A Guide to Guide Making
The art of guide making is a talent which has yet to be captured and tamed. Some may think making a guide is an arduous task that reaps no benefits, when in reality guide making is as simple as One, Two, and Three. In this guide you will learn how to successfully transfer your Neopian knowledge into a guide fit for a king. Even King Hagan will be impressed with your soon-to-come writing masterpiece.
Introduction: Why would I need to write a guide?
Can you answer any of the following questions?
- How do you restock to make neopoints?
- How do you get the avatar on the Snowmuncher game?
- How does the stock market work?
- Is there really such thing as Jelly World; if so how can I get there? (I do not know why anybody would be foolish enough to believe in such a thing!)
If you can give even an answer to one of the above questions then you have enough insight to create your own guide. Making a guide does not take a fathomless wealth of information; in fact, a thorough guide can even come in the form of a few paragraphs. Once you decide you are willing to make a guide, then it is time to move onto the first step.
Step One: Pick a topic
When choosing a topic to make a guide over, one must keep in mind one's own strengths and weaknesses. If you have a passion for avatar collecting, then by all means make a guide over that well known avatar that many seek but have trouble obtaining. If you are not fond of avatar collecting, then I would recommend choosing something else, such as a game.
Much like the Scientific Method, choosing a topic comes in the form of a hypothesis (a question). When you finally choose the topic, be sure you can fully answer any questions surrounding it. I would recommend actually reaching the goal which the topic sets but that is not a must.
For this guide our example topic will be:
How can I get a high enough score on Snowmuncher to gain the avatar?
Step Two: Troubleshoot
Since we have chosen a topic (Snowmuncher) we now should start researching. Researching can come in many forms such as:
- Viewing connecting pages which interact with your topic
- Reviewing background history of the topic
- If a game, play it several times to obtain problem areas and techniques
The most important rule of all that you should always keep in mind: Be familiar with your topic.
Since our topic involves a game we should know what every thing in the game symbolizes or what significance it holds to the game.
Example: What is that number on the top… you know that increases when you eat more snow? Oh right! That number is a percentage, and it tells you how full Dieter, the main character, is and with each munch of snow he takes it increases. If the number reaches above one hundred percent then you lose a life.
That information is very important when it comes to playing the game, and it should be mentioned in the guide.
What problems did you first have playing the game? How can you eliminate the problem without breaking the rules of the game? Make sure that you can fully answer the questions which you may be given. When you create the guide it can be shown on a pet page or even in the Neopian Times. It is almost inevitable that questions will arise that are not answered. The people who are asking the questions will be looking to the guide creator for a solution even if it is not given. So be sure to include every ounce of knowledge and insight with great detail. Sometimes it helps to write as if you are writing for a young child; it helps in the sense of explaining problems which may arise with thorough answers that are easy to follow.
Example: In the case of Snowmuncher the problem area would be the snow wurms who try to eat Dieter, the main character. To avoid these problems one should steer a clear course towards the bottom of the game and run when coming in contact with them. Another problem that Dieter faces is falling snow; if he is caught under a falling block of snow he can lose a life. To avoid this problem he should run to either side of the falling block to skip being hit.
Tip one: Are you still not sure if your topic is right for you? Bounce your idea off a trustworthy friend and ask for constructive criticism about the topic. When in doubt ask a friend to help out. Remember to be polite and courteous.
Step Three: Ready to get writing
When you have collected all the information that you need you should get ready to start writing it down (or typing). All the information should be collected in a neat and orderly fashion. An example outline for a game is shown below:
Title: Should be something clever that is eye catching.
Introduction paragraph: Here you should tell why this guide is helpful and why it is unlike any other guide around.
Background history paragraph: What fun facts did you find about your topic while researching? Does it have a special day dedicated solely to the topic? Why was this topic made? How does it benefit to Neopia? Can you get an avatar from partaking in it? Are any Neopoints earned in the process?
Get to know the topic paragraph: Here you should explain what everything means. Are there any time constraints or acronyms that should be known? Introduce the reader to the buttons or starting and stopping points.
How to play the game paragraph: Here you should explain how to play the game. What things should you avoid? How can you earn more lives? Are there any time bonuses or point bonuses that the reader should be aware of?
Tips and tricks used paragraph: Here you should explain in great detail what techniques you used to obtain the set goal. Remember that a reader may have no clue what you are talking about, so be sure to explain where this tip takes place, what time it takes place, or how to use it when it is needed. Adding pictures if possible is a big help to any reader.
Conclusion Paragraph: Tie up any loose ends here. Give an explanation of the goal that should be met if the above rules are followed and mastered.
Ensure your Success
If you would like to further your success rate, ask another friend for help. Choose a friend who has no clue about your topic. Have them read your guide and follow the instructions. They will be your personal gauge. If you guide worked and was helpful, then they should have a better understanding of what they are doing! If they do not, then you will have something to work on in the future. Guide making can be a fun process if you let your imagination escape the normal enclosure.
If you have fully listened to this guide you can be on your way to writing stardom. While I applaud all work put into your guide, I can in no way guarantee a guide’s success. Meaning I can not promise your guide being shown in the Neopian Times, though I would like to add you will have a better chance. Keep in mind that you should always treat your readers as honored guests. You are doing them a favor and in the same setting they are doing you a favor by spreading the information. Be warned; you may just get some fan mail out of the whole experience. Now that is something to smile about.