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  1. No Repeating Descriptions
    A repeating description is defined as any room's description that repeats _word for word_ any or all of another room's description. If two rooms are basically the same, use paraphrasing and/or switching around sentence and word structure.

    For example-
    • The street is hard-packed dirt. Rickety buildings flank it on either side.
    • Buildings that have seen better days line either side of the dirt street.

    The two sentences mean basically the same thing, but are still completely different sentences.
  2. Descriptions are to be Neutral in Wording and Content
    Your description should reflect a neutral area. This means that the description should fit no matter what IC situation may arise. The easiest way to go about making a description interesting but still neutral is to use conditional language. To use conditional language effectively, think of things that would be true of the area under certain conditions.

    For example-
    • (bad) The bright sun reflects off the sand, limiting visibility.
    • (better) On clear days the bright sun reflects off the sand, limiting visibility.
    • (bad) A breeze gently shakes the leaves of the surrounding trees.
    • (better) When a breeze blows it gently shakes the leaves of the surrounding trees

    In the above examples, "On clear days" and "when" make the sentences conditional. Another way to make a description neutral is to use non-specific language.

    Here are a few more examples-
    • (bad) The door to the house is shut.
    • (better) The door to the house is usually shut.
    • (bad) The common room is crowded with people.
    • (better) The common room is often crowded with people.

    Words like "usually" and "often" are non-specific language. They help convey the vision of the author while allowing the description to remain neutral. You can include terms such as "usually", "often", "sometimes", "rarely", "almost always/never", "nearly always", "hardly ever", etc. You should AVOID using words like never and always.
  3. Mobs Should Not Be Included in Descriptions
    Mobs and descriptions of people in general should not be included in room descriptions. The exception to this is if their presence is made conditional.

    For example-
    • (bad) Serving girls bustle about with drinks.
    • (better) During business hours there is usually at least one serving girl around to provide drinks for paying customers.

    If this seems unnecessary or confusing, try to think of it this way- What if you are a thief who has broken into the inn after hours? What if a plague wiped out the occupants of the town where the inn is located? Surly in either of these cases there would be no serving girls bustling around.

    **A final note on mobs- If you want to show an innkeeper in a room, do so by creating a mobile of an innkeeper, not by saying one is there in the room description. In many cases, this rule also holds true for objects as well, though not as strictly.**
  4. Avoid Repeating Words in A Single Description
    When the same words are repeated over and over in a description it not only makes the description boring but also make the author look like a poor writer. Get a thesaurus or use the one that comes with your word processor (most have one).

    For example-
    • (bad) A big rock stands in front of a big tree.
    • (better) A large rock stands in front of a big tree.
  5. Description Length
    Room descriptions should never be less than four (4) mud lines long.
  6. Proofreading Correction Policy
    Once your area is finished it must be proofread by one of the IMMS designated to do this sort of thing. If your rooms descriptions do not fit in with the building rules explained above, you will first asked to correct the problem(s). If you cannot or will not make the corrections yourself, an IMM will do it for you before the area will be put in. However, this will not earn you any brownie points and will also guarantee that your area will sit until the IMM has time to do it. If you are interested at all in seeing your area reach the play port in an expedient manner, it is _highly_ suggested that you do the corrections yourself.
  7. A Helpful Hint
    The following words and phrases can be used to create a formula of sorts that can help with writing descriptions-
    • ceiling
    • walls
    • floor
    • exits
    • objects
    • light source
    • sound
    • smell
    • nearby visible rooms
    • landmarks
    Each of the above terms can be used in constructing a room description simply by picking and choosing one or more of the terms and expanding upon it. Any combination can be used.

    For example-
    • ceiling + walls + exits + floor
    • light source + sounds + exits
    • landmarks + objects
    By mixing and matching the terms and then expanding on each one, not only is it possible to easily create a room description that is long enough, but it is also much easier to create unique room descriptions for rooms that are very similar in looks.

    For example-
    • Room A and room B are adjoining rooms in a tunnel. They would look very similar and even have the same exit directions. However, if you use the formula
      • Room A s description = ceilings + light source + smells + walls
      • Room B s description = nearby visible rooms + floor + sound + exits
      you end up with two completely different room descriptions that are still describing the same general atmosphere.