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perfectlemonade

The Typist (How To Write a Good Thread)

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Note: This is a guide to creating a good thread, but presented in a different form. The normal font is the story (the word 'story' is used lightly), and the yellow is the actual guide. Props to Eye for giving me the idea to put this in story form and giving me some inspiration. Also, big thanks to MyLittleHellhound for giving me a good starting point on the story part of this thread. You can find his very cool thread

here. Enjoy.

The Typist

The typist, true to his namesake, pounds away on his keyboard, the moon outside shrouded by clouds. It is raining outside, white noise the perfect backdrop to his concentration. He is creating, recreating. Thinking out scenarios. Sifting through the ordinary for the extraordinary. Youtube. Old threads. Stickied threads. This is step one, after step zero. The tireless research, the endless gameplay, the theorizing, the questions asked. Formulating a plan, the typist takes down some notes. It is coming together. His art, his own thread, is coming together.

His thread will be about points. How to use them. How to earn them. His thread will be an ultimate guide to conserving points, spending points, and farming points. He feels points are the driving force of Zombies, the life-giving currency that keeps you alive and breathing. He wants to spread his knowledge and wisdom he has collected about points to the rest of the community. To help people out. To help himself out, at times. And a thread is the easiest way for him to do this.

As the night grows old, withers, and the morning is born, the typist finds what he is looking for. He has found the videos, the threads, the select few that make the cut. Only the best of the best get in, as he intends for this thread to be a memorable one. Some of his favorites, that he knows will directly go into the guide once they’re all done, he’s already copy and pasted into a document, just so he doesn’t lose them.

Hack the Mystery Box while a weapon is up for grabs: Re-roll for the cost of 600 pts. [Takes approximately 2s]

Hack the Mystery Box while that weapon is up for grabs: Get a free 950 points and allow anyone to take that gun rather that just you. [Takes approximately 1s]

Hack a Mystery Box spawn: Get a 1-time roll. It will, after, disappear. [Takes approximately 2-3s] This spawn will then never work in a Fire Sale, and after that, you cannot hack it again. This also prevents the box moving to the spawn you hacked (it will sooner or later), Costs 1200 [Takes approximately 3 seconds]

Hack a power-up: Changes the power-up to a Max Ammo but costs a huge 5000 points. [Takes approximately 3s]

Hack the Pack-a-Punch: Cages you and/or other players in the Pack-a-Punch area to ensure a safe upgrade. You also gain 1000 points. The cage stays up for 30 seconds. [Takes approximately 5s]

Hack a window: Repairs the window entirely and gain 100 points. Hack that same window 3 times in one round and it will take 300 points and repair it rather than giving you 100 points again. [Takes approximately 2s]

Hack a door: Opens for 200 points instead of the regular price. [Takes approximately 30s!]

Hack a wall gun: Switches regular and Pack-a-Punched ammo prices. Costs 3000 points. [Takes approximately 2s]

Hack a player: Gives that player 500 points (but takes 500 points from you). [Takes approximately 10s]

Hack an excavator (the huge Digger): Stops that excavator from digging, saving that area from losing oxygen and preventing to blocking your path. You gain 1000 points from this. [Takes approximately 5 seconds]

Hack a Perk-a-cola machine: Get a refund of how much points that perk originally cost (example: hack PHD Flopper to get back 2000 points, hack Mule Kick to get back 4000 points, etc.), but you will then lose that perk.

You can also hack thing in the laboratories (where the MP5K is) to proceed with the major Easter Egg,Richtofen's Grand Scheme.

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The first step of every thread, after the immediate and sudden epiphany that you want to create a guide/theory, is to research. Invest in Youtube. This site. Snoop around the maps to see what you find. Use the resources you have available. You won’t be impressing anyone—or helping anyone, for that matter—by just writing down a bunch stuff you came up with off the top of your head. You need to research, find interesting things that support your arguments and tips you make in your guide or theory. If you or a friend have recording capabilities, and this applies moreso strategies than anything else, by all means record a little footage to show us just how effective your strategy can be. This is just the beginning stages. Finding what you need. Be sure to cite your sources too, and write down the actual bit of info you need.

The typist sits back, satisfied. He wishes he could include everything that has helped him along so far. But he realizes that he hasn’t even gotten to the fun part yet. He has just finished research, just step one, the smallest step of the staircase. The research is over. The messages and questions to users will stop. Hours spent trying to find worthy threads and Youtube videos are behind him. Now he must put this to use. He must take matters into his own hands, construct and create words and phrases and sentences to become a true guide, its own animal, its own work.

This is step two on his quest to creating the guideline to collecting, whoring, and spending hard earned points. The actual act of writing the post. The typist stares at the empty Word document, trying to muster up the creativity and energy to write the post. The intro. That is first on the table. The introduction, a general overview of what is to come in the thread. He considers, starting then stopping then deleting then starting again. Finally, after coming up with two separate intros, he decides. And he is pleased with the results. The typist admires the introduction. It represents everything he feels an introduction should represent. It reads:

“There are these things called points.

It’s in Zombies, and it’s probably the single most important aspect of Zombies. Without points, you’re a dead man walking. That’s the best way I can put it. Without points, you’re hopeless, trapped in the spawn room forever with nothing but a pistol, a couple nades, and a knife. No doors, no Mystery box, no perks (except Quick Revive on solo), no Pack a Punch, no traps, absolutely nothing. You’re better off ending your misery before it even begins in a world without points. The thought… OH THE SHIVERS AND SHAKES COME OVER ME (brains for the first user that can put that quote to a character). But yeah, living in a world without points would NOT be fun. And, to be honest, Zombies wouldn’t be much fun either.

But, thankfully, we have points (though, according to the multiverse theory, there an infinite number of multiverses [it’s not a universe because the term ‘universe’ would imply a single plane of existence] where an infinite number of typists play an infinite number of games of Zombies where points do not exist, and an infinite number of multiverses Chuck Norris plays Tank. You get my point {pun intended}), and they’re not going anywhere anytime soon, because points are undoubtedly the staple of Zombies as a whole. So you gotta know your stuff when it comes to points, or else you’ll find yourself in a sticky situation. And later on, who knows, maybe you’ll develop an interest in the point whore philosophy and become one like me.”

The introduction now complete, the typist moves onto what he’s been waiting for: the body of the guide. This is where legends are made. This is where Superhands, Tom, Ehjookayted, AlphaSnake, TacticalInsertion, and so many others have made a name for themselves. And this is where the typist plans to construct his work, so players and users young and old can know about… points.

An introduction is where you hook your reader. If you want a good thread, be sure to make the intro a memorable one. Make sure to write something that the reader can relate to. If you are writing a very advanced theory destined to be posted in the Asylum, start out simple. A ‘hello’ or ‘what’s up’ then a witty comment or two, or stating something that is accepted and little more than common knowledge in the Zombies storyline will suffice. Something to loosen up the tension. You are aiming to impress the reader with your chill-ness, get them involved and interested in what you’re writing, not boring them to tears.

After that, tell us what your thread is going to be about. This is the thesis of your thread, if you want to call it that. Make it clear and obvious that you will be talking about **insert topic here**. This will set up the rest of your thread.

Also, try to relate it to something you’ve actually experienced (AKA being specific). This is something your English teachers, for those of you in high school, will often tell you to do in your essays. Even though I love writing, and essays are usually no exception, I’ve always found this to be pointless. Until I began writing threads, that is. Being specific gives the reader proof that this is something real, not just some crazy hypothetical scenario that will never happen, and thus gives your thread more life. The art of giving specific examples in threads is often, along with being lively and fun in your writing, overlooked.

Once you have done that, transition into the body of your thread. The transition can be sly, or it can be bold. It is up to you handle the transition. A simple ‘therefore’ is enough in most instances…

He thinks about what he’s going to write, and after looking through some of the greatest threads on the site, he realizes that the key to a good body of a thread is not just the degree and quality of the facts, tips, and such, but also keeping the reader interested. He realizes that yes, while a lot of pictures, as well as lots of pro-tips, are nice, the thing that sets the extraordinary threads from the extraordinary ones are the fact that the latter are so fresh and fun that they seem more, well, appealing. The typist takes this into consideration and organizes his thoughts, puts them into words, looks it over, deletes the ones he doesn’t like.

The quotes and images he saved long ago are now put to use. He sets it up, carefully preparing the places and methods in which he will present the media he intends to use as a reiteration of points and arguments he first stated in the introduction. He expands his thread, gaining speed, marking off paragraph after paragraph, until he approaches the finish line.

The body of the thread is where you can—and will—shine. This is where people will learn things. This is where good threads become incredible threads. Most of the great threads on Codz are quite long, but this is not necessarily set in stone. For instance, AlphaSnake’s epic Grand Design is not really that long compared to some of the other ones on the site, but the quality of the writing, coupled with the massive amount of images in it, make it truly something to be remembered. So yes, length is certainly important, but anyone can write a bunch of crap for 30 pages. If you want something to be remembered, be sure to prioritize quality—in both writing and other media used in your thread—over quantity as you go about writing the body of your thread.

Now, it may seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be! Break it down into portions. Keep organized. I, myself, am not the most organized person. One look at my locker at school will tell you the entire story. However, keeping organized in stories, essays, and yes, threads, is quite different. All you really need to do is separate your thread into sections. Break down your work. Instead of tackling everything you want to say at once, split it up. Write a set amount each day. Let’s say you’re writing a thread about perk placement on all the maps. Instead of creating a big, jumbled mess that you get finished in one night, organize the contents of the thread by map. Make a goal to write about x-amount of maps in x-amount of time. Utilize bullet points, and the bold, underline, and italic function made available to you by callofdutyzombies.com. The art of organization is greatly undervalued on big threads. And I’d like to think I’m pretty good at keeping my threads organized and clean. ;)

Also, be sure to keep interesting. You have already hooked the reader in your introduction; don’t lose him/her by becoming bland and redundant in the body. Go above and beyond. Inject some of your personality into the thread. Make a sly joke, tell a small anecdote (this relates back to giving specific examples in your thread). Do whatever it takes to keep the reader interested. However, keep in mind that ranting and going completely off topic for more than a few sentences isn’t a good thing and will contribute to unorganization in your thread. I cannot tell you how to know when you have gone overboard with your creativity and ‘spunk’, but identifying when you have found the balance comes with practice and experience. That, I assure you.

That’s about it with the body of your thread! Write it up, insert the pictures, videos, and quote when needed, then head on to the final step of the writing process: the closing.

And then, the last words. The last words are typed. The period. The finality of the period hits home. His work is finished. This is what he has worked so much for. The last period of the last sentence. The feeling, he knows, will stay with him forever. That he has completed a work that will be appreciated, remembered.

The typist finishes the thread, the closing, with a thank you. To the reader, for making it through the fifteen page thread. And it means a lot to him to know people read, and enjoy, his work. The typist, after weeks of vigorous research and writing, ends the thread with a simple signature.

-the typist

Step three is complete.

Your closing is the saliva that seals the letter closed (what a wonderful analogy). It is the final say. My closings are usually short and sweet, but some people prefer to extend them out, giving out thanks to everyone that was involved in the effort. And yes, while this is important, I feel that this can be put into the introduction, or a small author’s note before the intro, instead of the closing. My reasoning behind this is that, by the time your reader arrives at the end of your thread, they will be bored. They will not want to read about everyone that helped you out. Sorry, that may seem blunt, but you gotta admit that it’s true. ;)

So I just say a thank you to the reader himself. For getting through the thread. Because, let’s be honest, not that many people are going to enjoy every single word you have written. Some people have the attention span to read it all, but most will just skim it and probably miss the closing itself. So this is where you thank them for making it through the whole thing. Once you wrap up here, you’re done with the writing portion! Just be sure to not rush your closing. While it may feel illogical to pay a lot of attention to such a seemingly insignificant portion of your thread, you have to remember that this is the last thing people will read. Be sure to make it memorable!

And now, the typist is done with the writing. He exhales, smiles, allows himself to relax. The typist has earned it. The typist gladly accepts the feeling of accomplishment that rushes him, like a flood. He realizes that finishing a first draft of any work of literature is a huge accomplishment, and his thread is certainly no exception.

But the typist does not let his concentration slip for long. After venturing off to bed, he awakes the next morning with a new goal. Editing. He vigorously attacks his thread, looking not only for spelling and grammar mistakes, but also cutting and adjusting the sentences that don’t quite sound right, that don’t go along with the rest of the thread. He spends the entire day doing this, cutting a 30-page thread down to 20 pages. And at the end of the day, at last, with everything beautiful and clean, the typist prepares the post on callofdutyzombies.com.

You have finished writing your thread! Congratulations! It is a huge achievement! Give yourself a pat on the back. You have given hours of your life to this thread. And it was certainly worth it. The feeling of knowing you have shared knowledge and wisdom that you have collected over your career is certainly a good one.

But it’s not over yet. The first draft of a thread, like a first draft of an essay, will be overflowing with mistakes. But not just mistakes with your conventions, but with the very content of the thread itself. Sentences will need fixing. Entire sections will need fixing. This is why a simple spellcheck on Microsoft Word will not suffice (assuming, of course, you’re writing this on Microsoft Word, which is something I would definitely recommend). You have to go deeper than that. You have to physically read over the entire thread, perhaps multiple times, to make sure that your points connect, that you use proper capitalization and punctuation, that a misspelled word doesn’t get past your keen eyes, that your sentences make sense. This is the most tedious and boring part of the entire process. But you are close. You are so very, very close. You can smell it. You can almost taste it on your tongue.

The actual act of editing and proofreading your thread may seem more intimidating than writing the thread itself. This due in part to human limitations. By the time you finish your guide or theory, you will be exhausted and tired of writing and working. This is why editing can take such a long time. The best way to handle this problem is to, like writing the thread, split up the work into portions. Edit a set amount of text everyday. This may take a couple days; it could take a week or two. Just don’t rush it. Making your thread pretty and shiny is one of the most important steps of the process! It would be a shame to see your work presented in a less than stellar fashion just because you wanted to speed up the editing process. Be deliberate with your editing. The old idiom ‘slow and steady wins the race’ applies to this step more than you can imagine. A rushed edit is a poor edit. That is all it comes down to. I know it seems boring, pointless, stupid, but I promise you, if you do a good job editing your threads, you will see the additional work pay off. Hugely.

And with that, you are done. It’s a great feeling. If you are using this as a set of guidelines, I’m sure you will agree with me when I say that finishing that first thread, your first great theory, your first epic guide, evokes a set of emotions that one could only describe as euphoric. Give yourself a round of applause! You have achieved a feat few on this site can claim. You, my friend, have completed a memorable thread.

Now, only a few more things to do until you’re ready to show off your work to the world!

The typist, armed with a beautiful thread that he couldn’t be prouder of, copy and pastes his work onto his new post on Codz. He goes about adding in the code, the indents, the bullet points, the sizes, the colors, the fonts. Soon, it is ready. The thread is incredible, and he is so proud to be called the creator of it. He knows it is something to look back at and say just how interesting, how enjoyable, it was to create such a work of art. Forever. He can’t believe that it’s ready to be shown to the public. That it’s finally time to see all his hard work pay off. But it is. It seems like a millennia ago that he began his research, after the idea hit him like a freight train, with the rain pattering against his bedroom window and the clouds covering the full moon in a veil of mist. It’s time. The typist, having already typed the last word in this chapter of his Codz career, hits the preview button for one lest check through. And everything is fine, perfect, wonderful. Everything is just the way he wants it to be.

The typist presses enter. And his thread is made visible to the world, the cover blurring the words to everyone else lifted.

Finally.

There. You are done. Your thread, having worked so, so hard on it, staying up late on schoolnights (worknights) and perhaps even sacrificing a small portion of your social life for it, is now done and is now public. You reached your goal. The going got rough, yes, I’m sure, but you reached your goal. You finished your thread. You made your dream a reality. You did something that you were determined to do.

It’s a great feeling, isn’t it?

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Before you can post your thread, you have to physically move it there! You can achieve this by simply copy and pasting it into a new post on the forums. Then, insert your desired font, colors, italics, bolds, indents, etc. until you have a thread that is the closest to what it looks like in your Word document. For this part of the process, you may want to shrink the window of both the new post and the Word document so you can line them up, side by side, and compare. Inserting the code will take some time, but trust me, it looks so much better with all the code in it than it does as a big glob of text and images!

Once you think you’ve got it all neat and pretty, click the preview button to double check one last time that everything is in order. And after that, submit! Presto! You have now completed a thread! Congrats!

Now, of course, this is not a word for word breakdown of what will happen in your thread. This is just the general process. Sometimes things come up. I was working on a thread not too long ago, involving the next game from Treyarch (Black Ops 2 had not been announced at the time). It basically gave an in depth observation at what we, as a community, desired for the next game. And it was a good one. However, just days before it was ready to be posted, someone else posted a thread on the exact same topic. I decided that it would not be morally right to post the thread, as it had already been covered, and scrapped it. Now, I’m not saying this will happen to you, but be prepared for roadbumps such as this to occur, and do not take it to heart if something big like this happens. It’s not fair but hey, life isn’t fair, ya know?

Well, I think that’s about it! I hope you enjoyed this, and if you want to see more threads presented in this format, please do say! Also, if there’s anything that needs to be improved or talked about in more depth, don’t hesitate to speak up. I want this guide to help those guys that are trying to break into the thread-writing business. It’s tough at first, but once you get the hang of it, things can become quite simple! Thanks for reading! I’m leaving you guys with some general tips on thread-writing. Hope they help!

General Tips

-Keep a running tab of how much you have worked on each day. That way, you can get a good judgment of how much writing you can handle in a given day.

-If you’re not feeling confident in the thread, ask one of your friends to read a few paragraphs for you! My readers are normally Eye or MyLittleHellhound, both of whom give excellent feedback.

-Once you’re in the zone and writing the thread, do yourself a favor by turning off the Internet. You can easily get distracted (talking to you, StumbleUpon) for hours at a time on the Internet. Hours that could be spent working on your thread. ;)

-Don’t get too stressed over the thread. For my first thread, I freaked out so bad over it. I thought it was horrible. My heart was racing as I submitted it. Was it good enough? Would people like it? Turns out, people did like it. If there is something that needs improvement, we will tell you. But not in a mean way. In a constructive. So don’t stress over something like a thread. It’s not worth it.

-The best tip I can give you is to just not rush things. Yes, it is good to have organization and a goal for a completed thread by some predetermined date, but if it is going to cost you in quality, then it is only logical to say, “screw you goal, Ima do it my way.” That’s the biggest thing, for me, anyways…

Thanks again!

-perfect

P.S. Oh! I almost forgot! If you wanna check out to see how the typist’s thread turned out, just click here. Ok, I’m out. PEACE.

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Very good, helpful and interesting thread, perfect.

[brains] to you!

Oh, and this is a pure guess by the way, was "OH THE SHIVERS AND SHAKES COME OVER ME" said by Edward Richtofen by any chance?

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The morning dew glistens as I read this. Everything is so perfect. The horizon breaks on the stucco brick rooftops, and I feel a little bit melancholy. Every thread, every word I've ever typed comes back to the tips of my fingers and I start to tear up. The work that I put in is pure energy, a true manifestation of what I truly want to see in the world. In creating threads, I find solace in knowing that my work has the chance to be appreciated, to be cultivated into another thread, and another. The thread cycle. What we are given, we must put out. What is put out is given back. That is our story. We are typists, and all it takes is a single keystroke to affect change in the world.

Great thread, Andrew.

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Very good, helpful and interesting thread, perfect.

[brains] to you!

Oh, and this is a pure guess by the way, was "OH THE SHIVERS AND SHAKES COME OVER ME" said by Edward Richtofen by any chance?

Yep. That question has already been answered, though. I probably should've cut that part out for this thread. ;)

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Brilliant work mate such true words, all of this reminds me of the time I was writing the Complete Solo Zombies Survival guide. Still find myself correcting my sentences on that even now :lol:

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Very good, helpful and interesting thread, perfect.

[brains] to you!

Oh, and this is a pure guess by the way, was "OH THE SHIVERS AND SHAKES COME OVER ME" said by Edward Richtofen by any chance?

Yep. That question has already been answered, though. I probably should've cut that part out for this thread. ;)

Ah, it doesn't matter. To be honest I'm just happy I managed to guess the answer, I'm normally awful at that sorta thing :lol:

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Nice nob lemonade, you must have out a lot of hours on this! :) [brains]

Wow, quite a fatal spelling error there dude! :lol: In England that word means SO much more than a door handle :lol:

Anyways, epic job there Andrew. Seriously man, this is a great thread, you should be proud! We really are lucky to have you here at CoDz ;)

-Jolteon

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Very good, helpful and interesting thread, perfect.

[brains] to you!

Oh, and this is a pure guess by the way, was "OH THE SHIVERS AND SHAKES COME OVER ME" said by Edward Richtofen by any chance?

Yep. That question has already been answered, though. I probably should've cut that part out for this thread. ;)

Ah, it doesn't matter. To be honest I'm just happy I managed to guess the answer, I'm normally awful at that sorta thing :lol:

Tehehe. What the hell though, I'll still give ya some [brains] !

Thanks for all the kind words, guys! It really means a lot! :D

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Tehehe. What the hell though, I'll still give ya some [brains] !

Aww, schucks. Thanks perfect! :)

Thanks for all the kind words, guys! It really means a lot!

You're welcome - you deserve them after all! :P

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Very good, helpful and interesting thread, perfect.

[brains] to you!

Oh, and this is a pure guess by the way, was "OH THE SHIVERS AND SHAKES COME OVER ME" said by Edward Richtofen by any chance?

Yep. That question has already been answered, though. I probably should've cut that part out for this thread. ;)

Ah, it doesn't matter. To be honest I'm just happy I managed to guess the answer, I'm normally awful at that sorta thing :lol:

Heh. Was just looking back at this and accidentally gave you brains again because I thought I didn't give them to you the first time! Woops! Freebie, I guess. :p

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