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mr_pikachu
1st January 2007, 12:42 AM
The FanFiction Forum E-zine
January 2007






Contents


State of the Forum
mr_pikachu

Conversations with the Stars – classy_cat18
Lady Vulpix

Selections from a Glossary for the Critique of Yu-Gi-Oh Fanfiction, Part One
Master of Paradox

The Grammar Nazi – Spelling and Grammar in Fanfiction
mr_pikachu






State of the Forum
mr_pikachu


My fellow Fanficcers,

The past year has been both exciting and difficult. As many of you have surely noticed, our forum has undergone a variety of changes. Our biggest trials came from the server moves from the vBulletin system to the Simple Machine Forums and back. These shifts resulted in confusion and frustration over various aesthetics and technical difficulties. And, as has always been the case, while some new members have discovered everything we have to offer, other Fanficcers have said their farewells.

However, our forum has progressed despite these stumbling blocks. Fanfic has begun several projects such as the revivals of this E-zine and the FanFiction Reviewer Organization (FFRO), and we continue to host other traditions like the Fanfic Trivia Game and the seasonal Silver Pencil and Golden Pen Awards.

These projects have given you, the life of the forum, many chances to get involved. And you have risen to the occasion in each of these areas. Fanfic is now one of the most active forums on TPM thanks to your support. We couldn’t have done any of this without you.

But although these projects and your participation have boosted Fanfic to the top of TPM, and although we could choose to merely celebrate the advances that have already been made, there is still more we can do. Further projects are already in the works. We hope to give you more opportunities to hone your writing skills, to demonstrate your dedication as readers, and to lead Fanfic toward ever-greater glory. You deserve every opportunity to participate profoundly in Fanfic, and we plan to give those chances to you.

In summary, our forum has grown in many ways over the past year, and we’re looking forward to advancing even more. We hope you enjoy the year to come.







Conversations with the Stars – classy_cat18
Lady Vulpix


Lady Vulpix: Would you mind if I interviewed you for the Fanfic E-zine?
classy_cat18: No, I wouldn't mind.
Lady Vulpix: Great. Ok, then. How long have you been writing?
classy_cat18: About three years, almost four.
Lady Vulpix: What made you decide to start?
classy_cat18: A friend from high school wrote for fun and I thought that I would be able to try writing myself. So a year later, I was reading fanfics in TPM and decided to work on one.
Lady Vulpix: Cool. What is/are your favorite genre(s) for reading, and for writing?
classy_cat18: Comedy, of course. I love to laugh and make others laugh. And fantasy, because I grew up on that genre.
Lady Vulpix: :)
Lady Vulpix: Any particular fics that you've enjoyed?
classy_cat18: DragoKnight's Minty Thrill is my favorite, for its total randomness. Also Chris 2.0's The Pokemon Masters League because it's written so well, from the plot to the battles.
Lady Vulpix: And what about your fics? Which one(s) have you enjoyed writing the most?
classy_cat18: A Doolittle of Pokemon. It was the first, and it's not the best, but I had fun writing it from beginning to end.
Lady Vulpix: How many fics have you started writing, and how many have you completed?
classy_cat18: I've started four, and only finished one so far. I've hit a lot of dead ends trying to continue fics. It's hard to come up with a good plot.
Lady Vulpix: Do you think you will finish any of the others?
classy_cat18: I'm hoping I finish Knights to Remember, since it's the continuation of Doolittle of Pokemon.
Lady Vulpix: What do you find the most difficult when writing?
classy_cat18: Just writing something can be difficult. My brain will just stop working and I'll have to go back to brainstorming. Otherwise the next chapter won't be good.
Lady Vulpix: Does anything help you find inspiration?
classy_cat18: TV helps, but I usually play video games or listen to music until I come up with something.
Lady Vulpix: What would you say your strong points are?
classy_cat18: I'm always told that character development is my strongest point.
Lady Vulpix: Nice. Has your writing style changed much since you started writing?
classy_cat18: It's changed a lot, but I can always do better.
Lady Vulpix: I like that attitude. So... that's it from me. Is there anything else you'd like to say to the readers... or maybe to other writers?
classy_cat18: Yeah. To my readers, don't give up on me. Good things come to those who wait.
Lady Vulpix: :) Thank you, Shonta.
classy_cat18: You're welcome.







Selections from a Glossary for the Critique of Yu-Gi-Oh Fanfiction, Part One
Master of Paradox


The following are terms I find useful for the discussion, critique, and evaluation of Yu-Gi-Oh!, Yu-Gi-Oh GX, and fanfiction based on either series. Some reference is made to stories and authors that exemplify certain terms or tropes; I apologize in advance if they take offense to this work.

Bigger Charts Repetition: A jokey throwaway line that appears constantly in various chapters, as if the reader is expected to not remember it being used previously. Also called “Nice Hat Repetition”.

Break the Bank: A win accomplished when all else fails, pulled off via the use of a ridiculous number of cards. Yugi vs. Noah and Kaiba vs. Ziegfried are prime examples of this.

Cardstock Ex Machina: Made-up cards that inevitably turn the tide of battle. If they’re played late in the duel, they’re always the win mechanism for that duel; if played midway, their powers aren’t as severe. Cards described as being magicial or heavenly tend to end up this way.

Character Underestimation: When fans assume a character is a poor duelist due to being defeated in the original series or GX, despite the show's claims to the contrary. For example, many assume Titan on GX is a poor duelist, but we only see him being defeated by Jaden (the main character) and Alexis (after a miraculous draw); given that he made a career out of being a duelist-for-hire, he must have some level of skill. Compare and contrast with Questionable Skill Assumption.

Cutter Treatment: When an author has many alternate and interesting ways to make a deck unique, but opts for the most obvious, and thus easier to write (especially for the lazy, or those devoid of creativity).

False Omnipotence: The inevitable use of words like "Mighty", "Unstoppable", or other such overdramatic complements to the summoning of a monster, which usually ends up defeated in a matter of a few turns.

Father Young's Syndrome: A deep, burning frustration with the limits of the "Fairy" monster type. In Japan, it was Angel, and this name suits most of the more powerful monsters better. Calling some of the most powerful Light monsters "Fairies" seems outright insulting, but there is no choice.

Friendship Speech: The most dreaded of all dialogue segments. A long, rambling paean to the powers of friendship and the need to believe in oneself, usually delivered by the main character’s love interest. Never used in a positive sense (example: “If she goes into a Friendship Speech, I’ll shoot myself”). In the original series, this was usually delivered by Tea (not Anzu, for those who separate the dub and sub versions of characters); it seems to be Syrus's stock in trade for GX. So well known and so hated that the series itself finally mocked it in the Orichalcos Arc. The phrase is often used in a derogatory sense to refer to any “message” speech. (On a final note, the Friendship Speech wasn’t nearly as prevalent in the original Japanese…)

Heart Speech: Not as bad as the Friendship Speech, but damned close. Inevitably delivered by a hero to a villainous character, the speech restates the Heart of the Cards and describes in excruciating detail why the villain is evil and will never win. Impossibly hard to do well; usually, the end result is that we wish the villain would win on the next turn. Unfortunately, that’s impossible, as the speech is traditionally delivered right before the hero plays the game-winning move. Jaden in Yu-Gi-Oh GX makes a career out of these.

Here Comes a New Challenger!: When another opponent immediately challenges a duelist who’s just finished with the last match to a duel.

Invincible Yugi Syndrome: The main character never loses under any circumstances. Even in duels that don’t affect the story’s outcome in any way, he or she still wins simply because the author doesn’t want the hero to lose. Often a trait of the Mary Sue. Named for Yugi Jr.’s amazing invulnerability in the Yu-Gi-Oh Jr. series.

Mom Always Liked You Best!: In a tag-team match, the “villain” duelists will inevitably begin fighting over something or another, destroying their teamwork and leaving them helpless when the “hero” duelists – who always work perfectly together, no matter what they were like before the duel – pull the winning maneuver. The archetype is Umbra and Lumis (Dark Mask and Light Mask, for fans of the original Japanese), who faced Yugi and Kaiba at Battle City; thus it can also be called Umbra/Lumis Syndrome.

Newbie Ball: An invisible, intangible ball passed between the characters watching (or sometimes involved in) the current duel. Whoever holds the ball doesn’t know the effects of the current card being played and needs them explained. Usually used in order to prevent the duelists from spelling out the effects of all their cards themselves. Oddly, the Newbie Ball was only occasionally used on the show – but then, the duelists didn’t mind explaining all their cards. Certain cards (Pot of Greed) never need to be explained, and so the Newbie Ball doesn’t affect people concerning them.

Noble Loss: When one main character defeats another, especially if both duelists are members of the Three-Man Band. This is typically the only time a main character will lose a duel unless there’s a heroic sacrifice involved. Also called Respectable Loss.

Nonplayer's Laments: Criticisms leveled at duel-based Yu-Gi-Oh fanfiction by people who haven't played the game... and who wouldn't be making those criticisms if they did (questions like "How does X work" or "Why do decks need themes"). Such criticism is distracting, and unfortunately tends to obscure legimate style and structure complaints made in the same comment.

No-Turning-Back Card: A card that creates a “cage” effect around the duelists involved. This prevents the opponent from fleeing, and usually results in a nasty side effect should one lose. Typically, this card is a Field Magic card, and is usually indestructible as well to avoid the “cage” being taken down. There’s usually one effect or power that can undo the cage. Popular in situation-based stories. The archetype is the Seal of Orichalcos.

Questionable Skill Assumption: To assume that one character could defeat another, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. The most common example is the belief by many that Rex Raptor could defeat GX's Tyranno. While this is arguable, one must remember that while Tyranno defeated Don Simon, Rex has never won a duel that we have seen; even the much-maligned Weevil defeated him on his first appearance. Because the power level of major characters is well-established, Questionable Skill Assumptions only come up for minor characters.

Show Card: A card that does not yet exist in the real game, but has appeared in either of the animated series or the movie. Cards that function differently in either series may be included here (Card of Sanctity most notably). Some cards have the same function in the animated series, but have different meanings or special restrictions (for example, the God Cards and Divine Emperors/Sacred Beasts; less apocalyptically, the Blue-Eyes White Dragons). As the game progresses, many show cards become real cards; however, GX is still on the air, so the pool of show cards continues to receive new additions.

Spoke Fodder: A card you might find clipped to someone’s bicycle spokes. As the game has progressed, there are many cards like this – even some cards held dear by the show’s main characters (Gaia the Fierce Knight, for example, was one of Yugi’s favorites in the old days, but Swift Gaia has replaced him as far as usability).

Time Bomb: for a story set in the future to make itself implausible by the sheer number of pop culture references only relevant to the present day. Quite easy to fall into, sadly, because fanfiction authors live in a world saturated by modern-day popular culture. The two major ways to avoid this problem are to strain out all pop-culture references (it is considered acceptable to have a few slip through as known anachronisms) or to create fictional popular culture for the characters to reference. The latter is more difficult, but also more plausible unless your cast is composed of hermits.
- Potter Bomb: A subset of the Time Bomb, wherein a story set in the future makes itself severely implausible through endless Harry Potter references. Not only does this get tiresome fast, but it causes severe allergic reactions in people that hate Harry Potter. As Harry Potter's popularity seems to be on the wane, so is this problem.

Victory Negation: The hero has Broken the Bank (see above), is about to win... and the villain pulls out a single card that undoes all of this before crushing the hero underfoot. Typically leads to the immediate defeat of the hero. Hard to do without feeling artificial, but almost always carries the element of surprise. A show example, from GX, is Frost bringing down Syrus and Tyranno at the same time with Mirror of Duality.

We Can't All Be Astronauts: A conversation between two primary characters right before a hyper-important duel between them, promising that the friendship will continue even after one's inevitable loss. This usually takes place during the finals of a tournament, the one time your average author will let a main character lose. (See Noble Loss.)







The Grammar Nazi – Spelling and Grammar in Fanfiction
mr_pikachu


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

“Doctor1: she has an angle wing and a demon wing she must iether b blessed or b cursed”

Pop quiz. Just one simple, yes or no question. Is this a good first line for a fanfic?

Pencils down, class.

No. No it’s not. This is a ridiculously horrible first sentence. And it happens to be the first line of Jasukurini Sakaraemonii on fanfiction.net – after a character list that served as the first chapter, of course.

After reading that sentence, would you continue this fanfic? If so, you’re a far more dedicated reader than I am.

Whether we like it or not, spelling and grammar are crucial elements of writing, even in fanfiction. Consider this. The very best fanficcers are skilled enough that their pieces could be considered legitimate practice for creating publishable novels. But nobody would buy a novel that was riddled with errors like those in the last sentence.

The whole idea of writing is to put your thoughts on paper, and to do it in a manner that other people can read and understand. When you have to read one sentence five times in order to get the point, you probably won’t be apt to continue. Publishers know that, so they would never bother with such junk. It would be a waste of their time and money.

Of course, there’s a catch. I said nobody would buy a novel that was written like this. But isn’t that the whole point of editors? Publishing companies hire specialists to scrutinize works and to correct mistakes. That way, when the material is finally put in print, it looks professional. So do writers really need to worry about minor things like spelling and grammar if the editors are supposed to fix their mistakes anyway?

Let’s think about the process for a moment. When you try to get something published, you have to submit your work to the publisher beforehand. Now, publishers are often inundated with manuscripts. They have to find ways to quickly and efficiently narrow the field down to only the best candidates, because they don’t have the resources to publish everything they receive. Therefore, the submissions are treated like résumés, and only the ones that appear decent will even be considered. In that sense, it’s just as important to look good as it is to be good.

When publishers see a sentence like the one at the beginning of this column, they will undoubtedly think that the writer must be poor if he or she would think something like that was passable. Thus, they will throw out such submissions without a second thought.

In short, poor spelling and grammar can keep you from getting published.

However, there’s a second aspect of spelling and grammar as they relate to fanfiction. To be fair, most fanficcers are not people who expect to be published authors one day. Most of them are people who write a few pieces in their leisure time and reply to a few others. It’s a hobby, not serious training.

That’s just fine. People can participate in fanfiction to whatever extent they want. It doesn’t matter whether they’re extremely serious about writing or they just scribble something on paper when they’re bored. Fanfiction allows for such freedom.

However, if you’re like the vast majority of fanficcers, you want your work to be read. And more importantly, you want people to talk to you about it. The existence of readers validates your writing abilities and your dedication. It shows that people appreciate you and what you’re doing.

Again, let’s refer back to the earlier example. Would you read that?

Because fanfics are generally not on the level of professional writing (although the very best ones certainly approach it), most readers are aware that they can’t expect perfection. Good reviewers note both strengths and weaknesses and try to help other writers improve. But even if you expect that there will be some deficiencies, you’re not going to want to read a piece that looks closer to pig Latin than English. There are other works that are much better and far easier to read.

After all, if you have to decipher a piece in order to read it, you have to expend a lot of effort that may not seem worthwhile. Furthermore, poor spelling and grammar demonstrates a lack of dedication. If a writer isn’t dedicated, his or her fanfic may be left unfinished. If that happens, what was the point of deciphering, reading, and replying in the first place? Even if it’s only on an unconscious level, readers understand this and choose the fics they will read accordingly. So if your writing looks like it’s in another language, you probably won’t get many replies.

So what’s the lesson here? No matter where you submit your writing, and no matter how serious you are about it, pay attention to spelling and grammar. It can make all the difference.

Dark Sage
1st January 2007, 04:30 PM
Since I will publish a new YGO fic in a few months, I should address Master of Paradox's story cliches, and put everyone at ease.



Bigger Charts Repetition: A jokey throwaway line that appears constantly in various chapters, as if the reader is expected to not remember it being used previously. Also called “Nice Hat Repetition”.

Won't be used if I can help it, but I might use that particular joke if Cosmo Queen shows up. It's tradition.



Break the Bank: A win accomplished when all else fails, pulled off via the use of a ridiculous number of cards. Yugi vs. Noah and Kaiba vs. Ziegfried are prime examples of this.

Will not happen. No win will be THAT miraculous.



Cardstock Ex Machina: Made-up cards that inevitably turn the tide of battle. If they’re played late in the duel, they’re always the win mechanism for that duel; if played midway, their powers aren’t as severe. Cards described as being magicial or heavenly tend to end up this way.

Will only happen once, and a villain will use it. To say more would be a spoiler.



Character Underestimation: When fans assume a character is a poor duelist due to being defeated in the original series or GX, despite the show's claims to the contrary. For example, many assume Titan on GX is a poor duelist, but we only see him being defeated by Jaden (the main character) and Alexis (after a miraculous draw); given that he made a career out of being a duelist-for-hire, he must have some level of skill. Compare and contrast with Questionable Skill Assumption.

That is up to the fans. I'll try not make any character seem less skilled than he/she is.



Cutter Treatment: When an author has many alternate and interesting ways to make a deck unique, but opts for the most obvious, and thus easier to write (especially for the lazy, or those devoid of creativity).

I try to NEVER do this. Creative is my middle name. (It's true. My name is Brian Creative Corvello.)



False Omnipotence: The inevitable use of words like "Mighty", "Unstoppable", or other such overdramatic complements to the summoning of a monster, which usually ends up defeated in a matter of a few turns.

Might be done, but only if the monster in question truly deserves it.



Father Young's Syndrome: A deep, burning frustration with the limits of the "Fairy" monster type. In Japan, it was Angel, and this name suits most of the more powerful monsters better. Calling some of the most powerful Light monsters "Fairies" seems outright insulting, but there is no choice.

Like MoP said, there is really no choice. I try to make Fairies as dignified as I can, however, when they appear.



Friendship Speech: The most dreaded of all dialogue segments. A long, rambling paean to the powers of friendship and the need to believe in oneself, usually delivered by the main character’s love interest. Never used in a positive sense (example: “If she goes into a Friendship Speech, I’ll shoot myself”). In the original series, this was usually delivered by Tea (not Anzu, for those who separate the dub and sub versions of characters); it seems to be Syrus's stock in trade for GX. So well known and so hated that the series itself finally mocked it in the Orichalcos Arc. The phrase is often used in a derogatory sense to refer to any “message” speech. (On a final note, the Friendship Speech wasn’t nearly as prevalent in the original Japanese…)

Will not be done if I can help it. This is not to say that the main characters aren't friends and won't support each other, because they will. (Two of the main characters are rivals of the other three, by the way, but are allies.)



Heart Speech: Not as bad as the Friendship Speech, but damned close. Inevitably delivered by a hero to a villainous character, the speech restates the Heart of the Cards and describes in excruciating detail why the villain is evil and will never win. Impossibly hard to do well; usually, the end result is that we wish the villain would win on the next turn. Unfortunately, that’s impossible, as the speech is traditionally delivered right before the hero plays the game-winning move. Jaden in Yu-Gi-Oh GX makes a career out of these.

Also will not be done. To the main character, Heart is only one part of many factors that help you win.



Here Comes a New Challenger!: When another opponent immediately challenges a duelist who’s just finished with the last match to a duel.

In one part, the main charcater will face a long gauntlet. However, this will be the exception to the rule, and the effects of fatigue will be present throughout.



Invincible Yugi Syndrome: The main character never loses under any circumstances. Even in duels that don’t affect the story’s outcome in any way, he or she still wins simply because the author doesn’t want the hero to lose. Often a trait of the Mary Sue. Named for Yugi Jr.’s amazing invulnerability in the Yu-Gi-Oh Jr. series.

Will not be used. Not on your life. To say more would be a spoiler.



Mom Always Liked You Best!: In a tag-team match, the “villain” duelists will inevitably begin fighting over something or another, destroying their teamwork and leaving them helpless when the “hero” duelists – who always work perfectly together, no matter what they were like before the duel – pull the winning maneuver. The archetype is Umbra and Lumis (Dark Mask and Light Mask, for fans of the original Japanese), who faced Yugi and Kaiba at Battle City; thus it can also be called Umbra/Lumis Syndrome.

Only one tag-team match is scheduled in this one. This aspect will not be used. The opposite, in fact.



Newbie Ball: An invisible, intangible ball passed between the characters watching (or sometimes involved in) the current duel. Whoever holds the ball doesn’t know the effects of the current card being played and needs them explained. Usually used in order to prevent the duelists from spelling out the effects of all their cards themselves. Oddly, the Newbie Ball was only occasionally used on the show – but then, the duelists didn’t mind explaining all their cards. Certain cards (Pot of Greed) never need to be explained, and so the Newbie Ball doesn’t affect people concerning them.

Will only be used at rare times, when it must be.



Noble Loss: When one main character defeats another, especially if both duelists are members of the Three-Man Band. This is typically the only time a main character will lose a duel unless there’s a heroic sacrifice involved. Also called Respectable Loss.

Will be used once or twice. It's unavoidable sometimes. And it will be a good one. You'll just have to wait and see.



Nonplayer's Laments: Criticisms leveled at duel-based Yu-Gi-Oh fanfiction by people who haven't played the game... and who wouldn't be making those criticisms if they did (questions like "How does X work" or "Why do decks need themes"). Such criticism is distracting, and unfortunately tends to obscure legimate style and structure complaints made in the same comment.

I sure hope this doesn't happen. Folks who bother me with such comments are not welcome.



No-Turning-Back Card: A card that creates a “cage” effect around the duelists involved. This prevents the opponent from fleeing, and usually results in a nasty side effect should one lose. Typically, this card is a Field Magic card, and is usually indestructible as well to avoid the “cage” being taken down. There’s usually one effect or power that can undo the cage. Popular in situation-based stories. The archetype is the Seal of Orichalcos.

After writing a fic where I used the Orichalcos, I've had enough of this. Will not be used.



Questionable Skill Assumption: To assume that one character could defeat another, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. The most common example is the belief by many that Rex Raptor could defeat GX's Tyranno. While this is arguable, one must remember that while Tyranno defeated Don Simon, Rex has never won a duel that we have seen; even the much-maligned Weevil defeated him on his first appearance. Because the power level of major characters is well-established, Questionable Skill Assumptions only come up for minor characters.

This is up to the fans. I, for one, believe that Tyranno could beat Rex.



Show Card: A card that does not yet exist in the real game, but has appeared in either of the animated series or the movie. Cards that function differently in either series may be included here (Card of Sanctity most notably). Some cards have the same function in the animated series, but have different meanings or special restrictions (for example, the God Cards and Divine Emperors/Sacred Beasts; less apocalyptically, the Blue-Eyes White Dragons). As the game progresses, many show cards become real cards; however, GX is still on the air, so the pool of show cards continues to receive new additions.

Will definately be used. It would get boring without them.



Spoke Fodder: A card you might find clipped to someone’s bicycle spokes. As the game has progressed, there are many cards like this – even some cards held dear by the show’s main characters (Gaia the Fierce Knight, for example, was one of Yugi’s favorites in the old days, but Swift Gaia has replaced him as far as usability).

Actually, I have found ways of finding uses for cards that many would find useless. It won't be common, for sure, but just wait and see.



Time Bomb: for a story set in the future to make itself implausible by the sheer number of pop culture references only relevant to the present day. Quite easy to fall into, sadly, because fanfiction authors live in a world saturated by modern-day popular culture. The two major ways to avoid this problem are to strain out all pop-culture references (it is considered acceptable to have a few slip through as known anachronisms) or to create fictional popular culture for the characters to reference. The latter is more difficult, but also more plausible unless your cast is composed of hermits.
- Potter Bomb: A subset of the Time Bomb, wherein a story set in the future makes itself severely implausible through endless Harry Potter references. Not only does this get tiresome fast, but it causes severe allergic reactions in people that hate Harry Potter. As Harry Potter's popularity seems to be on the wane, so is this problem.

I'll try to avoid this as much as possible. And no Harry Potter references at all.



Victory Negation: The hero has Broken the Bank (see above), is about to win... and the villain pulls out a single card that undoes all of this before crushing the hero underfoot. Typically leads to the immediate defeat of the hero. Hard to do without feeling artificial, but almost always carries the element of surprise. A show example, from GX, is Frost bringing down Syrus and Tyranno at the same time with Mirror of Duality.

Again, no victory will be too miraculaous, but some might come from surprise.



We Can't All Be Astronauts: A conversation between two primary characters right before a hyper-important duel between them, promising that the friendship will continue even after one's inevitable loss. This usually takes place during the finals of a tournament, the one time your average author will let a main character lose. (See Noble Loss.)


I'll try to avoid making these speeches too sappy, but they have to be done once in a while.

I hope I covered everything.

- Dark Sage

classy_cat18
1st January 2007, 05:00 PM
Time Bomb: for a story set in the future to make itself implausible by the sheer number of pop culture references only relevant to the present day. Quite easy to fall into, sadly, because fanfiction authors live in a world saturated by modern-day popular culture. The two major ways to avoid this problem are to strain out all pop-culture references (it is considered acceptable to have a few slip through as known anachronisms) or to create fictional popular culture for the characters to reference. The latter is more difficult, but also more plausible unless your cast is composed of hermits.
- Potter Bomb: A subset of the Time Bomb, wherein a story set in the future makes itself severely implausible through endless Harry Potter references. Not only does this get tiresome fast, but it causes severe allergic reactions in people that hate Harry Potter. As Harry Potter's popularity seems to be on the wane, so is this problem.

Oh boy, I am so guilty of this. Apologies to anyone who has suffered while reading such things in my fanfics.

mistysakura
2nd January 2007, 02:17 AM
Yay, the internet likes me, and I can reply to this! Sorry about the article that was supposed to exist again... Anyway, I'll put that in for the next issue. I liked this issue; I especially enjoyed the interview with classy_cat18, and although I don't know a thing about Yu-gi-oh!, it was fun to see which of the flaws applied to Pokemon and general fiction (don't you just love the Friendship Speech?) Looking forward to the next issue.

Lady Vulpix
2nd January 2007, 05:21 AM
Thanks, Ada. And yes, I enjoyed the Yu-Gi-Oh article from the same perspective as you did.

What makes me uneasy about Yu-Gi-Oh fics is that they seem to be becoming a subculture of their own. It feels like you can't even read them if you don't play the game, which in fact I don't.

Master of Paradox
2nd January 2007, 08:18 AM
What makes me uneasy about Yu-Gi-Oh fics is that they seem to be becoming a subculture of their own. It feels like you can't even read them if you don't play the game, which in fact I don't.

It's been that way from the beginning. There are two major categories of Yu-Gi-Oh fic: character-based (as in canon character) and duel-based. This board leans very, very heavily towards the latter, which does, I'm afraid, require some understanding of the game.

Might I suggest SilvorMoon from FF.net if you're looking for the first category? One of my favorite authors who concentrate on character-based.