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 Organising Your Posts;, like organising your office
Sparx
Posted: Feb 20 2011, 02:00 AM


Advanced Trainer
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Group: Staff
Posts: 57
Member No.: 6
Joined: 2-February 11




The following will give you tips that are designed to help you organize your posts and make them look pretty. Remember that these are only pointers and are in no way required.


1. Paragraphs.

I love them. Most people do. They also make your replies easier to read. But when should you start a new paragraph? You should start a new paragraph when starting a new idea, changing the subject (to a completely different thought, action or point of focus) or when starting a new piece of dialogue.

For Example

This:


QUOTE
“Yes! Alright!” Jenna exclaimed excitedly as her pokèball sucked up the Poochyena and kept it there this time. She ran over to retrieve the sphere, picking it up and smirking down at it. “Gotcha, you little punk. Now, for a name… name… name… Well, the first thing that comes to mind is Kuro, so… I’ll ask you later. In the meantime…” The girl turned to see how Steve was doing. The kid was still fighting that stupid Burmy. What level could the pile of leaves be, three? Four? What the hell was taking so long? Looking to Saitou, Jenna figured the Charmander was still kicking. The fire that had been burning in his eyes when he first started the battle with the Poochyena was still there, even if his breathing was becoming a little heavier. He saw her looking at him and caught her gaze, and Jenna made up her mind. “You’re taking too long,” the girl called to Steve, stepping toward his battle. “You said we’re supposed to tag team or something, right? Well, I’m tired of waiting, so let’s make this two against one.” After receiving a nod from his trainer, Saitou leapt forward with all he still had in him, pulling both claws back. Again, his arms acquired a metallic glow just as he attempted to bring them down on the sleeping Burmy.


Becomes this:

QUOTE
“Yes! Alright!” Jenna exclaimed excitedly as her pokèball sucked up the Poochyena and kept it there this time. She ran over to retrieve the sphere, picking it up and smirking down at it. “Gotcha, you little punk. Now, for a name… name… name… Well, the first thing that comes to mind is Kuro, so… I’ll ask you later. In the meantime…”

The girl turned to see how Steve was doing. The kid was still fighting that stupid Burmy. What level could the pile of leaves be, three? Four? What the hell was taking so long? Looking to Saitou, Jenna figured the Charmander was still kicking. The fire that had been burning in his eyes when he first started the battle with the Poochyena was still there, even if his breathing was becoming a little heavier. He saw her looking at him and caught her gaze, and Jenna made up her mind.

“You’re taking too long,” the girl called to Steve, stepping toward his battle. “You said we’re supposed to tag team or something, right? Well, I’m tired of waiting, so let’s make this two against one.”

After receiving a nod from his trainer, Saitou leapt forward with all he still had in him, pulling both claws back. Again, his arms acquired a metallic glow just as he attempted to bring them down on the sleeping Burmy.


Which looks better? Yeah, the second one.

The next thing I would recommend is this:


2. Bolded dialogue.

This isn’t necessary at all, but I’ve found that it helps a lot. Why bold your dialogue? Well, because it’s probably the most important part of your reply, and we would like to be able to separate it easily from your thoughts and actions. Simple as that.

So, here’s your example:

This


QUOTE
Saitou crouched down in preparation to dodge as the Poochyena rushed toward him. However, he moved a fraction of a second too late, and the wolf ended up crashing into his side. The Charmander spun around in a full circle as momentum carried him about, stumbling back a few steps as he tried to maintain his balance.

“Are you alright, Sai?” Jenna demanded, following her Pokèmon backward in order to remain at his side. Saitou shook his head, frowning, and then nodded vigorously when a confused look washed over his trainer’s face. “Good, so here’s what you’re going to do next, okay? Rush the Poochyena and feint to the left with your tail, and then use your right arm to slash the side of his head with a metal claw. Got it?” She struggled to keep her voice low enough for only the Charmander to hear, as excitement was clouding her mind. This battling thing just felt so right! The girl knew that if she had been anything before she lost her memory, she had to have been a trainer. The strategizing came instantly to her, as if she had been doing it her entire life. Jenna was so psyched that she was starting to forget that she had a partner. Not that she had ever really acknowledged Steve’s existence in the first place.

Saitou did as he was told, covering the distance between him and his opponent quickly. As instructed, he first swung his tail at the Poochyena’s right as a distraction. He followed the feint a split second later by attempting to bring his right claw down on the Pokèmon’s head, his arm suddenly shining like some sort of metal as he did so.


Becomes this:

QUOTE
Saitou crouched down in preparation to dodge as the Poochyena rushed toward him. However, he moved a fraction of a second too late, and the wolf ended up crashing into his side. The Charmander spun around in a full circle as momentum carried him about, stumbling back a few steps as he tried to maintain his balance.

“Are you alright, Sai?” Jenna demanded, following her Pokèmon backward in order to remain at his side. Saitou shook his head, frowning, and then nodded vigorously when a confused look washed over his trainer’s face. “Good, so here’s what you’re going to do next, okay? Rush the Poochyena and feint to the left with your tail, and then use your right arm to slash the side of his head with a metal claw. Got it?” She struggled to keep her voice low enough for only the Charmander to hear, as excitement was clouding her mind. This battling thing just felt so right! The girl knew that if she had been anything before she lost her memory, she had to have been a trainer. The strategizing came instantly to her, as if she had been doing it her entire life. Jenna was so psyched that she was starting to forget that she had a partner. Not that she had ever really acknowledged Steve’s existence in the first place.

Saitou did as he was told, covering the distance between him and his opponent quickly. As instructed, he first swung his tail at the Poochyena’s right as a distraction. He followed the feint a split second later by attempting to bring his right claw down on the Pokèmon’s head, his arm suddenly shining like some sort of metal as he did so.


Since the above example contained one of those tricky kinds on paragraphs where the dialogue should remain in the centre of the paragraph, it might have been hard for the reader to spot the dialogue and could have easily looked over it if they weren’t careful. So, in the second example, I bolded the dialogue so it could be easily differentiated from the rest. I find the second one easier to read.

Next is the following.


3. Italicize your thoughts.

This is similar to the bold your dialogue thing. If you italicize your character’s specific thoughts- not their feelings, but the actual words of their actual trains of thought- it’s easier to tell it apart from the rest of the text and it keeps out the use of unprofessional-looking symbols like ~these~ fancy things.

Your Example:

This:


QUOTE
“I’m fine! I can-” Jenna began to protest, but Xera ran off before she could finish. Feeling weak and crippled (which, really, she was at the moment), the soldier frowned and leaned against the wall to wait for the kid to come back. Who was the jerk invented stairs anyway? she wondered somewhat moodily, unhappily crossing her arms over her chest.

What are you doing here anyway, Elk? Some child’s playhouse is no place for you. came a stray thought, probably that Voice’s. Its tone seemed to have changed to something much more frustrated than the nagging mom it usually sounded like. Shrugging, Jenna looked up the stairwell to watch for Xera’s return.


Becomes this:

QUOTE
“I’m fine! I can-” Jenna began to protest, but Xera ran off before she could finish. Feeling weak and crippled (which, really, she was at the moment), the soldier frowned and leaned against the wall to wait for the kid to come back. Who was the jerk invented stairs anyway? she wondered somewhat moodily, unhappily crossing her arms over her chest.

What are you doing here anyway, Elk? Some child’s playhouse is no place for you. came a stray thought, probably that Voice’s. Its tone seemed to have changed to something much more frustrated than the nagging mom it usually sounded like. Shrugging, Jenna looked up the stairwell to watch for Xera’s return.


Thoughts, unlike dialogue, can usually be placed anywhere within a paragraph to relate to what the character is observing, so they are more likely to get lost in the text. So to avoid losing your thoughts among your actions, put them in italics, as seen in example two. Easy, eh? And it looks nice.

And I have but one last thing to recommend:

4. USE SPELL CHECK!

My goodness. There is nothing more frustrating than trying to read a reply that is filled with spelling and grammatical errors. If possible, put your reply in word processor of some sort to check it for errors. I use Microsoft Word.

As much as it pains me to type such things, here is your example:

This:


QUOTE
Jenna laughed softly feeling glad that the kid had warmed up to her already. But then rather adruptly her awkwardness kicked in again and once more she found her unsure of what to say and do. Intraction with others wasnt something she did often, after all, especially sosialization with children… How on earth did she get put in this posision? ~Oh, get over it, you were enjoying it for a moment there,~ snapped a thought probably her annoying voice again. Ignoring it Jenna stood up and placed her hands on her hips looking around the room for something to distract the two of them. “So uh what do you like to do?”


Becomes the following, much less infuriating piece:

QUOTE
Jenna laughed softly, feeling glad that the kid had warmed up to her already. But then, rather abruptly, her awkwardness kicked in again and once more she found herself unsure of what to say or do. Interaction with others wasn’t something she did often, after all, especially socialization with children… How on earth did she get put in this position?

Oh, get over it, you were enjoying it for a moment there, snapped a thought, probably her annoying Voice again. Ignoring it, Jenna stood up and placed her hands on her hips, looking around the room for something to distract the two of them.

“So, uh, what do you like to do?”


Yay for proper spelling and grammar. :’D Commas are a beautiful thing, guys, never forget that.


So that’s all I’ve got for now. I hope this helped!



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

I've heard there was a secret chord
That David played,
and it pleased the Lord
But you don't really care for music,
do you?

It goes like this:
The fourth, the fifth
The minor fall, the major lift!
The baffled king composing Hallelujah!

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