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Old April 30th, 2010 (10:31 PM).
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No, that doesn't have to be the real title of the new rules thread... UNLESS A MASSIVE AMOUNT OF PEOPLE WANT IT TO BE.

For those of you just tuning in...

It began with the question of how to get people to read the godforsaken rules of FF&W. We knew the kiddies didn't pay much attention to the stickies and whatnot, so we tried to think of ways to jazz it up a bit and make it enticing for people to read the entire thread.

And then Azurne came up with a beautiful, beautiful idea: turn the rules into a fanfic.

Thus, what will be the most epic rules thread in the history of rules thread begins right here with a bunch of volunteers.


...And how the **** are we going to pull that off anyway?

Unfortunately, we couldn't get much further than that. The way I see it, though, there's a couple ways to go about it, and either way, we need to focus a little bit on the structure. After all, the main point of this entire exercise is to get our point across, not so much to tell a story, right?

So, the couple ways of doing it are:

1. Focus on one rule per chapter.
2. Focus on one section per chapter.

While the first option allows us to avoid confusing a reader (as in, the fewer subjects we cover per chapter, the more we can drive home a single point), it also means we'll have over 9000 chapters a long list of posts. We might run into the risk of turning off people who come to the thread by going on and on about the rules. On the other hand, while focusing on one section (e.g., one section for general community rules, another for fic quality, et cetera) keeps the chapter list easy to manage, it also means we're more likely to confuse readers by trying to cram multiple points into one chapter.

(Either way, we'll have to summarize what the chapter is trying to say at the end, but it's the story that's supposed to get people to pay attention to our point.)

We might also have to answer the question of how easily this kind of thing can be modified. Rules sometimes change. What do we do if Astinus needs to tweak something in the middle of a chapter? (In this case, the first option – one point a chapter – comes in handy because it'll mean we can easily rewrite a chapter and replace it instead of hunt around for references to the old rule. Or should we simply deal with it by adding more chapters for each new rule change?)

Either way, this is how I personally group the rules, but we can rearrange things as necessary. (This is so we can get a good look at how many chapters we'd have if we go with either method of handling this.) Also, feel free to add to it or suggest that something be left out. You're free to add more categories as well.

Spoiler:
General Community Rules Followed in F&W
(Whatever's defined by board-wide rules.)
- SPAM is not allowed.
- Posts must have at least 25 characters and 4 words.
- All posts are required to have 4 words.
- Everybody is to respect other people on the board.
- Do not flame, bash or insult other people.
- Thread tags must be relevant.

Fanfic-Specific Rules
(Rules concerning the way a fanfic itself should be presented.)
- All fanfics must be readable.
-- This means that proper English grammar rules should be followed as best as possible.
- Your first post of your fanfic thread must contain a part of your fanfic.
- Do not post unfinished work.
- Rate your fanfic properly, with proper warnings.
-- Links to the rating systems.
-- The no R/18/M rule.
- Only well-written script fics are allowed.

Author Behavior Rules
(What the authors themselves should and shouldn't do.)
- Only the author may bump their thread when posting a new chapter.
-- Definition of "bump" also added to this rule.
- Plagiarizing is not allowed.
- Post your fanfics on the forum.
-- i.e., Do not link to another site, rather than have the text of your story right here on PC.

Reviewer Behavior Rules
(Same thing, only with reviewers.)
- All reviews must be constructive.
-- Definition of "constructive."

Other Important Information
(Guides, important threads, et cetera.)
- Self-explanatory.



Sing me a song; you're the piano man~!

Obviously, we need a bit more planning for the story before we can actually write it. We'll need plot ideas, character ideas, whatever else we can come up with. Because I'm lazy, I'm just sticking categories down here and letting you guys come up with thoughts. Be as detailed as possible when cooking ideas.

Plots
(Plot ideas to play with. Most hilarious one becomes our story.)
Spoiler:
Ye Olde New Trainer Fic
Everyone loves a new trainer fic! Or at least we pretend to. Kid ventures forth from Tiny Town in New Region to collect badges and save the world from disaster at the hands of a legendary Pokémon and the nefarious Team Evil.

Alternatively, Your Suggestion Here
IDK, MY BFF FFL?


Characters
(Every single character we think we'll need to help explain our rules.)
Spoiler:
Astinus
Insert personality here. Your plucky protagonist.


Other
(Whatever other ideas you think need to be added to this story. Plot devices? Random scenes? Someone in a bikini?)
Spoiler:
- Booze. Lots of it.



IDK, my BFF FFL?

We'll need masochistic volunteers to do actual work for us too:

Writers
(We'll need writers willing to collaborate with each other and the rest of the team to write a story. Writers must be able to write with a deadline and to come up with something interesting and more than just "Sally went to the store." If you fail to make your deadline, your part will be given to someone else. PLEASE DO NOT APPLY UNTIL WE'VE DECIDED ON A FORMAT.)

Proofreaders
(Because nothing's more hilarious embarrassing than having a sticky in the writing forum that violates the basics of English language and literature. Proofreaders must have a good eye for not only grammar but also logic, characterization, et cetera, unless we decide to make this a huge crackfest after all. They must also work under a deadline with a team and will be smacked if they sugarcoat their work.)

The rest of you will be called upon to lend your divine wisdom and tell us how badly we've failed at getting the point across.


All that in mind, discuss.
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  #2    
Old May 1st, 2010 (03:56 AM).
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[claps]
Yay! It's up!

Anyhow, I'll be willing to write. I can see this operation will need a lot of fantastically ridiculous stuff and fun-pokery, a couple of subjects which I believe I can help with. I'm used to working on deadlines, as the fanfic I wrote before this one puped out a chapter a week and still managed to be somewhat amusing (and then there's the ever-flowing river of artwork commissions from my aunt...) Also, I've never fanficized a Rules thread before, and it's just been added to the list of things I want to do before I die. : D
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Old May 1st, 2010 (06:37 AM).
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I'd help write but I'm probably going to be too busy for that (unless it takes a good while to get it started and it goes rather slowly... but I doubt that).

But I am willing to proofread at least!

Also I demand this post be used: http://www.pokecommunity.com/showpost.php?p=4433049&postcount=9160 =D

And the current idea I think is fine... say, a badge could be given to Astinus each time Astinus picks up a new fanfic skill/rule in the story. XD
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Old May 1st, 2010 (08:58 AM).
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I won't be able to write (humor and crack are my mortal enemies), but I’m definitely interested in proofreading!

Also, I agree with bobandbill, badges are the perfect tool to use for this, unless you want to go with the emblems that are still being made.

I don’t know about the characters, but we’ll need a Tree Professor for sure. That, or one of the members being the professor (not sure who). Or, here’s an idea, the professor is named Professor Cedar, but everyone calls him PC for short.
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Old May 1st, 2010 (05:33 PM).
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^ Ooh, I like that.

As for the fanfic-specific rules...maybe something like this in the story (done early to get them out of the way - vthey are the forum-wide rules after all...)
Quote:
SPAM is not allowed.
- Posts must have at least 25 characters and 4 words.
- All posts are required to have 4 words.
- Everybody is to respect other people on the board.
- Do not flame, bash or insult other people.
Story could begin really badly with some comments given in by people randomly walking into the story saying 'lol i lik this', followed by arguments and Mr PC giving them a time out? *shrugs*
- Thread tags must be relevant.
TBH I again wonder about the thread tags rule needing mention - has this ever been a problem here? =/


Also I can kinda seeing the writing guide to be applied to this as well... e.g. I suppose the professor can be responsible for explaining to Astinus what Pokemon she gets and why shiny celebis and the such are bad ideas in fics. XD ('No, Astinus, I can't give you a shiny Snover.' 'Why not? =(' 'Because you live in a town by the sea, not an icy mountain.') *shrugs*

Early on maybe we could touch on description as well - Astinus goes out the door with minimal description only to be called back home by her parents to 'do it properly', then the scene begins again with purple prose, and then the third time a happier 'middle' is done.'

But that's me rambling - how feasible would that be? And if it is would it be another astinus adventure but more in-depth and filled with writing stuff instead of fanfic rules?
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Old May 1st, 2010 (10:35 PM).
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Old May 2nd, 2010 (05:31 AM). Edited May 2nd, 2010 by icomeanon6.
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I've got to get in on this one. Believe it or not, a few days ago I wrote an example in a PM to some unnamed individual that goes right along those lines:

Quote originally posted by Yours truly:
"Good morning, Ash. I see you've come here in your pajamas," said Professor Oak. "Oh no!" said Ash, turning red in the face. "I'm so embarrassed!"

"You should be embarrassed," said Professor Oak. "You spoke after me without starting a new paragraph! Whenever a different character starts speaking, you have to hit enter twice to make a new paragraph. It's a rule!"

"You mean like this?" asked Ash.

"Yes, precisely! You're now one step closer to becoming a Pokemon master!"
One thing we definitely need is some sort of Team Rocket clone. They could show how chronic rule-violators will find themselves repeatedly blasting off again. They'd also be a perfect opportunity for demonstrating crime team cliches.
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Old May 2nd, 2010 (05:36 AM).
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I quite like the idea of Professor Cedar. Perhaps he/she could have some way to contact Astinus and yell in his ear (I just realized that I don't know Astinus' gender O_o) when he messes up too badly.

How about we have a Rival/Rocket Gang stand-in character who, when we can't find a good way to explain a "Don't" rule, can pop in and cause some trouble for Astinus? Who will then get trumped with the Power of Rules/Friendship?

Quote:
TBH I again wonder about the thread tags rule needing mention - has this ever been a problem here? =/
I don't bother with tags, and I assume others don't either... perhaps we could add it in as a side-note with another, bigger rule.

I think this story is turning into a sort of rule-teaching, fanfic-teaching hybrid now... XD I think that many people have tried to poke fun/teach others about writing fanfics in fanfic form, but most of the time they run out of things to poke fun at and kinda kill the fic. So I think we should label each section/paragraph as "RULES" or "WRITING" or something to that effect, so that we have enough fodder to run a good fic with.

What do we do about Gym Leaders? :/ Like, have them either teach or violate a rule and have Astinus learn/spite them?
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Old May 2nd, 2010 (11:17 AM).
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Quote originally posted by Giratina ♀:
Perhaps he/she could have some way to contact Astinus and yell in his ear (I just realized that I don't know Astinus' gender O_o) when he messes up too badly.
Neutral. But until the day that's acceptable, call me by the female pronouns.

I honestly don't know what I can do to help. I don't have the time to write any parts of this, unfortunately. I think one way I can help is by pointing out whatever rules/guidelines might need more focus on them. Like the tags that bobandbill mentioned aren't important, but grammar is.

icomeanon6's post does make me wonder what gets an individual post/chapter. There might actually be a need for two threads like this: one for the actual rules (no SPAM, no bumping, constructive criticism only, whatever else there is) and then another for the guidelines of the section (how to keep the blessed thread open once it's posted).

Oh haha. This is asked in the first post as well. Way to read, Astinus.
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Old May 2nd, 2010 (02:17 PM).
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I'm sorry that I don't have much time to contribute much to this at the moment, but here's a thought.

Proofread grammar and spelling before posting --link to-- Grammar Nazi?

And by grammar nazi I mean the obvious, stereotype, cliche version that you see in some old films and or games.
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Old May 2nd, 2010 (04:55 PM).
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Then again, some people may be offended by the term 'Nazi' in reference to something as "trite" as grammar... maybe there can be a branch of the International Police called the Grammar Police?
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Old May 2nd, 2010 (05:14 PM).
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Yes that is a possibility. The only reason I used Nazi, though I didn't consider Police beforehand, was because of the fact that the internet term 'grammar nazi' is well known and the possible lulz from badly spoken German and references to the Third GermanGrammar Reich we might be able to exploit.

Still, International Grammar Police does sound intriguing.
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Old May 3rd, 2010 (06:29 AM).
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Astinus' rival could use really terrible grammar, so everytime he/she shows up the Grammar Police could arrest him/her. Or beat him/her with their batons. Hopefully it will help get the point across and could possibly result in many a lulz.
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Old May 3rd, 2010 (11:35 AM).
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Or he could be a juvenile delinquent who does it on purpose... XD But yes, I think that we could get more lulz out of the Grammar Police than the Grammar Nazis without making some people feel uneasy. Besides, hearing a Hitler clone use proper grammar is so un-German!
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Old May 3rd, 2010 (09:13 PM). Edited May 3rd, 2010 by Breezy.
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I like the idea in itself, and the idea itself is awesome (I just repeated myself but whateva), but I do have a few concerns about it.

1) You never really addressed the question about how you're going to get these kids to read your sticky. Time and time again, most of you have stated that no matter what you label your rules (I read something along the lines of "Unf Unf Unf" or were you exaggerating? Lol), it doesn't seem to attract newbies. Your content inside might be epic beyond belief, but, well, if you can't even get them to click the title, well ...

So, again, I'm going to stress that you guys go out into the community and apply the rules you know to the reviews/comments/responses you post. Because that's how this thread is really going to attract attention. Not just a fancy title and thread.

2) You might want to think of a condensed form anyway, whether at the beginning of the thread (though that might ruin the story atmosphere you're trying to set up), or at the end. Remember that you are not only trying to attract newbie authors, that is, the generic twelve year old that can barely type, to someone who may be new to the forum but not new to the pokemon fanfiction game. They don't need gimmicks to read rules; they just want to read the rules, kind of remember them, and move forward.

3) There's also a concern about the tone you're trying to set. It may be fun to writing in a parody way from an experienced author perspective, but if you're parodying noobies, then that's somewhat insulting, don't you think? Keep it fun, but don't poke fun. Make sense?

4) You already addressed this about the rules getting lost amidst the text, so I'm still pushing toward a condescend, listed version at the end of the thread (or the rule posted at the bottom of each chapter/section/whatevs) just so the point really drives home. It may seem ... fuhhh. Some word that I can't think of that I could probably think of had I not just pulled away from linguistics homework to write this. Tacky? Let's go with that. Tacky. But it'll help, I think.

5) Furthermore, length is a concern, as brought up, but I'ma bring it up again cuz I'm pretty neat like that. As many of you may know, constant posting of chapter after a chapter is sort of a turn off because that's a lot of text to handle. Reviewer's perspective o'course. Don't get off into tangents. Get to the point because it will makes things clearer but don't skimp off detail either.

Anyway, I'm not exactly sure what you guys are doing here. Are you doing basic, basic rules (chapters must be a certain length and whatever -- lololo i didn't read the rulez either!) or are you doing a weird hybrid, awkward, giraffe-like child that mixes rules and basic grammar aspects? Because that's a heavy load if it's the latter and could possibly turn off new readers. Personally, I'd just stick to the rules. You guys have plenty of guides on grammar, and merging these two obviously different things would just be overkill, ya?

Remember the basics of how to attract a certain reader to a story and apply the same here, even if it is a sticky.

1) Length -- the longer it is, the more it might make newbies run like a wild pokemons. Not unless their zubat.
2) Tone -- parodies are great when you're in on the joke and/or have a good sense of humor but can be somewhat hurtful if you suddenly realize that the joke is about you. Keep it light-hearted, don't dwell in confusing themes, and make it easy-to-digest. The easier it is to read, the easier it is to understand.
3) Novelty -- if you don't know by now, stories that end usually die fast not unless it's a classic. Make it worth something reading over and over again.

And to stress it again, decide what you want to do with this because you lot are rambling off on ideas that may or may not apply to the story. I came to this thread thinking that it was about just the rules, not the gramamr aspect but it suddenly went down that route. Is this just a rule story? A grammar story? Both? Understand the complications if you merge the two, or create two, and how outdated the latter can become.

Sorry for the brain farts/guts that I exploded on this btw. <3 A little souvenir.
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Old May 4th, 2010 (04:17 AM). Edited May 4th, 2010 by bobandbill.
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Quote originally posted by Breezy:
1) You never really addressed the question about how you're going to get these kids to read your sticky. Time and time again, most of you have stated that no matter what you label your rules (I read something along the lines of "Unf Unf Unf" or were you exaggerating? Lol), it doesn't seem to attract newbies. Your content inside might be epic beyond belief, but, well, if you can't even get them to click the title, well ...
Well derp this indeed. It is a valid point - no matter what it's like inside it's no good if they don't go and click that thread. (And IMO not everyone is going to look at it and read it anyways but certainly getting as many newcomers as possible to check out the rules is a priority). Of course the million-dollar-question is... how?

As mentioned - changing the thread title doesn't work too well. I recall mentions of setting up a system for first-timers to the section for a message to pop up (annoying if someone just glances and probably too 'annoying' potentially were some cons for that)... or for them to get a welcoming PM (which tends to give a notification window appear if the user has the default option set up =P and if not they should notice a new bold number by their unchecked notifications thingy anyways). Thinking about it I believe the latter may be somewhat decent...

Curiously though for anyone who looks at this thread - what makes you in your opinion make you check out the rules? Maybe we should look at it that way... =/
Quote:
So, again, I'm going to stress that you guys go out into the community and apply the rules you know to the reviews/comments/responses you post. Because that's how this thread is really going to attract attention. Not just a fancy title and thread.
Well this too - if someone pops in and sees a lot of decent reviews/whatnot then chances are they may follow in the footsteps so to speak. Certainly such an effect could be seen a while back on sppf if you know what I mean. =P

Quote:
2) You might want to think of a condensed form anyway, whether at the beginning of the thread (though that might ruin the story atmosphere you're trying to set up), or at the end. Remember that you are not only trying to attract newbie authors, that is, the generic twelve year old that can barely type, to someone who may be new to the forum but not new to the pokemon fanfiction game. They don't need gimmicks to read rules; they just want to read the rules, kind of remember them, and move forward.
Quote:
4) You already addressed this about the rules getting lost amidst the text, so I'm still pushing toward a condescend, listed version at the end of the thread (or the rule posted at the bottom of each chapter/section/whatevs) just so the point really drives home. It may seem ... fuhhh. Some word that I can't think of that I could probably think of had I not just pulled away from linguistics homework to write this. Tacky? Let's go with that. Tacky. But it'll help, I think.
Definitely - if we're doing this a list of the rules at the top should go first IMO after thinking about it - with the next post being mentioned for them to read as a fun 'explanation/expansion' of the rules maybe? After all first and foremost we want the rules to be
  • easy to read and understand
  • easy to understand quickly
And a story out of it won't do the latter part too well IMO - it can make for a fun more interesting way to read it, but it should be secondary to a nice simple list and serve as an expansion/explanation/fun version of said rules...IMO anyways.

Out of order because something said before is repeated and leads from this:
Quote:
Anyway, I'm not exactly sure what you guys are doing here. Are you doing basic, basic rules (chapters must be a certain length and whatever -- lololo i didn't read the rulez either!) or are you doing a weird hybrid, awkward, giraffe-like child that mixes rules and basic grammar aspects? Because that's a heavy load if it's the latter and could possibly turn off new readers. Personally, I'd just stick to the rules. You guys have plenty of guides on grammar, and merging these two obviously different things would just be overkill, ya?
Have to admit I got this thought when reading the rest of the replies today - it is kinda getting confusing now. XD Are we doing this for the rules, or the how-to-write guide/s, or both? IMO it may be too cluttered - even if as Giratina! said we separate it into parts with nice headings every now and again.

Personally I think it'd be better a) doing both but keeping it to separate threads because the rules are somewhat different from the basics or whatnot of writing, or b) doing this for only one of them (and imo maybe the guide, and leave the rules as is). But that's me - input, people! (Yes, you in front of the computer screen even). =P
Quote:
3) There's also a concern about the tone you're trying to set. It may be fun to writing in a parody way from an experienced author perspective, but if you're parodying noobies, then that's somewhat insulting, don't you think? Keep it fun, but don't poke fun. Make sense?
I suppose we can keep that in mind in the plotting part as well as the proofreading part. (Testing it out on a few people not part of this making process might be an idea too - kinda like a survey: what do you think of this? Was it helpful?) ?


EDIT: Some further thinking on this + discussing with others... I am now more of the mind that Astinus's Adventure would probably work better in the Writing Guide/Tips/Whatever region. =P It's got more to work with, and doesn't necessarily rely on the whole 'should be consise, quick and easy to read' deal that Rules tend to carry. *shrug* What do you think?
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Old May 4th, 2010 (05:44 AM).
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The way I see it, there are two major problems with this idea. The first one is one that both bobandbill and Breezy both mentioned: the rules in story form will be too long and too vague to be actually useful. It would take a while to read the whole thing, unless you make it fairly short, but that would defeat a great part of the funny epicness. Another problem is to make the rules understandable in this form. Yes, most people can read between the lines enough to realise the rules without them being spelled out word to word in bolded text, but here we get a lot of members who are young, impatient, and possibly not native to English. For them, it'll just be a pain to read the rules in a format like that.

Of course, like many have already suggested, there could be a separate thread for the "real" rules, and then the story could be used as a carrot to get newbies to read the rules. This, however, brings me to the second problem.

The way you're formatting this is very one-sided. Yes, it will be funny, it will be epic, writing it will be a blast - but will it really be all that to the newbies, as well? Will someone new really understand why it's funny that Astinus does this and that? You have to be really careful and really objective to make it actually funny and epic instead of just something that's infested with random in-jokes. Remember, it's not you who you're writing it for, it's the people new to this place. If the first thing they see is a stickied veteran collab project riddled with in-jokes, they won't feel all that welcome.

So, with that in mind, I think this idea is getting way too much attention. It's taking the focus away from the actual problems and solving them, which makes it counterproductive. Yes, I know that emblems and funny stories are more fun to do that talking about how everyone needs to change the community, the structure of stickies, and themselves to make things work again, but that's not the point.

This story, as awesome as it is as an idea, is really a secondary concern, just like the emblems. I think the other things should come first, and when everything else is done, this story could be planned in co-operation with the newbies who hopefully by then have the guts to come and say what they think.
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  #18    
Old May 4th, 2010 (05:57 AM).
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Quote:
The way you're formatting this is very one-sided. Yes, it will be funny, it will be epic, writing it will be a blast - but will it really be all that to the newbies, as well? Will someone new really understand why it's funny that Astinus does this and that? You have to be really careful and really objective to make it actually funny and epic instead of just something that's infested with random in-jokes. Remember, it's not you who you're writing it for, it's the people new to this place. If the first thing they see is a stickied veteran collab project riddled with in-jokes, they won't feel all that welcome
I believe this kinda hits that other thing Breezy was talking about on the head - whatever this story involves it certainly is something to keep in mind - it should be amusing and informative for anyone and everyone who reads it, rather than just us. Not that we would necessarily fall into that trap but it's certainly a useful reminder of that danger (that isn't too hard to fall into either imo =P). In-jokes naturally wouldn't be a good idea as we would be the only ones to really 'get it', and it's the whole clique-problem keeping in if that occurs.

Anyway let's sort out what we want to do with giving rules attentiona nd what we're writing about before we worry about the writing itself. =)
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Old May 4th, 2010 (09:55 AM).
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Sorry for my absence, been running around a lot. ;

The condensed form for the rules was a given, I thought. I know there's no chance in hell newbies will read the story otherwise. Most writers I've met, by nature, are somewhat lazy and though love a good read, just like to keep it simple. So a summation at the beginning or end of this story is pretty much required, methinks.

Honestly, as for the title of the rules, heck to any type of thread, I seriously doubt there's anything you can do. Either the newbies will click the links or they won't, you can't force them to, short of making them to take some sort of 'rules quiz' before they're allowed to post anything. Not only is that a turn-off, but it's tedious and I don't think even the more experienced writers would post here if something like that were introduced. It's just a pain in the rear. =/

As for the story itself, I'm gathering from the general response that people want this to be some sort of funny crackfic? I'm not sure if this is still something being thrown around or not... I don't mind crackfics at all, it's just they get old really fast.

*Is kinda at a loss of what's going on sorry*
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Old May 4th, 2010 (10:08 AM).
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Curiously though for anyone who looks at this thread - what makes you in your opinion make you check out the rules? Maybe we should look at it that way... =/
When a person gets infracted is when a person actually looks at the rules, though I don't think you want it to come to that. =P

Actually, I only recently re-read the rules because of this thread. Maybe you should just keep discussing what to do about the rule thread which will make people read the rule thread. XP

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Old May 4th, 2010 (01:05 PM).
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Quote originally posted by bobandbill:
EDIT: Some further thinking on this + discussing with others... I am now more of the mind that Astinus's Adventure would probably work better in the Writing Guide/Tips/Whatever region. =P It's got more to work with, and doesn't necessarily rely on the whole 'should be consise, quick and easy to read' deal that Rules tend to carry. *shrug* What do you think?
That's what I was thinking too. The rules need to be clear, concise, and to the point to avoid confusion. Having them lost in a parody story that has chapters that could go on for pages could actually be detrimental. So I was thinking that we could use the story format better for a guide.

Quote:
*Is kinda at a loss of what's going on sorry*
We all are. People tend to get focused on the wrong thing, and what needs to get discussed never is because it's not THAT THING that requires no importance. So everything is just really disorganized. Like Nazis versus police. REALLY, everyone? That's the focus we're going for? Not how the **** we're going to do this? Whether or not it's a guide for basic writing or the rules?

And do we really want to use me as the main character? Sure, y'all know me somewhat, but like An-chan said, the newbies and returning people to this section DON'T, and they wouldn't find it funny because they won't get the jokes.
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  #22    
Old May 4th, 2010 (03:10 PM).
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Haha, I was about to post about this as soon as I get some work done, but Breezy and others pretty much said it all. D:

Hm, I guess we can now talk about what really needs to be in the rules first and what fits better in the writing guide? Yeah, need to be clear on this. ;

That aside real quick, there is something I thought of.

Quote:
General Community Rules Followed in F&W
(Whatever's defined by board-wide rules.)
- SPAM is not allowed.
- Posts must have at least 25 characters and 4 words.
- All posts are required to have 4 words.
- Everybody is to respect other people on the board.
- Do not flame, bash or insult other people.
- Thread tags must be relevant.

Fanfic-Specific Rules
(Rules concerning the way a fanfic itself should be presented.)
- All fanfics must be readable.
-- This means that proper English grammar rules should be followed as best as possible.
- Your first post of your fanfic thread must contain a part of your fanfic.
- Do not post unfinished work.
- Rate your fanfic properly, with proper warnings.
-- Links to the rating systems.
-- The no R/18/M rule.
- Only well-written script fics are allowed.

Author Behavior Rules
(What the authors themselves should and shouldn't do.)
- Only the author may bump their thread when posting a new chapter.
-- Definition of "bump" also added to this rule.
- Plagiarizing is not allowed.
- Post your fanfics on the forum.
-- i.e., Do not link to another site, rather than have the text of your story right here on PC.

Reviewer Behavior Rules
(Same thing, only with reviewers.)
- All reviews must be constructive.
-- Definition of "constructive."

Other Important Information
(Guides, important threads, et cetera.)
- Self-explanatory.
I assume we all want to still make this a short story of sorts but for the new people, right? If so, we should just focus on having the story be about the rules and then worry about grammar, description, and such for the writing guide.

Now, to break the rules down to a story...yeah, that won't be easy. D: Any ideas? I don't have any right now, but if I do I'll post them. Otherwise...we can also just do what Breezy said and discuss any ways to make the new members read the current rule thread.
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  #23    
Old May 4th, 2010 (03:32 PM).
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You know, I'm thinking that we should just re-hash the rules in Standard Forum Rule Format and leave the story aspect for the Writers' Guide. Not only will the people visiting that thread be more likely to care about someone else's story, but if we throw too much into the rules we can kind of make the rule hard to understand (yes, even if we slap the Condensed Version at the end) or - gasp! - go off topic. I think we've all observed a problem with going off topic in the PokéCom writers' community, yes?
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  #24    
Old May 4th, 2010 (06:33 PM). Edited May 4th, 2010 by txteclipse.
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Okay. I figured I'd just jump in to help here and there with this whole revitalization thing, because you all seemed to know what you wanted done. I will be the first to say that I'm not a very good organizer, or leader, or anything that has to do with being in a position of authority, and that I'd rather put my efforts into helping you guys with whatever direction you wanted to take this. Apparently that was a mistake, though, because as far as I can see, there is no direction. Everyone's going back and forth about absolutely everything, suggesting, counter-suggesting, arguing, and on and on and on.

Honestly, polish can come later, when we've got a good framework in place. We can't start sculpting until we have some clay, you know? So with that said, let's just effing do this.

The rules are the starting point. They're going to be what we build absolutely everything else off of. Therefore, this is what we should focus on right now. Whether we make said rules into a story or not is irrelevant: let's actually write them first. Until we get them down, practically nothing else can move forward.

Bay's list right there is a great beginning, but let's add some more, especially with regards to the FFL. The major concern we're addressing is that the focus of the FFL has moved from writing to random weirdness and cliquishness. Keeping this in mind, I propose that the first and most important rule of the revised Fanfiction Lounge is that it be for discussing fanfiction, either written by yourself or another person, preferably in a constructive way. The lounge can also be used to discuss language rules in general, such as punctuation, grammar, etc. Anything else would be off-topic and not allowed. We can make another thread for wackiness, or make a group, or whatever, but that's a discussion for later. I also say we instate this rule now, unless someone finds a major issue with it.

I've also come up with a definition for reviews. Ultimately, they should suggest that the author change something. Whether it be a grammar mistake, or a plot hole, or whatever, a review should help the author improve some aspect of what they've written. Anything else you want to say to an author can be sent by VM or PM, whether it be an "OMG I LOVE THIS!!!" post or an "I can't find anything wrong with it" post. If you want to praise an author in the midst of a review that's fine, but otherwise save it for VMs.

On to writing rules. I recommend absolutely no color tags, font tags, or size changing tags allowed, at all. Astinus, I know you're a good Samaritan and usually tell authors to change it, but it would be way easier to make this a rule and simply close fics that don't follow it. Also, if someone had formatting, it would tell you immediately that they hadn't read the rules, and you could link them there.

In regards to bad grammar, I say just outright close the fic. Make decent grammar a rule, along with a link to a grammar checking website like this one. That way people have no excuse for horrendous grammar, and you can once again link them to the rules as you lock their thread. Obviously mistakes will still sneak in once in a while, but this will go very far to lighten the load of reviewers.

Ultimately, I don't think there's going to be a way to get everyone to read the rules. Making it very easy to spot who hasn't read the rules, thereby allowing you to close their fic and link them to said rules, is a step in the right direction.
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  #25    
Old May 4th, 2010 (07:29 PM).
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A few short side notes, but...

Quote originally posted by txteclipse:
Whether we make said rules into a story or not is irrelevant: let's actually write them first. Until we get them down, practically nothing else can move forward.
Not that it matters or anything, but Bay's list (a quote of the spoiler tag in the first post) was actually a skeletal rendition of the actual rules thread in the main forum. Sure, it's a jumping off point, but the point's pretty much that we've already got the rules drawn up, basically. (As in, the majority of them actually make sense and are pretty much fine. We just need to figure out what's not needed anymore and what rules we'd like to add to them. Beyond that, we need to figure out if any of them need redefined, clarified, and/or dressed up so, you know, people actually read them and understand what they're trying to say.)

Quote:
I've also come up with a definition for reviews. Ultimately, they should suggest that the author change something.
I don't know about this, personally. This might actually discourage a lot of people from participating in the forums because it's saying you can't say anything unless it's constructive criticism. Sometimes, readers might not find anything actually wrong with the story, and that's perfectly okay. Of course, this isn't to say that we should allow one-liner praises, but even just a paragraph saying short specifics about what you thought concerning a story's still an intelligent bit of thought that an author could respond to, right? Meanwhile, if we make it a rule that everyone has to leave concrit, we might just as easily get one-liners about how the grammar needs work without any explanation. Or, well, kids who don't feel like they want to review because they don't have anything to say.

Short of it is, all a review is, in my opinion, is feedback. It could be completely positive, so long as it says something about the story. So, instead, perhaps we could just say that reviews need to talk about one or two specific points about the story. Anyone can say, "I really liked the part about (insert something here) because it (insert view here)," and that's not quite as intimidating, is it? Sure, we just need to discourage people from going, "omg great fic!!! cant wait for more!!!1," but that's really just as simple as saying, "It's completely okay if you just want to write a paragraph about a few specific bits of the chapter."

Beyond that, if we're aiming to get people to write substantial reviews (like, more than a couple of lines), that's probably just something we'll have to leave to experience and emulation -- as in, just letting the experienced reviewers set an example that everyone else follows.

Quote:
In regards to bad grammar, I say just outright close the fic. Make decent grammar a rule, along with a link to a grammar checking website like this one.
We'll have to define things like "decent grammar" as clearly as possible if we do something like this. Not turning it down or anything. I'm just saying if you make a rule that involves the word "decent," you'll need to be very specific because the word "decent" is a bit abstract itself. What if something's readable, but the author just doesn't get how to punctuate dialogue or when to use a comma? Both are pretty common errors that can breed like rabbits all over your chapter, and the giant sum of errors that result could just as easily be fixed if a reviewer came along and said politely, "Let me teach you how to use commas." ('Course, we also have grammar guides in the list Dagzar's compiling, but still.)

Or are you talking about the kinds of fics written by people who don't even care about spelling or proper punctuation? (Those usually end up closed anyway due to not matching the vaguely defined standards of the forum either way.)

Also, we'll want to be careful here, too. While, obviously, we'll want to shut down trollfics as quickly as possible, we also don't want to discourage young writers who just honestly don't know any better. How do we screen the kids who are willing to learn from the ones who aren't?

Short of it on that point is, sure, we want to step up the quality of the section, but we also want to define what quality actually is. What are the forum standards mentioned in the actual rules sticky? Do we have the reviewers enforce them by teaching them to the rest of the forum, or can we have a rule about them? How do we create a rule about them without driving people away? And so on and so forth.

Other than that, I've given it some thought, and I do like the idea of a condensed version as Breezy said. Perhaps a preservation of the old rules, with the redefinitions I've asked about above. (I could ask a hell of a lot more about the rules, but since standard's one of the larger vague issues with the other biggies being pretty much common sense, we could start with that.) If we do end up doing a story, we could actually attach it in subsequent posts, after the rules thread. I know this doesn't answer the issue of stickies, either, but it might at least give the illusion that there's discussion going on that a newbie might want to read through.

Alternatively, we could scrap the story idea altogether and just do what SPPf does by keeping the thread unlocked so people can actually post questions about how the forums are run. As far as I can tell, people actually pay attention to the thread over there if there's a new post. 'Course, that's on top of what Breezy said about examples.

As for the question about what this thread is supposed to be about, it's actually just about the general rules of the forum. Standard's one of them (like the rule that causes fics to get locked if they "don't meet forum standards"), and that will definitely need a short but clear definition if we're actually going to keep it (as I've mentioned above). Other than that, yeah, we're not actually trying to come up with a grammar guide, writing guide, et cetera.

In fact, didn't we say that a general writing guide wouldn't be a good idea, guys? I mean, don't you remember what happened with the last attempts at writing guides we had? >_> You know, the writing one that told people to abuse Microsoft Word's thesaurus and the grammar one that only covered commas and homophones? Besides, Dagzar's compiling a list of off-PC tools, including online spellcheckers and guides to grammar and writing. (Remember how we figured it'd be easier to just do something like that than come up with more stickies that people won't read to clutter up the forums, especially since we all seem to have differing ideas about what should be included in said guides?) If you have any links that aren't the old ones on PC, drop them off in the main PMR thread.
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