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Thread: The Fan Fiction Rules - Read Me~

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    Default The Fan Fiction Rules - Read Me~

    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.


    General Rules



    All General SPPf Rules apply.

    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:
    • author’s notes
    • background information
    • chapter index
    • PM list
    • a prologue
    • 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:

    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:
    1. What you liked and thought was well-done
    2. What you didn’t like or thought could have been better
    3. 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.

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  2. #2
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    Question:

    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.
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    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.

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    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 ...
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    I have a question regarding the rules.

    Can we make previews of our fanfics? I mean, write an episode down and then do a small preview for the next episode.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hero of Truth View Post
    I have a question regarding the rules.

    Can we make previews of our fanfics? I mean, write an episode down and then do a small preview for the next episode.
    If you just want to do this in your fic thread, then go ahead, there is no rule against it. If you want to make an entire thread for such a preview, the Authors’ Café Rules cover this.
    Quote Originally Posted by Psychic View Post
    The Authors’ Café Rules and Regulations


    What kinds of topics are allowed here?
    • Previews for your upcoming stories – this must be a scene from your story, not just a summary or character description
    That said, this really only applies to previews for upcoming fan fiction. A preview for a single chapter of an ongoing fic does not need its own thread.

    Hope this answers your question.

    ~Psychic

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    Can we post in our previews tiny bits from multiple scenes of the next episode? Also, is it necessary for the previews to have script in them?

    Now on to something else. Let's say that someone has questions regarding your fic, ex. regarding the characters, some trivia about them, the world you try to present and so on. Can we make a thread dedicated to answering such questions? It's not like everyone can cover all topics in his/her fic.

    And one last thing. It's okay to post quotes of the characters at the end of the episode's post as well as some trivia about scenes or quotes in the fics (ex. this x scene/quote references this x real-life event, film etc.)

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    I hope Psychic doesn't mind me answering, but it kinda looks like she's about to kill you.

    In any case, it's always best in any writing community to look around at what other people are doing in order to figure out what is and isn't kosher. If someone does something and isn't yelled at for it, then it's probably okay. If you don't see that thing happening, then it's probably not. Always do a search on the thing you want to ask about using the forum's search feature, just to double-check what's up.

    That said ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Hero of Truth View Post
    Can we post in our previews tiny bits from multiple scenes of the next episode? Also, is it necessary for the previews to have script in them?
    There are no rules regarding previews within your fic thread, as Psychic said. That's because they're not technically part of your story, but they are related to them, so yeah, you can basically write them however you see fit. If you want examples of in-thread previews, The Great Butler used to do them all the time. Check out this post for one such preview. (Found within five minutes of search-fu.) It's completely written in prose and looks just like the story itself. Then you have previews not done by Butler, including this one (note that it's also in prose) and this one (done in trailer style). Generally speaking, it seems safer to post previews that are excerpts of your fic, rather than an actual trailer. (Psychic makes a note about that here.) This is partly because we can't really discuss a preview that doesn't give us much to go on (and all threads in any community generally should be capable of being discussed—as in, others should be able to have something to say in them) and mostly because if you don't say much in a text-based preview, we can't get excited about your story, which means the lack of detail defeats the purpose of having a preview.

    In any case, I really don't see why you would need a preview. Once your story gets going, it's the content of your fic itself that should be getting people excited to read. If you can't get them excited to read and hanging around your thread every time you update from the first chapter, then you've written a flop, at the risk of being blunt about it. However, if you really want to post a scene and have people read it and maybe offer up a word or few about it, might I suggest trying out the Post a Scene thread? That place could use some love, and you'll probably be more likely to be seen and not blown off if you add yours there.

    (We also used to have a fanfic trailer thread that died off a year or few ago. I would've suggested that, but unfortunately, we've got thread necromancy rules. Kinda tempted to revive it, though, because, snap, that was fun. But that's neither here nor there.)

    Now on to something else. Let's say that someone has questions regarding your fic, ex. regarding the characters, some trivia about them, the world you try to present and so on.
    You mean like a review?

    Can we make a thread dedicated to answering such questions? It's not like everyone can cover all topics in his/her fic.
    Actually, we can. The thing you're describing usually happens in a review, and it's generally common courtesy to respond to reviews within your own thread (because that's where they happen). If you go into deep discussion about elements of your fic (even when someone doesn't ask), it's also generally common courtesy to do it within your thread because, well, it's related to your thread. (I've only seen two forums do it differently, and that was PE2K and a small-time dedicated writing board. For PE2K, it was just a thing they did, and the small writing board wasn't a place where you posted fics but instead developed them. Anywhere else, you'd probably get your thread shut down or ignored.) It's not so much okay to do it in the Author's Cafe unless you have a question regarding what you're doing in your own fic because, again, every non-story thread in a writing community should be capable of being discussed or responded to by people who aren't necessarily your readers. It's just how most writing communities work. That and it's a lot more convenient to keep information about your story within your story thread because posting it in Author's Cafe runs a risk of that thread dying off early and getting lost in the archives.

    In the meantime, if you need examples of how in-story "let's talk in-depth about the fic and its world" posts work, I used to do them as extras in the older version of my own fic. (Example for your convenience.) I don't do them separately anymore because I got bored with coming up with new material all the time, but I still respond to reviews and answer questions about the world of my fic as they crop up, usually in spoiler tags. (You can see an example about halfway down the post—starting with the note about Giovanni—here, and I do a spoiler-style one labeled "not for the squeamish" here. You can also see two non-spoiler in-depth question bits in the second example.)

    And one last thing. It's okay to post quotes of the characters at the end of the episode's post as well as some trivia about scenes or quotes in the fics (ex. this x scene/quote references this x real-life event, film etc.)
    Those would be considered author's notes, and there are no rules regarding them once your story gets started. Most authors around here preface their chapters with them (meaning you can look at just about any thread for examples), but you can put them at the end if you want to, too.
    Last edited by JX Valentine; 8th April 2014 at 6:57 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JX Valentine View Post
    I hope Psychic doesn't mind me answering, but it kinda looks like she's about to kill you.

    In any case, it's always best in any writing community to look around at what other people are doing in order to figure out what is and isn't kosher. If someone does something and isn't yelled at for it, then it's probably okay. If you don't see that thing happening, then it's probably not. Always do a search on the thing you want to ask about using the forum's search feature, just to double-check what's up.

    That said ...



    There are no rules regarding previews within your fic thread, as Psychic said. That's because they're not technically part of your story, but they are related to them, so yeah, you can basically write them however you see fit. If you want examples of in-thread previews, The Great Butler used to do them all the time. Check out this post for one such preview. (Found within five minutes of search-fu.) It's completely written in prose and looks just like the story itself. Then you have previews not done by Butler, including this one (note that it's also in prose) and this one (done in trailer style). Generally speaking, it seems safer to post previews that are excerpts of your fic, rather than an actual trailer. (Psychic makes a note about that here.) This is partly because we can't really discuss a preview that doesn't give us much to go on (and all threads in any community generally should be capable of being discussed—as in, others should be able to have something to say in them) and mostly because if you don't say much in a text-based preview, we can't get excited about your story, which means the lack of detail defeats the purpose of having a preview.

    In any case, I really don't see why you would need a preview. Once your story gets going, it's the content of your fic itself that should be getting people excited to read. If you can't get them excited to read and hanging around your thread every time you update from the first chapter, then you've written a flop, at the risk of being blunt about it. However, if you really want to post a scene and have people read it and maybe offer up a word or few about it, might I suggest trying out the Post a Scene thread? That place could use some love, and you'll probably be more likely to be seen and not blown off if you add yours there.

    (We also used to have a fanfic trailer thread that died off a year or few ago. I would've suggested that, but unfortunately, we've got thread necromancy rules. Kinda tempted to revive it, though, because, snap, that was fun. But that's neither here nor there.)



    You mean like a review?



    Actually, we can. The thing you're describing usually happens in a review, and it's generally common courtesy to respond to reviews within your own thread (because that's where they happen). If you go into deep discussion about elements of your fic (even when someone doesn't ask), it's also generally common courtesy to do it within your thread because, well, it's related to your thread. (I've only seen two forums do it differently, and that was PE2K and a small-time dedicated writing board. For PE2K, it was just a thing they did, and the small writing board wasn't a place where you posted fics but instead developed them. Anywhere else, you'd probably get your thread shut down or ignored.) It's not so much okay to do it in the Author's Cafe unless you have a question regarding what you're doing in your own fic because, again, every non-story thread in a writing community should be capable of being discussed or responded to by people who aren't necessarily your readers. It's just how most writing communities work. That and it's a lot more convenient to keep information about your story within your story thread because posting it in Author's Cafe runs a risk of that thread dying off early and getting lost in the archives.

    In the meantime, if you need examples of how in-story "let's talk in-depth about the fic and its world" posts work, I used to do them as extras in the older version of my own fic. (Example for your convenience.) I don't do them separately anymore because I got bored with coming up with new material all the time, but I still respond to reviews and answer questions about the world of my fic as they crop up, usually in spoiler tags. (You can see an example about halfway down the post—starting with the note about Giovanni—here, and I do a spoiler-style one labeled "not for the squeamish" here. You can also see two non-spoiler in-depth question bits in the second example.)



    Those would be considered author's notes, and there are no rules regarding them once your story gets started. Most authors around here preface their chapters with them (meaning you can look at just about any thread for examples), but you can put them at the end if you want to, too.
    Thanks! I 'll probably try adjusting them in the next episode of my fic.

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    Just an additional note about the "dedicated thread for answering questions" thing: if we allowed you to make a dedicated thread for answering questions, then there would be a dedicated thread for half of the fics in the entire forum. That would clutter things massively with threads that are only useful to people who are already following a particular other thread. Our policy is that all discussion pertaining to a particular fic should go in that fic's thread, to prevent that kind of clutter. If you're worried it will be hard for people to find your chapters among the discussion posts, do as many people do and put a chapter index in your first post that links to each posted chapter's individual post.

    Chapter 64: Hide and Seek
    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)

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    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.

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    Read and I will be very happy for a large number of reasons.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonfree View Post
    Just an additional note about the "dedicated thread for answering questions" thing: if we allowed you to make a dedicated thread for answering questions, then there would be a dedicated thread for half of the fics in the entire forum. That would clutter things massively with threads that are only useful to people who are already following a particular other thread. Our policy is that all discussion pertaining to a particular fic should go in that fic's thread, to prevent that kind of clutter. If you're worried it will be hard for people to find your chapters among the discussion posts, do as many people do and put a chapter index in your first post that links to each posted chapter's individual post.
    Well, it's just that there are many things that I wanted the readers to know which I couldn't fit in the prologue due to it being already BIG as it is, but it's fine if it may cause problems. As for the latter part of your advice, I already added a 'chapter index' of sorts in the prologue of my fic, so problem fixed I guess.

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    Just chiming in, you can also use an external site to host your previews and author notes, then simply insert a link to them either in your signature or at the beginning/end of the chapter where they're relevant. This is actually in line with the rules (as far as I am aware) because you are still posting your actual chapter text here. As long as your chapter text is here and not linked to, linking side material is fine, from what I've seen.

    Tumblr is a good site to use for such a thing. It's free, customisable and your blog is pretty much entirely under your control, plus it's a good place to raise notice of your writing. Jax and I both use it; here is mine as an example of what you can do.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hero of Truth View Post
    Well, it's just that there are many things that I wanted the readers to know which I couldn't fit in the prologue due to it being already BIG as it is, but it's fine if it may cause problems. As for the latter part of your advice, I already added a 'chapter index' of sorts in the prologue of my fic, so problem fixed I guess.
    You don't need to fit it into the prologue. Readers can post in your fic's thread, and you can respond to their questions there as the author, exactly the way you would if there were a separate Q&A thread. And even if they don't ask, you can still post optional extra information, as Jax posted some examples of. Not all your posts in your fic's thread have to be parts of the actual fic.

    Chapter 64: Hide and Seek
    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.

    Lengthy fanfiction reviewing guide / A more condensed version
    Read and I will be very happy for a large number of reasons.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonfree View Post
    You don't need to fit it into the prologue. Readers can post in your fic's thread, and you can respond to their questions there as the author, exactly the way you would if there were a separate Q&A thread. And even if they don't ask, you can still post optional extra information, as Jax posted some examples of. Not all your posts in your fic's thread have to be parts of the actual fic.
    Thank you! That's what I wanted to know! And again, thanks.

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    Is it possible for you to unlock my threads here in the forums so I can delete them? Thanks.

    EDIT: And how can you delete your account here in the forums?
    Last edited by Hero of Truth; 10th April 2014 at 7:39 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hero of Truth View Post
    Is it possible for you to unlock my threads here in the forums so I can delete them? Thanks.

    EDIT: And how can you delete your account here in the forums?
    That's going a bit extreme, don't you think? So you got a couple of negative reviews. It's totally not the end of the world.

    See, the thing is, you're new to writing (presumably). I mean, you probably wrote beforehand, but chances are you haven't really shared your work, right? Well, everyone has trouble at first, no exceptions. That's because writing is hard—a lot harder than it looks, and if you're writing for an audience (as you do when you post on a forum), that gets even more complicated. You're not just writing for yourself when you share your work. You're also writing for whoever you want to share it with. You're hoping that they like it, so you work hard to do the best that you can while still having fun writing. In a number of venues, sure, you don't have to worry about feedback, but in others—like FFNet, writing forums, and some parts of dA—people are going to speak their minds and tell you what they thought of your work, positive or negative, because they want to give you an honest opinion of where you stand. It's that honest opinion that helps you get a footing on what you need to improve on so that your work can be enjoyed by larger and larger crowds.

    Believe me when I say everyone has faced that kind of thing at some point in their lives, but the key is that the ones who are good, the ones who get praise or are forum regulars or whatnot, are the ones who took a look at the crit they received and said to themselves, "Okay, that really hurts, but they have a point. I'm going to get back up, keep going, and see where that takes me." Absolutely, negative crit is difficult to handle, but if you can deal with it gracefully and listen a little, things get better. They really do. But they won't get better if you give up by erasing all your mistakes and giving up.

    Ultimately, I can't make you stay or listen to what people have to say to you. I can't even make you listen to me right now. After all, if you're not comfortable here and if writing fics on our level isn't your style, then by all means, don't force yourself. Hopefully, you'll find a place where you'll have an easier time sharing your stuff. But all I can say in the meantime is that if you really, really want to be good or well-liked or what-have-you, you really shouldn't give up. But yeah, it's hard not to give up, and it'd entail being open-minded and thinking a bit about what your reviewers are telling you.

    And yes, it's also hard if you have a life outside of the forums, but spoiler alert? We all do. Some of us are high school kids. Others are college kids. Some have jobs. People like me have gone to grad school and are starting careers. There's a lot that we're doing off the forums because fanfic is ultimately a hobby for us—something we do in what little spare time we actually have. That's one of many possible reasons why we take our time with our work: because we don't have time to mess around but still enjoy doing it. So to say that you don't have time to listen, to grow as a writer, and to improve kinda doesn't work because chances are, a lot of writers here probably have less time on their hands than you do. That's another thing you'll want to know about being in an online community: we're not just anonymous faces on the internet who only exist as concepts. We're real people with real lives beyond being here. Knowing that will help you understand your audience better, which in turn will help you improve as a writer.

    In any case, though, I highly doubt the mods will unlock the thread and let you delete it. I mean, I can't 100% speak for the mods, but a lot of what was said are things you probably need to hear. But either way, you can't delete your account. If you really want to leave and not come back, you could always change your password to something you'd never remember and then log out.
    Last edited by JX Valentine; 10th April 2014 at 9:02 PM.

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    Before this devolves into something ugly and clutters up the thread, I think it would be wise, Hero of Truth, if you referred to these threads from a few months back in the Author's Cafe before you do anything rash or unnecessarily combative.

    In the former thread, Jax, Psychic and AquaMilotic all bring up fairly valid points (as do I but to say so would be immodest... oops). Also ignore the last post because moonlightning is a fairly obvious troll. Or, if you so choose, read it, then do the exact opposite because that's probably the best course of action. In the latter thread, Jax and Kutie Pie's posts are worth reading, and Dragonfree sums things up fairly concisely as well. The best thing for it right now is for everyone to step back for a moment and take a deep breath.
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    Please also note that you cannot link to your fic on another site.
    Could I get clarification on this? I've seen most other sites have the inverse rule to avoid scam / promotion in that one can not link to other sites, but this is the first community I see where one can not, apparently, promote his own works unless it is in the same site (and even then, perhaps only via the forum signature). What's going on? Serebii has no (and should have not) inference on the rules of other communities.
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    Though these cases are unlikely, there's always that one person that has to be "that jerk" that likes to ruin it for everyone. I'd say maybe add a rule that prohibits these entirely:

    Extreme racism and malicious content - This would include themes like rape, racism and genocide of real life races and ethnicities, and mocking satirical reference to sensitive, real life events such as the 9/11 World Trade Center attacks, the Sandy Hook Massacre, and the Holocaust.

    Extreme sexual/pornographic content - Just as it sounds, it's okay to have a love scene here and there, but unfortunately there's that guy that takes it way to the point where they start making stomachs turn with child pornography and other sick stuff. I'm sure the last thing I'm sure people want to read around here is... Pokémon pornography. >.<

    Threats/graphic situations against real life people or places - This would include a story about an assassination attempt on Barrack Obama, the bombing of Mecca, or anything of that nature. I'm sure the last thing people want is for the FBI and/or the NSA to start turning this place upside down. And yes, I've heard of several sites getting hammered and investigated like crazy for this kind of thing.


    I kind of wish I didn't have to mention these and people wouldn't do them at all, but there's plenty of cases I'm sure we're all familiar with. I just feel completely outlawing this stuff in the first place before something happens would be for the best.

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    Quote Originally Posted by solovino View Post
    Could I get clarification on this? I've seen most other sites have the inverse rule to avoid scam / promotion in that one can not link to other sites, but this is the first community I see where one can not, apparently, promote his own works unless it is in the same site (and even then, perhaps only via the forum signature). What's going on? Serebii has no (and should have not) inference on the rules of other communities.
    The "inverse rule" is what that rule actually means - as in, (you can't link to) (your fic on another site), as opposed to (you can't) (link to your fic) (on another site). Should probably be reworded to be unambiguous.

    Quote Originally Posted by Avenger Angel View Post
    Though these cases are unlikely, there's always that one person that has to be "that jerk" that likes to ruin it for everyone. I'd say maybe add a rule that prohibits these entirely:

    Extreme racism and malicious content - This would include themes like rape, racism and genocide of real life races and ethnicities, and mocking satirical reference to sensitive, real life events such as the 9/11 World Trade Center attacks, the Sandy Hook Massacre, and the Holocaust.

    Extreme sexual/pornographic content - Just as it sounds, it's okay to have a love scene here and there, but unfortunately there's that guy that takes it way to the point where they start making stomachs turn with child pornography and other sick stuff. I'm sure the last thing I'm sure people want to read around here is... Pokémon pornography. >.<

    Threats/graphic situations against real life people or places - This would include a story about an assassination attempt on Barrack Obama, the bombing of Mecca, or anything of that nature. I'm sure the last thing people want is for the FBI and/or the NSA to start turning this place upside down. And yes, I've heard of several sites getting hammered and investigated like crazy for this kind of thing.


    I kind of wish I didn't have to mention these and people wouldn't do them at all, but there's plenty of cases I'm sure we're all familiar with. I just feel completely outlawing this stuff in the first place before something happens would be for the best.
    Rules six and seven basically cover this already.

    Chapter 64: Hide and Seek
    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.

    Lengthy fanfiction reviewing guide / A more condensed version
    Read and I will be very happy for a large number of reasons.

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    How do we know if a fic goes here or in the shipping forum? Surely fics with romantic overtones can go here, so what's the dividing line? Is it if the romance is the focus versus a detail of it?
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    I'd say a story goes in Shipping Fics if its primary focus is a romance between canon characters. But the split is mostly here for your benefit - shipping fics will probably usually get more positive attention in the shipping fics forum because that's where people who care about shipping hang out, so that's probably where you'll want to post it. If you know the shipping fics forum exists but just think your fic would appeal more to the people who frequent this forum for any reason, that's fine and you can post it here despite whatever shippy content it involves (so long as it follows the rules).

    Chapter 64: Hide and Seek
    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.

    Lengthy fanfiction reviewing guide / A more condensed version
    Read and I will be very happy for a large number of reasons.

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    Do you guys delete fics that haven't been updated after x amount of time? I'm asking because my fic is at the end of the list (last edited June 1), but I just finished the next chapter and I'm waiting for my beta reader to look at it.

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    No, 'fics aren't deleted because of inactivity. There's also no rule against bumping your own thread, so you can post a new chapter even if it's been a long time (years, even) since the last one without worrying about your thread getting locked or what have.

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    Also, to extend the list of threads with posts beyond the last month, there's options for that at the bottom of the section page ('Thread Display Options'). Alternatively, you can go to your profile/VM page and below your avatar select 'Find latest started threads'.

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