer under it (if using photoshop) slightly offset. to lift it off the page. Other things you can do to assist is blur the outer edge drawing the eye in and allowing text a less busy background to standout on. Another method is to place a black or coloured shape behind the text and blend edges or lower the opacity just to make the typically white text jump out.
I do this with work and its a simple but effective way to grab the readers eye without distracting too much from the image.