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Pirengle's Guide to FanFic


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#21 -Notmrt-

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Posted 29 June 2004 - 08:44 AM

Then i withdraw my comment :)
however i will say the part of the guide to fanfic on forum moderating is quite out of
place and seems to me like a direct comment on the running of this particular board
i am speaking as a user here , i see you didnt understand it as such
any advise on the way a board should be run is likely to be taken personaly by the moderators , and the users may see it as a comment on the way the current moderator is running things

#22 -Ashara-

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Posted 29 June 2004 - 09:21 AM

Then i withdraw my comment :)
however i will say the part of the guide to fanfic on forum moderating is quite out of
place and seems to me like a direct comment on the running of this particular board
i am speaking as a user here , i see you didnt understand it as such
any advise on the way a board should be run is likely to be taken personaly by the moderators , and the users may see it as a comment on the way the current moderator is running things

Thank you.

the part of the guide to fanfic on forum moderating

there is not such part as far as I can see in the Gospel itself - and that's what is discussed here. What is included is a description of a generic writing forum behavorial models and there is a controversial advice to an author or reader (incedently partially contradictory to the part of the guide that advises on following the board's rules), no "advice" that I can see is given on "how the board should be run". The only reference at all that I can see to a moderator is "Ao the Moderator" which can be individually interpreted as either flattering or not. Without context it simply states that a moderator of a board holds a position of high authority, which is generally true.

But if text did include a reference which could have been interpreted as a critique in the address of the current moderator of this particular board, it would of course have been a flaw for a generic tutorial/guide, as it would not be consistent with the purpose. That kind of thing would be more in manifesto/proclamation kind of genre, rather than guide.

#23 Theodur

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Posted 29 June 2004 - 09:24 AM

The part about forum dynamics is in a way just as relevant as the part about critisism and I would have united the two. It deals with the publishing part of fanfiction.

Incidentally, Pirengle does not seem to agree with you. :)

If you read the article carefully, then you will discover a long paragraph titled Forum dynamics which contains derisive descriptions about the various forum visitor stereotypes. However, the next paragraph is clearly labelled Screw the forum dynamics and the advice is to basically ignore what was written above and just go ahead with the posting.

Given this, I don't see how the segment about the forum dynamics can be seen for anything else but plain, poorly disguised attempt at mockery.

#24 -Notmrt-

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Posted 29 June 2004 - 09:25 AM

Well taking into account the link to the ""Full version "" she provided which is part of her guide and does specificaly name a few moderators one of which is a moderator of this particular bord . and then readin further and seeing that guide ;)
well i kind of put 2 and 2 together and got 4 lol

#25 -Ashara-

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Posted 29 June 2004 - 09:52 AM

The part about forum dynamics is in a way just as relevant as the part about critisism and I would have united the two. It deals with the publishing part of fanfiction.

Incidentally, Pirengle does not seem to agree with you. :)

If you read the article carefully, then you will discover a long paragraph titled Forum dynamics which contains derisive descriptions about the various forum visitor stereotypes. However, the next paragraph is clearly labelled Screw the forum dynamics and the advice is to basically ignore what was written above and just go ahead with the posting.

Given this, I don't see how the segment about the forum dynamics can be seen for anything else but plain, poorly disguised attempt at mockery.

And as an author she is entitled to diasgree. I am fine and dandy with that.

Yes, Theodur, I am familiar with the text. I hope you are not implying that I am not.

So, now, that we have established that we are all familiar with and talking about the same excert here, I do not think that these descriptions are derisive, derisive being and object of ridicule or scorn, because, firstly, non of the categories is presented in a different style (ie oh those suckers that do *** and clever cowboys that do ***) and secondly, because there are no omitions, except perhaps, the taxonomitrists' favorite "Mixture of two or more types".

well i kind of put 2 and 2 together and got 4 lol

I believe that this is an incorrect approach. I remeber once discussing LoTR and Arwen's role in it with someone who tryed to use "But in his letters to the readers Tolkien had said..." maybe, but he did not say that in the LoTR, so imo we are having a different cup of tea here. So, if you'd like to offer more points on the text in question - this texts above - that would be great.

#26 Theodur

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Posted 29 June 2004 - 10:05 AM

So, now, that we have established that we are all familiar with and talking about the same excert here, I do not think that these descriptions are derisive, derisive being and object of ridicule or scorn, because, firstly, non of the categories is presented in a different style (ie oh those suckers that do *** and clever cowboys that do ***) and secondly, because there are no omitions, except perhaps, the taxonomitrists' favorite "Mixture of two or more types".


Now you've got me curious as to which category do you think yourself belonging to. :)

#27 Puffkage

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Posted 29 June 2004 - 10:06 AM

Sorry for not answering sooner... I just got home from work.

As for the ?forum dynamics? ? what I meant was that I don?t think anybody on this forum is a cardboard cutout and being pressed into one would feel extremely insulting and humiliating. I do not think that part of the guide would be helpful to a newcomer either ? give us a bit more credit, we?re not stupid. I can judge people for myself thank-you-very-much; I neither need nor want any guide to help me do so. I detest stereotypes; they?re always negative, and maybe I am na´ve, but I have a little more faith in humanity than that.

And Domi, I really liked your suggestions about adding something about the beginner's welcome and finding a board suitable for you. I haven't seen anything like that in any guides I've read.

#28 -Ashara-

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Posted 29 June 2004 - 10:20 AM

So, now, that we have established that we are all familiar with and talking about the same excert here, I do not think that these descriptions are derisive, derisive being and object of ridicule or scorn, because, firstly, non of the categories is presented in a different style (ie oh those suckers that do *** and clever cowboys that do ***) and secondly, because there are no omitions, except perhaps, the taxonomitrists' favorite "Mixture of two or more types".


Now you've got me curious as to which category do you think yourself belonging to. :)

an excitable newbie who knows naught, but tries really hard to write something fun --- Curmudgeons for a while --- hope to end up in the "People who critique and never write." category

I do not think that part of the guide would be helpful to a newcomer either ? give us a bit more credit, we?re not stupid.

I can only judge from my own experince, and it would have helped me once. While I agree that profiling aren't a gracious business, and the lead into the description of the behavorial patterns could have been done in a more fluid way, the description of writing community and what to expect is not entirely without merit.

#29 Puffkage

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Posted 29 June 2004 - 10:55 AM

I can only judge from my own experince, and it would have helped me once. While I agree that profiling aren't a gracious business, and the lead into the description of the behavorial patterns could have been done in a more fluid way, the description of writing community and what to expect is not entirely without merit.


I didn't mean that it was without merit, just that I think people can figure such things out on their own, and are better off doing so. But I too, can only speak for myself ? I do however still believe that the curt way in which it is being presented ensures that it offends more people than it helps.

#30 VigaHrolf

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Posted 29 June 2004 - 11:19 AM

Interesting piece here.

There is one part that I most certainly agree with. In fact someone should go out there in write it in stone. Or what ever the electronic equivalent would be. You never know when your computer is going to go fritzo, or even worse, the forum or the route there. And you can lose a whole day?s worth of work.

I lost a whole story that way. Was writing it in the message field, posted but my session had expired. And the whole thing went kerflooie. Would have been a funny one too. Oh well.

I also agree very strongly with the waiting period. Its kind of like the reason we have a waiting period for firearms purchases in the US. You don?t the passion of the moment overruling good judgment. I?ve been in the fit of writing and just wanted to post, to get it over with. But everything needs a once over. So that oh, such little things as verbs show up. Verbs are very important. I sometimes forget them. Or have half finished sentences.

Some additions/comments:

As to story types:
Instead of the ?big evil?, I?d call it the classic struggle. That particular type has dominated storytelling since Og told Nod a story about the big rock and the cave bear. (If you haven?t heard it, its really great. Especially the bit about the pointy stick)
Nor do I really think that this type is bland and boring. They can in fact be extremely exciting and rewarding. I am quite fond of the classic struggle, from the Odyssey to Lord of the Rings.
The Humorous ? the kind of funny story that isn?t parody or satire. It?s just supposed to be a fun little tale about some event or happening where the main purpose is to make people laugh. Also known as the extended joke.
The Experimental - in online storyboards and in fanfic, you?ll run into these from time to time. Basically, the author wants to test some aspect of his/her writing skills that so far has been untested. It could be writing a romantic scene, a battle scene or it could be a perspective change, writing in the 1st when you write usually 3rd. Luckily, these are usually predicated by a blurb saying that is experimental.


And one humorous note..
?If your story contains a scene with Jan getting amorous with a turnip, make sure your readers know there?ll be some hortosexual situations in your story.? ? and this.. this is just frightening. I mean.. ye gods. If certain people ever see this.. who knows what madness would be unleashed!! For the love of us all, never say such things again!

#31 -Notmrt-

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Posted 29 June 2004 - 11:24 AM

Hm im a great fan of Ogs work especialy his pinacle pice "ouch fire hot"
;) a harrowing tale about substance abuse and burn victums

my take on writting has always been write how you see fit and as you choooooose to
if it conveys your message then youve done you job
Great comment VH

#32 VigaHrolf

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Posted 29 June 2004 - 11:28 AM

Why thank you sir. But I do have a question, have you heard Og's "Pretty Mushrooms" story? Why it rivals even Jack Kerowac (sp I know)'s Electric Kool Aid Acid Test!

#33 -Notmrt-

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Posted 29 June 2004 - 11:30 AM

I did fear and loathing in the cricket field it was my modern version of ogs clasical tale of experimentation

#34 VigaHrolf

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Posted 29 June 2004 - 11:33 AM

Fear and Loathing in the Cricket Field...

Interesting. So what did the cricket bat symbolize? Power? Repression? or is a cricket bat sometimes just a cricket bat?

#35 -Notmrt-

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Posted 29 June 2004 - 11:41 AM

no it was full of mushrooms
lol we tend to overcomplicate ogs masterpices he ment them to be simple matter of fact picec,i feel ,i think, this quote sums it up "ME OGG ME HUNGRY"

#36 VigaHrolf

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Posted 29 June 2004 - 11:42 AM

Tis very true. Og was not exactly a master of symbolism or of higher themes. He was more, your basic storyteller. And he was quite hungry. And not just for mushrooms. ;)

Hey, smooth talkers always do well, ya know what I mean?

#37 Pirengle

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Posted 29 June 2004 - 12:30 PM

Also, the part about forum dynamics seems needless to me. I have just gotten here and apart from elfwood I have never been a member of any online community? and I have figured out those ?forum dynamics? ? I don?t think anyone needs to have it cut out for them like that, and I also fail to see the relevance of such a section in context with a fan fiction guide. It is the sort of thing I would have found funny, but I don?t because it?s not meant to be.


That needs the heaviest editing to make it less forum-specific. Ao the Moderator, as I see it, is a forum leader/moderator who sides with no one yet holds absolute power. The Cocke Players at Hollins have an Ao the Moderator. In fact, I took TCPH's "People to Hate" list and worked off that. I tried to make some examples BG2 specific, since the majority of people writing for this board write for BG2, but it's probably better if I stick with general fanfic terms.

Puffkage makes a very good point about the critique. Sometimes an author might add a warning that he does not wish to receive any negative feedback - yes, I've seen this. And yes, those looking for an opportunity to tear another hapless sap to shreds might be annoyed that they are stripped of their opportunity - but a writer's wish has to be respected. If you still want to add something critical that you feel is extremely important - there is always the PM.


Negative feedback and constructive criticism are two different things. I can tell the difference between "this story sucks and so do you" and "this story needs help but if you fix things it will roxxor"; I've posted both ways. If someone doesn't know how to use punctuation or keeps flipping back and forth between present and past tense, I'll point it out. Chances are that other people have the same problem. That's why this is a fanfic community.

As to respecting the author's wishes, if people don't want to get comments that aren't OMG ROXXORS, they shouldn't post it in public. They should get an account at fanfic.net or afterdark or even a blog and post their stories there.

The part about forum dynamics is in a way just as relevant as the part about critisism and I would have united the two. It deals with the publishing part of fanfiction. It would have been nice if it was expanded to finding a thematic forum and included some links to ff boards. One can agree or disagree about the appropriateness of the given advice since it is breaches the rules of many a writting board, but it is a good idea to think in advance on how you would try to integrate into a new community and what you'd like to do prior to just closing your eyes and pressing this post button hopping for the best.


Originally I planned to put in links for plot and term examples from various BG2 fanfic, but didn't want to be up even later than 6am. There's a Newbie's Guide to Forum Posting around someplace with a section about posting creative works; I'll email the author and ask if I can quote it.

notmrt (and MG and VH as well), I'm glad that MG and VH are handpicking their own task force on how to make fanfic better. I am a highly unloved arrogant troll, but I can give advice just as well as a handpicked task force, and I've done so. Granted, it needs editing and finishing, but I think it can be a good solid document if I work on it hard enough. And unlike Eminem, I can take criticism just as well as I can give it and expect nothing less from anyone who reads my words. So I thank everyone for their opinions and hope they'll continue giving their opinions as I finish my Gospel.

as i belive this thread had comments regaurding the way the forum was run and thus interlinking it with the thread in which MG had stated her intentions for the development of the board


My thoughts when reading the Temple of Oghma thread: "Huh. People are going to write fanfic tutorials. Maybe I can write something to show people that I'm a productive jerk instead of just a jerk."

This ties into the "screwing forum dynamics" part of the Gospel. I doubt the Gospel would have been written at all if MG had posted an open call for people to write their own advice. I believe everyone should be able to give their opinion if they're a part of a community and other people should have the right not to like it. People could have sent in bits and pieces of their ways of writing, and the moderators could have culled the advice and created a manifesto of sorts. But I got the feeling that not everyone would be able to have their say once the Temple of Oghma got underway. So I had my say.

Given this, I don't see how the segment about the forum dynamics can be seen for anything else but plain, poorly disguised attempt at mockery.


That's funny--I have a few yahoo groups giving me hell for it because they think I'm making fun of them in the forum dynamic. Lesson learned: tailor your advice for the community at large, and not the community specific. (What, did you think I stayed awake for so long to post only at FWMC and PPG?)

I think it's the general consensus that the forum dynamics need work. Unfortunately, I'm at my job, so I have to be doing work of another kind for ~4 hours. If I exorcise the BG2 references from that part, replace them with generic references, and add information for newbies and regulars alike, do y'all think that would work?

I also want to keep sticking my own opinion in there, and make this my work. I know the controversial bits got edited out, but this was called the Gospel According to Pirengle for a reason: a collection of story writing and fan fiction writing advice according to me. Everyone's Gospel is different--even in the New Testament, there are four recountings of similar events, as told by Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. (I think--not familiar with the New Testament.) It's important that you read various Gospels to learn the rules, practice an awful lot by writing an awful bunch, and figure out which rules apply to you, which rules you can change, and which rules you should throw out.

And thank you, VH, for your comments. Very much appreciated. And I haven't seen userunfriendly yet. ;)

#38 VigaHrolf

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Posted 29 June 2004 - 12:49 PM

A few random things:

TCPH's "People to Hate" - where can I find a copy? Not that I really need more help with this, but its always fun to have more sources.

Random historical fact:

"Everyone's Gospel is different--even in the New Testament, there are four recountings of similar events, as told by Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. (I think--not familiar with the New Testament.)" - you are right on the official Testaments, but there are believed to be a number of others that didn't make the final editorial cut for the "New Testament." Some were too strange, too goofy, or impossible to verify. Others.. well, others just didn't josh or were redundant. Just an interesting little fun fact.

"And thank you, VH, for your comments. Very much appreciated. And I haven't seen userunfriendly yet. ;)" - you are welcome. And for the safety of all involved, lets make sure UU doesn't see that little bit of inspiration you could possibly have handed him.

We could get a whole series of Jan and his Lady Turnip stories, tales of passion and betrayal, seduction and culinary arts! And frankly, I don't think the world is ready for that.

No, certainly isn't...

VH

#39 -Notmrt-

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Posted 29 June 2004 - 12:53 PM

hey nothing wrong with your writting guide ;) just the bit about forum moderating
i actualy like your guide except that bit;)
The Tao teaches that all things are fine till you go against the natural way of things
And talking to the most of the contributers here on fanfic
They feel the forum dynamics here are fine and i personaly see no reason to change them
correct me if im wrong , but so far the only people to voice displesure are you , and moreina. Everyone else seems happy enough and we have a good flow of work here , i personaly enjoy the atmosphere and dont wish it to change

well i understand its slightly difrent rules for running a fanfic board compared to running tech forums
ala my rules are far in a way difrent
someone steps out of line i delete the post
if a forum is lost in bickering i lock the thread , no questions no awnsers
i also will delete all posts after the point in which the origional topic is lost
if the said topic is ill in nature
Deletion or edditing of posts that may spark a flame war is encouraged
personaly i will delete such threads
if a users continues such action i will ban them from my boards no question no awnsers

but then a tech forum is a very difrent beast ,
Boards on the general topic of writting are a far harder beast to tame
your dealing with artistic tempers and opinions constantly
so you cant just ban and delete in the same way you can in a tech forum
MG and VH(I AM ACRONYM MAN FEAR MY POWER , IAAMFMP) have the board running wonderfully , and im proud to say we have them as Moderators here
You are very free to voice you opinion , Alas i am very free to totaly disagree with it too
I may be sticking my neck out , although i do say that youll find almost everyone who posts on this board happy :D
except when things have on that occasion ddegenerated to a childish argument
but credit to mg on rescuing that thread without post deletion
personaly i delete my comments pertaining to the event i make no secret that they happend but i also dont want some new memember being scared off by harse feelings and grudges :D

#40 -Wolfie-

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Posted 29 June 2004 - 01:20 PM

We could get a whole series of Jan and his Lady Turnip stories, tales of passion and betrayal, seduction and culinary arts! And frankly, I don't think the world is ready for that.

No, certainly isn't...

Thank you, I will be sure to send you the bill for my counseling to rid myself of the nightmares you just bestowed :P