"The Moderator-Approved Grammar Guide" by Sharp Shiny Pickle

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An Introduction to the Guide
By Sharp Shiny Pickle

The Lunaescence moderators have come together to create a grammar guide that is aimed to give authors something to refer to when their stories are denied and in a roundabout way, make our lives easier. This guide will help you improve your grammar, improve your chances of validation, and hopefully improve your experience on Lunaescence. The following are important points to keep in mind before you submit your work.

1.) Use some kind of spellchecker. Whether it’s Word’s built in spellchecker or an online spellchecker, use it! You’d be surprised how many stores are denied based only on misspellings. Even if you have all the confidence in the world in your spelling abilities, it’s always a good idea to double check. I know it’s sometimes annoying when you have a lot of Japanese names or words that get marked as spelling mistakes, but you can always click “ignore all” or “add” them to the built in dictionary.

2.) Look over your work or have someone else, i.e., a beta reader, look over your work. Don’t just write and post; take some time to read over your work for typos and such. Having a beta reader is even better since it’s a different pair of eyes reviewing your story. If you don’t have one and already have a forum account (since registration is not working for now), you can request one here. You can also have a friend beta for you or even ask your readers for help.

3.) “Preview” your story before you click “Add Story/Chapter.” This one is less grammar related and more formatting and html based. It’s not uncommon for people to have their entire stories unintentionally in all bold and italics because they didn’t close an html tag. In addition, if there is an open bracket without a closed bracket ( > ) afterwards, then everything past that bracket will be deleted because the archive will think all your text is part of an html tag. Furthermore, it’s good to preview your story to make sure your spacing format is appeasing to your reader. Nothing makes a moderator want to skip your story when we’re looking through 100 + submissions, and yours is a wall or column of text.

4.) Always be looking for ways to improve your grammar. An obvious way to do this is to read writing and grammar guides like this one, but a less technical way is to just be aware of grammar when you are reading pretty much anything. It can be a novel or some fanfiction (though you should be careful with this one since the author might not have the greatest grammar themselves) or a magazine article or questions on English homework; if you’re reading something and notice they put their commas in a different place than you do, then use that observation to make your grammar better!

5.) If you are not a validated author, only add one chapter per story at a time. Submitting multiple chapters of the same story is not allowed and will result in these chapters being deleted automatically. Try to think of it this way: if you’ve uploaded ten chapters of a story, but only chapters 2, 4, 7, and 10 are validated, that’s not going to be very good for you or your readers. Just to clarify, though, submitting multiple chapters of different, separate stories is perfectly fine.

6.) Check your email for messages from moderators and read the announcements. When we delete a story, we will send you a letter explaining why it was denied. One of the greatest pet peeve of moderators is when we see a previously deleted story that has been unchanged since its last submission. In addition, though less often, we might need to get in touch with you for other reasons, so it really is imperative that you check your email every once in a while. Also, be sure to look in your spam folder for emails from us just in case; the best way to prevent this other than to mark our emails “not spam” is to add the email addresses to your contacts. In addition, be sure to read all announcements made by moderators on the homepage, as the news often has important information in it.

Other Notes:
- A lot of the moderators follow a “1 error per 200 words,” so don’t be too surprised when your drabble gets denied over a few mistakes. When your story is that short, it’s fair to say that it wouldn’t take that long to look it over and make sure it’s nearly error free.

- If your story hasn’t been validated or deleted in an abnormally long while, then there’s a good chance that something's wrong with it. It doesn’t take long for a moderator to look over a story with proper grammar and validate it. A story with several mistakes takes more time to handle and therefore is more likely to sit in the queue for a longer period of time. In addition, a submission can be mostly error-free, but also have problems that make it on the borderline for validation and be left for a while until a moderator finally makes a decision. In both cases, going back and editing your story will help it get validated the next time it’s read by a moderator.

Of course, it could be that your grammatically correct story just had the unfortunate luck of getting buried between submissions that fall under the latter two categories, but rather than counting on being in that particular situation, it’s still best to improve your chances of validation by editing your work.

- While we won’t deny a story based on the text in the title, summary, or author’s notes, if your submission is on the borderline for validation, seeing proper grammar, capitalization, and spelling in these areas is always appealing to a moderator.

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