These are the new rules of the forum. After thorough discussion with Dragonfree and bobandbill some changes have been made, so please read before posting!
THE RULES OF THE FAN FICTION FORUM
What is Fan Fiction? Fan fiction, or a “fic,” is a story or any piece or writing that is based off a fandom: an animé, manga, book, comic, game, video game, movie or TV show. These are stories using the characters and worlds of that universe. “Fan fiction” = you the fan are writing fiction based off a fandom.
If what you have written doesn’t fit the above criteria, then either read on for more information or see if what you have made belongs in a different section.
1) Post in the right section.
Know what each section in this area is for so you post in the right place.
Fan Fiction: Pokémon stories and Pokémon crossover fics belong in the general Fan Fiction section. Basically, if the story is mainly about Pokémon, post it here.
The Author’s Café: A place where all the writers here at SPPf can come to chat and discuss different topics related to stories and story-writing. There’s a thread for just about every topic or need a writer may have. Anyone can come to share their ideas, ask for help, debate interesting topics or even post previews for upcoming fics. Please be sure to read the Café Rules, too.
Completed Fics: Once you are satisfied that the story you posted here is complete and there’s nothing more to do to it, it can be moved into and archived in this forum. If you feel that your fic is done, PM a mod and ask them to move it here. Members cannot post in this section.
Non-Pokémon Fics: If a story doesn’t contain Pokémon or anything affiliated with it, whether it’s based off another fandom or if it’s original, this is where it goes. It should be noted, however, that if it’s a fic based off another fandom you have to state that it is, such as if it’s a fic about Harry Potter, or Fred and George Weasley opening a business, or even a made-up character living at Hogwarts, then in the first post you must state that it is a Harry Potter fic.
Shipping Fics: This section is actually within the Shipping Community forum, and has its own set of rules. “Shipping” is pairing of characters together to have a romantic relationship. Any fic that centers mainly around a ship belongs over here.
If you realize that you have accidentally posted in the wrong section, you can delete your thread or VM/PM a fan fiction mod and ask them to move it.
2) Respect everyone.
This is easily one of the most important rules on this forum. Whatever you’re doing here, you should be respecting other members, whether they write fics, comment on fics, or post their opinions in the Café. Things to keep in mind:
Readers must respect writers
Writers are not obligated to write or entertain, and they have lives outside their fics. Don’t harass them with questions about updates or beg them to put in things you want to see. The best way to show your appreciation to writers is by responding to their fics so they know you’re reading, and say what you like, what you dislike and what you think can be better. This lets the writer know what is/isn’t successful, helping them improve. This means not being rude or mean, and backing up claims (such as “your punctuation is poor”) with examples from the story, and making suggestions for corrections.
Writers must respect readers
Do not whine about a lack of readers or beg for reviews. Know that in posting your work for the world to see, you will receive both positive and negative criticism. Whether or not you agree with it, listen to what your readers say and thank them. They’re trying to help you and give you advice to improve. Take advantage of these opportunities by listening, considering, learning and practicing. Listen to what a reader says; consider their advice and what value it may have; try to learn from it; and put what you’ve learned into practice in your writing.
Readers must respect each other
Don’t start flame wars with others. You don’t have to agree with everyone around you, but you still have to behave civilly. Do not try to silence another member.
3) Don’t be a know-it-all.
If you see a person or thread breaking the rules, do not post just to say “you are breaking the rules” or “the mods will close this.” It’s mini-modding, and it’s not allowed. Use the Report button, explain exactly what is wrong with the post, and a mod will handle it from there. The same way replying to SPAM is also SPAMing, telling a person that they're breaking the rules is, in itself, breaking the rules.
When in doubt, report it and a mod will have a look. Please note that there will be rare exceptions to the rules, so action may not always be taken.
Rules for Writers: How to post a fic
1) Only post your own works.
Do not post a story written by your friend, or your sibling, or anyone else, even if they give you permission. Do not post any story other than your own. If your friend wants their story posted, they should do it themselves.
Collaborations (collabs) – stories co-written by more than one person – are allowed as long as all the authors give their consent to have it posted and are credited properly. If a co-author isn’t a forum member, a means of communicating with them should be provided.
2) Plagiarism = Ban.
Taking something that another person made and claiming it as your own is stealing. It will result in a two-month ban. A permanent ban will follow if it happens again. This is not up for debate.
It doesn’t matter if only a paragraph was stolen, it doesn’t matter if it was edited, it doesn’t matter when it was stolen, it doesn’t matter how many people were stolen from or if multiple people stole from the same person. Forgetting to give credit is one thing – stealing is another. You are expected to know this.
If you feel a work has been stolen or used by someone else in any way, PM a mod with a link to the fic as well as the original (wherever it’s from) and we will handle the rest.
3) Stories must be of the proper quality.
When posting your work online for the world to see and judge, you must use proper spelling and grammar. Fics that do not will be locked. If it is readable but still below an average quality level, you will be warned and told to make improvements. These improvements must show in your next chapter, and older chapters of poor quality should be edited accordingly. If no changes are made, the thread will be locked.
All fics MUST be written on Microsoft Word or a similar word processing program with a spell-checker. If you have no such program, there are other options, such as http://www.spellcheck.net/. This will help find and fix most, if not all, of the small spelling or grammar mistakes everyone makes without realizing it. While it is not encouraged, you may write fics on your smartphone so long as the content looks professional. Fics should not have mistakes a spellchecker would easily fix.
This also means that proofreading is essential. Reread your fic at least twice before posting it; often you can pick up on small mistakes that spellcheckers may not even catch. No writer’s work is perfect immediately – the first draft is never the final draft. By going over and editing your work, you’ll be surprised by how many mistakes you find and how much can still be improved. This can only make your work better.
English not being your first language isn't an excuse for low quality. Poor grammar or spelling will still get your fic locked. Fics written in languages other than English are allowed, but all rules still apply.
Fics must use proper paragraphing. Remember: a new paragraph begins every time a new person speaks or a new topic is discussed. Press the Enter key twice when starting a new paragraph (to skip one line since we can’t indent; it’s difficult to read otherwise). Stories shouldn’t consist solely of large blocks of text or short lines of dialogue – there should be a mix of both.
Stories that contain images or smilies (such as and ) instead of text will be closed immediately. If you wish to include pictures they should be in the author’s notes at the beginning or end of the chapter. Pictures do not replace words.
We also ask that you do not change the color or font size of your text aside from headings or titles. It often makes your story harder to read, especially since members use different screens or forum skins than you.
4) You must post your story within fifteen minutes of starting the thread.
If your thread will contain a single work (such as a one-shot or a single poem), then it must be in the first post. However, if it will contain multiple segments or parts (such as in a chapter fic, an anthology of poems or drabbles, etc) you do not have to post the first installment in the very first post. In this case, you must then post it no more than fifteen minutes later. This means that for the latter, you have different options of what to put in the first post, such as:
the first chapter
If part of your story is not in the first post, then you must post it immediately afterwards – we will check the post time. Saying “I will post my fic later” is not acceptable. Similarly, you must post the entire chapter at once – don’t divide a chapter into multiple posts or only write up half of it and edit in the rest later. The exception to this is if your chapter is too long to fit onto one post. Please also note that you cannot link to your fic on another site.
5) Post acceptable types of writing.
Most forms of writing are allowed here. These are guidelines for the most common forms.
Chapter Fics: Basically written the same way a novel would be: with chapters.
Chapter fics contain the following:
Chapters: There’s no limit on how many chapters a fic can have. When considering the length of a chapter, imagine your fic was a television show; each chapter would be like a single episodes – long enough that something actually happens. The recommended length is three-four pages on Microsoft Word. Chapters must be an absolute minimum of two pages long on Microsoft Word in Arial font, size 12. This is the equivalent of about 1,000 words. Exceptions may be made if the chapter is exceptionally well-written and gets the job done.
The Prologue: This comes before the first chapter. There is no minimum length requirement for prologues, but they shouldn’t be ridiculously short. Generally, a prologue will not take place during the same time/place as the rest of the fic, instead setting up the story or creating mystery. The goal of the prologue is to get a reader excited and interested in the upcoming story so they’ll want to continue reading. Though prologues are popular, they are not required.
Please keep in mind that no post should contain multiple chapters. One post = one chapter, simple as that. The exception to this is that a prologue can be in the same post as the first chapter if you so choose. Separating them is also fine.
One-Shots: A one-shot is merely a short story that can not be divided up into chapters. These can be of any length, so long as the story gets told properly in that space.
Scripts: The format plays and screenplays are written to instruct actors. No scripted fics are allowed unless they are properly written scripts. This means they include details on the setting, character descriptions, characters’ emotions/tone of voice, and stage directions and actions. Fics cannot be written half in script form and half in prose – your format must be consistent.
Scripts are generally discouraged here, as a lot of people write them out of laziness, and it shows. These are one of the hardest types of stories to pull off well, as scripts are not meant to be read, but are simply directions for actors. Be aware of these things before deciding to write in script format.
Here is a quick, random example of how a basic script should look.
Spoiler:- Example by Psychic:
A dark city street late at night, devoid of cars or passers-by. The street lights illuminate the sidewalk dimly. One flickers on and off sporadically, causing shadows to shift and dance. A man with gray, dishevelled hair and a wrinkled face in a long brown trench coat walks quickly down the street. He has a proud air about him, and a Breloom with weary eyes and wrinkled skin walks by his side. There is a slight chill and the man pulls his jacket closer to his body. He is holding a small paper bag in one hand.
Alexander: (To the Breloom.) Come on, Brin, hurry it up. The food’s gonna be cold by the time we get home at this rate!
Brin: Breloom, bre?
Alexander: Yes, we could have taken the car had somebody not released a Poisonpowder in it last week! Who did you say was the one getting senile, again?
Brin: Bre-loom! Bre-bre loom! (Crossing his arms.)
Alexander: Oh, put a sock in it, you overgrown mushroom, and just concentrate on walking!
(A woman dressed in black, her ice-blue hair twisted into two braids with a cap casting a shadow over her face, appears at the end of the block. A Glaceon stands firmly by her side. Both appear motionless.)
Alexander: Hm? What’s this?
Team Rocket Agent: Hold it right there, old man.
Alexander: (Stopping, staring.) Who are you?
Team Rocket Agent: (Without emotion.) That is none of your concern. All you need know is that if you don’t hand over your wallet and all your Pokémon, you’ll regret it for the rest of your pitiful life.
Alexander: (Enraged.) Do you have any idea who you’re talking to?! I am the former Gym Leader of Dewford Town!
Team Rocket Agent: Exactly.
Alexander: (Smirks.) Fine. You have no idea what you just got yourself into, missy! Brin, get in there with a Mach Punch!
(Brin leaps forward to face the woman. Without even issuing a command, the Glaceon by her side strides forward, grinning maliciously. The Breloom dashes forward, red claws curled in preparation for a punch…)
Poetry: A poem can be any form, style or length. If you’re posting multiple poems, it might be best to just put them all in one "anthology" thread. Please ensure that you post in the right section.
Drabbles/Microfiction: A rather odd form of short fiction with a low wordcount, such as 100 words for drabbles. Again, if you have many, it may be best to keep them all in one thread.
Songfics: A short story which is usually inspired by or related strongly to a song. They may also include snippets of said song here or there. Always be sure to credit the original artist.
Song Lyrics: You may post songs you have written yourself, or rewrite the lyrics to a song. Please specify if it's to the tune of a certain song, always giving credit where it is due. (You may include song lyrics, made-up or not, in any part of your fic, but please be sure to credit the artist at the beginning.)
Crossovers: Stories that includes multiple fandoms in one way or another. This can include a story where Ash Ketchum meets Harry Potter or having the Doctor Who and Star Wars worlds suddenly collide. Please clearly state what fandoms you are including at the beginning.
6) Provide adequate warnings.
While it is not necessary to rate your fic, you must include warnings in the first post. This indicates what readers can expect in regards to mature themes, violence, blood/gore, sexual content and strong language/swearing. If a new chapter has mature content that has not previously been warned for, include it at the start of the chapter. Evading the swear filter is allowed within the context of a story.
Some content must be approved by a mod before they can be posted. This includes any content that would require an R-rating, such as intense, graphic violence/gore, sexual scenes, rape/abuse and similar topics. PM a mod with a rundown of the topics you wish to cover, including any graphic or adult scenes. If they give you their go-ahead, make sure to state which mod gave you permission to post it at the beginning of the thread. As a child-friendly forum, we do not allow descriptive nudity, detailed sex and fetishes here, period.
7) Do not write a fic solely to insult or bash.
While friendly jabs, satire and parodies are fine, fics written for the sole sake of insulting individuals, groups or ideologies will be closed and infractions will be issued. This includes racism, sexism, homophobia and so on. These can be themes in a fic; a character can be sexist if done tastefully and so on, however the fic shouldn’t exist for the sole purpose of bashing any person or group of people. Even if it is meant as a joke, if you believe that someone may possibly take offense to it, and especially if people do take offense, omit it.
8) When double-posting and bumping are acceptable:
While these are generally not allowed, fic writers may do so under certain circumstances.
Double Posting: A single person posting twice (or more) in a row. If a writer posted a chapter of their fic and nobody has replied to it, then they are perfectly allowed to post the next chapter anyway. Updates and important information such as the author’s absence or decision to make a change to the fic may also be double-posted after a chapter or another update. Please do not abuse this. Also, if a chapter is too long to fit in just one post is it perfectly okay to divide it up into multiple posts back-to-back.
Bumping: Posting in a thread that has not had a new post in thirty days or longer. If the author has a new chapter, they may post it even if it would bump the thread. (However, if it has been a very long time, consider restarting the fic in a new thread and/or possibly proofreading older chapters before posting). Deleting a chapter/the entire fic and reposting it to bump the thread is not acceptable.
Rules for Readers
1) The following posts are considered SPAM and are not acceptable on their own:
– Any posts that are not talking about the fic itself. Chatting, questions unrelated to the fic and the like belong in VM/PM or the Authors' Café.
– Vague posts that say nothing about the fic itself, such as: “I like this fic!” “You’re a great writer!” “Please add me to the PM list.” These kinds of posts can be posted anywhere, and don’t show that the poster even read the story. If a writer put in the effort to write a fic you enjoyed, the least you can do it type up a few lines’ reply.
– Posts asking about fic updates: “When will the next chapter be up?” “Are you almost done the next chapter?” They are rude, period.
– Posts that do nothing but bash the fic or writer: “This fic sucks!” “You’re an awful writer, you may as well give up on writing.” These posts are unhelpful, and again, rude.
– Posts that contain nothing but a number rating for the fic without any sort of explanation for it: “I loved this! 9/10!” “The characters weren’t my favourite, so I give it a 2/5.” “This is garbage, 1/1000!” A number rating alone isn’t helpful to writers.
– Posts begging to add characters or make silly changes: “I’d like this more if you put Ash in it.” “Can you make the character catch an Absol in the next chapter?” “Can you put my character in it?” “This would be way better if you made May like Drew instead of Ash!” This isn’t your story – if you want these things, write your own fic.
2) Generally, a post in reply to a Fan Fiction thread should consist of:
What you liked and thought was well-done
What you didn’t like or thought could have been better
What the writer can to do to improve the fic/their writing for the future
These three points will help the writer know what they are/aren’t doing well and where they can improve.
You don’t have to deeply critique a fic, but please ensure that you at least show evidence that you read the story. A post that only says “that was a good fic” is SPAM, because you could essentially post these messages for any fic without even reading it, making the comment useless. If someone put in the time and effort to write a fic you really enjoyed, the least you can do is put some thought into what you say to show what you liked, which can even prove helpful to writers. Simply say something specific about the story, such as “I liked this fic: my favourite part was the battle between Charizard and Rayquaza” or “the description could have been better, such as your description of the sunset in Chapter Three” to show you actually read the fic. This gives your post substance and helps writers know what their audience thinks.
3) Criticize – Don’t Flame.
Flaming is directly insulting someone or something. A flame for a fic rarely has any positive notes, and it won’t back up statements with examples or offer ways to change or improve. If someone says “your grammar sucks” without giving examples or advice to fix it, you have a problem.
Proper criticism highlights both the good and the bad. There can still be plenty of negative criticism, but it backs up statements by explaining what could be better, why it could be better, and how it can be improved. The aim is to help a writer improve their story and general writing skills by giving specific help and advice.
Please keep this distinction in mind when responding to fics.
4) When bumping is acceptable:
You are allowed to respond to fics even if the last post is from more than thirty days ago. However, there are conditions to this:
You must post a substantial review. Don’t respond to an old fic if you don’t have anything to say beyond “I liked this.”
The fic writer must still be active. If they have not been online in twelve months, chances are they are not coming back, have abandoned the fic, and will never see your reply.
The last post can be from no more than two years ago. Writers improve over time, so a writer may have already fixed the problems you might see and criticize in an older story.
If one of these conditions does not apply, we encourage you to contact the author through VM/PM instead. Writers may still appreciate your comments, and may be more likely to see them this way.
Please report any rule-breaking you see so it may be dealt with accordingly. There are exceptions to the rules, and mods will act accordingly. If you think a mod made a bad call, don’t be afraid to send a PM politely explaining why; we don’t bite, and if a good case is made, we may reconsider our actions.
Feel free to make inquiries, ask for specifics or make suggestions for these rules. We are more than willing to answer and help out members.
Thank you for your time,
~Psychic and the fan fiction moderating team
Last edited by Psychic; 12th December 2013 at 1:33 AM.
Why are the ratings gone from the rules? I take it it's so we can use our own better judgment to be able to rate our own work as appropriately as possible, but... huh? It's not necessary now? That part both kinda baffles and bothers me at the same time. It's probably because I like to rely on ratings to decide if I should read the story or not because I'm anal like that, but were ratings really that big an issue or something? Yeah, I know it sounds like a personal issue, I'm just genuinely curious about this, and want some closure here on this decision, since it doesn't make sense to me.
Current Chapter: Chapter Nine - 11/14/13 / Current:Last Chance - 11/3/11 - Chapter 20 progress:75%
Because ratings just made things more confusing. They've been replaced by warnings, which serve the same purpose in a superior fashion. Half of the questions we got in the old rules were "If my fic contains X, Y and Z, is that rating A or rating B?" - which is silly, because the real point of interest is the fact your fic contains X, Y and Z, not what label the MPAA would stick on it.
If you currently choose what fics you read based on ratings, that's presumably because you want/don't want to see certain kinds of content. With warnings, authors will be required to tell you not just a generic label but directly whether the fic contains the particular thing you want to seek out or avoid.
Chapter 63: Recovery
The story of an ordinary boy on an impossible quest in a world that isn't as black and white as he always thought it was. (rough draft of the remaining chapters finished for NaNoWriMo; to be edited and posted)
Morphic (completed, plus silly extras)
A few scientists get drunk and start fiddling with gene splicing. Ten years later, they're taking care of eight half-Pokémon kids, each freakier than the next, while a religious fanatic plots to murder them all.
As for the ratings, I believe I actually did that style of warning (a detailed info) in my PMD Forgotten Life Story: warning my audience that my prologue has references about the woman's womb on the inside.
What I know from National Geographic is that they presented a show on what happens inside a pregnant mother. (showing what the ovary egg looks like in its developmental stages, up to the labor process which includes some vaginal topics).
It's from that documentary that I thought that I may as well give specific warning. Maybe I should do it to my "Feli Chronicles: Vitandes" right now ... now that I just read this new rule in the thread.
New plan. give more detailed warnings. Dear Jirachi ...
A tragic tale of a human and butterfree where one twist of meting ended up discovering a cult that the world musn't know. Finally completed