Character pages too long? (Cont. from Editing and Tools forum)

#1 Posted by Dietlama (19 posts) -

Alright.  Here is the quote from the other thread:


"An example: today I edited the Raziel page.  It is a massive wall of text.  In my opinion, it's too long,"

And here's Killjoy's response:

"Dude...at this stage, Giantbomb doesn't need proofreading. It needs more articles, more content. You can proof read and correct stuff when there are no more pages to fill out. But this is not the right time. Proper grammar and sentence structures are important but you are wasting time when proofreading something massive like the Raziel page. I know because I wrote the damn thing! I didn't aim for edotiral quality when writing that article, I just wanted to tell Raziel's story. Having said that, thanks for making the few changes in there. They helped, except the ending....you just repeated what I had said so I had to go back and edit it. =p  BTW its Moebius the Timestreamer....not Time Streamer as the spell check would lead you to believe. ;)"

----

I would agree that Raziel is a very deep and interesting character, but there is something to be said for concise writing as well as correct writing.  The correctness issue is addressed in the other forum.  Here I want to talk about economy of words.

More words is not always a good thing.  For one, longer articles leave room for introducing plot points and characters without fully explaining who or what they are.  Example, your original article introduced Vorador with absolutely no explanation of who he is.  I added the vampire, Vorador.  But, really that isn't enough.  My point here is that it wasn't really necessary to introduce Vorador at all.  Nor is it important, in the Raziel page (on the SR2 page it is appropriate) to discuss the mutliple elemental Reavers, as they are not really significant in the character development, rather in the gameplay elements (which should be left for the game page, not the character page).  There are other similar things in the article that I would get rid of to make it easier to read (not mention more likely to be read).

But, on GB, that would never be approved, because your article was longer (which is valued over clarity or polish).  Not to say that your article wasn't polished, because it is one of the better entries I've seen on the site.  It just happens to be on one of my all time favorite characters.

What I'm trying to say is that more words tend to make an article appear insurmountable, making people move on.  Or it can introduce characters, places, or events that are not fully fleshed out, confusing the reader.

As to your first sentence, I would say that GB needs both proofreading and articles.  We merely have a difference of opinion as to when the proofreading should happen.  Perhaps I'm old school on this, but I think proofreading should happen as quickly as possible if it hasn't already been done prior to submission.
#2 Posted by Spacetrucking (946 posts) -

I'm not against proofreading. I just think that right now, with so many unfilled pages, it would be better to divert your energies elsewhere. But thats your choice and I don't want to dictate what you do.

Regarding the introduction of unknown characters and such, I've taken great effort in linking the character or location pages when required. If you go back and read my article, I've linked all the characters to their respective pages and if someone is unaware of who they are or what role they play...they just need to click on that link. I'm trying to fill out all the minor character pages on the site too, so there is a complete database of everything LoK. Cross-linking characters without explaining their presence is a common policy in wiki articles.

I know my Raziel page was big (bigger than most game pages on the site infact) but honestly, I just created a rough draft. Thats how a wiki works. Its built by multiple authors, not one dominating editor. If you think it will improve the quality, you are welcome to make edits to my article and submit them.  The site accepts article edits regardless of their size.

Having said that, you must realize everyone will have different opinions about an article. I think everything put up on the Raziel page deserves a place in there. The elemental reavers are an important part of Raziel since the Reaver basically defines him and his existence. See, I didn't go into detail about it...I just mentioned it so the reader knows that something like the Earth Reaver exists. If then need to know more, they can go to the reaver page to find out more.

Its not a book that you are reading, its a website. It allows for a certain flexibility when writing articles. ;)

#3 Posted by ThePhenomenal1 (467 posts) -

i agree with killjoy. theres a couple of pages i'm working on that are just slowing getting text. better to have it there now and refine it over time.

#4 Posted by Dietlama (19 posts) -

I'm sorry, I couldn't possibly disagree more.  Putting up unrefined articles smacks of point mongering.  It's counter to everything I know about good writing (please don't attack this sentence).  I'm not stupid, and I realize that a website is different from a book.  Don't insult my intelligence.  I've said my peace about proofreading, and understand that the very nature of a wiki allows for edits.  That doesn't make it good for the site to post articles with basic (though often minor) errors.


Now as for Raziel.  Really?  You think the Earth Reaver is critical to the development of his character?  Yes, the Reaver is key to Raziel's existence, but the elemental versions are a gameplay mechanic.  They serve little to no purpose in making Raziel what he is.  It is the soul devouring nature of the Reaver that links the two.  I'll give you the powers he receives from killing the other lieutenants, but the elemental reavers belong in the game section, not the character section.

When I edited the original, Vorador was not linked.

I'll never buy this "rough draft" business as something that is part of the wiki culture.  Yes the wiki allows for edits and refinement over time, but posting rough drafts is laziness driven by the desire to amass points.

Again, the LoK work is extensive, but I'm afraid I'll be better off as a bystander at GB.  Some of the policies just don't make sense to me.  I'll keep proofreading, but I've had enough of defending my point.
#5 Posted by Spacetrucking (946 posts) -
Dietlama said:
"I'm sorry, I couldn't possibly disagree more.  Putting up unrefined articles smacks of point mongering.  It's counter to everything I know about good writing (please don't attack this sentence).  I'm not stupid, and I realize that a website is different from a book.  Don't insult my intelligence.  I've said my peace about proofreading, and understand that the very nature of a wiki allows for edits.  That doesn't make it good for the site to post articles with basic (though often minor) errors.

Now as for Raziel.  Really?  You think the Earth Reaver is critical to the development of his character?  Yes, the Reaver is key to Raziel's existence, but the elemental versions are a gameplay mechanic.  They serve little to no purpose in making Raziel what he is.  It is the soul devouring nature of the Reaver that links the two.  I'll give you the powers he receives from killing the other lieutenants, but the elemental reavers belong in the game section, not the character section.

When I edited the original, Vorador was not linked.

I'll never buy this "rough draft" business as something that is part of the wiki culture.  Yes the wiki allows for edits and refinement over time, but posting rough drafts is laziness driven by the desire to amass points.

Again, the LoK work is extensive, but I'm afraid I'll be better off as a bystander at GB.  Some of the policies just don't make sense to me.  I'll keep proofreading, but I've had enough of defending my point.
"
Honestly, I hate having to defend my decisions but I'm not going to stand by while you slander by articles on the basis that they were written to amass points. I spent quite a bit of time on them and I did them out of interest and enjoyment. If i wanted to earn just points,there are a million other easier ways to do it and I wouldn't be going back to make minor edits at every chance I get.

And if you want to get down to the specifics about the article: you do realize that the Spirit Reaver is one of the elemental Reavers and is therefore an essential part of the storyline. And did you ever think about the fact that these forges existed just for Raziel and thus helped him understand his true role in the story. Maybe it made him realize how historically important his wraith blade was ? They are not critical but they are definitely worth a mention - which is what I did. I don't understand why you are stuck up on that one sentence.one sentence. You really think that those ten words in a 3200 word article create that much of a jarring effect ?

And I completely stand by my point of putting up "rough drafts" statement. I am not putting up articles with a billion grammatical errors or something lacking basic sentence structures all over the place. I'm writing stuff which most people can read and understand. The amazing thing about wikis is that once you put an article up, there will be a hundred people reading it and giving their input. I would rather have them help me refine the article than toil hours upon hours on my own. Its called efficiency. I'll give you an example of what I mean. You know how  the operating system Linux was made ? Linus Torvalds made the basic OS kernel with a lot of bugs on it. He put it up on the internet for free download and edits. People liked his rough draft. Fast forward to 2008 and Linux now runs on billions of hardware components, including your Playstation. Wiki articles work in exactly the same way.

I get the feeling that you might be confusing Giantbomb articles with editorial articles. I'm not taking credit for the Raziel page....that page belongs to Giantbomb and its users. All of them. Including YOU! So whatever I put up is just a small contribution. And as I've said a million times before, if you are don't agree, then you are welcome to go edit it out.  Every single member is entitled to their opinion. I've put up my opinion on the page. Now you are welcome to go edit it out.
You are even welcome to criticize my writing but I don't appreciate you assuming my motives for writing these articles and criticizing me based on that.

I was being nice until now but your last post has just made me bitter.  You didn't have a single valid point except the fact that you claim the name "Vorador" was not linked. Frankly speaking, I would like you to put up a completely fresh Raziel page. Start from scratch. I don't care if you wipe out my existing article, I just want to see what kind of a vision you have for the page.

BTW
your last post wasn't even about proofreading.And in addition, I never said once that proofreading is useless. Its essential. I get it. I do it when I get the time for it. Remember, I'm writing these huge articles in my free time and its not my job. I don't get anything out of them. Also, If you don't want to contribute by writing anything tangible yourself then thats fine with me. Whatever man, at the end of the day  - its your choice.
#6 Posted by Dietlama (19 posts) -
Point 1:
I didn't say that you wrote it for points only.  All I said was that your statement about rough drafts sounds like it is points driven.

Point 2:
Honestly, no.  I still don't think that should be in the character article.  There should be a bit about the Spirit Reaver, but the others are gameplay mechanics.  Also, I chose that 'one sentence' because it was in my mind at the time.  There are other examples, but I've lost the desire to deal with the page at all really.

Point 3:
You aren't putting up articles with a million grammatical errors, no.  However, some are, based on your (and apparently everyone's) rule about rough drafts.

Point 4:
You were not 'being nice' before.  Your posts are incredibly condescending, asserting points from the perspective of an entire community (and if I remember correctly a culture).  The only reason I brought this topic here, is because of the posts you made in my original thread.  You took responsibility on the Raziel page, and tried to use that original authorship to negate the discussion there, referring to my comments about content, etc.  So, please, dismount that high horse for a moment.

Point 5:
I know my 'last' post was not about proofreading, but yours was.  I do happen to have a Raziel article, but to be totally honest, it's not as long as your article and would thus never be approved.  It is clear and concise on multiple points that are confusing in your article and leaves out unnecessary plot points.  In other words, it is not a reiteration of the events of the game series, rather a history section for Raziel the character.

Final Point:
I really never intended for this to become a mudslinging type of conversation.  I opened with my respect for the content that is already in place, and reiterated that at the end of my second post.   

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