How To Write An SCP

Throughout this page you'll find red links to other guides and essays on writing, in the form of "For more information, see here". If this is a topic you want to read more about, we recommend you take a look. Additionally, you can find more official guides on the Guide Hub, and other useful writing advice on the Essay Hub.

So, you want to write an SCP.

Writing an SCP is something that most new members of our site are eager to do. However, writing for the site can be challenging, and your first attempt may not be successful. Even authors with experience writing elsewhere can struggle, because an SCP requires you to tell a story in an unusual format.

The fact is, a lot of authors struggle with their first attempt. But don't think of this as a rule, a curse or an excuse not to try. Think of it as a challenge!

The difficulty doesn't come from bad luck or a lack of potential, but from a lack of experience, and the only way to learn is through practice and feedback! With help from more experienced members of our community, you will be able to write something successful. The best advice is to be patient. The writing process takes time, and it's unlikely you're going to write the next hit SCP overnight.

Before you start writing, take time to read recently published works to get an idea of what your article could look like. Read critically- think about why the works that are highly rated are so well received, and why works that aren't highly rated aren't. Additionally, don't spend all your time here! A big part of writing is thinking through what makes for a compelling story in a wide variety of genres and forms of media.

There is no need to rush to post right away - we'll be here regardless of whether it takes you a week, a month or even a year to complete your article. We'd rather have one good piece than several weak ones, and if you can learn what works by writing your first article well, you can follow it up with something even better. For this reason, critique is available for everything from your initial idea to your final draft, to spot things that could be improved on and to help you to refine your ideas. This is an essential part of the creative process, so if you want to succeed on the SCP Wiki, make sure to pay attention to the sections on getting feedback from others.

It should be noted that this guide is intended as basic advice for beginners - while there are successful articles that don't follow all of this advice, it's important to understand what the basic expectations are before you try subvert them.

It's also worth mentioning that you don't have to start by writing an SCP! We have several different types of article on the site, from tales written in prose to "Group of Interest" formats looking at the anomalous from a different perspective. If you come up with an idea you think could be better conveyed as a tale or GoI format, you may want to try that instead. While more general writing advice will still apply, including the importance of receiving critique, the lack of a defined format for these articles makes it hard to offer guidance in a guide like this, although the looser format does come with more freedom for you as the writer.

While we'd recommend reading the whole guide, you may find it more helpful to focus on the Generating an Idea tab first, get some feedback on your concept, then come back to this guide when you're ready to develop it further.

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