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File: 1354515655827.png (458.95 KB, 880x907, patchy_the_pirate.png)

/fic/'s Day Out 1799[View All]

#Discussion #Event

Ponychan thread: http://www.ponychan.net/chan/fic/res/125201.html

Operation Manual: https://docs.google.com/document/d/12XmgV1H5K0ZRhAfNaU2L9ikY6hVk8aQtg6xWwyag3Ms/edit#

Review Guidelines: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1GcqQPmje5XvavquheJ5dGEiVnDkbR1PUbHvd-3f6j5c/edit

Registration form: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/viewform?formkey=dFIwOHdtQzZjV1NSQmlhbklvWlFCeEE6MQ

"On the featured box on the 13th? /fic/ comes for your head" - Seattle_Lite

In which the reviewers of /fic/ have a fun day out.

The idea is that on the 13th of each month, we mobilize and go to Fimfic to leave reviews on Featured Box fics. These reviews will be blunt and comprehensive, preferably line-by-line breakdown: think greentext reviews of Training Grounds lore. No personal attacks, less snark, more srs bsns. We will review [insert arbitrary number] words, no more, no less, and end the comment with a signature, possibly "[insert name] of /fic/".

The purpose is to get /fic/'s name out. In short, to win publicity. Authors would benefit somewhat from the editing advice we give, but the ultimate goal is to spread the awareness that there are skilled, serious reviewers on /fic/, should people wish to find such services.

The procedure is as follows:
1) Reviewers sign themselves in to an IRC or Skype room, which will be the base of operations
2) Reviewers are assigned fics there
3) Reviewers read the fics, discuss points if necessary and leave a review of the first [insert number] words
4) Wait for the next month to come

It will be swift, it will be sudden, and it will most likely be a ton of fun.
––—
This thread is for discussion of details, modus operandi, pretty much everything really, as it's still in the conceptual stage. It's also to gauge interest, because to make this work, we'll need to keep it up for at least a few months, and to do that in turn, we'll need reviewers.

The estimated workload is, as mentioned, a comprehensive review of an arbitrary number of words once a month. I'm thinking maybe 2500, though some have suggested we do the first chapter instead.

So, whaddaya guys think?

IRC discussion logs: https://www.dropbox.com/s/mazwr5m40uhskpf/logs.txt
This post was edited by its author on .
135 posts and 50 image replies omitted. Click View to see all.

Grif 2142

>>2138
>There's also the fact that I loathe to go ask puffy-headed 15-year-old cloppers "can we critique your work?"
Personally, I feel the same, but in no way personal feelings should enter into a task of this scope.

I thank you for coming to this fair decision.

>>2141
Roger here has my full support.

A further issue I just thought of:
What about EQD featured fics that also happen to appear on the Feature Box? They are usually edited to (almost) perfection and are unlikely to benefit from this exercise.

2145

File: 1354881459982.jpg (13.38 KB, 244x207, righto.jpg)

>>2142
>EQD stuff
We review them anyways. No work is ever perfect, and being able to suggest improvements to an already good work gives us a chance to show our strengths.

If we can't come up with anything and have no alternative but to gush, then gush in an intellectual-sounding way - praise the plot for its detailed planning, or characters for the many nuances that build them up, or tone achieved by good word choice, with examples as such and such. After all, our critique also loses value if we cannot recognize what is good.

And, well, as mentioned so many times, EQD is a minimum, not a standard.

>>2141
Wholeheartedly approved. I've copied your template into the doc. Anyone up for making the account, then?

2147

>We review them anyways.
Fair 'nuff.

2148

File: 1354885984400.jpg (20.04 KB, 448x336, 11973939_gal.jpg)

So, no professional debate wrestling? Oh well, I have other things to worry myself over.

Anonymous 2149

>>2148
You could always have a devil's advocate if you wanted to, but whoever it is has to show to have an equally valid or better analysis of the stories.

As in, be good and make sense, or be laughed at.

But the feeeeelings! Eustatian!Wings60m9. 2151

Just a little thing, but I think it's important.

Anypony remember when American Idol started? Man that show was pretty good, especially once they were done with the weeder rounds and you had someone who who could sing on stage and a few people sitting in the front row who had decent opinions.

The whole phone voting thing was a real shame of course. Stunk up what could have be real classy show.

But if it were just Simon Cowell, it would have completely sucked. Even though dickish judge was best judge. Because the dynamic would have been Some Douchebag Nitpicks Good Singing.

Human social instincts have their roots in the Law of the Savannah that we come from. If one wolf shows up, you're scared. If a bunch of wolves show up, you're more scared. If a bunch of wolves show up fighting with each other, you just have to stay out of the way.

We're less threatening and thus more effective if we're not unified. Irrational, yes, but it makes perfect emotional sense.


>>2101
> We'd need a lot of people if we were to cover all the Featured stories with 2 people to each.

Or we each do multiple stories. I was imagining each-do-all, to be honest.

No you can't do a line-by-line breakdown. But that wasn't what I was imagining. Reader response, opinion, and multiple conflicting viewpoints.

I've been here over a year have yet to read a really good line-by-line. That's probably because 1) they're harder than they look and 2) I tune out and don't read them because I'm prejudiced. No, I take that back. Cassius's dismembering of "Fear of Falling" was almost what I needed at the time - and yet it didn't teach me much beyond "I'm still doing it wrong." Come to think of it, this is a huge topic and deserves more thought and a separate thread.

Casca!blANCA/Sq2 2153

File: 1354894010422.gif (811.72 KB, 500x500, shark_dance.gif)

>>2148
I'm thinking we can do that as a variation to keep things fresh. As it is, we've hammered out our points for one model in the course of three days, but that's because I had a clear vision of what I wanted. I'd prefer it if I had more time to develop the 2nd model before running with it, though it's certainly a good initiative that deserves to be put to action.

>>2149
That's the thing, though - it'd be fun to try fighting on the positive side for once. I do that with Seattle's Angels and it's refreshing.

>>2151
>But that wasn't what I was imagining. Reader response, opinion, and multiple conflicting viewpoints.
Yep, I was envisioning that too. Just making a point of it.

I mean, line-by-line in GDocs is very convenient for editing purposes, whereas line-by-line in comment form is more of a "gosh you're dedicated" but devolves almost into slog as you flip between windows. I agree with you on the separate individuals divided thing, too, but perhaps a united front is a better way to make a first impression. People remember the Train Wreck Explorers. You might think what you like about it, but I reckon it'll be in our favour, because we'll be a good deal better than them. And, well, my own line-by-line tends to grow into ugly paragraphs of reasoning why "John" is a horrible pony name, or why Applejack knocking on the door is less believable than her kicking it down - a good deal of fuss for a relatively little point, which at least, or so I hope, shows a desire to help.

2164

>>2138
>>2141
>>2142
When I saw that you decided to do an opt-in method, I got a little mad; for a moment I even considered dropping out of this. Then I realized that that would be stupid. If you do an opt-in, at most three people will reply, for the same reason why the opt-out was deemed a bad idea, because they probably won't see their PMs.

Look, so long as all of us promise not to start throwing fuel on the flames when the author gets mad by way of angry replies, then we should be safe. The author on the other hoof, will look like a complete buffoon.

Eustatian!Wings60m9. 2166

I'm kinda nervous about this - yet another moment to hurt our brand…

I hate to take the high-horse here, but people have told me that I'm kinda good at folk psychoanalysis. Usually I'm told this in private, so I'm not going to provide evidence and I guess you'll just have to trust me.

When I read this >>2141 it just reeks of smugness. Somewhere deep in my brain a voice says "Wow, this /fic/ guy is an asshole." And of course I know from my more extensive experience that that's not the case, but reviewees won't have that luxury.

You can't hide a feeling of superiority, just like I can't hide mine right now. I'm right and consensus is moving in a direction that is simply and objectively wrong. It's not wrong for rational reasons, you guys are smart - but I think you're even bigger fools than I am when it comes to caring for peoples' hearts.

I believe that, above all, for this project to work we must have a reasonable suspicion that the writers out there are better than us. Not in all ways, but in some very real and honest ways.

They are better than us. If they're not and we go picking on them that just makes us bullies. And, no, we can't fake humble attitudes because human interactions don't work that way. Unless you're lucky enough to be a sociopath.

Please think about your motivations. Mine right now is to protect the image of my tribe and thus benefit myself. To do that, I need to call what I think is a bad idea bad names and it's a calculated decision on my part to spend my reputation in the tribe for it.

Anonymous 2167

>>2166
>bullies
I don't find offering honest, objective-as-one-can-be review of a My Little Pony fanfiction to be in the ballpark of "bullying," even should it not be entirely complimentary.

>we go picking on them

Why would anyone pick on them?
Isn't it he stories that are being reviewed, not the author?

Tactical!fRainBOoMw 2168

Pretty soon I'm going to start my own thread.

The thread will be for discussing unsolicited reviews on fics in the featured box.

The thread will not be for quibbling about how not to step on the authors' tiny little delicate hooves, nor will it be for planning a coordinated event on just one day. The trajectory of this thread has vindicated, tremendously, my stance of >>2094
This post was edited by its author on .

Anonymous 2169

>>2168
As long as you do so as an individual, and preferably without mentioning any connection to /fic/. It's trying to rebrand itself here, with a new start and better image, more constructive and pro-active about its visibility.

Tactical!fRainBOoMw 2171

>>2169

The hell with that! I'll leave links to TTG and RFD because the idea is to let people know that we exist. And also to, you know, offer them TTG as a resource?

Edit: Here's the thing. I may not say outright that I consider myself to be representing /fic/ but by leaving links to TTG (which I consider just a nice thing to do) I basically am saying it anyway.

So we're not just talking about me and my annoyance here and wanting to replace this thread with a better one, we're talking about everyone trying to disassociate their opinions from /fic/ for fear of tarnishing the "image." Or, more likely, I'm being singled out, so screw you guys too.

Pretty soon I'm just going to have to hide this thread and start saying "la la la."

At this point we are talking adding something to every post that says "this post represents my own opinion and not those of any organization I am associated with, including TTG, MLPchan, the Trixie's Magic Bit readerbase, or the Boy Scouts of America."
This post was edited by its author on .

2174

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Now that I think of it, if we have an opt-in policy, then the only ones who will opt-in are going to be people who get story critiques before posting their stories anyway.

There's so much stupid in this thread. I'm very tempted to go with Tactical and just review featured stories vigilante style.

Also, Casca, you're being too wish-washy. Stick to your guns! You can please some of the people some of the time, but you can't please all of the people all of the time.

Aquillo 2175

File: 1354909667587.jpg (78.38 KB, 359x548, 588__princess-celestia_artist-…)

Just when I thought this thread was dead, it undergoes a derailment, topic-change and rebrandment. I doubt I'm going to be addressing all of the issues, and may in fact just be adding more fuel onto the fire. However, I may as well try to attempt.

The opt-in model is a mistake as regards to the purpose of this event, which is this: "The purpose is to get /fic/'s name out. In short, to win publicity."

Why is simple: An Opt-in model requires time that you simply do not have. Arguments have been made about the expected speed of the response. Whilst fair, they still will not be fast enough: by the time a story has reached the feature box, most of the positions optimal for advertisement will have already been taken. As long as advertisment remains the primary goal, speed is the attribute needed most in this, and conducting backdoor negotiations before the event is not conductive to the maximization of that attribute.

If the primary goal has changed, then that needs to be mentioned. An opt-in model is one that functions best when the rationale behind it is to help the author; this is hardly a damnable rationale, but it is a different one from that which launched this thread.

>>2102

> Both are relevant to /fic/ currently, but I'd like to think that exposure rather than PR is better in the long run. I mean, look at SALT, which people generally think well of but don't really know of.


SALT has more of a problem with the number of people, to be honest. That, and it's dying: ongoing negotiations with the remnants of TWE hint that the rest of the team are going to be swallowed up into a jointly established Fimfiction group and SALT'll just be me, left all on my own. Fun times.

And you're correct: exposure rather than reputation is more important at getting in new blood. TWE had a high exposure coupled with a low reputation, and yet the section of it dedicated towards solicited reviewing was more active than TTG.
This post was edited by its author on .

Anonymous 2176

>>2171
>>2174
Hm.

I was actually somewhat against the idea at first, but…

These are decent points, and I was loathe to listen to Tactical but I had to look at it objectively.

I mean, can't we just be smart and perceptive and do this in a way in which the authors will most likely be receptive and appreciate the help?

2177

>>2176
We can. It's called not leaving angry comments if the author gets flankhurt.

Anonymous 2178

>>2177
Maybe I'm just a diplomatic type person, but usually it's not hard to perceive how best to make points about the things someone can improve on without inciting any flankhurt in response. I feel like most of /fic/ is easily enough able to do the same.

2179

>>2178
Then why are we acting as if this isn't true?

Anonymous 2180

>>2179
We are? :P

Well, most of us aren't. A few of us have some concerns but it seems like we're just making this more complicated than it needs to be.

2181

Sometimes I feel like some of you are far too impatient.

Discussion takes time. Deal with it. That we haven't yet come up with a solution in only 2 days is not unsurprising. Slow the fuck down, please.

>>2166
I wouldn't really call that smugness. It's more just my own brand of wry humour (though whether it is at all funny is debatable). But like I said, it's a first draft. Feel free to submit something in a tone you find more fitting.
This post was edited by its author on .

I_Post_Ponies!7ZxXoTz/pI 2182

File: 1354917197493.png (695.88 KB, 1920x1080, 1354712454884.png)

>>2166
I have no illusion of myself being even a half-way decent author. I love finding new stuff cause I can learn from it.

I do feel as though intentions are the most important part of this endeavor. It almost seems like the group's intentions have changed at least once during this discussion and may change again. Perhaps the best way to deal with this is to clearly line out what this is for. We have a "Gist" and a set of rules… but maybe a mission statement wouldn't hurt?

That sounds painfully bureaucratic. I'm going to smash my face into the wall now.

Pav Feira!ToolDoTeR. 2187

File: 1354935462273.jpg (62.04 KB, 505x395, 105242 - celestia cutelestia f…)

>Simon Cowell
Make no mistake, my favorite reviewer thread to date was http://www.ponychan.net/chan/fic/res/103290.html Like American Idol, however, people knew exactly what they were subjecting themselves to. A scathing teardown from Simon or Nicknack may very well be the kick in the pants that the writer needs, but unsolicited scathing reviews are going to lead to drama, not improvement. TWE is evidence of that. The goal is to help authors, not to boost our egos nor take Featured Box authors down a peg for the lulz.

I see comments like >>2174 and >>2167, and I'm purely confused. We ask them if they're receptive to our help. If they decline, you want to insist upon it anyway? In the hopes that publicly posting the review anyway will, what, embarrass them into changing their mind and heeding our advice? I really hope I'm misunderstanding, so please correct me.

Here's the difference in my mind. If someone comes to me and says "I'm a representative of Group X and I'm here unsolicited to tell you what's wrong with your story", this puts me on the defensive. I feel that all of Group X (rather than one individual) thinks that my story is lacking and that Group X holds themselves superior to me. Compare that to an unaffiliated individual, and even if the review is identical, now it's just some random guy's opinion. Bonus points if the review is worded as opinion instead of fact. Yes, it may lack some oomph, but it's less likely to put them on the defensive. The author feels like they have more power to dismiss you, and that ironically makes them more likely to listen.

How about this: we do this without any official banner (even if we coincidentally all do this on the 13th). The review is kept relatively short, no line-by-line, emphasize a few major points. End with "if you want me to review this more in-depth, feel free to PM me, or come to TTG and ask for me by name."

Advantages:
+ Shorter review == less wasted time if they ignore you.
+ You're encouraging them to reach out for help.
+ You sound more like a consumer of /fic/ than a representative, so your feedback is less likely to sound overly judgmental.
+ As unaffiliated individuals, we're not accountable for each others' actions (i.e. the downfall of TWE).

2188

>>2187
>We ask them if they're receptive to our help. If they decline, you want to insist upon it anyway?
No, we simply don't have the time to ask, and even if we did only the people who would reply are most likely to have already gotten a critique somewhere else.

Though I do agree that our reviews should be short TL;DRs instead of long line-by-lines.

>we do this without any official banner… …or come to TTG and ask for me by name."

>come to TTG
Can you see why this won't work?

2189

>>2188
If because "no banner" + "come to TTG" sounds contradictory, I repeat my earlier point that it's at least perceived that you're just one guy who happens to make use of the site, rather than "I represent TTG. Your story needs fixing". It's a nuance, but this kind of snap judgment matters.

If because you don't think anyone will bother to come to TTG… if they're not going to bother to visit a link and seek help, do you think they're really going to be receptive to a drive-by review either? You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make them drink.

2190

>>2189
>"I represent TTG. Your story needs fixing"
Or you could change that to
>"I'm from TTG. Here are my thoughts on (Story X)"
which is much more humble.

Casca!blANCA/Sq2 2192

>>2174
>>2175
>Also, Casca, you're being too wish-washy
I admit this. It's taken a couple of slaps, but yes, I have been wishy-washy. I suppose that's diplomacy for you. So, my apologies, and thank you, Azu and Aquillo - you hit the head of the nail right on.

Which is why I'm not going to reply to this thread until tomorrow. Anyone have any arguments with the other side, post it out. I am going to slowly digest over the whole thing tomorrow, preferably after watching the new episode, and then I will make a decision on unsolicited or solicited. There will be something of a lengthy justification for it, I expect. There won't be any more changing after that.

A rational thinker is willing to forego opinions in the face of new evidence. But, well, this is the Internet, and there's only so much "new evidence" I can digest. So, there we go.

Ion-Sturm 2195

File: 1354949276231.png (433.24 KB, 485x760, mby6J.png)

Idea: With the impending doom review post, provide a link to a Gdoc of the available reviewers, complete with bios. If the writer so chooses, they may request a reviewer specifically but, in doing so, give permission to that reviewer to be as candid as they want.
>Pic related for if and when they choose yours truly

Eustatian!Wings60m9. 2197

>>2181

> my own brand of wry humour


Oh, it is funny, to nerds like you and me. And when I'm in nerd-culture mode, I'm not offended. But the likelihood that someone will adopt that perspective correlates with the N-S distinction of the Keirsey paradigm. And the S-type folks outnumber us N-types about three to one.

http://www.keirsey.com/4temps/overview_temperaments.asp || Scroll down to Communication.

Unfortunately, I am not a good enough spin doctor to take "I know what's wrong with your story" and turn it into something that doesn't come across as The Genius Deigns to Grace Your Fic With His Majestic Presence. That's why I'm hoping for a change in attitude.

>>2182

I want this to be about BONHOMIE, which is a really cool word, but is near useless because it's not in most people's vocabulary.

Bonhomie is what happens when you and your friends have a really good time together. You went to see a movie and you can't stop arguing about it - but you all love each other in the friend-love way that friends have, and so no matter how passionate you get, your friendship is actually heightened

Bonhomie is when you end up talking about nothing at all, and yet it's the best day in months. It is campfires and a car trip where everyone sings along with the radio. It is (for those who like that thing) condensing sexy to a seventeen-syllable clop haiku. It is telling really bad jokes.

It is one of the finest adult pleasures, and yet when you adapt it to include children too it doesn't become any weaker. Sometimes we have it in chat. That haiku thread over on fimchan had it last I looked. /fic/ could stand to have a lot more.

Bonhomie is the spirit of a tight-knit group - but at its best it draws in strangers too. It is certainly the nectar of friendship. It's almost magical how it works.

If we approach this project as "we are here to help," it cannot have bonhomie. It will be serious business, result in flankhurt, and further earn /fic/ its reputation as a place where people neither understand nor care about human nature. We will be satisfying ourselves with bread and water when there is a rich feast to be had.

So, no, I don't propose to make any story better. I propose to go out and enjoy the cream of the FiMChan crop - selected by the blind-monkey algorithm such as it is. We're gonna go bar-hopping, grand touring, spelunking, and above all I want us to do it together. Along the way, we'll find things to like and things to hate and things to disagree about with all the refined critical edge we have (and should share).

But how, I hear you ask, will that raise the overall level of ponyfic?

Fiction rises to the level of its audience. If we want better fiction, we have to be a better audience. I come to this conclusion after trying constructive criticism and evaluative criticism and you know what? Neither is the answer by itself. We need better authors and better relationships - better friendship.

Sappy, yes, but I'm convinced now that I've seen it work.

2200

File: 1354958187262.png (72.15 KB, 327x393, Gilderp.png)

Holy shit, this thing has been changing a lot.

I mean, damn, it's good to be organized and formalized and all, but I don't know what is this I don't even.

At any rate, I think I'll wait, mull this over, catch up with recent developments and jump back onboard later if I have time to spare.

Demetrius!WDFBcC5x22 2228

File: 1355045812996.png (153.76 KB, 363x461, TGAPTrixie-AreYouAWizard.png)

TL/DR I now have three things to say:
- Attitude is indeed important
- We don't need more organization
- We shouldn't constrain ourselves to the feature box.

I am trying to read. I am trying to care. However, while this thread has good ideas about the MO we should have (which can be generally applicable) I sincerely think that the organization aspect of this thing is growing into an avalanche of TL/DR. The original idea in the OP that I thought was worthwhile:
> The idea is that on the 13th of each month, we mobilize and go to Fimfic to leave reviews on Featured Box fics…No personal attacks, less snark, more srs bsns.
Now, how about that? That, and the examination of motives that Eustatian suggested? He's certainly right that you can't hide a feeling of superiority. But whereas he suggests we should suspect the writers are better than us, I say we should not suspect anything of any writer, because the worst reviews (at least in my experience) are those tainted by confirmation bias, whether in the direction of snark or of the hugbox.

In other words: assume the writer is your equal until proven otherwise. Think of them as someone like you, just trying to write an enjoyable story. That way you're not wracking your brain doing the "are you a wizard" thing with your eyeballs (see: pic) trying to find a justification for some apparent blunder an author made because you think they might be better than you and that your reading comprehension is actually shot. That, and you're not fuming with derision at embarrassing mistakes that you just cherry-picked for the sake of making your review a scathing one.

I know that not everyone will follow these simple guidelines. How we get around that problem is up for debate, but I certainly think that any more organization in this activity would be the the doom of it. Aquillo explains exactly why right here:
>>2175
> Arguments have been made about the expected speed of the response. Whilst fair, they still will not be fast enough: by the time a story has reached the feature box, most of the positions optimal for advertisement will have already been taken. As long as advertisment remains the primary goal, speed is the attribute needed most in this, and conducting backdoor negotiations before the event is not conductive to the maximization of that attribute.

As an alternative, I propose this: how about, instead of just the feature box, we review any new fanfiction hot off the keyboard? Also, instead of a meta-review process and/or submitting through a proxy FiMFiction account, we simply review, which would give it a more personal touch? Whereas, hunting down a poorly-written story in the featured box is easily construed as being motivated by a desire to tear down someone's ego, going out of one's way to have some one-on-one with an author in the quiet comments section of an unpopular story might actually get some fresh blood in here.

After all, how do you think someone with little to no readership would feel if they suddenly got a thoughtful review of their writing? I am of the opinion they'd be more likely to exhibit this response:

"Wow, someone actually read my fanfic and paid careful attention to it."

In Which Casca Rambles and Flips One Final Flop Casca!blANCA/Sq2 2230

File: 1355058487063.jpg (7.4 KB, 177x177, okay.jpg)

tl;dr Solicited if we go for Featured stories, unsolicited if we go for front page stories. I'm keeping this open to continue to discuss Featured vs. front page.
–—
Plenty of rambling in here. You've been warned (I'm using this as an excuse to go all rambly, btw, so I really do mean it).
>The purpose is to get /fic/'s name out. In short, to win publicity. Authors would benefit somewhat from the editing advice we give, but the ultimate goal is to spread the awareness that there are skilled, serious reviewers on /fic/, should people wish to find such services.

There are two points here which, to some degree, clash. One is that we help the author; the other is that we help ourselves.

Now, all of this talk about solicited/unsolicited, reviewing ethics, code of conduct, the whole thing, has its roots in imagery - specifically, /fic/'s image. /fic/ is said to be seen as many things. Some have suggested that /fic/ looks like a lion's den; others say it's no more than a few extra characters in the board menu; but this does not encompass the majority, who do not know of us at all.

There are incentives to improve /fic/'s image. This isn't about improving /fic/'s image, this is about spreading it. Given that we have pretty much a blank slate for the most part, what kind of image do we want to spread?

Helpful, no doubt. Skilled, definitely.

Now, of these two main characteristics, which one do we put first?

This is an interesting case in that prioritizing one doesn't necessarily mean dwarfing the other. I'm talking about putting helpfulness first.

See, "skilled"… "skilled" is relative. Our services pale in comparison to professional editors, but trump, well, 99% of Fimfic, so to say. But helpfulness is a good deal easier to quantify, because it pertains to human emotions, the gist of it which can be grasped easily.

Skilled arseholes are confronted, considered, and then forgotten. As C.S. Lewis said in The Magician's Nephew, people have an amazing ability to forget bad things. Helpful people will however definitely be kept in mind, skilled or otherwise, because the author can find something to benefit themselves in that person. Put skeptically, we're appealing to selfishness, but isn't that what we pretty much do with reviewing? We review, and people disappear upon reaching EqD. But we do it anyways. It's a thankless job for the most part; the people who are resigned to it, embrace it even, have some way of dealing with this thanklessness.

That much being said, what exactly is an arsehole? The answer is surprising: almost anything.

People throw hissy fits fairly easily. The comments in knighty's blog prove this. You've got EqD rejects yelling that they got rejected for things as arbitrary and unreasonable as spelling. You've got someone hitting the Featured Box only to say "I had 45 dislikes, I don't know what went wrong!" and when people try to tell them just exactly what did, they ignore it. The point being, it's surprisingly easy to tick people off. This is the Internet, this is fanfiction, and there is so much ego.

Also, being an arsehole usually tends to blot out the "skilled" part. Did I mention that? Because, you know, when you get people on the defensive, they become blind to whatever good points you may have.

So far, we've got, "it's easy to be an arsehole, and being an arsehole is bad".

This is where the need for solicitation comes in. It makes them receptive, and thus disables a lot of the potential shock which would trigger authors into seeing us as arseholes. I'm assuming the worst of these people attitude-wise, the kind that yowl about "ITS THE STORY THAT MATTERS NOT THE GRAMMER" if you so much as mention the proper use of semi-colons. More importantly, it runs a significantly smaller risk of leaving a bad impression on /fic/.

/fic/ is a community. It's more than you or I. That's why there's so much fuss about regulations and making sure people stay in line, because your personal boundaries are not the same as mine, and the way we view others' personal boundaries is different as well. I can very well be called "paranoid" or "overly cautious" for being so careful, so conservative with other peoples' opinions. That's fine by me, because this is a community and I'm willing to do my part to respect fellow members of this community. It's just that simple. I'm not going to be what others might call an arsehole, so that my fellows will not be called arseholes, even if I don't think said action fulfills the requirements for arseholery. Arsehole three times in a sentence, a personal best.

So we've got "we're going to take the safe way because we can't take liberties with what doesn't belong solely to me" i.e. /fic/'s reputation.

Sure, our reviewers may be good at phrasing it diplomatically, and sure, I can check for all I want, but that doesn't mean we should forego being nice, shouldn't try our best to make sure we don't end up trodding on the fingers of the people we're trying to help. Because that's what it is, right? We're trying to help them, and not doing our best to help them is either half-hearted or contradictory.

I had a long-ish chat with several people on the matter, and I've come to see the light that we can't run this kind of event if we don't focus on helping the author first. Remember that little clash at the beginning? There's your priorities, then. We need to help the author above helping ourselves, as we have always done.

We can ask them for permission, word our reviews well, bla bla bla, and they might still be offended, but we'll have done the best we can. Isn't that what counts?

So the end of it is I believe we should get good publicity, although it will be less incendiary and therefore slower, than get an explosion of bad publicity, which we cannot afford to risk, no matter how small anyone thinks that risk may be - because, well, people. On Fimfic. You get the idea.


On the front page:
Fun fact: the original idea was to hit the front page, TWE-style. The idea came shortly after I found out of their disbandment, and thought that it'd be lulzy to do something like them, except without the stupidity of thinly veiled insults, and the risk of losing our base of operations, which is off Fimfic anyways.

Then the idea to do Featured stories came along, and it was a fun one. It's what everyone's thought of doing at one point - ripping up the popular, vapid stuff. And it would be done if not for the potential harm done to our reputation, which right now is, contrary to opinion, more or less a blank canvas. Doing it as individuals? Sure. Do it as an unrelated-to-/fic/ Fimfic group? Go on ahead. But /fic/, this particular /fic/? Unfortunately not.

And then someone raised the idea that we might possibly end up soiling our name if we went Rambo on them, and the result is this thread.

The front page is, I'd like to think, a completely different story. You've got the newbies. You've got the people who aren't utterly convinced that they're good on account of being popular. They're receptive and I daresay hopeful that someone will come over and maybe leave a little blurb. That's why we won't need to PM them for permission; because we're what they want.

We can open a world of improvement to these newbie authors, show them that there's more to aim for with ponyfic than just being popular - there's being good.

Despite the disbandment of the TWE, there are still plenty of "this is bad and you should kill yourself" people around the HiEs, the OC alicorns, even the OCs. Massive blanket statement, but they're wannabes. If we start showing them the awesomery of helpfulness, maybe we can change the trend.

And the best part is that what we do, as long as the snark dial is, admittedly, toned down, will almost definitely be seen as helpful, and that's what will reel the fresh blood in.

There's plenty of publicity to be had from the newbies and the wannabes. They're not Featured-level popular, but since when have we ever been that kind of circle? It's always been the relative nobodies, the lurkers, ones without popularity but with heart. The good Samurai, for example, Grif and Garnot and all the old-timers who churn out review after review.

There's also the massive savings involved with organization, i.e. no need for it, save for the review guidelines and the blurb before and after which introduces and then directs to /fic/, but that's not important just yet.

Well, it is, because that point alone is making me want to go with it, but this is a /fic/ thing, not Casca's thing. So there we go.

Also, the above is more or less agreement with:
>>2228


And that's that.
This post was edited by its author on .

Grif 2232

>>2230
With this points in mind, I actually wonder. Why not do both at the same time? We can still have our /fic/ day out as planned, with all the solicited permission and what-not.

But we also can do the front page stories on our own free time, if we so choose. The fact that the stories in the Latest Update/Story tab will always cycle with new ones means that we would probably be able to cover more stories and it frees us the obligation of actually monitoring each other, since this will be a private review and not directly related to the /fic/ name per se. I suppose this is actually the idea Tactical had been going for, sans the fact that we won't be doing this under the aegis of /fic/.

Eustatian!Wings60m9. 2241

>>2230

>We need to help the author above helping ourselves, as we have always done.


But when I look back on myself honestly, I haven't always put the author ahead of myself. That is my shame and I must do better.

There isn't /fic/ consensus. Perhaps we shouldn't call either option a /fic/ event, then.

>>2232

I want to do a reader's circle, so I'm picking the 15th and 30th of the month for that. No need or plan to use the /fic/ name, but we'll base operations here and if we bring in fresh blood from FiMFiction, well, that's pretty cool.

Anonymous 2242

>>2241
>There isn't /fic/ consensus.
There isn't a /fic/ consensus on Write-Offs, but we call them /fic/ events, don't we? Do we need to have every single person who is considered a member of the community to put their approval on every aspect of anything it might want to do as a group?

2244

>>2242

There are voiced reservations on this idea, viz:

Myself,
Grif >>2112
Pav >>1898

and while I cannot speak for them, I am not at the moment convinced that ya guys aren't gonna go out and make mistakes I've already made. Mistakes I'd like to spare us from.

If there's similar dislike of the Write-Offs, I'm not aware of it. That's the difference. I'm willing to sign my opinion, too, and I challenge anyone to say I'm an outsider whose opinion doesn't hold weight. Sure I'm a self-righteous asshole sometimes (like now) and lazy as fuck (always), but I am a long standing member.

Anonymous 2245

>>2244
One of those was just about the unsolicited aspect, wasn't it? And that is more or less a non-issue with the authors opting to receive them only with consent? Still then, some reservations or people who don't agree with it aren't necessarily reasons to halt something. Most people find it interesting, find it has potential, want to try it. At least, from my reading of the discussion. No one's saying your opinion doesn't hold weight, not in the slightest, but the opinion and reasoning for it, while valid, haven't swayed people to hold the same opinion. Finding the best way to do this, then, rather than just "no, I dislike this, let's stop," seems to be where we're at.

2251

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>>2230
>On reviewing stories on the front page.
I've actually tried this before. The authors don't listen to anything that isn't the most obvious of spelling mistakes. Up until a few days ago, I assumed that everyone here tried doing this too at one point or another, but stopped for the same reasons.

>On solicited reviews of featured stories.

This places too much of an assumption on the fact that authors don't get their story reviewed before posting it. The only people who will accept are going to have already gotten editorial advice.

>mfw this post is ignored and no one replies to it.

If none of you will listen to me, then I'm just gonna forget it it being /fic/'s day out and not TTG and go review for the Orient Express Explorers. http://www.fimfiction.net/index.php?view=group&group=1940

2254

>>2251
OEE is a good idea and I am now following it. Sincere thanks are in order.

>I've actually tried this before.

Me, too. Clop, even. It didn't work out well to say the least.

Casca!blANCA/Sq2 2263

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>>2251
>On reviewing stories on the front page.
>I've actually tried this before. The authors don't listen to anything that isn't the most obvious of spelling mistakes. Up until a few days ago, I assumed that everyone here tried doing this too at one point or another, but stopped for the same reasons.
I dunno, man. Perhaps I've been extremely lucky, but my comments have a fairly high acceptance rate.

If that happens, there won't have been much loss, since we'd be reviewing only a short number of words, and we'd get our presence out on the front page anyways. It's not a total flop is what I'm saying.

>On solicited reviews of featured stories.

>This places too much of an assumption on the fact that authors don't get their story reviewed before posting it. The only people who will accept are going to have already gotten editorial advice.
Better safe than sorry, I'd say.

>mfw this post is ignored and no one replies to it.

>If none of you will listen to me, then I'm just gonna forget it it and go review for the Orient Express Explorers
I cannot restrict your freedom to do as you wish, though I might as well mention that the OEE runs with solicitation as well, albeit phrased indirectly.

Pav Feira!ToolDoTeR. 2269

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>>2230
Gewd post, gewd post. The Featured section is spot-on. The frontpage section, I think you swayed me, re: the point that we'd be giving them what they want. I'm still a touch squeamish about the policing-our-members aspect, but eh. Hopefully it never comes to that.

>>2244
There are conscientious objectors to the write-offs. Can't think of any names, but the gist of the argument was that forced writing is bad writing, and writing/reading the entries is a waste of time better spent serving the "true purpose" of review threads.

I agree to the point that getting unanimous support just won't happen. I snarked somewhere (Skype?) that "when you try to please everypony, you succeed."

2348

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So, what became of this?

Demetrius!WDFBcC5x22 2350

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>>2348
Oh yeah, it's the 13th. Gonna make some dinner and then head over to FiMFiction. I'm only going to do one random review though; I want to wrap gifts and work more on my own story tonight as well.

Tactical!fRainBOoMw 2352

So, the only clopfics in the featured box are one that is too long for me to tackle with my limited time, and one that's SECOND PERSON ANTHRO so I would just end up spite-reviewing it.

I might just sit this one out…

Demetrius!WDFBcC5x22 2357

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Yay, random review done! I think I'll keep doing this.

http://www.fimfiction.net/story/69922/red-ink-and-long-jump
This post was edited by its author on .

cas (out of town) 2363

I'm out of town now, actually, but I'd invite you to go give the front page a random review. Test the waters sort of thing. I spent two hours doing a synopsis review and a line-by-line of just the first paragraph. The guy's three stories were all deleted missing. Well.

buuuump Demetrius!WDFBcC5x22 3507

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Now, how did I forget this? The 13th sort of slipped by me.

No matter.

I decided/pledged I'd go to FimFiction and find the story with the fewest ratings/views, and pick that one for review (http://bit.ly/WtSR7p). A few paragraphs in…

> "Get your stinking penises off our new invention!"


I don't even (have mature enabled)

I'm almost certain this is some kind of attempt at parody. And it is good. Still, I wonder if it's not intentional, and I'm tempted to burn a few hours doing a live reading for the lulls.

Casca!blANCA/Sq2 3508

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Did this because Dem made me feel bad for dropping it

Anyways, I went and picked something up off the frontpage. I had several lines of grammar things ready for comment, and then the ending:

“We have decided to give you all a presentation on a subject normally covered in a later grade.” Sparky said innocently.

“What subject?” Cheerilee asked fearfully.

“Sex ed.” Fatty replied simply. He slammed a boombox on a desk and put on some mood music. They proceeded to make hot dirty love on Cheerilee’s desk in front of their captive, and now sexually enlightened audience.

The end

Authors Note:

RandomHero wrote much of this, but said he didn't want this tripe staining his wall.

I have no such compunctions.

Also, I'd be remissed if I failed to mention that the beautiful coverart was by my hand, as was the description.

I'm speshul!


There was really no point in attempting to help someone who doesn't want help, especially when the piece in question isn't even his. So I closed my Notepad file and walked quietly away.
This post was edited by its author on .

Demetrius!WDFBcC5x22 3509

File: 1358660665560.png (765.01 KB, 1200x871, 1354574456657.png)

>>3508
Hey, it's an adventure.

Buck up, open Notepad again and find a different fic off the front page.

Aquillo 3513

File: 1358690051947.png (1.99 MB, 2560x1440, 1358547550279.png)

>>3508

You already kinda know my opinion on this dying down, Casca, so I won't say anything 'bout that. On the other hand, it's a dick move for me to just sit rooting from the sidelines. Here:

http://www.fimfiction.net/story/74550/1/the-name-of-the-cutie

Just as a piece of advertisement, this is a story worth the reading, even if it's only at the 1.27 K mark. The atmosphere is built up nicely and it isn't painful to read.

Oh, and the opening's gorgeous. There's that.

See you guys next month.


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