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The White Lotus Sentinel: Issue 25, 4 May

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Issue 25: May 4, 2014

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EDITOR
New Fanon Writing Contests
Omashu Rocks

Authors, readers, fans, and critics alike, lend me your ear! Recently, you may have noticed a sharp decline in the amount of new fanons for you to read. If you're like me, you've been licking your lips waiting to be fed some quality material, but it simply isn't coming. Well, that's about to change. What if I told you that the Fanonbenders have found a way to get you the Avatar fanon YOU have been waiting for? What if I told you there was a way YOU could prove yourself as a writer and finally get YOUR brilliance recognized? What if I told you there was a place YOU could compete against your friends and enemies for pride, glory, and cool userboxes? What if I told you I got arrested last month?

Almost everything in the above paragraph is factually accurate, thanks to the new Fanonbenders' Fanontastic Fanon Contest!

Get your writing quills ready and those creative juices flowing, because every month a different Fanonbender will be hosting a writing contest focusing on a different aspect of what makes a great story. The only thing entrants have to do is try their hardest to blow us away with their unique answer to our prompt, a simple instruction vague enough to allow for plentiful creative liberty. You can submit each entry as a new chapter to a series, or, if you prefer, show off your mad skills with a new epic one-shot every month. Ultimately, the contestants' pieces will be judged independent of their past work by the Fanonbenders, and we'll announce the winner, who also receives a fancy userbox effective for gloating to all your friends.

You don't need to participate every week, and it's not too late to start even if you weren't around for the first month. If you started writing a series but want to start another one, that's fine with us. And if you want to take a month off with your story, don't be afraid to do so. This is a completely relaxed, non-stressful way for us all to save our beloved fanon portal. Keeping the creative side of this wiki alive is all of our responsibility, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't have some fun.

So come along, show everyone who the real genius is when it comes to authoring fanon stories. Prove yourself as an up-and-comer or protect your reputation as an established writer. Our first month saw seven fanontastic entries, and we'd love to see even more competition the next time.

If you have any questions not answered in this (if I may say so myself) perfectly written article, feel free to ask myself, Minnichi, AvatarRokusGhost, or Fruipit.


White lotus tile icon Fanon Urban Dictionary
Staff

Standards

noun; Standards: a vicious excuse thought up by fanon-portal ninjas so they don't have to deal with a new page at that time.

"Hey, I know that my chapter was a little on the short side, but I've added some content and-" "Hmm, what's that? *looks back at half-dead draugr* no time er... add more! Needs more content! *die you undead Nord!*"


Misleading Typos

noun; When a word is mixed up in a fanon passage so unluckily that it creates a whole different message than it was supposed to.

When you write "Zuko tasted the succulent, steamy duck in his mouth," you BETTER make sure you typed "duck" and not something else.


The Magical Gaze

noun; What everyone seems to think the shortcut to kissing someone to, with no other description.

"They gazed into each others' eyes, and then they kissed, just like that, for apparently no reason whatsoever."


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


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Initiative!
Fruipit

The word I have decided to base this issue's article on is—you guessed it—initiative! Now, what is it, and why do I want to talk about it? Well, hopefully the answer to the second question will become apparent as I answer the first.

Initiative is, first and foremost, 'ability to assess and initiate things independently'. It is, in essence, not having to be prompted to do something. If I hang out the washing without needing my mother to tell me, I've taken initiative. The same occurs on the wiki.

I don't need a review or comment for encourage me to get out the next chapter of my story. Of course, that's personal initiative, and not really what I want to get at here. I'm talking about initiative in regards to community spirit on the wiki.

Now, I know none of you complain, but—and this was especially evident with the recent valentines issue—you all love the WLS and BSST (maybe ;P ). And, you all long for updates (and fast updates at that). But, there can't be an issue without contributions.

I've seen KMP leave messages on people's walls, asking for contributions. I've done it on behalf of the WLS. This isn't initiative.

Users want more issues. They want more interviews and reviews and illustrations. They want more writing competitions, and are very excited when they occur. But that puts the blame on certain users when they don't. I'm going to use Minnichi as an example, as I've come to know her and the kind of work she does.

I know Minnichi is absolutely swamped with her WLS, BSST, FII, and FRS duties, plus crating little doodads for bronies. She doesn't always have time to follow up on things, and honestly, it's a little sad that such things are always expected of her.

If you want more reviews, do one yourself! There's nothing stopping you from going out there, reading a story, and coming up with feedback and scores. Once upon a time, we'd have non-FFF users interviewing other people—sometimes on their stories, sometimes not.

This is more obvious when it comes to the newsletters, though. If you look back through the WLS issue history, you'll see that the regularity if issues is steadily decreasing. This is not because there is nothing to talk about. Not at all. This is because there just aren't enough contributors. It's because people expect certain users to do all the work. Who remembers the time Minnichi overthrew the newsletter? Look at all the colours, and try to imagine how long it took her to code each article; each link. Remember what I said before about the sheer amount of work she has to do? There's a reason new chapters of her story only get released once in a blue moon. All authors love writing their own stories; how would you feel if you were so busy trying to do things for the Avatar Wiki fanon community, that you couldn't even look at your own story for months on end because you just don't have the time.

I'm not saying that helping the community stops her doing her own work- oh wait, yes I am... I'm not saying that she begrudges the community, because she doesn't. She loves doing everything she can to help. What I am saying is, stop expecting and start doing. I know that each and every user is capable of contributing (see back to the Valentines issue), but the issue that there is no one else contributing. Trust me, if there were a few other users who constantly contributed, issues would come out faster. You don't need to be an editor or deputy editor to write an article. I'm not. all you need to do is write. Like I said, many of you are authors. Why not put your skills to the test and come up with something non-fictional to talk about?

Only with the community can we help the community grow.


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EDITOR
Fanon Review: Esteemed by Destiny-Smasher
Minnichi

Howdy, WLS readers! It's been a crazy while since I've had the chance to feature another fanon review in our author hub of a newsletter. It's quite a shame that this feature took exceptionally long as well, because the fanon you're about to hear about is one of the most deserving of all. You can prefer your OCs, your canon or any genre you'd like of a fanfiction, but there is no denying that Destiny-Smasher's Esteemed is one heck of a fanon portal gem.

Chief Toph Beifong
The main goal of Esteemed is to tell a more mature story that portrays Toph Beifong as a human being dealing with human problems beneath the fantasy world setting. It explores Toph as a being with heart beneath her 'healthy coat of earth,' someone who struggles to learn how to become a mother for a child she never wanted while serving a city she never planned on being part of. The intent is to write a story appropriate for teen and up audiences that depicts different phases of life and the difficulties that come with them through the lens of both Toph and Lin Beifong.


The Scores


  • Plot - 8.7: While the writing is definitely stellar, there are still a few things I could ramble on for the plot. I have no problem with the execution of things in this story, and it was one of the most enjoyable reading experiences I've had in a while, even. However, I do believe that even for a "drabbles" themed fanon, each event could display more purpose for why it was chosen to be highlighted. I'm familiar with several great works of drabble collections from FanFiction.net, and what makes perhaps the more popular ones stand out is a more definite message that drives each chapter. Esteemed falls just a little short of what I'd call a clear, set idea for each chapter that can be felt behind every event. Just barely. I believe that making the direction stronger can aid for a more impactful plot, though this deduction is hardly what I'd call a notable shortcoming. Wonderfully executed here!
  • Organization - 9.7: I...almost really can't say anything at all here, it was just done pretty darn well! Unfortunately the plot thing does tie a little to organization, as you face the risk of a dragging feeling without a more definite drive behind the great writing. But that's really it! Lovely, clear flow overall.
  • Creativity - 7.9: Unfortunately, this area looks to be the one that's going to take the hit when it comes to a fanon that relies very heavily on the exact details of the canon episodes to drive its storyline. What the author did with the canon elaboration was beautiful; what I just believe it could've used was more liberty. I would love to see more chapters like the second installment in the story, events that were made more purely from the author's imagination and yet still staying true to the canon. You don't always have to linger around elaborating the literal canon episode events to show a connection to them. But wow, this author really makes you think more deeply than you thought you ever could about those fleeting moments with the Gaang in the events of LoK! That in itself is wonderful creativity.
  • Writing – 9.5 (x3): Yes, I'm very much a fan of this writing, heheh. There's hardly anything I can critique about it, and that's pretty weird (in a good way) for me! The descriptions are breathtaking. The feels, the interactions... It was all just done beautifully. The one thing that really comes to mind here when I consider deduction is a reminder to the author that sometimes, it's good to have emotions show themselves physically more often - through the expressions, through those little gestures around dialogue that speak so much on their own. One of the author's greatest strengths here is how to capture the inner thoughts of characters so perfectly - but we need to remember that there's always something going on outside the head, too. I would just encourage more of a physical display of thought more often, I guess you could say a little update on what's going on outside once in a while rather than a long series of purely inner thoughts. But overall, the writing? ...Just go read it to see the greatness for yourself, guys. *Applauds*
  • Character Development - 9.3 (x2): Perhaps my favorite part about this story! The canon characters... Oh gosh, they are so real. You can just see it all happening. This author's seriously got them pegged. Inside out. Now, the only thing I will comment on here is ridiculously picky: I do notice some interesting new ideas introduced, things that readers could possibly question. Toph shares a kiss with Sokka in the first chapter, and it's mentioned later that she is unsure of who her child's father could be due to having multiple partners. While it's fine to pick events of Toph's life to just "peek" into, you still have to realize that some ideas still take easing into in order to maintain a natural flow, and these are just the few of them that come to my mind. Other than that, yeahhh I got nothing. Epic characterization. Just epic.
  • Action - 9.5 This author just breezes through the three categories I typically deduct the most for! The action... Okay seriously, they were just crazy good fights to read about. They had all the detail and intensity any fight-loving reader would dream of. The only thing, and I really mean the only thing I can ever comment for a deduction here is... Again, balance the inner thoughts. Sometimes I feel like the character is thinking more than she can literally afford to for that quick moment of action. Remember that our thoughts are going to change drastically, both in the extent of detail and if they're present at all when we're in the middle of violence. I feel this story could reflect that just a little better.
  • Believability – 9.7: Only reason why I didn't just go ahead and call this a completely believable, "Bryke totally wrote this" fanon is that slight lack of easing into new ideas. As I said in the beginning, they were all executed in the most awesome ways possible - but they were just presented without warning. This isn't to say that you should go elaborate on events that led to the new idea (that would kind of ruin the drabble theme of this story after all), but just...talk a little more about them when they're first introduced. It helps more than you think.
Overall Score: 9.26


My advice for Destiny-Smasher: Seriously, buddy, just keep doing what you're doing. Just make sure the characters don't spend too much time thinking to themselves every now and then ;)

Who should read Esteemed?All Avatar fans, and especially fans of anything related to Toph.


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Welcome Back!
Kuzonkid7

As many people already know, I have returned after a year of inactivity. At first I wasn't sure if I wanted to return. I was scared I'd be to out of touch or things would have changed to much. I was drawn back to this site looking for Book 3 news. I was glad to see a few familiar names on the wiki activity list. I was on off and on for a week before I realized how much I'd missed it. Honestly, what made me come back was my fanon. I read it again for a week. My characters incomplete, the story teetering on a cliff. I looked at all the grammar mistakes and had a laugh or two (even tried to fix them, but I realized anonymous was gone). I decided that I was going to return. The response at first was less than stellar. I got a few "glad you're back"'s, but not a parade. Yet I was content with that. You could almost say I did it for selfish reasons. I wanted to finish my story, I wanted people to see how everything turned out, and I owed it to them. The way I felt writing the next chapter was almost exactly how I felt writing the very first chapter of my series. Nothing had changed in my mind. The series is slowly returning to its old place. Sure some people, subscribers, and friend may be gone, but I'm thankful for the ones that are still here. If anyone who is reading this is thinking about leaving the wiki or discontinuing their fanon I'd urge you not to. No matter how little reception you may have now, it will grow. I'm not saying don't take a break, but if you have a story to tell you should tell it. I've enjoyed this wiki for a long time, and I can't wait to see how many new stories and fantastic users decide to join.

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EDITOR
Avatar Wiki Chronicles: On the Consequences of a Dying Fanon Portal
Minnichi

As usual, I'll start off by explaining that the Avatar Wiki Chronicles are always a ramble about actual fanon portal activity, only in story form. As of late I've grown fond of using fanon characters rather than authors as the drivers of the story, and soon I'd like to have available a page you guys can edit to add your fanon to a list of basically "My fanon(s) I would like Minn to draw characters from for her WLS stories." For these early character-centered tales I can only go with those I'm familiar with, but I look forward to featuring all of yours one day ;)


This world is the sad, quiet realm of the Incomplete. The dark abyss between every fanon chapter update, called a "delay," that no one can really explain. The characters of incomplete stories are the unfortunate inhabitants; the less ghostly people in this world belong to the more punctual authors. Those who are vague, and those who seem to be fading unnaturally, however, are the signs of a very grim fate...

An unnamed original character blinks in the silence. A he? A she? Well, it is not too sure of its very gender anymore. There's a lot of things that "it" doesn't exactly understand right now, and identity loss is only the beginning of the problem.

There are some things that the It does seem to notice, though. There are eyes looking here, and none of them seem to like what they see. So many strange outfits. A dark cloak, shiny Fire Nation royalty...earthbending warriors...glasses...Dai Li... Why? Who are these people? Why do they look so terrified? It cannot tell.

"I... I-I'm not going to become like him right?" one of them asks, pointing to the It. It's a young boy in a Water Tribe getup, and his bright blue eyes are quite terrified of It.

"Kaddo, you will never, ever become like him," replies an older voice. The earthbending warrior. She looks kinder, though still grim at the sight of It. "You are one of the very lucky few to have a completed story," she continues softly. "Your existence is set in stone. No one can take it away from you now. I'm not quite sure why you are here..."

"Well, 'here' sucks, Ratana!" cries the waterbender kid. "Seriously, what the heck, this is the Universe's idea of an afterlife?" He motions around at their surroundings, which is basically just a collection of mysterious fog that never stops swirling. "Most boring Spirit World ever!"

"I'm pretty sure this isn't the Spirit World, Kaddo." It's the Dai Li agent speaking this time. "And...wait, how do I even know you again?"

The unnamed OC just watches the neglected fanon characters converse, its eyes blank in its eerie silence.

"I believe I have an answer to that phenomenon," says Ratana. "It appears you two have... Two destinies. One that knows nothing of each other, and one that appears to be...closely acquainted." Her eyes widen with realization. "Ah, that must be why you're here with us, Kaddo! You have the safety of a complete story, yet your soul cannot move on in peace due to a second destiny still being incomplete!"

"..."

Both the Dai Li agent and waterbender boy look at each other funny, then shrug in mutual lack of understanding of the destiny mumbo jumbo.

The It finally finds its voice. "Destiny? What is that? And do I have it? W-who... Who am I?"

A hand places itself on the confused character's shoulder - a very dim, transparent hand of a ghost. "It's going to be okay," whispers the boy in modern Republic City earthbending attire. His green eyes are tearing up behind his glasses. "Sometimes, I forget if I truly exist anymore, too. But so long as our creators have not given an official premature death to our stories..." All the characters around him shudder at the thought. "...Then we still have a chance to live. I won't give up on my destiny. Neither should you."

"WHAT?!" cries a horrified Fire Nation assassin nearby. She isn't too keen on the idea of someone else controlling anything to do with her existence. She's one of the most crisp, solid looking characters around here, due to a lucky recent update, but she's still not impressed. "No one's going to control my [bleep!] life, now if you'll excuse me -" Her words suddenly change into a horrified scream as an unexpected elephant pops up from beneath her and sends her sailing upwards with its height. You just never know what can come out of that fog.

"Nalia!" several of the fanon characters cry in alarm, as the It watches with terror. The Republican elephant is carrying the assassin very much against her will to Spirits-knows-where, likely the most traumatizing of political debates. It marches away before anyone can save her.

"IT'S HAPPENING AGAIN!" screams the dramatic voice of, frankly put, a totally random guy. His name is Hanbao, but that's all anyone can say about him. He seems to have too many identities to be a single character, but the one thing they all have in common is weirdness. "NOT THE INSANITY! NO! The authors.... The judgment of their distractions is upon us!"

The ghost of the boy in glasses seems to be the only one who stays calm enough to explain it to It. "There are many things that cause a fanon delay, you see..." he sighs. "And we are the ones who suffer. The authors don't realize how their real life distractions impact our existence."

The It nods along as it notices an unnatural change start to overcome the faces of the Dai Li agent and the Water Tribe boy. Another force of distraction.

Kaddo's brow is twitching. "Y-you...passed me up? You passed me up, Yuhan? On my own railroad? Really?"

The agent throws his head back with a very demented, very uncharacteristic cackle. "HA! YOUR railroad? I'm on Level 323, sucker! You can keep asking for as many lives as you want, you're never going to catch up to me, kid -"

"Stop it, stop it!" cries Ratana, stepping desperately between the two possessed fanon characters and trying her best to hold them apart. "Your authors are currently arguing over Candy Crush, but don't let a game about shifting sugar blocks become more important than your existence - remember who you are! Your story MUST continue, it can't be delayed by...by..." Her eyes suddenly begin to glaze over as well. The war in the real world has become too powerful. Out of nowhere, she suddenly takes a stand next to Kaddo. "Ohhh, that's it - you're going down, Yuhan. SUGAR CRUSH down!"

The It flees with the ghostly boy in glasses as all hell breaks loose between the three benders. It takes a while for them to be out of range from any earthquakes or water whips. As they heave for breath, however, a very calm but rather skeptical voice next to them speaks. "Wow, I wonder what's causing all the insanity with the others around here..." He's a handsome, tanned young man with slightly messy brown hair that brushes towards his shoulders. "I mean, really, one can only have one true destiny. I know I would never forget mine because of someone else. I mean, who would forget something like being accepted into a prestigious university? It's the highlight and pivotal point of my young life, after all -" His eyes suddenly widen in horror at what he just said. "Wait - no - that's not it, is it? Nono, this can't be. I know who I am. My name is Duke - I mean Wake - I mean... ARGH!"

More and more characters go insane by the second. The fanon delays and distractions are spiraling out of control. The portal is dying. They are dying.

"(Sniffle) Highlight of your life? Ha, my 'highlight of life' walked out of the door as soon as my boyfriend broke up with me.... WAIT NO I don't have a boyfriend -"

"I am the heiress of the Nile, I refuse to be upstaged by this so-called 'voracious editing' -"

The sheer insanity makes the fog spin in crazy circles. Just as all hope seems lost, however, a bolt of lightning shoots through the sky and strikes the ground - right where the It is standing.

That's when every character suddenly snaps out of their insanity. They look upon the It in horror. All hope doesn't "seem" lost - it is lost now. At least for the It. The author above has finally decided to curse the story with the tag of a discontinued fanon. What was left of an incomplete character is put to a pitiful end, at last.

"I-I... I think I see a light..." murmurs the It, as the boy in glasses catches the character in his arms as it falls.

Ratana gasps as a hand clasps over her mouth, her eyes leaking tears. Kaddo looks down while Yuhan slowly removes his pointed hat and lowers it in solemn farewell.

The death of the It seems to put an end to all conflict between the remaining characters. Even Nalia, who's somehow managed to escape the Republican elephant, is taken aback when she returns to such a sight. "Oh, wow... I really don't want to end up like that guy." That's all she can comment. Everyone nods silently.

Though being Nalia, she has to point out the worst as always. "Say, you're looking a little see-through also, aren't you Yuhan...?"

"Wait... What? Nono, that's not right - I have to go back, I have to help Riya, it can't be taking this long -"

"Well it's already been 3 months, buddy. You really think your author's coming back for you!"

"N-no, she promised she would! She has to! SHE PROMISED!"

"Sure sure, keep telling yourself that."

"Stop it, Nalia! He needs our support right now, not your sharp tongue! Maybe some extra lives and a lollipop hammer?"

"No actually, Ratana, he probably just needs a good college. Like Duke. Wait...that's not what I meant to say, oh Spirits it's happening again!"

"...I really hate this place. Worst. Spirit World. Ever."

The chaos, the tragedy, the pure suffering of the fanon characters who are unable to move onto the next event in their lives is on your hands, authors. Yes, you who won't update your story. Remember the cries of the neglected, and remember that the only way to save them...is to save their stories. Go forth now... Write!

The End?


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DEPUTY EDITOR
Some Random Fanons
AvatarRokusGhost

For those who dare to press it, the random fanon story button can lead to some pretty alluring places; fictional places of all colors, shapes and sizes, no less. One of these places is Avatar: Legend of the Arbiter. This also holds the distinction of being our current fortnightly fanon promotion, which it remains, even though it’s time has expired, since no other fanon author has grabbed one of those wide-open spots as of yet. For the record, any ongoing fanon with two or fewer active fans that fits said criteria is eligible. In the meantime, you can add your thoughts in the promotion contest, another tradition from the past it would be nice to have up and running once more. WilliamsonKnox’s story follows the Gaang between the two canon shows discovering another side of the world where a figure similar in role to the Avatar known as the Arbiter, keeps balance between two additional nations: the Wood Clans and the Metal Empire. The author’s writing prose make it an enjoyable read.

Another of the many fairly unexplored settings that you may find in Avatar Skies of Shadow, written by an anonymous user, something else from Avatar Wiki and it’s fanon portal’s past that it would be nice to have back, though that’s a far more daunting hurdle, with COPPA and all. Yes, I still say “and all” every once in a while after all this time. This is another after-the-war fanon. Even though it’s got three chapters, the fanon was all on one page and as far as we know, the author never made an account on here. The writing’s not bad, except for noticeable punctuation and capitalization errors. Katara and Aang’s developing romantic relationship was prevalent, and although there was a brand new plot introduced, it didn’t get very far. That’s too bad, because it could’ve been nice to watch develop and come to fruition. If, on the other hand, shipping-related stories are up your alley, and you like to read a story that’s already complete, you can try AvatarMJC’s Kataang Marriage. Or perhaps, if you’re not sure what you’re in the mood for, you can try pressing the button yourself. Naturally, you can press it again if by chance you land on your own fanon.


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DEPUTY EDITOR
Fanon Review
Typhoonmaster

As a reviewer for the Fanon Review Squad, I have the distinct pleasure to have authors offer their fanons for my reading and critiquing. I have a lot of respect for these brave souls who put their work directly in the line of fire while Minnichi, Fruipit (recently joined), and I dissect it like a piñata - And by that I mean, potentially tear it to shreds. Okay, that's a stretch of course, but it does take a lot of courage to accept criticism and pointers. I'd like to think some of my advice gets put to good use; maybe an author or too actually becomes a better writer after a review.

Like I said, I have the distinct pleasure to have authors offer their fanons for reading (sacrifice). This time, I'd like to take this time to highlight the most recent fanon I read, The Mayor's Downfall by Ezvil

"The Mayor's Downfall" is the first part of a series of stories that make up The Non-Bender's Plight. It introduces the mayor, Huán Jiàn, as he tries to form a group of slightly shifty individuals to try and combat the bending gangs in the city as an attempt to lessen to city's crime rate. However, he runs the risk of being expelled from his position.

I honestly enjoyed reading this fanon. Ezvil crafts a light-shedding story that fills in some holes in the Equalist Revolution lineage. Not only that, his main character, Jiàn, is one of the most mysterious, bad-ass, and unique I've seen in fanon. He's very hard to get a grasp of, and I'm not even sure I know that much about him even after reading the whole story. He's an enigma. I'm not going to elaborate on all the scoring in this article, but just to give you a taste of this story's quality, it received a very strong 8.66 with a perfect 10.0 in creativity. If you're interested, check it out; it definitely deserves a good read. Also, you can see my full review here.

Stay beautiful Avatards.


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Skills and Doing Things
Fruipit

Okay, I decided that I couldn't let it rest with only one article—especially not after I realised exactly what I need to talk about. It does tie in a little with the initiative article I've also written. What is this one about? Well, what's it always about?

Fanon.

Namely, fanon writing, commenting, and nominating. Why does this tie in with initiative? Because it's something that should be done, but isn't.

Now, to me, you don't have to do all three, but I think that you have to do at least two of the above fanon portal participation... things. For instance, I write and I nominate. I don't do a tremendous amount of commenting on the wiki. I know I should, but I just don't. I like to think that I make up for it with nominating those truly amazing stories to be featured.

I've noticed lately (especially with the comments of this blog) that people want other people to read and leave feedback. Sounds perfectly normal to me.

What I absolutely cannot wrap my head around, though, is how much. These users (and it's not just these users, let me make that clear. I've seen a few users leaving comments on their own stories, asking for reviews) have jumped on the chance to have some feedback for their story, but there's a problem, see. The problem is that they all want other people to read their stories and comment but there are only a few authors I can name who actually go out and read other people's stories.

There's a reason that Ty has a number of subscribers, ranging from more well-known authors to those just starting out; he goes out of his way to comment on other people's work and encourage them. They become interested and want to take a look at his work. It's that simple.

So, everyone who is begging for comments, remember that there are other people who are doing the same; what's stopping you?

Yes, I know how irritating and disheartening it is not to have any feedback. It makes you wonder what you're doing wrong (and how the hell can some people have dozens of subscribers and they ignore your story?). Personally, I like to think of it as 'I write too much for people to read' (which could be perfectly true), but really, it's likely because they're just not interested. That's okay. Not having comments does not reflect the creativity of my idea, or my writing. Let me repeat that.

NOT HAVING COMMENTS DOES NOT REFLECT YOUR SKILL AS A WRITER

There was a minor debate on the most recent BSST issue about this very fact, and I think Minn was correct by saying that "[f]eedback does not always define what good writing is, thus does not define the value of your authorship". Certainly, when you notice stories that you think 'how the hell does [insert name] have so many followers? The story sucks!', this quote comes in handy. Because it is annoying. There are loads of annoying things. I get upset when I get a positive review, but even the usual people (it once used to be AcerEvan) comment saying 'good work'. It's upsetting to put all this hard work and effort into a story and have absolutely no feedback at all. It doesn't define you as a writer, no, but I know I'm not the only who who has questioned themselves.

So, you all know now painful it is to spend a good portion of your life creating this world and not having any visitors. So, why don't you comment? Why don't you nominate or vote? I'm looking at the resident commenters with that last one. Those who read, start nominating now. Hell, even just vote. I am... actually getting incredibly sick of this conversation. Here we have users begging for comments, but they won't even leave a simple {{Support}} vote for another good story? Are you guys listening, or are you just ignoring everything?

So, shut up and do something about this. It seems like a big problem, but—and this ties in with the initiative—you wait for someone else to do it. Why don't you be the first one to act?


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QuizUp
Henryjh98

Ever heard of the game QuizUp? QuizUp is a free app available on the App Store for Apple products and is a game in which you challenge other players to level up in your topic. With over 280 topics to choose from, you can battle people from all across the globe, strangers and friends, in order to test your knowledge of the chosen topic.

Coming from me, the game's extremely fun and rather addicting. It allows me to test, improve, and share my knowledge of as many topics I want. It's fun to play with my friends and challenging people all across the world.

But there's one thing I've noticed that's wrong with the game. It doesn't have a topic for Avatar: The Last Airbender! Crazy, right? That's what I've been thinking. I've gone to the website and suggested it a multitude of times, but I'm not sure if just one vote will help it get on there. However, I bet more votes from others (you) would help to get it on there. 

That's what I'm asking you for. Download the app, try out the game, and if you like it, you should try and suggest ATLA as a topic. It's a quick and easy thing to do. All you have to do is:

  1. Go on over to QuizUp.com and log in with the email and password you used for the game
  2. Go over to the top left corner and select "Submit Questions" 
  3. Scroll down to where it says "Suggest a Topic", click  the dropdown arrow, select TV and then type in Avatar: The Last Airbender
  4. Click "Submit!"

That's all it takes. Now I'm asking you guys, if you like the game, to try and get Avatar a topic slot on there to make the game more fun and to let us see how much we know about our favorite show! Give it a try, suggest ATLA, and most importantly, have fun!


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Writer's Block
Sparkstoaflame

So, Sticky Keys just turned on because I hit "shift" four too many times, because I was too stupid to notice that my elbow was resting awkwardly on the shift key. (I should probably turn that option off…) I don’t think four too many times is enough times to dig your mind out of the hole that is writer’s block. But in a way, I guess it did dig my mind out of writer’s block, and I should probably be grateful, apart from the fact that it’s a one-trick pony that’s already dead before you even decide to beat it a second time.

So—this article—writer's block! Not sure if this issue has been discussed before (it probably has), but I'm of the opinion that one can never have too many methods to overcome this problem. I'm sure it's something that all of us writers have experienced at one point or the other. In my mind, it's excruciatingly difficult to overcome and just as, if not more, annoying.

Putting writer's block aside for a moment, consider a real-life situation: it's the time of year again for Spring break! (At least, where I am it is…) I’d personally like to think that I can now let my mind be consumed by "Spring break spirit" and all that great, fun stuff, but…it’s still too early and I’m still so stuck. So I don't want to do any work. And that's how I end up doing nothing of importance for about six days and then slaving my butt off for the last because I've got a History thesis, take-home Math test, and two English essays due the next day.

So I guess that writer's block can be considered in a similar way: sometimes, it just tends to boil down to procrastination. You don't know what to write and you're getting increasingly frustrated staring at a blank piece of paper—or a screen, or whatever—in front of you and sooner or later you throw your poor pencil (or very expensive laptop, or…you know, whatever) against the wall and storm away before smacking into the table in front of you, because you're so distracted by oh my bleeping gosh my creative dam isn't breaking!!!!! *angry face*

Okay, that was overly melodramatic, but what I'm trying to say is—that's exactly what I think what makes writer's block writer's block: the fact that you've spent two hours staring dumbly at something and not doing anything about it. If you wrote something, anything down—technically it won't be considered as such.

What's the remedy? Just to scribble away! It doesn't matter if what the thing that's being written down seems and/or is like horrible, utter trash—that's what editing is for, no? Write whatever comes to mind—write about giant robotic bunnies that want to twirl everyone's guts around a stick and then fling them onto the side of Mt. Everest, write about the half-broken pencil case sitting in front of you...or even just tell really bad Chemistry jokes [Are you made of copper and tellurium? Because you're CuTe. (…whoops I'm sorry I couldn't resist)]—anything to get your creative juices flowing. Who knows? Maybe one of the pieces of writing you just scrabbled down will contribute or connect to the thing you actually want to write.

Consider: How is one able to see the brightness in the horizon without being discouraged by the infinite obstacles that lie within the near future? (The brightness in the horizon being the end of your epic novel/story, and the obstacles being everything in between you and writing that epic novel/story.) It seems ridiculous to me to even attempt it. So many people end up with perfectly fine lives by just being mediocre. But we don't strive to be "just mediocre," right? Really, who’s to say that greater abilities means that you have to accomplish greater things? What if all the abilities people think you have are just that—things that aren’t really yours? Who’s to say that no one really has greater abilities than anyone else and it all just ends up being a matter of trying hard?

Well, it is just a matter of trying hard.

Confronted with writer's block—just trying hard. Just writing, even if it may seem like an impossibility at first.

(...Welp. I think I just convinced myself that I need to try hard. @_@)



HAVE A FANON ARTICLE IN MIND? REVIEW? INTERVIEW? ADVERTISEMENT? OPINION? REQUEST? SEND IT TO ONE OF THE EDITORS AND YOU'LL BE IN THE NEXT ISSUE!

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