Issue 22: October 5th, 2013
NOTE: Refer to Typhoonmaster's story article in the previous WLS issue to know more about the green-themed newsletter changes.
Show; Don't Tell

In Kindergarten, the sweet 100-year-old motherly woman who called herself your teacher forced you to participate in a weekly satanic ritual known as "Show and Tell." If your school was anything like mine, that is. Then again, if your school was like mine, you got a day off for mourning when Barack Obama was elected president.

Anyway, I will be learning you today about how to correctly write fiction. Unfortunately, day care "Kindergarten" has put you at a disadvantage. You see, the word "and" makes Show and Tell a conjunction, which is wrong... at least in writing. There should be little to no "telling" involved. Your writing should be all about the showing.

"The city was dirty and poverty-stricken, inhabited only by the poor, sick, and orphaned."

What's wrong with the above sentence? At first glance, maybe nothing. Sure, it's not the greatest writing you've ever seen but would your eyeballs bleed if you read that in a fanon? Would they? Actually, they should bleed. I'm not a huge fan of capital punishment, but it should be sentenced to literary death.

The problem with my sentence is that it tells you straight-up what the city is. The creative part of your mind does nothing when all you read is the Encyclopedia entry for Detroit (kidding, no offense Detroit). Jokes aside, a good writer would show us the city so that we can "see" it for ourselves, as if we're right there with the characters witnessing the same scene they are.

"A scrawny, dark-skinned boy in tattered clothing wheeled a cart carrying his dinner, a dead street rat, passed the wheezing old man huddled in between two dark green dumpsters."

Again, what I wrote wasn't necessarily brilliant. I'm not winning any Pulitzer Prizes, but the second sentence is infinitely better than the first. You may be wondering how I could even compare them since they aren't saying the same thing, but wonder again. I am saying the same thing, except I'm showing you instead of telling you. In the first sentence, you are told that the city is poor. In the second, you can infer the poverty of the city through carefully selected details described, and you can imagine the sight as if you were there. You were shown the poverty.

Another way to show and not tell is by invoking the five senses: sight, hearing, touch, taste, and smell. If you're like Varrick, you have a sixth sense called fashion, but that's beside the point. What you can do as an author is transport your reader into the fanon.

Let's say I'm writing a first-person narrative story, and the main character is in the midst of a fight with a Firebender. I could say "I glared at my deadly opponent as I panted to catch my breath before he shot another blast of flames" or I could show you what's happening:

"I had to ignore the mixed taste of sweat and blood and fight through the piercing pain in my chest to barely evade the intense blast of flames, the heat suffocating me as it signed the tips of my hair."

In the second sentence, I never told you directly that the protagonist was tired or out of breath, and I never told you that her opponent shot a fireball at her... yet you knew it happened and you could imagine it happening. I'm not literary genius, and the sentence isn't going to be published anytime soon, but I was still able to invoke the five senses. You can imagine the taste (and smell) of sweat and blood, gather that the pain in her chest is the same one you feel when your fighting through an intense workout, feel the heat of the fire, and smell the horrid stench of burnt hair. None of those things could have been found in the first sentence, which was merely a statement of what happened. When your righting fiction, stating what happened doesn't cut it. You're not in Kindergarten anymore.

White lotus tile icon
Fanon Urban Dictionary

Mac 'N Cheese

noun; a dish consisting of cooked macaroni pasta and cheese.
noun; the invaluable manna of fanon writing. The priceless phenomenon that fuels an author to write from 10 pm to 4 am. The most fundamental ingredient, and the basic constructive unit, from which all good fanon writing derives from."


noun; an individual who is claimed to have been contacted by the supernatural or the divine.
noun; an author who has communed with the omnipotent Bryke. The fanon creations of a Prophet, whether they be locations, characters, or themes amazingly come true when the Canon is revealed in the show or comics. "Oh my goodness! For the love of Aang! I wrote Mako and Korra's breakup in my story before it happened for real! I knew it! I am such a prophet!"

Illustration Craze

noun; the ensuing pandaemonium that follows the creation of fanon-art by one of Minnichi's acquaintances (minions) on DeviantArt. "The exquisite shading...the beautiful characters...the awe-inspiring ambience...where'th can I find one of these portals into the human soul for my own fanon?"

Character Development

noun; the change in characterization of a dynamic character, who changes over the course of a narrative.
noun; an unimaginative Urban Dictionary entry name.
noun; a vital scoring section in FRS Reviews.
noun; the life and blood of a fanon, and all fictional writing for that matter. Character Development is the magic potion that turns rabid Mako bashers into the next generation of fangirls drawing Mako in the margins of their math homework. Character Development can make or break a story.


adjective; When a author of a fanon attempts to somehow communicate to the reader. "And then... she approached the briefcase, slowly, to find that it was... EMPTY?! Can you believe that?" "Huh, that's weird. It's like the story is trying to talk to me." "Hey you! Yeah you! Reader! You look pretty tonight..." "What?! This is getting creepy!" "Take your heels off..." "Ahh! Mommy!"


Love the Fanon Urban Dictionary? Miss any definitions? See the complete collection here!

Dai Li Headquarters

I was at the mall trying to buy a pretzel at Auntie Anne's, and a mom and her kid kept staring at me. I did the polite thing, acknowledged their stares by waving and giving a friendly look. The kid, who wore one of those ridiculous rainbow hats with a propeller on top, whispered something in his mom's ear. She seemed to decline whatever it was he asked for, but after he started to throw a fit, she apparently gave into his demands.

They walked directly to me.

"Hi," said the mom. "Is it alright if my son takes a picture with you?"

Last Week:

"As a part of your new job descriptions, you are obliged to wear these uniforms at all times," said Minnichi. "Since I'm in charge around here, we will be doing things my way."

She held up the green robes.

"They are made of the finest material, lightweight and strong, waterproof and fire repellent. The golden insignia on the sleeve symbolizes your rank and authority. It is a rare privilege to wear these garments, so I expect you to carry yourselves with the utmost responsibility."

She held up a green lamp shade with a yellow piece of yarn coming off the top.

"This is will be your hat."

After the coup placed the Laogai Inquirer in power, many things changed around the office. The hallways were a lot quieter...and darker. All of the lightbulbs were replaced with eery green phosphorescent torches. All of the secretaries were given new name tags.

Monday morning, I walked through the revolving doors and swiped my card.

"Good morning Janet. Back to the old grind, eh?" I greeted the secretary working the lobby.

"Hello, Agent Typhoonmaster. Janet does not exist. I am Joo Dee. Welcome to our wonderful headquarters! There are many things to do for the Laogai Inquirer, including writing articles, editing coding, and formatting pages. The work here is so fun and enjoyable, sometimes I wish I could stay at the office all day!"

"Yeah...right. Well, you have a good one, Janet. Erm, I mean Joo Dee."

I made a conscious note to myself to use the back door every day from that point on. I noticed other things, too. Instead of the regular office music, a continuous loop of the Avatar soundtrack, a new type of inspirational music took its place. It wasn't really music so much as it was a spoken word kind of...speech, given to us by a Peace Orator.

"Welcome to the Laogai Inquirer. Here we are productive. Here we stay on task. Inside these walls there is no such thing as procrastination. Here we are productive. Here we stay on task. Inside these walls, we meet our deadlines. Here we are productive. Here we stay on task."

Even the bathrooms changed! Instead of normal lights, a single glowing candle flickered in front of the mirror. It rotated around on a circular track and made it difficult to wash my hands. Worst of all, they replaced the foam dispenser with green liquid hand soap.

AvatarRokusGhost found it hard to assimilate to the new data plan policy. Since Laogaizon doesn't support the iPhone, he couldn't play any Candy Crush. He simply wasn't the same after that, and I felt bad. I offered him a pack of Mentos, but he said they were merely breath fresheners and that they would only make matters worse.

Omashu Rocks took the change the hardest.

"These Communists think of everything, don't they Ty?"

I looked up from my paperwork "I guess so...What do you mean?"

"Just look around us. There are spies everywhere, watching, waiting." He pointed to the camera in the corner of the ceiling. "I see you there! Don't act like you don't hear me!" He stood up.

"Umm, OR I don't think you should - "

It was too late. He went up to the camera, ripped off his agent's robes, and revealed a flaming bald eagle tattooed to his chest. "Land of the free, home of the brave!" He shouted into the lens.

Over the intercom, a monotone voice sounded "Agent Rocks, please return to your station."

"How about I return to my station when you give me back my dignity as a laborer? I demand an 8 hour workday, raised wages, and added benefits! Don't think I won't bring this to court!"

Rock gloves fired from the walls and latched unto his hands and feet. Chains projected out of the floor and grappled around his shoulders and arms. Then, the chains dragged him out the door, through the hallways, and into a room called "Human Resources."

That image of Omashu Rocks, shirtless and screaming obscenities which I will never repeat out loud, was the last thing I ever saw of him.


"I'm sorry to impose on you, sir, but it isn't every day we get to see a real, live wizard. My son is a huge fan of Harry Potter, and he'd love to get a picture with you."

The guy in front of me wore horn-rimmed spectacles and spoke with a lisp.

"Ma'am, his robes are obviously hacked or stolen off of another wizard's body. His gloves are made of rocks. Since when do wizards even grapple in hand to hand combat? Don't even waste your time with this noob. By the looks of him, he can only perform remedial conjuration or destruction magic at best."

I didn't know whether to be mad at that statement or not, so I simply ignored the cretin.

"Actually, I'm not a wizard. I work for the Laogai Inquirer, and these robes are the new uniform."

"Can my son take a picture with you anyways?"

So it's come to this. Made fun of by the nerd equivalent of Craig and Eric on Drake and Josh, forced to wear full-length robes in public, and asked by a mother to take a picture with her son who wore a propeller hat, and, on further inspection, crocs.

Faking my smile for the picture, I wished with the deepest part of my heart that the good old White Lotus Sentinel would come back.

Will Minnichi's Dai Li takeover last? Will AvatarRokusGhost make the switch to Laogaizon? What exactly happened to Omashu Rocks in "Human Resources?" These questions and more will be answered in the next installment of WLS-...I mean Dai Li Headquarters!

Reviewing- A Reviewer's Take

Looking at the title, many of you are probably thinking, "Man? Another article on commenting? I know that already!". I know you do, because there have been several articles over the months about why you should review. It makes the author feel good, it gives them great input and feedback, and lets them know that people are following and reading. But, today, I'm not going to talk to you about reviewing from the perspective of an author. I'm going to talk to you, reader to reader.

When I think of commenting, I think of little, well, comments. People saying, "Oh, nice job!" or, "Such-and-such line was my favourite!" When I think of reviewing, I think of the Fanon Review Squad; a detailed opinion of a story. Now, as an author, I prefer those ones for the reasons outlines above, but even the little ones are meaningful. Or, rather, they can have meaning, if you give it. And, honestly, who wouldn't?

There are literally hundreds of comments on here, saying little things like, "Loved it!" or "Interesting!", but these have no meaning. There's no way for an author to really respond to it, which is a huge shame because I find the readers can sometimes be more interesting than the story. Just look at the comments on one of Minn's latest chapters. These comments have meaning (my personal favourite is Ty's).

So, meaningful. How do you make a comment meaningful? It's simple, really; just be honest, and be you. The positive consequences of commenting can be far greater than what you expect, if only you be yourself. Going off on a little introductory tangent here, I'm a female. You all know that (I hope). However, on, I don't have my gender on my profile. After leaving a little comment on someone's story about her characterisation of Toph, I had to go and double check that it was indeed the case when this perky author replied with a, "Hey, girl!". That little comment was the catalyst for, currently, 9 months of friendship and still going strong.

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Fanon Review: Dreams of Melasa by The Snowbold

After only about a month or two, Minnichi finally staggers back into the Fanon Review Squad office, ready to scrutinize the next fanon with the dark circles of her panda eyes healthier and more vibrant than ever! ...Ahem point being, yes it's nothing new that I am busy, but I certainly hope to make less of a habit with such drastic delays. Today is the beginning of a catchup attempt, and today we'll be looking at Dreams of Melasa by The Snowbold! Ever wanted to know the mystery behind that beautiful, anime-esque girl with red hair who always floods Avatar Wiki's image gallery? Look no further!

11eyes SDAG Misuzu Wall1
Avatar Tiros has encountered a new and puzzling character in the form of Melasa, a mysterious woman who now serves him. How will Melasa being a witch affect their partnership? While he is still trying to figure out her history, Tiros must settle disputes and chaos on the continent.

Melasa has sworn servitude to Avatar Tiros, how far will she go to serve her new master?

A new threat emerges from an earthbender named Lesun who is rumored to be immortal. He has begun a campaign of violence on the mainland that must be stopped. But any attempts by others meets failure, a great cry for the Avatar, who is still learning the elements, comes and Tiros finds it hard to refuse.

Years after the Iseran Rebellion that brought Melasa and Tiros together, something new arises, or rather, something old. Melasa goes alone to discover and confront the source in what is called the Shadow World.

As you can see, we've got a fanon introducing some very supernatural elements into the spiritual world of Avatar. Tiros and Melasa appear to be the representatives of each 'universe' in this case, and having such individuals journey and grow together is most definitely an interesting read. Let's look into it some more...

The Scores

  • Plot - 7.0: While I admire the author for taking on the challenge of combining two completely different concepts like the Avatar and witchcraft, much of the plot suffered due to lack of elaboration on this. One has to remember that the two "kinds" of universes do not combine naturally on their own. The characters appear to treat the concepts as nothing new, but the readers still must be convinced how this kind of combined universe works. An example is these recurring themes about the 'sorcery universe,' in which it's implied that the Avatar is never supposed to get along with Melasa's kind. The author should be cautious of that thin line between mysteriousness and vagueness. Every new plot element, from antagonists to different kinds of "powers," was introduced very suddenly and sort of cut off as if concealing a secret. I believe that the author still has lots of room for elaboration without having to give away any 'mysterious secrets,' and there are times that elaboration simply means making an event flow more naturally or taking time to let it sink in for readers before jumping to the next. Otherwise, readers may be confused and feel less of a sense of progression with the plot.
  • Organization - 6.6: To me, this is probably the area in which improvement would benefit this fanon the most. I recognize that the author has pretty solid writing, but a lack of organization alone can make it hard to follow in a number of places. The overall direction of the story and reading itself is not what I had difficulty picking up here, but it's the way events and actions in general were presented that can be confusing. A good rule of thumb to remember is that "drastic ideas need drastic elaboration." As I mentioned about the plot earlier, there were a lot of those kinds of ideas that didn't follow through with explanation, and that can give off a choppy feel. The first example that comes to mind is when Melasa was put under the "spell" to become Tiro's servant; it happened, and that was about it. The author should remember that the whole magic concept is very new to the Avatar world, at least to the readers' eyes, and such a pivotal moment - especially at the very beginning of a fanon - will require lots of elaboration to ease naturally into the story. Things like how the spell really works, the kinds of energies/talents it requires, and how it's possible in the Avatar world are all important. Aside from idea elaboration, though organization in this fanon did produce some patterns in the action department that I'll be discussing soon. For now though, more elaboration and making things more natural is just something I encourage the author to look into.
  • Creativity – 7.7: I believe it was quite creative of the author to pair up two individuals like Melasa and Tiros, and the combination of their backgrounds tied together really nicely. However, lack of elaboration can actually hinder creativity as well; without much detail, readers will see less how the concept of sorcery and such is your own, unique thing. As if now, I advise the author to give less of a 'general' feel of how Melasa's world works. Make it your goal that your idea of her witchcraft just can't be compared to anyone else's, and your fanon's originality will really shine. The organization issues I mentioned earlier apply here too; aside from a slight choppiness, readers will not receive enough detail to really be able to judge if the content is creative if too many explanations are overlooked.
  • Writing – 7.0 (x3): What I admired about the writing was the handling of visuals. Setting and physical descriptions were no shortage. However, there are other elements of writing that are possible to overlook for description, and as you probably guessed, this ties back to the organization issue I've been discussing. Aside from actions and events appearing vague or sudden, the lack of flow can create a rather static feel to the story. The dialogue was often an example of this, in which things seemed more literal than natural. The actions and expressions described around the quotations were listed more as "fact," the way I see it, and I would advise the author to see if he can incorporate more emotional surrounding descriptions. On that note, a reason why things sounded more 'literal' was because even when emotions were described, I believe that they still needed to go beyond 'stating the name of the emotion' to really sink in for readers. So I think an interesting summary of my critique here is that the writing in this fanon has a great coverage of visuals and grasp of what "literally" happens - but I encourage the author to try to dig deeper into each element and try to allow readers to truly feel the story.
  • Character Development - 7.0 (x2): This section may appear shorter, but that's because everything I've covered about organization and elaboration already is the same thing that affects this area as well. Digging into the emotions behind each expression, or really going through and describing what drives the philosophy of each character (rather than just stopping after covering what their philosophy literally is) would really help your characters grow and feel more complete to readers. Also, while I like that the pace of the romance between Melasa and Tiros doesn't jump straight into things like a lot of lovey-dovey fanons mistakenly do, I would still suggest that the author take some more time to get into the little details - the why of things, rather than just stating each change in feelings. If the character doesn't wish to feel a certain way about the other, go ahead and describe why that is, and a good thing to do is always to do a sort of 'personality reflection' they have about the other person. Right now it appears that they are slowly attracted to one another, but we can't quite pinpoint why it is that those two personalities are meant for each other and not anyone else. Think about those things and in general, just take some time to delve beyond your literal descriptions.
  • Action - 7.6: Very, very vivid. I like that! However, the one thing I can point out about action scenes here is that the author has a tendency to keep going with the physical details, every new strike and blow, which results in a sort of imbalance with "more fight than meaning." The battles can feel like they stretch on too long for readers, and to avoid this I'd say that the author should return every once in a while to 'update' us on what's going on inside of the characters and how they feel about their opponent. These kinds of thoughts, on that note, are not the ones simply evaluating the opponent's skill, but rather tying to the overall reason the battle happened in the first place. Aside from that, try not to be too "biased" with your descriptions, which tends to happen when it's not the character that dwells on how amazing/unbelievable the skill of their opponent is, but the author - in the form of the "narrator" describing the scene, that is. But overall, I'm liking the intensity and descriptions in these fights!
  • Believability – 6.0: And this would be the section that takes a harder hit from all the lack of elaboration I've rambled about above. The author should remember that he's handling some very big ideas to be incorporating into the world of Avatar, and without enough detail and explanation the whole universe combination won't feel natural. Try to really convince readers how the magical aspect can exist alongside the spiritual aspect of element-bending and Avatars. Remember how extensive the foundation of the Avatar world is, and try to make your new ideas have an equally solid foundation.

Overall Score: 6.99

My advice for The Snowbold: I think you have a pretty good basis for a fanon and you're off to a good start. Just sit back a little and try to dig deeper into all your ideas before moving onto the next big plot event.

Who should read Dreams of Melasa? Fans of Avatar and I would say, fans of crossovers due to there being two familiar themes combined.

Fanon Fact Finders' Interview of the Year: The Debut

It began one bright, crisp day. It was a Monday, but not a regular Monday. No, this was a Monday that felt like a Thursday, which already set it up to be an interesting day. Clad in the forest green uniform of her people, a bleary-eyed Dai Li agent stepped into the vast world of Avatar Wiki, ready to protect the Fanon Portal from the Shipping War, and clean it up - make it a savoury travel destination. After all, the fanon industry made up 75% of the popular destinations at AW, plus raised a hefty revenue. Grinning through her panda-eyes, the aptly named Agent Minni Chi (called Minn by her friends, and Satan by her arch-frenemy, the Queen of PNGGauntlet, Lady Lostris) cracked her knuckles, ready to do her duty...

... only to be halted by two imposing users, their arms crossed over their chests as they glared at her. Feeling the harsh gaze on the back of her neck, Agent Chi turned around to look at them. Her recently-cut hair swayed slightly as an ominous breeze sliced through them like a knife through I-Can't-Believe-It's-Not-Butter, and still, they did not speak. Finally, she made the first move.

"Bray. Fruipit. To what do I owe the pleasure?" she asked, somehow filling the innocent greeting full of passive-aggressiveness. Her company glanced at one another, and receiving a small nod from Fruipit, Bray stepped forward.

"It's been decided, Agent Chi. You're coming with us."

The agent looked between the two, analysing the situation as fast as her sleep-deprived brain would allow. Bray was peaceful, he could never take her on. Although, if he was focussed, he had the ability to distract her. That could be dangerous. Coupled with Fruipit's ability to waste her time, it was entirely possible they could beat her and take her by force.

Raising her hands in a placating gesture, Agent Minn stepped forward. "Come on, Bray, Frui. You can't do anything to me. Clause number 38: the rules don't apply to agents of the Dai Li."

"Actually...." Fruipit reached inside her flannelette shirt, withdrawing what appeared to be two newspaper articles, a survey, and an advertisement. "We have community permission. They want to see you interrogated. And don't you think they deserve to know the truth?" she asked, her voice light and mocking.

"There's nothing you can do. It will be better for all involved if you come peacefully. Enough blood has been spilt," Bray added, his orange robes standing out like a traffic cone in a snowstorm.

Minnichi clenched her rock covered hands, before releasing them slowly. "Fine. You want answers? I'll give you answers."

She marched past the duo, pushing them to the side as she headed towards the interrogation room; SHiE Interview (rambles included). Fruipit followed her, cracking her knuckles.

"Coming, Bray?" she asked, turning slightly.

"Oh, yeah," the newest recruit answered. "Just wondering what's taking The Snowbold so long..."

Fruipit stopped. "Just use the questions he wrote up. We don't have any more time to waste. Protocol states that-"

"-we can only keep her for 48 hours, I know." Pulling a peach from his back pocket, he offered half to his partner. "You ready?"

Fruipit glanced at him from the corner of her eye, a half-smile appearing on her face as she took a sniff of the juicy fruit. "Oh, I'm ready."

Winking, they marched after the elusive agent.

"Let's do this thing."

From the Fanonbenders: Current Promotion
Spirit World

Due to the long gap between this issue and the last, the White Lotus Sentinel now promotes two fanon stories who have each had the bulk of their fortnightly fanon promotion.  Those are Spirits of the Shadow and Flames on the Horizon.  Centering around an Avatar long before the canon storyline, Spirits of the Shadow introduces a unique combination of characters for this adventure. Like Vortex and Parallel, this story is a collaborative fanon project combining the efforts of multiple authors, including The Air Nomad Critic,Intelligence4, Emperor Qin, Thedestinedone, Earth Kingdom, and GokuSSF2.  Although still relatively undiscovered, the reviews that if has gotten so far have been positive.  Anyone who enjoys stories about Avatars and well thought out OCs should give this fanon a look.  Further information can be found here.

In a time long before Avatar Yangchen, when the Fire Lord still heeded the counsel of the Fire Sages, when the deep delves of Ba Sing Se still rung loud with the sounds of life, when the Coastal Water Tribe still flourished in their brackish mangrove thickets, the four nations lived together in harmony. The Avatar, Yalun, had ascended to his role without beholding the fires of war. With his friends from every nation, he settled the various disputes that sprang up from time to time, until the whole world seemed to be at rest. Satisfied with his work, Yalun returned to the home that gave him birth...

Water Tribe boats

Flames of the Shadow, meanwhile, is the newest of |Henryjh98’s long-term projects on here, and it’s relatively unique plot is set centuries after the current canonverse.  With a prologue and four subsequent chapters released so far, it’s cast of characters as fresh as their names has caught the eye of a few users who have proceeded to add themselves to the subscription list.

Over 500 years have passed since the Rupture, when Avatar Kuyin, an Avatar-gone-bad, nearly destroyed the world after unleashing a powerful explosion of the elements. All of the world succumbed to fires, eruptions, earthquakes, floods, and terrible storms, destroying all the technological advances made since Avatar Aang's time. Civilizations crumbled, and the world was forced to start from the beginning.  Since then, the still-intact and still-recognizable, though vastly-changed Avatar World is the setting for a thrilling new adventure!


Fanontastic Polls

Does it bother you when fanons you read take a long time to publish chapters?

The poll was created at 01:42 on October 6, 2013, and so far 35 people voted.
Has Book 2 changed the accuracy of your fanon?

The poll was created at 01:42 on October 6, 2013, and so far 31 people voted.

Want to know more about The White Lotus Sentinel? Find out here!

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