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Old 07-12-2009, 07:48 AM   #1
Loveless
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Guide to Writing Guides

Bumps to the other thread please.

A Guide to Writing Guides

With the new guide section up and running it would be ideal to have guides in the Recommended Guides section to be as polished, easy-to-read and understandable as possible. So let's get right to it.

Here's a list of things to watch out for.
Each section is linked for easy navigation and reference. First timers, read everything!
Paragraph Styles
Fonts
Colours
Images
Miscellaneous

Examples:
Here are some guide format examples.

Hessah's Level 50-59 Quest Guide
Loveless' Fighter Guide

Last edited by Loveless; 07-13-2009 at 04:33 PM..
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Old 07-12-2009, 07:48 AM   #2
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Paragraph Styles

In this section I will go over each 'style' of font and recommended size. Proper use of these functions will allow you to make a cleaner looking guide.
Titles/Headings
Titles and/or headings are, well, where you would write the title of your guide. Example would be: Leveling Guide 20-30. Use font size 5, bold, and legible font.

Anything bigger and it starts to get in your face. Getting attention is good but if they're reading your guide you've already gotten it, no need to drive them away.
Sub-headings
Sub-headings are for different sections in your guide. Taking from the example above a sub-heading may be: Level 23. Use either 3 or 4 font size, bold or normal.
Content
The meat of your guide. This will be the descriptions for each section. Usually the default font size of 2.
Discretionary/Comments/Etc
You can use the smallest font size for side comments and discretionary messages such as "do not use this guide without permission" and so forth.

Last edited by Loveless; 07-12-2009 at 08:38 AM..
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Old 07-12-2009, 07:49 AM   #3
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Fonts

What type of font should you use? Easy. Just use the default, it's the easiest style to read. But you may argue that you'd like some flair to your guides. I ask you this, since when were guides and manuals fancy shmancy?
Don't forget, the most important thing about a guide is that the readers can actually read the darn thing.

BUT... here's a list of some of the fonts that you may use:
Verdana (Default)
Arial
Century Gothic
Franklin Gothic
Garamond
Georgia
Lucida Sans
Microsoft Sans
Tahoma
Times New Roman
Trebuchet
Another thing to point out, not all of the fonts listed will look great in certain font sizes. Fonts like Garamond may be a little to hard to read when it's this small.

So, write your guide first in default and if you really, really want to change the font do so after you've finished everything (ie. font sizing, bold, normal, italics, etc).

--------------------------------------------------

What about font styles like bold, italics, and underline? Use them sparingly.
  • Bold letters are to get attention. So use it in titles/headlines or to illustrate a point.
  • Italics are usually used for foreign languages or titles (ie. name of book or quests in the case of Fiesta: Bored Imp's Instigator). Do NOT and I repeat do NOT use italics for a whole paragraph. It makes it too hard to read.
  • Underlines. Can be used much like bold fonts but again, do not underline more than a couple of words... a sentence max. It's hard to read a paragraph all underlined.

Last edited by Loveless; 07-12-2009 at 08:39 AM..
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Old 07-12-2009, 07:49 AM   #4
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Colours

Colours are a great way to highlight points and to add a little bit of personality to an otherwise boring guide.
Use colours that are easy for the eyes and legible against a white background like this forum. A yellow font would be difficult to read at this size but may look better if it was...

this big?

Maybe not.

Would red work better?

Getting there. Play around but stick to one or two colours at most. Too many and it'll just be too overwhelming to read. Remember it's a guide not an art piece.

Last edited by Loveless; 07-12-2009 at 08:38 AM..
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Old 07-12-2009, 07:50 AM   #5
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Images

Yay, pictures. Everyone likes pictures. If you want to add example images make sure they're not fuzzy and people are able to tell what exactly they are looking at.
Try to keep the maximum width of your image within 500 pixels or just link your image. Not everyone has a 20 inch screen or super speed Internet conenctions to accommodate huge images.

You can also use images for different sections of your guide. Make your own "banners" and icons. Sky's the limit.

Be sure to host your images either at FiestaFan's photo blog or through sites such as Photobucket.

Last edited by Loveless; 07-12-2009 at 09:22 AM..
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Old 07-13-2009, 04:44 PM   #6
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Miscellaneous

Here you'll find other facts that may be useful for your guide writing endeavours.
WYSIWYG
What the heck is that? It stands for What You See Is What You Get. That's the beauty of the Internet. Setting this up will allow you to see exactly what you will get when you hit that post button. You can access this by going to your Message Editor Interface under User CP > Edit Options and scroll all the way down to it and pick Enhanced Interface from the drop down.
Indent
Is what I have been using throughout this guide. It helps to order your thoughts. It's right under the font colour button the ones with bars and arrows.
  • Indent 1
    • Indent 2
      • Indent 3
Use bullets, hit enter, then hit the Increase Indent button (the one with the arrow pointing right) for different points.
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