High Reaches Weyr

A Dragonriders of Pern Roleplay

Style Guide

High Reaches members are a prolific bunch. As zines soar well into the multi-hundred page range, we need to make our editor’s life easier. As we only have one editor, but multiple members turning out many, many stories, we need to operate with a common set of standards for some basic self-editing of our own stories.

And as such: the Style Guide. Read it, love it, live it. Some of these are a matter of personal taste, but the zine looks much better with a consistent style all the way through. Yes, you can absolutely write your story in whatever manner suits you, but then, like a responsible member, apply the following style rules before submitting to Mary.

A happy admin is a happy club.

Spell check
Proofread your story when it’s done, or deadlines permitting, a few days after it’s done. 90+ stories at 1 hour per story equals a very sad editor.

Google docs and word processing programs underline suspiciously spelled words. Re-reading (your and any co-writer of yours) stories catches word substitutions like ‘know’ and ‘now’, ‘than’ and ‘that’, ‘the’ and ‘what is wrong with Marisa, seriously, that she can’t keep these words straight’. Trust me, you’d rather catch it in google docs than in the final published zine because Mary’s eyes crossed after catching 73 instances of it beforehand.

Titles: There is a four line title.

This is My Title
These are the Authors
Here are the Personas! (Don’t bother listing NPCs, Mary will just take them out anyway.)
DATE - Year.Month.Day

If you don't have an exact date for your story, give Mary an approximate that is workable. For instance, ‘it’s a week after the Morning After RP’, or ‘a day in between Elsibeth’s flight and the wingleader meeting’, or even ‘anywhere in this three week span is totally fine.’ Please don’t give Mary an approximate like, ‘um. After her dog died and before his goldfish resurrected as a zombie’ because she might not know when those things happened.

Emphasis: We do a lot of different things to express emphasis in rps, and that’s completely acceptable because it gets the point across. For the zine, keep to italics. It so gets the point across, and looks better than *this*, and even this, and DEFINITELY these. (Unless there is shouting with emphasis, in which case, BY ALL MEANS!)

Smart Quotes: If you’re using updated google docs, congratulations! Google is graciously already doing these for you. If you’re writing your story in some other system, make sure to format your quotes so they curl appropriately, as seen here: “Yes,” she said informatively, “the direction makes them prettier.” Pause. “Also, this way, they don’t have to be re-typed by hand by the editor, which is incredibly horrifying to consider.”  

Dashes: Use single dashes, not double, with a single space on either side.
Yes!: “What do you mean - oh, very well.”
No!: It wasn’t as though she didn’t know any better-- she’d spent time with him before, after all-  honestly, you’d think she’d learn --  but then, she had been distracted.

Ellipsis: They have three dots, not two, or five, or seventeen.......even for emphasis. Also, please leave one space at the end of the three dots. {{I did win the memory game... didn’t I?}}

Spaces: I know somebody’s English teacher taught somebody this, but seriously, please no double spaces after punctuation. One space is good enough for everything.

(AKA, things Marisa struggles with)

Dragon speak: {{I win!}}
Rider to dragon speak: <<I know, I know.>>

Ages: Personas, like all things, get older. Because that happens when I’m not paying attention, I often like to be vague and talk about what decade they’re in. For reference, here’s how decades actually break down.
From ages 0-10, you’re in your first decade
At 20, you’re starting your 3rd decade
At 30, you’re starting your 4th decade

Word Choices and Capitalizations
Between: Dragons, fire-lizards, and their respective riders/cargos go between, not *between*, between or ::Between:: If you have an issue with italics, first of all there are sorority girls who need to talk to you, second, then *between* is fine.

Time: Goes by in sevendays, not weeks, though months are months. And Turns (note: capitalized!) not years. In the more immediate time-marking - hours, not candlemarks. Candlemarks came to Pern by way of a Companion's saddlebag. There's just one problem - candles are too expensive on Pern to use for keeping time. We like sundials. Or squinting at the sun. Or, you know, a clock. They’re handy!

Flights: Females rise. Males chase. Everyone flies. Queens blood. Greens do not.

Weyr: Headwoman always has a capital. So does Headwoman Second. While we recommend referring to the former as Headwoman Catia, Headwoman Second Cohanne is awkward. Feel free to use ‘ma’am’. Seriously.

Weyrwoman is almost always capitalized, as is Weyrleader and Weyrwoman Second, Third, Fourth. Your persona won’t usually say, “Yes, exactly Weyrwoman Third Gabrielle,” though they might say “Please don’t kick me in the face, Weyrwoman Fourth.” Or “No, I promise I didn’t pinch her bottom, Weyrwoman Nalan,” even though Nalan is not, of course, the Weyrwoman. 
However, weyrwoman, lower case, can refer either to a goldrider or a lady of the Weyr when not used a mode of address. For example, “The weyrwomen are all a little crazy; thank goodness they’re charming.”

Wingleader, wingsecond, wingrider, goldrider, bronzerider, brownrider, greenrider and bluerider are all ONLY capitalized in a direct address. Wingleader H'bib, Wingsecond Mayela, Wingrider N'vin, Goldrider Nasiree, Bronzerider T'ayne, Brownrider A'bel, Greenrider Cierra, and Bluerider R'vel. Otherwise: A wingleader, wingsecond and wingrider walked into a bar...

If you’re shortening wingsecond, 'second in this case has an apostrophe.

Craft: Master is usually capitalized unless used in a generic way. “No, I’m serious, Master Fisk is judging me again. You know how masters are - always thinking they know everything.”

The Mastercrafter of a craft is always capitalized. For example, “The master didn’t know what was going on, but the Masterfisher always has a lure in the water.”

Journeyman (not Journeywoman, come on, like mailwoman it just sounds vaguely patronizing) is only capitalized in direct address.

Craft names are capitalized when used with a title or in the proper name of the craft, but not usually otherwise. The Harper Hall is full of harpers. He always dreamed of being a weaver, but the Hall never called him.

Hold: Lord Holder is always capitalized, and only applies - wait for it - to Lords Holder.

A holder of a minor hold won’t be referred to as Lord, or my Lord, or your Lordiness, and holder itself is only capitalized in a direct address. “I do know Holder Penrick. He’s a poor excuse for a herdsmen, but he trades all right. The holder of Murrin’s Pass is too fancy for his seat, though, you ask me.”

Hold is capitalized in a specific hold name (Red Hold, Tillek Hold, Bumfort Hold), otherwise lowercase (They went to the nearest hold for medical supplies.).

Other Locations: The Bowl (or Weyrbowl), as, shockingly, bowls are for soup. And other liquidy foods.

Hatching Grounds and Sands are always capitalized. The event of a hatching is not. Also, keep in mind that the Hatching Grounds is just a really big cave. No one can fly over it, as it’s embedded in the mountain.

The dining hall, unlike the Bowl, doesn’t get capitalized. It's a specific place, but not a titled one, fancy as it likes to think itself.

On the other hand, the Lower Caverns as a whole rates a capital, whether describing the place or the people.

Thread is capitalized, otherwise it's something tailors use to tangle your fingers for confusing the two.

Threadfall is capitalized, and like ‘second, ‘Fall gets an apostrophe to show it’s an abbreviation.

*all errors contained within this guide are purposeful and for ironic purposes. OBVIOUSLY.

For any questions, please contact the editor.