Rossi's Illustrated Guide to Updating Old Pages

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So you've fallen behind in updating and it looks like an insurmountable job. Here's a handy guide to help break it up into easier parts.

Step 1: Work out what needs doing

On this page, which is linked from the Wiki Meta page as "See which pages need something done" under the Player section, is a linked list of what pages need what done. If you click on the link for your character, it'll tell you what needs doing:

Updating stage 1.jpeg

Or, if it's a more simple issue, you'll have a blue banner at the top of the page, like this:


Step 2: Make a timeline

The first thing I do, if there's a lot of time to cover on a page, is draw up a month-by-month timeline. The easiest way to do this is to use the "What Links Here" button on the toolbox, which is the lower box on the left hand side under the search button.

Updating stage 2.jpeg

Go to your character page, click "What Links Here" and it'll give you a list of all the pages linked to that character page.

Uploading stage 3.jpeg

From there it's a matter of clicking on the relevant date and using control-F/Find to get all the mentions of a character.

Updating stage 4.jpeg

Then copy and paste them into a Word document.

Step 3: Questions to ask

When writing a summary of your character's doings, it's important to avoid writing down every little thing - that's not a summary. ;) Basically, there's a couple of questions you need to ask yourself as you're doing it:

What changed my character significantly and how?

What relationships were important to my character and how did they impact on him/her?

That will cover plots, powers developments, random events, important journal threads, the works. It's also really important to avoid making your summary a reiteration of each plot your character was in, since it's redundant - that's what the plot write ups are for. I normally go through a hard copy with a highlighter, but for those less anal, just skimming through the Word document and deleting the non-relevant stuff works as well.

Updating stage 5.jpeg

Step 4: Write your summary

Now you've got an idea of what happened to your character and how it impacted on them, you should be able to write the summary. Style is reasonably flexible - avoid writing the whole thing in lolcat, but you also don't have to make it sound like an official biography. Use a tone that you feel comfortable with. And remember, you - and others - can always edit later, so there's no worries about making it perfect first time. In terms of word count, you're looking at say... no more than 10 short paragraphs per year. Use sections to break up the text, either by year, or by stages of development or events. Use links to plots, other characters, etc, to encourage readers to explore the Wiki and to save your word counts. ;)

Such as here...

Step 5: Update regularly!

The main issue with character updates is that people leave them for too long and then feel overwhelmed by the sheer amount of history they have to cover. Avoid that by updating regularly - but not too regularly, or you'll wind up with that detailed history instead of that summary. I personally try to update every six months, or after every major character development (for Yvette, that works out to be one to two times a year!). And about once a year, go back over the latest section and edit it, cutting out the superfluous stuff that's crept in.