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    How to write a HQ Guide.

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    Jordan
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    How to write a HQ Guide.

    Post by Jordan on 2012-06-26, 14:03

    Guide on Guides.

    Disclaimer: Obviously I am no master of guide-writing, but this guide is more based on my opinions on what makes a good guide, both content wise and aesthetically. Anything people think I should include in this guide will be greatly appreciated.

    General Guide Outlook:

    The first thing we must remember is that guides are mainly about one clear topic. You don't want a huge guide that deals with bits and pieces of several different things, you want a guide that sticks to the point, is easily understood, Putting knowledge in front of a person is not what writing a guide is about. Rather, it is about putting focused, organized and thoughtful information in front of a person in a way in which it is easy for that person to read and comprehend. Keeping this in mind as you write your guide will help improve your guide greatly.

    Topics:

    As I mentioned before, writing a wishy washy guide on several different topics is no good. Before you even start writing your guide, you need to have a clear idea in your head of what you're going to write about and how you're going to explain it. You need to have an idea of the sub-topics you'll be covering and I find it helps if you write out a rough plan on a piece of paper before you start.

    Title:

    A good guide needs to capture the reader’s attention immediately, which means having a good title. This is something a lot of people can't seem to grip. You need to let people know what the guide will teach them (obviously) but you need to present it in an interesting way. Take the two examples below, and think of which guide you'd prefer to read.

    "Pking guide"

    Vs.

    "The Ultimate PKing Guide: Learn to make Millions from the Masters."

    Now when considering the title, we must also remember not to mislead the public. Don't tell them it's going to make them millions in 10 minutes, when in reality it'll take at least 2 hours work to "make millions." This will annoy people and discourage them from reading your guide.

    Basically, what I'm saying is your title is extremely important. It entices people and is your one chance to get readers. Be smart, include the most important info from your guide in it, but don't give too much away.


    Plan:

    For me personally, writing a plan before starting is very important. Start with a mind map and maybe a list of topics you're going to cover in your guide, it makes writing the full guide faster and it usually results in a cleaner guide.

    Structure:

    There are two main structures used in modern guides. I'll run through these two and then explain variations.

    Steps:
    A “steps” guide is essentially a how-to guide. Since any guide that shows you how to do something will almost always have steps, it makes sense to layout these guides step by step, usually denoted by numbers or dots. Divide each step into its own paragraph or section and explain how to do that task in that section. These are usually used for shorter guides, and the step should be short enough that the reader can follow it after reading it once, but not so short that they can't understand it.

    Read-Through
    These types of guides are ones that are made so that you simply read it from beginning to end slowly learning and building your knowledge along the way. A conversational tone can often contribute to these guides, as people will enjoy reading them. Some readers will like this layout better than the more organized ones and they are much easier to write as they have less organizational structure.

    Color:

    I don't need to explain how important color is as an aspect of a guide. When you first look at a guide, before you even read the content the color and layout instantly jump out at you. The problem is that most of the time when people use color, they color each section a different bright, annoying color that jars the reader each time they finish a paragraph. That is bad. I repeat, THAT.IS.BAD. Very bad. No bueno. Shitty. Get it yet? If you are going to use color, use it smartly! Use colors that don't clash with your background. The Dice-Rs background is dark so use smooth colours. But nothing too bright. That's hard to read, and no one likes that. Google colour tables and find colors that compliment each other. This REALLY helps. Trust me.

    Layout:

    Layout is another very very important part of every guide. You must consider such things as paragraphing, 'left-t-right' or 'centred', Large &small fonts, Etc. I think the best way to learn the correct balance of these is to read the guides I referenced at the start, they have a nice balance IMHO. Some simple tips for you beginners would be;
    Making your headlines stand out with big fonts and good colors
    Using clear titles
    Use spacing. Don't clump your info together. I hate that.


    Pictures:

    They say that a picture is worth 1000 words, and this is certainly true in terms of a guide on a forum. I know I haven't included any in here, but it's not exactly an instructional guide. I didn't know what to add. If you don't know how to upload pictures to a guide, use www.imgur.com to upload your pictures and when it's uploaded right click on the picture and select "Copy Image URL". Then post this link on the guide in image tage such as
    [IMGx] LINK HERE [/IMGx] (without the x's)



    Grammar:

    To me this is so important. It doesn't bother many people, but spelling & grammar is incredibly important. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but please people, MAKE AN EFFORT! I refuse to read a guide that I have to read several times just to understand. If you can't spell and use correct grammar, don't write guides. Smile

    General Tips: The guide in short.

    -Make a draft
    -Read your guide before you post it. Then Re-read it, put it in spell-check, and then re-read it again.
    -Never stop adding to your guide, in most cases it can only get better.
    -Write about things you know.
    -Pictures. Spelling. Grammar. Color. Layout. DO IT!
    -Don't post a guide you wouldn't read yourself, it's pointless.
    -Enjoy yourself, your helping people.
    -Give credit where credit is due.


    Thank you for reading this guide, Hope you enjoyed it. Now get out there and write some quality guides!
    Guide written by me, 0pv!
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    Matthew
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    Re: How to write a HQ Guide.

    Post by Matthew on 2012-06-26, 14:34

    Could you please provide a guide on how you made this guide about making guides?
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    James
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    Re: How to write a HQ Guide.

    Post by James on 2012-06-26, 17:49

    Matthew wrote:Could you please provide a guide on how you made this guide about making guides?

    Lolol.

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    Re: How to write a HQ Guide.

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