Introduction to Item Creation
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Introduction to Item Creation
Meta Wonderrat

Hello and welcome to the Introduction to Item Creation. If you found your way here I will assume that you wish to write more than a tabview and a copy of our item format. While both are important pieces of syntax, in my experience, only the tabview is necessary to get started.

Usually when people wish to write something they start by pressing there finely crafted idea into the format, destroying it in the process. This method is sub-optimal, but has lead to a number of fascinating creations, non of which have stood the test of time.

Some item creations end with a copy of the format, a filled out top-box and nothing more. The idea the author wished to form into an item is lost do to its early contact with the provided standard format.

I would therefore advice a different approach.

If you have an idea, have an in-universe person tell the audience about it. The audience in this case takes the roll of an interested listener across to the talking in-universe person. An example: A containment specialist tells a new recruit the story of how they caught the monster and what troubles they had getting around its abilities.

All the details and ideas you wish to use in your item report can already be included in this short tale. You don't need everything figured out in this story, perhaps the in-universe storyteller does not even know all the details.

You don't have to put great emphasis on spellchecking in this stage. When you are in the flow of writing, going back over and over can pull you right out of your creative thoughts. If the mistakes bother you, you can always fix them later, or even in the moment you notice them.

Write this story as if it were a normal conversation. Conversations usually don't have 5 minute breaks between sentences and every human does have a sens for the flow of information. Your story can not be just a list of names, dates and descriptions (well, I mean it can, but would you patiently listen to a storyteller whose story sounds like his laundry list?). This does not have to be a full tale. It does not need characters and a dramatic structure. If you find that your item preparation becomes more and more a fully formed tale, than congratulations on writing a tale. You can still proceed from here as normal or focus on making the item preparation into a full tale.

Once the story is on the paper you have what I will from here on out revere to as a Mini-Tale. You now have two options to continue:

  1. You proceed with item creation
  2. You deviate and write another Mini-Tale (this is the part where the tabview becomes necessary)

You don't immediately have to choose. After finishing a mini-tale is a great time to take a break. The good thing about this method is that you always have a re-entry point, should you not wish to pursue the idea further now. If the idea is written down it is not lost after a week or even months of absence. You can always pick back up where you leaved off.

Should you wish to continue with item creation, read your mini-tale and write a "Report" section for your item and fill out the table atop of the item format (top-box). You should not copy the information from the mini-tale into the report, as words used in a story and words used in a formal report should have very little overlap. It is advised to write the "Usage" and "Report" section by crossing off the example questions that come with the default format. You do not have to keep to the order in which these questions are asked and you do not need to answer all of them, but being aware of them can help you find parts of your item that might need to be explained further. If you do not know the answer to a question, think back to your mini-tale and view your item from an in-universe perspective. An example: What could the containment guy see after they had captured the entity and pointed a huge spotlight into its face? Who figured out the age of its rock teeth and how?

Before you continue with the "Usage" section of your item, read your report over. Usually usages emerge from the report once you read it over under the aspects of an "accountant" (keep it cheep, make (loads of) money), an "engineer" (how can this make the life of people (me) easier) and a "scientist" (what does it mean and what can we deduce from this). Each one of these will produce different uses. I will discourage the viewpoint of the "Soldier/Terrorist" here. Utilized right almost any anomaly can kill someone, but the question should always be "Could a 5 person team equipped with guns do the job?" and "Would the Foundation be on our roof the moment we try to deploy it?" (vast effects with a traceable point of origin).

When thinking about storage and handling, it is best keep the three perspectives mentioned above in mind. Example: Accountant:"Does this thing really need a pool installed in its cell? If not, than a bathtub or barrel will do just fine."

Once "Report" and "Usage" are filled out you can start to think about an addendum. Addenda can be classified into "Nice to know, but not necessary" and "seemingly insignificant, but quiet significant". An example for type 1: The thing has a close resemblance to mythological creature A, but could not be linked to it. An example for type 2: It wrote us a letter with content X, despite seeming unintelligent.

If you opt for a type 2 Addendum, be sure to mention the exception to the rule (here the addendum) in the portion of your article which describes the rule. If you have not done so, readers will most likely point to it as a logical contradiction.

You can now add "Interviews" as further supplements. "Interviews" should be used to characterize the anomaly and/or its surroundings and not to recap information. If the information gained from the interview is important, it should be mentioned in the report and if it is appropriate the interview can than be omitted.

Once your item has reached this form, you should do one major round of spellchecking. This includes spelling and grammar as well as proper units (meter, KM/h and Kilogram). During this phase you should also weed-out logical inconsistencies. Example: "How can a 3 meter high object fit into a 2 meter high room?" and "If we can not see it how do we know it is smooth and white?".

Once this is done, present your ideas for a final checkup on our "Help" forum. As every item is different, how to further improve your item will depend on your article itself. Once feedback form the help forum suggests that the item is ready or no further help is provided, release your item to the main site and add an entry for your item to the "Item Arsenal". Should your item stick, you should also tag your item with appropriate tags as a finishing touch.

Congratulations, you just created an item and now, with your tabview, have all that is needed to repeat the process.

One more note on downvoted items. These items are not to be considered worthless or unfixable. Put them back in your Sandbox and start from there. Perhaps it needed a bit more, perhaps it needed a bit less, but what ever lead to its fall, as long as the author wishes to work on it, it will improve.

This concludes my Introduction to Item creation. If you have another method that works for you, feel free to use your method instead of this one. This guide does not wish to claim to be the "be-all-and-end-all" of writing methods. Should questions remain I will probably be around to answer them.

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