Snowshoe's Sandbox

This is your dead [insert relative] speaking to yooouuuuuu.
Upload the cannibal oooooorgyyyyyy, Snooooowshoooooooooe.

Wilt is a sandbox editing poopface who is wrong about wrongness.

The Russian smiled, teeth shining through the blackness of the room. He leaned forward, and the American felt the already cramped room shrink around himself. The Russian spoke softly, but the American shook with every word.

"We want to leave. You have prevented this for a decade. We are done waiting. You will help us, or you will not be leaving the way you came in."

The American steeled himself, swallowed, and answered firmly.

"Division P has been defunct for too long, sir. Your… skills, I suppose, are no longer up to our standards. We cannot use anybody who has been out of-"

The Russian raised a finger, and the American stuttered for a moment before becoming silent.

"I assure you, we are up to whatever task you may have prepared. You need not worry about that. You must instead concern yourself with getting out of this room. There are only two exits, and you must choose one."

The American gulped, looked at the table, and signed the contract.

-Essay: Applying Critique: How to be Good at Being Bad-
Unnecessary. I've been told it gives good advice anyways, so may as well leave it here instead of scrapping it.

So you've written an SCP or a tale, and you want to submit it to the site. Fantastic. That's the heart of the community, and everybody is always glad to have more things to read. You've (hopefully) spent a lot of time working on this thing, and you'd really like to see it succeed. That said, there are a few things you need to take care of. 

0 - The basics: These are the things you need to get out of the way before you have people review your stuff. Yes, it's the largest section of this guide, but it's also the most important. 

  • Finish your draft: Seriously. You don't post works in progress on the wiki, don't ask people to review them either. Your article should look like it will when it's finished.
  • Be prepared: Believe it or not, how you present yourself matters. Don't be the asshole who gives no fucks about the success of their SCP. That doesn't make you cool, that makes you a douche. Be ready to answer questions reviewers might have about your SCP. If you have an area that you have identified as particularly confusing, fix it. Everything that you've decided to "fix later" needs to be fixed right now. Nobody wants to waste their time telling you to fix things you already know about.
  • Know how to science: If you've got any sort of science in your SCP, be it doorknobs or nuclear physics, you need to be able to sound informed. There are all manner of experts on everything on this wiki. Talk to them before you try to sound knowledgeable about things.
    • Check out the somewhat outdated Expert Witnesses page for people who know how to science properly.
  • Language: Whether it be because English is not your primary language, you have dyslexia, or you are a sentient pumpkin incapable of typing properly without hands; if you are not certain of the grammatical integrity of your article you need to do two things before you do anything else.
    • Run spellcheck: Do this anyways, but make absolutely certain that you have done this if you can't type well. Seriously. Do this.
    • Get review from a single, respected community member: If you have problems typing an article in a way that is easy to read and understand, find a respected reviewer. Somebody who is known for giving valid feedback on an article, the kind of people who post regularly in the help and advice forum. They are easy to find. PM them a link to your draft, and respectfully ask that they help you with grammar. Remember that they are under no obligation to help you, so be polite, especially if your draft is long. These people are willing to review drafts privately:
      • SnowshoeSnowshoe
      • Add yourself. Syntax is [[*user YourNameHere]].

1 - Proofread your own draft: It takes a little bit of reading for people to decide that your article is good enough to upvote. It takes one its/it's error for them to decide that you can't write. Catching these errors before you have other people read your draft will let them spend more time reviewing your article and less time reviewing your writing.

  • Run spellcheck: If you already did it, do it again. Your article is never good enough that it cannot contain spelling errors. Word will check your grammar for you. This is pretty essential.

2 - Put your article in the sandbox: Here's a little "how to sandbox" guide. I hope you won't need it, but I know a few people will.

  • Go to
  • Type your name in the 'Add a new page' box
  • Click 'new page'
  • Type up your draft and save your page
  • Save the URL of your sandbox, add it to the sidebar
  • Share the link with everyone else

Yes, Pastebin also exists. Yes, it is also possible to put things in pastebin for review. No, pastebin does not support wikidot formatting, which is what your article will be posted in. The sandbox is not the only thing that articles can be posted in, but it is the best.

3 - Accept that your draft is not perfect: There will always be issues with your draft. This applies to everything in life, so you may as well start applying it here. Be prepared for somebody to be a complete dick about how much your article sucks. Be prepared for everybody in the chat or five people on the forums to tell you in an alphabetized list why your SCP is utter garbage. Be prepared for your thread to dissolve into people trying to out-wit each other at insulting your draft. Be prepared for all of these things. If you cannot handle this, wait until you can to post your draft. 

Usually, people are pretty polite when you're asking for review. You probably won't have to deal with any really angry people unless you're terribly obnoxious while under review. Don't insult the people reviewing. Don't assume you know more than them, even if you're in college for a degree in whatever you're writing about. 

4 - Post your draft for critique: This is a big moment. You're posting this thing that you've put a lot of work into out on the Internet for the world to see. Now, step back for a second. People are about to tell you why this thing that you wrote has problems, and they might tell you that it's bad. If it's your first, accept that you will have numerous issues. 

Do not skip this step and post it straight to the site just because you don't want to deal with critique. Your discussion thread will, absolutely, be filled with people telling you to sandbox, lurk, and use the chat. Sometimes all three in one comment. It will not and should not be a happy thing to deal with. Everyone will be happier if you go through the review process.

Now, remember that the people who are about to critique are not insulting or critiquing you. They are reviewing your draft, which you have invested a lot of time and effort in. It is their responsibility to not be offensive, and it is yours to listen.

5 - !!Listen!!: This is the most important thing. Nothing will convince people that you need to die faster than you ignoring advice. If you're receiving advice from multiple people in chat, write it down somewhere. Copy and paste their advice into notepad. Keep logs. If you're on the forum, try to read all the critique you receive. Acknowledge the critic. Don't argue with them over small things like word choice or comma use. If it's something only they mention, it might not be a big deal. If it's something two people mention, fix it. 

Subsection: Etiquette. It is generally expected that everybody who uses the forum will treat everyone else respectfully. Nobody's asking for formality, but it is expected that you treat the other users like you would treat any other human being. Everyone is there to look at your draft and to help you improve it. If they're not in the help and advice forum to help people, they need to go somewhere else. 

With that said, you should take what is said in the spirit it is given. Do not get offended. Ever. At all. Over anything. Even if they call you names and insult your mother, be the bigger person. I'm not saying you need to lie down and take whatever people throw at you, but don't get emotional over it. 

6 - Understanding critique: The wiki has a rather unique style of critique that has evolved over the years. There's a certain slightly (or more than slightly) acidic tone perfected by the old senior staff that manages to cut just enough to make you feel like an idiot. Occasionally they cut a little deep. Please remember that they aren't trying to call you out as a bad writer, they're just trying to have a little fun. You might not appreciate it, but it does get a little tedious having to post cut-and-dry bland reviews on fifteen articles a week.

For actually understanding what people are saying, here's some common critique you'll see on articles. If somebody sucks at critiquing, you may use this to laugh at them and tell them they are wrong.

lolFoundation: I'm sticking this at the top because this is something a lot of people talk about and not a lot of people understand. Originally, lolFoundation referred to adding a humorous addendum at the bottom of the article, typically pointing towards rad hijinks by the Foundation staff. "If one more person does X with Y, I am demoting them to keter duty!" 
Now, people use it to refer to unintended (or out of place) humor in an article.

Grammar: Hopefully, they'll give you specific instances. Generally, it just means you got some sentences all mixed up and backwards somewhere. It is grammar.

Not Interesting: Either your anomaly isn't interesting, your containment sucks, or your description is bland. Try to spice things up somehow. Do not do this by making your thing more dangerous. Do not do this by stacking on more and more effects until it's a big rainbow of anomalous vomit. This is a dark path from which you will not return.

Spelling: I told you to run spellcheck. Really, I really did. Twice, even. I did.

Tone: You can look elsewhere for the exact definition. In the context of review, it means that you broke that clinical report somewhere. This can include everything from referring to a humanoid as 'he' to saying something is big. Just try to fix it and move on.

Almost as important as understanding the critique you receive is being able to identify the people who are giving it to you. Before you accept somebody as being a god of words, or before you write somebody off as an idiot, identify what they've done in the past. Know who the staff are. Know who has submitted a lot of articles. Listen to staff. Listen to people with lots of articles. They know what they're doing, and they've proven it repeatedly. 

If you're in #site19, consider messaging Nala with a request for an author page. Doing it publicly will start an E-peen war, and nobody likes those. Especially not whoever you just threw under the bus. Private messages are amazing.

7 - Applying critique: So, you've survived the fires of review. Mostly. Now you get to apply what you've been told. Here's how you fix your shit, in order of fixing:

  • What lots of people said to do: These are glaring errors that you should have caught when you proofread earlier. Fix them now, before people scream at you. You're even allowed to fix these while it's being reviewed, nobody will care.
  • What staff or established critics said to do: They know what they're talking about. If it's a grammar edit, do it. If it's a story change, consider it. They're not the be all end all of writing, but they are very good at what they do.
  • What the raging flaming dickwad everyone in the thread agreed with said to do: Contrast this to the raging ass everyone yelled at for being an idiot. The dick people agree with knows what he's talking about. The dick everyone yelled at was trying too hard. Know the difference, only listen to the one people like.
  • Everyone else.
  • That guy who recently had his third article of the day deleted and just wants to piss all over your parade. Don't respond. It will not end well.

8 - More review: Get somebody senior to take a look at your draft. Get multiple senior members to look at your draft, because there will be varying opinions. If you did this earlier, consider going back to the same person again. Note that phrases like "This is better than it was" do not mean that your article is good. That's an attempt to be polite. For this reason, I suggest consulting the raging asshole everyone agreed with from earlier. At least they won't try to spare your feelings.

9 - Get a solid consensus: If you can't get a group of two or three people who are firmly behind you and your article, get more review. Your friends from school do not count under this group. Get people you don't know to say that your article is good. Get multiple opinions. Listen to the person who complains, and consider fixing their suggestions. If by this point you still can't get a majority to agree that your idea is good, you may need to scrap it or do a total rewrite. If absolutely everyone is telling you it's bad, you need a new idea.

10 - Post: This is covered in the 'how to write' guide, but ah well. Redundancy is a beautiful thing.

When you click that little button to add a new page, these are the things people first look at on your article, in this order:

  • Title: Fix. The. Title. Before. You. Save. Look at the writing guide if you don't know what this means, because you need to read it again.
  • Rating module: Being a collaborative writing site, rating work is somewhat important. Yes, people can still downvote even if you don't include the module. Yes, somebody will add it on their own. No, this does not excuse you from including it.
  • Do not upvote your own article: They are meaningless Internet points. As long as your article is above zero, it's good. Upvoting yourself will very rapidly take your article below zero. This is bad.
  • Do not tag incorrectly: Don't even touch the tags if you're not certain what they should be. There is no prize for doing it correctly, there is no penalty for not touching them. Ignore the people in the discussion who tell you to fix your tags, because they are wrong and failed to read the required reading.

Any of these four things will leave a terrible first impression during the first crucial moments that your SCP is up. This is bad. Many people will downvote and not return later to review changes that you've made. You want to make as positive an impression as possible during the first hour that your article is up. It will get a lot of attention during this time, and many people who rate now will not come back to change their votes later. Make sure that you're available and capable of making edits during at least this time, because it's inevitable that somebody will point out something that you missed.

Mini Essay: Giving Critique, or, How to be an Asshole Without Sounding Like One.

Bonus Essay Bonus Round! Prepare for to be learning!

Giving critique on drafts is something that a lot of people do. If you want to do this, good for you! Helping members of the community improve their writing skills is awesome, and everything could always use improvement. However, here are a few things to consider before you try to critique something

  1. Are you confident you're giving good critique? Giving people bad advice is bad. Like, really bad. I cannot really specify just how bad it is here, but it is bad. Don't give bad advice or people will laugh at you. You should not approach giving critique like you approach a dying roach with a sledgehammer. You are not here to put the final nail in this article's coffin, you're here to help the author improve this article and hopefully their future ventures as well. Here are a few pointers.

* Make sure you'll be giving sound advice: Don't comment on a part of the article that you think maaaaybe could might use a change. Comment on parts that are ruining the experience for you, or that you definitely know should be fixed. If you absolutely feel that you must right now have to point out a flaw in the article that you might be incorrect about, mark that you're not quite sure about making that edit and invite people to correct you in following comments.

I remember the warmth. That is the first thing that I recall. The light was there as well, the soft orange glow of a dying star. But the warmth… It cannot be easily described. It is nothing like the cold of this place.

There were others there, like me. We are large creatures, and so we do not live in a place crowded with rocks, as this system is. Our home is not filled with stone but with soft warmth, and with the quiet light of a star that has found its place. I was told that the star was young when we first arrived there, and there is an ancient one who claims to remember when it would still speak. I do not believe his ramblings.

We spend a great deal of time as children incapable rational thought. None remember this period of their lives, though the caretakers tell us that it is amusing. We will chase after debris with a joy that is lost to the old, cavorting through space with an innocence that some have spent an eternity trying to recreate.

But, of course, you are not here to learn this. You are here because you wonder what our purpose is, what I am here to do?

There is a seed within each of us. As we mature, it evolves. Eventually, it multiplies. The process is… Complex, and I fear it is beyond your understanding. I will say that we may exercise some control over this evolution, and that many of our race take great pride in the complexity and beauty of their creations.

We carry this seed with us throughout our lifetimes, thousands of tiny lives held in an embryonic limbo. Some choose to never allow this seed to grow. They are unwilling to leave the glory of the skies for something so mundane as gardening. But others of us, we know what must be done.

And so we leave. We leave the warmth and joy and peace of that glad star and depart into the cold void. None who leave ever return. No songs are sung of their success, no warnings returned from their deaths. They simply disappear.

We search through debris and rocks and vast stretches of black nothingness, looking for somewhere that a small seed might take root and grow. It is a long, impossible task, and my telling of it would take many of your lifetimes.

Suffice it to say that after a great deal of searching, I happened upon a small planet that looked rather promising. And so I took the plunge.

We cannot leave these places, once we come down from their skies. We are not made for passing through things such as air. We are creatures of vacuum, made for crossing the great expanses between warm points of light for eons. Once we come down, we rest.

After my landing, I discovered that there was other life here already. Whether it was from another of my race or if it had naturally occurred, I cannot say. Nonetheless, I released my small seed into the world to fend for itself. I watched as it grew and changed, capable of things I had never imagined. It was incredible.

But, you ask, are you one of mine?

Scraps I plan on writing

Drewbear's challenged for a keter SCP to save the world or a safe SCP to end it.

Stuff I submitted

The titles of these things are links, by the way

Stuff I didn't use or that needs a lot of work