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Is it a good idea to breakdown a really long instructable into shorter smaller ones? Answered

I'm working on an instructable for angel wings (isn't everyone?). The problem is that it is really long and has many, many steps. So, I was wondering if it might be a good idea to separate out some of the steps into, sort of, adjunct instructables. I don't want to end up with an instructable that's 50 steps long and seems impossible to follow.

For example: There are a lot of steps about feathers, sorting, ironing, cutting, setting, etc. So, I want to know if it would be better to create a separate instructable for ironing feathers, or for cutting and shaping.

Or: Another part is about making plastic cast plastic pieces from a silicone mold. It might seem complicated if all the steps for sealing pieces, making a mold box, and mixing/pouring/curing silicone and plastic are all together in one giant step.

Granted, you'd still have to follow all the directions in the separate instructables, but it seems like it might be easier if some of the more basic instructions were explained elsewhere. I'm all ears for suggestions.

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rocketsurgery

Best Answer 8 years ago

It is sometimes hard to know whether to split steps into more or branch off into a separate 'ible... I started a How to Grow Mushrooms instructable that was very involved so I split it into two with How to Grow Mushroom Spawn as the second (even this could have been split)... I personally like short 1-2 paragraph steps and now the images don't get in the way you can add heaps to each step to help clarify the writing... I think if the 'ible can stand on its own then split it... if it is incomplete one without the other... keep it in... I personally think the feather steps would all add well to the overall instructable... the plastic cast etc sounds like it would be able to stand as its own 'ible... just make sure you link them to each other... any which way... your instructable sounds interesting! :)

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torydillorocketsurgery

Answer 8 years ago

I think maybe I should find a middle ground between the two ideas.

What if in the long instructable there were basic instructions like "prepare mold box" or, "Iron feathers" and then in the smaller instructable there would be a much more detailed explanation. That way there wouldn't be information NOT in the instructable just the level of detail would be different. Would that work?

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rocketsurgerytorydillo

Answer 8 years ago

Sure... I think that's a great idea... if the smaller instructables are complete on their own, then great! Then if the longer instructable contains the majority of pictures from the smaller and links to your smaller 'ibles (with simplified instructions)... I think that would be fantastic... then your larger íble would flow without getting bogged down and your smaller 'ibles would be specific but also could have links (as an example to how you may use the techniques) to the larger 'ible... will look out for your up and coming 'ibles :)

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Meglymoo87

3 years ago

I really want to "have a better chance of winning or placing higher up in this contest"...* (there's no guarantee to win any contest...but it's true that I do really want to win...LOL...like everyone else entering! ha!) ;)

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mikeasaurus

8 years ago

Writing concisely is an art form in itself. I think for clarity it would make more sense to have everything in one Instructable, but be mindful not to make things more complicated (read: verbose in your description for each step). Does "making a box mold" need it's own Instructable, or can it easily be captured in a step or two with some well written wording?

If you do plan on breaking things into separate Instructables it's good etiquette to have each be able to stand on it's own merits. So, if you want to make an Instructable on "mixing silicone" then make sure that it's complete and can be a resource to others who aren't making exactly your project.

From what you describe, it doesn't seem necessary to make several separate projects. "sealing pieces, making a mold box, and mixing/pouring/curing silicone and plastic" are all part of the process of making one project.

Really though, only you can really answer that question. Maybe start with writing one project and splinter into more specific ones if it's needed. Good luck.

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ARJOON

8 years ago

each time i say i will post a good tible and then lazyness overtake me

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Kiteman

8 years ago

I agree with all the other comments.

Publish the separate parts first, using names and tags that will attract views and google-search hits in their own right ("how to prepare feathers for a costume", "how to cast plastic parts" etc), then publish your over-arching project, with much simpler steps including links that people could follow or not as they needed.

So, somebody might want to make a bat version of the wings, so would skip the links about feathers.

Wings? Adds torydillo to "follow" list.

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kelseymh

8 years ago

I don't see anything wrong with a single long Instructable if it's for a coherent project (see, for example, my crib modification project). But your idea of breaking this project into multiple I'bles is great!

You have some good examples where you could break out the details of something quite general (plastic casting), and then in your angel-wings I'ble just provide the links to those other ones. This is a great way to give people "just enough" information, and also give them tools they can find and apply to their own projects.

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Biggsy

8 years ago

Personally I don't mind long Instructales, but I know from my own experience that they can sometimes be a stretch to write out, and publish

So long as you reference to the other instructables in the abridged instructable of the over all project it should be easier to digest.

Good luck... I have a half finished instrutable that i can't shorten waiting to be published... I have just lost the drive to carry on with it :s hehe

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torydilloBiggsy

Answer 8 years ago

I know from looking at other long projects that I tend to lag in interest after 12 or 15 steps, so I would try to keep it around that.

And I would definitely publish the adjunct instructables first so there wouldn't be any gaps in the instructions.

Good luck with your instructable too!