These are the quality standards of the wiki. Following these rules is essential to writing a good creepypasta or a good story in general.
Please note that these guidelines are mandatory to every user posting stories on this site. Any story that fails these standards will be, without prejudice to the author or any other factors, deleted. If you are looking for a more in-depth as to why your story was deleted, you can ask an admin, post it to the Writer’s Workshop, or read this guide: So We Deleted Your Story: An Overview.
- Before you post your article to this site you MUST have proofread and spell-checked the document. This includes, but is not limited to, the proper use of capitalization, spelling, punctuation, spacing, and paragraphs. Most document editors, like Microsoft Word, have a spelling and a grammar check feature built in. We suggest using that, then copying and pasting into source mode on the site to eliminate any possibility of formatting conflicts. Failing that, there's always SpellCheck.net. You may also use source mode in the wiki editor to spell check. As a sidenote, ALWAYS store a copy of your work locally on your PC or tablet, or on the cloud. This will save you a lot of trouble later if the story is found to not be up to quality standards.
- If you upload a pasta that has the issues outlined above, you acknowledge that it can and in most cases will be deleted as soon as it is uploaded. Pages that are a single, massive block of text (Wall-o-Text) are hard to read. In short, they will be deleted. If you have questions with either of these violations, kindly leave a message on one of the administrator's talk pages and one of them will gladly help you out. We are trying to improve the overall quality of stories on the site and we need your help and dedication to do this, as a well-written story should be the author’s prerogative.
- This is not to say you must upload pages without any mistakes or you will be banned. We all make mistakes, and we have more than enough qualified editors (including you!) to help out with minor tweaks.
You must properly capitalize your page titles. See the Style Guide for a refresher course in capitalizing titles.
The long and the short of it is that titles must adhere to the following standards:
- Properly Capitalized.
- Do not use punctuation in the title as it’s bound to trip the spam filter. Titles do not need closing punctuation.
What We Generally Look ForEdit
- Your story should have a consistent plot. It also should have a decent, original plotline. Please note that if your story shares a similar premise to another story or uses a number of Cliches or tropes, it will likely be deleted for not being up to our standards. This is extremely important. Your story could have impeccable grammar and meet every other rule, but if the story is riddled with plot holes and/or is very generic, we will have to delete it.
- Please do not capitalize every word (or entire phrases) as a means of conveying emphasis. Italics or exclamation points suit the same purpose and are generally viewed as being less gimmicky.
- There should be a good level of description. Too little description will make the story vague/bland/boring and too much detail can slow down the story and make it hard to keep reading.
- Avoid awkward phrasing. Make sure there's a flow. Read your story aloud to yourself to make sure everything rolls off the tongue naturally.
- If the formatting of the story breaks visual mode on the editor (Classic or not), it will be deleted. To prevent this, use the Source Mode on the editor and paste your story there (see above again). If needed, add a line break between paragraphs to avoid the resulting wall of text.
- Don't indent in Source Mode. Yes, in books every new paragraph is indented. However the wiki's format is quite different in that indentation isn't used. If you indent on here, your text will show up in an annoying box with a slidebar you have to use to read the story from left to right. This can make it difficult for stories to be read easily.
- It should be spelled correctly (already in there). Also, know the differences: "Your" (possessive) "You're" (You are). "There" (A place) "Their" (possessive) "They're" (They are.) "It's" (It is) "Its" (possessive).
- The story needs to be coherent. It should be consistent and readable. Now, many of you are saying "Wait, what if I want to have a more fragmented approach to telling my story, ala David Lynch or Quentin Tarantino?" Well then, go for it. Just make sure that things eventually come together.
- Stories that fail to capitalize proper nouns, have homophone issues, multiple misspellings, grammatical issues (it’s/its, their/there/they’re, failure to use apostrophes in contractions, etc.) are likely to be deleted within a few minutes of being uploaded.
- As there are too many pieces of advice to give for each genre/style of story, authors interested in writing a story should visit the Writing Advice section as those guides can go more in-depth and be more effective than trying to cover everything here.
- If in doubt about your story, you should take it to the Writer’s Workshop and visit the Writing Advice section. The former will allow other users to help you troubleshoot and spot issues while the latter will help you with the finer points of writing.
Questions to Ask Yourself While WritingEdit
- Is this progressing the story?
- Is this interesting, engaging or making the story better in any way?
- Is this necessary to understand the story and/or will it come back later?
- Template:AnchorWhy so many standards?
- The users have commented multiple times that they value quality over quantity. We are trying to raise the value of creepypastas and only accepting stories that authors have put time and dedication into making it well-written.
- Template:AnchorWhy can't you go easy on the standards a little bit?
- If you randomly select a number of stories on the site, unfortunately a number of which are not well-written or have very generic/cookie-cutter plots that we are still trying to clean up.
- Template:AnchorMy story got deleted as per these standards. What do I do?
- Use Deletion Appeal. And when you do, MAKE SURE you follow the appeal guidelines set forth on the page. We have denied many people just based on the fact that they couldn't follow directions. Also it is paramount you take it to the Writer's Workshop for help or have a re-worked copy of your story before making the appeal. These stories are deleted for a reason and if you take a moment and look at the deletion appeal you’ll see direct correlation between appeals where the author has not revised the story and their denials. The Workshop has helped many people flatten out the dents in their story. Many of the stories eventually make it to the main site and are now quite good due to the input the writers got from our great reviewers.
- Template:AnchorWhat do you mean by description?
- Put an image in the author's head. Don't overblow it and halt the storyline but don't make it vague and boring. Straight sentences without any form of legitimate description tend to make for a boring story. Using too much description can have the same effect.
- It's about finding the "as perfect as possible" amount of balance in your story. Is your story like Tobias Wolff's Hunters in the Snow, a story which relies upon description of the setting and character attitudes along with Tub's perception of the other hunters in order to provide a symbolic foreshadowing of events? Or is it like Ernest Hemmingway's Hills Like White Elephants, which is mainly conversation and dialogue between two people and doesn't have to rely on it? Generally, it will be somewhere in between.
- Template:AnchorDo I have to spell everything correctly in a dialogue area? I want to intentionally misspell a certain character's dialogue.
- Sort of. It depends upon the character's dialect. If it's a US southerner, what words do they commonly mispronounce? "Your" would be acceptable as "Yer", "Get" as "Git", so on and so forth. A stereotypical Russian badass will occasionally leave out words such as "an" or a "the" every now and then, because they don't fully know the English Language or it's not their first language. That character's dialect determines whether the intentional misspell is bad, good, or in between.
- Template:AnchorWhat do you mean by must make sense? Isn't this Creepypasta where stuff isn't supposed to "make sense"?
- I meant the story itself, not its elements. Dogscape is a wonderful story that makes no sense or anything else. The setting is made of dog, the plot line is weird, and people do things commonly that we wouldn't even consider touching. On the other hand, you've got the bad side: Things like this. That's the bad kind of sense.
- Template:AnchorHow are these standards enforced?
- In a basic variety of ways. If it's not too far off - for example, just having a few misspellings, it's edited/fixed. On the other hand, if it's leaving out plot points, has a number of holes, is excessively bland, it gets deleted.
- Though really, these are less like rules and more like guidelines. They only apply if said things detract from the story. While meeting them is a rule, these are meant for a general idea of why a user's story could get deleted.
- Template:AnchorThere's nothing about "creepy" or anything. Is there some kind of guideline towards unnerving the reader or something?
- Not really. Creepy is more of a subjective term here - that is, an opinion. We look at more objective approaches toward the acceptance of a story. That being said, we aren't expecting your first story to be Suggested Reading material right out of the box, just that you put effort into it.
- Template:AnchorDon’t you think it’s unfair to delete another author’s story?
- Not at all. Authors should treat their stories like a student submitting a report. They should make sure their story is well written and without evident errors. This may seem harsh, but authors need to take pride in their work and do their damndest to make sure it shows. If you post a story you wrote in a few minutes, it’s going to show and readers aren’t going to be interested in reading your other stories.
- Project:Style Guide for Writing - A basic rundown of general needed grammar.
- Project:Writing Advice - Advice blogs made by certain users that will help in your writing.
- Project:How to Write Creepypasta - Title says it all.