View Full Version : The Fanfiction Forum E-zine ~ January 2008

1st January 2008, 03:24 AM
3, 2, 1… and we’re on air.

Welcome to the January 2008 issue of the Fanfiction E-zine! Your host for today is mistysakura. January marks the beginning of yet another eventful year in Fanfic, so I’d like to wish you all a happy new year with your resolutions fulfilled (*diewriter’sblockdie*). 2007 has been a busy year for Fanfic, with successful initiatives such as the Writing Contests (please don’t kill us, I swear the results for the November contest will come) and the Fanfic Synopsis Thread. Of course, the Fanfiction E-zine itself was released in 2007 and today happens to be its first birthday. We promise that the second year of E-zine publication will be filled with more interesting articles, insightful interviews and enlightening comics. The biggest event of the year so far has been the Golden Pens, and these too were highly successful with a record number of participants. And with the Golden Pens comes its twin…

Silver Pencils 2007: Incoming Transmission!

The Silver Pencils are once again upon us! As the nominations phase begins, look out for new categories like the much-needed Best Character Development and the daring additions of Worst Writer's Block and Best Potential Screenplay. Any TPM member may make nominations, so take this chance to give your favorite Fanficcers and fanfics the chance for the highest accolades around. Don't procrastinate, nominate!

And it’s back to mistysakura for the e-zine guide. January’s issue brings to you:

Conversations with the Stars – Bulbasaur4
Lady Vulpix

Becoming a God

Manga Literature: A Guide

The Grammar Nazi – When I say "jump," you say "how high?"

That’s it for the month. This is mistysakura, signing off.

Conversations with the Stars – Bulbasaur4
Lady Vulpix

Lady Vulpix: Ok, let's start with the obligatory question: how long have you been writing?
Bulbasaur4: Hmm... I can remember writing stories since second grade. Our teacher would then make them into hardcover books for us- cheap little ones. Heh, my first story was about a Cheetah named Russel, but back then I wrote to make the other second graders laugh. You can imagine the type of humor that would contain.

Lady Vulpix: Wow, you had your stories made into hard-cover books? That must have felt good.
Bulbasaur4: Oh it was great and fueled all of us to write more. The best part was then drawing the illustrations with crayons and markers!

Lady Vulpix: And since then, have you never stopped writing?
Bulbasaur4: Never. I think around fourth or fifth grade I didn't write as much but then in 6th grade I stumbled upon the Pokemasters and started writing for the site back when it had a fan fiction section. I've been writing whenever I have time since!

Lady Vulpix: Back when it had a fan fiction section? On the main site, right? As opposed to the fanfic forum.
Bulbasaur4: Yeah, you can still find it online on the archived site.

Lady Vulpix: Ah. So, what have you written more? Fanfiction or original fiction?
Bulbasaur4: It probably is equal. I wrote a lot of Fan Fiction when I was younger about Dragon Ball Z for a spell and then lots of pokemon ones. However, they never were really serious projects and poorly done when I look back at them now! Today I write original fiction, just because I have so many of my own ideas in my head that I need an outlet. Fan fiction just takes away part of the fun I have with writing. I don't mind doing short stories with them though and I'm thinking of redoing an original fan fiction project I did when I was in sixth grade but other than that... its Divinity and GATE all the time!

Lady Vulpix: Heh. I can see the dedication you've put into your latest work. It's giving great results.
Bulbasaur4: I'm honored that you took a look at it. ^_^

Lady Vulpix: I'd ask you why, but this is your interview, not mine. ;)
Lady Vulpix: So, why do you find writing original fiction more fun than writing fan fiction?
Bulbasaur4: Probably because I'm a bit of a creative nut. I just love coming up with everything in a story- characters, settings, plotlines... the whole thing. An idea will just hit me out of the blue and I'll think, "Man, that'd be great to add to my story." Then it'll just spur from there- and the inspirations are everywhere for me! However, with Fan Fiction it is a little more difficult....
Bulbasaur4: Depending on what you're using from the Fan Fiction; it takes away some of that creativity. The setting might be predetermined, the characters or something like that. It usually isn't a big deal, but I'm crazy... I just love coming up with those things! I love creating my own little mini-world and drawing maps for it and just creating the whole thing from scratch. Its like making brownies- they might taste the same if you make them from the box, but you feel more accomplished if you made them from your own ingredients!

Lady Vulpix: So you make brownies too?
Bulbasaur4: Yes! I love making desserts and all my friends poke fun at me and my love for sugar. I'm rather addicted.

Lady Vulpix: Hehe.
Lady Vulpix: Ok, so how did you come up with the ideas for your 2 latest fics?
Bulbasaur4: Oh I have to think about this... let's see. GATE actually was designed to be a comic at first. Dr.McNinja was going to write the words, I was going to draw the panels and we together were going to come up with the story. However, at the time I didn't feel up to laboring over the manga project so we switched it to a story. I'm not sure who came up with the idea... but it was a joint effort. I originally spurred the idea I believe, thinking crazy characters and Dr.McNinja helped create a plot for those characters and then we cleaned it out together. We have a lot of fun talking about it and as we speak, he's writing the next chapter (with my nudge!) Divinity is more fun to talk about, as far as ideas go, in my opinion. I first came up with the idea during a snowball fight with my friend.
Bulbasaur4: We were playing in the snow and it just made my imagination go wild- thinking about a wilderness, adding some character traits from my friends. So after that I wrote the first chapter in Divinity. Then my friend created a forum based off Divinity and I put together a map of the world. The forum died, but it helped supply me with character ideas. Believe it or not, the Gaishan character is directly based off Dr.McNinja's own creation from that forum!

Lady Vulpix: Wow. I wonder if my stories would be any better if we had snow here.
Lady Vulpix: Is that map still available?
Bulbasaur4: Yep, I've added a few new things to it since then. I should probably scan it and supply it to my readers at one point.

Lady Vulpix: That would be nice.
Bulbasaur4: ^_^;

Lady Vulpix: Tell me, what do you think about the readers' reactions to your writings?
Bulbasaur4: I love them and they're just as addicting as sugar! I really don't have much of a preference when it comes to comments- just getting them is a big reward. I do love it when people stick with a story though, it lets me know I'm captivating them enough to continue reading. Every time someone replies, I feel like writing another chapter. It just helps immensely- I'm the type of person who responds well to positive feedback. Oh, but I do like it when people pick out a specific character, setting or plot point that they enjoyed the most and then they tell me why. It helps me write future chapters, since I know what they're enjoying and I can play off of that.

Lady Vulpix: Is there any character you enjoy writing the most?
Bulbasaur4: Hmmm... that's hard. I'd say it switches, depending on what is happening in the fic. Currently I'm looking forward to writing for Keishun, but as far as plot development goes... I really can't wait for readers to find out more about Alexiel. But then again, I love them all. From Gaishan's growing pains to Christian's rough attitude. In GATE, well... the little crazy guy that will come out again later will probably be my favorite.

Lady Vulpix: And do you read other people's fics?
Bulbasaur4: Yeah, although I really need to catch up to the fics so I can comment on the sequels! Currently I'm trying to catch up on all of classy's works and I've read all of Kachi wo Sagashite per request. I tend to go read a chapter of random fics and then eventually hopefully I'll catch up. I'm almost done with Fall of a Leader, Communication and Faiz's DP fic.
Bulbasaur4: It's hard to pick which to read too, since a lot of good fics I want to read are sequels so I tend to go to the archive and read there.

Lady Vulpix: You take requests?!
Bulbasaur4: I have a few people that ask me to read and critique, so I read and then do a rough critique. I'm not about to say, 'Well, I want to read this other fic at my leisure first..." I just put off whatever I'm reading and read the urgent person's first. I figure if someone wants my opinion, then I should be honored to read their fic because they think my advice is helpful. And I love being helpful.
Bulbasaur4: That's up there with sugar too.

Lady Vulpix: ^_^
Bulbasaur4: :3

Lady Vulpix: Ok, so back to reading. If you're free to choose, what kind of things do you like reading the most?
Bulbasaur4: I love reading fantasy novels, especially ones that have a lot of mystery in them and keep you guessing. I also enjoy reading manga, magazines and a few mystery novels.

Lady Vulpix: Any recommendations?
Bulbasaur4: Definitely the book, "The Sight" by David Clement-Davies, and his other book "Firebringer." "The Sight" is probably my all-time favorite book, being that it is a large fantasy novel that centers around a pack of wolves and their lore. The book uses the lore to create a lot of mystery and it keeps you guessing 'till the very end! It had a great ending too... really moving. It combines all my favorites into one: Fantasy, mystery, lore and wolves- oh, and snow! The description in the book is really beautiful too.

Lady Vulpix: ^_^
Lady Vulpix: Ok, so... has any aspect of writing ever given you trouble?
Bulbasaur4: Other than grammar? XD (When I publish Divinity, I'll leave that to my Creative Writing prof! heh!) Hmm... well, excluding grammar I'd say usually settings give me trouble. I have a hard time with the balance of what is too much and what is too little. Actually, writing my "Redecorating Your Settings" article in the E-zine helped myself get my ideas straight. It is a constant battle because I love detail but I usually abuse it too. At this given moment, Divinity is giving me problems with time lines... since there is an intricate timeline that I have to make sure I follow in the story.

Lady Vulpix: Do you plan ahead a lot?
Bulbasaur4: Not usually... but with Divinity it is a must. There's a reason the latest chapters have, "DAY 1" or "DAY 2" clearly marked... and because I'm adding a new time element to Divinity, I have to keep track or else in the end it won't be as impacting.

Lady Vulpix: Interesting. So you've set yourself a new challenge, have you?
Bulbasaur4: Yep! I'm hoping that it'll pay off in the end. I get twisted pleasure in trying to emotionally tie readers into the characters- you know, really make them invest- and then throwing them for loops. You can't really care about a book if you don't care about a character or two... so I think in adding a new element, it'll help cause events that will really dedicate a reader towards a character. Big events bring out big aspects in all of them. ^_^

Lady Vulpix: So it's a trap! XD
Bulbasaur4: XD

Lady Vulpix: Ok, then... Any words of advice for your fellow writers and unsuspecting readers?
Bulbasaur4: Hmm..
Bulbasaur4: Don't sell yourself short. There are a lot of obstacles in writing and a lot of things can bring you down: lack of time, lack of confidence, lack of readers etc... but approach writing with tenacity. You are a fantastic writer- no matter what "level" you may or may not be, because you have potential. Every writer has potential... but it is up to them to really push themselves to uncover their talents. If you keep pushing, keep trying and keep writing... I promise that in the end it'll be rewarding. You'll eventually get that comment you're looking for or get that one problematic scene written down. Just use time, patience and positive vibes!

Lady Vulpix: Thanks a lot. :)
Bulbasaur4: Thank you! This was fun! :3

Becoming a God

I cackle madly sometimes at the thought of creating a new twist or turn for my characters. This usually happens with my characters created in the RPG forum, mainly because alas, I do not love them as much as the characters from my stories. Call me a little power hungry, but it’s nice sometimes to play god and control another world at my whim. I can do anything and the story molds itself at my command! It almost seems that if you are the creator than you create the rules and there are no faults, no flaws because in your eyes- what you create is masterful! Yet, alas… even as gods we should perhaps take a step back and realize that when it comes to creating our stories, it is important to take a ‘godly’ approach. Not sure what I mean? Read on!


When a writer first starts writing a story, there are no rules. The main goal is to take your idea and shove it onto a piece of paper so you don’t lose it. (Ideas are delicate things, like butterflies in a net!) You don’t need to know the ending or really see the direction of the story… because it is just beginning. Sure, you probably know a thing or two about the characters, the world and the gist of the plot- but it all is skin deep. The information known is just enough so that you can get a feel for where exactly the story is really going. So, in essence “the spark” of a writer’s story is the first few chapters. However, once those first few chapters are established you need to take a break from the action of writing. There are a few things that need to be established before you should carry on.


In a novel, the writer has to take a step back and establish the world. Perhaps not necessarily in the story, but you need to know as much as possible about the setting that the story is in. This is essential for most stories in which the characters are traveling or events happen in different locations. So, what should you do? Get out a pen or pencil and draw it! Do not be alarmed! Even if you’re not the best sketcher in the world, a rough copy will do. Just establish the location that the story takes place. Draw a continent or the entire world- label key cities that have happened in your story (and any future cities you’ve thought of.) Any locations you know will take place or have take place should be placed upon this map. Draw triangles for mountains, fluffy little clouds for trees and thick squiggles for rivers! This is essential so that you don’t trip over your own foot! When characters travel, constancy is important or else you’ll confuse your readers and your illusion of a world will be destroyed. The map is your guide so that when your characters travel or refer to locations, they’re properly referring to the locations. You don’t want to say your characters travel south to a city, when earlier on you said the city was north! Plus, doing this allows for a great traveling structure and saves you a big headache later on if you need to go back and find out the location of a certain area.

BONUS IDEA: Want to do even more with your world? Establish a descriptive climate. For each important location or area in the climate, go into detail what the environment is like. What is the average temperature? What is the terrain exactly like- are the mountains lush with vegetation or barren? Does it rain a lot? How much rain does it get? Just make sure that your environment adds up- a place that gets too much rain should be muddy and lush, not dry and barren! (Obviously.)

Keep the idea of locations and environments in mind! It’ll help later on…


Now you have an idea, literally, where your characters are heading. But maybe don’t move them forward yet. A world is filled with creatures of all types and sizes. Sure you can just use earth-related animals to keep things simple. But feel free to get creative and create your own animals! Otherwise, if you fail to make a few notes here or there about wildlife in your story, it could seem a little… empty. After all, a world with just your characters and a few cities is a little dull. So go wild! If your story has a desert, think of creatures that live in a desert here on Earth. Now perhaps take those creatures, and modify them a little to make them unique. Depending on your story, you can modify them to make them fit in your setting even more! There isn’t a need to draw them if you wouldn’t like (although visuals are great guides), you can keep a little extra Word document that lists each creature by location with a brief description. I find it fun… maybe so will you!

BONUS IDEA: Remember animals are social creatures too. So don’t single them out all the time. Seeing one unique animal is great, but seeing a whole herd of them can be fantastic! Also keep in mind if these animals are nomadic, social, predatory, etc… or whatnot. Again, it might not be necessary… but it will help establish your story’s world in your mind and it will help you write. Trust me. It sets the mood!


You could start writing now that you have a few more things established. However, I encourage you take breaks and take the time to perhaps add even more notes about your story. Another key aspect to a story is culture. If you look at our world today, each different location in the entire world has its own customs, social norms and subtle (or not so subtle) differences. The same should happen in your story. Not every city that your characters come across or every home your character enters is going to be the same. If you’re dealing with different households, think about how the head of the households were raised and how they would act because of that. If you’re talking different countries, then think of their environment! For example, a group of people who live in the desert might travel a great deal because of the harsh environmental conditions. So how would that affect their behavior? What traditions could be started from living in a desert? Etc…

BONUS IDEA: All characters are individuals stemmed from different places of origin (or can be). When writing their actions and language, remember where they come from. This will give them a flair of personality! To keep with the desert example: If you have a character who originally lived in a nomadic desert society and they travel to a place with a lot of water; think about how awe-inspired they could be at the sight of so much water! Or perhaps it scares them a great deal as well. There are a lot of things you can do. Oh, and don’t forget that characters might have accents or different ways of speaking due to their origins!


This is a quicker suggestion, but in a story there should be history. Every character has a past, just as every world has a history. Perhaps take a few notes, look at your map and anything else you have created and think of what events the world might have undergone. (You can scale it down to cities, houses or even families as well.) Knowing a bit of the history can give you some fuel to your writing fire- your characters can make references to past events or it can shape how they act and add to their character once again.

BONUS IDEA: Mythology can also be a useful tool. Does your world have one big religion or many different religions? Are there Gods? Do the people believe there were Gods? If so, write out the basis for those religions or the names of the Gods. Give them some legends or add some lore. You never know how useful this can be.


This process is never ending when writing. You can always go back and add more to your map, create a new creature, add another society or create another religion. Don’t fret about getting all of it done- because in reality, that would be impossible. However, getting a good chunk of it started can essential to helping write a story. With these references, they can supply you with a mountain of ideas and help you create a believable story that exists in a believable world. If you don’t do this, it’s like writing a story that takes place in a white room or creating a story with no backbone. A story is far more fun when it gives the reader more fuel to imagine- and an expansive world is an extremely large chunk of wood.

So there my fellow Creator Gods, that is my advice given to you. Keep in mind that while your story might not have a lot of travels or a large setting, it still has a world! Just because it might not be big doesn’t mean these steps are any less important. Remember that these steps are for you, the writer, and by no means will be in your entire story (and they shouldn’t). But hey, you might just have fun doing these things too!

Manga Literature: A Guide

1.0 Introduction to Manga Literature

What exactly is Manga Literature? The two words themselves represent nothing. They are just two words with no relation being put together. Manga (漫画) is just the Japanese word for comics and printed cartoons. Literature on the other hand purely means written works related by subject-matter. So if we combine both words together, Manga Literature symbolises the Japanese adaptation for both written and graphical novels. Looking at the popping outs of Manga Literature works these days, let Dark-san, TPM's resident anime otaku, take you on ABC steps of producing it.

2.0 Preparation and Planning

What are the differences in the secrets to success behind every war fought and business proposals submitted to clients? The truth is that there are no differences. The secrets are all the same. Strategies! No winning battle is fought blindly. Behind your charging infantries, there are always hundreds of military tacticians and scholars planning when to strike, what strategy to apply on certain conditions, whether nuclear or missiles are used etc. All these decisions are properly made before the troops are even sent out.

Hence dealing with Manga Literature is also the same as your battles and business proposals; you first have to understand your target readers. Some Manga scriptwriters feel that if they considered understanding their target readers as their first step, it would hinder or restrict the way they maneuver around their plot. Hence many scriptwriters neglect this basic step. For beginners, I strongly discourage this. After all, understanding your desired audience sets up the spine for the plot to slowly develop. It is not a matter of restriction at all; it is an issue of whether the writer follows a winning formula or develops his own. In short, it is a case of Adaptation against Originality.

2.1 Originality

To begin, Originality is not just a simple task. In fact, it is the tougher of the two. Firstly, you do not have a starting idea to begin with. Secondly, you need come up with twice the effort for doing up the work piece. Doing adequate research is the key ingredient to a successful original work piece. You can either take a safer route to have your fanfic directly zoomed down on a typical Japanese setting. If that is the case, there is not much research to do, just basic research done and you are good to go. For the more adventurous ones, you can try to absorb a different culture and the process of 'nippon-ising' it. The advantage of this process is that you can be as creative as you can be and no one could fault you. However beware that being creative might be a bad thing, since most writers write way out of point. If they are doing Manga Literature, they should concentrate more on the Japanese aspects.

Detective Loki Ragnarok (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Mythical_Detective_Loki_Ragnarok) is one example. It has its characters modelled after the gods of the ancient Norse mythology like Thor and Odin. The combination of Norse mythology and the Japanese aspects sounds like adding chilli instead of tomato sauce to your ordinary Italian pizza. The series is able to blend both cultures together. They have the genre changed to detective story (following the success of Detective Conan (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Detective_Conan) and Kindaichi (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kindaichi_Case_Files)) and have the characters participate in a typical Japanese high school.

Besides those mentioned above, there are also several ways of throwing in the Japanese elements. One common example in a lot of work would be to give Japanese names to your characters. Sometimes even to the extent that even though your character is not a Japanese, they still possess one. Setsuna F. Selei (the male lead from Gundam 00 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mobile_Suit_Gundam_00)) was of Middle Eastern origins and yet he was assigned a Japanese Codename. Other more common ones are the inclusion of Tea preparation ceremony, having Onigiri for lunch, or even Ninjas and Samurais -- just naming a few. In recent Anime and Manga production, parodies from other Animes/ Mangas could also be used.

2.2 Adaptation

Though being the simpler of the two, it also has some conditions that a writer should follow. It is not a child’s play case of simply following and reproducing a winning formula from another Manga work. You do not just capture every single detail since that would be merely copying. The adaptation that we are talking about here is to capture the very essence of the original work piece. To do that, the writer has to follow the temporal/ mood of the Anime/ Manga he based his fanfic on. Character development hence takes a bigger role here.

3.0 Trend Observation

The very nature of your Manga Literature fanfic could be either written or pictorial as the name had suggested. To start of with, there are already several fabulous work pieces being done by your TPMers. Written Manga Literature fanfics are all around your forum from your usual Duel Monsters fanfic to Roy's Kachi (http://www.pokemasters.net/forums/showthread.php?t=16300). Pictorial ones are rare with Kalah's Rapagania (http://www.pokemasters.net/forums/showthread.php?t=16683) and Ex- fanart mod Agent Elrond's Iron Wizard (http://www.pokemasters.net/forums/showthread.php?t=11773&highlight=iron+wizard). From these, I could see that written fanfics are usually the Adaptations (Duel Monsters fanfic from Yu-Gi-Oh (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yu_gi_oh) and Roy's Kachi from Full Moon (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Full_Moon_wo_Sagashite)) while pictorial fanfics are based on Originality. I encourage to those, who can draw, to make an effort to produce your work piece, be it adaptation or original, in pictorial form. Though it is really hard work but everybody here knows that a picture speaks a thousand words.

3.1 Pictorial - Facial and bodily features

Much of the artwork varies depending on the circle which you belong to. However the most distinct features that differentiate an English comic from a Japanese Manga would be the facial features. What do the characters from Kalah's Rapagania (http://www.pokemasters.net/forums/showthread.php?t=16683) and Ex- fanart mod Agent Elrond's Iron Wizard (http://www.pokemasters.net/forums/showthread.php?t=11773&highlight=iron+wizard) have in common? It is their eyes. The eyes that most Japanese animated characters have are bigger than their noses and mouth.


However, many people disagree with the fact that the characters should have their eyes drawn in this way. Hayao Miyazaki (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hayao_Miyazaki), a famous Studio Ghilbi director, is known for not having large eyes and having realistic hair colors on his characters. But remember we are doing fanfic works not professional Anime artwork. I would suggest that the writers stick to their 'big eyes' format and give what their readers desire and what they are used to seeing.

Other bodily features to consider are the limbs' length or even the character's height. For limbs’ length, CLAMP Productions (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clamp_%28manga_artists%29) famously loves to extend their character's limbs and in the process make them looked like gorillas. The artwork is portrayed in their productions, Tsubasa Chronicle (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tsubasa:_Reservoir_Chronicle) and XXXholic (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xxxholic). You could also decide on your characters' height: whether you want their height to be the norm or your preference towards a 'chibi'- styled (dwarfed) character design. An Anime example would be Binchotan (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Binch%C5%8D-tan_%28anime%29).

3.2 Pictorial - Logical body movement

It is very difficult for me to describe this section in words. So I will give an example. For those who have participated in uniformed groups like Boys Scout or even Girl Guide, you should understand the basics of marching. A standardised marching starts off with the arm swinging to 90 degrees perpendicular to your torso. At the same time, your left leg would take a step forward. The moment you took a step with your left foot, your right arm should have swung downwards. And the second cycle now starts with the left arm swinging perpendicularly and your right foot takes a step. This two cycle process repeats itself until a command is given for you to halt. Take note of the action sequences here, first cycle starts off with both right arm and left leg while the second cycle starts off with the left arm and right leg.

To my shock, I have seen people drawing Mangas with scenes of soldiers marching. The characters start off the first cycle with both the right arm and right leg and the second cycle with the left arm and left leg. Do you get it? If you still do not understand, why don't you try to do it first in the way which I had described and the way which the Manga writers had drawn out?

Get it now?

The most important aspect for graphical novels is to be logical. You cannot have a Manga scene of a certain character to start licking their elbows with their tongues, right? (Unless of course if you are Orochimaru.)

4.0 TPM's genre choice

Like what was repeated in the beginning, the secret to the success of your fanfic is giving what the targeted readers want by understanding them from the start. Even in modern times, professional producers too make mistakes due to their lack of preparation. All of us have witnessed how the scriptwriter of Gundam Seed Destiny (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seed_destiny) had to do a last minute main character swap from Shin Asuka to Kira Yamato. True, viewing ratings were back to normal but then the damage had already been done. The anime critics promptly shot the series down after the sudden unannounced change.

To do that, two polls were conducted in different intervals, 7th May 2004 (http://www.pokemasters.net/forums/showthread.php?t=8686&highlight=anime+lover) and 2nd April 2006 (http://www.pokemasters.net/forums/showthread.php?t=13053&highlight=what+anime+lover),oth clearly asking for the opinions of the general TPM community about their preferred anime genre. For the first poll of the eighteen participants, 50% had action as one of their most preferred genre types. This is an interesting fact since there is an even mix of genders agreeing to it. However most of the TPMer females also indicated romance, making up 5 of the total participants. Fast forward two years later, the pattern is also observed. Action still garners the most votes at 30.47%, while romance has seen a remarkable increase to 21.73%.

I am a Numo Guru. And trust me, the statistics do not lie. The next time you pick up your pen or drawing equipments and decides to do up a Manga Literature fanfic, you might want to consider these stats.

The Grammar Nazi – When I say "jump," you say "how high?"

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

Last time we discussed the adjective, which describes any noun. Now we move to words that can describe any part of speech except for nouns: the adverb.

An adverb typically describes the how, when, or where. For instance, if Maria is running, we might ask how she was running. Was she running quickly? Slowly? Well? Poorly? Any one of these could fill in the blank given the sentence, "Maria is running _________."

As you may have noticed, most of those words ended in the suffix -ly. This makes perfect sense, since adverbs that describe your manner of doing something answer the question of how. Many adverbs that answer this question may be formed by adding the -ly suffix to an adjective; people may be cruel, and they may treat others cruelly. But this does not mean that all words ending in the -ly suffix are adverbs. If we talk about the Holy Bible, the word "Holy" modifies "Bible," a noun. Therefore, "Holy" is an adjective here. Likewise, not all adverbs end with this suffix (even the ones that answer the how question). The aforementioned "well" is a good example.

The when question may be answered just as easily: "Sam finished early." The word "early" modifies "finished" by telling us when Sam finished, so it is therefore an adverb. Similarly, where adverbs tell us where the action was performed: "Joe ate there." Where did Joe eat? He ate "there." It's simple when you look at it that way!

Note that adverbs may occasionally answer other questions such as how and to what extent. Further adverbial phrases and adverbial clauses serve the function of an adverb over one or multiple words. Using some earlier examples, we might say that "Maria is running very well," or that "Sam finished before noon."

Some argue that adverbs are a sort of "catch all" category for words that describe other non-noun words. This is an important argument, and some dictionaries are changing to adjust to this point of view. Consider the word "very," which can modify adjectives but not verbs. (You can be very artistic, but you cannot very draw a picture.) Other adverbs are limited to different combinations of word types they can modify.

The adverb category encompasses all words that modify non-nouns, but it is important to recognize that many adverbs are quite limited in their usage. Don't try to use an adverb to describe something when it can't be used that way.

But remember that some words may serve multiple roles at different times. Coming back to "well," it may be a noun ("I drank from the well"), an adjective ("Get well soon"), an interjection ("Well!"), or even a verb ("Tears might well in his eyes"). The important thing is not to memorize all the things an adverb can do, but just to look at what it is doing when you see it. What role does it serve in the sentence? That is the clearest indicator of a word's purpose.


Lady Vulpix
1st January 2008, 06:33 PM
Very interesting articles! What a great way to start the year!

Thanks to Kalah for her double contribution to this issue. :)

3rd January 2008, 04:07 PM
EEe! I can't beleive that they got added in! o^_^o I made those up! Me! Squee! I loved the interveiws And becoming a God was great! And the Grammar is always good! And the manga thing was really cool! :P <----Happy tongue! Great job everyone ^_^ I dun like dis tiny box, dough.

6th January 2008, 09:20 AM
Gabi's right: what a great E-zine to kickstart the year :)

The interview was interesting, and so are the articles. Although while reading through Kalah's article, I have a feeling that it's written to help those who are writing fantasy genre fics. I dunno, that's just the impression that I got :S But I guess it could be applied for other genre of fics too, yeah.