The Guide To Essays (Archived)


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It is preserved for historical purposes.

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A Guide to the Unofficial Essays about SCP Writing

First, a few questions and answers:

Q: What is an Essay, as opposed to a Guide?
A: Both Essays and Guides are documents written by site users to help others with SCP writing and use of the site in general. Guides have been chosen by the Staff as either required reading for applicants, or useful enough to be on a short list of recommended reading. Essays are all of the documents of this type that have not been chosen as Guides.

Q: Does that mean Essays are not as good or useful as Guides?
A: Not necessarily. The list of required/recommended reading is intentionally kept manageably short, so there is lots of good information here that is not "official."

Q: Can anyone write an Essay?
A: Sure, but it will have a Rating Module on it, and is subject to the same voting rules as other pages. If the membership doesn't like it, it will be deleted.

Q: What do I do if I think my Essay should really be a Guide?
A: Ask a member of the Senior Staff/Mods/Admins. They will raise it for Staff discussion.

Q: So if these are the Essays, where are the Guides?
A: Here: There are also some on the drop-down menu and the sidebar on all the site pages.

Unofficial Tips for Writing SCPs

Some of these are general advice, while others are intended to help you write a specific kind of SCP.

Rules of Thumb – Various tips that experienced SCP writers have found usually work out well.

Random But Useful – Miscellaneous tips on SCP writing from Quikngruvn.

Dr. Mackenzie's Documentation Tips – Tips on SCP writing from Raven MacKenzie a.k.a. Aelanna (who has written more than 50 SCPs).

Dr. Mackenzie's Common SCP Pitfalls – Aelanna reviews many of the common idea and writing mistakes made by inexperienced SCP writers.

Dr. Mackenzie's Glossary of Terms – Terminology specific to the Foundation website.

Cliches and You: An Educational Film - Commentary on "The Big List of Overdone SCP Cliches"

Let's Talk About Character for a Minute - A discussion of characters, characterization, and their relation to the Foundation universe, by HammerMaiden

Conservation Of WTF – Dr. Everett Mann discusses getting the right amount of weirdness into your SCP idea.

Writing a Humanoid SCP Object – Human SCPs are harder to write than most types. Read this and avoid some of the pitfalls.

Classified And You – If you’re going to mention Security Clearances or classified data, read this first.

Col. Hornby's Audio Guide – How to make an audio SCP.

Writing Joke (-J) SCPs – A brief guide to writing a Joke SCP.

Understanding Memetics – Writing SCPs where just knowing about them is dangerous.

The Foundation And Evil – A discussion on the moral implications of the Foundation. It might help you decide how you picture the Foundation in your own writing.

Internal Departments — One member's vision of the administrative structure of the Foundation. Non-canon, but you may find it interesting/useful.

Foundation History

Foundation Humor

Some funny articles folks have written about SCPs, site users, and applications.

Dr. Mackenzie's Guide to Author Stereotypes - Some bad author stereotypes. Hopefully, you will not recognize yourself here.

Standard Form For Downvotes - A satirically-written list of the top 50 (or so) reasons SCPs get downvoted.

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