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Author Topic: Basic Story Format Rules  (Read 1804 times)

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Offline legomaestro

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Basic Story Format Rules
« on: October 09, 2013, 08:17:00 AM »
Just thought that this needed to be said.

If you want to have your story read you have to avoid chasing off your reader by bad formatting and unnecessary mistakes. For us to be able to read and review to help enjoy and improve your work we expect that at the very least you're work is clean enough to read. After you follow these basics then the readers may dive into discussing and reviewing the story.

0. BEFORE you post. Click 'Preview'. In this view you will edit your work accordingly before you finally post it.

1. PLOT/SYNOPSIS. To let readers get a quick idea of what you're about to write post a short description of your plot and story synopsis before anything else.

2. SPELLCHECK: This forum has a spellchecker. Before you post your story click 'Preview' and correct all words that are incorrect (underlined by a red zig-zag line by the forum). At the very least your work should have all sentences starting with a capital letter. All 'i's'' capitalized and things like that.

3. PERIODS./FULLSTOPS. Please divide sentences by using periods "." The best way to check for this is to read it out loud. If you're running out of breath then you know you need periods. If you know about this then before posting try putting in commas as well where appropriate.

4. INDENTATIONS/BREAKS TO AVOID WALLS OF TEXT:
This forum doesn't indent so you'll have to indent your work yourself, five spaces does the trick. If you have a lot of text to indent, copy an indentation and paste where needed as you go along your work.   
     If you prefer you may skip a line to show a new paragraph, but you have to do this otherwise you end up with a wall of text.

Trust me, no one reads those things. They skim the beginning then skip to reading the end of it. It's pretty tough even for the author themselves to read a wall of text, so fix this! (incidentally i've used both indentation and skipping a line method. choose one.)

5. DIALOGUE.
Every new dialogue means a new paragraph. Make sure to make and indentation/jump a space when someone is taking in your story.

6. FEEDBACK. Also remember when you post your story that means you want readers opinion to finalize it. So you have respect their opinions too.  Taking those opinions or not is your choice but be careful about how you treat them. If just one reader see something wrong maybe its his/her own opinion but if more than one see the same error then you should give a thought about it.


If you follow these basic but important rules it'll go a long way in helping us readers go through your work without being frustrated out of reading it.

TIP: For very beginner writers, It's a good idea to always use these rules whenever you're posting on this forum as a continuous practice of sorts so that you're basic tools of writing are better.

« Last Edit: May 24, 2015, 10:57:10 PM by legomaestro »

Offline Hasith

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Re: Some story essentials and basic rules/format to follow for stories on MR
« Reply #1 on: October 09, 2013, 08:59:31 AM »
Good guidelines. I wonder if its better first post the plot you have than the story so you have so far. let others share their thoughts about the plot and you can redo whatever you are missing and then post the story. I'm just telling, I don't if it's good or bad.

Also remember when you post your story that means you want readers opinion to finalize it. So you have respect their opinions too.  Taking those opinions or not is your choice but be careful about how you treat them. If just one reader see something wrong maybe its his/her own opinion but if more than one see the same error then you should give a thought about it.

Offline legomaestro

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Re: Some story essentials and basic rules/format to follow for stories on MR
« Reply #2 on: October 09, 2013, 09:13:51 AM »
Thanks. I'm going to edit again to make it as simple as possible to understand. The plan is to always send this link to stories that need such corrections instead of us having to explain all the time.

A plot synopsis would be a good idea for before the writing comes, but I think it should be only the plot of the story itself. People may be tempted to add an info dump of everything happening in the world and that'll disturb things.

As for sharing thoughts that may stop the person from posting up until people comment on their story. I think at the very least they should have one chapter or the prologue out so they don't have to wait long. We'll see I guess.