How To Bring in The New Guys

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Irishlad

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#1  Edited By Irishlad

Disclaimer: All of the below is my opinion, I'm not some Fan-Fic God and I never claim to be.

Okay so this is in response to @feebadgerIs Fan Fic Dead? What Is The Future Of Fan Fic On The Vine?

I've one or two ideas I'd like to share, so instead of clogging up the comments section with a rant of a post, here's what I think we could do to bring new writers and new readers in....

How To Attract Writers

1. We NEED To Be Welcoming

Now I'm not expecting everyone to shake hands with a new writer every time someone pops up on Comicvine but in order to make the fan-fic section attractive we need to do things like ANSWER QUESTIONS AND COMMENT.

- Y'know the dude that's asking a question that you secretly chuckle at and call him a noob for asking such a "basic" question, try to remember back to when you first joined we were all CLUELESS so if no one has answered the person's question and you know it, please reply to the poor soul because he'll never be able to figure out how to make a poll.

- It's been brought up many times and has made a lovely How To Comment thread but comments are essential for people to stay interested in staying on the site, I first started posting my stories on fanfiction.net and after getting bored of barely receiving 2 or 3 comments I quickly looked for alternatives.

Once I found the vine I was delighted to find out that I'd received 16 comments! I was amazed and I think I'd have just left the site there and then if I hadn't received the feedback I did since comments are our income, we need to get more comments, it breaks my heart to see incredible stories only get a small fraction of the 500 + views they get, I'm not expecting everyone to get a comment for each view,but if you've read it give a "good job" at least since comments are important.

Also being welcoming does not mean you can't say you didn't like the story, if you didn't... give reasons why since it's really the whole point of being a fan-fic writer in my opinion to learn from your mistakes and to improve.

2. New Ideas

Now I know the whole point of this thread is for me to give my ideas but I think the Fan-Fic community here has come up with some cool ones

had an awesome idea with the character creation contest

Fan Fic'rs interview thread is always fun to read, and there are lots of new groups set up like *ahem* DC Mayhem (which I think is the best Fan-Fic group ever created and I am in no way biased even though I helped set it up...)

And there are a LOT more cool ideas out there that I'm too lazy to write about!

My points is I think the Fan-Fic forums would be even more exciting if everyone on here just posted their one good idea.

3. Get a Friend Involved

You'd be shocked by the amount of people that do not know there is fan-fic on Comic Vine. (I don't really blame them considering it's hidden underneath the forums)

But it needs more exposure and I'm not saying you should force them to set up an account on the site, just let them know that it exists.

We all have potential to be good writers in my opinion since there are so many genres out there, there's bound to be at least one thing that would fit your friend's style.

If they do end up joining....point them in the right direction, suggest a group to them that's how I got started.

How To Attract Readers

1. Open With a Good Sentence

This one you would think is fairly straight forward but it isn't, it's been proven that our attention span is beginning to drop which means it is a lot more harder nowadays to get read to sit down and read you story. How I think writers should tackle this is open up with something exciting or intriguing....

Imagine you're in a comic book store for the first ever time and you're looking around and you see thousands and thousands of comics, which one do you choose?

Well from what I can remember of my eight year old self you go for the shiniest and coolest one you can see.

The same applies to story telling, I'm not saying you have to open with a big huge explosion all it takes is a mysterious line or even a quip a character says (that's how I go interested in Daredevil)

My point is setting is great for creating atmosphere and it should definitely be used in your story but do NOT open your story with a paragraph describing how cold the floor is, because all I need to do is click that x button and go read Superman Vs Godzilla

2. Write Characters IN Character

Yet another no brainer right?

But one of the things the "average" person believes about Fan-Fic is it is a bunch of fanboys/fangirls writing their favorite characters completely out of character.

This applies to even the minor characters and admittedly in some cases they are right, Comic Vine has a great database for looking up major events in a character's life but if you don't read comics with them, then you don't get the characters voice.

Look at Superman.... he's an alien who crash landed on earth and was raised on earth, if you never read a story with him in it you'd probably think he'd be saying things like "Greeting humans...I come in peace."

3. Write Well

Hate to plug my own thread but the reason I set up How To Write Fan Fiction was so that writer's could improve the weaker parts of their writing by bringing in some of the best writers on here to talk about an aspect of writing they know well and for the most part, not because I've a big ego I think everyone should take a look at it and see if there is anything they feel they need to improve on since even the "pros" need to learn a thing or two from time to time.

Even still if you feel the thread doesn't cover a topic well enough or you'd like to find out more you can always join a group.

You may not see the point in joining one but having someone to talk to or give an opinion on something really helps, heck I'm sure if you read an awesome action scene in a story by one of the users I'm sure if you gave them a polite PM they might be able to give you advice.

Overall if you write well, readers will follow and readers will be interested in staying on the site and maybe writing some fan-fic of their own.

4. Before You Post

MAKE SURE TO EDIT! nothing scares reader's off quicker than bad grammar or misspelled words it doesn't matter how experienced or how talented you are we all need to edit, if we didn't need to edit then the likes of Marvel and DC would fire all their editor's.

What do I mean by editing?

Edit out all the spelling errors, make sure your grammar is correct and make sure every sentence works!

There's no point spending a paragraph describing something if it isn't going to mean anything later on and the more a sentence works the better and it makes reader's want to read on.

If you can try to get a friend to look at it, you'd be amazed what a new pair of eyes can tell you.

Also finally as pointed out to me by

TITLES GRAB PEOPLE'S ATTENTION!

One pro our "rivals" over at fanfiction.net has over Comicvine is they can put a logo and a description of their story to grab people's attention we unfortunately do not.

So try to make your title as interesting as possible, it doesn't have to have a title like "Super Mega Awesomo 3000" just pick something that perfectly describes what you're going for.

If it's a sci fi epic try throwing in the word "Universe" or "cosmic" that way reader's will know roughly what they're getting themselves in for.

If you need help coming up with a title then ask a group your in, maybe look at a comic or movie that is similar to it and try and point out what makes that title interesting.

If all else fails PM me I'm sure I'll be able to come up with something random for you.

Just remember

Titles are

Intended to

Tell us about the

Lovely

Events in the

Story.

5. Continue To Be Awesome

The people who have read this far are in my opinion the people that make the Fan-Fic community so great.

You care enough about the "state" of Fan-Fic on the site without getting paid a penny.

I think the state of Fan-Fic on this site will contine to be great as long as you guys are around so don't worry and finally....

THANKS FOR BEING AWESOME.

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Irishlad

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#2  Edited By Irishlad

Here's my response if any of you are intersted :P

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#3  Edited By andrewtheking

i agree

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#4  Edited By Pyrogram

Nice, I will fully read later

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#5  Edited By BumpyBoo  Moderator

Looks like that thread kicked us all in the butt - and it was well needed :) Nice work, man.

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#6  Edited By Jonny_Anonymous

Yea this seems good to me 
 
don't be disheartened that nobody comments on your storys, it doesn't mean nobody is reading them.

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Irishlad

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#7  Edited By Irishlad

Thank you!

I agree most people probably do enjoy it, but it's sometimes tough to gauge whether your story is good or bad or what you need to improve on if no one comments, and if no one comments then it feels like you're writing stories for the wall :P

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#8  Edited By thespideyguy

@Irishlad: Good writing.

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#9  Edited By Project_Worm

@Irishlad: Appreciate the shout out man. Good job.

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#10  Edited By batkevin74

@Irishlad: Nicely done! Well thought out, let's see if we ALL can put it into practice

@Jonny_Anonymous said:

don't be disheartened that nobody comments on your storys, it doesn't mean nobody is reading them.

But it is hard to tell if there are no comments

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#11  Edited By CapFanboy

@Irishlad said:

Disclaimer: All of the below is my opinion, I'm not some Fan-Fic God and I never claim to be.

No. That's because I am.

ALL BOW! *Stands on podium*

Seriously though, nice work. Also, I would like to point out that we do need more things such as the character creation contest and the Fic'r interviews (though not too many) as a serious Fic board might not inspire people to get involved.

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CapFanboy

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#12  Edited By CapFanboy

I also vote this be pinned for a short while.

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#13  Edited By The Poet  Moderator

@Irishlad: yeah. sounds good. We do need to improve our appearence a little bit.

The invitation part seems plausible. Of course I don't know if I could do much myself as the people I know who like writing are already here...

So this could be step 1. Step 2 would be a large outreach program to get people we don't know involved (for example in the previous thread there was a user wanted to join the FF section and asked if they could get involved. He had a mini chat with him and I think we got a new writer), so kind of need to work on getting more people like this. One of the problems was he didn't know how to get started so that might be something to improve (community relations and new user out reach). Maybe we could add a few tips to the New writer thread which we would say are obvious but might not be for some users

Another thing is to get more community outreach. I suggested doing a community project like a list of our favorate stories which we could pin for a little bit on the main forum and, more importantly, put it on the front page via the Rad stuff section. I think we could totally do a project like that or we could expand Cap's Awards in a few months to get more of the community involved. to let them know this section exists and it is not dead.

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#14  Edited By Icarusflies  Moderator

@Jonny_Anonymous said:

Yea this seems good to me don't be disheartened that nobody comments on your storys, it doesn't mean nobody is reading them.

As an occasional participant to this board, I'll say that it is REALLY disheartening to put a lot of work into something and then no one will even put in the time to leave a comment. I'd post here a lot more if I actually ever got feedback.

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batkevin74

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#15  Edited By batkevin74

@Icarusflies: Got a link to some of your stuff, so I can peruse what you've done?

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#16  Edited By Icarusflies  Moderator

@batkevin74: I guess this will do as a start...it links to the proper fanfiction.

Though uh...it's [being the second fanfiction] not really my usual stuff, it was requested as part of a secret santa event. So while I like how it turned out, it's kinda embarrassing..

I haven't posted anything else recently, lack of comments and all that kept me over in RPG.

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Irishlad

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#17  Edited By Irishlad

Yeah I'm all for fun stuff on Comic Vine, and I hope no one took this as me saying we need to be dull and boring in order to write good stories. I've one or two "fun" competitions that I may or may not post, :P also thank you

I'll try and keep my replies on this thread so you won't have to click around like a mad man haha,

I'm all for the nominators, community picks idea and I'd be happy to help if you need me to.

You should post more! you're a great writer it'd be cool to see you back, if you do I promise to comment on any story you post :P

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Rabbitearsblog

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#18  Edited By Rabbitearsblog

Definitely agree with all of this!

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#19  Edited By The Poet  Moderator

@CapFanboy said:

I also vote this be pinned for a short while.

good point. and if this thread is pinned I don't have to search for it...

I'll keep it pinned for a few days while we discuss what we want to do. I like the idea of change/improvement and don't want this issue to die away, so I'll pin it, but only for a few days (week or less probably)

@Irishlad: alright (for some reason I didn't get a pm when you replied me...odd...)

I'll try to organize something sometime soon...

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CapFanboy

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#20  Edited By CapFanboy

@The Poet: I was only thinking a week pinned anyway

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Irishlad

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#21  Edited By Irishlad

thanks for the pin, if you need any help in setting up Fan-Fic's of the week thing let me know.

I was thinking of setting up a Versus tournament where you get two fan fic writers and both give each other a challenge.

Like Cap you might have to write Squirrel Girl and the Poet might have to write Arm Fall off boy, the community votes on which story was the best, it could be hilariously bad or really fun what do you guys think?

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#22  Edited By CapFanboy

@Irishlad: sounds cool

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The Poet

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#23  Edited By The Poet  Moderator

@Irishlad: what @CapFanboy said:

@Irishlad: sounds cool

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dngn4774

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#24  Edited By dngn4774

Fanfic is probably the broadest topic in the forums since viewers classify its works under many different genres. It would be nice if we could establish a tag system so that fanfic writers could easily find other authors with similar tastes to their own. Furthermore, it is pretty hard for new writers to receive comments on their stories since the topic list operates from the most recent comments rather than the most recent submissions. Without poet's fanfics of the month showcase threads and the feedback joint, many new titles would be easily buried by currently popular threads.

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#25  Edited By The Poet  Moderator

@dngn4774 said:

Fanfic is probably the broadest topic in the forums since viewers classify its works under many different genres. It would be nice if we could establish a tag system so that fanfic writers could easily find other authors with similar tastes to their own. Furthermore, it is pretty hard for new writers to receive comments on their stories since the topic list operates from the most recent comments rather than the most recent submissions. Without poet's fanfics of the month showcase threads and the feedback joint, many new titles would be easily buried by currently popular threads.

and even with that showcase thread depends on people submitting (since I can always get every thread published in a given month).

I'm trying to figure out how we would establish this tag system you mentioned. It sounds like a nice idea, but I'm not sure how we would establish it. However we do it, it has to be at the top of the stories like some users do with ratings/links to group pages.

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dngn4774

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#26  Edited By dngn4774

We could also publish our submissions on other fanfic sites. Then, we could recommend our followers on those sites to help contribute to the fanfic on comicvine. It's basically how got me to start writing on comicvine.

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#27  Edited By xxxddd

@Irishlad: I"m new and noone has given me a welcome.

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Irishlad

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#28  Edited By Irishlad

WELCOME :P

what are you writing?

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#29  Edited By xxxddd

@Irishlad:

Well I had a Hawkeye story that I gave up on when I realized not that many people read my stories.

So I have decided to revamp Thanos and hope for the best.

I'm using the "how to develop a plot" topic to write about Thanos.

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Irishlad

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#30  Edited By Irishlad

cool I'll give Hawkeye a read as soon as I can and comment on it since his current series has got me in the mood. I look forward to see what you do with Thanos he can be a tough character to write, glad the how to write fan fiction thread is helping you out

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YoungJustice

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#31  Edited By YoungJustice

I agree on the commenting.

Even though I do so on accident sometimes.

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xxxddd

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#32  Edited By xxxddd

@Irishlad: I'm going to be releasing stories only twice per week, is that okay?

Also, mind checking this story out?

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#33  Edited By cbishop

@Irishlad said:

1. Open With a Good Sentence

This one you would think is fairly straight forward but it isn't, it's been proven that our attention span is beginning to drop which means it is harder to get readers to a lot harder nowadays to get read to sit down and read you story. How I think writers should tackle this is open up with something exciting or intriguing....

Imagine you're in a comic book store for the first ever time and you're looking around and you see thousands and thousands of comics, which one do you choose?

Well from what I can remember of my eight year old self you go for the shiniest and coolest one you can see.

The same applies to story telling, I'm not saying you have to open with a big huge explosion all it takes is a mysterious line or even a quip a character says (that's how I go interested in Daredevil)

My point is setting is great for creating atmosphere and it should definitely be used in your story but do NOT open your story with a paragraph describing how cold the floor is, because all I need to do is click that x button and go read Superman Vs Godzilla

Better than a good first sentence, go for a great title - that's the first thing a reader is going to see - especially on a forum. Irishlad illustrated the point himself - if your first sentence doesn't grab him, the title "Superman Vs Godzilla" already has. Remember:

Titles are

Intended to

Tell us about the

Events in the

Story.

If it doesn't do that, then you've got a problem from the start. If my title is "Mega Shiny Happy Day," that could be anything: My Little Pony, Carebears, Strawberry Shortcake, or whatever. IF, on the other hand, it's "Lobo's Mega Shiny Happy Day," now you've got a whole other idea of what that story is going to be, and you'll be a whole lot more apt to read about it. I SAID YOU'LL BE FRAGGIN' APT TO READ ABOUT IT!

My two cents. Thanks for reading.

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Irishlad

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#34  Edited By Irishlad

An excellent point! I'll edit it into the post.

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Irishlad

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#35  Edited By Irishlad

on the tags idea, what if you put the stories in the Fics of the Month Showcase thread into different genres like Sci-Fi, Mystery etc.?

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#36  Edited By The Poet  Moderator

@Irishlad: Honestly? I don't care for the idea of adding to my work load. HOWEVER, I would do it if people want to. It would take a bit longer for me to do the showcase threads and so I couldn't look into the forums for stuff which wasn't submitted. With me dealing with that and the Best of the month so my time is divided so I try to be conservative in my efforts. The showcase thread was intended to feed the library if and when it was fully released so I could just lock the library thread (because, I'm sorry, it is massive and does not need more than 3 comments...), but as that is not up yet (Wildvine, rest her soul, is working on it now, so we'll see).

The way I see that idea of labels working a little differently, but I need to think about it some more.

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Irishlad

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#37  Edited By Irishlad

that's understandable and you've enough on your plate as is so don't worry about it it's just a suggestion.

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#38  Edited By cbishop

@The Poet said:

@Irishlad: Honestly? I don't care for the idea of adding to my work load. HOWEVER, I would do it if people want to. It would take a bit longer for me to do the showcase threads and so I couldn't look into the forums for stuff which wasn't submitted. With me dealing with that and the Best of the month so my time is divided so I try to be conservative in my efforts. The showcase thread was intended to feed the library if and when it was fully released so I could just lock the library thread (because, I'm sorry, it is massive and does not need more than 3 comments...), but as that is not up yet (Wildvine, rest her soul, is working on it now, so we'll see).

The way I see that idea of labels working a little differently, but I need to think about it some more.

I could see this working a few ways, but none of them are very practical.

1) If we were allowed a set of "genre" pages for the forums (like a "concept," "object" etc page) then the work could be tagged like that. This would create more forums outside of the Fan-Fic forum though, so I'm not sure CV would want to go for that. I'm not in charge though.

2) Open member accounts could be created for each genre (i.e. members whose names are "Fan-Fic Sci-Fi," "Fan-Fic Mystery," etc.), where the account is accessible by common password, and the works could be posted to that account. There's too many problems with that though: a) "Fan-Fic Sci-Fi" becomes the author on a lot of works by members, and who wants that? b) It doesn't really "tag" the works so much, as give you a "member" to look up and find everything in their blog section. c) With a common password, allowing anyone in, anyone can go in and edit any work, and again, who wants that? d) Eventually, some fool is going to change the password for some fool reason.

3) The only other option I can think of is again not really a "tag," and entails a lot of work. On my own blogs, I created indexes for my various types of blogs. Each blog has a link to the previous and next blog, and a link to the master index. It's a ton of work to get it going, when you have multiple works published already, still a minor annoyance to maintain it once it's set up. It's not perfect, but it's an option. The question is: who's going to do it? Honestly, with as much stuff as is in the Fan-Fic forum, probably no one wants to do this either.

Out of the 3, the genre pages seem to be the best idea, but I don't think it's a good idea for CV overall, and I could see it getting out of hand real quick.

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JamesKM716

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#39  Edited By JamesKM716

Having a way to easily navigate not just genre, but also universe and characters would be incredibly helpful. That's one of the main reasons i use ff.net

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#40  Edited By The Poet  Moderator

@JamesKM716: you mean like Marvel/DC's cast of characters sort of universes or universes as in stories which are interconnected and are part of the same location kind of universe?

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JamesKM716

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#41  Edited By JamesKM716

@The Poet: The First, like is a story using Marvel Characters or DC? or even Image or those other ones. (Which you could probably just sticki in an other thread, assuming we could make this)

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#42  Edited By The Poet  Moderator

@JamesKM716: I never liked the term "sticki". Prefer anchor or pin, but never mind the termonology...

The untyped rule is "whatever should go in the FF section goes in the FF" same goes for RPG and so on. Our solution must not be one which creates disorder in the forums. I don't think pinning threads is the best solution.

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#43  Edited By The Poet  Moderator

@cbishop: yeah I doubt option 1 would go over well with anyone. of course you know that comment comes from a wiki mod, so you know how quick a warning the others would give if such pages were created...

Well, that is possible. There are a few options to fix some of the problems of option 2. I am reminded of some of the group profiles in the RPG section. Mind you I never participated nor will I ever will, but I was curious when I joined about that section. They have an account for some of their groups, but one one person has the password (which is given to whoever mans the account after the previous controller looses interest). The same could be done in the FF section. Set up the acounts, but only permit the password to be shared with a small group (3 at the most. one of which would be the controler while the others act as back ups). then what if we set up submission threads/pms. I don't know, but that's only way I can think to fix something like that...

Yes, the FF forum is indeed vast. There are many threads so reforms of any kind like links and such would be a headache. I could mention wimsys related to this, but they remain wimsys.

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4donkeyjohnson

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#44  Edited By 4donkeyjohnson

Candy, candy always brings people. As does free beer :)

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The Poet

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#45  Edited By The Poet  Moderator

unpinning this, but I don't want this to die off so I'm bumping it...

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4donkeyjohnson

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@the_poet said:

unpinning this, but I don't want this to die off so I'm bumping it...

Bump

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cbishop

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#47  Edited By cbishop

@irishlad said:

@cbishop An excellent point! I'll edit it into the post.

Cool! And d'oh! Good catch on my goof! It was supposed to be:

  • Titles are
  • Intended to
  • Tell us a
  • Little about the
  • Events in the
  • Story.

Geez, when I goof, I goof. ;}

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mrdecepticonleader

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Yeah I do think there are ways it could be improved and I mean I guess its down to us at the end of the day.

@Irishlad: Nicely done! Well thought out, let's see if we ALL can put it into practice

@Jonny_Anonymous said:

don't be disheartened that nobody comments on your storys, it doesn't mean nobody is reading them.

But it is hard to tell if there are no comments

True.

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batkevin74

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@irishlad said:

3. Write Well

4. Before You Post

5. Continue To Be Awesome

Three valid points! Still good advice