How To Write An SCP

So You Want To Write an SCP

You're reading How to Write an SCP 2.0. If you're reading this, you're probably a member of the SCP Foundation and want to try your hand at an article. This page is to help point you in the right direction when getting started.

Before You Start: Some Things to Consider

In general, successful SCP articles have most or all of the following components:

  • An interesting idea.
  • Reasonable containment procedures.
  • A clear description.

These are necessary for a good SCP. An SCP should immediately draw the reader in; they can't be muddled under a lot of exposition. Try to get a clear idea of what your SCP does before starting.

Many first SCP articles fail miserably for one reason or another, primarily due to the writer's lack of experience. This is not an excuse. This is a challenge. SCP writing is not for everybody, and there are site members who have never written a successful article. It is a very specific style that we're looking for; if you can't really manage to turn your idea into an SCP article, try to write it into a standalone Tale.

As a sidenote: please remember when writing your first SCP, that when we say 'Many first SCPs fail' there is not a curse on them. Some first SCPs do wonderfully! Some do not. Always ask for feedback. While the majority of your feedback will be cruel, depraved, RAMBLING scatological comments about your mother and ancestors, some will be helpful. Let the ruder feedback wash upon you as water on sand. It's fun to leave mean feedback, but it is usually not meant hurtfully. Learn from your first SCP, see if the idea is salvageable. Sometimes your skill as a writer isn't up to the level of your idea, and keeping track of your old ones for re-writing is a good tactic.

Also please note: Uploading a crappy SCP to 'get the bad luck out' does nothing except clutter the site up with crap. When writing your first SCP, put your best foot forward, because it is part of the standard by which your future works will be judged. Make jokes in chat. Put actual work up on the site. It'll make people think better of you, it helps improve the site, and it sets an example for the other newbies.

Really, the best possible piece of advice that any of us can give is to be patient. Sit back and lurk; we've got all kinds of articles. Spend some time to get an idea of how the site works. Make a sandbox (click the link, or go here: http://scpsandbox2.wikidot.com) and show other people your drafts. See what's good and what's bad, what's highest rated and what's downvoted. Learn what kinds of things people look for in an article; you'll be better equipped to succeed in your writing.

What Do You Do Next?

To see what you should do next to write your own SCP, return to the top of this document and choose another tab.

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