Fan Fic and Art Forum Rules of Behavior

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Seldes Katne

Site mom
Nov 8, 2004
New York State
General Guidelines:

Stories and author behavior here must follow the General Site Rules. Read them before posting anywhere on the site. (Yes, now, if you haven't already. This list will still be here when you get back.)

All members deserve to be treated with civility, whether you happen to like them personally or not. We do have mods, but the forums are expected to be self-policing most of the time. If you find a post that breaks the site rules or contains objectionable content, you can contact the mods by using the "Report Bad Post" button, which looks like a triangular sign with an exclamation point in it, bottom left corner of the message box. (You have to be logged in to see it.)

Only works created by site members may be posted in this forum.

Every so often, the moderators will go through the fanfic forum and identify stories that have been abandoned (not updated for six months or more). We will contact the authors of these fics to ask if they intend to finish the story or not. If the author does not intend to finish, has been banned, has not logged in for several months, or does not respond, we will removed the story thread. Stories that have been removed for this reason may be re-posted at a later date, providing the author has revamped or added substantially to the original story in the meantime. (Please note that this is the only time you may re-posted something that has been deleted by the mods.)

  • When you post your story, remember that there are no guarantees that people will respond. You can often increase your chances of being reviewed by participating on other forum threads and commenting on other authors' stories.
  • Do NOT post "ads" for your stories all over Ultimate Central. The Fanfiction and Art board is only a small part of UC, and a lot of site members have no interest in fanfiction. Likewise, don't "spam" other members through Private Messages, IM or e-mails to get readers. This behavior tends to irritate others and will often make people less likely to read your story. (In extreme cases, it may also get you banned.) However, putting a story blurb and/or link in your signature is fine. (Signatures are words that you can have the site add automatically to your posts at UC. Read the signature part of the FAQ for more information.)
  • You may not post links to off-site stories. If the story can't be posted at UC, it cannot be linked to, either.
  • We tend to be a pretty supportive bunch here, but not every review or response will be a positive one. Some reviewers will offer what's known as "constructive criticism". They will point out problems they see in your stories, such as spelling errors, plot holes, or trouble in character development. While this "negative view" may seem harsh, the person offering it generally means to help you correct problems and become a better writer. It's your choice whether or not to accept and use constructive criticism.
  • Dictionaries are your friends. Grammar texts like Strunk and White's Elements of Style are your allies. Use them. Most word processing programs like MS Word have built in spell-checks and often grammar-checks as well. Take advantage of the technology to make your story better. It's a lot easier to read a story that has proper spelling and grammar than one that does not. At the very least, read over what you're going to post before you click the "Submit" button.
  • Treat other authors here with respect, and they will usually return the favor. Posting insulting comments on other writers' threads isn't acceptable, nor is posting comments such as "my story is better than So-and-So's" on your own thread. This is a forum for writing stories and poetry or posting art, not a competition or campaign for political office. Repeat offences will merit banning.
  • Disagreements should be handled by PM, not in an on-going argument on story threads. We have an excellent essay on Dealing with Problem Posters that sets out some common sense rules.


  • Remember that most of the people writing stories on this board are not, and never have been, paid professional writers. Many are still enrolled in high school- or college-level English courses (or the non-English equivalent). With that in mind, cut 'em some slack. Don't expect their stories to read like a nominee for the Nobel Prize for Literature.
  • Writing is often very personal. If you're going to post constructive criticism or other "negative" comments, use tact and sensitivity. There's a difference between comments like "This is the stupidest mistake I've ever seen" or "This sucks" and "I see a couple of things you could work on to make this read more smoothly". Other examples, posted elsewhere by UC's Dr. Strangefate: "Okay, I've just finished reading your story and there's a few things that I thought read awkwardly..." or "I'm not exactly sure what the point of that one character was..." or "maybe you should try to work on your exposition a little". Try to phrase your criticism as suggestions, not accusations.

    Also, it helps to note things about the story that you thought were good; placing a criticism between two compliments often makes the criticism easier to take. (Think "sandwiching".) Almost every story has some good qualities in it somewhere, whether it's good character portrayal, instances of humor, or an exciting action scene.
  • For constructive criticism, focus on specific problems, and offer reasonable solutions. For example, if you're going to point out confusing wording in a sentence or paragraph, also suggest ways the information could be re-phrased.
  • None of the authors have to change their stories just because you've posted constructive criticism. Don't continue to push your point. If the author indicates that s/he doesn't want to hear what you have to say, stop reading and commenting on the story. Neither you nor the author needs the continuing headaches.

If anyone has any questions about these rules, please PM me for clarification.
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