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Official "Ask an Equestria Daily Pre-Reader Anything" Thread Daffodil 3742[View All]

Good evening, everypony, and welcome to the Ask An Equestria Daily Pre-Reader Anything thread (MLPchan Edition)! We've been doing this for a while now over on Ponychan, and figured it was about time to bring all the question-and-answer-y goodness over to this board.

The purpose of this thread is pretty much exactly what the title says: you ask questions, and we answer 'em. Questions can be related to fanfiction, general writing, Equestria Daily, the show, the fandom, Nicolas Cage, or really anything else you can think of – just be aware that you might not get a good answer if your question is about, say, quantum physics.

I'd normally put an FAQ in the OP, but I figure this is a new board with new people (somewhat) so I'm not sure what the frequently asked questions will even be! So assuming I haven't done something horrible with this OP and broken all the rules, feel free to ask away and we'll do our best to answer.

Current queue information: http://goo.gl/b7anF
Ponychan thread: http://www.ponychan.net/chan/fic/res/122969.html
299 posts and 105 image replies omitted. Click View to see all.

Snarkle(at)Office 5599

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>>5596
My pleasure.
(Now, if you mean the characters find that, somehow, in some sort of Stoppard-esque event, they begin to become the characters they portray, and realities begin to blend together, and yet you still pull the story out and make it coherent? I shall find where you live, ring your doorbell, and give you a hug. Beard included.)

soundslikeponies!bQsJPGMNfw 5637

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Why is it so hard to get blogponies to change story details?

(Current average for me to actually get a story detail changed is 3 emails)

EDIT: I'm starting to doubt whether I'm emailing the right email. Do I email [email protected] for story changes?
EDIT-EDIT: Okay well, it's changed, but they put me in a second story update post. I guess they only read 2 of the 3 lines in the email.
This post was edited by its author on .

Tactical 5887

Wow, dead thread. Hope someone still watches this, because I need a pre-reader for something.

I've been having an argument over the Fanfic Box about one of my stories. It's title is Taut Strings, Soft Lips. After my last email I did not get a response. Is this story currently in the to-be-evaluated list proper, or should I pursue this further?

5900

>>5887
The most recent note I have on this story is that it was auto-rejected for linking to mature content.
I looked at the story, and yes, there is a link to what could undoubtedly be called mature content - and possibly foalshipping, but as I only skimmed I can't say - at the very beginning.
This is likely what it was autorejected for, but the email should serve to help us out here. As I do not have the rejection message, could you repost it here?

5905

>>5900
Hasn't EqD posted borderline clopfics before? How is this any different?

Tactical 5906

I'm posting from my phone between getting stuff done, so sorry but that'll have to wait. I'll get around to that.

I had asked that the explicit version be evaluated for how honestly much it needs to be censored. Do you already have an opinion on that? If not, i would be much obliged if you would mark it as needing such.

The fic is not erotic, has no offensive content, has all of one paragraph that is definitely over the line, and that one paragraph is extremely tasteful; there is no way that this would be deemed adults-only material by a real publisher or whatever. I am willing to edit out wording like "blah blah inside me" but i am certainly not willing to amend the fact that this is plainly a sex scene.

The rest of what i have to say is… a lot of opinions. Would you be willing to discuss this here?
This post was edited by its author on .

Tactical!fRainBOoMw 5910

>incorrect password

I dug back through my emails, and there's really nothing to the rejection letter except that the link has to go.

What I'm saying is that I'd like help in editing this as little as possible. This is more family friendly than a lot of other things that go through to EQD–the only reason anyone would have a problem with it is if they have a religious aversion to any honest and realistic treatment of sexuality.

Quite frankly I don't think this even counts as an explicit description of sex.

I am prepared to "sell out" and reduce this thing's rating, but only to an extent.

Tactical 5991

Well, I can take a fucking hint. Thanks for… Yeah, whatever.

Edited version forthcoming.

5997

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>>5991
I should start answering questions for them again, since they don't seem to be bothering :P. Either that, or my doing so will bring them anyways to bitch about it, so it's a win/win.

Pre-reader 63.546!vZ.Mh9z92U 5999

>>5997
Ion? Butting in when he doesn't know what's been going on? Say it isn't so!

These questions have been answered ad nauseum in several forums. When I see something new being said, I'll respond.

6000


Really? That's not the best way to get a Pre-reader to want to help you.

Be less of a douche about your request, and we will be more than happy to help you.

From what I see of your responses, absolutely no one in the Pre-reader team would want to work with you.

This is as blunt as I can get without being rude.

TL;DR: Be less of a douche, say please and thanks. You draw in people with honey more than you do with vinegar.

Tactical 6001

>>5910
>opinions re: stuff that has been discussed ad nauseum, and also a request for a small favor

Pointedly ignored.

>>5991
>being a douche about not getting so much as "sorry, can't help you, drop it already"

Immediate response.

Tell me again about honey and vinegar.

6002

>>6001

The queue has been backed up. We've been working on clearing out 2+ month old fics.

Besides, I haven't seen your fic, so I know this happens to us every so often.

Come on, you know how life is.

Tactical 6003

>>5637
>obvious exasperation; implicit criticism that people are fumbling stuff back there

Last post in the thread for god knows how long.

>>5991
>getting passive-aggressive about being intentionally ignored

This happens.

Anyway, I understand what you're saying, it's just that nobody said what you just did until I unthinkingly baited out a spite reply, which I really am sorry about, I wish I'd thought to take the high road, but I would prefer that it had gone another way.
This post was edited by its author on .

6004

>>6003

You mean the auto-moon, or the eroticism that you were trying to get past us?

Also, you do realize you could post that separately, rather than attempting to sneak it past us by including the NSFW variant of your story in the A/N?

Edit: Heck, you could also have set it up as an AU — alternate universe.
This post was edited by its author on .

6005

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>>5999
See? Win.

Tactical 6006

I got silence in response to "could you tell me what needs to change a la an actual mooned letter," I got silence in response to "did you get my request for an actual mooned letter," I got silence in response to "would you humor me and give some kind of response to the fact that I'm buttmad about our clash of morals," and I got "wow, nobody would want to work with a douche like you" when I called you out for intentionally ignoring those things.

Oh and Thank you, by the way, for accusing me of trying to sneak dirty smut past you by censoring it even though I didn't think it needed to be censored. I appreciate being talked to that way. Feel free to ban me from submitting anything else from here on.

6008

>>6006

Censored stuff is still NSFW.

You should know better than to try to attach it to an existing story.

Why'd you do that when you could've posted it separately?

It's not that difficult. Really, it isn't, and your responses so far tells me that you don't want to spend more than the absolute minimum to get your stories posted on EqD.

You KNOW damned well better.

6009

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>>5910
>>5991
>>6006
>>6003

I would like to politely offer a formal apology for the amount of time that you've waited on this matter, however, it's been five days, the prereader queue is massive, and frankly, you're getting combative over questions and requests that are beyond the scope of the people you're asking. You are effectively, at this point, yelling at a Shoe Carnival employee because your socks don't match your trousers.

I won't hold that against you. Instead, I'd like to explain your fallacy in thinking "vinegar instead of honey" works. See, in your "honey" posts, you requested favors and information beyond that which most prereaders would usually do for any rejected applicants:

>What I'm saying is that I'd like help in editing this as little as possible.

Equestria Daily is not in the business of editing submissions. You asked for it as a favor, true, but this basic point still stands.

>I had asked that the explicit version be evaluated for how honestly much it needs to be censored. Do you already have an opinion on that? If not, i would be much obliged if you would mark it as needing such.

Equestria Daily is not in the business of pointing out specifically when, where, and how stories cross the line. It's been answered before, but I'll reiterate: there's no 45 degree rule. If your story is over the line, you should theoretically be able to use good judgement (or other reviewers' good judgment) to find it. However, it seems your own judgment is slightly warped on this piece:

>The fic is not erotic, has no offensive content, has all of one paragraph that is definitely over the line, and that one paragraph is extremely tasteful;

Perhaps I'm of a more conservative mindset, but graphic sex between two underaged characters probably falls under "offensive content." Having read your story for this "one paragraph" (which is really more like 5-9 paragraphs, due to dialogue), it's not really… tasteful, either. Although you seem to think you're safe by not saying "penis" or "vagina," the sex is fairly explicit.

So, what does this all mean? In short, your "honey" post was asking for far too much from the prereaders in the first place, regardless of the fact that it was being done for a story where it might be downright impossible or impractical to remove the questionable content. What I mean is that you've got a story that builds up to a penultimate sex scene (which, fun fact: that's how a number of erotica pieces work), but without that payoff, the pacing needs adjustment to compensate.

Finally, discounting the "vinegar" that you resorted to, the very fact that you've gone on record saying you've considered "sneaking in" a link to the over-the-line content (see the attached screenshot) makes several prereaders ambivalent towards helping you get your story posted on Equestria Daily. Where's the guarantee that, if we spend the extra time on this story, that we're not going to end up posting graphic sex on the blog? You, and only you, have violated that trust.

Your unabridged story is over the line. It is not Equestria Daily's job to tell you how much needs to be removed in order for it to be posted. Including a link to the unabridged version will disqualify your story for evaluation for Equestria Daily, let alone posting (meaning, if you even get the content level sorted out, you've still got to get approved).

Anonymous 6011

>>6009
>>6009
Hasn't it been mentioned you guys are a publishing house? You guys do know that's exactly what a publishing house does, right?

Grab a story, like it enough to then go back and tell the writer "change X so it can be published," then publish it?

6012

>>6011

We're not an official publishing house.

We do not pay authors for their works.

Anonymous 6013

>>6008

How? By the rule addressing this issue specifically? By the fact that you've autorejected everything I've sent in due to the hardcore clop all over it and therefore all over the sidebar? Or by the fact that you've never, ever accepted sexual humor, sexual awakening fics, or allusions to sex, because all sexual content is equally dangerous and should be hidden with the same zeal?

My original idea for censoring it was a reasonable mistake, my defense of my decision is not in defiance of any explicit rules, especially since you DENIED me an explicit judgement upon how much of the actual content is actually unacceptable, and your continued insistence that my two posts before this shitstorm were unreasonable and/or rude is inappropriate.

And this shouldn't even matter, but when I said minimum changes I mean minimum censorship, not minimum effort. Surely you can understand my desire to preserve the meaning and emotional honesty in what is in many ways the most important scene of the story.

6014

>>6011
Well, first, there's some debate that one could have on whether or not EQD is a publishing house.

Secondly, you yourself said that the "give feedback" part only happens on stories that are close enough to publishing / liked enough to warrant it.

Third, if someone sends in erotica to a family-friendly publishing house, that house isn't really going to say, "Here's what you need to do to fit in with our guidelines."

>>6013
>My original idea for censoring it was a reasonable mistake, my defense of my decision is not in defiance of any explicit rules, especially since you DENIED me an explicit judgement upon how much of the actual content is actually unacceptable, and your continued insistence that my two posts before this shitstorm were unreasonable and/or rude is inappropriate.
First, you were denied something that you weren't entitled to in the first place. So, maybe it wasn't unreasonable for you to ask, but I think it was unreasonable for you to expect the response you wanted.

Secondly… if it's a mistake to censor the explicit portions of your story, and the explicit portions are what's keeping it from Equestria Daily… what is this discussion even about? You don't want to change your story, but it can't go up as-is, so… what is your goal here today?

Anonymous 6015

>>6012
I think the proper answer then is: no, we are nothing like a publishing house.

Also, the not getting paid is a specious point, the way things gets done is what defines a publishing house, a vanity press, or self-publishing. Yes, I raided a thesaurus for that word.

Well, I now know for the future if I send anything.

>>6014
Actually, all stories get feedback, haven't you ever seen a publishing house rejection letter?

But it was more of a misunderstanding of how you people dealt with stuff. I have heard from others prereaders called it a publishing house, so I thought it worked liked one. It seems it doesn't.

Tactical 6016

Shit.

Sorry for starting something like this and then ditching, but I can't handle this while on my phone and pressing pie crust.

This is gonna have to wait. I'm real sorry about that.

6017

>>6011

I think there's some confusion about why EqD accepts stories.

It's not for the benefit of the authors. It's for the benefit of the readers.

I'm not sure what's left to say about this fic. Speaking personally, I think it's a good story in all of its forms. However, only one of those forms is suitable for posting on EqD, and you know which one it is. And yes, the link has to go.

Whether or not EqD is a publishing house is beside the point. This is a thoroughly volunteer effort, based around a website, and it's silly to try and hold it to the standards of a professional business. The rules are clearly posted for you when you click the 'submit' button, and nothing is promised except that the pre-readers will evaluate your story for suitability. Anything they provide on top of that is entirely a bonus.

I think you have two paths to chose from:

1. Delete the link from the 'censored' version and ask for it to be evaluated on its merits. I can't speak for the pre-readers, but I think it would be accepted.

2. Decide that the artistic integrity of the story requires it to be uncensored, and withdraw it from consideration for posting to EqD.

I hope you go with the first choice, but it's up to you.

Anonymous 6018

>>6017
Who the hell are you?

6020

>>6018

My name and email should be posted at the top of this message. If it's not showing for some reason, I'm Cold in Gardez, a sometime fanfic author who has been through the submission and review process a few times.

6021

>>6019

What about it?

I can see that there's a multiple version of the story, but that's stated in the post.

That's fine with us. What's not fine with us is attempting to sneak it by us, especially with having gone on record in stating this.

6022

>>6015
http://spywriter.com/rejection.html

One of the first things that comes up when you google "publishing house rejection letters."

Now, there seem to be "levels" to rejection:

http://www.charlottedillon.com/RejectionLetters.html

But… I think you're implying that Equestria Daily both does and should give constructive feedback with every auto-rejection. Which is silly.

6023

>>6021
Sorry, I deleted my post 'cause I thought Cold in Gardez was a PR, then I read the realized he wasn't.

So you'd be fine with having a blog post similar to the one for The Things We Need, where the author's preferred text version is linked in the note after the tags?

Tactical 6024

All right fine one more.

To Gardez: my intention was/is to create a new edited version. The current one is nothing more than a hamfisted removal of the objectionable content. If

I had Hoped that this conversation would guide me in that, but it looks like it's no dice on that one.

To everyone else: would a note at the end of the synopsis saying "the unedited version has some objectionable content and can be found on my profile" be acceptable?

6025

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>>6018
He's a better writer than any of us plebs will ever be.

>>6024
>To everyone else: would a note at the end of the synopsis saying "the unedited version has some objectionable content and can be found on my profile" be acceptable?
Ah, this is the question I was going to ask to legitimize my post's pandering to Gardez. In that case, allow me to elaborate: I've been curious about this grey area as well. Assuming it was a degree or two removed (as in, not directly linked to in the story itself or as a separate chapter in the same story [on FiMFiction, for example]), is informing the reader that a more racy version of the story is available be allowed? EqD already has somewhat of a precedent in this regard, with that "Bonus" chapter of Fallout: Equestria being posted (and just Fallout: Equestria's subject matter in general, but everybody knows it got preferential treatment).

6026

>>6024
Only if plaintext, with no link. We can't stop readers from searching through your profile to find erotic literature, but we don't want to set the precedent of "here's a link to some too-hot-for-EQD stuff" in story profiles.

We also don't want to have to set a precedent for "how to deal with authors who change their synopsis a few weeks down the line to sneak in an explicit link." Don't make us do that, OK?

Tactical 6027

More than anything else, my decision to be honest was motivated by a desire to man up and not lie about what I had written. I didn't want to deny the fact that there was an explicit version, not even for a sneaky self-serving purpose.

And, I won't lie, I was also interested in how this whole thing would play out. What I did not figure on was the silent treatment that caused me to start all this shit.

Also please note that my email asked that the explicit version of the story be put into the queue proper so that I could hear about it in the form of an actual first strike letter. That was my actual request, and part of my post was asking if that request had been acted upon.

I also apologize that my judgement is so warped that EDIT: sorry, I'll spare you.

If I send in a version that toes the line but does not have the link, THEN will I get a first strike instead of a "stop being a douche?"

Pre-reader 63.546!vZ.Mh9z92U 6028

>>6027
If it makes it through the ficbox, yes, you'll get a response. That's always been the case. But you have received no such silent treatment. I've seen evidence that people have engaged you via email and IRC on this. I don't know why you thought you'd get a different answer here.

6550

How much of these fics do you read?

Recently, a friend of mine told me about this story: http://www.equestriadaily.com/2011/09/story-death-note-equestria.html

Now, I have never read it, and I do not watch the anime, but my friend—who I implicitly trust and highly respect—tells me that this story is almost exactly the same as the anime. The same characters die, just their pony substitutions, the events are nearly identical. The "death God" from the anime is Ryuk, and in the story it's Byuk.

This sounds dangerously close to plagiarism, doesn't it? I mean, if the SAME characters die at the SAME times as the anime for the SAME reasons, isn't that just copy/pasting? All you're doing is changing the names and places, but no original thought really went into the plot. Crossovers aren't supposed to be rip-offs, but loving tributes. This just feels like the same exact thing, just with ponies.

If it is the job of the pre-reader to ensure only quality stories make it on the site, then shouldn't more care be taken to ensure originality?

Pres-reader 63.546!vZ.Mh9z92U 6552

>>6550
I haven't read the story in question, so I can't comment on that aspect of it, but yes, it's a bad thing when an author just substitutes pony characters into a crossover without changing the story, or a "cookie-cutter crossover," as we call it. In such a case, we have competing interests. On one hand, it's better to have someone who's familiar with the crossover evaluate it, since he'd be better equipped to detect this problem. On the other hand, it's better to have someone unfamiliar read it so we can ensure it has broader appeal and doesn't rely too much on knowledge of the crossover material to understand the story. It's inevitable that some things will fall through the cracks, but again, I can't say that this one did.

Gushnor 6553

>>6550

Standards did not exist in 2011. But we do now. So this story would not make it if something similar would be sent in today. This is an example of the kind of story you shouldn't be sending.

Lucky Roll 6918

Hi there!

Could one of you please tell me how much time does it take for the proofreaders to answer a fic-submission nowadays? I'm only asking because in my past experiences, EqD always answered within 2-5 days, but now I haven't heard from you since I got the automatic "noreply" email 12 days ago. I'm starting to wonder if my submission got eaten by the 404 demon, but I didn't want to submit the story again, as it's possible that the proofreaders are on holiday and/or (more likely) are simply too busy. Thank you for your answer in advance!

6919

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>>6918
There are currently over eighty fics in the queue. Going by recent experience, it'll take anywhere from two to four weeks to get a reply, depending on PR availability. So don't sweat it—just sit back, chill out, and go work on something else while you wait. You'll get a reply eventually.

Lucky Roll 6920

I see. Thank you very much for your time!

Tactical 6921

Yeah, I'm getting on five weeks, and that's for a short fic on its first strike resubmission. I asked the same question as you, and Pasco got indignant, but the only reason I thought of it is because the response time has been very fast by comparison more often than not ever since the new system.

Anyway, thank you all for your thankless and endless volunteer work. I'm not sure what perverted parts of you find this stuff satisfying, but your service is admirable.

vimbert!23hC9EoLsg 6922

>>6918
>>6919
Yes, the story is in our queue. Response times of a month are getting to be a little more common, much as I hate it.

Anonymous 6924

>>6922
What's the main reason behind this? I'm just curious: are there more submissions? Fewer prereaders? Seth flooding the inbox with Trixie fics?

Pre-reader 63.546!vZ.Mh9z92U 6926

>>6924
Several of the high-volume PRs have retired or taken a break. We've brought in a couple new ones. There also seem to have been more submissions the last few months.

Anonymous 6928

>>6926
What if you got Seth to make a blog post asking for more PRs?
This post was edited by its author on .

Pre-reader 63.546!vZ.Mh9z92U 6930

>>6928
We had… mixed results from the last such call. We still get applications even without advertising

Anonymous 6939

>>6930
How many newpone have you taken on in the past few months, as opposed to those that have left?

Pre-reader 63.546!vZ.Mh9z92U 6940

>>6939
One in March and one earlier this month. Tough to say how many left, as they're mostly ones that haven't actually been pre-reading in a while and just now made it official. So, we've probably only lost one or two active ones.


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