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Question:

Is there somewhere on this website that I can post a list of traits a species I am working on has, so I can refer back to this list as I ask individual questions about the viability of each trait?

I am currently working on a fictional species and have a list of 20-30 different traits I would like the species to have. While I do have the list in notepad, I was wondering if there was somewhere I could post this list on the site, and link to it as well as add the links of questions pertaining to each trait as I ask more questions on the Stack Exchange?

Because questions should be direct and focused on one issue at a time, I do not know if it makes sense to post this 20-30 point list at the bottom of each question I ask. It seems like it would add unnecessary clutter. Though I would like it to be available so people who respond can know a fuller context for the questions I ask.

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  • $\begingroup$ I agree with Michael. As a reference check out this question of mine. In it I lay out a lot of information, which is all relevant to the question getting answered. I have since referenced back to said question in others. worldbuilding.stackexchange.com/questions/28573/… $\endgroup$ – James Feb 7 '18 at 15:00
  • $\begingroup$ And while referencing is fine, each question should stand alone. You shouldn't need anything from elsewhere to answer a question. $\endgroup$ – James Feb 7 '18 at 15:01
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If the question is about the viability of any one specific trait, then what difference do the others make?

If the question is about the viability of some subset of the traits in combination, then that subset is relevant to answering the question and thus should go into the question itself.

If the question is about the viability of all of the traits in combination, then all of the traits are relevant to answering the question and thus should go into the question itself.

Really,

A little humor generally doesn't hurt on Worldbuilding, but the majority of material in your questions should be material that is relevant to answering that one question.

I almost get the feeling that you want to use Worldbuilding SE as your own notebook. That is not its purpose! You should keep your own set of notes, which may include an extensive (and possibly more detailed) list of creature traits, to which you refer and from which you take the relevant parts when composing any single question.

Also, I disagree with Secespitus' suggestion to use a meta post for this. Meta is meant for discussing how the site works, whether something is on topic, about the implications of a particular policy, etc.; it is not meant for keeping extra material that would be off topic if posted on the main site.

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  • $\begingroup$ While I was not planning to use the Stack Exchange as my notebook (that would require uploading thousands of notepad files worth of content), I was interested in seeing how viable a species was all together. Just like Superman has Speed, Strength, Flight, Heat Vision, Frost Breath and more, the species I was thinking of asking about has a long list of traits that I wanted to ask about. If it is not appropriate to post on the Meta SE, I am back to wondering how to go about getting help with this list I have. $\endgroup$ – Eso Di Feb 7 '18 at 11:18
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    $\begingroup$ @EsoDi If you're asking about all of the traits in combination, then all of the traits have to be listed in the question. If you're asking about a single trait, then focus on that one. Cartoon characters also typically have exactly the traits that the plot requires, little worldbuilding involved... $\endgroup$ – a CVn Feb 7 '18 at 11:51
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    $\begingroup$ @EsoDi You have access to Worldbuilding Chat feel free to join us in there. You wouldn't be the first person to post a link to a google doc or somesuch for others to review. Generally people are happy to take a look at other's content and provide feedback. It just exists outside the SE framework. $\endgroup$ – James Feb 7 '18 at 15:04
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    $\begingroup$ You could also use a blog post (your own, or with ours) to describe the bigger picture of your creature (or world) and link to individual questions. As with any other external-to-the-question material, this shouldn't be required reading for specific questions, but it could be a place where people interested in one aspect/question can learn more about what you're doing. $\endgroup$ – Monica Cellio Feb 7 '18 at 18:44
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    $\begingroup$ Definitely what Monica and James said! I did not mean to imply that you can't have external material, "additional reading" or whichever, only that what's needed in order to answer the question should be in the question itself. Sorry if that wasn't clear enough. @EsoDi $\endgroup$ – a CVn Feb 7 '18 at 20:05
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A Meta post

The closest I can think off would be to start a Meta Post and put the list there with links to each item. To give you an idea of what I am thinking of you may want to have a look at some of the series that we have on this site:

Anatomically Correct Series

Creating a realistic world series

My “Alien Message” series

As you can see someone started a series and often other people contributed to this series, too. You can just create one of your own and link to the Meta Post in your Main Site questions.

But: Please remember that each question should stand on its own.

You can link for additional information, such as an Anatomically Correct question that almost always links to "A list of all the Anatomically Correct questions can be found [here](https://worldbuilding.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/2797/anatomically-correct-series)". But you still have to mention all the important information in your question - it should not be necessary to read additional questions to understand your new ones.

It might add clutter to the question, but if you always put the same requirements at the end of your questions people who are familiar with your concept will just skip that part and people who are not familiar know what the requirements are. Think about it like this: maybe you find out that you need to change some of the traits, because someone mentioned something that made you re-think your current approach. It would be weird if later someone discovers an older question from you and looks at the linked list of requirements, only to find that the answers to the older question don't fit the requirements.

Maybe you can also only mention the traits that are important for the question you are currently asking. That depends on which traits you are referring to and what kinds of questions you want to ask. But in general I'd recommend you start a series post on Meta once you have maybe three or four questions and plan to continue for some time. Then you can link the Meta Post for those that are interested in the concept, which makes it a whole lot easier to find everything and know what may be coming up. And the list of common traits can just be a list at the end of the post. It may not be perfect to copy-paste that list to new questions, but it's important that every question stands on its own.


You should also have a look at the tag and its description here:

For questions that collect links to reference material. When used to index posts that are related to each other, such as questions in a particular series or about a particular world, the question should have a single community-wiki answer to collect the links.

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  • $\begingroup$ For the record I don't wholly disagree with you, I just agree with Michael a little more. Good notes on questions standing alone. I think the meta post is what gets me. I would agree we have used it for similar things but that was generally for group projects...which is an admittedly fine line...like I said I don't disagree. $\endgroup$ – James Feb 7 '18 at 15:07
  • $\begingroup$ @James I am not sure how JD's "My 'Alien Message' series" has been a group project and it looks to me like most of the series were started by one person and it's just that someone at some point took that and added something, like with Anatomically Correct. $\endgroup$ – Secespitus Feb 7 '18 at 15:15
  • $\begingroup$ I have to admit I haven't seen that one before. $\endgroup$ – James Feb 7 '18 at 15:23

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