I thought alittle sumerize on how to actually write a prober guide might be usefull at this point, so I’ll try to point out the key components to a good guide.
First off, Information and Formulation is the two main components of any good guide. You need to have the correct information and in some chases also references to that specific information. Secondly, if you cannot formulate yourself corretly your guide will be hard to read and thus loose it’s primary goal, which is to “Teach”
It is always a good idear to have first-hand knowledge, I.E. In-game reference where you can get your information solid, not just from some random website. Also do a double check in case you can’t get the specific piece of information first-hand, this could be anything from how to make a specific item, to How to complete this and this quest.
It is also good to familierize yourself with (if you write in HTML) the different codes for text. This will make it easier for you to slice and dice the text to make it look neat and in order. Do not be afraid to toy with the different options but keep a copied version of the text in chase things go wrong (You never know!)
The Anotomy of A Guide
First off you have the introduction. There is no nessecary need for one but if you want to say a comment or two first, or explain a few things, this is primarily the place to do it. Include guide name here. – This is called An Introduction.
After the Introduction comes the actual guide, which consists of a headliner and breadtext.
Secondly you will have to devide your text into Information and Facts. It’s no use mixing them up together cause then the reader will likely loose track over what it is he is really reading, so always keep Info and Facts seperate.
“Random crafted weapon”
[i]9 Silver bars
8 heavy stones
2 heavy leather[/i]
How to get Recipe for “Random crafted weapon”:
bla bla bla
This example clearly parts Information and Facts from eachother. Instead of writing in text “this weapon needs bla bla bla” Make it obvious that the stated and altered text is what is needed.
As to the information, it is rather useless posting how to make an item or how to complete a quest, without telling how to get the recipe/quest. So make sure you include that part, and be sure it’s the correct information you have.
If this specific item is a link in a longer chain of events, I.E. Chain-quests or Build-apon item, include the information that it is a part of a chain. And if you want to, add the whole chain below it. – This is called the Breadtext
Devide into chapters. No one wants to read something thats written as one big piece cause it is simply too much text at one time. I’m not saying that you have to say “part 1:bla bla” but whenever you start a new subject, make sure that it stands out so the reader knows “okay, this is something new” – These are called Headliners.
You can also use double line spacing as I have done above. It makes a clear seperation but still remains a part of the whole text as no bold text has been used. Ergo it dosn’t state a new chapter but it is another part of the text.
Last but not least, the additions! There’s always additions. This could be anything from links to maps, items or quest characters. But there is ALWAYS additions, and be sure to add these if they are essential to the guide.
The End Is Near!
To round off your guide, you will want to add some comments if you have some. Personal suggestions/Advices. Usefull links and/or References. If you include links to other guides or maps created by other players or firms you MUST make sure to credit them for it. The last thing you need is a law suit landing in your mailslot just cause you wrote an innocent piece of information on the internet. (Trust me, I’ve been there and done that, you do not want that)
Do one or two last grammar checks, see if your satisfied with it and all is well. Then click that “Submit” button and tadaa! Your very own guide!
So to round off this guide on guides; This isn’t a complete “How to write guides” but more of a hint in the right direction. As a writer I do not belive in restrictions as to writing style, but there are some things which must be included and I hope that I have rounded them up pretty well in this little article. But if you have comments/suggestions or want to add something, post them below and I’ll check them out.