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So you want to write a guide? [Preliminary Release]
Your votes and comments encourage our guide authors to continue
creating helpful guides for the League of Legends community.
If you have a different view than me, or you if you disagree at some points, that's totally okay. Please share your view & reasoning in the comments. I'm curious to hear others' thoughts!
This is a Preliminary Release, in other words: my guide isn't done yet. However, I'm unsure what exactly I'm missing... Since that all depends on me getting an idea who knows how long that'll take, so I decided to release the guide!
Feedback is appreciated a lot. Whether you are new writer, or seasoned author, all opinions are welcome!
Do not write a guide if there are (multiple) guides that already say the exact same thing as you would say!
If there is something different, you'll still have to be careful. If the only difference is that you take a different secondary tree you could comment on the already existing guide & ask the author what they think of that. Perhaps the author does not agree with you, then you can go decide to go ahead and tell the world that your secondary tree is the superior one. But do so in a respectful way...
Perhaps you are still not buying it, you are truly passionate about your champion and really want to create a guide. Then you can create it, even though many others exist. The key to getting on top of the rest: constant improvement and longevity. The longer your guide exist, the more likely it is the rack up votes & views and get on the top! If it's good.
Although there are editor tutorials flying around I cannot find an updated one :(
So here is my attempt at explaining the bits and pieces of the editor. If you're not interested I suggest you use the sidebar TOC to skip to the next section.
Once you click "create a guide" at the top of the page, you'll end up on the basic setup interface. On the right is perhaps the most important part of the guide editor.
1. Basic Setup Interface where you can edit the title, guide type, champion as well as C2V and prime settings.
2. Build Options Here you make the cheatsheet.
3. Guide Chapters All the content in the guide body goes in here.
4. Help Some BBCode help as well as some ideas on what topics you can put in your guide and generic tips & do's and don't for guide.
5. General Rules & Guidelines Exactly as the name says. Make sure to check it out as there are rules concerning guides as well!
You can only access the 2nd and 3rd tabs after filling out the Basic Setup.
There are also a couple of other buttons, these all have to do with saving / proofreading and publishing your work.
1. Save saves your guide, make sure to use it regularly so that you do not lose your work.|
2. Preview opens your guide using all the saved content, only you can see this. Make sure to use this regularly to check what your writing & code looks like.
3. Preview Mobile does the same, except it shows how mobile users will see your guide.
4. Publish will publish the previewed version to the public. Don't publish WIP guides. This is just tilting and can damage your rating.
5. Next lets you go to the next part of the interface. However you can also click on the individual tabs, so you can pretty much ignore this button.
This interface is quite straightforward to use.
- Put anything in the title bar you can edit later.
- Select the category (if you're making a champion guide, make sure you do not select General)
- Select the champion
- Select the guide skin (This displays on the chapter header & in the search results)
This works quite intuitive as well. I recommend just clicking on everything & trying out what it does. You can easily check how it looks by Saving & clicking Preview. Only Build Title right below the character counter will not have a visible result. You can actually select your champion multiple times in the Basic Setup, if you do so you'll see two icons in Build Options:
You can edit either of these builds by clicking the respective icon. If you enter a build title (or no build title) it'll look like this in the guide:
This can be super helpful if you got item builds that go with specific rune pages or something of that sort.
This is actually not so straightforward as the rest. Let's start with the bar at the top:
Then there is the Chapters Header. If you select Show, you'll see this kind of banner (at the top of the guide):
Last, but not least, there is this box:
At Title you can select Show you want to show the Chapter Title in the guide body (or on the Header Image).
Then there is the Header Image URL. If you have banners, it is often convenient to put the URLs here. However, if your banners are not the right size, or you don't want the "TOP" marks on your banner (like in this guide) you can just put them in the text as well!
Coming back to the Fade Chapters Header, it fades the bottom of all the Header Images. I enabled the option in this guide. I actually think it looks awful so I recommend disabling it.
Returning to your Draft
- Making it longer that 60 characters - it cuts off once you hit publish
- Adding tags such as patch or in-depth - they show beneath the title anyway, it's pointless
- Adding your name - your name shows below the title too
- ALL CAPS - LET ME SHOUT THIS CLICKBAIT GUIDE TITLE YES YOU WANT IT
- Will entice your readers and catch their interest.
- Quickly shows what to build.
- Functions without the rest of the guide.
- Is concise.
The Runes and Items are trickier. I'll explain those in a bit!
|Notes, notes, notes! A cheat sheet with no notes cannot exist. When there are multiple options you should explain when to choose what in the notes. Do NOT add WHY xxx is good (this should be explained in the main body!). Explaining "why" makes notes unnecessarily long and a tragedy to read wall of text D:, remember the purpose of a cheat sheet: quickly show what to build!|
|You can utilize the titles of rune pages, summoner spells & item blocks to explain your choices. For example if you take Exhaust vs assassins. Instead of calling the page "Exhaust" and putting "vs assassins" in the notes, you should call the page "vs assassins" and leave the notes altogether. You can explain a surprising amount of stuff this way.|
Do not make new pages where you swap this or that minor rune. Just put that in the notes! This often results in wayy too many rune pages.
It is optional to create pages where you swap secondary trees, but you sometimes you can mention these secondary trees in the notes as well.
And then it's time forrr some examples! I'll include some images but make sure to check the guides out as well for the notes!|
Tauricus' MF Guide
Spoiler: Click to view
My Lissandra Guide
Spoiler: Click to view
Looking for more...
|Then there are also two pitfalls regarding the build itself. The first one is build variety. A build without situational choices does not exist. If it doesn't have these it's probably just bad. Then there is not explaining in legible ways. For example if you list a build with 5 items + boots & a loose block with a bunch of situational items, but do not explain which items you can swap for situational items.|
There are some basic topics, which every guide should have:
Then there are also some topics to avoid:
If you've covered all the necessary chapters, you can get creative and add chapters such as:|
|Your guide should always start with some kind of introduction. Introduce yourself, show your credibility and enthusiasm. It's just like presenting, you don't hop into your story & end it with(out) telling who you are.|
|Next up are the pros/cons. This is basically an introduction to your champion. Here your readers can figure out whether this is the champ for them and/or what to expect.|
|Then we enter a grey area... These four chapters can be put in a lot of different orders. For example, I prefer to group the chapters about the kit and the setup chapters (which includes items), so I put it in the order listed above.|
|The items come very close to gameplay, you basically purchase them in-game. Therefore they should be close to the actual gameplay chapter.|
|Once the setup and kit explanation is done, it is time for the gameplay. Once you start expanding your guide you should be careful of the order of topics in this chapter. Try to keep it chronological.|
|The placement of additional sections that are not pure gameplay such as combo's & advanced champion mechanics is up to you. Make sure to keep it logical though, don't talk about combo's before talking about abilities.|
|Finally, the guide should end with a conclusion. Thank your readers, give credit to people/guides that help you out and wave goodbye.|
In some guides you'll also see a changelog, this always comes last, usually in a spoiler. Readers rarely want to see this and it's mostly for the author to keep track of changes.
Abilities & Skill Sequence
Abilities are a little harder. Copying their descriptions is optional. Anyone can go over to lolwiki and read what they do. If you do put them in your guide, be careful as it is extremely easy to forget to update numbers.
What this section should actually entail is a breakdown of how abilities are used, how they synergize with other abilities and other neat tips and tricks. This is what people are looking for!
Summoners, Runes and Items
|1.||What are the options|
|2.||When do you choose them|
|3.*||Why do you choose them|
|1. & 2. are the most important. "Why" some choices are good usually speaks for itself, but "when" you actually take them can be difficult to guess.|
Then there are also the niche options. You have to make sure you tested all the content you put in your guide. This is not the place to theorycraft. If you come up with niche options, but you never ever build them do not include them
Last but not least, the content of your cheatsheet should match the content in your guide and vice versa. You cannot leave cheatsheet content unexplained in any scenario.
- What is your goal in the laning phase / mid game / late game?
- What do you do to accomplish this goal?
- What do you have to watch out for?
- How do you want to fight?
As a rule of thumb you should make your sentences no longer than 25 words. If they get longer you're probably trying to talk about too many subjects at once!
Paragraphs are a little harder than sentences. Usually they encompass a single subject (or single bits of a subject) and they help cutting up the text. It's beyond the scope of the guide to talk about this, so here are a few helpful links: 1. 2. And well, Google exists...
This is essentially all about formatting, you want to avoid big walls of text. However, be careful. Sometimes authors leave important pieces of information out because they want to avoid these walls since they look bad. To quote a friend of mine:
|It's not the fault of the wall of text, it's the fault of lack of aesthetics|
Other Text Effect Codes
Images & Icons
Icons are added using [icon=salvation size=20]:
Let's say you wanted Soraka's ability instead, you can easily achieve that by doing [icon=salvation ability size=20]:
You can also add borders to these icons [icon=salvation size=20 border="2px solid blue"]: . 2px defines the thickness of the border change it to 20 hehe and blue is obviously the color. Hexcodes work too!
Images basically work the same way. You obtain a direct image link and add it between [img][/img brackets. Then you (again) can add some things to the brackets, check the spoiler!
Gifs & Vids
Like images, these can really spice up your guide. Adding them can be easy or difficult, depending how you look at it. There are two 'methods':
You can again add tags to this code. Changing size is done (again) with width= and/or height=. If you utilize the webm method you can also make the clips autoplay or loop by adding the words to the code:
[webm url=https://thumbs.gfycat.com/KindheartedWhimsicalArgali-mobile.mp4 autoplay loop]
These two are basically necessary if you wish to format your guide well. Since their function is a tad to complicated to explain here, there are a few guides that can help you out if you want to know how these work:
There are also some common pitfalls regarding BBCoding and how it is utilized. Most of these by solved by viewing your guide through the eyes of a reader.
1. Clean > Fancy
Do not aim for the fanciest guide right at the start of your journey. These are often guides that overuse text effects, have extraordinarily large images . They totally forget that although these things look sparkly and fluffy, it doesn't really make your readers happy.
It often takes a lot of time and effort to reach great results.
2. Lack Of A Theme
All the very good looking guides have one thing in common: they all have a particular color scheme/coding style they adhere to, which remains the same throughout the guide. This again is a pitfall of many authors who try to make their guide look fancy: they slap many colors/coding styles together, but it just doesn't fit together. Make sure you adjust the colors of any templates you use and also make sure you have a cohesive color scheme.
Quoting an Jovy, an artist & creator of clean & neat guides: artist:
|Choose a color scheme before you start anything and stick to it|
3. Lack of Structure
This is more or less tied to the content of your guide. In some cases people tend to list their chapters in very strange orders. It's kind of a no-brainer, but it still happens a lot (pros & cons at the bottom of the guide, anyone?...). Although this doesn't affect the content of the guide itself. Weird chapter orders WILL confuse your readers.
This also goes beyond the chapter order. Once your guide gets larger and larger, you should start thinking about subchapters. And you give these subchapters headers. Imagine you expand your village to a major sized town. You'll need more signs to explain where you are right? The same is true for guides, having headers that indicate what you're talking about will make life so, so much easier for your readers.
Custom Images & Banners
One thing you'll see in many guide is banners. These just help so much breaking up text in the guide and don't look as boring as the usual chapter header. Most of the time people make these themselves using programs such as Photoscape, Photoshop or Krita. When you do end up making these yourself, be careful with the font you choose. Make sure it fits with the theme of your guide and that it supports all the characters you plan to use.
You can also spice up other things like item images, rune images, whatever your imagination leads you to! If you have the ability to do this, it can yield great results. If you do not have that ability like me, there are still other ways to achieve good results!
What do you know about your champion that others don't, but should know?
Perhaps you wondered why all those things I listed in the Guide Content were supposed to be in the guide: it's because they are needed for the question up here. This can be exploited on many different levels:
- For people who never played the champion
- For people who casually play the champion
- For people that main the champion
And that's also how you can take your guide to the next level guide contest level. Once all the necessary subjects are covered, authors often expand into gameplay knowledge. Champion specific gameplay knowledge > generic gameplay knowledge. Take for example roaming, there are a lot of generic conditions attached to this. However it makes a significant difference whether you are playing Lux or Talon... There are lots and lots of video's and guides to be found on these general subjects, but few on how to utilize them on specific champions!
Then there are specific ability caveats. Take Lissandra's Frozen Tomb, how many of you think it's "just pressing R"? Let me tell you, it is not. And I actively try to show that in my guide. These are bits of information are worth a lot. Do not fall into the trap of immediately thinking "But this is something you'll learn once you start playing games with the champion". Guides are a way to transfer your knowledge to others, this is part of that knowledge!
If you genuinely don't know what to add anymore: There is a Guide Review Application Thread and there are also some other review shops, where you can ask for feedback. You can also look at other guides contest winning ones are usually a good bet. Or you can just play the game and pay attention to what you're actually doing, perhaps you'll get an idea ;)
Keep in mind what it is all about though: What do you know about your champion that others don't, but should know?
When going beyond, it is important to keep relevancy in mind. Any advanced topics might no longer be relevant due to League of Legends being a non-static game. After you create your guide, you need to maintain it. If you do not it'll just become outdated after a while or some topics won't make sense anymore. A few things you will have to keep track of:
- Champion buffs/nerfs (Ability numbers, playstyle changes)
- Item & Rune changes (buffs, nerfs, removals)following the meta
- Other changes (New champions & mechanics)
As is custom, a special thanks to a few peeps:
Thanks to Silverman43 for explaining how to make gradients art isn't my thing I rather stick to tables.
Thanks to Maintained for pointing out some common mistakes.
Thanks to TheBlueImperial for
Besides that, if you wonder about another topic that isn't covered here or anywhere else, let me know! If you think anything is lacking, just comment or something, I cannot add things if I don't know they're missing!