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I've read a **** ton of guides on pretty much every hero in the game. I came across a guide to writing guides and felt the community of guide writers could really benefit from it. I feel more confident writing a guide myself and feel that it will help others as well.
(It’s more like ‘guidance,’ since we have no strict rules to follow.)
Spirit Gamers’ Guides Aim Higher
And they’re different. They’re handled differently, and written creatively. The number one thing is that they are inspired and written by a passionate person (or people) and it shows. Period.
Whenever you create anything, it is highly recommended to start with a general purpose, and jot down some power words to focus on. What purpose will your guide serve? Do you intend it to be just another guide to explain a champion? Do you intend it to be a comprehensive wikipedia compendium of knowledge about a single champion that blows people minds? Do you intend it to be a unique, creative, refreshing guide that people can test out easily on their own? One that does all that and more?
So if I were to write a Tryndamere guide, I might start with some general purpose thoughts like:
Fun, creative look at old champion.
Dispel Myths about Trynd’s viability
Demonstrate/display Trynd’s viability
Clarity, focus, and understanding
Easy, Light-hearted Humorous Tone, but Still 0wnz.
Following your Guide Power Thoughts, you may want to brainstorm a structure/layout and what sections and features you’ll include. Old style basic guides you can find all over the forums generally contain stuff like Skills, Items, Early Game, Late Game, etc. SpiritGamer’s guides aim to go more in-depth and offer more clarity and ease. So, following our Tryndamere Guide Example I might brainstorm some sections like this:
Overview/History – A brief look at Trynd’s current role, and where he’s come from. (May even include references to other team games like Dota or Team Fortress as comparisons)
Basics – Standard Abilities, Summoner Spells
Specialized Masteries + Runes – Will explain some very interesting things here.
Quotes – I’ll weave quotes about the champion from high ELO players into the guide. Sexy!
Item Builds – Obligatory, powerful, but also very situational and offers variations and flexibility.
MathCraft – Criticals? Damage? Attack Speed? Oh my.
Pros/Cons – Take an honest look at my Tryndamere.
Special Circumstances – What to do when Trynd is stun-locked. What to do when Trynd is zoned and can’t farm. What to do when Trynd is bursted down. Etc.
Summary, Replays, and Video – Yeah that’s right, we offer it all.
So maybe you don’t include every section in your final guide, that’s okay. This is all part of the brainstorming phase, and your guide will evolve and inspire and expand more as you write it.
Other ways that may help you brainstorm is read as many other guides as you can, and see if they use any ideas or sections that inspire you, or to post for help, feedback, input on the League Of Legends forums, or LeagueCraft, etc.
Getting More Specific
Okay, so you have some sections down, and a basic structure for your guide. From here you start to involve more of your creative style. Work on the parts you like, when you like, how you like. Prefer images + screenshots first? Include some of those. Wanna record video? Do it. Whatever the case, start getting some content in those sections.
In The Middle Of Things
So you’re moving along, writing your guide, it’s feeling good.
Well, if it feels good, keep doing what you’re doing, and pretty soon, your beautiful creation will be nearly finished. Then just put on the finishing touches.
Finishing touches can be anything really: proof-reading, spell-checking, bolding, italics, headings. Basically making it pretty. Aim to have everything looking nice and consistent. Pop in those extra images, or get your friend to add that extra replay. Link to other guides and sites, whatever you like and think elevates your guide above the rest.
Attracting And Incorporating Feedback
It’s nice to have feedback from a few people before you publish your guide. It’s great to show off. It’s understandable if you’re excited, and there’s no reason you can’t submit it as is, and at the same time, you may prefer to make a more powerful impression by having fresh eyes look at it and provide some feedback. Be sensitive and aware about this though, because there may be feedback from people who don’t get your vision, and want you to change your creative build or ideas. Focus on attracting people who will feed you true, honest, constructive feedback.
Basically avoid stuff like:
"Yo man, no one would ever build that on Corki. Your guide really needs some work. Maybe I should write it for you."
And replace it with stuff like:
"Well, it’s definitely unique, and I think it might be good to add a disclaimer or some alternative builds for others."
That’s the kind of helpful feedback to aim for and attract.