Greetings, readers! It seems none of you are sending questions. I'm warning you, better start, or I'll start asking YOU the questions! (j/k) Anyway, Andy Morrison was gracious enough to ask questions of me and not complain when I requested to answer them here. So thank you very much, Andy, and here we go.
Several, actually, including (and this is just off the top of my head) Scott Mercure's Gargoyles Discussion Group, the Gargoyles Fanfic Writers' List (GARGS), and the Alternate Gargoyles Universe Mailing List. There are likely others, but I have not yet encountered them. I can offer no explanation for the third list mentioned, as I am not a member, but for those interested in discussing Gargoyles-related topics such as the nature of Fey or the Xanatopia Virus, Scott's group is fantastic. As a warning, a great deal of mail comes through this list. Write to Scott for more information on his list. As for the GARGS list, it is somewhat restricted to writers over the age of 18 due to the content of certain writers' stories. (You know who you are and you know we all love you anyway.) The subject matter of this group is more related to the reviewing of new fanfics, as well as various bits of off-topic hilarity and personal notes. Unlike the other list, no topic is too far off-topic to be posted (yet), but discussions rarely ensue. You can write to Mary, the list owner, for more information.
This is more Christine's area than mine, but the basics are that your story or poem must be able to stand alone (apart from any other fanfics you may have written) in order to not inconvenience readers. Also, please make sure it's spellchecked and proofread. I have seen many terrific stories ruined by lousy spelling or grammar. Be certain you find an honest proofreader; I often give my own services for this purpose but am currently committed to two stories. Otherwise, I would gladly offer them to all of you as well. I should again be available by the next issue. I am of course assuming here that Christine has not changed the original rules of Avalon Mists too much from when it was an e-zine. (Honestly, that was the last time I posted anything other than this column in the mag. I've been busy, like I said, proofreading and working on stories too long for this format.)
This is practically an entire column in itself. First off, follow the Ten Fanfic Commandments; they're an excellent starting point. Verify that your grammar is correct. Spellcheck over and over. Avoid redundant words or phrases wherever possible. Get a proofreader--an honest one who won't be afraid to tell you what's wrong. Make sure you have a plot in mind--I recently read a piece that was barely satisfactory. The writing style was smooth and the dialogue was natural (two more things to strive for) but the piece completely lacked a plot, and therefore lacked reader interest. Don't be afraid to throw part or all of a story away. I've done it more times than I could even begin to count. If you run into a dead-end, turn back. Don't write about what you don't know; a 15-year-old beginner should not try to write like Christi Smith Hayden. Though both may be comparable writers, the 15-year-old does not have the same experiences as Christi (at least, I should hope not) and is logically unable to aptly write about them. Do more than one draft. Spellcheck again. Don't fear the thesaurus. Avoid inconsistancies and plot errors. Believe me, it can be tough. That's why you do more than one draft. Avoid run on sentences that keep rambling on and on and on and never reach an end and just keep going like the period doesn't exist or the key broke or some such thing happened and you were unable to end the sentence until you could get the period key fixed. Fragmented sentences. Shouldn't be used. In the story. Ever at all. Don't use comma splices, and that's where you use too many conjunctions, and you stick too many sentences together, and you never end it, and it's almost like a run-on, but it isn't a run-on, but the sentence just keeps going. Use proper paragraph breaks. Try to avoid posting a story before it is finished. Though it works for some, it doesn't work for others. I see this answer has run on far too long, so for further information, consult Dr Merlin's Guide to Fan Fiction. And on a f
And that's it for Andy's questions. I will assume Christine will post this in December and therefore wish you a happy holiday season. Festive nights and strong updrafts to all! And please send questions! Until later, dear readers.