So you want to write a Mystic Quill Article
By Kaitlin Bereczky (Mystic Quill Editor)
Part 1 - What goes in the Mystic Quill
So you’ve seen me posting about needing Mystic Quill articles and you’d like to submit something to help. Great! “But Kaitlin, I don’t know what to write for an article, what do I do?” Don’t worry Billy, I’ll help you figure out what to write, then you’ll be submitting articles like a fiend!
There are 5 sections to the Mystic Quill:
Local News - This depicts news from Ilveresh and surrounding towns. Crossroads, Brenn, and even Hallot are local news. I would go as far to say as the barrony, but that might not necessarily be the case depending on how far away the town is. News from South Bay, though fairly close, might be considered Novashan news
Novashan and World News - This is news from outside walking distance of Ilveresh. Parts of the barrony would be considered Novashan news. Things well outside the barrony, like in other kingdoms or far to the other sides of the peninsula. Barron Bear’s barrony would fall into this category.
From Our Readers - Everyone likes a little bit of gossip, and this is where it goes. Opinion pieces, periodicals, short stories, poems, works of art, and even our tarot card readings go in this section. It can be very broad and is usually the easiest to write for.
Help Wanted - This is a great place to put hooks for your plots, or if your character is looking for any assistance. Most articles submitted here (and some articles in the rest of the Quill) will have a note in the OOC section on who to follow up with if you want people to investigate with the article title and your name. If you do not want follow up with your ad please SPECIFY IN YOUR EMAIL.
OOC (Out-of-Character) - This section is for any news that is related to Kanar but not necessarily relevant to on field activity. This is where names of those who you can contact for follow up for articles go, board meetings, scheduled events like the road cleanup, PM announcements, and other staff news goes.
Part 2 - What to write
It’s pretty normal to not know what to write about at first. Some people like to write about their first hand experience, while some write from a different perspective. This can get tricky either way.
Write for your plot - If you are writing an article for your plot, give just enough information that players need to get interested in the plot and want to seek out more. For example: “A hunting party found a burnt encampment in the woods just south of Crossroads. No weapons were found, but tracks led farther into the forest and bones scattered and broken at the site have Crossroads Town Guards believing it was a band of orcs.” The players can then follow up with Crossroads Town Guard, knowing from the article that they will need tracking for sure, possibly urban lore, and maybe woodland terrain lore.
Write what your character knows - If you are writing for news that your character heard in town, then you can write the article as your character if you believe it should be public knowledge. If it is not something your character would feel safe telling to a confidential source, do not submit it as your character (or do, if you wish to start a little drama) because the GMs use the Quill as much as the players do and they can use this to mess with you a little, which could be fun or frustrating. You can always choose to submit an article anonymously or under a fake name.
Write a poem - Why not?
Submit a drawing or recipe, a short story, a first hand experience, or news of your adventure that was worth sharing.
Submit an ad for your armor or weapon smithing, an invitation to visit your camp, or a notice that you’re always up for an adventure!
DO NOT SUBMIT ARTICLES FOR THINGS HEARD OFF FIELD. If you heard it at a party, don’t write an article for it. If you heard it in the parking lot, don’t write an article for it. This is meta gaming, and though it may have good intentions, it is forbidden in our game. If you believe an article should be written about something you did hear out of game, consult the GM staff or me and we will decide if it is appropriate to submit.
Part 3 - How to write
I’m gonna grammar this up a little just so you can help me out, so deal with me for a minute. The choice of view of the author is very important when writing articles.
First person - This is mostly for articles that belong in the “From our readers” section. First person is written with “I” and “me” pronouns. You don’t read the newspaper in first person, so don’t write news in first person (please).
Second person - Second person should be used very sparingly. It is mostly for articles that are instruction pieces. “You” is the main pronoun used for second person.
Third person - They, them, he, hers pronouns. This is generally what news articles are written in. This is best for doing most things in the Quill that are in the local or world news categories. It sounds the most professional.
Part 4 - Conclusion
What goes into the Quill? Almost anything. If you think your article isn’t good enough, if it has spelling or grammar errors, or if it lacks content, it won't necessarily be excluded. I (Mystic Quill Editor) reserve the right to exclude articles if they aren’t relevant, are meta gaming, or don’t have the space to fit them in that month. But I will work to include the article even if it needs just a little tweeking.
Enjoy writing your article. If it stresses you out (and believe me I KNOW how that can be) then send me a message and ask for help. If you have an idea I’m very good at coming up with content.
The Mystic Quill is printed for the benefit of all our players. Thank you for your time, effort, and interest in helping build and strengthen our game.