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Thread: So...you want to write a guide, eh?

  1. #1

    Default So...you want to write a guide, eh?

    Let's ask ourselves a few questions, shall we?

    But, first things first: READ THE GUIDES THAT ARE ALREADY WRITTEN.

    Most likely everything (and yes....I mean every last thing) you would like to share with your fellow players has already been written about and is stickied. This is not to suggest that everything has been covered well or in it's entirety. Every day players are finding new ways to hunt down medals or defend against attacks or any of the numerous other activities we all enjoy about this game. However, in order to write a properly helpful guide it is extremely important that you take a look at what is already written and find something that hasn't been covered or needs to be examined in greater detail.

    Because most guides make us:



    There are already many well written guides by highly respected players. If you expect to jump right into the guide section with a hastily composed, poorly explained and unnecessary guide...understand that it will be scrutinized. This isn't a middle school social studies oral presentation where we would all just nod our heads and clap politely after we listen to you ramble on for 5 minutes repeating verbatim from a textbook we have already all read ourselves. Nor is this the section of the forums to plop down your wall of text in a desperate attempt to gain rep from the other players. What you write will be read by players who have played the game longer and are far more advanced than you, and it will be commented on. Still want to write that guide? Alright! Read on.


    Ok, so the questions we need to ask ourselves:

    1) Why?

    What is the purpose of your guide? It is a general all-around Evony guide? A 7-day BP start up? A medal, prestige or NPC farming guide?

    Your main theme should be clear and upfront, the title of your guide/thread should be something a little more specific than just "Awesomeguy42's Guide to Evony". There are a lot of guides out there, most of which are quickly buried on page 15 because the title wasn't descriptive/interesting.

    When a player comes to the guide section they are generally coming for a specific purpose. They know what they want to learn and they are most likely not going to bother opening threads that have generic titles that are not in some way connected to their interest. If you are writing a step by step guide to how a player can maximize their first few days on a new server, make sure that it explained in the title: "Step-by-Step Guide for a New Server". Writing a general all-purpose guide for the first few weeks? Try "4-Week Guide to Server Domination". Be descriptive, and honest. No one wants to open a guide expecting to find the secrets they desire only to be let down by what they find inside.



    2) What now?

    So you've decided on the topic of your guide and picked a catchy title. Congrats. You're already a step and a half ahead of most of the guides that have been lost to the depths of the unread sections of the forum or that have been flamed to death and locked.

    Have you already gone ahead and clicked the "New Thread" button?

    Stop. Big mistake.

    Minimize your browser and open up whatever word processing program you use. If you write your guide in the teeny lil'box the forum provides, you're going to end up with a pretty lousy piece of crap. You will rush through it too fast, for all you're thinking about is clicking the "Submit New Thread" button and all the incredibly nice comments that your forum buddies are going to add the moment the guide hits the news stand.

    Well, it's not going to happen. You're going to make spelling errors. And your sentence structure and paragraph format are all going to be way off. You probably won't even go back and read it until it's posted, which is a major major mistake. Nobody writes perfectly, especially the first draft or two. It's going to take a fair amount of work to turn the ideas in your head into well crafted piece of literature that others will find helpful. Proof reading is a must. It's the most vital thing you can possibly do and the most overlooked. Spend the extra 30 seconds to open up Word or OpenOffice or whatever you use and type it up there. Then, spend the extra 30 minutes rereading it and correcting errors and improving your grammar.

    3) What next?

    Read it again. Seriously, I mean it. Read it again. This time instead of worrying about spelling and whether you should have put you're or your.....think about all the other guides you have already read. What are you bringing to the table that no one else has already offered? If you can't think of anything new or different or improved about your guide, then please....do us a favor and don't post it. Find one of the guides that is close to your topic and send your guide to the author. See if there is anything from your guide that they want to add to their own. We're all actually pretty nice here, despite our initial appearances. Most other guide authors would be more than happy to incorporate passages from someone else into their guide, and be more than willing to give credit where credit is due.

    The point is to keep this section of the forum uncluttered and easy to use. Wading through a sea of identical gibberish is annoying and not helpful to anyone. In order to keep this game alive, we need to keep that fresh blood around long enough for them to build up their cities to a point where they are plunderable or otherwise we're all going to be farming inactive 1-city 0 pop accounts. And that's no fun.

    4) I'm done and my guide is posted! How long 'til people shower me with praise and proclaim me an Evony god?

    Sorry to burst your innocent bubble, but it's not going to happen. More than likely the first few comments you will receive will be pointing out what is wrong with your guide. See, most everyone on the forum knows pretty much what they are doing already. Yeah....there is the occasional noob, but most of them aren't going to make a comment until they have gone out and tested the practices you are preaching. Your guide isn't going to be a instant smash hit, and that is OK. Don't cry. A lot of people write guides and only a few get to stay on the front page at a time.



    No, that's not true.

    If you put in the time and effort and have created something helpful, your work will be recognized. It may not happen the moment you submit it, or even a week later. But people will go back a page or two (or more) in order to read your guide. And if they like it, they'll say so. If they think something needs to be changed or modified.....they'll say so too. Either way, it'll get bumped and wind back up on the first page. The moral of this last step is, "DON'T BUMP YOUR OWN GUIDE".

    The funny thing is that I do remember a "Guide to Making Guides" floating around here awhile ago. I didn't bother to go look for it, I just felt like writing my own. I know...I know....I didn't even follow my own suggestions. But AbstractAngel challenged me. I felt forced to respond.


    k, you still want to go write that guide? Why are you writing a guide anyways? Don't you want your enemies to be weak and uninformed?

    Don't give away your secrets. Keep them to yourself and be the terror of your server.
    Last edited by rasterbee; 06-12-2010 at 07:39 PM.

  2. #2
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    awesome guide on how to make a guide lol a lot to read but war worth it
    The New Names ROCKO Server 163 Come at me

  3. #3

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    Loved it. +rep Very nice. I go on the forums everyday so its nice to see a guide for people to stop being "oh i made a post yay I can be an archer now." This is well thought out and ver descriptive, lets hope it cleans up the forums.

    rep if I helped

  4. #4
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    Amazing Guide! Good read.

    Spawn- AgeII Na13 - Massacre Founder
    Every one of your enemies has a weakness, you only have to find it, Unless you find your self facing me, were it shall be your weakness that leads to your demise - Spawn.

  5. #5
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    Added to the Guide Library

  6. #6
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    Thumbs up rasterbee! Excellent constructive criticism of guide making, and very helpful! I have a feeling this will be linked in the future... A lot! lol

    Compliments of the wonderful Warsimi!

  7. #7
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    nice guide i have to admit, same thing as Abstract

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  9. #9
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    I may write a guide on how to write a guide on writing a guide.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woldere View Post
    I may write a guide on how to write a guide on writing a guide.
    But then i will have to write a guide on how to write a guides guide to guides on guides and that would take me forever

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