How To Make Your Draft More Interesting
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Author's Note:

The entirety of this guide was written and greenlit about 2 years ago. I never posted it because using my own articles as an example of good writing felt too self-indulgent, even though it was the best way to get the ideas across lol. I am posting it now, unedited from its original form because I feel that the information contained within is useful!

Let me preface this by saying that, while this essay's intended audience is people who haven't yet made a name for themselves as authors of the Backrooms Wiki, the breadth of ideas presented here might be a little intimidating for a new author. Its great length does not mean we have 3,700 words worth of unwritten rules that you have to know before you write. Rather, this essay is long because I wanted it to contain as much good advice on improving your draft as I possibly could. Writing for the Backrooms is meant to be fun, after all, and if this essay makes it seem intimidating to you, I would recommend you go and try writing a draft first. Once you've done that, if you feel like your draft could use some improvement or the people critting you tell you it could use some improvement, feel free to come back here and see if anything in this essay can help!

Hi, I'm CutTheBirchCutTheBirch. I'm a greenlighter and author on the Backrooms Wiki. Part of my personal process as a greenlighter is combing through any new drafts that have been posted in both the forums and discord and finding the most promising drafts to crit and greenlight. Through this process, I've noticed that the great majority of the drafts that are submitted for crit have a long way to go before they would be ready to be posted on the site. Unfortunately, our experienced critters are greatly outnumbered by the people submitting drafts to the site, so they simply don't have time to go over every single draft that's submitted and help the writers improve it to be greenlight quality, which is why I made this essay. So hopefully, you can improve the quality of your draft yourself to the point where it can get greenlit with ease.

The target audience of this essay is people who are about to write or are writing their first draft and people who have written a draft but are rotting in the pits of Sandbox Hell waiting for a greenlight. However, people who already have a couple successful articles but wish they could come up with interesting and unique ideas more easily should also get something out of this essay.

At the time of writing, I have written 87 pages on this site. If you read them, you may notice that none of them are 5 paragraph Wikipedia articles about a mundane place or creature. All of them have something that makes them interesting and unique. And well, if I'm still able to come up with new and interesting ideas that succeed on the site 87 articles in, then I know for a fact that you can write at least one interesting draft. In this essay, I will be going over a number of ways that you can take a relatively boring draft and make it into something that's interesting enough to succeed on the site, as well as pitfalls to avoid when writing your draft. This isn't a checklist of things that you must include to make your draft acceptable for the wiki but rather a series of pieces of advice that you can use to guide your draft in the right direction.

Throughout this essay, I will be using many examples from articles that I've written in my time on the Backrooms Wiki. The reason I'm primarily using examples from my own oeuvre is because, as the writer of those works, I know exactly what I was thinking when I wrote them, so I can accurately describe my thought process in how I was able to construct articles that became successful on the site. I think that deconstructing someone else's work and using the techniques that made their article good is a great way to learn what does and doesn't work, so hopefully, the examples I give of my own writing will be helpful.

Asking Questions:

One of the biggest ways to make your draft into something that will stand out is to give it lore. Of course, giving something lore can sometimes be easier said than done, but I think the easiest way to add lore to something is to ask yourself questions about it. Some questions you can ask are:

  • Why is X detail the way it is?
  • On what level is this entity/object/POI?
  • Does anyone live on this level?
  • Are any GOIs connected to my article?
  • Who made this object?
  • How does this entity/POI feel about X GOI?
  • How does X detail interact with Y detail?
  • Is my article connected to any other articles?

Every time you answer one of these questions, it will often provide you with additional opportunities for ideas that you may not have even thought of. For example, let's look at the questions I asked myself when coming up with the concept for Level 998.2 - "Fight Club". At the start, all I had for an idea was "Backrooms Fight Club".

Questions Answers New Ideas
Who runs the fight club and why? The B.N.T.G. runs it, and they do it to make money off the spectacle. Exploring thematically how corporations exploit the working class through the extreme example of literal gladiatorial fighting.
How are there so many rare and unusual entities there? It takes place in Level 998, which has the effect of creating aggressive clones of various entities. (After which, I checked the new Level 998 rewrite to find that a detail about how the entities work in the level had been changed.) Including interesting entities that would not otherwise be found in a "fight club".
How do I fix the fact that a detail in Level 998 I was relying on has been changed? It somehow takes place in the pre-rewrite version of Level 998 Expanding on the meta lore relating to deletions I first established in Deleted Level 14
How does a piece of the pre-rewrite version of Level 998 still exist? Reality Fresheners from the Backrooms Remodeling Co. stopped that part of the level from being deleted when it was rewritten. Exploring how Reality Fresheners work in new and unique ways.
How can the B.N.T.G. establish a fight club without being attacked by the entities themselves? The entities are only aggressive to humans, and they don't view the B.N.T.G. members as human. Alluding to deeper B.N.T.G. lore that had been previously implied by other authors.

By asking myself questions about the lore, I was able to transform the simple idea of "Backrooms Fight Club" into something a lot more memorable.


One way to deepen your lore is to connect it to lore that already exists. This can also be helpful to get the reader interested because they might already be invested in the character of GOI you choose to connect it with. When you do this, try to make a deeper connection than just slapping in someone else's ideas haphazardly. Ask yourself questions like: How is this GOI/character connected to my article? How does this connection help their goals? Hinder them?

Also remember that everything is in moderation. I've seen pages that try to name-drop a dozen popular characters, and it always feels forced. I'd recommend sticking to just 1-2 connections if you go this route so that you can take the time to flesh them all out.

As an additional tip, if you're stuck, try clicking the random page button and ask yourself, "What would happen if my article was connected to this page?" Oftentimes, trying this out can bring new ideas that you would never have thought of otherwise.


One thing that can make your page stand out is the inclusion of an interesting character. Just describing someone isn't enough to make them interesting, however. You have to show the character through interview logs or documents that they've written themselves.

The art of making a compelling character is a bit outside the scope of my knowledge and certainly outside the scope of this essay, but I'll share here what I've found to be important in crafting good characters: That is novel perspective and interesting or relatable goals. To exemplify this, let's look at another of my articles, Level 612 - Memories of Memories of Memories.

Level 612 is written entirely from the point of view of a character who's lived in the level for his entire life. I was able to transform what would have otherwise been simply an infinite desert into something more interesting by recontextualizing it from the perspective of someone who really cares about it. And his unique perspective also recontextualized a bunch of other things that most readers take for granted in an interesting way. Additionally, the character is deepened by his goal and struggles. He cares a lot about the secrets of the level, and he's afraid that the level's secrets will be lost when he dies. That many of them are already lost. By making your character feel emotions, you can hopefully make your reader feel them too.

And as for how to come up with ideas for interesting characters, it just comes down to playing the question game again. The character in Level 612 was born from the fact that I was assigned to write something that involved TrailmixNCocoaTrailmixNCocoa's character, the Songstress, for the Gift Exchange event, but I didn't really have a good understanding of the Songstress's lore. So I thought, "What if the character writing this in-universe cares deeply about the Songstress's lore but is just as confused about it as I am? How would that affect them?" And with that, the character's motivations, and by extension, the article's themes, were born.

To give another example, one of my POIs, Father Pigeon, was created by me asking myself the question, "What if the Followers of Jerry are rational? What could happen when someone touches Jerry that would make them come to the rational conclusion that the parrot is God? How would this affect their personal philosophy?"


Knowing what type of emotion you want your reader to feel is key to writing a good article. Look at your draft in think, "what emotions do I want this to give off?" and make sure everything you're writing in the article somehow furthers the goal of creating that emotion. If you're not sure which emotion you're trying to create, here's a list of genre/emotion tags that we have on the site. This list was created specifically so that every emotion you might want to evoke in an article can be categorized here, so you'll probably find something relevant:

  • action
  • bittersweet
  • comedy
  • horror
  • mystery
  • nostalgia
  • romance
  • thriller
  • tragedy
  • wholesome
  • wonder

Unfortunately, the ways of creating each of these emotions vary, and going into each of them in detail is beyond the scope of this essay, but I would suggest looking up "How to write horror" or "How to write romance" on YouTube if you're interested in creating a specific emotion.

Often times creating an emotion isn't as simple as just describing something that's sad or happy. You need to be able to write in a style that conveys those emotions to the reader. Take one of my all-time highest-rated articles, for example: Level 756 - "On big island live only one cow." Level 756 is only 5 paragraphs long. It doesn't have any deeper narrative. The concept is literally just an island with a cow on it, but the style of the prose, as well as the image and background music used are all carefully constructed to exude a feeling of wonder and melancholy.


When I talk about injecting narrative into your article, I don't mean "make basically it a tale" (although this is an option and something I do quite frequently). I mean, use your writing to create the tensions and releases (or: conflict and resolution) seen in a traditional story. Creating tension can be as simple as adding "Survival Difficulty Class 5" to the top. When you do that, you create the tension of "This level is very dangerous" in your reader, and it may draw them in to read more. You might release this tension by having some sort of climactic log where someone just barely escapes the level without dying. Usually, the narrative is achieved through a collection of in-universe documents or tale portions, but it can also be conveyed in how you present the information to the reader. For example, if your article focuses on some sort of mystery, you can build tension by alluding to some sort of secret that the article is hiding and then continue to build tension by slowly revealing more and more information until the tension is released when the secret is revealed in a novel and unexpected way.

Another narrative device you can use in your writing is subversion. Make it so the reader expects one thing but give them something completely different. A very simple example would be my article, Entity 93 - "Night Stalker". In this article, I took the common idea of a murder monster by introducing the entity as a dangerous spider-man that would kill you. I built tension by putting the characters in what seemed like a situation of peril with the sinister-sounding "Night Stalker". The tension was released when I subverted the reader's expectations of it being a murder monster article by revealing the Night Stalker to actually be a chill dude named Dorian. This subversion made the article much more interesting than it would have been if it had just been a spider that eats people.

Or, for another example, in Level 648 - "Apocryphal City of Masks", the way the article is structured had a big role in how the narrative came across. It opens with a very poetic paragraph about someone dying, creating tension by introducing the main mystery of the level: Why are there people falling from the sky? The tension is increased as more and more details are given about the central mystery. At the midpoint of the level, it's implied that the level is some sort of metaphor for society and that all will be answered shortly. But, the reader's expectations are subverted when the answer ends up being that there is no real answer, that the characters are living in a work of fiction that doesn't conform to the rules of reality, and the climax of the story is the characters learning to cope with the fact that they aren't real, a subversion of the reader's expectations for fiction as a whole. By playing with tension and release, as well as the audience's expectations, Level 648 was taken beyond simply a desert that has people falling from the sky and into a compelling narrative.


Part of the reason I included so many examples of my own work is because I believe that seeing someone else's work and dissecting what makes it good is one of the best ways to learn to write. Innovation is great, of course, but you need to know the rules before you can break them. If you're having trouble making your draft interesting, I encourage you to re-read your favorite article on the wiki and ask yourself, "Why do I like this article so much? What, exactly, is it doing that makes it better than other articles I've read?" Once you've done that, see if you can apply what makes it special to your own article in a new and unique way. This doesn't just have to apply to Backrooms articles you've read, either. If you're watching a movie you like, think about why you like it, and see if you can apply the narrative techniques that were used in that story to your own work.

Know When To Try Something Else:

Despite how many things I've posted to this site, I actually don't post every draft that I finish. Sometimes, I'll wrack my brain for a way to make a concept I'm writing more interesting and come up with nothing. When that happens, I put that draft in a tab in my sandbox and move on to something new. Don't mistake this: spending your time on one good draft is worth a lot more than throwing together a bunch of mediocre drafts, but sometimes an idea you're pursuing simply isn't coming together the way you hoped, and it's time to try something else. That's completely fine, and you may even come up with a way to finish it later down the line. I once had a draft that sat in my Sandbox for almost a year before I finally figured out a way to crack it.

Common Pitfalls:

Details ≠ Lore:

There was once a draft I saw that kept getting the critique of "This is kind of boring. You need to add more to it". The writer of that draft took this crit to mean, "Add more superpowers to the bulleted list of abilities your entity has". Unfortunately, this didn't work for obvious reasons. When adding lore to your article, it has to be presented in a way that makes it actually interesting to the reader. Simply jamming more details in without actually expanding on them and making them meaningful isn't going to be effective.

Less Is More:

Although the most common thing to see in a draft is someone not having enough to make their article interesting, I have also seen cases where people included too many details. When you have a dozen different quirky things that your level does, your article can seem unfocused. If your article is 10k words and you're exploring 100 different topics, it might be a good idea to cut it down to just the best ideas you were using.

Exploration Logs & Interviews:

Exploration logs and interviews can both be used well, but they're not a magic elixir that will make your article automatically good. An interview log where someone just lists off details about a level that you already read in the description or an exploration log where someone just talks about being lost in the level and then dies horrifically are both going to be pretty boring. Anything you add to the level should be used specifically for some greater goal.

Interviews are best used either to convey a character's unique perspective on a situation or in cases where a character is interesting enough that hearing them have a conversation can be either entertaining or drive home some emotional beat. For example, the interview logs in Father Pigeon are used to express Father Pigeon's unique perspective on the Backrooms in a way that would not be nearly as interesting if described coldly in the description. Or, in Joke Entity 667 - "Satan", the interview logs are included because Satan is a funny character, and seeing him act in a way that contrasts how the Devil is usually portrayed is entertaining.

Exploration logs, on the other hand, are best used to further the narrative of the story. Like I said earlier, exploration logs where someone gets lost in a level and then dies horrifically are incredibly cliche and probably won't work very well as the emotional climax of your article. Using them as a hook, however, could still work. Take Level 799 - "Cyllene and Her Memories", for example. The exploration log there is at the very beginning, and it ends 1,000 words before the level even gets a proper description. In this way, instead of being structured as, "you get the description of a dangerous level, and then you get a log of someone dying in it", the level is structured like, "you get a log of someone possibly dying in some unexplained level, and then you're slowly given an explanation of what exactly is going on." This serves to create tension that's not released until the climactic "Post-Exploration Write-Up" that's given to the reader at the very end.

Format Screws:

To clarify, when I say "Format Screw" here, I don't mean any article that doesn't use the standard format. I constantly warp the format to aid in the narrative I want to tell, and I think that making the format your bitch is a great tool to use when constructing your article in the optimal way for your narrative to be compelling. No, what I'm specifically talking about here is the "this dangerous level was infected with a virus or something, and now the page says it's actually not dangerous and/or only describes it using poetry" types of levels. It's possible to make something good with this concept. I think Level 200 by J DuneJ Dune is a phenomenal piece of writing (the reason for this, by the way, is because its prose is, by far, better than any format screw that has come before or since), but most people that try to make a format screw end up not taking it in an interesting direction or end up making it too surreal and pretentious to actually say anything interesting. If you're going to write these types of format screws, you have to try something unique that hasn't been done before, your prose has to be solid, and if you're going with the surreal poetry route, it has to have something of substance behind it rather than just feeling like pretentious word salad.


I hope this essay isn't too overwhelming! Even if this seems like a lot, you actually know how to do a lot of this instinctively. You might never have thought about narrative-crafting as tension and release like I described here, but if you've ever written a traditional story, you've already created something that utilizes that without even thinking. And even if it seems daunting now, you will improve with practice and help from your peers. The first article I ever wrote for this site was Level 117 - "Math Class". It's incredibly boring. I would not greenlight that draft if I received it today on account of it simply not being interesting enough. Today I wrote a 3,700-word essay, carefully breaking down how to construct an interesting article. All of this here, I figured it out by doing it. By writing for the Backrooms Wiki for almost two years. By helping dozens of people get their drafts to the condition where they could thrive on the site. And if I can figure it out, then you sure as hell can too. Good luck!

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