owls' guide to webshrines
this guide was originally written as part of issue #1 of the surf club e-zine. it may be updated in the future here!
if you've ever wandered around neocities or any personal website, you've likely encountered some kind of shrine. a page (or pages) full of images and writing about that person's favorite thing. shrines can be focused on anything from a piece of media like pokémon, to tracking the books you've read, to a sprawling mini-site about your ttrpg campaign.
shrines are a labor of love, a place to display adoration and pride about whatever you want. the problem that a lot of people seem to run into is not knowing what to put in a shrine. sure, you love a particular movie series, but what the hell do you even make about it?
you could simply write about the things you like, maybe add a few images, and that's a perfectly wonderful shrine! if that's enough for you, go ahead and do it! but some folks want pizzaz. they want style. if you're one of those folks, it's your lucky day. we're the owls, self-proclaimed shrine aficionados, here to give you inspiration for your webshrines!
this guide will be structured as lists of ideas and prompts, separated into categories. feel free to use any of these ideas, absolutely no credit required!
what to write about?
sometimes you don't even know which of your interests you want to make a shrine about! here's some categories and some writing prompts, for those of you that just want to write about your favorite things.
- don't have a favorite thing? list the ones you've seen/read instead and rate/review them
- alternatively, make a list of everything you want to watch/read in the future
- have a favorite genre? talk about why you enjoy it or rank the things you've seen from that genre
- give a plot summary of your favorite thing. maybe give a version with spoilers and one without
- list the characters and talk about their character arcs and relationships to each other
- is your favorite thing not actually that great? write about how you'd remake it better!
- talk about the development or behind the scenes aspects
- for shows or movies, take screenshots of your favorite scenes and talk about why you like them
- for tv shows, write a summary or review of each episode
- for books, collect a list of your favorite quotes
- check out the suggestions for tv shows/etc. above, many of them apply to games too!
- does the game have achievements? track your progress to completion!
- or come up with a weird goal of your own and write about it
- for sandbox or building games, take screenshots of your builds and write about the process of creating them
- been playing one game for a long time? talk about your journey, how you've improved
- rate, rank, or create a tier list of songs/albums and explain your choices
- seen them in concert? write about the experience!
- talk about the meanings of the songs, or your own interpretation of them
- does the band/artist create characters in their songs? write about them!
- like music theory? talk about how the artist(s) use it
- seen any shows live? write about the experience
- is your favorite show really obscure? write about everything! become a wikipedia page!
- what's the plot of your favorite show? who are the characters?
- is your favorite show not actually very good? write about how you'd totally make it better
- if it's a musical: rate, rank, or make a tier list of the songs and explain your choices
- talk about any special effects, costuming, or staging choices that you really enjoy
- have a lot of favorite characters across media? list them, write about why you love them, list headcanons, etc.
- what's your favorite sports team? list their stats, write about going to/watching their games, why you love the team
- do you have a collection? when did you start it, how big is it, list everything in it!
- list your favorite quotes/poems
ways to style shrines
you can always write a couple paragraphs about your favorite thing. but maybe you want it to look snazzy! here's some ideas on how to snazz it up.
for when your shrine is just one page, or for individual parts of a multi-page shrine.
- make a unique layout or color scheme, different to the rest of your site
- layout ideas:
- wikipedia or fan-wiki page
- photo gallery
- set up the text like it's on pages of a book
- ...or a handwritten notebook
do you have multiple shrines and want more than a list of links in your navigation bar? make a page like these:
- create icons for each shrine with special effects when you hover on them
- draw your own icons or banners for each thing and animate it when you hover!
- make a "map" where viewers have to click on specific places for specific interests
- code it like a character/level select screen from a video game
your shrines are your space to express your love for the things that are special to you. don't feel pressured to make it pretty or appealing. don't worry about coming off as "cringe." be proud of the stuff you love! and show your love by making silly little webpages about it!