The writers of this guide are myself and manchesterblue97. This is not because we believe ourselves to be better writers but because we are the staff and we want to write a guide to help those who need it and those who are looking for new ideas. It is not necessarily the perfect guide or the best guide, for that matter, but it is what we believe to be the best guide we could come up with for you. So, here it is:
There are a number of different styles you can use to write a story. You do not have to use these styles, these are just the most commonly used styles:
Diary Entries: This is where you re-cap over events that have occured over a period of time. A diary entry may include your team's results, reactions to these matches, your feelings on how things are like in your manager's world, what your hopes and fears are for the future of your manager and the future of your team. There is quite a lot of freedom with this style of writing as you can use a lot of detail in one part or yet another. For those who like to talk about their life, this is for you.
Narrator/1st Person Style: This is a style of writing where you write the story, being the manager. For example: "I walked in to chariman's office not knowing what to expect. There he was, sitting behind the desk, a cup of coffee in one hand a mobile phone held to his ear. He looked at me signaled me to sit down as he talked." It is used more for novel-like stories which includes drama and cliff-hangers. Again there is a good bit of freedom but if you do not like using in-depth descriptions, this is not for you.
Newspaper Articles: This is a 3rd-person style of story where you report what has happened from the eyes (and writing) of a journalist. He discusses the team's results, the team's performances and the actions of a manager. This style very much hypes up any rumours of a player's unhappiness or of a manager under-performing. There is a lot of freedom with this style. For those who like to criticise a person's performances, this is for you.
General Monthly Reports: This is simply a monthly report of fixtures, league standings, cup draws, awards, board pressures, injuries, suspensions and general on-goings involving your club are the footballing world. This is the most basic style of posting and is sometimes the nicest to read, if it is presented well. This style allows some freedom and if you are very organised, this style is for you.
Once again, you do not have to use any of these styles. These are just the most commonly used styles. You should try to find your own style.
Finding your own style is probably the most important part of writing your story. If you don't know how you want to write, you're going to struggle to even write it, let alone make it one of the greats. You shouldn't write in a way other people tell you to either. Pick the style that's best for you. Even if it doesn't seem like a very good style, it can be done well. It all depends on how you write. Remember, this is your story. Novelists write how they want. Just because you aren't writing a novel, doesn't mean you shouldn't write how you want to either.
Beyond that, if its well written, it'll find an audience, and don't worry so much if the audience is different from another writer's; people enjoy reading different styles as long as the story is well written.
One of the best pieces of advice anyone can give, particularly to a newer writer is, do not be afraid to fail. So you start your story, write it a couple of days and then think oh crap, this is not working as I expected. Don't worry, but also if you are battering along with a story and you feel it's really getting tedious to write, don't force it. No-one will think any less of you for walking away from something that isn't working out.
What some people do is write in Word, Wordpad, or Notebook, not in the little pop-up "post" window on the website. Then cut-and-paste in when you're ready to post. (That lets you spellcheck, edit, save, etc, and prevents accidental "oops posted before I was ready" mistakes).
Don't "postflood" - if you drop 20 pages worth of posts one after the other, its going to be intimidating and offputting to new readers. Post a bit, leave a cliffhanger or two, and engage your readers that way.
Get ahead - goes hand in hand with that. If you play-and-write a bit ahead of your posting, it gives you a couple advantages. One, you'll have days where you don't feel like writing or playing, and you'll have some material saved to post then. Two, you can "foreshadow" events yet to come. Three, you may observe that something which happened a week or two earlier was more important than you thought it would be at the time.
Punctuation and grammar IS important.
Many people have come on here and posted something totally unintelligible, for example "i woz maniging arsenil wot, we wun 2-0 + we wus gud 2".
Whilst that may be accepted in other forums these days, it is not accepted in here. For a start, no-one is going to take the time to read such bull crap anyway.
Always remember to capitalize 'I' this is one of the most annoying thing some lazy writers do, and there is not excuse for it.
Remember paragraphs... and the spacebar. So many new writers come along in their enthusiasm and post a huge long post which could be the greatest piece of writing ever, but it's all just one huge chunk of text and is very painful to read.
Try to make sure your posts do not cover too much, such as an entire season's results in one post. Try to stick to keeping just one month's material in the one post. This makes it easier for readers to digest and like we said above, a huge amount of text can be quite intimidating. When people read posts, they would like to see just a month or two's results and how that affects the league, etc. It is harder to enjoy a story if it is constantly one season review after another.
BBCodes, these are codes for little icons aswell as banners , text effects an text colours. which you can use in your posts. These icons include "goal scored", "yellow-card", "players in", etc. The text effects include underlinging, bold, strike-through and italics. There are also codes for banners you can use to enhance your posts' appearance. here is the link: bbcode tags and re-usable icons
Pictures, these are vital to improve the appearance of your story aswell as giving important details and emotions which writing cannot provide. To apply pictures to your story, you must first get a screenshot of your game. To do this, press "Alt+F9". This saves the screenshot to your documents. You must upload your the screenshot to a media-sharing site such as Imageshack or Imgur. From there, take the "direct link" and place it here: [IMG]"here"[/IMG]. These bbcodes presents the picture, not the link. Here is the link to our guide for posting pictures on a forum: How to post pictures on the forum.
Permalinks, these are the post links which can be found at the bottom of each post. You can copy and paste these to link your latest chapter, your next chapter and even to make an index. This makes it easier for readers who missed a section that he cannot find if there are a lot of comments.
Receiving and Giving Comments
Reader comments are a huge part of stories. They help motivate the writer and lets them know that there are people reading his story.
It is important to listen to people who offer advice and not to become angered. The reason why readers offer advice is because they want to see you improve as a writer, not because they do not like your story. Even if you do not agree with their advice, accept it gratefully.
Writing is primarily for your own enjoyment, but we also write for others to read. If no-one else reads what you write, it is a bit depressing. So if people offer advice, it is because they are trying to help and listening to that advice will go a long way to ensuring that people DO read what you write and post nice comments like, wow this is really good mate, welcome back mate (for the millionth bloody time), we love you mate! Aswell, hitting the "thank you" button does no harm!
Thats another thing. Take time to actually read other people's stories and take time to offer them praise, and advice, where appropriate. However, do not just post "keep up the good work" in random stories in the hope that people will read your's. Reading other people's stories is a good way to learn about the different styles of writing a story, and can sometimes inspire you to write your own story, if you don't have one.
Word From The Staff
We are very happy to be a part of this mighty community and we are trying our best to make sure this site is a friendly, enjoyable site for everybody to use. If you ever need help with anything, we are at your service. We do have one request though. We would like it if you guys would abide by the rules and do not criticise a story without giving helpful advice, in a NICE way. It is very easy to offend a person without realising it so please take great care when commenting.
The FM Rookie + manchesterblue97.