by Max Barry

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by The Most Serene Republic of Mzeusia. . 343 reads.

The Dispatch Writing Guide

Here's a link to the Mzeusian Library which has every dispatch.

The Mzeusian Library has recently been looking at the world dispatches and the kind of things that people write. We have also been looking at the deceased nations and what kind of dispatches they have written.

This has led us to the conclusion that this guide needs to be written. If you need any more help even after reading this, go to the Mzeusian Literary Organisation who will be more than happy to write about your nation so that you may be given the spark to turn into a roaring flame.

The Problems

  • I have no good ideas.

    Starting a new dispatch, especially if it is your first one, can be daunting. Here are some ideas to help you.

  • Fact file on your leader

  • Terrorist attack

  • A war

  • A speech made to the people about your new leader and what they will do

  • Your topic doesn't warrant a whole dispatch on it.

    For dispatches like these where there just isn't enough material to make a fully-fledged dispatch, so it ends up being a short few lines, take some time to plan. Planning may seem boring but if you want to make a better dispatch, decide exactly what you will put in it so that is not just a few lines.

    With this example, I started off with the recipe only, went on Wikipedia and came out with a few other things, thought for a bit more and thought I had enough.

  • But then with too much information, it becomes a wall of text.

    In that case, paragraphs and spoilers are your friends. Paragraphs break up a wall of text to make it easier to read.

    Spoilers keep all your work in a small space so that it doesn't become a permanent wall.

  • So what do I use, paragraphs or spoilers?

    For this example, I have a lot of different information in one dispatch so I went for spoilers.

    For this example, it just seemed pointless to spoiler it and also, it would take away from the immersion if you had to keep clicking on spoilers.

  • I want to write something big. Where do I start?

    Good question. Eventually you will come across a big idea that you want to carry out. Overviews seem popular and even if you don't do one, like me, you may still want to write a large dispatch. Take this example that is still unfinished.

    When you have something big, templates can help but if you don't want to use them for whatever reason, try to start with an overview of the thing you want to talk about. Take a history of your nation, I would go with an overview, maybe even a bit before your nation's formation. Then you can go through with the timeline you have created.

    That's still so much to do.

    If that is the trouble, i would recommend taking bits of your history and writing about them in different dispatches so that it doesn't feel overwhelming.

  • What if all I want to do is write a short dispatch. Yours seem really long.

    Short dispatchs are ones I don't like as much but sometimes, like here, here, here and here, you really don't have too much to say. Short dispatches are fine but this is more about quality dispatches be they a short history or a recipe for soup.

  • I have an idea, I have planned it out but how do I write it well?

    Well as mentioned earlier, an option is the Mzeusian Literary Organisation however, that should not be your first option.

    Let's take a basic topic like history. You want to write your nation's history and you have decided the basic path that it will take, when your nation was formed, that sort of thing. You have everything mapped out and you know where you want to start. Remember that you don't have to write the whole thing at once. You can go over a paragraph and make sure it is interesting.

    Try not to just include facts and dates and statistics. Reading them quickly gets boring.

    On a June day, the Mzeusian army marched to the Thoonian capital, destroying everything and killing anything that tried to attack them. The siege was quick, over in a week and the people of Mzeusia wee happy as their greatest enemy was now gone

    It was the hottest day the men had seen for as long as they could cast their heat-addled brains back to. Though their muscles burned from the arduous journey, the fire and hope of a victory, spurred the onward. The Thoonian capital of Krakal loomed above them, giant walls a seemingly impenetrable barrier to the Mzeusian war-machine's advance. They knew the siege would be long and the battle would require every ounce of their strength.

Below is an example of a dispatch being written in different stages, going from bad to good. Firstly, credit goes to Guyomartand for suggesting the topic of the environment.

The Environment

I have lots of plants. I have lots of trees and shrubs, and my nation is very famous for it's daises. I like daises.


OOC note: This is very short and lack detail. You have shrubs but so do I, and I'm speaking not as a nation, but a person. Why are your country's shrubs better than mine? As for the daises, why are they famous. Bob down the road has daisies, but again, what makes your nation's daises more special than Bob's?

The Environment

Landlandia has many different species of plants. There are many trees and shrubs, of astounding beauty and rarity. Many are used as medicinal herbs by the tribes living where the plants grow. Furthermore, Landlandia is famous for its daises. They are seen as a spiritual flower, symbolising hope and glory. It is even said, that when the largest battle of Landlandia came to a close, daisies blanketed the fields where the brave men fell. Because of this, daisies have become a national symbol.

OOC note: Firstly, the title looks better when it is bigger and central, so that it good. Now the person has also taken in the feedback given in step one. We now know that the shrubs are better than mine, because they are very rare and are extremely beautiful as well as having medicinal properties.

Also, Bob will not be able to sell his daisies, as we now know that Landlandia's daisies "symbolise hope and glory" and are a symbol of national pride, with an interesting backstory. Do Bob's daisies symbolise hope and glory? Probably not.

As for improvement, it feels very focused. The person should expand what they have written and maybe add a little history in, to further connect the plants to the country.

The Environment

Landlandia has many different species of plants. There are many trees and shrubs, of astounding beauty and rarity. Many are used as medicinal herbs by the tribes living where the plants grow. Furthermore, Landlandia is famous for its daises. They are seen as a spiritual flower, symbolising hope and glory. It is even said, that when the largest battle of Landlandia came to a close, daisies blanketed the fields where the brave men fell. Because of this, daisies have become a national symbol.

The world-famous explorer Bob Daisy made this remark when he saw the natural beauty. "Landlandia really stands out as a place of sublime natural splendour. I have been to many places on my many travels, but rarely have I come across a place quite like this."

Moving on, the mountains of Landlandia have played a crucial role in the country's history. Defending the nation from many attacks, helping to preserve the peoples living there, allowing them to grow and prosper without threat from invasion. Today, these mountains are just as impassable as they were before, although many have tried and failed to climb them. Mighty rivers have also allowed for trading to bolster the nation's economy and connect them to the outside world. These rivers also inspired Thiron the Great to build up his navy, starting the string of conquests in AD 303 that would eventually make the Landlandian empire.

OOC note: This is much better. A lot more history has been included, hinting at a rich past that is intriguing. Also, mountains and rivers are now included, diversifying the natural landscape. If the person wanted to, why not add in rainforests and talk about them, or maybe snowy plains, stretching through vast amounts of Landlandia. The writer could talk more about how the environment has impacted the way people live and the culture, talking about harsh conditions that have to be survived.

  • Yeah that's fantastic but what's the point in writing them anyway?

    Well I'm sorry but you're in the wrong place for that. This is the dispatch about writing a good dispatch, not the one about convincing people to write in the first place.

    Wait! Don't go. Okay, fine, I'll give it a shot.

    You should write a dispatch because it is interesting. A dispatch is blank meaning you can write whatever you want. Does that mean you get to write about that time when your friend Burt gave you food poisoning? Yes. Will that make an interesting dispatch? That's a whole new question.

    If you want to get more involved in your nation and flesh it out then dispatches are the key.

    When you create that nation then it becomes yours. The information you have when you first create your nation is a stepping stone. There's no point in stepping on that first stone if it doesn't lead anywhere so what do you do? You use your powers to rise up new stepping stones so that you can keep going.

  • I'm following these stones but where do they lead?
    They lead to the nation you have been creating whether that means towering cities full of darkness and secret police, or utopias full of green spaces and people living in the jungle. When you create a nation, more ideas will come.

If you have anything you want to say or ask, just telegram me.

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