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General How to Write a Guide

Discussion in 'Guides' started by Kore nametooshort, Mar 12, 2011.

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  1. Kore nametooshort

    Kore nametooshort Grandfathered

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    How to Write a Guide

    Good guides are always in high demand. They help new players get on their feet, they help old players improve and they help you by making this website better. This little guide here is designed to help you make the most of your guide.


    Contents
    • Glossary
    • Format and Layout
    • Content
    • Where Do I Write My Guide?


    Glossary

    A glossary is pretty often the best place to start. It means players can't miss it and thus they don't run off into the rest of the guide with the potential to be confused. Having a glossary allows you to use shorthand, abbreviations and symbols in your guide, without it you can leave your reader confused, especially if it's a newer player.


    Layout and Format

    Layout

    Layout is very important. A good layout means your reader will be able to browse your guide with ease and quickly without getting lost.

    As you will have noticed, I started with a brief fore note followed by the contents page. If you guide is comprised of more than a few sections then a contents page is a must. It makes navigating a large amount of text much easier and allows readers to home in on a specific piece on information quickly.

    Following on, in this guide I have separated each section by a few lines, this is to make it even more obvious that this is not a new paragraph, it is a new section. Sections and subsections are important, they split the guide up, again allowing the reader to zoom in the piece of information they are after.

    You can use multiple posts in your guide. Although Twink Info has a pretty large character count (40 000) for its posts you might like to consider splitting it into multiple posts. This allows you to keep major sections separate from others and it allows you to add links to each section. To do this copy the link address of the number on the top right hand corner of the post, in this post's case it will be "#1". You can then add the link into your contents page. If you do this, remember to disable your signature in each post of your guide or you will end up with your signature popping up in the middle of your guide.



    Format

    Each section in this guide is headed by a big, distinct yellow title. This makes it obvious where the new section starts. The difference between this title and the other text make it easier for the reader to just read the titles until he finds the section he is after. You don't have to use this format, find one that suits you, but be sure it is clear to the reader.

    Inside each section I have used large underlined, but uncoloured text as a heading, this again is just another tool to allow the reader to find what he needs, for example if your weren't interested in layout, but had an interest in format this would have helped you find this more easily.


    Content

    Depending on the type of guide you are authoring this will obviously change quite a bit. Regardless of what your guide is on remember to keep it user friendly.


    General

    Include the patch that you guide was last updated in. As you will have noticed, just under the title of this guide I have written "Last updated in 4.0.6". This is very important as it allows your readers (and me when checking them) to know how reliable and up to date your guide is.

    Be as comprehensive as you can, but at the same time be concise and try not to waffle. A large paragraph that says the same as could be said in a few sentences helps no one. That said, do not cut out on data in order to keep your word count down, include everything you feel is relevant and if you feel it is getting a bit bulky then you can split it up using a suitable format to make it more easily digestible.

    Your guide should try to explain things so that the reader does not doubt you. Your readers don't know you so they won't take everything you say as gospel. For example if you are giving advise on talent trees and you simply state that this tree is better than all the others your reader might end up wondering why said tree is better and if indeed they might like to move a couple points from one talent to another. If you were to explain the merits of each individual talent this will help eliminate doubt from the reader.


    Class Guides

    If you are writing a guide for a specific class there are several things you should include:
    • Racial advise to help your reader choose his race
    • Information on his classes role. A player might have chosen then class on a whim and not realise that certain roles are not so viable on his class. For example a level 19 shadow priest does not provide such good dps. This is something a prospective priest should know
    • Profession advise to help your reader choose his professions
    • Useful macros. Help your reader streamline his play by giving him a head start with useful macros
    • Gear advise to help your reader understand which stats are more important to help him understand your gear list a bit better
    • Gear list. List all the gear the player might need. Take into account the fact that he may not have access to heirlooms or certain faction quest items and offer alternatives. Be clear about which gear is best. Be sure to use gear links. This is done by copying the wowhead item's address and simply pasting. Be sure to use the link button (found on your posting toolbar just underneath where it says "sizes") so that you can name your link rather than simply showing the URL. You type out the items name, highlight it and then click the link button to add the hyperlink. It should end up looking something like this - Shadowfang
    • Make sure you clearly state which items in your gear list are grandfathered and which are faction specific quest rewards
    • Enchant list. Similarly to the gear list your reader will want to know which enchants are best for him
    • Tips. Offer your readers useful tips you have learned. They will possibly already know some of them, but they might not and a few tips will help them get the most enjoyment out of their new toon.
    • Videos and pictures are great media for giving advise and they can help spice up your guide if you think it looks a bit boring or severe. If you can find a suitable video or picture by all means use it

    This is not an exhaustive list, so obviously if you think of something else that is relevant to add then please include it.


    Where Do I Write My Guide?

    Start your guide in the Guide section. Whenever you post a thread in this section, it will automatically be sent to the moderation queue, where one of our staff members can look it over. Please remember that while we greatly appreciate all guides we won't necessarily promote yours. For instance, if you have written a guide, but there is already a similar guide on the website, then we might not approve it if we feel your guide does not offer anything that the other guide does not already provide.

    Good luck with your guide, and I hope it turns out well.
     
  2. Yayo

    Yayo Grandfathered

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    Thanks Kore, if people follow this layout Im sure we'd have more guides even for the more unplayed classes.
     
  3. lipeckiz

    lipeckiz Grandfathered

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    I think I could write a 29 guide :)
     
  4. Mrcer

    Mrcer Grandfathered

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    grats kore on the instant mvp.





    *see wut i did ther?*





    [​IMG]
     
  5. OP
    Kore nametooshort

    Kore nametooshort Grandfathered

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    Not really o_O
     
  6. Mrcer

    Mrcer Grandfathered

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    Ugh if u make me explain it to u kore...i'll end up banging my head against my desk.
     
  7. zymane

    zymane Veteran

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    Nice guide on making a guide lol, guideception
     
  8. Kaehil

    Kaehil Veteran

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  9. Kaehil

    Kaehil Veteran

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  10. somnathji

    somnathji New Member

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    with powerful title, something catchy and interesting story that's main characteristics of writing a guide and novel :)
     

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