Why Can’t I Write It The Way I Want?
From our rules, under Story Posting, Content:
“Typos, general mistakes, and things of that nature are not an issue. We all make mistakes and, as said previously, this is a learning process for many. That said, however, stories that have no spacing, use 'script-speak' (Kagome: Let's go to the mall.), have Author's Notes littered throughout the story (rather than at the beginning or the end), or have the general, overall appearance of mud, are subject to warning from an Administrator. If not cleaned up after being contacted, such stories will be subject to deletion.
If you do not understand how to clean up your story, or fix the formatting on your own, post a message to the forum for help.
If you are contacted to clean up a story, you will have seven (7) days to do so. If not, the story will be deleted. If you continue to post stories with the same problems, you will be subject to profile deletion.”
We have covered the Author’s Notes, but haven’t said much about the lack of spacing, ‘script’ or ‘chat’ speak, or the “general, overall appearance of mud.” In this tutorial, we will discuss the rare occasions when we will actually tell you to clean up your story’s appearance.
What Do You Mean, Clean Up My Story?
As it states above, we all make mistakes sometimes with grammar, punctuation and spelling. SOMETIMES being the operative word in that sentence. We do expect, though, that people who know they have a problem with spelling will use some form of spell checking before submitting their story to our site.
Stories that are posted where every third or fourth word is misspelled are subject to a ‘clean up’ warning.
Please try to remember that, as a general rule, dialogue is written in a new paragraph when a different person starts speaking
This is not good
“How can InuYasha be so dense?” groaned Sango. “I know,” said Kagome sadly, “I keep hoping, though, that he’ll change.” “Oh, Kagome,” Sango sighed, “do you really believe that?”
This is much better
“How can InuYasha be so dense?” groaned Sango.
“I know,” said Kagome sadly, “I keep hoping, though, that he’ll change.”
“Oh, Kagome,” Sango sighed, “do you really believe that?”
The following is our authority for the requirements on this site regarding dialogue:
"Write each person's spoken words, however brief, as a separate paragraph. Use commas to set off dialogue tags such as "she said" or "he explained." If one person's speech goes on for more than one paragraph, use quotation marks to open the dialogue at the beginning of each paragraph. However, do not use closing quotation marks until the end of the final paragraph where that character is speaking."
This is taken directly from the Purdue Online Writing Lab, here:
We’ve all seen examples of the infamous “Wall O’Text,” I think. You must make an attempt to break different ideas into different paragraphs. Not only does that make it easier for the reader to follow the action, but it makes the overall story much more pleasing to the eye. The “Wall O’Text” is subject to a warning and possible deletion.
Script or Chat Speak
This is an example of script-speak:
Sango: “How can InuYasha be so dense?”
Kagome: “I know. I keep hoping, though, that he’ll change.”
Sango: “Oh, Kagome, do you really believe that?”
Dialogue must be written in the commonly accepted form, describing the character speaking, and using a new paragraph when a new character starts speaking.
Chat or IM speech is similar, and equally unwanted, unless you are writing a scene where the characters are supposed to be IMing each other. You cannot make an entire story out of IM conversations, though. There must be some ‘story’ to go with it.
This might be considered a no-brainer by some people, but it has become increasingly apparent that we need to address this as well.
- Sentences end with periods. Run-on sentences will net you a warning - and by "run-on," we mean sentences that are in the realm of paragraphs all by themselves... like, 30 to 40 words, containing multiple ideas.
- The comma is your friend when used properly. A comma is ALWAYS followed by a space. Commas should be used to separate parts of a sentence - a general rule of thumb is to use a comma in places where you might pause to take a breath or to emphasize something.
- Quotes are used to denote speech, or to indicate that a speaker is quoting another.
If you are found consistently misplacing or disregarding common punctuation, you will be contacted to edit your story
This might seem unnecessary but, again, it is becoming a problem.
Capital letters are used in proper names, like Koga, Sesshoumaru, or Kagome.
Capital letters are also used in place names, like Tokyo, Edo, Kyoto, and so forth.
Capital letters are ALWAYS used at the beginning of every sentence.
If you don't use common capitalization to a large degree, you will be contacted to edit your story.
What To Do If You’re Contacted To Clean Up Your Story
The best advice I can give any budding author is to find a beta. For the uninitiated, betas are people who will help you with problems like spelling, grammar, punctuation, dialogue and paragraph breaks. You can post the need for a beta on this thread in the forum:
You can also find answers to all sorts of writing questions at the Purdue Online Writing Lab, located here:
This site is the most comprehensive resource for all types of writing questions, from writing dialogue, to paragraph breaks, to simple grammar and punctuation issues.
So, in short, please do not be overly offended if you’re contacted to clean up your story. In the end, we are trying to help you improve your writing while we are enforcing the rules that help Dokuga stay the most-visited single pairing site in the InuYasha fandom. Help us keep the site looking its very best!
PS - If you think that, perhaps, your story might fall into this category, please don’t wait for a warning notice to try cleaning things up. Your assistance will be TRULY appreciated!!
**EDITED BY WICCAN 10/1/15 to include OWL specifics on writing dialogue