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The Ba Sing Se Times, Issue 56: 15 June

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From the editor

It's that time again, people of Avatar Wiki! And boy, do we have a brib... I mean, issue for those of you waiting for the latest iteration of the BSST for what seems to be (and probably has been) a sad few months. The rampant inactivity, having taken its toll even upon the staff and robbing us of the genius that was our deputy editor WaterbenderTaikai, has similarly sapped our time to showcase the best our wiki has to offer. However, hopefully, we've made up for that loss by ensuring that our readers can enjoy a beefy edition this time around, while having brought in a fresh new face, Chakrasandwich, who we believe will do The Ba Sing Se Times legacy proud.

Be rest assured, the promotion of community spirit and collaboration is important to us, and we believe that with persistence these issues can become a center of activity in the lulls that the wiki has become accustomed to... It might be slow going for now, purely due to the lack of new developments and editors, however, it is only a matter of time before we will well and truly be able to clean the dust off the newsletter stands. In the meantime, stay tuned to the news blogs of our associates, and enjoy!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Chakomics: Second Round

A Farewell to a Friend

The lights fade and dim, until darkness like a fog engulfs the room. Sad but sorrowful music plays on an old phonograph. Should I give up, or should I just keep chasing pavements? Even if it leads nowhere...Or would it be a waste even if I knew my place?

Since May 26, 2012, WaterbenderTaikai has been editing, contributing, helping out, and befriending. But ever since March 5, one of the friendliest users on the wiki suddenly disappeared without a trace, and without a goodbye. Two months later, he made a blog post stating that his time was here. He had to leave, and I nearly broke into tears. Taikai was one of the first people I met on the wiki, and is one of my greatest friends on the wiki. He helped me out around all aspects of the wiki, including the IRC. For this reason, I dedicate this illustration to him.

One of my favorite memories with Taikai is when we both went on an editing spree putting the credits of actors in alphabetical order. In the beginning, our edit summaries were “alphabetizing credits”. Eventually around the 20th page, we started writing “ABC” for laziness simplicity. We would talk to each other in the edit summaries, saying things like "This reminds me of alphabetizing papers for my teacher!" and "If anyone needs alphabetizing files, ask Chakras or me! XD" One edit summary, Taikai wrote "*sings Jackson 5*". This just made me fall out of my chair from laughter, and the next edit I just had to write “ABC-ohahaha I get it. Abc easy as one two thre *something do re mi ABC 123 baby yuo and me girl XD”. The next day, Madame Lostris pops up on my wall saying “Lol xD Always funny to see edit summaries like that when checking the made edits.” This definitely takes the prize of most memorable edit summaries as Lostris explained, and it is one of my best memories of the wiki period. So as a tribute to that awesome moment, I have drawn Taikai as I imagine him, a smiling Aang filing cabinets and singing "ABC" by the Jackson 5.

And all the memories are all I have left of Taikai. He was a great person, trustworthy, amiable, and kind. We'll never forget Taikai for his dedication to the wiki, his contributions and his friendliness. I wish I had gotten the chance to say goodbye to him on the IRC or somewhere else, but alas, I never saw him after his birthday. “I suppose in the end, the whole of life becomes an act of letting go. But what always hurts the most is not taking the moment to say goodbye.” (from Life of Pi)

The lights slowly grow brighter and the sun shines through the windows. The phonograph plays the last lines of the song. Should I leave it there? Should I give up or should I just keep chasing pavements? Even if it leads nowhere? (Chasing Pavements by Adele).

Did something go wrong in the production of Book Two: Spirits?

As we are now nearing one full year since the last new episode of The Legend of Korra aired, it is certainly frustrating the fandom as the days move onward without any real indication about when the next book will begin - we've seen tweets and Tumblr posts from voice actors prompting excitement, only to disappear and ultimately prove to be wrong.

So, it makes us wonder - why is Book Two taking so long to premiere? As of this writing, to be specific, it has been 11 months and 8 days since the Book One finale - this is now longer than any hiatus between episodes of ATLA. So, why the long holdup? What exactly has happened?

In my opinion - there are two plausible theories:

  • Something went technically wrong in production.
  • Bryke made a change or changes in the Book Two story line.

On theory #1: Technical fault

Any device is plausible to have a breakdown. Putting the drawings into animation, voice recordings, anything could have glitched in the middle of putting together the episodes. As a result, it could force the staff to re-shoot, re-make, etc. any of the scenes in any episode - and pending on where the breakdown happened, it could be a lot of hard work to put a potentially broken scene back together.

However, I think this theory is not plausible. I would be led to believe that if there were a breakdown in the production process, Bryan K - being a leader in putting out little LoK easter eggs via Tumblr - would probably have said there was something gone awry during this work. Instead, we have gotten nothing but updates speaking of progress on the animation work for Book Two.

Now let's see - "A" not being true does not necessarily mean "B" is true. But is "B" more plausible?

On theory #2: In-book story line change(s)

The way I see it, this could be a more plausible theory given the holdup we are experiencing, and also the general hush-hush from Nickelodeon, Bryke, and the rest of the staff. What needs to be kept in mind is that Book One ended on a rather poorly-executed note; rushed with everything just kind of thrown together with no real explanation - how did Korra airbend exactly? What of the Equalists post-Amonatak1? Makorra just suddenly getting together with some dry "I love you [too]"? Aang giving Korra her bending back for free?

Bryke could very well be taking a look at some of the mistakes they made in Book One, and as a result, are taking their time more with Book Two. As a result, they may very well be double-checking the produced work for Book Two - there's a good chance, then, they found something within the story line they don't like. The changing of one scene can also result in changing elements around that scene - build-up and aftermath. This would cause a rewrite, revoicing, reanimating, etc. As a result, these little changes could also be holding up the release while Bryke works to perfect everything.

So yes, we certainly cannot assume anything about the production - only the LoK staff and Nickelodeon have the answers about when the release date will be (something more specific than "later this year", in other words).

But I digress.

In case you've missed any of it - here are some news bits that have broken between BSST issues:

Thank you to everyone who has helped collect pieces of news over the past couple of months - and stay tuned to the latest blogs from our Associate Contributors - including myself (lol, shameless self-promo ^^") - for the latest Avatar related developments! But if you are the first here to see news yourself, do not be afraid to make a blog post and report it!

I leave you with the signoff made famous by late CBS Evening News anchor Walter Cronkite:

And that's the way it is, Ba Sing Se Times Issue 56, June 15, 2013.

48px-4760310.png New Writing Contest!

Two articles on the one newsletter? I know! You guys must be sick of me; if it makes you feel any better, I've sort of run out of things to talk about after this (unless I'm ranting about something, usually Toph's under-appreciated...ness). Anyway, not here to rant today, because I'm in a surprisingly good mood, and so I wanna share something with you guys.

A writing contest.

Yep, that's it. I, Fruipit, after 369 days of membership (when writing this article) am finally doing my own writing contest. It feels a little surreal, actually...

Hmm, anyway. This competition is a little different to those other authors have done. Why? Because its based on Taang week. So, the challenge is to write a story of any length or genre, focussing on a relationship between Toph and Aang. It can be a Sifu-student relationship. It can be antagonistic, romantic or friendship. It can be therapeutic or ... I've run out of relationships. The point is, as long as Toph and Aang are the main characters, you're good to go.

Oh, and I forgot that it has to revolve around an idea.

See, the whole premise of Taang week is seven days of seven one-shots. You release one each day, and for each day there is a different prompt. Like, for Day One - starting on the 27th May - the prompt is Regret. Therefore, the story should mention regret. It doesn't have to state it explicitly, but the idea must be there. Another fun thing about this contest is that there isn't a set genre you have to write in. If you want to write comedy, or action or romance or angst, go for it! The only restrictions really are the characters, and the topic (although you only have to make the barest mention of the prompt. A small lie, an epiphany that Zuko's tea isn't really poison - he just sucks at making it, or even just a character falling over).

Now, naturally (it is Taang week, after all) there are only seven prompts. In order, they are: Regret, Balance, Manners, Family, Tattoos, Lies and Realisation. The way I've organised it is based on date of first edit. Like, my first edit was on the 20th of May; therefore, the prompt that I would have to base my story on would be Tattoos.

There is absolutely nothing stopping you from writing one for each prompt, however only the prompt that falls on your edit date is eligible for entry; also, you may only enter once. The contest is open until June 30th.

If you're interested, just take a look over at the official bog post, where I explain everything, from all of the rules (there aren't many) to the grading system and even a couple of hints as to what I'm looking for. I hope you try out, and it is really just supposed to be a fun way to pass some time whilst waiting for the fandom to regain its former strength (as it inevitably will with the release of Book Two).

Stay shiny, and don't run with your spears! ~Fruipit

48px-3327121.png The Avatar Wiki Ecosystem‏

It goes without saying that most everyone who reads this is familiar with Avatar Wiki. Users can browse this place anonymously for months before discovering the all-encompassing wiki activity page, let alone the site newsletter. But how in Koh’s realm is it comparable to an ecosystem? Well, to start, what is Avatar Wiki, exactly? At it’s foremost level, it is a wiki hosted by Wikia, Inc. about Avatar: The Last Airbender and everything associated with it. Once upon a time, a user named Howabout1 conceived this place, which has been built by others ever since. As an encyclopedia, Avatar Wiki strives to be consistent, accurate and free of speculation.

Building such a vast resource, though, would be quite an eccentric goal if there were none around to use and benefit from it. When one person does it, they learn something. When many people do it at the same time, they get together, and that’s the start of what Avatar Wiki has become today with blogs, walls, forums and comments, which are the most common and consistent point of entry to this place nowadays. This is the atmosphere of voice and speculation that keeps this place alive on a day-to-day basis even when there’s no news to report. What’s that, speculation? No, no, it’s actually a good thing this time around! When it comes to discussion, speculation is the driving point, and sometimes a theory or a creative idea also makes a good fanon, which is why the canon-fanon merger has worked so well since 2009.

Anyhow, back to the title of this article. An ecosystem is an association of living, changing systems called organisms coexisting together within a single, contained environment in which everything is linked to everything else. Such an association exists here between canon content editing, format editing, commenting, fanon writing, blogging, vandal-stopping, IRC-chatting, tiny chatting, etc. It’s always convenient to find wiki and fandom in the same spot, though the metamorphosis did not come easy.

On my more optimistic days on here, I can appreciate what the community has become. However, on my more pessimistic days on here, I wonder to what extent this community is what it claims and if it’s merely a fragile, connected network of isolated spheres. Everyone spends their time in their own way, but there’s a difference between that and being completely in a shell and forgetting the rest of the big picture at stake, and how important every individual piece is to the rest. If we continue to remember that, though, this place has a lot of fun times ahead of it.

48px-5019858.png Ramblings

It must've been four or five years ago when I started watching Avatar. I can't say I was one of those people who watched the premiere in 2005 and tuned in for every episode. Most of the time, I just watched it when I got home from school, switching between that and whatever else was one. I remember practicing my basketball ballhandling drills while I watched. Don't get me wrong, I thought the show was entertaining, and the bending was cool and all, but it's not like I rabidly shipped characters like, well, much of the fandom. It wasn't until after the show was over that I really got into it. Summer of 2009 (I think) it all changed. I rented all the seasons from the local library and retired upstairs into the office with a box of double stuffed oreos. To say I was hooked would be an understatement.

While I journeyed with the Gaang, I cultivated such a respect for nature and culture. I experienced, in awe, all the marvelous places like the Spirit Oasis, Wan Shi Tong's Library, the Crystal Catacombs, and the Sun Warrior Civilization, to name a few. There were so many life lessons I learned, amazing quotes, impactful proverbs (mostly from Uncle). "I don't need luck; I don't want it. I've had to struggle and fight and that's made me strong." "You need to ask yourself the big questions: who are you, and what do you want?" The elemental kung fu and action was awesome, of course, but I think the world that Brian and Mike created affected me the most. I also grew to love the characters, each of them so very different and at the same time, so similar to myself. I think that's something all of us can agree upon. After three seasons, Sozin's Comet tied everything together with a golden thread. The Boy in the Iceberg grew up to be Avatar Aang, Katara, Sokka, Zuko, Toph, everyone matured, and the world that endured one hundred years of war could finally enjoy a small measure of peace. It's hard to describe my feelings after finishing the series. I just remember that beautiful ending scene and the subsequent epic credits music. I remember feeling an inexplicable mixture of sad happiness.

Well, that was that, I supposed. I didn't want the show to be over, but neither does anyone really. Even so, I recognized the completeness of the story, and I guess I was just happy that such an awesome thing existed. That's kind of my "fan" story, how I became so obssessed. I'm opening my article with this less-than-brief narrative because I think we all have our own personal stories about why we're here. No matter what background, country, situation, we're all here, enjoying something in common, but it's more than that. Just like how Avatar opened up my world view, so has my time on the Wiki.

Last year, I initially joined the Wiki to post some comments (which I thought were funny...probably weren't). I was immediately drawn to the friendly, outgoing users, the colors, userboxes, pictures, random award ceremonies, everything. Even more so, I was drawn to the people who were so much like me in their passion for the show. I remember going back and forth reciting references from Avatar: The Abridged Series, "What happens at 5 o'clock? ...Naked Iroh time..." Then, I discovered the Iar Sea, a magical land of mystery that I still can't quite comprehend. I've spent ample time going nuts with Chakras and ATFF on there. I've also had some memorable conversations. I remember debating politics with Omashu Rocks, talking theology with MetalArmor, and most recently agreeing with Minnichi and Mageddon725 on our personal stances against alcohol. Mage, who is turning 21 soon, is excited to annoy his friends when he doesn't want to drink. I don't drink for many reasons, namely the fact I don't want to look like an idiot, I like to keep a level head, and I care about keeping my body healthy. Then Minnichi said, "OH MY SPIRITS! It's like you spoke directly from my conscience, Ty! @_@ I hate the idea of being woozy and unaware of my actions, too. I thought it was just me all this time! XD Just taking another moment to declare how awesome our Avatar Wiki Community is."

48px-2217546.png Struggles of Returning to the Wiki

Hello, everyone! Most of you know that I've taken a long hiatus from Avatar Wiki due to several reasons and one main underlying cause for my absence. I'd like nothing better than to return to the wiki and edit as I have in the past - but I have found that to be much more difficult than I imagined.

Recently I decided that I'd been putting it off long enough, and I pulled up the wiki and made an edit. One thing I quickly felt is the satisfaction that comes from making some changes to an article; which I had experienced in ample amounts before.

Upon my return, I did not expect to see as much activity as the wiki experienced several months ago due to the delay of Book 2. After talking with some editors on the IRC, I discovered that this low point in activity on the wiki had been building for a while after I left. My perception of Avatar Wiki has changed a bit because of this. Perhaps one reason returning was, and still is, so difficult is because of the changed environment of the site I have perceived, with less frequent editors and less activity in general.

Of course, when there is nothing new in the franchise, there will naturally be less editing going on. I'm sure the wiki will rebound in terms of activity by the time Book 2 arrives. In my absence, I feel I have missed out on the arrival of some users, however, many of the frequent editors I see are familiar already. I'm sure while I've been gone there have been countless situations I've missed out on, many forums and some changes, and many different opportunities to edit.

Although a lot has gone on, the wiki does not seem to be much different from the time I last left it. I hope to make an edit or two a day, and increase my activity from there. A big thanks to KMP for suggesting that I write this for the BSST.

from the fanon portal
48px-2249220.png Latest Fanon News‏

Hey, guys. It's Acer, going on for good.

So, after a long vacation to the Land of Goodies and Dreamies, finally, doctor can cure me from Panditis! I wish the Ba Sing Se Times's Deputy Editor can also be cured from that... sickness.. But the point is, I'm back.

Long story short, my vacation from my bedroom had ended and now I'm back sitting in front of my PC, spying through the Recent Changes, keep lurking if there is any, any update from the fanon authors out there. And now, to celebrate the almost-barren competition in the Fanon Advertisement System; congratulation to ByBray for winning this intriguing contest! But hold the applauds. Guys, do you know who Bray is? Yeah, he's a new Fanon Writer that I believe, will give our Fanon Portal colorful. He is well-known with his Inheritance, and if you know, he's also just sent his request for Fanon Awards councilship!

Speaking about Fanon Awards, we are going to celebrate the most-waited annual through this Fanon Portal in this August! Yeah, it's such a long timespan from now, but I believe by creating your own fanon, editing through the Fanon Portal, cleaning up and getting involved in the Fanon user groups, you won't be bored at all. Trust me, when I enjoyed the Fourth Award, it seems I won't stay any longer in this wiki. But who knows? Now, I'm here reporting the Fanon Portal news. As ARG had said before in the FAQ column via Project: The White Lotus Sentinel, the admins will choose 5 councils and the councils will begin developing-phase in June. I wish we can expand our community-network by this great award, and I wish more authors can join the Portal following this award. Plus, let's celebrate the new Fanon Awards Council; AvatarRokusGhost, ByBray, Minnichi, Typhoonmaster, and Mageddon725! They, all of them had been chosen as the new Fanon Awards Council as of May 26, 2013! Expect more fun and interesting new ideas upon the new annual, and let's join the Awards by starting to write fanons!

So now, what's next? I have some cookies and sodas for everyone who celebrate their finishing-ceremony - let's just say congratulation to Omashu Rocks! He and his Political Animals had ended their journey in the Fanon Portal, but I believe OR will continue his adventurous live through the Fanon Portal with you, .

Well, if you don't know, I have several technical updates in the Fanon Portal - that currently, Fanonbenders are going to develop the abandoned page; the News and Updates central. That page comprises everything about news and updates of several fanon that if you know, shown via request. That page is a community news and updates, so a lot of great stories' updates could be seen via that page. Let me repeat that once more, SHOWN VIA REQUEST. Yeah, I'm talking to you, that you, yours fanon's news and updates can be seen on that page, which that equals with more popular fanon! :D You just need to put your fanon title in the Fanonbenders' talk page, notify one of us to add your fanon's news and updates' section to that page. It seems that page is barren, ya? But don' worry, if you contribute more from your own, we Fanonbenders would gladly appreciate your work and there will be no more barren page in the Fanon Portal ;-)

Wait. There is more. If you notice, there is a new feature in the whole that evaluates to 5,000 wikis in worldwide; Wiki Activity Monitor or usually called WAM. It is a feature that indicates the Wiki’s health and vitality. WAM is a custom measurement developed by Wikia to capture a number of independent indicators into one overall index, like the Billboard or Parker score. The WAM is calculated daily for the top 5,000 Wikis and includes an overall and vertical rank as well as a score from 0 to 100. The WAM rankings are sensitive to real-world events and change frequently, so be sure to check back regularly to see the latest trends. The point is, Avatar Wiki ranked top 40, and it consists of canon, film, and fanon mainspace. I said, FANON! Yeah, believe it or not, Avatar Wiki Fanon Portal is part of Avatar Wiki, which means we're part of a very BIG community! That's correct; our fanon contributions do give a very big impact to that rank! We are not barren, yet, guys. Just let our spirit back to ourselves, and let's write more fanon! It's sad to know that the only active fanon authors are Fruipit and AvatarMJC who update their own fanon constantly everyday. Come on, join us with writing and contest; Fruipit has a writing contest that you -must- give a shot. If you want our wiki stay in the #40, we should increase our activity--but it doesn't mean quantity over quality, of course. It's okay if writer's block caught you, but if you don't fix it, then who will?

Short story, now I'm off.. For good.

Fanon Review: Avatar: Neo Revolution by jtwin1

For the first 2013 summer edition of the Ba Sing Se Times, I'll be evaluating Avatar: Neo Revolution by jtwin1 today! This story takes a darker spin on things but keeps the same spirit and values we all know from the Avatarverse. Definitely something you guys should check out while you're on break from school!

Republic City New2
Avatar: Neo Revolution is set four generations after Avatar Korra, when a new waterbending Avatar is born. It is about the struggle of two boys, one of which is the Avatar, trying to restore balance to a vastly imbalanced world. With the help of their friends, they try to accomplish harmony and, before balance can start to be recovered, aim to discover which boy is the Avatar - while keeping under the radar of the Clandestines; a mysterious and powerful group set on destroying the Avatar and gaining an upper hand on the world's politics.

In an attempt to discover the truth and find refuge and support, they travel across the dangerous Wasteland to Haven, an accordingly named haven amidst the choas of a world in turmoil.

Will they succeed in restoring balance? Or will the Clandestines gain power and fulfill their aims? But, the question on everyone's minds is: Who is the Avatar?

Reading this fanon, anyone can see that this author has a great eye for detail. It really brings more life to the story and makes it go beyond a pile of text, something that you don't always see around the fanon portal. But without further ado:

The Scores

  • Plot - 8.8: The plot has a very solid setup, and I think the author's worked out everything nicely. The only issue I found was that a lot of things were presented kind of "separately" to the readers, like the entire prologue of the fanon. It's okay to keep some events as part of an intro, but in this case perhaps too many major events were left in "narrator" form. This makes the story less engaging and can make it come across more like a history lesson to readers if it stretches too long. In something like a prologue, it's critical to draw reader interest, so I would suggest introducing actual story characters a little sooner. Most importantly, to engage readers you should try to incorporate as much 'history' as possible into character interactions rather than explaining it separately. The characters can give us clues of the past based on what they say now, and it prevents the story from feeling slow if we hear it through them rather than via a narrator.
  • Organization - 9.5: Almost nothing to say here. Everything was extremely, extremely clear. Only thing I might mention is again, the prologue. When you stick too many major events into the intro, things can come across vaguely. You could give some more insight on each Avatar that passed, or what motivated each organization to want to take control of the world and whatnot. The way it is now kind of lists off major things more casually than what's appropriate. Readers would want to hear a little more about the in-betweens that led to the current situation, and that could help make your fanon clearer overall.
  • Creativity – 8.5: The ideas I came across were genius - the whole aspect of having two possible Avatar candidates, down to the kinds of weapons people have come up with to counter the Avatar State. I think the issue here comes mainly from a lack of elaboration, but it's mainly the antagonist side that I found somewhat stereotypical. We don't know much about them, and whenever they're mentioned it's either to take over the world or kill the Avatar. Their equipment and power seems to come to them a little too conveniently - but again, I'm pretty sure it's just because the author hasn't gotten to explaining how they got that far. With more elaboration of who the antagonists are and how they managed to grow so powerful, they'll just come across more as the unique, BA villains I know they are.
  • Writing – 8.7 (x3): I'll have to say first that jtwin1 writes very well. The visual detail is some of the best I've seen around the fanon portal. However, there's one critique I'll elaborate on here that's as important as correct grammar/good detail: balance. In light of the author's desire to receive more feedback on this fanon, I believe balance alone may be the reason why there currently aren't as many readers as he'd like. This ties back to everything I said about the prologue; if things ever start feeling "slow" to a reader, it's hard to keep their interest enough to click on the next chapter. The one thing that I think would make the most difference for this fanon is if the author balances how much "story" there is versus how much "narration" there is. In my opinion, we should keep narration to a minimum. You'd be surprised how much background information doesn't have to be separated into a big paragraph. I notice there are a lot of lengthy 'character histories' that are elaborated on for quite a while before said characters actually begin doing anything. Right now I see more of a separation: big portions of history lessons followed by big portions of character interaction. You need more of a balance between them, so that it not only feels more natural but keeps a good pace as well. Instead of elaborating how a character looks like and then having them talk, for instance, you could combine it with their dialogue and actions. Something like "Rolling her sapphire eyes, she blew a messy lock of brown hair out of her face." It takes care of physical description without 'pausing' the story. And then for something like character history, you should combine facts with dialogue. Characters can often explain their own history a lot of the times, and it gives readers a better idea of who they are in addition to keeping things lively. So overall I think the writing is great, but it has a lot of 'pauses' when elaborating on background information. The information itself is crucial, but the presentation needs to keep a steady pace in order to retain reader interest.
  • Character Development - 8.6 (x2): The protagonists are very nicely elaborated, so not much to say there. Deductions here come from what I think is a slight neglect for the same detail when it comes to antagonists and minor characters. I believe it would help to give readers a look on the antagonist side every once in a while, something to remind them that those people don't exist only to be evil and cause trouble. They have their own ambitions, and every antagonist is a protagonist in his own world, so we have to see what makes them believe their actions are right as well. The better we can understand both sides of the story, the more meaningful and complete the story becomes. So I say the Clandestines and their whole system could definitely use more detail, but overall the character development in this story is admirable.
  • Action - 9.0: First of all, thank you - Oh my goodness, THANK YOU for being so visual about your attacks and actually showing me what element-bending looks like! jtwin1 covers everything, from the nature of each attack to the movements associated with them. I have nothing but praise for how he captures the visual elements of battle. The one deduction here comes from again, the balance issue - which seems to be the central area of improvement that branches to multiple categories. During the fights in this story, there are certain things I feel kind of slowed down the pace, particularly the dialogue. There are certain things characters don't need to say, such as their motives for everything. It could come across as a little cliche, for instance, if the evil-doers stop every once in while just to express how much they love bullying little kids and how they're going to make someone pay. In most real-life fights there isn't much time to stand around and mock someone, and you have to remember how fast things are happening. I would say the "commentary" during fights in this story are a little too frequent and last too long; the dialogue should reflect more the ongoing nature of the battle, and not make it sound like it's pausing for people to talk. Most of the time you can capture the same feelings without dialogue; try incorporating emotions into the actions themselves, or describing the expressions that hint how someone feels inside.
  • Believability – 8.8: Only tying back to what I said earlier. I can see all of this happening, but it can sound a little unrealistic if the author doesn't elaborate on exactly *how* they happened. I understand that the Clandestines are very powerful, but it wasn't explained much how they could pull it off, only that they became too much for the Avatar. There isn't a sense of the "hard work" it takes for people with evil ambitions to reach their goals; I want to see more of a sense of struggle and difficulty for the Clandestines to rise to power, as it was surely not easy for them to become a threat to the Avatar as they did. Other than that, I think everything works for me.

Overall Score: 8.79

My advice for jtwin1: Main thing you should do is probably pick up the pace of your story. There isn't that much to add, just try incorporating things more into the characters' point of view rather than the reader's. Aside from that, great job!

Who should read Avatar: Neo Revolution? If you liked the show, you'll probably wanna check this out too.

48px-4068251.png Fanon Review: My Imago by Kyoshidude

Hey there, Mageddon725 here, reviewing My Imago by Kyoshidude on behalf of the Fanon Review Squad.

Lo and Li are twins sisters, and share a special connection. My Imago is a collection of one-shots based on many different viewpoints that explores the sister's connection. Throughout the collection, the sisters' ideals of love, family, and sacrifice are tested and perhaps, after a lifetime of turmoil, the two will become smoothened.

Though this is a fanon of one-shots, they each are a smaller part of a larger story. My Imago is quite a beautiful tale about two minor characters, and it accomplishes this well, despite some spelling and grammar issues. A note: For this fanon review, I have removed the action category, seeing as it has none.


Story – 8.0: The backstory of Lo and Li has never really been explored in and of itself, and this fanon does an excellent job. My complaint is that these one-shots are kind of sitting on the fence. By that I mean that they are incredibly interconnected, but not quite enough to make a coherent plot between them. Thus, this fanon sits in a state of limbo.

Writing – 8.6: The writing is done very well, something Kyoshidude should be proud of. However, the way he has chosen to write the dialogue, especially in the last two one-shots, is clunky and hard to follow. In addition, the vocabulary used in My Imago is sometimes extensive, and it ultimately takes away from the story when someone who reads it has to look up words (Yes, I had to do this once or twice; it brought shame upon my house).

Creativity – 10.0: I’m afraid that I can find nothing to criticize here. One-shots about minor characters that are hardly ever addressed in fanon make for a creative story.

Believability – 9.0: Though we know very little about Lo and Li canon-wise, I feel like this was a fairly good representation of what they might have gone through.

Character Development – 9.3: It starts out a little stiff, but as this series of one-shots goes on, I can see Lo and Li growing individually, as well as together, into the characters that we see in the original series.

Average Score/Final Verdict: 9.0 – My Imago is a very well written character study of Lo and Li, and the emotion showcased within is Kyoshidude’s strong point. Although it suffers from a few writing quirks and the whole limbo thing I mentioned, it is a pretty strong fanon in its own right.

Who should read My Imago? Anyone looking for an emotional character study should definitely read this.

48px-5158009.png Parallel Paces On

Some of you might be aware of the new group-fanon project floating around the wiki called “Parallel”. This is an awesome fanon featuring seven well-known fanon authors: PreservationsWings, ByBray, TechFilmer, Fruipit, The lucky mango, Henryjh98 and myself. Working with a group of authors on one story (as you can well imagine) isn’t easy work, but it is a fun and rewarding experience, that I am sure glad I can be a part of!

Parallel features a band of seven separate individuals who find themselves smack dab in the center of an all-out war in Republic City. The story takes place just fifteen years after the end of the Legend of Korra, and it is told through a different point of view for every individual character. When their home is in chaos and Avatar Korra is nowhere to be found, these seven ordinary individuals, with their own various backstories and abilities, each face the beginning of the end before ultimately being drawn together to form an underground team against the new evil that has emerged to threaten everything. Under the leadership of the United Republic’s best detective, five formerly troubled teens are the only hope the UN has to take back their city and perhaps even save the world.

So far Parallel has faced many tribulations that has stalled our writing, whether it be the trade out of inactive writers, the lack of communication between some authors, the busy schedules butting in, and of course the effects bled onto us after (what I can only refer to as) a brutal betrayal and a wicked dive into mania between two users in our own group’s family. Still, past all of the struggles, Parallel has begun to blossom! The publication is still a ways away from being released to everyone here, but when it finally goes public, I guarantee that it will be well worth the wait. If you have not subscribed yet, well don’t worry, you still have time, but this is definitely not a series that you’ll want to miss! With our team finishing off with school and other various setbacks, soon Parallel will be taking off and brought into the limelight, hopefully to become a fan favorite among the fanon-lovers!

In the end (as it is with all writers and their fanons) imagination and endurance are the two keys to success and no matter what, you can never allow naysayers to keep you from enjoying the thing you love---if you’re too afraid to try something new, you won’t ever do anything fun. You got to go put yourself out there and not hold back just because you’re afraid that one person might mock you for it. In hindsight, tons more will actually love the things that you create and one good comment is worth a hundred cruel and empty words where the only purpose is to bring you down. Here in a family like my Parallel group, we don’t have to worry about people looking down on our achievements; we’re connected in a bigger project that plunge or prevail will be our own good memories just getting to create. As long as we are confident in our work and enjoy what we’re doing, then it’s all worth it in the end. With any author, either in a group or as an individual, just keep writing, drawing, and living on whatever it is that you think is fun. Never back down and don’t listen to the naysayers around you. In the end, you’ll be the one with all of the happy memories, while they’re left alone with only the empty words.

With that, please enjoy this sneak preview of our group-fanon, Parallel

Republic City, the grand haven for equality, or so it has been called by the rest of the world. A nationwide prosperity has engulfed the planet ever since Avatar Korra and her friends brought down the Equalists, and rendered a much needed balance between this world and the land of the spirits. For fifteen years this city has longed through a really boring era of peace, happiness, and safety.
“Help! Police! I’ve been robbed!”
Well---not too much peace and safety...
One woman’s shrill cries echo throughout the distant streets as a mugger runs through the alleys with her snatched handbag and a handful of her hard-earned yuans. He runs his hardest through the brick maze of buildings, his feet pounding and blood pumping; he takes a sharp turn as he runs and then scales a fence twice his own height. The mugger is swift, agile, but smart? No, he isn’t very smart at all. If this robber were a smart criminal, a true con artist and a master at larceny, then he would obviously realize that one more misplaced turn and he would run head first into a blockade of Metalbending officers.
48px-4760310.png Users' Choice Awards

Hello, my Avatar-obsessed acquaintances! Fruipit, back (yes, again) to chat about the Fanon Fact Finders' Users' Choice Interview.

Okay, last WLS issue, I put up a small article and a poll asking users which fanon they would like us to interview. Now, this may seem like a stupid question (really, Fruipit? The Fact Finders, an interviewing usergroup, wants to interview someone? No!), but bear with me. I promise I'll stop being sarcastic.

A while ago, Master Ratava came up with the idea that once a year, all the members of the Fact Finders would get together and interview one author on their story. This was a really long time ago, and its almost sad that he isn't here to see us try it. Obviously, by my previous statement, the interview never occurred, and it's been sitting down the bottom of our group page since he added it. Recently, it was suggested that we try it now while the usergroup is so quiet (honestly, it's like going to the beach. In the middle of winter. In Antarctica). This way, we have time to test a few things out (such as the best method for getting the community involved, how much time it takes, all that jazz), and there is no-one around to laugh at us if we fall through the ice (figuratively speaking, of course).

Now, with the actual author we might interview - it's up to you guys to pick them. We, the members of the Fact Finders, need you to go over to the latest WLS Issue and scroll down to the bottom. There is a poll there with four fanon options. We need you to vote for either ARG's latest story, DSV, Kyoshidude's Kyoshi Chronicles, Meg's Moon Drops or Minn's Dai Li Agents. Whichever story gets the most votes will be interviewed by all members of the Fact Finders, get a special blog post about it, and a nifty userbox commending them!

The whole point of this is to give us something to do, and get a bit more notice out there about the Fact Finders - not to mention hopefully giving another author a little more attention. Has anyone else noticed that the interviews are less popular than reviews? This is very much a trial as to how involved we can get you guys, and whether or not we actually help people discover a few of the less well-known, or ignored stories. I know that I really didn't want to read SHiE, purely because it was an OC story - that is, until I read it in about three hours during a lecture for an interview.

I have read all of these stories, and I have to say that each and every one of them deserves their time in the spotlight. Unfortunately, it's not up to me to choose, so if you want to delve even deeper into the backstory, the influences and inspirations, heck, even just the nonsense ramblings of your favourite story, go over and vote now!

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