Hello everybody, and welcome to the Bulbagarden Forums Fiction Fairground! For those that may have fallen down a rabbit hole and ended up here, this is the section of the forums where all general writing is located. If you have a story you want to share with everyone, than this is the place to go!
This thread is just a helpful guide to get you started around this section and inform you of all the rules, or, if you are a returning member or have forgotten where to find something, you will links and reminders here. Most things will be covered here, but if you need any extra help, contact one of Fairground Moderators or post in the General Chat Thread, where someone will be around to help you out.
Firstly, we have two other sections as part of the Fairground. The Written Word is the place where almost every aspect of writing and literature is, has and probably will be discussed. If you yourself are interested in discussing particular aspects, or you've hit a block in your writing then come here too. The Fairground Archive, simply, is where completed fics are placed once the author has finished writing. . We are also now part of the Roleplays and Collaborative Stories Forum if you prefer doing roleplaying stories, so make sure you check them out as well!
Secondly, here are some of the more frequently asked questions that will help get you started:
1) Can I post my fic right away?
Yes, you can post straight away! Indeed you can, and we welcome every and all new fictions posted, whether Pokemon, a completely different series or something altogether original. And it doesn't even have to be a fic. You are more than welcome to post poems, One-Shot pieces of works and almost anything and everything creative. Our recommendations would be to check out a few of the links above involved with writing, and in particular The Writer’s Block. We look forward to reading your works, and don't forget to check out the reviewing games too.
2) Can I still participate in the section even if I don't have a story or don't write?
We love having all types of people in this section, even if you don't write yourself! If you simply enjoy reading it's great to have you in this community, and you may also enjoy engaging with others by reviewing their works and participating in writing conversations from a readers perspective.
3) Do I have to review?
No there are no requirements that you must review. However, if you are reading a fic, we do think the best thing to do is to try and post a few sentences after you have read the story. It is encouraging to the writer to know that people are reading their work, and your feedback could mean the world to them! We even have an Award for Best Reviewer! If you don’t have anything constructive to say then don’t say anything at all: telling someone their story is awful is hurtful, not giving them feedback.
We do encourage you to become involved in this community through engaging with other's works and giving them helpful advice or simply just encouraging them by letting them know their work is being read. If you yourself have posted a fic then it's a great way of engaging with other writers, especially in the Review Game (link below)
4) What do those prefixes mean?
Those are used to classify the rating of your story. Everyone means that anyone should be able to read it, Teen means that your story has more mature content not appropriate for young children, and Mature is used to classify the stories will much darker themes, constant coarse language and inappropriate content. A more detailed explanation is available in a spoiler at the bottom of the rule post, and we recommend you use these especially if you have a very mature story that is not appropriate for all ages.
5) What are the rules/regulations to having a story in the section?
Funny you should ask that! Here is our rulebook, now located within this thread! If you don’t understand any of these rules, feel free to post in this thread to ask or contact one of the Writer’s Workshop mods. As with the rest of the forums, if you see anyone breaking any of these rules, please use the report button (found in the bottom left of the post) to bring it to the attention of the staff, rather than posting in the thread to point it out.
1. Mislabelled Fiction (Inappropriate Content, 5 points)
Users may not post a story containing sexual, violent or other inappropriate content in the Writer's Workshop, unless it is properly labelled with the appropriate prefix of ‘TEEN’ or ‘MATURE’. Please note that fiction labelled 'MATURE' has a special exemption from Forum-wide rules banning written graphic sexual content.
- All stories with a MATURE label are required to state what mature content will appear in their fic in the first post of the thread
- All stories with scenes of severe sexual violence (ie rape) must add an additional warning in the Thread Title
- The Writer's Workshop staff reserve the right to remove fics or chapters that are excessively inappropriate. This will be done only in the most extreme cases, and, assuming the fic was labelled "MATURE", will NOT be accompanied by an infraction or formal warning for the first offence, but repeat offenders will receive a warning/infraction.
2. Superfluous Thread (Pointless Post, 3 Points)
Users may not create a thread for a fic without posting the first chapter/prologue in the first post. An exception to this rule can be made for including the index as the first post, in which case the first chapter must be the second post, and must be posted within one hour of the creation of the thread.
Your introduction chapter should let the readers know who and what the story is about, and what's interesting/original about it. We recommend at least 650 words for that: shorter first chapters may result in thread closure if moderators feel you made no serious effort to properly introduce your story. If you want advice before posting, you can private message a moderator.
3. Excessive Updates (Multiple Posting, 2 Points)
Users may not post new chapters more than once every three hours. An exception to this rule can be made if the fic is already completed, and being posted all in one go, but in this case it should be posted in the Fanfics Archive subforum.
4. Plagiarism (Copyright Violation, 4 points)
Users may not post stories written by anyone other than themselves unless given explicit permission to do so. Using characters and other creations belonging to other users also falls under this rule.
5. Multiple Threads (Pointless Post, 3 Points)
Users may not create new threads for separate chapters of the same fic. New threads may be created for sequels, spinoffs, splinters etc. Stories that are split into different arcs/books/sections that still constitute the same story must remain in the same thread.
6. Off-Site Advertising (Advertisement, 3 points)
Users may not create a thread here to link to a story elsewhere. Users may post their story here and provide a link to somewhere else that they would prefer to receive reviews.
7. On-Site Advertising (Advertising, 3 Points)
Users may not advertise their fiction, or the fact that they have updated their fiction outside of their signature or blog. The mention system and VMs can be used to notify users that a new chapter has been posted, but this should only be done when prior permission to notify them has been attained. An exception to this rule can be made for the Fanfic Announcement Thread, which exists specifically for this purpose.
8. Comparing Authors (Flaming & Baiting, 5 Points)
Users may not compare authors or their works to one another. This includes in the form of contests or competitions that are not officially run and monitored by the staff. If a user wishes to run a contest or competition, they should contact a Writer's Workshop moderator.
9. Written Word Misuse (Pointless Post, 3 Points)
Users may not post in The Writer's Block subforum except for discussion and help requests etc. regarding writing. An exception to this rule can be made for The General Chat Thread, which can be used to discuss topics that do not otherwise belong in the subforum with Writer's Workshop regulars. Topics that do otherwise belong in the subforum should not be discussed in the General Chat Thread. Supplementary material for your work, such as character biographies, synopses, artwork etc belongs either in a spoiler in the first post of your fic or in a blog
10. Fanfics Archive Misuse (Pointless Post, 3 Points)
Users may not post in the Fanfics Archive subforum except to post or comment on completed fics or in the Archive Directory. Users who wish to have their fics moved from the main Writer's Workshop to the Fanfics Archive should post here: http://bmgf.bulbagarden.net/f227/moving-completed-fics-archive-help-thread-79094/
All completed stories should be moved to the Archive within a month of completion, and all one shots/one off stories should be moved there at the end of three months from posting in the Fairground.
11. Ratings Guide
Welcome to the second edition of the Ratings Guide! We've seen a lot of confusion in the past about what rating a particular work should be based on grey areas in the rules or poorly worded guidelines. Hopefully this second attempt will get things going smoothly.
- An occasional "light" swear word (like hell or damn) here or there is fine.
- Mild violence that isn't the main focus of your story.
- Everything that isn't listed in the following categories below belongs here.
- The TV series The Simpsons is a great example to draw from if you're looking to compare your work to an established program for anyone.
- Frequent use of mild language and isolated use of explicit language. If your parents would be disappointed in you for saying it, but not horrified, it'd fit here. Just use your judgement.
- Mild but persistent descriptive violence. This means that a large part of your story is focused on violent interactions between the characters.
- References to illicit drugs or criminal activity.
- References to sexual activity, but not depictions of it. Anything past "second base" should be labeled mature.
- Mild descriptions of the "on screen" death of a character. Death by violence is accepted in this category as long as it's not too crazy.
- The TV series Family Guy is a great example to draw from if you're looking to compare your work to an established teen rated program.
- Frequent use of explicit language.
- Detailed description of violence, gore, maiming, murder or death in another grisly fashion.
- Detailed depictions of sexual activity.
- Detailed descriptions of the use of illicit drugs or alcohol.
- The TV series South Park is a great example to draw from if you're looking to compare your work to an established mature-like program.
- If a specific chapter of your story deviates from the rating you chose for your story, place a warning next to it in your table of contents (if you have one) as well as before the chapter itself.
- If your story deviates from the rating you originally chose for an extended period of time and you plan to continue like so, please change your rating tag accordingly.
- When in doubt about where your story falls, go for the higher rating. If you're still in doubt, don't be afraid to ask questions.
- If something in your story that you're concerned about is unlisted in these guidelines, speak up! The ratings guide can always be improved.
- If you are still confused about what would qualify, here are some examples to base your classification on:
Hopefully that covered all the major issues and answered your questions! Anyone is allowed to submit a story in this section, but you must remember that, like any forum, we have rules that must be obeyed, and there are consequences for those that break them. Everyone needs to read, accept and follow the rules. On the whole, we ask that you simply be friendly to everyone: if you are a writer, accept the feedback you get and reply to it in a sensible manner, and if you are a reader, do not be rude and bring down others if you do not like their story.
Thirdly, here is a list of the many different threads you can navigate around that will help you get started:
The Fairground Directory – This is a place where current works within the Fairground are listed within different genres. It gives you an idea of what fictions are available to read in the Fairground, and posting yours here can help promote your work as well.
The Archive Directory - It works exactly the same as the Fairground Directory, except everything here has been completed. If you prefer reading completed works then this is your place.
Reviewing Reminders – If you want to leave reviews on the stories you come across, which we strongly recommend, then this will give you a few brief reminders about where you can start if you're not always sure what to say, as well as a reminder to always be friendly and courteous when reviewing.
The Review Game - And for those that come bearing their own fic, this is a great way to get it read and reviewed in the format of a game. It's good fun and is a great way to meet some others from the forum and see what types of stories are out there.
General Writing Questions - For those that have any questions to do with writing your stories, your characters or any aspects or themes then just post it in here and someone will lend a hand. If you want to discuss a big writing topic or an issue, create its own thread in the Writer’s Block, but we prefer that if you have a one off question you put it here rather than making your own thread.
Need a Name Thread - This helpful thread is rather explanatory: if you are lost with the name for a character, location or story, this is the place to go and ask for ideas
The Weekly Prompt Thread - If you are struggling to come up with an idea for your next fic or want to write something else to clear Writer's Block, this weekly activity is a fun way to get new ideas: a single sentence is posted at the start of each week, giving you an story, theme, quote or character to get you started on your next project.
The Writing Academy – This monthly series of user submitted lessons covers a variety of major topics about writing, including plot, grammar, character development and much more. This is the most comprehensive place to go if you need help with something, as the lessons are easy to read and come with links to other material to help you out.
Fiction Fairground General Chat Thread - Lastly, as a way to get to know more people from this section, you can pop in here and meet other Fiction Fairground participators. This is just a way to be social and discuss anything, from your writing, what your reading, your lives, the sun, the moon, the colour blue, whatever floats your boat!
Finally, these are just a few extra details:
- Every four months in June, October and February, we celebrate the work of the Fairground through our very own awards ceremony! This competition is done by users nominating works and then a team of judges reads and decides which of the fics and characters in the different categories deserve to win. These categories range from thematic story categories such as Best Journey and Best Dark to simple character categories like Best Protagonist and Best Antagonist. The users of the Fairground also vote for the best reviewer and the best newcomer, which are extra special as they as everyone gets a say in who deserves the Award.
- If you would like to announce you have joined the Fairground, feel free to do it here or in the General Chat. It will be a good way to let everyone know you have arrived and what you may be writing
- For all the Tweeters out there, the Workshop has a Twitter account! Follow us @bulbawriters and don't miss any of the big news!
- Older users would notice that the Author's Atlas has disappeared. This is due to a lack of activity in the section that prevented it from being a useful part of the forum. If you would like to post additional information about your stories, such as character biographies, maps, histories, that type of work, you can now post this in a spoiler in the first post of your story or, we highly recommend, you can make a blog that will contain this information and provide a link :)
I hope you have found this useful! If you have any more questions about anything simply contact a moderator or post it in this thread! If you are a new user, we recommend you let us all know you have joined us by posting below. Any regular users who think there is a key thread that we have missed, let me know :) I hope you all enjoy your time in the Fairground and have fun sharing your work!
Section Head: AceTrainer14
Forum Moderators: LightningTopaz, AceTrainer14, harryheart, AetherX