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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? Responses (21)
Not everybody is going to be perfect but, if you are going to take the time and put in a submission, it is worth taking that little extra time on it to correct the simple errors that stop a good submission from being great.
So I'm just going to explain something now. I'm giving most of these a 4/5. I agree with everything you say. Does that mean a 5? Well, most of it is stuff I already knew/agreed with.. which makes it not so much 'original'. But it' supposed to be advice, not creativity, so that's okay. And I agree with it, it's good adivce. Eh... push comes to shove, most articles so far seem to be 4's to me.. except for of course if one makes me change something. then of course it goes higher.
You go with your own flow. Never let anyone tell you what to vote on anything. You have your own set of standards for a 5 and that is okay. Some people may get upset by this, but keep your integrity... Unless it is me, then you do as I say :p
I agree with Zyl here. While these articles are great if it doesn't make me go edit something right then it is getting a 4 or 4.5 but otherwise wonderful tools to help the new, and old strolenites.
This is very helpful for all newbies.
I agree with all the others on this. Very useful, for seasoned subbers as well as newbies (we frequently do not practice what we preach, after all!) I, for one, will try to abide by it.
A good reminder for everyone, and a must read for new members. (A link to this should be in their PM boxes when the register, it;d be a huge help to them I think.)
Good quality advice. Thank you Moon!
Concise and to the point. Thanks for the saying what needs to be said!
Ah, the poor, maligned D&D novel. Where did ye go wrong?
I also like how focused this is and helpful this is. It really should be brought to the attention of new authors here. (Although I'm pretty sure I spend more than 45-60 minutes per sub.)
I am glad that I have found this. Would I be allowed to save a copy of this to word to have beside me when writing up future submissions?
As well as being in my favorites list, I feel that this submission is worthy of my first HoH, as it has been of great value to me.
Thank you. I am glad this piece I has been so helpful for people over the years. It evolved from a small set of rants... and posting much of this article again and again when people made truly odd comments.
A Moonhunter advice page is always relevant. HoH'd for fresh eyes! Now, come back to us, Moon!
If your post could not be part of a published fantasy novel, it needs work.
So this is what we should shoot for?
If you're aiming for a 5.0 and golden submission tag next to your post, then aye, that's 'the gold standard.'
Assuming you're not setting out to create the best possible post your talent and time is capable of making then just aim for quality/readability and presenting a complete idea.
At the end of the day votes and commentary aside, it's how useful the sub is to other gamers that matters, and presenting your idea in a fashion others can use without having to struggle to figure out what you're trying to present.
I will try to follow these steps. Figured I should look around the site for advice before actually posting anything. I'm not sure how or if to vote on this. I think that is probably because it appears to be a supporting article, or an article laying out the expected standard for the site?
Definitely a reasonable if not easily understandable standard for the Citadel.