Creating effective TES Wiki pages
I will be coming back and editing this often. As I learn about writing effective articles, I will update this with helpful and important information.
Clear and Concise
As with any written piece that is either meant to be posted online or submitted for readers elsewhere, the main thing to consider is ensuring the written piece makes sense. To do this, we need to read through what we've written as if someone else has written it. It's the same as if you're writing an essay. If you want the highest grade possible, it needs to be read over and revisioned a few times before turning it in. Consider your Wikia articles in the same manner. People will pick apart what you write. If it's very unclear, it'll be edted by a more experienced writer/contributor.
- I define being both clear and concise as taking time to refrain from being too wordy and choosing words that are profound-- in as little word count as possible. Instead of talking about Point A and Point B, but discussing several other points in between, it means being as direct as possible. It may even mean sacrificing things we want to say for the sake of the reader.
Methods of efficiency
- Writing an efficient Wikia article entails being clear, concise, and direct. The sole purpose of writing is to help the reader, not confuse the reader by creating several different points that don't relate to the actual article. It's fine to write a lot at first, but revisions will need to be done afterwards. The goal is to create an article that anyone can understand.
- While we need to choose profound words, we should also keep in mind that English may be a second language for some readers, therefore choosing simpler words is important also. A good example here is when I'm trying to learn new words in Korean. The same word for Hello is also Goodbye. However, there are different politeness levels. One is used between friends while another is used for strangers. Also, there is a way of saying goodbye depending on whether or not the person it's spoken to is staying or leaving (Go peacefully, stay peacefully). As a Korean noob, I didn't get that at first. But as I continued to learn I understood things better.
- One more thing to consider is that not everyone is on the same reading level. As I write this I want to chuckle because I try to consider this right now. Some readers may be 13. Some readers may be 30, or even 50. Gamers are of all ages and walks of life. While spelling and grammar are important on this Wikia, it is also important to ensure that all ages and reading levels can understand it properly. One of the rules I follow is ensuring that what I write could be understood by someone who doesn't know the subject matter at all. If a stranger to the subject can understand it well enough, it should be perfect for someone who needs it.
Applying it to the TES Wikia
- Applying this to the TES Wikia should be simple enough. Whether it's writing quest walkthroughs or something more simple, like a lesser known character, the important factor is readability. I have referenced the Trivia sections on TES Wikia quite a few times before, but I will do so again. Many pages have Trivia sections longer than the Wall of China. Not all of the admins for this Wikia can cover them and weed out what isn't needed. However, they are a good example of too much is useless. In order to maintain great readability and quality, we need to contribute useful information.
- While we don't want to add too much, we also need to make sure that we do enter important details. What may seem common knowledge to veteran TES gamers could be vital to a newer TES gamer. For instance, something simple like Farkas mentioning he's got the strength of Ysgramor and Vilkas has his smarts seems useless, but for a new TES gamer trying out Skyrim, it will help that reader make the connection of them being twin brothers, even though they may have heard it already. New games can be confusing, so we can't assume the reader knows everything about the game at once.
- In the end, being clear, concise, and direct can be as simple as adding or deleting the proper information. Contribute what needs to be known and possibly a little of what can be fun to know, like the infamous pillow collection in Morrowind, or the voice actor for Vilkas also being the same guy in Vampire: The Masquerade. Okay, maybe that last part isn't quite so important, but it's a fun fact.
Determining Useful Facts from Random Facts
Sifting the Facts
Is my New Fact really Useful?
Defining Trivia for TES Wikia
Easter Eggs or Common Knowledge?
Deciding on Useful Trivia
Is it Trivia, or is it a Bug?
Notes: Acceptable, or Myth?
How notes came to be
Notes were created by various contributors who didn't understand the proper methods of editing a wikia article. Truth is, Trivia is the real catch all for random easter eggs or other fairly useful/intriguing facts about characters.
Should Notes be a header?
There's an easy answer for this. No. Never. Never ever ever. The simplest thing to do is add a Trivia header, as I mentioned above. I have it from reliable sources that Notes as headers are both unwanted and completely useless.