Welcome, if you’re reading this, it is extremely likely that I deleted your story and you are looking for the reasons why. Likely you've come here from my talk page which you hopefully read before posting and asking why I deleted your story. Maybe you’re mad about it, maybe you’re confused, or maybe you’re just interested in learning what you did wrong so you can improve your future posts. All of those reasons are valid and hopefully by the end of this post I will answer all of those inquiries. If not, feel free to message me and I will answer you as best I can.
First and foremost, I understand if you’re mad; I would be mad too if my story was deleted after I had spent hours working on it. That being said, you have to realize that how you use that frustration will directly impact your chances to re-upload your story. So take a moment to stop typing and read this.
This will likely answer any questions you have as to why someone has deleted your story. Give it a quick look over and realize that sometimes there is more wrong with a story than just a few minor errors.
Let’s use a hypothetical and say I deleted two identical stories and got two varied responses. The first being inconsolable rage and the second being a genuine attempt to figure out how to improve their story. Which do you think I answered? If you answered both, you were right. Although I spent more time and gave a more insightful/helpful explanation to the one that didn’t call me scum of the earth. Being calm and inquisitive and not acerbic is more likely to result in me trying to let you know what was wrong in the story and what needs improvement
The Deletion Reasons
- Housekeeping- This is mainly for older stories that once may have slipped through review and are not up to current quality standards, heavily use clichés as a crutch, or is very generic.
- Duplicate Page- A page like this already exists. This holds true for stories that are re-tellings of old urban legends or because we already have that story on the site.
- Author’s Request- Fairly obvious, the author requested the deletion of their own story. Sometimes a story being blanked by the author constitutes a deletion, but we typically give them a warning to prevent blank pages from being left up on the wiki.
- Does not meet quality standards- I will elaborate on this more later as it is one of the most common reasons a story is deleted.
- Reuploaded Story- An author re-uploaded their story without having received admin approval or being accepted through Deletion Appeal. This means that an appeal or approval is required even if you have fixed certain issues as you may be overlooking larger errors.
- Blacklisted Subject/Violated the No-Spinoff rule- Here is a list of subjects we no longer accept on this wiki. Posting such a story without admin approval or acceptance on the Spinoff Appeal will result in its immediate deletion and a warning.
- Spam/troll pasta- That link is fairly comprehensive. Posting one of these will result in its deletion and you being given a three-day ban.
- Unfinished Page- The page wasn’t complete. This applies to 'work-in-progress' and stories that are to be 'updated' regularly. (As they are never finished in a reasonable amount of time.)
- Lacks story/content- Your story had no story/plot.
- Severe Formatting Issues- Your story was a massive wall-of-text/paragraph or had severe coding issues that would take a lot of editing to change it to a properly formatted page.
- Plagiarism- Your story was directly stolen from another source or heavily used plot points from another story. This offense results in the story’s deletion and an immediate six months ban. (In summation, don’t do it, we will catch you and/or another user will point out the similarities of your story, “Vito the Killer” to “Jeff the Killer” even if his catch-phrase has been changed to “Go to Napsburg!”)
Reasons for instant deletion:
Was your story: incomplete, a blacklisted subject, or a troll/spam page? If it was, you have your answer for why it was deleted. The wiki no longer accepts any of these stories and attempting to re-post them will most likely result in a ban.
Reasons Why a Story May Be Deleted After Being Reviewed by an Admin/Bureaucrat
- Format: Was your story basically a large paragraph or riddled with coding errors? How to avoid this: simply space your story correctly and preview it to check for errors before posting. For coding errors, post your story in Source Mode when editing.
- Grammar: Was your story grammatically sound? Did you use the correct form of it’s (it is) and its (possession) / you’re (you are) and your (possession) / there (indicatory), their (possession), they’re (they are)?
- Capitalization: Did you incorrectly capitalize words ? Did you remember to capitalize names, places, proper nouns, and “I”? Did you capitalize the start of sentences and dialogue?
- Punctuation: Did you remember to properly use commas, periods, semicolons, quotation marks, etc? This includes, but is not limited to: putting punctuation inside quotations, putting apostrophes in contractions (two words joined like: can’t, couldn’t, I’d, etc.), putting apostrophes in words indicating possession, properly punctuating sentences. Ellipses (...) are typically reserved for pauses in dialogue and omission of words from a quote. Using it as a 'dramatic pause' in the story itself tends to give it a melodramatic feel and overuse of ellipses can mess with the overall flow of a story. ("And then... I opened the door... and saw... a ghost... Not just any ghost... it was a hyper-realistic one...") Abuse of ellipses can make a story seem like this as opposed to a well-paced suspenseful story.
- Spelling/Wording: Are you properly spelling words? Note: this wiki accepts both British and English methods of spelling. (colour/color, defence/defense, center/centre) Are there malapropism/homophone issues (words that sound alike, but mean different things. Than/then, site/sight, knew/new, where/were, are/our, etc.)? Are there frequently words missing from sentences or extra/repeated words? Have you checked to make sure the words you are using are correct? (The thesaurus may seem like a helpful tool, but in reality, it typically does more harm than good. How would you respond to reading about a thirteen year old who’s currently home alone and writing a blog using college-level vocabulary for absolutely no reason?) Using five dollar words doesn't improve a story, very few people are going to say that just because you use "insalubrious" to describe an atmosphere that that makes you a good writer, It just comes across as word-dropping. Hemingway Vs. Faulkner. Faulkner said about Hemingway's writing, "Poor Hemingway, his books will never send readers running to their dictionaries." to which Hemingway responded, "Poor Faulkner, he thinks big words inspire big emotions." Being clear and concise is better than appearing educated and word-wise.
- Story: This is the most important aspect of your work and as such, it has the biggest impact on whether or not your story will be deleted or not. This section will be a little more in-depth because of this.
Was your story a means of introducing your OC or CPC (Creepy pasta character) and lacks/uses a generic story? If so, then there is a good chance it will be deleted for the reasons this guide highlights and covers. As it is quite in-depth and well-written, I will just link it rather than try to explain it.
Does your story use an excessive amount of Cliches or re-hashes story elements from dozens of other stories doing nothing original or not being a well-told story?
Does your story lack description or not have any suspense or build-up? (Building up the tension in a story can save it from deletion and can even make up for a few generic plot points/tropes.) Does it read like a checklist? (“I went to the basement. I saw a monstrous-looking monster. It killed me to death.”)
Things that Have No Impact on Deletion
- New categories: while making a new category is against the rules, we will not delete your story for incorrectly categorizing a story.
- Incorrect titles: having an improperly titled story will not result in its deletion
- The admin doesn’t like the story and/or you: Sadly enough, some users believe that we hold grudges against them and delete their stories just to spite them. That is never the case and it’s frankly an absurd thought. The admin/bureaucrat who deleted your story isn't sitting in front of their computer, twirling their (glorious) mustache, consumed by their all-encompassing hatred of you. They are just people trying to keep good stories on the site so we aren't inundated with low quality re-hashings of other creepy pastas.
- Take your story to the writer’s workshop! Seriously, posting a story here significantly raises your chances of it not being deleted. Taking it to the writer’s workshop after it is deleted often helps in revising it as users are more than capable of pointing out issues you may have missed.
- Proofread your story! Read it aloud to yourself. This will help you catch clunky phrasing, punctuation issues, and other problems you may have overlooked when writing it.
- Take your time when writing it! This wiki isn’t going anywhere. We’ve been around for five+ years and get dozens of new users every day. Don’t rush to upload your story. What’s another hour to re-read and check your story for issues? If you are in a hurry, you’re going to make a lot of mistakes and you’ll likely get your story deleted.
Once you’ve done those previous steps and if you've chosen to do a deletion appeal, make sure you bring a re-worked/edited version. Take a look at the current deletion appeal. (Now archived.) See all those (DENIED) responses? How many of those do you think re-worked their story and provided a copy for review? Five? Ten? Twenty?
Out of the forty appeals made on that page, zero people posted a re-worked version of their story. We delete these stories for a reason. Posting an appeal without making any changes or attempting to resolve the issues that resulted in its deletion will result in a denial.
To sum up this blog with one thing you should really take away (even if it's a harsh statement) if you can’t be bothered enough to try and salvage your story, why should we?