Author - Fanfic Rules & Guidelines  (Read 1034 times)

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Fanfic Rules & Guidelines
« Mon, Oct 04, 2010, 07:12 PM »
FanFic Rules And Helpful Hints

Fanfic Rules
For everyone's enjoyment, there are a few rules that must be followed when posting or reading fanfic at this message board. If you have questions about any of these rules, please contact a fanfic moderator or other staff member. You can find the contact information in the Administration forum at the board.

A Quick Note for Readers, Writers and Lurkers
Many authors include in their disclaimer a note about the type of feedback they would like to receive. Please make note of this request and abide by it. Most authors love to receive encouragement and constructive comments. Please remember that flaming is not allowed. If you did not like a story, feel free to give your honest opinion (if the author has asked for it) - but please do so in a polite and mature manner.

The fanfiction section is separated by fandom as well as by MPAA rating to help you find the stories you are most interested in reading. The fanfiction posted here ranges in rating from G to NC-17. This rating should be clearly marked in the header of each story, including the reason for the rating. If you are disturbed by NC-17 content, please do not read these fics.

Rules for Writers
(Writers must adhere to the rules outlined in this section.)

Stories Must be Rated
Always rate your stories, utilizing the MPAA system, in the heading/subject line. More information about this rating guideline is included below. It is important to include this information so that readers can decide if they will be interested in your story.

Include Warnings
In addition to rating your story, you need to include a warning in the heading/subject line for the following topics: rape/non-consensual sex, gory violence or torture, abortion/miscarriage, depiction of death/murder, explicit sex, sex if the character is a teenager, or slash fics. Absolutely no depiction of the rape of a teenager will be allowed; if any such mention is made, the offending fic will be deleted immediately.

Minimum Age for Sex
The minimum age for sex is 16. You must include a warning in the heading/subject line if your character is a teenager.

No Child Abuse or Rape
Child abuse and rape are not pleasant issues to write about, yet these things are sometimes utilized to help with the development of a story's characters. Despite the fact that these things might be part of a legitimate work of fiction, we feel that graphic descriptions of child abuse or child rape are too disturbing to be put on our board; hence, the subjects are banished from our fic sections. Just to be clear about this: no graphic descriptions of child abuse in any form, including physical, verbal, emotional or sexual abuse. We consider a sexual relationship between a parent and teenager to be a form of child molestation, and so the graphic presentation of such a situation is not allowed in our fiction section. If these elements are necessary for your story, you may refer to them in a vague and non-descriptive way. If the graphic depiction of such elements is necessary for your story, we encourage you to post it elsewhere. Please remember that we won't allow anything that could possibly be construed as child pornography, child abuse, or any other morally questionable subject matter in relation to children to be posted here. Any violation of this rule will result in the story being removed from the board; in addition, the author's rights to post fiction will be limited, up to and including being banned from the community.

Use Spell Check
Please make sure that your story is properly checked for spelling, punctuation and grammar. Everyone makes a mistake from time to time, and that's perfectly understandable. However, if a story is riddled with spelling, punctuation and grammar mistakes, the author may be asked (via PM) to correct those mistakes within a given amount of time. If such mistakes continue to be a problem, the story might be pulled from the board. The decision is entirely at the discretion of the forum mods and admin staff. Please contact them if you have any questions regarding this policy.

No StarFic
Fiction about real people is not allowed; likewise, stories in which the characters are obviously based on celebrities are not allowed. A story that strongly reminds the reader of a celebrity is also not allowed. Our fiction section features stories about fictional characters only.

Required Story Header
You must make the header look like this:

[fandom]storyname[rating]ONG/FIN/AB - update info

[fandom] = examples: [PB] [TFATF] [KG] [Original] and so on...

Storyname = The title of your fic.

[rating] = This is a MUST! [G] [PG] [PG-13] [R] [NC-17] If your story is rated R or NC-17, please state why it received that rating (such as: explicit violence, death, suicide, rape, non-con, teen sex or slash).

ONG/FIN/AB: ONG = Ongoing; FIN = Finished; AB = Abandoned

update info: notes about new chapters posted

an example: [PB ]Riddick's Life [NC-17 violence] ONG Chapter 31 added

Required Info for Each Story
Basic information for each story should be included at the beginning of every fic. This information is often called the disclaimer, even though additional information is provided here. Your disclaimer should look something like this:

Author: (You may include your email address if that's where you would like readers to send their feedback.)
Rating: (Scroll down to see more about rating fics.)
Fandom: (For example: Pitch Black, Avatar, other.)
Disclaimer: Acknowledge the movie or fandom and its creators, as well as any source material or other influences on your work; using settings or characters from someone else's fanfic is acceptable only if you get their permission first.
Summary: (You must provide a short summary to introduce potential readers to the story. In addition, you may also post a short summary at the beginning of each chapter to refresh your readers' memories.)
Pairing: (For example: Riddick/Carolyn, Kirk/OFC. This helps the shippers find their favorites fast, and avoid pairings they do not like.)
Archive: Do you mind if other people copy your story onto their personal computers, or upload them to other fanfic sites or message boards? Or would you prefer for your story to be posted only at this board? State your specifications clearly in the Archive line. For instance, you might say "This story is to be posted only on VX/MX and my own personal blog," or "Do not archive this story," or "Please ask my permission before archiving this story." These specifications won't stop people from stealing your work, but many people will adhere to your wishes.
Feedback:You may choose one of these options: Encouragement only; Constructive criticism through PM only; or Post constructive criticism directly in my story. If you have some other preference for receiving feedback, please be specific about your wishes.
Author's Notes: This field is optional. You may use this area to include any special requests or additional information you would like to provide for your readers. This would be a good place to let readers know if you prefer no "chit chat" in your story thread, or if you plan to portray the characters differently than the way they were presented in the movie.

Plagiarism Will Not Be Tolerated
We take plagiarism seriously; any legitimate question regarding a story's originality will result in the story thread being closed pending an objective investigation. This is not intended to cast a negative light on the writer, but rather to protect both the writer and accuser from uncomfortable attention.

Any correspondence regarding accusations of plagiarism must be handled through PM or private email, not on the message board. If you feel that plagiarism has taken place, please send a private note to a fanfic moderator or other staff member. We will do our best to respond fairly and quickly to any questions or accusations. If a story is found to contain plagiarized material, the author will be asked to either change the story or remove it from the board. The author may also be banned from the board.

Here are a few tips to help avoid unintentional plagiarism:

(1) DISCLAIMER= Acknowledge the movie or fandom and its creators.
(2) Acknowledge any additional influences upon your work, including sources of inspiration.
(3) Acknowledge anyone whose work provided actual source material, whether lines, themes or ideas.
(4) Should you intend to 'borrow' contents from other stories, make sure you ask the respective writer for permission first.

Rating Guidelines
G: All ages. Everyone can read this, even young children - consider that not even all Disney movies can fit in this category because they are too violent or have bad language. That should tell you something about how incredibly mild the fic needs to be to get this rating.

PG: A PG rating is warranted if the material includes mild violence or questionable language. No depiction of sex or drugs is allowed in PG rated material.

PG-13: Not gory or bloody, but violence is allowed. Sexual situations are allowed, but no actual depictions of sex. For example, in a movie you'd see the characters start to kiss, but then the scene would stop and move on to a something else. The sex might be implied or insinuated, but not shown.

R: Sex, violence, and harsh language is allowed; however, none of these should be graphic. You must state a warning as to WHY the chapter is given an R rating.

NC-17: This rating is reserved for graphic depictions of sex or violence, as well as extremely harsh language. Any depiction of rape/non-consensual sex, gory violence or torture, abortion/miscarriage, depiction of death/murder, angst, and explicit sex fall into this category. Also, stories that feature teenage sex should be rated NC-17. Your characters must not be under the age of 16 for any sexual situation, regardless of rating. You must state a warning as to WHY the chapter is given an NC-17 rating.

Enforcement of the Rules
Any breach of these rules will result in an official warning from the moderators or administration staff. Three such warnings will result in the story being pulled from the board, and the author may no longer be allowed to post fiction here. Such situations will be handled on a case by case basis. Any questions regarding this policy should be directed to the fanfic moderators or the admin staff.

Helpful Hints

(The guidelines outlined in this section are not a requirement for posting fiction here, but we strongly urge you to adopt these practices.)

Use Paragraph Breaks
Paragraph breaks and proper spacing make it easy for a reader to follow your story. Text with little spacing and few paragraphs is difficult for a reader to enjoy. Tabs don't work here, so avoid using them. Preview your story after you've posted it. If you see that the words and paragraphs are running together, go back and insert the proper spacing.

Italicize Your Character's Thoughts
Thoughts of the characters should be italicized, rather than set apart by some other symbol. BBCodes makes it easy to italicize your text. In your post, there is a row of buttons that includes an 'i' which means italics. Highlight the text you wish to italicize, then click the 'i' button. Your character's thoughts are now clearly identified!

Use Quotation Marks for Dialogue
Quotation marks should be used to indicate dialogue between your characters. This helps the reader to distinguish between the words spoken and the actions or descriptions of the surroundings. In addition, you should start a new paragraph every time a new speaker begins talking.

Number Your Chapters
Give your chapters a name, or number them, in the subject line. This will help readers navigate between the posts.

Limit the Number of Chapters You Post Per Day
Many readers find it overwhelming when multiple chapters are posted to the same story in a short time. Try to space your entries out by a day or so.

Limit the Number of Announcements You Make in the Shout Box
Many people find it annoying when the Shout Box is filled with multiple announcements from the same author about the same story. Please limit your story announcements to one shout per story per day, and don't post shouts for more than two stories per day. You may review the overall Board Rules for more information about the intended uses of the Shout Box.

Let Everyone Know if English Isn't Your First Language
Many of the writers here are not native English speakers. Congratulations to you for writing a story in a foreign language! Most readers would appreciate knowing if English is not your native tongue, and they may be more tolerant of any mistakes. You can include this in your primary story header if you wish.

Try to Get a Beta Reader
You may find it helpful to have a beta reader review your chapters before you post them. It helps a lot - probably more than you think. It's great to get an honest, constructive opinion, rather than the usual "fluff" you'll find on message boards.

Quote from an article on what a BETA should do:

A beta reader should not be your best friend from high school who "just loves your stuff." What you need is a critical-yet-kind eye on your story, combined with the ability to clearly articulate what is working and what isn't. Someone who hands a story back to you and says, "Well, it was OKÖ." but can't tell you exactly why it was only OK is not a beta reader. A beta reader should hand it back and be able to say, "The characterization is right on the money, but your transitions are weak. Try beefing up this scene and keep an eye on your dialogue tags." A beta reader can suggest re-wording certain passages, omission of flowery language and clarify the narrative exposition. A beta doesn't necessarily have to be a writer, but has to be experienced enough at editing to clarify mistakes and make suggestions for solving story problems. (Case in point- if your beta hasn't mastered point of view, neither will you.)

Illustration Guidelines

Disallowed Subject Matter
Depictions of extreme violence, gore, or rape are not allowed. X-rated pictures also are not allowed. In addition, photographs of children, in any setting, are not allowed.

Sexually Suggestive Illustrations
Illustrations of sexual situations that would warrant an NC-17 rating are allowed, but please post these as thumbnails so that anyone who doesnít want to see it can avert their eyes. Slash pictures are allowed, as well as bondage or semi-consensual sex, as long as it falls into the NC-17 category. X-rated pictures are not allowed, and please remember that any depiction of rape is not allowed. Please remember that photographs or illustrations of children, in any setting, are not allowed.

NC-17 Warnings
If your story contains NC-17 illustrations, please place the appropriate warning in both your disclaimer and in the subject header for each post. State clearly why the illustrations merit an NC-17 warning.

R Warnings for Violence
As stated above, depictions of extreme violence are not allowed. If your illustration contains violence that would be rated X or NC-17, please donít post it. However, if your illustration merely suggests violence that would be given an R rating, it is allowed. Please post any R rated violence illustrations as a thumbnail, and place the appropriate warning in your disclaimer and chapter header.

If you wish to use illustrations or photos within your fiction, you should place a disclaimer in your header section. Here is an example disclaimer: ďArt used in this story is the property of itís rightful owner. No copyright infringement is intended, and no profit will be made from its use in this story.Ē However, if your artwork is completely original, you might want to place a copyright notice instead.

Size Limits
Illustrations should be no larger than 400 x 600 pixels (or 600 x 400 pixels), and please keep them under 200 kb. If you wish to use a larger image, please post it as a thumbnail.