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The Fan Fiction Rules - Read Me~

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by Psychic, Apr 25, 2013.

  1. JX Valentine

    JX Valentine Ever-Discordant

    Er, to clarify, the basis for all of the changes we've made to the recent rules were actually clarifications of rules that've been around since pretty much the opening of this thread. (The second paragraph in particular is actually pretty much lifted from the original. The only reason why it's there, besides the fact that the first line had to be changed to make way for the paragraph before it, is because this is the rule in its entirety.) We just felt that they needed to be further clarified because we've been seeing a lot of issues regarding the first paragraph, which was originally just a single sentence at the start of this rule.

    That having been said, the main issue is whether or not your request comes off as accusatory to the rest of the community. If you do it persistently (as in, more than a few times—and it's clear you haven't just copypasta'd it) or if you do it in a tone that sounds as if you're accusing the community of being dead or asking why no one's reviewed you, then it does require a talking-to because that kind of stuff can get pretty toxic, pretty fast, so yep, it's actually actionable on the basis of making things hella awkward around the forum (as are the other rules in the first post).

    As for the second, well, keeping in mind that it's kinda been around since the outset, that too is an actionable offense because what it means under the "writers must respect reviewers" bit is "don't argue with your reviewers." Like, you don't have to take anyone's advice around the forum, but you also shouldn't be outright blowing someone off or telling them off for giving you advice, you know?

    Point is, all of that rule goes back to the header: writers must respect readers. At the risk of sounding a little dictatorial, as I've mentioned a couple paragraphs ago, it's all about maintaining a community that's somewhat free of awkwardness, where folks feel somewhat safe to not only post but also review ... or, well, not review, whichever the case may be. If a writer's behavior gets to be excessive (as in, if it threatens to disrupt the community by stirring up drama or whatnot), then yes, mods will have to step in for the sake of keeping the peace, as that's more or less why we're here. Same goes with reviewers or pretty much anyone else.
  2. Dragonfree

    Dragonfree Just me

    It's part of the "Respect everyone" rule, which is an actionable rule backed by a set of general etiquette guidelines. You wouldn't be infracted for simply saying "Please read and review!" in your thread as a normal part of posting a chapter, but if you're constantly being passive-aggressive about how no one is reading your stuff, holding your chapters hostage, or going around in other threads complaining about it, that's being disrespectful of readers and hostile to the community. (Since this stuff is relatively fuzzy, though, you'd probably get a verbal warning to tone it down before any infractions are given out.)

    The paragraph about responding to the reviews was there before, and nothing has changed in how we plan to enforce it - it's an etiquette guideline that becomes an actionable offense if you're being dismissive to the point of rudeness.

    EDIT: Whoops, ninja'd... by like 25 minutes. Should have refreshed before posting. ~_~
  3. Negrek

    Negrek Lost but Seeking

    I gotcha. In context I think the first part is fine. If the idea of the last paragraph is that readers shouldn't fight with reviewers (or be excessively dismissive?), then perhaps have it say that rather than having the bit about how to approach negative reviews? It sounds rather prescriptive to me as written, is all.
  4. Dragonfree

    Dragonfree Just me

    Hmm, is your complaint that it's not sufficiently clear what part of the paragraph is actionable and what is advice, or that you don't think advice on responding to criticism belongs in the rules at all? If it's the former, this is what the rule has looked like for years now (the only change to that paragraph was a minor cosmetic rewording and splitting it into its own paragraph), and to my recollection it hasn't caused any confusion before, but I think I can see your point. Do you think it'd be better as something like this?

    If you're saying you'd want to just take out that advice bit altogether, I have to disagree. In an abstract sense, sure, it's not a rule, but young writers come here taking their first steps into writing, and I think there's real value in explaining here that hey, maybe it hurts when somebody criticizes your story, but this can be a positive thing and can help you write better stories. Not only does it provide reasoning for the rule (here's why we allow people to criticize your work and you should take it nicely), but I also think it's generally helpful to frame constructive criticism from the start not simply as something to be endured, but embraced; it creates a healthier attitude to start with that has less potential for hurt feelings. Not everyone reads advice threads, I think this point makes the most sense and is most effective when directly connected to this rule, and having it there doesn't exactly stop anyone from being able to choose not to take advice if they're determined to do so.
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2016
  5. Negrek

    Negrek Lost but Seeking

    Eh, well, I'm not a huge fan of the advice being in there in general, but I think the revision does a better job of actually addressing what behaviors are considered inappropriate (e.g. getting into fights) and sounds a bit less like "if you someone gives you advice, you'd better do what they say."
  6. Umbramatic

    Umbramatic The Ghost Lord

    Is there a rule against writers completely ignoring reader reviews in their posts after them in the thread? And if so, can there be one?

    Because I definitely feel it's bad manners at least and I'm sure everyone here who reviews at all would probably aprecciate their advice not stay unackowledged even if the reader doesn't agree with it.
  7. JX Valentine

    JX Valentine Ever-Discordant

    While it's technically in the rules that a writer should thank reviewers at the very least (if they respond at all ... so maybe that bit should be reworded, come to think of it), I'm personally uncomfortable with using mod powers to force people to post (as that's what such a rule would entail). The way I see it, if folks aren't being overtly rude (like, outright stating they're ignoring your post or arguing with you), having a writer decide not to respond at all is not only harmless but also a thing that just comes with the reviewing territory, y'know? It's like getting a negative review if you're an author.
  8. Umbramatic

    Umbramatic The Ghost Lord

    I was talkng more the former bolded bit, not the latter - I'd be decidedly against a rule saying people should be forced to post review replies if they don't intend to respond to the thread anymore myself. What I was hoping for was that if they DO reply there should be acknowlegement of reviews since their last post in there.
  9. JX Valentine

    JX Valentine Ever-Discordant

    Noooot to be super combative-sounding or anything, but the latter isn't a secondary option. It's actually an extension of the former because it's talking about how one would enforce such a rule.

    Basically speaking, you're looking for a rule that stops people from ignoring reviews. That's all well and good, but in order to stop people from ignoring reviews, you'd have to force them to post and acknowledge an author. If that doesn't happen, then there has to be a consequence, as there's always a consequence to the breaking of a rule. That's the part I'm not entirely comfortable with creating because any way you cut it, what it boils down to is this rule would require mods to force people to post. While we're absolutely happy to exercise power over people who are being outright rude (and explicit about their want to ignore you), there's technically nothing wrong with people not posting something. Or putting it in other words, at least if an author is being rude, we have clear evidence for a reason to act, plus it simultaneously violates general board rules. (Most of these rules are just Fic-specific variations of the aforementioned SPPf stuff until you get into the rules for readers/writers.) It's much, much harder to mod something that literally isn't there because the post or wording itself doesn't exist.

    Or putting it another way, let's take the example I'm pretty sure you're thinking of here. Sure, an author updated their fic, but that's a fic update, not a reply. There's nothing really positive or negative about its presence and the non-presence of a response to you. Sure, it's a little off-putting that someone didn't acknowledge your review, but things like that just kinda happen from time to time. If the author doesn't respond at all (as in, doesn't respond directly to your review), then you've got two choices: continue to review their fic until they do or wander off and review someone who will respond. Eventually, either through a lack of reviews or repeated negative reviews, the author will do one of three things: A) snap at you (which is then a clear violation of the rules and something we can definitely mod), B) take the hint and change, or C) give up on that fic (which is sad but something no one but the author can stop, really).

    However, if a rule were put in place to force an author to acknowledge you before posting their chapter (or at all) would basically be to force them to post. Some people are already uncomfortable with the detailed list of rules for writers, so I'm not so sure if adding "by the way, you must also respond in exactly this manner" would be a good idea (beyond the standard "don't be an overt jerk or hold your fic hostage" bits). If anything, it might make the atmosphere on this forum a little more tense.

    So far, we've just been tweaking and adding rules that were kinda givens and would ultimately help relieve tension on the forum, so anything that would risk taking a step backwards (by giving mods even more control over post content than they actually already had) is not something I'd advise.
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2016
  10. Umbramatic

    Umbramatic The Ghost Lord

    Ah, I get it, it'd still be forcing people to do things within their posts, which is NOT conducive to a comfortable environment. I understand now, thanks.

    (As for the thing this has already been transparently about, yeah, better to cut my losses.)
  11. Epicocity

    Epicocity Well-Known Member

    Since I've posted my fics in the Shipping Fics section, does that also mean that I can't post it within this section as well? (Not that my stories are overly shippy, but I'm simply looking to get the best exposure for them)
  12. bobandbill

    bobandbill Winning Smile Staff Member Super Mod

    Not the same fic, no. Shipping fics go there, other fics go here.
  13. Epicocity

    Epicocity Well-Known Member

    All right. Thanks for the info!
  14. DeviantJTS

    DeviantJTS New Member

    Hey I need help, when you make a story it lets you post the firs chapter but how do i set up the second chapter? Like how can i make it to where people can click something and it will send them to chapter 2?
  15. JX Valentine

    JX Valentine Ever-Discordant

    No prob.

    First and foremost, you'll likely need to make ten, non-spammy posts anywhere on the board (either in Fan Fiction or your forum of choice). This will unlock your ability to create links in the first place.

    Once you unlock links, post chapter 2 in its own post in the very same thread as chapter 1. Then, at the top of your browser, copy the URL immediately after posting. This will point your readers to the exact post for chapter 2.

    Now, however you want to do things from here is up to you, but the most popular method of linking to each chapter's post is simply to create a table of contents. You can see examples of this in almost every story thread on the forum, but it's basically a little bit of text in your first post that lists the chapters, with links to each. To make a table of contents, simply go back to your first post, hit the edit button, and at the top of your post, write out something like:

    Table of Contents
    Chapter 1
    Chapter 2

    To insert a link (i.e., something people can click to get to each chapter's post), insert the URL code around the text for the chapter you want to link to. For example:

    [url=(insert the URL you copied earlier, the one created as soon as you posted your chapter, here)]Chapter 2[/url]
    And of course, customize as you'd like. Add bold or spoiler tags. Call your chapter whatever you'd like. Go hog wild. ;)

    Hopefully, that all made sense, but feel free to ask if you've still got questions.

    Good luck!
  16. AceTrainerWesley

    AceTrainerWesley New Member

    Hi, I'm new here. I've made a fanfiction that I've been wanting to upload to a site for a while, and I want to upload it here. That being said, I have a couple of questions regarding the rules.

    First of all, my fic contains several themes that people could deem disturbing, such as violence and strong language. Who would be a good Mod to contact to see if my Fanfic is approvable?
    Next, if people hypothetically wanted to send me something regarding the fiction (such as Fan art or requests) would it be okay for me to link my twitter account or another way for people to contact me?
  17. Hello! I'm not a mod, and I don't know the answer to the second question, but I've got a good grasp on the first I think:

    It depends on the very specific themes. If it's moderate violence, gore, swearing and maybe mild sexual themes like kissing (aka the stuff of a T/PG-13 rating) then usually you just have to put warnings at the very top of the thread without requiring approval. However, if you want to write something with sexual themes like, well... sex, as well as extremely violent pieces (so NC-17/M/R rated things) then as far as I'm aware the protocol is to ask a mod. The mods of this subforum are Dragonfree, Psychic, bobandbill and JX Valentine, so you can ask them for help.
  18. AceTrainerWesley

    AceTrainerWesley New Member

    Thank you for the reply! That covers the majority of the fic! And thanks so much for the list of mods that I can contact, that will really help me once I get to those graphic chapters.
  19. SGMijumaru

    SGMijumaru Competitive Mijumaru

    Apologies if this has already been asked, but are we allowed to post two stories in two separate threads?
    I'm actually writing two fanfictions at once and posting them on multiple different sites, but I refrained from doing so here as I assumed it was against the rules. Skim rereading them, I realise there's nothing about it. So am I allowed to posyt my other story?
    (Yes, this is why Astral Genealogy has some breaks between when it is updated)
  20. Negrek

    Negrek Lost but Seeking

    Sure! You can have as many stories as you like going at one time, and you should start a separate thread for each one.

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