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User:Soloblast/Writing Guide

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Introduction

Aims

The aim of this (working) paper/guide are as follows:

  • To provide guidance for editors in developing good writing skills while avoiding common mistakes.
    • This applies mostly if not entirely to writing in relation to the game itself, not the franchise as a whole.
  • To discuss the overall work processes involved in the Wiki, along with how and where editing/writing fits into these processes.
    • (TBC - Discussion of Translation vis-à-vis Editing/Writing?)
  • To establish a consistent series of terms/abbreviations/nomenclature to be used.

Why Now?

I actually have a day job now, so I anticipate becoming very busy in the near future, for an indeterminate period of time.

As with the Wiki, the volume of work involved may ebb and flow according to the different times of the year, but I figured that I might as well get this out there and ready for consumption (or for someone to take over writing in the future) before I get overwhelmed. (Insert something about giving a man a fish versus teaching a man to fish here.)

My job involves a metric ton of writing/editing/redoing-both-of-the-above as it is, so many of the skills are transferable to doing something like this anyway (and vice versa). Just remember: Those who can, do; those who can't, teach; and those who can't teach, teach teachers. :^)

How To Use This Guide

By the time it is completed, this guide will probably be relatively long. Don't try to read it all in one go!

Instead, you should probably look for specific sections of it that are most relevant to whatever issue you are facing at the moment. Also, while I will do / have done my best to make this guide as comprehensive as possible, there is no way for me to cover all the bases. As always, if unsure, ask on IRC/Discord before committing to any changes / final drafts. This is very important; a mistake could end up screwing someone else over - or worse, players who just copy-paste things without thinking - very easily.

On Writing

We'll begin with the simplest of questions: What the hell is this Wiki meant for? If you've paid enough attention to the front page, you'll have noticed the following paragraph:

  • This wiki is a place to find English information about the game & tutorials on how to play even without knowledge of Japanese. Additionally, information regarding the expanded franchise may be found, including manga, anime, other games, music, & more.

And there you have it. You can ignore the bit about the expanded franchise, for now, unless you're coming in to deal with that specific aspect of the franchise. This guide covers writing in relation to the game itself, so this may not be as relevant to you if this is the case. Having said that, the section dealing with basic writing skills below may still be helpful.

Essentially, your writing should be directed towards the end goal of instructing the average player on how to play the game, whether in general or regarding very specific conditions (such as how to clear Quests or during Events). Similarly, all guides and content should also work towards that end goal, unless you're dealing with other aspects of the franchise that are not immediately relevant to the game itself.

Moreover, while there is no one way to tackle a problem, some options are better than others. Your writing should present players with sufficient information to make a decision based on the limited resources they have at their disposal: Sufficiently broad to cover most possibilities in terms of variables (ships, equipment, etc.), but also specific enough to explain how to get to the most optimal outcome.

I am aware that this may seem painfully obvious at the moment, but as time goes by - and as events seem to have an ever-increasing amount of focus on so-called "Historical Ships" - it's easy to lose sight of the fundamental end goal here, and get sidetracked by writing about other stuff that may not really be relevant to our work. So it's always good to keep this in mind; when you have a sense of what matters versus what doesn't, it makes it easier to decide what can afford to be cut out of your writing.

Basic Writing Skills

On Work Processes

Expected Annual Events

(Placeholder Text - This section should cover in-game events only, although it may be necessary to include IRL events that have been known to release information relevant to in-game events.)

The annual cycle for KanColle events is roughly as follows (not including new events and/or unexpected developments):

  • Placeholder Text

"Peak" Times and "Off-Peak" Times

Within this annual cycle, there are both "Peak" and "Off-Peak" periods (and yes, I just made that distinction up right now). "Peak" times are time-frames when you should expect to be busy with information collection, collation, analysis, and dissemination; "Off-Peak" times are everything else.

Generally speaking, Peak times take place during most if not all annual events, as well as during the immediate aftermath of a maintenance/update (especially if said maintenance/update introduces new mechanics and/or new remodels). You should expect to need to get a lot of work done, very quickly, but also without compromising on the accuracy or reliability of said information.

Off-Peak times are a lot more of a grey area in that, well, not a lot actually gets done during these periods, but there are always things that need fixing: Outdated information, misnamed file uploads, poor grammar/wording, and so on. (Speaking of which, if anyone is willing to autistically hunt down each and every one of these errors and compile them into a nice list for everyone to reference, by all means, go ahead.)

On Terms, Abbreviations, And So On

Useful References/Texts

  • Gowers, Ernest. Plain Words: A Guide to the Use of English. 1954. Edited by Rebecca Gowers, Penguin UK, 2015.
  • Scarlet, Remi. Guide:Translations.