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darktyranitar
1st May 2008, 09:47 AM
The Fanfiction Forum E-zine


May 2008




Table of contents



Words from the editor
darktyranitar


Conversations with the Stars – Blademaster
mistysakura


TMI Syndrome
Houndoom_Lover


A Writer's Life
Lady Vulpix


The Grammar Nazi – The Ties that Bind
mr_pikachu






Words from the editor
darktyranitar


Bismillahirrahmanirrahim. In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

Salam to our fellow readers. April came and has passed well for us, and we would like to welcome you to the exciting May issue of the fanfic E-zine.

Good news for those who have been eagerly waiting for this month’s issue: mr_pikachu and Lady Vulpix –the regular contributors to the fanfiction E-zine – are with us for this issue: the former has written his regular Grammar Nazi article (with this issue focusing on the aspect of conjunctions) while the latter has written an article focusing on the key component of the fanfiction community: the writers. Other wonderful articles off this month’s E-zine is the interview with fellow writer Blademaster (with mistysakura as the interviewer), and an article on TMI Syndrome, written by Houndoom_Lover. But what is a TMI Syndrome, you asked? Do read on and find out about it.

I would like to take the opportunity to thank the contributors that made this month’s E-zine possible. Thank you; jazakallahu khayran.

I would like to wish a happy Mother’s Day, and happy reading.

Wassalam.

-darktyranitar


[The editor would apologize for the article that was written here prior the deletion. Wallahu alam.]







Conversations with the Stars – Blademaster
mistysakura


mistysakura:
Thanks for joining us today, Blademaster! How long have you been writing?
Blademaster:
Well, thanks for having me, Ada. ^^ I've been writing... Well, technically since I learned how back in kindergarten. Or the first grade. Whichever it was. Story-wise, though, I've been a 'practitioner' since I was 9, when I had to do this 'complete-the-story' assignment for Halloween. So, it's been over ten years.

mistysakura:
Hehe, do you remember anything about that story?
Blademaster:
Yes, very much so. It was basically a story about a kid (the writer) buying a pumpkin, making it into a jack-o-lantern, and then it winks at you. That's where the story cuts off and the writer has to complete it. I took it a step further, though: After I got it back with a good grade, I made a sequel, and then a trilogy.

mistysakura:
And that's when you got hooked. :) What kind of stories did you enjoy writing?
Blademaster:
Well, way back then, I was mostly a fan of short stories - in addition to that trilogy, I later wrote a two-part short story about a haunted ship. I was still young, so I kinda stuck with cliches like that... But after I discovered Yu-Gi-Oh!, that's when my 'modern' writing style began, and I started making long, multichapter stories both on paper and online. I have yet to complete a single one of them. XD

mistysakura:
I can sympathise. Has online exposure changed your writing?
Blademaster:
Yeah. It's made me pretty adverse to the change I underwent when I started writing long stories... I feel like I wanna go back to short stories/one-shots.

mistysakura:
How come?
Blademaster:
It's a long story that's been rehashed to Hell and back... I'd rather not repeat it again, but I'll say this: A member of TPM inspired me to start writing big stories online, and I see now for many reasons that that was a mistake. Overall, though, this 'long story' style has just gotten kinda old to me: Each chapter feels like it's just the last one with different words, if that makes any sense.

mistysakura:
Fair enough. So you're after something fresher... have you tried going back to short stories, then?
Blademaster:
In a way, yes. I have a new project in the works as we speak that suits my short-attention span and random ideas VERY well. It'll be on TPM within a few weeks.

mistysakura:
Yay to free plugs. Will you still be writing fanfiction?
Blademaster:
I'm not sure if this half-baked idea will count as 'fanfiction,' but yes, I'll still be writing on TPM.

mistysakura:
Although you haven't had the best experience with fanfiction, does Yu-Gi-Oh! still inspire you?
Blademaster:
Actually, as much as I hate admitting I was wrong: I think that the Yu-Gi-Oh! 'fad' is something that I've outgrown. I've been out of touch with the TCG for awhile, and it's getting way too complex with this new Genesis thing that's coming out. It was my muse for awhile, but Yu-Gi-Oh!'s time has passed for me, I think. Not like Pokemon. Gotta Catch 'Em All.

mistysakura:
You're still a Pokemon fan? Wow. Because Pokemon isn't a fad and all. Have you written Pokemon fanfiction? (Seeing as it probably brought you to TPM in the first place.)
Blademaster:
You bet I am. Pokemon is a video game franchise. I don't outgrow those. 'Cuz I'm obsessed with them. XD As for writing it, though, there was Pokemon: The I Syndicate, but that idea bombed because I had no clue what I was doing. Not to mention it quickly became redundant. My ideas are always changing, and new stuff is always popping up to replace the old stuff. So my writing style is the same way - I get bored with old ideas fast unless they can keep me coming up with new things. PTIS didn't do that. If I'm gonna write, I've learned, I have to either keep it short, or keep it super-fresh... or maybe I should say, super-random. That's my style.

mistysakura:
Hehe, I'm quite looking forward to your new work then! Do you have any advice for fellow writers?
Blademaster:
Advice...? Well... I guess the best advice I can give, based on experience, is to just be yourself when writing. Don't do what I did, and try taking on a huge project because you like someone else's take on it. Stick with what you know works, or you'll probably end up writing poorly and/or being unhappy with what you write.
It's like anything else in life: Just be yourself.

mistysakura:
On the note of "because you like someone else's take on it", how has your experience been with the fanfic community?
Blademaster:
What do you mean? Like, how has my work been received?

mistysakura:
Sorry about being vague. Yes, I do mean that, but also has knowing other fanfiction writers and readers been a positive thing? (Writing-wise, socially, whatever.)
Blademaster:
For the most part, my stuff has been well-received - complaints about my work have actually been directed more at flaws with the source than the story itself (incorrect card rulings in Yu-Gi-Oh! fics are the foremost example of this). But for the most part, I've been told I've improved. That makes me happy. As for knowing other fanficcers, it's been a bit of a pain in the ass at times, but I've made a lot of good friends this way. Mystic_clown, Mega Horny, and Master of Paradox are three of my best friends now, and it's in large part thanks to TPM's Fanfic section. I guess I should be thanking you guys in that sense. ^^;

mistysakura:
Because we're almightly influential gods and all. TPM's activity is dwindling; do you have any ideas that could make TPM a better place for you guys?
Blademaster:
(shrug) You could mod me. That might bring in some more traffic.

mistysakura:
Yeah why not :P Okay, I think we'll wrap up the interview here. Do you have anything else you'd like to say?
Blademaster:
Oh, I have tons more to say. But it probably wouldn't fit in the E-zine... or the forum, for that matter. Anyway, keep an eye out for me, Fanfic. I'm-a coming back!

mistysakura:
Thanks again, and I'll see you on the forum soon!
Blademaster:
Alright, thanks for the interview. Ciao.







A Writer's Life
By Lady Vulpix, with invaluable contributions by Weasel Overlord and mr_pikachu


So far, many articles have dealt with the subject of writing, and that makes sense as writing is a complex activity, and a vital aspect of the life of this forum. None of us would be here without it. This article is slightly different, in that it doesn't focus on the writing itself, but on the different aspects of a writer's life. After all, there's more to being a writer than the act of writing itself. If you don't write, I hope this article gives you an insight into what a writer's life is like. If you do, it may be interesting to see how much - or how little - we have in common.

We writers are complex creatures who spend most of our time juggling logic, emotions and language while looking for inspiration to get our next story started or to pin down those elusive fine details. And we often do this while juggling a busy schedule and an endless list of unpredictables that seem to conspire against our craft. And that is only the beginning.

They say that you know you're a writer when you wake up in the morning and can't think of anything but writing. In these days when multitasking has become a basic survival skill, I believe the inability to think of anything else no longer applies, but you still know you're a writer if you think about writing as soon as you wake up, before your body can be bothered to respond to your request of sitting up. And if you go to bed thinking of what you will write next, and then your ideas prevent you from getting any sleep, and you wish you could either get up and write them down or finally fall asleep and still remember them in the morning. You know you're a writer if you can never get bored, because you spend all your idle time thinking of new stories, either with the prospect of writing them down or simply to entertain yourself. You know you're a writer if the things you read, hear or see often remind you of things you have written, or give you ideas for future work. If every time you're stuck with an annoying task your greatest wish is that you could be writing instead and, even more, if you have ever felt grateful for the existence of annoying tasks because while performing them you've gathered many new ideas. You know you're a writer if you carefully watch the wording of everything you write, say or even think, to ensure that it has a correct syntactic structure, that you have chosen the right words and that you've left out any unwanted repetitions of words or phrases. And, above all, you know that you're a writer if you put your soul into everything you write.

This last issue is in fact quite complicated. It often makes for great writings, but it can just as easily cause a wide variety of problems. Because, while everything in the previous paragraph can prove that you're a writer, there's something that every writer needs for his or her work to be complete: readers.

As I have often said, writers are sensitive creatures. Readers sometimes are and sometimes aren't. Someone who has never written can't have a clear idea of what being a writer is like, so while many readers provide useful feedback that encourages the writers to improve their work and keep writing as much as possible, others make comments that hurt the writers deeply, usually with devastating effects. There are various ways of dealing with this. In some sad cases the writer will just stop writing. This is the worst that can happen, as he or she ends up hurt and frustrated and believes s/he has no talent, when there's a great chance that things could have improved if only s/he had continued writing instead of giving up. Writing is a complex art, learnt primarily through practice and continually improved by reading and interacting with both readers and other writers. We never stop learning, and our work never stops evolving. Pick any experienced writer and compare his or her first work with something recent, and the difference will be huge. There is also the fact that readers are voicing their opinions rather than stating absolute truths. There have been many cases in which a reader has disqualified a story just because he or she didn't like the genre, and not because there was something wrong with the story itself.

Another bad way of reacting to criticism or even suggestions from the readers is to throw away any previous plans and twist the content of the story in an attempt to please everyone. Some writers are so eager to please the readers that they will rush to fit all their suggestions and requests into the stories, and this often results in the story losing all meaning and coherence. Still, this is not as bad as giving up because, while that particular story is most likely ruined, the writer can learn from that experience and move forward.

But I'm drifting into the subject of dealing with input from readers and that has already been covered in a previous issue. If you're looking for advice on this subject, all I can say now is that you should try to filter the replies and incorporate only what you think is useful for you and suits your story. You may make note of other suggestions to include them in future works if you feel like it, and if you've received insults or disqualifying comments you should try to ignore them: it's the poster of those comments who's at fault, not you.

So, back to the topic of this article. Choosing what to write and how to write it is an issue, dealing with input from readers is an issue, dealing with lack of input from readers is a complicated issue, and finding the time to write can be so complicated that you may end up becoming an expert in time juggling. If you write, you've probably developed a set of strategies and tactics in order to get some writing done (if you haven't, you're invited to check this topic (http://www.pokemasters.net/forums/showthread.php?t=16460) and try any of the methods suggested there). Balancing planning and spontaneity is also a delicate task, especially for long-term projects. Each writer finds a different balance, but we all need to find one. Too much planning and the story will feel rigid and lifeless; too little planning and it will drift away from the initial plot and never come to an end. Plus, if you happen to write fanfiction and, more precisely, the kind of fanfiction that involves using other people's characters, staying true to the characters is an extremely complicated issue. If I had a hat, I would take it off before the few writers who have managed it successfully. On the other side writers may have to deal with other writers who make use of their creations without permission and completely mess them up. Even if you have given permission, it's painful to see your characters act in a way you know they wouldn't. Fortunately, these things can often be sorted out by talking to the other writer. If you have granted permission, you're now assuming the role of the reader and must be careful to get your point through without offending the other writer. If you haven't, you should still try to avoid name-calling while you tell the other writer what he or she should have done. If s/he persists, you can report it to the moderators.

...And the list goes on. There are lots of issues a writer has to deal with in everyday life. Knowing whether or not our writings are good is very complicated, as most of us have a tendency to bring ourselves down. Even flattery can be hard to deal with in some cases, possibly as a consequence of the former: the writer may feel at the same time required and unable to please the reader again next time.

In conclusion, writers are complex and sensitive creatures who deal with a wide range of issues in a delicate balance. So, if you see a writer, treat him or her nicely. :D



[Editor’s note: The following conversation delves further into the aforementioned subject – a writer’s life – and will thus be dubbed as ‘A Writer’s Life, Part II’]



Weasel Overlord:
So wow, did people really say that they'd not have a chance against me in the contests?! That's bizarre.
Lady Vulpix:
Why is it bizarre?
Weasel Overlord:
Cos I think other people are better writers than me... I guess I'm not used to people saying that.
Weasel Overlord:
I feel guilty for entering now ><
Lady Vulpix:
You shouldn't. We all like reading your stories.
Weasel Overlord:
Aw, thanks ^_^
Weasel Overlord:
Speaking of, I have another pirate story to post up, actually. A Valentine's Day present for my boyfriend.
Lady Vulpix:
Wow, can I borrow some talent?
Lady Vulpix:
I mean, I wish I could write so fast and so well.
Weasel Overlord:
To be honest, I can only write fast lately cos I'm kinda addicted to writing the pirates... They're just... fun, I guess. Most of the time, I have no ideas.
Lady Vulpix:
Ah. I know what that feels like. It happened to me with my 40 days novel (and all its untyped sequels) and my Battle Range stories.
Lady Vulpix:
I still miss the Dragon tamers Battle Range a lot.
Weasel Overlord:
Anyway, I really liked your contest entry that time. Sometimes I think people with English as a second language write better, cos I dunno, you seem to have more creativity with the words.
Weasel Overlord:
Hah yes, I tried NaNoWriMo this year... it failed at 11,000 words ><
Lady Vulpix:
It's still impressive. I wouldn't even dream of writing a whole novel in just 30 days.
Weasel Overlord:
The first week was... taxing but fun. Then it just got more desperate... the hardest thing is knowing that you're just churning out crap, lol. My inner editor was going crazy.
Lady Vulpix:
And thanks. I guess it may be because I'm not immersed in an English speaking culture that I phrase things in an uncommon way without knowing it.
Lady Vulpix:
My inner editor hates me.
Weasel Overlord:
Mine was crying at my NaNo effort... I've written about another paragraph since November... can't bear to look at the thing again.
Lady Vulpix:
Well, I was convinced that my contest entry was worthless.
Lady Vulpix:
I thought it had turned out as an empty cumulus of common places.
Weasel Overlord:
I think all writers have the same feeling though... I know I do. That's why I was so shocked to win Best Writer, heh.
Lady Vulpix:
That may also be why I was shocked to have received any votes at all.
Lady Vulpix:
But it's reviving, isn't it?
Weasel Overlord:
Yeah, it really is.
Lady Vulpix:
Back when I won Best Fantasy and Best Romantic Relationship I couldn't believe it either.
Weasel Overlord:
I remember last year my creative writing portfolio only came out with a 58 overall, and that was my entire term's work... that really brought me down, but stuff like responses on Fanfic has kinda... given me a slightly better opinion of my own writing.
Lady Vulpix:
Something like that happened to one of my friends too.
Lady Vulpix:
Sadly, he took the bad grades too seriously and I haven't seen her write anything ever since.
Weasel Overlord:
Aw, that's a shame.
Lady Vulpix:
It is. She was a great writer. And my only reader too.
Weasel Overlord:
I was lucky, I had my friend Plantae. He's a big old critic, and he helped me realise where I went wrong (mainly, it was because I put mostly fantasy in there, and they don't like it, don't the markers here)
Lady Vulpix:
Oh, that's awful! That's happened to me too.
Lady Vulpix:
What's with fantasy-haters? The worst thing is that they tell people their work is bad just because the genre doesn't match their personal tastes!
Weasel Overlord:
I know, it's terrible.
Weasel Overlord:
The thing is, I actually have to conform to the syllabus to get a good grade.
Lady Vulpix:
Ok, but as long as you know the reason, you can write what they want to read as long as they're grading you, and outside you can write whatever you want.
Weasel Overlord:
Yeah, that's true. Well, my tutor said that I could put my pirates in, even though it's fanfiction... she doesn't know it's fanfiction, mind, but I'm gonna change stuff to avoid plagiarism claims, heh.
Lady Vulpix:
Heh. More than once I've thought of making spin-offs of PCG stuff without the pokemon.
Weasel Overlord:
It's really fun! A lot of my stories are based on RPGs I've been in
Weasel Overlord:
It's useful as well cos the characters are already created, so it takes out a massive weight that you usually have to deal with.
Lady Vulpix:
It depends on who created them. At least in my case.
Weasel Overlord:
Aah yeah, you're right, it does.
Lady Vulpix:
If I ever write an Expedia spin-off, I'll probably have to use Amy's and Karin's characters.
Lady Vulpix:
I've never quite got over the fact that they both stopped playing right before a major event took place.
Weasel Overlord:
Sounds like RPG, that does.
Lady Vulpix:
It was a kind of RPG.
Lady Vulpix:
Who am I kidding? Remove the 'kind of' part. It was an RPG.
Weasel Overlord:
Heheh.
Lady Vulpix:
And it died right then. :-(
Lady Vulpix:
It couldn't go on without the two main players.
Weasel Overlord:
That is honestly the most frustrating thing ever! I can totally sympathise with you in that respect.
Lady Vulpix:
I guess we have a lot in common.
Weasel Overlord:
No kidding.
Weasel Overlord:
I like talking to you fanfic guys about writing ^_^
Weasel Overlord:
No-one else understands.
Lady Vulpix:
Me too. It makes me feel I'm not alone after all.
Weasel Overlord:
Like, earlier on, I ran into a friend's room and asked her what she would call the hole in the top of an urn (we finally decided on "mouth") but everyone looked at me like I was insane, heh.
Weasel Overlord:
I needed it for my story.
Lady Vulpix:
Hehe.
Lady Vulpix:
Well, I spent my whole adolescence secretly believing that I was insane.
Lady Vulpix:
I considered myself smart enough to hide it, but I believed that if anyone ever really got to know me, they'd want nothing to do with me.
Lady Vulpix:
So I felt really lonely.
Weasel Overlord:
Yeaah, people don't take kindly to people who sit quietly reading books.
Lady Vulpix:
Funny, my whole view of myself changed when my cousin Helena read "The 40 days" and said she loved it.
Weasel Overlord:
Family are always nice like that ^_^
Lady Vulpix:
Not all of them. My mum was my worst critic. Even worse than myself, if that's possible.
Lady Vulpix:
She didn't know she was hurting me, and apologized for that years later, but she did a lot of damage without knowing it.
Weasel Overlord:
Aaw.
Weasel Overlord:
That's the bad side of showing things to family members, if they say nasty things, it hurts SO much more.
Lady Vulpix:
It does.
Weasel Overlord:
I've only recently started letting my mum read my work.
Weasel Overlord:
And even though I know my boyfriend loves my writing, I'm still going to hide somewhere while he reads his story on Thursday ><
Lady Vulpix:
Do you shake inside when someone's reading your writings?
Weasel Overlord:
Yup.
Lady Vulpix:
Me too.
Weasel Overlord:
I shake almost too much to read out in my creative writing classes, STILL.
Weasel Overlord:
And my voice goes all chokey.
Lady Vulpix:
I haven't read my work aloud in years.
Weasel Overlord:
Unfortunately, we have to sometimes.
Weasel Overlord:
It's hard.
Lady Vulpix:
When I had to, I tried my best to think of the story alone, and not the listeners.
Weasel Overlord:
Haha, I remember I did that once, when I had to read out a bit of One Bad Week, and I couldn't stop giggling at the funny bits ><
Lady Vulpix:
Hehe.
Lady Vulpix:
I nearly did that sometimes.
Lady Vulpix:
And some phrases from my writings got stuck in my mind for years too. Like "en una verdulería, en medio de un lío de cajones". (At a greengrocer's in the middle of a mess of crates).
Weasel Overlord:
I always remember random phrases I've written, too!
Weasel Overlord:
Wow, I thought that was just me, heh.
Lady Vulpix:
No, it's not just you. And it seems it's not just me either. :-)
Lady Vulpix:
I was shocked when I found one of those phrases in the book Farenheit 451. "The river was real".
Weasel Overlord:
Haha wow, I bet that was random.
Lady Vulpix:
It was.
Lady Vulpix:
That one was from "The 40 days".
Weasel Overlord:
Cool ^_^
Lady Vulpix:
What I'm wondering now is whether I should continue writing Quest of Twelve or try something different.
Weasel Overlord:
How much do you think you have to write until the end?
Weasel Overlord:
It could be nice to have a change, then come back to it with a fresh mind.
Lady Vulpix:
2 or 3 more chapters, maybe. But no one seems to be reading it.
Weasel Overlord:
I bet people are secretly.







TMI Syndrome
Houndoom_Lover


Well, you’re probably wondering what that means, arn’tchya, well....Heh! Never fear, for Doctor WAR is here!

TMI, or Too Many (or Much, if you’re feeling saucy) Idea Syndrome is a condition when you have too many ideas. So many that they effect your writing, and in serious cases, prevented entirely. As a sufferer of TMI, I often float from story to story, typing where the muse will take me. The muse grows cold on one idea, and I jump to the next. Again, again, and again, until you feel like you have to stop- but if you do, you feel like you’re drowning in an idea. So what to do? Well, here are four easy and proven steps to let your thoughts flow free.


::Step One::
Calm Down- You won’t get anything done by psyching yourself out. “I’m doing too much”, “It won’t be good enough”, “I should slow down”, “I should stick with this”, “If I move on...”....This list could go on forever. Just calm down. Tell yourself you are not going to die anytime soon and move on to step two.

::Step Two::
Write It Out- You’re not going to get anywhere if you don’t get the idea out first. So, just write it out. If its not story worthy in your mind, write it out anyway, you’ll feel better. Who cares if you haven’t updated your main story this month, most people wait two months for their favourite graphic novel to come out. So, reeeelaaaax, and just write out your idea. You’ll feel better, I guarantee it.

::Step Three::
Enjoy- Nothing makes a story feel bad in your mind if you don’t enjoy writing it. If you force yourself to update when you don’t feel like it, you’ll end up hating the story. And if that happens, when you are in the mood, look back, and read it....take it in. Then go dive into stuff based on the thing you’re writing about. Then write yourself. Its a great feeling to know a story is wonderful awesome. So shake that nasty feeling of having too much to do! So what if people are waiting! when I have such ’silent’ episodes where I go a week or so with out updating I like to pretend they’re serving me on silver platters while a relax in a shady garden in mid-spring, Find your happy place. Listen to music. Close your eyes and...

::Step Four::
Go Where The Muse Takes You- Feel. If you feel a sudden urge to write something, then do it. Screw people who think its a bad idea. Even if it is, its no good keeping it trapped in your head. Let it out, and move on. Your brain will fill up again.

Remember, let it go, let it flow, and enjoy writing to the fullest.







[B]The Grammar Nazi – The Ties that Bind
mr_pikachu


(The Grammar Nazi is not affiliated in any way with Nazi Germany or Adolf Hitler.)

Now that you've learned almost all the parts of speech, it's time to finish by piecing them together. To do that, however, you need the filler words that act as glue for sentences – you need conjunctions.

Conjunctions, to put it simply, link words and phrases. Coordinating conjunctions, for instance, join items that are equal in importance. Traditionally, most English scholars say that there are seven coordinating conjunctions: for, and, nor, but, or, yet, and so. (Some of you may enjoy the abbreviation FANBOYS.) Some scholars debate whether all of these terms are true coordinating conjunctions, but their usage is clear in practice.

Example: "Bill and Ted had an excellent adventure, but their movie was too short."


Correlative conjunctions are pairs of conjunctions used to organize two items. For instance, the sentence "Both Bugs and Daffy were famous characters," two conjunctions (identified by italics) are used to sort the nouns "Bugs" and "Daffy." Other examples include either ... or, neither ... nor, and so forth. Note that some of these words may also be coordinating conjunctions; many of them are not limited to a single purpose.


Subordinating conjunctions deserve special attention, as they are involved in one of the most common mistakes in English grammar. The only use for a subordinating conjunction is to introduce a dependent clause. In case you have forgotten, a dependent clause is a phrase that cannot stand on its own as a sentence. Consider, for instance, the following sentence:

"I can't win the race if you do."

Here, the conjunction "if" links "I won't win the race," an independent clause, and "you do," a dependent clause. The latter clause must be tied to the former in order to be grammatically correct; the conjunction makes this possible. You should be careful of linking fragments haphazardly and creating run-on sentences, but don't leave them all alone either.


Be aware that, as with many other parts of speech, conjunctions may sometimes come in the form of phrases such as "so that" rather than individual words. Also, while we may be tempted to break lists into separate sentences during casual speech, this creates major grammatical problems in text. Don't say, "And then we went to the park." There's no need for "And" in the first place, and it will make your writing seem amateurish to the trained eye. Some conjunctions are allowed to begin sentences, but it's inappropriate to throw them around for a list.

Conjunctions, as some of the smallest and least important words in the English language, are often overlooked when we study writing. In fact, readers generally shouldn't notice them either. Let them sit in the background as the glue for what you want to say. When people notice your conjunctions instead of your adjectives, verbs, and nouns, you've got a problem.



http://www.fborfw.com/strip_fix/strips/2006/december/d2b/061207goe.gif

Lady Vulpix
1st May 2008, 02:07 PM
Nice issue! I liked the interview and H_L's article. And I hope Brian's article turns out to be helpful for some of the newer writers. By the way... what about polysyndetons?

I'm wondering about the editorial... why did you feel the need to bring a religious discussion to the E-Zine, and where did you get the idea that other cultures aren't meant to honor their parents during the rest of the year? "Honor your mother and father" is one of the 10 commandments after all.

Anyway, I hope that doesn't divert the attention from the forum-related articles.
I'd like to thank Houndoom_Lover for her contribution. It's nice to get "fresh blood" here, and it was an interesting article. :)

firepokemon
1st May 2008, 08:46 PM
I didn't read the Mother's Day thing. Sorry but not really my thing and like Lady_Vulpix, I'm not sure it suited being in the e-zine.

I found the interview with Blademaster to be interesting, you could definately see that personality of his coming through in the interview. I thought that maybe his ideas around fanfiction could have been expanded, but, otherwise its fine.

The "A Writer's Life" piece was excellently written. I couldn't believe how easy it was to sit there and read it. So kudos to you, for having the ability to write like that. I thought the piece made a lot of sense, and although I would never consider myself a writer, I still found things in there that made me think. Interesting about writers being discouraged thanks to criticism. Clearly I am missing something, for I could never see how people could be as nasty as to blatantly discourage people. The second piece, the interview with Weasel Overlord was interesting, although I couldn't really tell what you people were talking about half the time. I guess I need to read these stories or something.

Houndoom_Lover's piece was also good. I think its not only writers who have such problems, but everyone else who is working on a project of some sort. Often one can find engagement again in their fan-fiction or writing is by just reading your story again. Often you can find bits and pieces that can inspire yourself to write another chapter or something. Oh and I really have to agree with, if you have good ideas, or bountiful ideas write themselves. I'm always guilty of not writing anything and then you lose those ideas. So agree with this point. Also its quite funny, in that both pieces written by Lady Vulpix and Houndoom_Lover seem to flow so well together. As both tackle similar issues.

I didn't read Mr. Pikachu's piece, not that it was horrible or anything. But I think I could well do with reading his previous issues before looking into contractions.

Overall, as this is really my first time reading one of these. I thought it was well written and reminded me of the old reports TPM use to have back in 2000 and 2001. Which, I also enjoyed reading and would always make me ponder. So well done. And are there any news as to how the Hall of Fame is working out?

Houndoom_Lover
1st May 2008, 10:29 PM
^___^ Hehehe, thanks everyone!! And...religion! I can do that! I pwn religion ^w^! Of course, now the next issue will all be religion! XD Won't that be funny? *blushes* Aw, shucks guys! *wiggles about* Everything is super duper as always! A better read them my local newspaper (Though people did dress up as Zombies to raise money for the foodshelter...beat that. Oh, yeah, you can't! XD)

I can't say how happy I am that my article was enjoyed and useful! ^.^ Only Chuck Norris can say the words. They're too extreme for me! Wow, I'm on like, a life-sugar-zombie high right now. ^_^ Good Article, nice interviews, and everything else was smashing...like an atom! Bizzam! *zooms out*

Blademaster
2nd May 2008, 03:49 AM
I found the interview with Blademaster to be interesting, you could definately see that personality of his coming through in the interview. I thought that maybe his ideas around fanfiction could have been expanded, but, otherwise its fine.

Yeah, I thought it was kinda short, but... Hey. My primary concern at the time was just surviving the damn thing. >>' I suck at interviews.

Lady Vulpix
2nd May 2008, 12:56 PM
Thank you, firepokemon! :)

And yes, sadly, that has happened many times.

mistysakura
2nd May 2008, 10:50 PM
Hehe, loved the comic, Brian. Of course, the article too. Yeah, I don't think either Blade or I were having a particularly good day when we did that interview... mental blocks on my part, at least. I enjoyed the conversation between Gabi and Weas. I can't say I have problems conforming to the syllabus (if anything, my writing has steadily gone towards the literary norm over the years), but you guys portrayed the difficulties of having people truly appreciate your work very well. And Weas is right -- you do have a unique way with your words. The article itself was also illuminating, although I don't have the writer's drive the way you do, Gabi. Houndoom_Lover's article resonated with me the most. Thanks! Often I'll have these seedlings of ideas floating in my head, but I don't actually produce much because most of the ideas don't amount to anything. But if there's one thing creative writing class has taught me, it's to write out and fully explore all my ideas so at least I have something to hand in before the deadline. And usually at least one of the ideas works and I'm happy. You're totally right about enjoying writing and not holding back.

darktyranitar
3rd May 2008, 05:53 AM
Hey, welcome to the fanfiction E-zine, firepokemon =) I'm glad you enjoyed the issue as much as I enjoyed it; while you're here, may I suggest that you read the past E-zine issues? (You can find them in the Completed Fanfiction Archive, mind you)

And news regarding the fanfiction's Hall of Fame? Rest assured, it's going on steadily. Yes, maybe it's a bit slow - with no news on it so far - but it is still alive, we can assure you that. Expect to see something real soon, insya Allah.

Ah yes, regarding the little piece of writing there...

Gabi, I'm glad you did mention about the Ten Commandment; to be honest, the article was actually written more of a sort of... self reminder; something I have been pondering upon... yes, something like that. Initially, I was planning to go for a short history on Mother's Day – or something quite similar - but I changed that in the last minute. And given that it was something that came at the last minute, I haven't really done an in-depth research before posting said article. I do recall that there seem to be a call for respecting one's parents in the Ten Commandment (I only confirm it after reading your reply), but as I have said earlier, I didn't study of the subject beforehand. And now that you mention it, yes, there are indeed other cultures that does respect their parents throughout the year - just as there are Muslim that does not pay due respect to their parents.

My only regret about the article was that I haven't done proper research on the subject. But about bringing a religion discussion here in the first place? No, I did not regret bringing a religious discussion here; in fact, I wouldn't mind if others were to discuss about their respective religions as well (BUT. Given that they are serious about it - I don't think there's anything wrong, really, in taking your religion seriously - and would respect other’s religion/belief, and does not resort to mocking or bashing other religion/belief). So should we divide religion? To "keep it in its right place"; as if it does not govern the whole life?

To quote Al-Hajj Malik Al-Shabazz @ Malcolm X: " Islam is my religion, but I believe my religion is my personal business. It governs my personal life, my personal morals. And my religious philosophy is personal between me and the God in whom I believe; just as the religious philosophy of these others is between them and the God in whom they believe." And the words rang true: my religion governs my personal life and personal morals - just as your religion govern your life and personal moral. But this is not a call for discrimination or hating, nay: instead of discriminating each other, we should instead seek a common ground; a common understanding. And that is the best way.

Thank you for making me realize this, Gabi: that I still have a lot to learn regarding the subject of religion - of Islam, and of other religion - but I'm willing and open to learn more. Jazakallahu khayran.


Nevertheless, I am quite happy with this month's issue =). I do hope this can continue for future issues, insya Allah.

Blademaster
3rd May 2008, 09:25 AM
I know I'm gonna regret this later, but...


So should we divide religion? To "keep it in its right place"; as if it does not govern the whole life?

...When you're an atheist (for lack of a better term), it does not govern the whole life.

Heald
3rd May 2008, 09:28 AM
I know I'm gonna regret this later, but...



...When you're an atheist (for lack of a better term), it does not govern the whole life.
Surely 'not' should be in bold, unless I suck at subtext.

Blademaster
3rd May 2008, 11:07 AM
Well, the exact emphasis was on 'as if it does not.' My reply was that it FLAT-OUT does not, hence the emphasis on the positive and not the negative.

Gavin Luper
15th May 2008, 02:54 AM
Forgot to reply earlier. This was a great issue - all the articles and interviews were interesting and fresh. My favourite piece was definitely Gabi's article A Writer's Life - I could relate to most of it, and it's nice to know that so many of us are in the same boat. Also, it was really relieving to hear that Lady Vulpix and Weasel Overlord share similar concerns as I do when it comes to sharing their writing with friends or, especially, family. When they mentioned about "shaking inside" while other people read your stuff, that resonated perfectly with me.

Also, Brian's Grammar Nazi article reminded me of some recent stuff we did in language class. *identifies with FANBOYS on both levels* Hee hee.

Sending this to the archive, then!