Cyantreuse's Sandbox

What's this?

If you've just found this website and feel like you don't know where to start, this guide should serve to streamline it. That goes for both in-and out-of-universe stuff.

The Foundationverse can look vast and overwhelming on first impression; there's a lot here, but not all of it is necessarily connected. Check out Top Rated Pages This Month for new pages in the positives if you don't know where to start, because you can start anywhere. You may have heard someone say "there is no canon" in regards to SCP content; what this means is that anyone can write their universe the way they want it, and there is no regulated structure for what you can and cannot say happens in the SCP universe. We are consistent about what purpose the Foundation serves and that's about it.

What do I have to do before I can use this website and interact with this community?

You just need to be 15 or older and follow reasonable behavior expectations for the site. There is a guide dedicated to this and to the technical aspects of making an account here. This cannot be summarized, as it contains specific and necessary information, so go read it and come back here when you're a site member!

Once you have a Wikidot account, you can go to the upper right corner with your account name and click the drop-down arrow. This is where you can click “settings” and from there change your Wikidot information, like avatar and name, and make your account look pretty with info the way you want it. The colored bar is “Karma”, a measurement of how active you are. Yours will be gray/empty when you first become active, and will grow as you vote and post. You can also delete the membership acceptance notification so that it doesn’t flash (1) forever by clicking “messages” and finding it in there.

Remember that your SCP wiki membership is a membership of one site on a platform provided by Wikidot, and your Wikidot account is not under the control of SCP wiki staff, but rather the Wikidot company. SCP wiki staff cannot help you with issues regarding your Wikidot account itself.

Once you're on the site, don't feel rushed to write something. Feel free to just look around the forums for things that sound interesting to talk about. Just make sure you read any relevant instructions before posting in a thread!

How do I write here if I already have an idea/draft?

If you have an idea that you want to pitch to the community before further developing it, you can make a thread in the Ideas & Brainstorming Forum. If you have a full draft already, put it on a sandbox page so that you can format it the Wikidot way and make it easy to post. Then link your draft in the Drafts & Critiques Forum, and/or join IRC1 to talk to other SCPeople in real-time. The latter is the fastest way to get eyes on your draft/idea.

Make sure you get several people reading your draft, not just one or two. And while every user’s feedback is valuable because all reader opinions count, it is recommended you get a few experienced users and authors (many of whom are staff, which makes them easy to find) to read it with our seasoned eyeballs or whatever. It’ll help your article in the long run, and details experienced users point out could make the end difference between a draft turning out to be a +30 article and a +75 article.

How do I write here if I don't feel familiar enough with SCP content to have an idea or be comfortable writing one out?

  1. Browse article tags to look at articles2 by specific effects/traits. (All page tags are on there, but most of those are for SCPs; you'll see when you click one what titles it's attached to.) To elaborate if that’s too vague, take a look at this list of article tags hosted on the auxiliary staff site for an idea of what site tags are like; this list also gives short definitions of each tag. You may start to notice types of anomaly that pique your interest or inspire you.
  2. Once you feel like you have a concept, read as many similar articles as you can. This is a collaborative writing site, and stylistic and tonal similarities are what makes the SCP universe appear seamless despite having so much different content. Doing this will give you an idea of tone, sentence structure, and any specifics like technical jargon that you will want to mirror or use.
  3. Take note of how particular articles are about spelling, grammar, and punctuation. We hold ourselves to publishing standards as far as those go. The real Foundation would triple-proofread their articles, so we do too. If you need help with this, there are sites like Grammarly and people who can line-by-line your draft in the forums or on chat.

SCP articles are detached, clinical reports. That means you only write what your five senses tell you is happening, not what you feel is happening or why you think the anomaly does what it does. The Foundation's job is not to speculate about its motivations or who created it; the Foundation's job is to keep it safe.

Try putting yourself in the shoes of the document's in-universe writer. This person would have assembled all evidence from researchers, field operatives, etc. as well as eyewitness reports and statistical data, laid it out, and pieced it all together into a summary of the subject. Information and specific facts should only be mentioned once. Adverbs are likely unnecessary in almost all sentences, too.

Lastly — as if it hasn't been waved enough at you already — you can read How to Write an SCP if you want some formatting help or additional, more specific info.

If you're writing a tale, that's a little more straightforward. First-person, third-person omniscient, second-person present-tense, any style is cool here; just follow some sort of story arc for the sake of structure.

If you're looking for groups of related content and a consistent setting, check out the Canon Hub. Canons are groups of mostly tales (SCPs are sometimes in there too) set in specific circumstances which all share adherence to a timeline or set of events. Typically, a canon has something noticeably different about the Foundationverse going on; some examples are the fact that the Foundation doesn't exist in Unfounded or the fact that the Foundation is completely public in Broken Masquerade.

A few things to remember about being here:

  1. You are not under any obligation or expectation to write, post, vote, or do anything once your account is active. If you just want to lurk, you can lurk.
  2. If you write one standalone article, you are not under any obligation or expectation to write another one. No one on this site is getting paid; it’s all just for fun and for the sake of creative fiction. Write what you want to write and stop when you're not enjoying it anymore. This isn't supposed to be stressful!
  3. You do not need to be embarrassed if your article fails, especially since nearly every established writer has at least one failed article under their belt. The wiki is getting huge and no one wants to focus on failed articles anyway; we want to focus on helping other writers hone their skills and contribute to our shared universe together.

What can I write here?

SCP content is not just horror. It's not even just horror, sci-fi, and espionage. It's anything involving the anomalous and how people deal with it. This is doable in any genre, and all genres are welcome here; you can go pretty far with content as long as you keep it tasteful (unless it's an intentionally distasteful joke article, of course). "Tasteful" doesn't mean you can't be graphic and explicit with your prose and subject matter; it means do it reasonably and with a narrative- and content-driven purpose behind it.

There's "no canon" on the Foundation and I don't know who the hell they are other than some shady suits and tactical people.

They're whoever you want them to be as long as they're levelheaded and professional. They exist to protect anomalies and humanity; that job is doable both in business casual at office desks and in militaristic uniforms in briefing rooms. Their aesthetic is up to you, but their end function must match their overall purpose. The Foundation does not hurt anomalies for the hell of it, especially if they're sentient or sapient; if they didn't care about them, they'd just destroy them. This should reflect in their decisions.

Personnel have a class, clearance level, and position(s). Personnel class ranges from A to E on a scale of "cannot touch or get near anomalies at all" to "contaminated by something anomalous" respectively. Clearance level is 0 to 5 on a scale of "can't know jack shit" to "can know most everything" respectively; do note that we said they can know, not that they know by default. The Foundation keeps information compartmentalized. Neither personnel class nor clearance level are indicative of rank, only requirements and permissions; a C-class Level 3 field agent is worth just as much to the Foundation as an A-class Level 4 site director, because they are each serving a unique purpose.3 For details, see this page. When it comes to job positions, you can check out this list of departments if you want, but it's definitely not all the possibilities there are. Make something up if you need!

Are they good? Are they evil? We know they're not alone on the playing field in the world of the anomalous, so how do their actions compare? They certainly do a lot of awful shit, but then again, you don't have to accept any of their actions as canon if you don't want to. If you want a Foundation that's ethical across the board and does nothing other than look out for people and things that can't protect themselves, go for it; if you want a Foundation that signs away human lives by the thousands in the name of research for the greater good, go for it; whatever you do, just make it believable in the setting of a bureaucracy. From there, it's up to you.

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Lastly, there is no canon; you can disagree with everything described here and write something totally different if you want and no one will stop you. But that doesn't mean the wiki doesn't have some common standards that feel weird to break and can decide a person's vote in some cases, so keep that in mind as you develop your believable and unique universe.