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Thread: The fAARq - FAQ for AARland

  1. #1
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    The fAARq - FAQ for AARland

    The fAARq

    FAQ for AARland


    Below you will find useful hints on writing AARs and navigating AARland, as well as links to follow for more in-depth discussion. Please enjoy and feel free to offer any feedback you may have here.

    * * *


    INDEX


    I. What is AARland?

    II. "What is it?" Part 1: Special Projects for AARland

    III. "What is it?" Part 2: AARland, The Past

    IV. (i) Writing an AAR

    IV. (ii) Graphical Images

    IV. (iii) Writing Hints

    IV. (iv) Research

    IV. (v) Comments and Readers


    And, before you read on, a link to the basic rules of AARland

    In particular there are restrictions on starting interactive AARs - for more information read this and on linking to external websites and as to what constitutes necromancy (ie posting in long dead threads) ... check these out here and the basic forum rules ... which you can check here




    * * *
    Last edited by loki100; 26-09-2011 at 16:25.

  2. #2
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    I. What is AARland?

    I. What is AARland?


    1.) AARland is the name given the various after-action-report fora that inhabit this area of the Paradox Forum. It includes AAR forums for EU, EUII, EUIII, Victoria, Victoria II, HoI, HoI2, HoI3, Crusader Kings, Senguko, Rome, For the Glory, Arsenal of Democracy, Darkest Hour, Diplomacy and the various games developed by AGEOD, as well as links to the foreign language AAR forums. There is also a main page (or Main Hall) for general discussion that may be found underneath the links to the various sub-fora.

    2.) AARs (and all related posts) in this area should be written in English. However, as mentioned above, there are some sub-fora for writing in foreign languages, specifically Spanish and French, as well as a Scandinavian forum. At present, there are no other foreign language AAR forums. This is an administrative decision and any feedback on such should be directed to your Paradox Administrators, preferably by PM rather than starting a thread to ask about such.

    3.) Non-Paradox AARs - There are also some sub-fora for writing AARs not based on Paradox developed games. If the game you wish to write about is released by Paradox, but not developed by them, you may find an AAR sub-forum above the general discussion area for that game (Third Party Titles released by Paradox may be found here.) In particular AARs for Mount and Blade can be found here and those for Paradox, France (AGEOD) are here. You will also find additional AARs for these games on the publisher's home pages such as the AAR page on AGEOD's own forum. If the game is in no way affiliated with Paradox, then you may write your AAR in the Off Topic area of the forum. [This rule also applies to Role Playing Games - there is a dedicated forum for official RPGs and other RPGs should be placed in OT.]

    4.) Finding an AAR - as above AARland is broken up into a number of sub-boards each dealing with one game. You can find an AAR by visiting and checking the most recent threads or use the various libraries. This is useful if you are looking for one on a particular country/mod or by a particular author. Most boards have one (though not all) and the available ones are:



    5.) Any and all discussion not related to AARs should be directed to the appropriate forum - discussion of gameplay to the general discussion of that game, non-game related discussion to the Off Topic area, discussion of history to the History forums, etc.

    6.) Finally, as in all other areas of the forum, please make sure you have read the Forum FAQ that includes forum rules and advice on signatures, avatars, ranks, subscribing to threads and more.

    * * *
    Last edited by loki100; 04-01-2013 at 13:10.

  3. #3
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    II. "What is it?" Part 1: Special Projects for AARland

    II. "What is it?" Part 1: Special Projects for AARland


    1.) From time to time, members have started special initiatives either through efforts and consultation with moderators or on their own. If a member has thoughts on projects that may be beneficial to AARland and Paradox Interactive, then feel free to contact a moderator to sound out your plan and once given the go-ahead, begin your project in the appropriate sub-forum. Those projects that relate to AARs as a whole should be located in the AAR General Discussion area. Special initiatives and projects are welcomed and enjoyed, so please do not feel shy about joining in.

    2.) Below is a partial listing of special projects for AARland and links to each. Some of these are no longer active but contain repositories of useful and interesting material:
    • The AARland Gazette - The initial AAR newsletter, featuring AARticles of interest on all topics related to AARland
    • The AARlander - The current newsletter for AARland, featuring AARticles of interest, interviews, reviews of games, books and AARs and much more. This has just restarted and the first of the new series can be found here
    • LibrAARies: AGEOD, Crusader Kings 1, Crusader Kings 2, EU 1, EU 2, EU 3, HOI 1, HOI 2, HOI 3, Mount and Blade, Rome, Victoria 1, Victoria 2 - LibrAARies are full or partial listings of the AARs in each game sub-forum. They are built and maintained through selfless effort by members of AARland when each has free time. There is usually a LibrAARy Update thread also listed in each sub-forum that allows you to note when you have started and completed a work, thus letting the librAARian know to add or change the listing.
    • OscAARs - This is an award given to EUI, EUII & EUIII AARs (and some HoI AARs) for various catagories, usually for Best Completed AAR, but there have been many other contests over the years.
    • VictAARian Cross - This is an award given to Victoria AARs, exclusively for Best Completed AAR
    • CrusadAARs Chalice - This is an award given to Crusader Kings AARs, exclusively for Best Completed AAR
    • Golden CaesAAR - This is an award given to Rome AARs, exclusively for Best Completed AAR
    • Iron HeAARt - This is an award given to Hearts of Iron AARs, exclusively for Best Completed AAR
    • AARland Choice AwAARds - This is a quarterly award that allows members to vote on their favorite work written during that quarter
    • AARtist of the Month - A monthly award for an AAR where the author has put particular care into the graphical layout

    3.) You will recognize many of the above projects in the links provided further down in this FAQ. Each is run out of desire and given time constraints of the project leader and members alike. They are all helpful tools to assist members in their enjoyment and participation in AARland.

    * * *
    Last edited by loki100; 04-01-2013 at 13:13. Reason: updating

  4. #4
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    III. "What is it?" Part 2: AARland, The Past

    III. "What is it?" Part 2: AARland, The Past


    In the past, AARland has spawned many inside jokes and launched other projects that are no longer active, but may be in the future or still have some merit for the newcomer and old-hat alike. If nothing else, the below links will offer you a look at the past and perhaps cause a laugh and a smile. A partial listing follows.

    1.) bAARs


    What is The bAAR? - Years ago, an effort was started by several of the old standards of early AARland to create an area to discuss other AARs and sometimes topics not related to AARs. However, there were rules - post as a character, no quoting previous posts and it was bad form to promote your own work. There have been a few successors that followed, notably the Tea Room and Mess Hall. If you wish to explore some old musing, follow these links:

    • The bAAR - A continuation of the Original

    2.) Free Company/Collaborative Writing Projects


    What is the Free Company? - The Free Company is considered one of the finest moments in AARland History. Begun by Lord Durham, several members combined to create a fictional world as they wrote in collaborative fashion. Each tale follows a company of mercenary soldiers during the EUII period of history. A listing of their stories follows:

    What other collaborative AARs are there? - Many others have tried to duplicate the work done by Lord Durham, as well as other attempts to bring the group effort to AAR writing. They are:
    • True Multi-Player AARs - in which several members write an AAR together based on a MP session of gameplay.
    • Pass-the-Save Multi-Player AARs - in which several members combine to write an AAR based on a game passed between them.
    • Interactive Collaborative AARs - in which one person writes an AAR based upon the advice of a group of other members included as advisors.

    However, there are restrictions on starting interactive AARs - for more information read this, you must contact the moderators before starting such a project

    3.) Other


    May we celebrate birthdays in AARland? - Absolutely! Several members try to keep watch of the front page of Paradox Interactive to see who has a birthday that day. There is an old listing that can be found here. Regardless of where the information comes from, you may certainly start a thread in the AAR General Discussion area wishing someone a happy birthday. In fact, it is encouraged. Please do not start multiple threads in the same sub-forum however.

    Has there ever been an AAR get-together? - Yes, there have been a few attempts to meet. The first was planned for Toronto. We met again in Washington D.C. in 2004 and then again in Alabama (meant to be New Orleans before Hurricane Katrina in 2005.)

    What is the most popular AAR ever? - A disputed question as so many issues are involved - number of posts, number of views, number of comments have all been suggested as means to quantify a very qualitative judgement, but also pre-release AARs for popular games attract a lot of views and so do interactive AARs (almost by definition). Not that these difficulties stop anyone. Hajji Giray I came up with a way to determine how viewed/followed an AAR is with his "Phatness" Index. Read about it here. A different ranking system was proposed by Mnplastic and can be found here. Another numerical based listing of popular AARs can be found here.

    Are there any AARs written about AARland? - Yes, coz1 wrote one listed here. A different attempt was by Iain Wilson in his Kingdom of AARlands where various regular posters on these forums were made into characters and asked to stand up to the Mongol hordes.

    What is the "Anthology of Treasures?" - A project started by Director in 2003, the discussion thread can be found here.

    Are there reviews for past AARs? - Yes, several AARs have been reviewed in the past, from an early project, to the Gazette and then in the Advocate. Reviews prior to the Gazette can be found in the EUII LibrAARy, reviews from the Gazette can be found in the Gazette Index and reviews from the Advocate can be found in the Advocate Index.

    What are the classics of AARland? - An attempt to establish such was begun here. (Note that other attempts are listed below.)

    What are the copyright issues related to posting an AAR on this forum? - Make sure you are aware of forum rules regarding your copyright of the material posted on the forum. Further, you may wish to visit this thread in which many give advice and thoughts on this issue.

    Last edited by loki100; 30-09-2011 at 08:50.

  5. #5
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    IV. Writing an AAR

    IV. Writing an AAR


    1.) Getting Started


    I want to write an AAR. How do I get started? - This is an often asked question and we will try to provide some thoughts below to assist. Beyond anything else, the best way to begin writing an AAR is to simply do so and learn as you go. Reading other work certainly assists in providing a good framework.
    • Choosing a game/country - Generally, a good first step is choosing the right game or country to play. Look for one that has not been written on as much to gain immediate interest. Further, consider attempting something different that has not yet been seen in an AAR, or has a different take on it.
    • Style/Approach - To go along with the above, consider the style you wish to write in, be it narrative, history book or game play. There are many variations of each and some find great success in combining styles. In the end, choose a style that best suites your own ability and desires as a writer.
    • Notes - When playing the game, it is entirely up to you how you take notes. Some take notes for every occurrence. Others only the important events concerning their AAR. But the more information you have from the game, the more you are able to bring that to your AAR.
    • Layout - This is a very important part of AAR writing. More thoughts can be read below in the "hints" section, but let us at least say that the presentation of your work will prove paramount. Decide if you wish to use screenshots, how you wish to present the material in game and how you wish to break each section up either as chapters, scenes or any other way. The well thought out presentation is always more likely to gain a readership and praise, if for anything due to the ease of reading and obvious care the author has taken to present the work.
    • Play/writing time scheduling - This is another often asked question - "how far ahead should I play?" There is no right answer. Some play as they write. Others play the game completely and then start the AAR. Both have worked in the past. Playing as you go does provide some ability to allow your audience to play along with you as they suggest action in game. However, playing ahead assists in allowing the writer to foreshadow and plan for events they will write about. See the links below for more on this.
    • Write to please yourself - If you are not enjoying the process of writing you will not be able to sustain a long AAR. So it is important to pick a topic/style that interests you, most people find the more they enjoy both the game and the writing the more engaging their writing becomes. Which in turn tends to attract and hold readers (see below). Of course you may end up only pleasing yourself so this is a trade off. But the discipline of writing up an AAR can improve your knowledge of the game and your game play skills.
    • Updating speed - There is a careful balance that must be found in this area. While it is generally thought to be consistent with updates to keep your readers hooked, too much of a good thing can also drive them away as they may not be able to keep up. Always remember that each and every member has a life outside of the forums and may not be able to read as quickly as you write. Finding a happy medium between what you produce and what your readers can consume is advisable. More than one update a day is generally too much. But one every few weeks is not enough to keep interest. Again, see the links for more on this.
    • Update size - And to go along with the above, the size of your updates should be prepared with readers in mind as well, so a good update should be long enough to cover the subject, but short enough to make it interesting. Too much can make it difficult for some readers to keep with the work. And to be sure, too short updates can turn readers off because there simply is not enough on which to comment. Again, look to the links below for more on this.

    Links to helpful posts/threads

    - Thread: How to Create a Table of Contents

    - Thread: How to make an image into a link

    - Thread: What is your favorite AAR style?

    - Thread: AAR Styles

    - Thread: How far after the fact do you write your AARs?

    - Thread: Too all those thinking of writing an AAR

    - Thread: How Much Time? (Time invested in a single update)

    - Thread: Thinking of starting an AAR, but need to ask...

    - Thread: Game-AAR time difference

    - Thread: Advice on First AAR

    - Thread: More discussion on AAR writing for someone starting out

    - Thread: AAR Question - Play ahead or not?

    - Thread: How To Approach Writing a Narrative AAR

    - Thread: Blog Functionality and AAR

    - Thread: Discussion on how long an AAR ideally should be

    - Gazette AARticle: Styles of Writing by Amric

    - Gazette AARticle: An AAR by any other name by Estonianzulu

    - Gazette AARticle: So You Want To Be A WritAAR by Amric

    - Gazette AARticle: So You Want to Write an AAR by coz1

    - Gazette AARticle: AAR writing (A newbie’s experience) by vigilantsldr

    - Gazette AARticle: So Just What Is A AAR? by Amric

    - AARlander AARticle: A mediocre guide for a better AAR by Tribolute

    - AARlander AARticle: A Worthwhile Portrait – Creating an ‘themed’ AAR by jeffg006

    - AARlander AARticle: THE AART OF MEDIA: How to Transform the Mediocre into the Magnificent by AlexanderPrimus

    - AARlander AARticle: Realism in AARs by TheHyphenated1

    - Thread: Approaches to record keeping and writing an AAR

    * * *
    Last edited by loki100; 06-05-2012 at 10:12.

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    IV. Writing an AAR


    2.) Screenshots


    I want to include screenshots in my AAR. What should I know? - Screenshots can be a defining feature of an AAR, which can supplant words, and every person’s taste for screenshots is different. This thread contains a useful summary of the options available.
    • How to – In all but the oldest games, you can hit F11 to create an exact image of what you had on the screen, and the image will be stored in /Paradox Interactive/(Game)/screenshots. If this doesn’t work, you can always hit Print Screen, minimize the game you are playing, open up a simple graphic program such as MSpaint, and paste the image into there. If you still have the old game, but don’t want to exit out of it to save your screen capture, you can always download screencasting software, such as FRAPS, or alternatives such as FastStone Capture (which works well with AGEOD games). It allows you to press a button while playing and it will save it in a designated folder. List of screencasting software
    • What file type to save as – When you use F11 on a paradox game it will save the image as a .BMP. This is fine for your viewing pleasure on your computer as the quality is good, but it is highly, highly recommended not to use this for an AAR. The reason why is because a 1280 x 768 picture, takes up 3.75 MBs and would be a nightmare to upload and for your readers to download. Take the same image and resave it as a .JPG and it shrinks it down to .8 MBs, a big difference. This is why most users have their images in the .JPG format because while it is still crystal clear, it takes up 20% of the space that a .BMP would occupy. The only thing lacking for .JPGs is the transparent background that comes with .PNG. The file format, .PNG is only suggested when a transparent background is needed because a .PNG will take up 1.4 MBs compared with .8 MBs. .GIFs are avoided because of their quality loss (only 256 colors are available).
    • Size – No screenshots should be bigger than 1280 x 768. It may look fine on your computer, but once it gets on the forum, it will stretch the screen causing many people to have to annoyingly scroll to read the text. It can definitely be a put-off. That’s why the majority tends to use 800 x 600, which fits for most monitors at home, but to be absolutely certain it fits on all screens, use the 640 x 480 size. It is generally considered bad practice to have an AAR focused on thumbnail pictures. The reason is that no one wants to click on it, suffer through ads, and then click on the picture again to see it in full detail. Now multiply this by 25 for an average update, and you can see the turnoff.
    • Program to use – There are endless programs to edit your screenshots. Some you have to pay to use, others are free. For raster graphic editing, the most popular of programs is Photoshop, but you have to pay a hefty fee in order to use it. If you have the money, buy Photoshop hands down. It is a powerful editor with an immense community behind it. Nearly anything is possible. Paint.Net and GIMP are the most popular free graphic editors and are used to substitute Photoshop. They are both programs that can be quite powerful once online plugins are downloaded. In reality, it is a question of whether or not you are willing to spend the extra cash to get the extra features. Each is special in their own right and can do things the others can’t. A forewarning, you may run across vector based graphic editors, they normally sacrifice clarity for photo effects, but since the forum can’t display vector graphics there is no use in using on for editing screenshots. Comparison of raster graphics editors.
    • Hosting sites – Ok you have the image, and now you need to upload to the internet so that it can be seen in your AAR. Very popular among forumites are imageshack and photobucket. Another is Windows Skydrive. In fact, there are many, many websites out there that will host your image for free, and all that is needed to show the picture in the forum is the url that contains “(picture).file extension)” To get your picture to show up all you need to do is put [IMG]url[/IMG]. For example, the smiley face at the end of the sentence has the url of http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/...lies/smile.gif, but you need the [IMG] + url + [/IMG] = .
    • Usage – Generally it is a good idea to adopt a middle of the road path when deciding on how many screenshots you want to put into an AAR. If it is a narrative, you normally lean away from updates focused on screenshots, and in a gameplay you embrace it. Still, don’t overdo how many screenshots you are putting into an update. You must always consider your reader and his patience to wait for a webpage of screenshots. If the there are too many oversized, large screenshots you are likely to lose readers. That is why you should add captions to each screenshot, as a screenshot may be worth a thousand words, but it can’t explain itself. Remember you can have no more than 20 screenshots and smileys in any one post.
    • Tips – There are endless tips and techniques to enhance a photo. Screenshots are no less option orientated. WritAARs have found creative ways to implement them into their AARs. Such as cropping the screenshot to show only the portion desired. People go as far as to make detailed effects and custom graphics. Most though, if they do edit their screenshots, make a simple border around them, which still does wonders. There is an infinite amount of tips so scour the tutorials and plugins so that you can get the most out of every screenshot.
    • Good practice/ideas - Don't be afraid to copy the tricks and style of other authors, after all flattery is often rather welcome. In particular all the AARs awarded AARtist of the Month were seen (by at least one person) as particularly good examples of integrating images into an AAR.

    - links to helpful posts/threads

    Maps - sources and design issues

    - Thread: Video AAR Tutorial NB: Includes link to blank province maps for CK, Vicky, and EU3

    - Thread: Sources for real world maps and mapping software by Loki100

    - Thread: A Question from a wondering WritAAR: How to do the US Presidential Election maps?

    - Thread: EU3View - Animated GIF Maps for your AAR

    - Thread: [GUIDE] HoI3 - Making Maps with Photoshop

    - Thread: [GUIDE] EU3 Old Map Tutorial Part I & II

    - Gazette AARticle: Cartography 101: Advanced Screen Shot Editing Techniques, Part II by MacRaith

    - Gazette AARticle: Cartography 101: Advanced Screen Shot Editing Techniques, Part III by MacRaith

    - AARlander AARticle: A Matter of Borders by ComradeOm

    - AARlander AARticle: To re-draw the map, you need to be able to draw it! by Snugglie


    General Discussions on Graphics

    - Thread: AAR Graphics Help

    - Thread: Question about Image Editors (paint and co.)

    - Thread: Screenshots in a Narrative AAR?

    - Thread: More on how to attach pictures

    - Thread: What's Required for a SCREENSHOT

    - Thread: How to resize a screenie

    - Thread: Screenshot Techniques

    - Thread: The AuthAAR GFX Kit Thread (for HOI2/AOD)

    - Thread: Discussion on different font options

    - Gazette AARticle: Cartography 101: Advanced Screen Shot Editing Techniques by MacRaith

    - Gazette AARticle: Screenshot Usage by coz1

    - AARlander AARticle: EFFECTIVE GRAPHICS FOR AN AAR by robw963

    - AARlander AARticle: WORKING WITH LAYERS IN PHOTOSHOP by robw963

    Image Hosting Sites

    - Thread: Another discussion about various image hosting sites

    - Thread: Question about images uploading


    Last edited by loki100; 29-09-2011 at 14:27.

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    IV. Writing an AAR


    3.) Writing Techniques/Hints


    How can I make my AAR better? - Once you have started getting around in AARland, you will find many talented people working on a variety of impressive AARs. Here are some helpful hints that will assist you in perhaps joining those ranks.
    • Spacing/Presentation– The first rule is presentation counts. The first thing a reader will notice is how your AAR looks. Many sentences (especially in dialogue) grouped together can get very hard to read. Paragraphs are your friend as is a healthy dose of spacing between lines of dialogue or lengthy passages.
    • Spelling– Spellchecker is your friend. Use it. Check your spelling as best you can. But it is often difficult for the writer to spot his/her own typos and this utility is a most welcome friend. But not as important as...
    • Proof-Reading– However you write your first draft, there are bound to be some mistakes. Every read through of your potential post will likely alert you to a mistake made in grammar, spelling, word usage, etc. Take a good look at each post before you hit the save button.
    • Outlines– Regardless on what type of AAR you decide to write, an outline of the potential scenes/posts you are planning in your work can always be useful. Just like notes taken during the game, an outline is a reference material to return to time and again as you move through your AAR. It helps the writer stay on track, especially during breaks in writing. Equally if you are doing a character based AAR, a character sheet can be very useful and this provided by Lord Durham as a guide might be useful.
    • The SolAARiumThe SolAARium contains years worth of conversations and posts by many of the writers that inhabit this area. Some of the main sections and themes are linked to directly below

    - links to helpful posts/threads

    AAR Styles

    - Gazette AARticle: And The Ugly: Protagonist-Antagonist and a third perspective. by Estonianzulu

    - AARlander AARticle: History, Human Psychology, and the Narrative AAR by The_Guiscard

    - The Solaarium: Integrating Historical Events

    - The Solaarium: Narrative or Gameplay AARs

    - The Solaarium: Different AAR styles

    - AARlander AARticle: THE HEROIC JOURNEY, CHAPTER ONE: SETTING SAIL by Atlantic Friend

    - AARlander AARticle: THE HEROIC JOURNEY, CHAPTER TWO: THE CALL OF ADVENTURE by Atlantic Friend


    Character Writing

    Remember imitation is a good idea, so check out the past winners of the Character Writer of the Week thread

    - Gazette AARticle: Characters: Love Them or Hate Them, You Created Them by Amric

    - Gazette AARticle: Will the real hero and the real villain please stand up? by Secret Master

    - Gazette AARticle: What’s love got to do with it? by Secret Master

    - Gazette AARticle: Relationships, the Sequel by Secret Master

    - AARlander AARticle: On staying within the perspective of your POV character by TeeWee

    - AARlander AARticle: THE HERO IN NARRATION by Atlantic Friend

    - AARlander AARticle: THE SUPPORTING CAST IN NARRATION, A GENERIC LOOK AT STORY ARCHETYPES by Atlantic Friend

    - The Solaarium: Writing Characters

    - The Solaarium: Creating a Character

    - The Solaarium: Character Description

    Dialogue

    - The Solaarium: Writing Dialogue

    - The Solaarium: More on Dialogue


    Historical Fiction and History Book AARs

    - Gazette AARticle: Writing Historical Fiction by Amric

    - The Solaarium: keeping the attention of your readers

    Recounting Events

    - Gazette AARticle: How to Write For Events by Amric

    - Gazette AARticle: How to write for Events, Redux: CK Events and You by Secret Master

    - AARlander AARticle: On big events and limited POVs by TeeWee

    - AARlander AARticle: PLAUSIBILITY IN NARRATION by Atlantic Friend


    Rules and cheating in an AAR

    - Gazette AARticle: The truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the… Nah, just write the story! by Secret Master

    - Gazette AARticle: Ruler Breaker by frogbeastegg

    - AARlander AARticle: The Unreliable Narrator in a Chronicle AAR by Alfred Packer

    - The Solaarium: Cheating in AARs

    - The Solaarium: Should the author lie?

    - Thread: Discussion on cheating in AARs


    Miscellaneous


    - AARlander AARticle: Publishing your Writing: An interview with Lord Durham by TreizeV

    - The Solaarium: tips on improving your writing

    Also read the various entries and discussions in Guess the Author, a great chance to practice writing and receive invaluable feedback


    Last edited by loki100; 26-11-2011 at 15:12.

  8. #8
    Field Marshal loki100's Avatar
    Rome GoldWarlock: Master of the ArcanePride of NationsRise of PrussiaCK2: Holy Knight

    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    Scotland
    Posts
    7,560
    IV. Writing an AAR


    4.) Research


    What research should I do for my AAR? - The answer is...as much as you need or want to .... but in truth the more background knowledge you present the more engaging a history book/narrative AAR will be and this can also help make even a gameplay AAR much more engaging. Let's get more specific:
    • How much and why– If you wish to present your work with any sort of verisimilitude, then you need to research your topic. The amount is up to you, but the more the better. From pictures to quotes, method of battle to modes of dress and conversation...every large or small amount of detail helps tremendously in the enjoyment of an AAR.
    • Where to find– The internet is full of sites to assist from wikipedia to specialty sites created just for the subject you wish to know about. Google always helps. Books too. Anything and everything that might make your AAR better probably will. Listed below are links that may be of assistance.

    - links to helpful posts/threads

    - Thread: Historical Reference Library, Links of Interest & Historical Fiction Markets

    - Thread: Nafziger Collection released - Lots of OOBs for free!

    - Thread: A great source for AAR material [Great military pictures from Popular Science]

    - Thread: Articles and books on spies and espionage

    - Post: Material about the Great Patriotic War

    - Post: Academic works on military strategy

    - Post: More works on military and political strategy

    - Gazette AARticle: Would You Like Tutti Frutti With That? by Director

    - Gazette AARticle: Weapons of the EU Timeframe by Amric

    - Gazette AARticle: Odds and Ends by Amric

    - Gazette AARticle: The How and Why of the Crossbowby Director

    - Gazette AARticle: The Beautiful People by frogbeastegg

    - Gazette AARticle: ‘Filth, Disease and Beauty’ by Director

    - Gazette AARticle: How Did They Live? by Amric

    - Gazette AARticle: Foods of the New World and Beyond by Amric

    - Gazette AARticle: En Masse by Director

    - AARlander AARticle: Exploring WWII: The Birth of the SAS by Phoenix Dace

    - AARlander AARticle: Swords in History vs. Modern Popular Culture by The Yogi

    - AARlander AARticle: A Brief History of Communism (1914-1953) by ComradeOm

    - AARlander AARticle: A Brief History of the Franco Prussian War (1870-1871) by ComradeOm

    - AARlander AARticle: Military Revolution by General_BT

    - AARlander AARticle: Europa Universalis Rome Showcase: The Hellenistic Kingdoms – Kingship and Armies by TreizeV

    - AARlander AARticle: The Dardanelles Campaign by robou

    - AARlander AARticle: The Fortress Revolution by General_BT

    - AARlander AARticle: The Belgian Revolution by Qorten

    - AARlander AARticle: Drinking and Partying in Antiquity by The_Guiscard

    - AARlander AARticle: “Praise the lord and pass the ammunition.” - a short history of the Artillery by trekaddict

    And don't forget to check out History Forums on the Paradox Website

    Last edited by loki100; 17-03-2012 at 09:25.

  9. #9
    Field Marshal loki100's Avatar
    Rome GoldWarlock: Master of the ArcanePride of NationsRise of PrussiaCK2: Holy Knight

    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Scotland
    Posts
    7,560
    IV. Writing an AAR


    5.) Comments


    How do I get comments? - As you begin work on your AAR, you will soon become aware of the number of views and comments you receive. To maximize potential feedback on your own AAR the following is advisable:
    • Read and comment in other AARs - Doing so will increase the possibility that those individuals will respond in kind and will also assist you in learning more about writing AARs.
    • Read and comment in AARs of those that leave you comment - To go along with the the above, make sure that you repay the favor of those that take the time to read and comment in your AAR.
    • Advertise in your signature - Clear links in your signature help other members see what you are working on and often times provokes them to follow the link. (Note: Please make sure you are aware of forum rules regarding signatures)
    • Remain consistent in your updates - A consistently updated AAR is more likely to find a following than an erratic one.
    • Be mindful of update size and speed - Due to the high volume of AARs being written, it is difficult for members to get to all AARs in a reasonable span of time. Overloading your AAR with updates, especially longer ones (or screenshot heavy ones) can make it even more difficult to read all that is offered.
    • Respond to your own feedback - A writer that responds to his/her feedback in a timely fashion and rewards those that have taken the time to comment is more likely to retain those readers and helps provide a group atmosphere to your AAR.
    • Be clear up front of your desire for comments - It is sometimes helpful for the writer to be clear with the readership that comments are desired and welcomed, especially what type - critical, humorous, game-play, etc.
    • Get involved - Members that become involved in other forum activities are more likely to draw people to their own work, thus increasing their readership longterm. The more your name is out there (without spamming, please) the more likely it is that members will see your name and work and wish to learn more about you.
    • Be patient - It takes some time to build a solid readership for many reasons - style, tenure, name recognition, etc. all effect this. The longer you keep active with your work, the more likely it is that members will take an interest. Do not allow a lack of comments at first deter you from moving forward. Focus on the AAR and let time take care of the rest. Know that moderators (and many members) are doing their best to keep notice of each work written and very interested in welcoming newcomers and encouraging more great AARs.

    Links to helpful posts/threads

    - Thread: The Great AAR Project (Survey)

    - Thread: Feedback

    - Thread: Lissen Up. Kids!! - A Moment, Please

    - Thread: Man, why did i start the AAR in the first place?

    - Thread: Quid Pro Quo

    - Thread: A Helpful Hint For WritAARs Who Want ReadAARs...And Want To Keep Them

    - Thread: A comment on comments

    - Gazette AARticle: On Comments by coz1

    - Gazette AARticle: Nobody Loves A Critic by Director

    - Gazette AARticle: On detailed comments or The Importance of the word Why by stnylan

    - AARlander AARticle: Comment Atonomy by phargle

    - SolAARium entry: The Nature of AAR Criticism (post #93 and forward)

    Remember there are rules on linking to external websites and as to what constitutes necromancy (ie posting in long dead threads) ... check these out here and the basic forum rules ... which you can check here. In addition check out the basic Forum Rules on expectations around the type of comments that are allowed.

    * * *
    Last edited by loki100; 30-09-2011 at 08:54.

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