Thanks for your interest in writing for The Ninth World! We really appreciate the time you’re taking to contribute to the site, and we want to help make sure the content you make is the best it can possibly be. To that end, we’ve put together this brief style guide that will help us maintain consistency across writers, and will help you write content that’s ideal for web presentation.
This guide is by no means exhaustive, and is just meant to give you some helpful hints for common issues or questions. If you have any specific things that you’d like answers to, I encourage you to reach out and ask any time, and I’ll be glad to offer assistance.
Your voice is your own, I’m not going to tell you how to sound. In fact, I’d prefer that your writing bring across as much personality as you’d like it to. My only caveat is that your audience will be your judge and jury, so keep that in mind as you write, since they may ultimately be far less forgiving if you have an antagonistic or condescending voice.
Spelling and Grammar
Always have someone else proofread your work. Our brains are hard-wired to miss simple mistakes in writing, and even more so when it’s something we’ve been looking at for a while. It’s important to have someone else review writing before publishing it. I am usually available, if you have no one else. Otherwise, also make sure to mind your spelling, punctuation, and general grammar. I have no interest in setting and enforcing usage of a specific style guide like AP, Chicago, or APA for that matter. Just keep it readable. If I read your article and find mistakes after it’s gone live, I’ll likely correct the issues without asking.
For non-article related submissions, we’ll usually handle editing automatically before posting it, but you can still have someone proof it before you send it in.
Also, for non-American English users (e.g. United Kingdom, Australia, etc.), don’t feel obliged to change your normal spellings to “Americanize” them. I’ll leave your spelling alone in most cases. Just be sure to do your own due diligence on your spelling as I might skip a mistake thinking it’s right for your locale.
There are a handful of cases where we’d like to try and keep things standardized in the way we refer to items, be it spelling or syntax. In most cases, this is simply to maintain the pattern used by the canon source material. Those are:
- Numenera vs. numenera
- The former is used when referring to the game itself, the latter is used when referring to the collective of cyphers, artifacts, and oddities in-world. In both cases, there is no accent on the second ‘e.’
- Dice references
- When referring to a dice roll, always refer to it in the pattern of
##d##: e.g. 2d6, 3d10, 1d20. The ‘d’ is lowercase, and the initial die multiplier is specified when it’s just one (1d6 vs d6).
- Depletion notation
- When specifying an artifact’s depletion chances, it should be in the format of
## in ##d## (##%): e.g. 5 in 1d20 (%20). This adheres to the die reference notation mentioned above. The main difference is the addition of the percentage value for reasons of convenience, for folks that would prefer simply sticking to a straight 1d100 roll for items. Round any fraction percentage up.
This is the big one to pay attention to, both for page semantics and formatting. If you’re unfamiliar with HTML, that’s okay, just be sure to let me know. In many cases, if these conventions aren’t followed, or are followed improperly, we will correct it prior to posting the content on the site.
- Follow a header structure if your article is broken down into sections, starting with
<h1>is reserved for the article title itself) and continuing down to
<h6>, if needed.
<p>tags aren’t needed, as WordPress enters them automatically. Generally, you’ll want to remove stuff from your article like
<p class="ltr">and the like, which can get inserted if copying and pasting from a word processor.
- Make sure abbreviations are marked up. Don’t assume readers know what XP, PCs, NPCs, and things like that are. The first time you use them in the page, mark it up like
<abbr title="non-playing character">NPC</abbr>s. That gives folks a reference, makes it better for blind readers, and improves the search engine optimization for the page.
- Most standard markup applies as normal, such as
In some cases, you might want to include special interactions, formatting, etc. to a piece of content to make sure that certain elements are as powerful as possible, in those cases, we offer the following shortcodes.
This shortcode is used to mark an item that has information a user might want to cross-reference from a publication. It has two possible usage formats. You must always pass a “page” attribute in the shortcode. You can also include a “book” attribute to specify the book name to be displayed. If it is left out, it will default to “Corebook” as the output.
[bookreference page="198"]Drit Sifters[/bookreference] – Drit Sifters
[bookreference book="The Devil's Spine" page="6"]Uxphon[/bookreference] – Uxphon
For folks familiar with HTML and styling, several CSS classes are available for different elements to make sure your content matches the formatting on the site.
- Apply it to a
<dl>when creating something like a list of descriptor qualities or list of thing->results
- Apply it to a
<span>to create a highlighted line of GM Intrusion text
- Similar to
.intrusion, but applied to a
<aside>to produce a right-floated GM intrusion block of text
- Apply it to a
<table>when creating a table of effects for die roll results
- Other Notes
- While I won’t list them all out here, the site uses Foundation 5 under the covers. As a result, all the utility classes in it are available as well, such as