Like editors going over the works of new writers see the same kinds of mistakes over and over again, senior members here have seen new posters make the same kinds of mistakes over and over again. In fact, most senior member seem to give the same basic advice over and over again to most new members. So much so, some of it is cut and pasted from previous posts.
Those posts and similar articles created by senior members on the site are collected here for ease of access. As new good advice pops up, it will be added to this thread.
So read the advice, post with it in mind, and come play with us.
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CodexFive Best Tips for Posting on Strolen's (and Other Places) By: MoonHunter ( Articles ) Resource - Gaming - In General
If you are new to the site, you might want to read this post.
These are five good tips for those who want to produce better items, npcs, lifeforms, locations, plots, and such.
Review the top rated posts of the category you want to post it. If you want to do an item, click into items, then the highest rated (in red) and it will give you a list of the best items. Read the first ten or so.
Put some thought into your post. Take your time putting the post into print. Taking time to do a post right shows you care not only about your audience and yourself, but you care about the thing you are posting about. If you aren’t spending a minimum of 15 to 30 minutes on the post, it will probably be abused and low rated. Most of us spend 45 to 60 minutes on a post. Remember, you will spend more time actually thinking about your post before you put it up, if you want to do it right.
Remember that you can edit your post, so if you find something wrong, go back and fix it.
Third: Check it!
I really mean it. Go through your posts. Make sure it follows the basic rules of grammar . Sentences start with capital letters, end with punctuation, and have everything moderately correct in between. Extra lines should be inserted between paragraphs (and there should be paragraphs). I can not stress the next part more that simply scream, “Spell check!”. If you can, copy (from web site) and paste (into word processor) your post into a WP with spell check. Run the spell check (and the grammar check if it has it). Copy and paste it back. If you do this, it will automatically improve your post by one point (on average). If we can simply and easily read your post, we can start critiquing it rather than your awful spelling.
If English is not your primary language, let us know. However, be warned that many of our best posters have English as a second, third, or even fourth language. So all we ask is that you continue to work at it, to get it right. http://www.strolen.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=1559
Your posts needs to tell us nearly everything about the subject. You should strive for items that are generic, rather than dependent on a specific setting or campaign. While being vague can help make the item more “generic”, you need to “imply” the answers. (For example: while my game might not have Rykor the BloodSlayer, I can figure out an approximate match “The most dreaded demon riding Dark Knight in history.”) Implied answers act as guidelines for the GM/ Player adapting the post.
To be complete, your post needs to answer; “Who is involved?”, “What is happening (and where and when)?” and “How and why things occur?”. If it is an item or setting then include: What is the item/place? and What can it do?
Details are not as important as completeness. Read your post. Is there anything that someone (who doesn’t know your campaign and the backstory) might have a question about? If you find such a question, edit the write up and include the answer to that question. Keep reading your post until you have answered every question (including ones that seem really stupid… there are a lot of really stupid people out there).
Fifth: The Gold Standard
If your post could not be part of a published fantasy novel, it needs work. That is what you should aim for.
If your item/ npc/ plot/ setting is not as well described and developed as something you would find in a published fantasy novel (excluding most DnD licensed novels), then it is not equal to the gold standard and needs work.
This standard is really not that hard to meet. New members often meet it on their first or second try. You do not need to be a professional writer, you just need to put a little effort into doing it right.
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Follow in MoonHunter's Footsteps: 10 Steps to Better Posts By: MoonHunter ( Articles ) Resource - Gaming - In General
Follow in MoonHunter’s Footsteps: 10 Steps to Better Posts MoonHunter Sayeth to do these and be a really useful member to this and other sites.
Follow in MoonHunter’s Footsteps: 10 Steps to Better Posts
1) Being a better poster (and gamer) is a slow and steady process.
2) Identify your strengths as a gamer and a writer. Focus on these in your game posts.
3) Don’t forget your weaknesses. Occasionally take on challanges that force you to confront them.
4) Read everything posted on the board. Not only may these other posts be useful for you, but they may serve as inspiration or as a reminder of what to do (or not to do).
5) Work on existing posts. If you expand upon existing posts (or a type of existing post) you are working with the community on the site, rather than just flailing about.
6) Just Post. Every day. Don’t give up. It isn’t easy to do it, but many great ideas are lost because people don’t post them for others to see. Say to yourself, “I am going to post one interesting idea every day,” and stick to it. Once you commit yourself, you will find it easier to do.
7) Never forget the basics. Check your posts for language: Spelling, Punctuation, and Grammar.
8) Keep moving forward. Push yourself to do more and do it better.
9) Learn from every opportunity. Hone your English (Language skills), your ability to find inspiration, learn about new games and new settings. You can learn a great deal about gaming surfing TV channels if you let yourself.
10) Keep a little notebook (or some mechanism to record ideas like a forum thread or a email to yourself). Write interesting ideas in the notebook, or snippets of cool description, or anything that might inspire you to do a post.
This is not the 11th step, it is just a good idea.
Find multiple sites to frequent. While one site may be your “home”, visit various sites. This will give you many avenues to practice your craft.
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How to be a better critic! By: ScorpionJinx ( Articles ) Rules and Advice - Players
Critiques and critics are a necessary evil. Now before anyone gets riled up, let me explain. No one likes to have their ideas picked apart. But we put our selves out there and hope for the best. Here are some tips on being a better critic.
Here are some tips on being a better critic.
1. I dont like the name of your character.
Ok. We have all been guilty of this at some point. So you dont like the character name. Make some suggestions. Â If it is an elven character…and you dont like how a certain name fits…suggest to the person that a more elven name may improve the character. But remember…it’s not your character and names can be changed.
2. Not enough Detail
Ok, this one is understandable. But what kind of details would you like to see? Ask for specifics. Alot of items and such posted are budding ideas. Maybe PM that person and see about creating a dialogue of creativity. Help them expand on an idea. They may be suffering some creative blockage.
Sometimes when an idea is being posted, the poster may not be aware of the fact that the idea going through their mind isnt completely coming out on the screen. Suggest that they come back in a few days and reread their posts. With a clear mind, we often see things we might have missed before.
4. Like Paint drying
Ok, nothing is more boring than paint drying..except for maybe watching the grass grow. As a critic you are trying to help the person evolve and be more creative. But comparing their work to paint drying…well that is just the wrong thing to say. It is negative and discouraging.
5. WTF? Â :shock: Â
Ok, we have all seen them. The character descriptions..or plots that barely make up a complete paragraph. The rushed ideas.The post that makes your jaw drop. Â Some times simplicity is good…and some times is a big ugly eye sore.
Instead of belittling this small effort, at least give them a slight pat on the head for doing something. Ask them to expand on it more. Flesh it out. Â You could offer to help with the idea. Some people work better when they have someone else to share an idea with.
6. That’s Mean!
Ok Posters and Players..this one if for you too. Critics are not here to hurt your feelings. Or to make your idea look stupid. Comments are meant to help you expand your imagination and creativity. I know some may come across as harsh and mean. But dont let that get to you. Accept what the critics have to say. Work with it. Not every idea is going to be gold. If your stuck on an idea…dont be afraid to ask for help. Check out the items and such that get high marks. PM the person that created it, talk with them. Ask them if they would help you with an idea.
Afterall…we are here to grow and learn, to better ourselves and our games.
Ok. I’m done. Now I am just going to sit back and let the raptors jump on this and have some fun.
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Submission Respect By: Mourngrymn ( Articles ) Rules and Advice - Citadel Help
Ok, there is no real place to put this but I think it needs to be said and put up here for everyone to view. This is not for gaming terms, it is not how to view rules or your gamers better. But it is an idea on how to respect your fellow Strolenites.
Now I have a complaint. This isn’t a big complaint but it isn’t a small complaint either. This is also not just a complaint for my sake but I have been seeing this more and more.
Now, I am noticing that there is a huge increase in viewable traffic to the submission pages. This is a great thing. More views hopefully means more people putting up content. However I have a problem with this.
On a number of these submissions where the views are going beyond 50, even up to a 100+. It seems everyone is reading them and viewing them. But not one person is commenting on them. Not one person is voting on them. I can understand that there is a huge increase in submissions being brought over from v1.0 of Strolens and the forums. There is a lot of content that will take a while to transfer it all over.
But the posts that are up with more than 30 views with no comment should not be. Like the Metallica song, The Thing that Should Not Be. This is one of them. If you view a submission and actually read it. I understand that we don’t always get to read them or have an interest to read them once we click on them. But if you actually read it, say something about it. The following is just a basic start to a comment. Each sub requires different handling and different remarks so the few points below are simply that, just points to look at but expand on.
- How about, Thank you for your work that you put up here for everyone to see.
- How about, Hey this was a great idea I may be able to use it in one of my games, or maybe I can't use it but it is still a good idea.
- How about, I didn't really care for this sub, however maybe clarify this point or that point to make it more understandable for future readers.
- How about, anything other than writing nothing at all.
- Constructive criticism instead of destructive criticism.
It makes people who really put ideas up question whether or not they should continue to put things up or not. I for one have slowed my posting down a bit to see what happens. Because of this. Not only have a few of my submissions fallen to this viewable curse, I have seen a few others as well which I am the only comment, or Moonhunter has the only comment about it. I see one of my ideas or another idea go for 50 or more views without a single vote or comment I question it.
I try to make it a point to view at least 3 uncommented submissions and 3 unvoted submissions on a daily basis. I have not hit that everyday, but when I do post I go to those two sections first. Get those clouded in dust and history up to see the light again.
Please respect all of the people here who have put forth time and effort into submitting things for everyone to see and enjoy. I for one have seen a lot of uncommented or unvoted ideas that have been that way for weeks if not months (not months since the new site but since they were originally posted) that were great ideas and needed a little work but were forgotten about because out of 30 - 75 views not one person said, Hey this is cool, but could you explain this a little bit more?
No comment like that and new submitters will go elsewhere as they may feel that their submissions are not getting the respect that they deserve. I for one would tell you, if my first post would not have had anyone comment on it to tell me hey this needs a little work and went ignored, I would have left. Now look, I am trying my best to dethrone Moonhunter with full content. (which won’t happen unless he looses access to every computer for a year)
Point being, respect the posters who put up the content. If you read a submission take the 1 minute it would take to place a comment and say, thanks or needs work. If it needs work tell them what it is lacking otherwise it won’t get fixed.
So click on the unvoted and raise them from the darkness.
So click on the uncommented and bring them to the light and shed the unwanted feeling from their shrouds.
Post and comment, that's all I can say.
And this is for the new people submitting new stuff. It falls under the submission respect thought but more for the respect for others who read your submissions and for the others who put work up for all to see.
When you put a submission up, and Moonhunter has plenty of articles to back this, please do your best to make it a complete submission. Incomplete submissions take up time to read and have us complain about what it should have been.
Make sure everything is thought out first. Detail it before you put it to paper. Come at it from more than one angle. Think of back story, back story and history is a perfect way to flesh out an idea and for the rest of the Strolenites here to appreciate it more. We are a fickle group but we support anyone willing to work at being fickle just like us.
So please, respect the reader, and the writer both. Comment when you read it, and make the submission as complete as possible. If it is less than three paragraphs it is probably to short. At least to me it is.
I am adding this here as an after thought. I began to look at some of my submissions that were commented or voted on and some others that I commented or voted on. Some of this I saw, some I did and some I didn’t do.
One thing that goes along with the respecting others and their work, submissions, and comments. If you create a submission and someone votes on it, comments on it,then it should be a natural given that you thank them. A simple reply to their comment, “Hey thanks for your comments, vote, or interest.” It goes a long way I think for continued support of your work.
Also if someone gives a comment that recommends a change and you say, “I will work on changing, fixing, detailing more of that, or whatever.”, than please do so. I have done this myself and dropped the ball only to come back months later to fix something I said I would. If you say you will fix it, be courteous enough to do so.
Additional Edit: (2011)
This was originally written right after Strolen's came from the forums to what you see here today so some of the problems we have now did not happen then. I understand and realize that me referring to the golden days of Strolen Forums may be confusing to some, especially those were were not here to witness it. Strolen's Citadel was originally, at least when I stumbled across it, a forum group. Post upon post, and endless thread upon thread was filled with what you now see today. In some manner it was more time consuming to read, however every post concerning a certain game world was all in one thread. It was streamlined and it worked. We were a community back then all striving to help each other and push the site and it's content as far as it could go. Most of the issues we had were simply submissions not getting read or even commented on. In the olden days we had a gentler tone, one that I would like see returned to the site. It was definitely a happier place then. No one voting down a submission because they didn't like the author or keeping it form a higher vote so it wouldn't receive it's proper due. We didn't even have a voting system back then, it was give comments until the sub could become its maximum potential. Now there is a bigger issue. Submissions that are being derailed and slandered by the remarks and poor taste of those commenting.
Submission Respect goes a long way into thanking someone for their hard work. For allowing us to see a small glimpse into the heart and soul of the creator. To look at their creativity and willingly allow us to take it apart and scrutinize it to our hearts content. That is the fear of everyone, especially those first time authors who delicately place a sub up for review thinking they have just written the next Golden sub only to have it ignored or torn apart like a carcass being attacked by vultures. Respect goes a long way. Remember, and I think some people forget this, English is not every ones first language here at this site. Sometimes it isn't even their second language. To ridicule someone for their horrible grammar in public is similar to taking your child outside and screaming at them in front of the neighborhood kids about wetting their bed when they are four years old. It happens, its an accident, they are still learning.
When reading a submission remember, yes it is supposed to be a complete sub polished and finished to the most minute detail. Spelling and grammar should be in great order. However, as stated that English is not a first language for everyone here, most of the authors are not English majors or teacher either. Allow people to make mistakes, they learn from them after all. Do not slander them and boldly put, "This is horrible your spelling and grammar or atrocious. This word is wrong, the meaning of this word is really this... you said you fixed said issue but I still see more. If this was fixed and it still this bad I would hate to read it before the edit." Instead of all of that, why not vote on it comment saying hey saw a few issues and sent you a PM about them. Because something you saw wrong that person may not see it. They may have intentionally erred on the side of grammar for the flow of the sub. Who knows, ask before you derail the sub next time.
Back in the original Strolen's, it was not about grammar and spelling, it was about the idea of something and whether or not it was a good one that could be used in your own game or not. That's what Strolen's was originally. A collaborative forum site where people came put their ideas up and willing allowed the other Strolenites to help fix what was wrong, not fear of being ridiculed for a spell checker not finding a word that was spelled correctly just the wrong one intended. Not once did the old school Citadel have issues with people slamming others on these issues. It was politely said or done in a PM and was fixed.
It is not about a 5/5 vote or a HoH, it is a collaboration of like minded artists creating their own worlds for others to see and help create and live through. So remember where this site originated from and help it go back to its roots. Respect your fellow authors and respect the original meaning of what it means to be a True Strolentie.
And last but not least, this was originally a forum based on information revolving around material for RPG's, last I checked it still was.
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