(WIP) The Article Workshop

By Redew and Lady Salamence. Art by ToxicPhox, ium, and Birkal.
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Once in a while ... There comes an article ... An article that grabs everyone's attention—that sweeps the floor and outshines all the others ... Too bad this isn't one. We'll just explain how those articles are made, as well as all the others. As you know, articles are born, nurtured, and cared for until adulthood, which usually takes about a month. That is, unless it's a late bloomer, which requires two months, usually. They are then let out of their cages to roam the wild Smogon campus for trainers to read to gain knowledge and Rodanedge, depending on the purpose of the article. This article will be an explanation on how that happens, and how you can get involved.

Getting Your Idea Approved

So, you have an idea you want to submit? Excellent! Down the hall, there's a door. Go through that door, and across the yard will be a Submission Box with sticky notes around them. That is Article Approvals, in which you submit your idea and get yelled at because you didn't read the rules that specifically said you can't do the Featured OU Pokemon. After you finish reading up on the rules of submitting, ask yourself if it follows the rules. If it does, post it, by all means! Fresh blood is tasty! Huh? I didn't say anything! But for the love of all things holy, please explain what you want to do clearly. Nobody wants to read a haiku on how you want to write an article about teambuilding in Challenge Cup.

So, after your class on explaining how using NUs in Ubers is a good idea (we need to talk to Theorymon about these classes ...), you realize a shady man with a Rotom face is signaling you to come over. He hands you a note with a message from Setsuna saying your article has been approved. Holy Cake! It actually worked! Now, go request Article Workshop access in the Group Memberships section of the User CP.

Welcome to the Workshop, we've got fun and games!

So, after getting approved for Article Workshop access, there's a lot of stuff to see. We'll explain most of that later in the article, though. This section will explain what you need to do first up. Once you get access to AW, post your thread. Afterwards, there is a thread called What Are We Doing?, more commonly known and referred to as the WAWD. If you don't see it, you're probably an early bird, so just wait for it to be posted. If it is there, you will want to post in there saying the title of your article (if you have one at this stage), who approved it, a link to the thread, and sentence or two explaining what it's about. Something like this would be appropriate for this article, assuming Redew is the poster: Lady Salamence and I will be doing an article about how articles are made, titled "(WIP) The Article Workshop," which was approved by jumpluff.

While the WAWD may not be automatically updated, you can still go ahead and post a thread. A title should look somewhat like [Issue #??] Title, a Title, with a (WIP) tag. That just means Work In Progress.

While writing up your article, remember the big difference between here and C&C: this is a more laid-back publication. Informal prose will be allowed in The Smog, unlike some analyses, letters, and articles. A good bottom line of what The Smog will and will not accept is this: an artist once drew a trollface for a Challenge Cup article. That was not allowed, and the artist had to re-do the face.

Yeah, I got it. That's not how you spell that word ...

So, now it's written up, but you spelled Regigigas wrong, five times. That's where our group of elite ninjas come in and fix up all the mistakes that were made. However, since The Smog is more lenient, some grammar changes that would be made for a C&C article are not made for Smog ones. We want it to sound like a friend chatting with you rather than an formal speech. C&C would make changes that The Smog wouldn't do in order to keep the voice of the author consistent throughout the article. While I am not trying to bash C&C— they do what they need to do for articles that are read as the final source on most, if not all, things competitive—The Smog allows an informal tone in their articles, and C&C doesn't, both for good reasons.

Oh, God, get away from me, Jellicent! Don't hurt me, OW!

Oh, hey. The last guy disappeared or something. Whatever. After you update your (WIP) tag to a (Grammar) tag, a few people will stop by to grammar check and make sure you spelled Girafarig right. After you receive two Alakazam stickers from the GPers, you can move on to the pretty pictures.

Why does my article need coding?

Well, you've most likely seen the numerous analyses, articles, and letters puked out by the lovely, dedicated C&C workers, and the only way for this to appear on-site is with code; all of the colors, texts, sizes, buttons, submission forms, etc. you see is made by the lovely Hyper Text Markup Language and Cascading Style Sheets. If you don't think that writing is your forte (like Redew's), you can HTML and CSS for The Smog instead! If you'd like to (and if you haven't already), send Setsuna a PM about why you think you're qualified to code for The Smog and he can give you access! In addition, there are many articles on the forums, such as chaos's HTML Primer and Oglemi's Smogon HTML 101 - The Utter Basics, that can help you with HTML. CSS, on the other hand, can be learned from W3's online HTML and CSS website. As of Issue #22, HTMLers had to take a test in order to HTML the many articles that you will see this issue (if you haven't already.) This test isn't very hard as long as you know the basics, but it is still required to take it unless you want to do something else for The Smog, such as write, GP, or art. Given that user: jumpluff is a master HTMLer (and that she has been HTMLing since Issue #1), she is probably doing the HTML for this!

Can I have a... uh... Pikachu on a surfboard?

No, you're writing an article about how overpowered Breloom is. Anyway, after the strange code is done with, you can update the tag (again) to (Images). In the Art Assignments thread, to be discussed later, an artist will be assigned your article. Unless you want to see what the artist can do on their own, contact him or her! It makes it a lot better for the artists most of the time, especially when they aren't sure exactly what to draw for your article.

Oh, did you want that guy over there to do your art for you? Yeah, sure, just ask him! Oh, you mean the person next to him... Nah, she's got, like, two articles to draw for, and that's a lot for an artist, as each article has two or more pieces to draw. You can ask for specific artists to draw for your article, but get in touch with them to see if they want to draw for you, and make sure they don't already have a load.

The Other Tables in the Workshop

Like any other section, The Smog has certain threads to post in to tell everyone what's going on so a riot does not happen. The moderators put their blood, sweat, and tears into this (mainly blood because of the sacrifices) project, as well as the dedicated writers, artists, and coders, for without them, none of this would be possible. The first thread that starts off a new edition of The Smog is the What Are We Doing Thread; however, it can be a place of dread for the moderators if you don't do anything with your article, making them pester you and possibly push it back an issue or two. The WAWD thread helps keep all of the articles that you see in The Smog organized so that we know who is doing them. If we did not have this, The Smog forums could potentially blow up! Art Assignments is another thread in The Smog forum; it lets everyone know which articles need art and who is doing it for them. There are two categories: Slow and Steady or Quick and Dirty. Slow and Steady wins the race produces artwork such as this. Quick and Dirty still produces great works of art, but in a shorter time frame and is generally more cartoonish-looking, such as this. Another recent thread addition to the ever-progressing Smog is the HTML thread. This thread is for official Smog HTMLers only, so don't go posting in it unless you are one of them; if you do, sandshrewz will spam your wall with so many ):< emoticons your computer will explode.

Speak up, we can't hear you!

If you are having trouble thinking of what to write for your article, don't be afraid to ask for help on it. Everyone is (usually) willing to help, so don't be afraid to PM a moderator of The Smog, or other Smog contributors! Also, if you can't finish your article in time, let a Smog moderator know. Not letting anyone know will (now) result in you not being able to write for the next issue, and if it keeps happening, you could potentially be banned from writing for The Smog ever again. This is usually not the case, because Birkal has too big of a heart to deny anyone a chance to write for The Smog. Generally, they let you either write it for the next issue or assign it to someone else. Don't worry about it, though! Everyone is busy, and we understand that.


What? You're still here? We'd thought you'd already gone off and submitted an idea! Well, get to it! We can't wait to clean your blood off the floor have you work with us! Additionally, if you want to find specifics on what we look for, here is a great thread to refer to. Thanks for reading!

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