Collab: Good writing

Bop1996

Power Star
Retired Wiki Staff
A while back, the wiki admins created a page called MarioWiki:Good Writing to give examples of bad writing. This page goes into great detail on what kinds of bad writing plague our wiki and how we can fix it. This collab thread is designed to bring more pages in line with this policy, since an alarming amount of articles are just poorly written.

Here are some examples of bad writing, with some links to show how they were rewritten:

*MarioWiki:BJAODN/Tabuu to this
*MarioWiki:BJAODN/Shadow Queen to this
*This to this
*All the pages here (MarioWiki:BJAODN/Luigi's Mansion) to their respective rewritten versions (too many to go find right now)

As of right now, we have some pages that have yet to be cleaned, but have been identified as horribly written:
*Princess Peach - I've already begun work on this, so I'll finish it soon.
*The plot summaries for the three Mario & Luigi games. These are overloaded with cruft in the form of every meaninglessly tiny detail about every single plot element ever. I've said I would do these too, but if someone else would like to work on them, feel free.
*A lot of our PiT articles in general are just really poorly written and could use a good cleaning. Unclaimed.
*Paper Mario's plot summary is ridiculously detailed as well. Unclaimed.
*A good deal of our level articles have bad walkthrough-style writing. Several people have already said they'd help. Also it's worth noting that with the creation of many new Paper Mario: Sticker Star and New Super Mario Bros. U level articles, plenty of those will be created with poor writing, so those should be nipped in the bud before they get left undone for long.

This collab has already rewritten:
*Baby Luigi's PiT section. (old revision) - Done by BabyLuigiOnFire
*DKC2's story section. (old revision) - Glowsquid did this
*Fawful's Personality section. (old revision) - BLOF
*Dimentio's General Information section. (old revision) - BLOF
 

Bop1996

Power Star
Retired Wiki Staff
There were a few things I'd change, so I'll run through it and fix them at some point later. But overall, you did a really good job with it. It looks much better now.
 

Glowsquid

Shine Sprite
Forum Moderator
Wiki Bureaucrat
Core 'Shroom Staff
I took a stab at rewritting the DKC 2 plot summary, though writting about the post-game portion was pretty awkward. If anyone can make it flow better, that'd be appreciated.



I suggested adding the Dimentio page to the Op.
 

Bop1996

Power Star
Retired Wiki Staff
Well, they're horribly written in almost every way. The Luigi's Mansion sections contain massive piles of information irrelevant to their respective subjects, and that poorly written. The Tabuu page was ~30000 characters of plot information on a character that only appears in one cutscene at the end of the game, and then ~2000 characters describing his "personality" in way more detail than necessary. Same goes for the Shadow Queen.

Glowsquid said:
I took a stab at rewritting the DKC 2 plot summary, though writting about the post-game portion was pretty awkward. If anyone can make it flow better, that'd be appreciated.



I suggested adding the Dimentio page to the Op.
I'll look over the DKC2 summary sometime, but it looks much much better than it did.

Yeah, the Dimentio page is definitely worth adding, especially that Personality section.
 

Dark Light

Cherries and Berries
Please add Fawful. The personality section is definitely worth looking at.
 

Bop1996

Power Star
Retired Wiki Staff
"If we're going to compete with MarioWiki, what the Mariopedia really needs is for us to preface every statement with "It is interesting to note that..." - Someone on TheMushroomKingdom

He's right. Statements like "It is interesting to note", "It should be noted", or things like that are just plain awful. They add no meaning at all to the article and instead just detract from any sort of encyclopedic value an article has. If you see these, get rid of them on-sight.
 

Dark Light

Cherries and Berries
The grammar book The Elements of Style even pans those phrases, "It should be noted..." and other crap like that. So yeah, it is highly unprofessional and nonstandard. Instead of announcing that the phrase you'll say is important, make it so

"Importantly" is just as bad as those phrases. Just a heads up.

Ctrl+F those and obliterate them.
 

Squawks

Shokora
Wiki Bureaucrat
Core 'Shroom Staff
Also, a lot of Trivia points begin with "Strangely" or "Interestingly". I'll help get rid of those as I see them.
 

Dark Light

Cherries and Berries
Trivia points are usually badly written in the first place, so it's not surprisingly to see those phrases there

EDIT: I made the Fawful personality section sound less melodramatic. I'm not sure about the rest of the article, though.
 

Dark Light

Cherries and Berries
Double post: Removed most of the cruft in Dimentio's personality section
 

Bop1996

Power Star
Retired Wiki Staff
It's beautiful.

YoshiKong said:
Also, a lot of Trivia points begin with "Strangely" or "Interestingly". I'll help get rid of those as I see them.
Yeah, there are a lot of bad adverbs used to introduce trivia points, so those definitely should go too.
 

Hobbes

Star Spirit
Core 'Shroom Staff
Retired Wiki Staff
Should those adverbs be simply removed or changed to something else?
 

Squawks

Shokora
Wiki Bureaucrat
Core 'Shroom Staff
I think they should be removed. That's what Bop has been doing so far.
 

Bop1996

Power Star
Retired Wiki Staff
Hobbes said:
Should those adverbs be simply removed or changed to something else?
It really depends. "Interestingly" is almost always used to add bias to an article, so there's pretty much no reason to leave those. However, some of the others (mostly "strangely") do not on occasion. The general rule of thumb I use is to remove them whenever they obviously don't add anything, but leave or change them if the descriptions they provide actually do something useful.
 

Dark Light

Cherries and Berries
Remove all of them. All those adverbs are signs of bad writing.
 

Dark Light

Cherries and Berries
Double post:

You know what irks me on this wiki? The continuous use of "However" when the meaning is "Nevertheless" in the beginning of the sentence. The word "however" should be used later in the sentence because it serves better when not in first position. "However" in the beginning of the sentence means "in whatever way" or "to whatever extent".

It's supposed to be used like this:

"However much you try correcting things, new problems will arise"
 

Bop1996

Power Star
Retired Wiki Staff
http://www.mariowiki.com/Super_Mario_Adventures

S'yeah, this is pretty much a text dump of the comic with poorly done descriptions of almost every set of frames, the quotes are poorly integrated, and the whole thing is just a mess. It took me a while just to figure out what on earth the article was going for. I'm not even sure there's enough there to salvage it without knowing something about the article's subject itself. Either way, this is bad in almost every possible way this thread tries to cover, so have at it.
 

Gamefreak75

"The hated boss who beats you down..."
Chat Administrator
Core 'Shroom Staff
Retired Forum Mod
Retired Wiki Staff
Don't know where else to put this, but I assume this would be the most appropriate place since it deals with writing and format:

For the NSMB articles in general, would it be preferred if the Star Coin locations were written like this:

Star Coin 1: Off-screen, above three moving Brick Blocks and a red Koopa Troopa.
or like this:

Star Coin 2: Directly after the first Star Coin, the player should wall jump into a hidden area with a Warp Pipe. In there, the star coin is blocked off by three giant Ball 'n' Chains. The Star is required in order to safely obtain the second star coin.
I'm bringing this up because it feels inconsistent. One of them feels like a broken sentence while the other are complete sentences. I know the latter sounds a little too much like a walkthrough, but it's better than a vague "in between x and y" or "under X", etc.
 

Dark Light

Cherries and Berries
I'm thinking we should put the Star Coin locations in a table, complete with images of a Star Coin location. That way, we use the walkthrough-like writing and describe the location of a Star Coin without needing vague words.

The problem is, though, acquiring good screenshots.


I cleaned up some more Super Mario Adventures. The writing kills me. It's like the most unprofessional thing on this wiki. The use of exclamation marks is astounding. We have to get this cleaned up as soon as possible. It's that ridiculous.
 

Mario4Ever

A price for everything.
Retired Wiki Staff
I am partial toward the second option, myself, though I think we could do without mentioning the item(s) needed to obtain the Star Coin(s).
 
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