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Should the fanfic forum be split up?

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction and Writing Resource' started by JediGaladriel, Feb 1, 2003.


Should the fanfic forum be split up?

Poll closed Mar 1, 2003.
  1. Yes--there's too much traffic for one board and stories are being overlooked.

    425 vote(s)
  2. No--I prefer the fanfic forum to be unified, so all stories get the same chance.

    115 vote(s)
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  1. lordmaul13

    lordmaul13 Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Oct 18, 2000
    I voted yes. I'm one of those new guys whose story drops like a brick.

  2. JediGaladriel

    JediGaladriel Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 3, 1999
    I do not believe things sort that easily, JG. What about a story that begins in PT and ends post-ROTJ? I wrote a story that begin intertrilogy and ended OT.

    I'm sure there are other stories just like that.

    Like I said on a previous page, I think those are rare enough to deal with on a case-by-case basis. The vast majority of fics deal with a shorter time period.

    It's at any rate a lot easier, even with those, to figure out era than it would be to figure out genre. The one you mentioned sounds like it mostly goes into a saga forum, unless the majority of it takes place in the post-RotJ era.

    I will re-iterate: Please, please not PT/OT. I don't think we want to go through this again after Ep3, and we are going to be flooded by intertrils at that point. It's a lot easier to say, "Does it take place in the movie era, or before or after them?" than it is to say, "Okay, well, it's not quite up to the Classic trilogy and uses Classic characters, but since it takes place before ANH, it goes in Prequel" or "Okay, I see you're telling a story entirely about Amidala's handmaidens after Episode 3, but we decided that as long as it's after the prequels, it goes in the Classic forum..." It's just much, much easier to treat the movies as a single unit of time, stretching thirty-five years or so, and put any stories occurring in that time (or mostly occurring in it) into that grouping.
  3. obaona

    obaona Jedi Master star 4

    Jun 18, 2002
    I'm not saying that things should be sorted by genre - that would be . . . unworkable, totally. I'm saying that not all stories will fit into selected eras.

    That was why I brought up the possiblity of a Miscellaneous one, while we're talking about making new ones. :)
  4. LadyPadme

    LadyPadme Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 26, 2002

    I think I would miss more stories if they were split by genre. I personally like OT stories, but when I see something new coming out that's NJO or PT I'll also take a look. If the forum was split, I think I'd read OT only, and miss out on a lot of good ones just because I wouldn't check out those threads. I think readership on a lot of stories would actually suffer more that way for that reason.
  5. Master_Jador

    Master_Jador Jedi Youngling star 2

    Aug 31, 2002
    The disadvantage of a miscellaneous section is that a large number of potential readers might avoid such a section all together.

    I can really understand both sides of this argument. On the one hand, it's tough to get new readers when there is so much for them to sift through. (For that matter, as a reader, it's tough for me to keep track of all the stories I'm reading, and I don't always have time to respond as much as I would like to.) On the other hand, dividing the stories up has problems of its own. For example, a story about Ani in the afterlife would be less likely to find readers if it were stuck on a post-ROTJ only board, since most Ani-lovers would probably tend to gravitate towards a "During the Saga" board.

    I've been blessed with some really amazing readers, but I also recognize that there are very talented authors who can never get more than one or two simply because their stories keep slipping to the bottom.

    Oh well, sorry for the rambling. I guess I'm in favor of dividing the forum, though not unreservedly. There really is too much traffic, and it will only get worse. I suppose dividing the forum up only makes sense. I guess to advocates of division, I'll just say: "I may not like it, but [my vote] can help you." ;)
  6. obaona

    obaona Jedi Master star 4

    Jun 18, 2002
    *shrugs* It's also perfectly possible that a story wouldn't get a large readership in a place it doesn't fit. At least - if there were a Misallaneous, you'd know what you were getting into. ;)

    Does that make any sense? I'm in two chats . . . :p
  7. Herman Snerd

    Herman Snerd Jedi Master star 6

    Oct 31, 1999
    IMO, one of the benefits of a chronological split is that it keeps different genres in the same forum if they occur in the same time period.

    That way no matter which "time period forum" you're in, you would still be exposed to different types of stories.
  8. Jedi_Suzuran

    Jedi_Suzuran Jedi Knight star 5

    May 22, 2002
    I very reluctantly vote yes. The forum has grown tremendously, and it's not gonna stop any time soon. There are some stories out there who get very few readers and quickly sink to oblivion, one of mine included. :p

    If it is done, I think it would be best to do split it like we did the sticky indexes. Dividing that into sub-categories would be headache inducing, I think. :p
  9. rhonderoo

    rhonderoo Former Head Admin star 9 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Aug 7, 2002
    I like the idea of splitting them up by ERA. As far as the old fiction/new fiction goes - couldn't we have a sticky at the top of every forum with links, like the one we have now, and encourage people to use them? Kind of like a cross reference?
  10. ami-padme

    ami-padme Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Sep 19, 1999
    Put me down for a no.

    I like having all the stories in one place, I think it gives the board a sense of community and gives a chance of finding something outside our individual beaten paths.

    I know we're not supposed to discuss the "hows" of this now, but I think it's going to be a big pain for little gain.

    But even after all this, how long will it be that people complain that new fiction isn't getting read again?

    I agree with this. I don't think it will be very long. Especially for people who will generally post in the most popular sub-category, whatever that would wind up being.
  11. LittleJedi

    LittleJedi Jedi Padawan star 4

    Jun 4, 2001
    Even though I do love the Fan Fiction forum, I'd like to see it split up so that stories don't sink so fast and so that it's easier to find stories set in your favourite era. :)

  12. thebadge

    thebadge Jedi Master star 4

    Mar 15, 2002
    Split it up. I can only thank ALL of the great writers out there who post such wonderful stories. As a reader only, I will continue to spend way to many hours each week in fan-fic nirvana. How you both write stories, manage these boards and have any life at all is simply beyond me JG!

  13. Jemmiah

    Jemmiah Jedi Master star 5

    Mar 5, 2000
    I wasn't in favour last time this topic came up - but I have come round to the idea. As for how to split it, I guess I agree with Galadriel. The fanfic forum seems almost at saturation point. I understand the "loss of community feeling" POV but as a long-in-the-toothbie who remembers the pre-snowboard days, I felt the sense of community was stronger when the place was smaller. No doubt others will disagree, lol! :)

    Yeah, I think the time has come to carve the fanfic forum up.
  14. JediStarMoonstruck

    JediStarMoonstruck Jedi Master star 5

    Feb 19, 2002
    No, I don't like the thought of that. Because all the fics are in one place, it's easier to go down the line and/or search for a fic. If it's spilt up, that means more forums to keep up in and it'll be too compicated (you want this fic, you go here. you want another kind of fic, you go over here). I think it's all right just the way it is.
  15. Miana Kenobi

    Miana Kenobi Admin Emeritus star 8 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Apr 5, 2000
    I voted no. In the words of Palpatine, "I will not let this republic be split in two!" Change republic to forum, and there you have it.

    The forum was created for the sole purpose of people being able to read and write diverse stories and put them up on a single board where all could see. It has always been that way, so why change it now??

    Granted, yes, I know that traffic is becoming a problem, but the optomistic side of this is that we are getting hundreds of new writers every year. We rely on this growth to keep the forum strong. But now, when our numbers are reaching higher than ever before, you want to split it up?

    Splitting the forum will cause chaos. If it is divided into time periods, many people who write multi-time periods won't know what to do, as was already said. Not to mention the fact that many people stick to a general time period. If they stick to one time period, then they might just miss a great story that is in another period that may have caught their eye, were it still a unified forum. With one forum, it's easier to find these "eye-catchers." So if we split up the forum, wouldn't it be logical to conclude that we would be robbing some people of new readers?

    As to the feedback thing, like Amidala_Skywalker said, there is a chance that you will get more, but there is a chance that you won't. And honestly, (I'm not pointing fingers or making accusations), who here writes for the sole purpose of getting readers?? The point of writing is to merely share a story of yours with others. Even if you get a small handful, or even one or two, you should be happy that they find your story good and want to read more of it. You shouldn't be so fixated on the number of readers you have or the amount of feedback. Remember: it is quality, not quantity. Even if you have just one loyal reader who is always encouraging you to finish, maybe even making you feel better about your writing and saying that "people don't know what they're missing," you must reaalize that that ONE reader with their encouragement, their kindness, and their eagerness to read if worth 20 different "Ups".

    Now, I may just be an "Oldbie" who can still remember the glory and horrors of UBB, but I feel that splitting up the forum, after my 3 great years here, would be completely wrong and drastic.

  16. Skyfang

    Skyfang Jedi Youngling star 2

    Jan 17, 2003
    I agree, it should be split up. Good stories are sometimes over looked and it's harder to pick out the good stories.
  17. sabrelight

    sabrelight Jedi Master star 4

    Dec 21, 2000
    Break it up. There's just too many fics out there thrown together in one thread. Its a mess!
  18. Calamity Jinn

    Calamity Jinn Jedi Padawan star 4

    May 23, 2000
    This is a difficult one to vote for. Like my sis (Jemmiah) I've been around for a while. The pre-snowboard times really had a sense of community... because there were a lot less of us! :p It meant we had less fiction to read, more time to do it and a chance to get to know a whole group of people. As time has gone on and new films, books, etc. have appeared the community of fan fiction has grown at a huge rate. To me, the community feeling has changed; the board is a victim of it's own success and has in a lot of cases already split a fair number of authors (myself included) into their own mini communities.

    Personally, I'll search through pages and pages to find the stories and authors I want to read. Having said that, I used to have time to check out all the new threads, but because of numbers and the speed they disappear at, I don't anymore. :(

    As reluctant as I am to say it, I do think the fairest way to allow the stories a chance to be read is to split the forums, but only if it is done in a sensible way. I'm cautious about voting yes: some of the ideas people have put forward here for a split are more alarming than anything else, and if it came down to it I'd rather stay as we were than be split the way some suggest.

    I do have pretty strong feelings re the way a split would be done, but I'll save them for when/if it happens. :) ;)

  19. Enigma_X

    Enigma_X Jedi Youngling star 2

    Apr 22, 2002
    I voted for 'yes'. I think it'd be a good idea, though honestly I can't think of a way to split it up that I'd whole-heartedly endorse. If we go by era, what about time-travel fics and things like that? Up to the author?
  20. Future

    Future Jedi Youngling star 1

    Jan 30, 2003
    I think that a good thing with the fan forums would be to add a rating system so you can rate a peice of writing and later change your rating if there has been extra parts added to the story. Then they could be in order of rating not just random. I think it would also be good to only make the rating mean anything when 50 people have voted on it, and there should be a yet to be rated area.
  21. Aunecah_Skywalker

    Aunecah_Skywalker Jedi Knight star 5

    Mar 25, 2002
    Well, if we split the forum up, wouldn't it be enough to split it into two, or maybe three at the most? One is strictly PT, the other is strictly OT trilogy, and the third is any intertrilogy stories? Just a thought.

    I am not completely pro-division idea, but I do notice how quickly things move over here. On the other hand, if we split it up into too many divisions, we might not have enough trafifc. I usually read PT (Obi) stories, but sometimes read OT stories whose titles catch my eyes. If we split up, I probably will miss many good OT stories - because I probably won't go wandering in there.

    I don't know if it is only I who does it this way, but I'm just saying it's possible to lose many readers than gaine more.

    Don't know if that made sense. ;)

  22. DarthBreezy

    DarthBreezy Force Ghost star 6

    Jun 4, 2002
    There I disagree... "Rate this story" would just lead to more hurt feelings...

    I think the index in the sticky thread is great and a simple "This is where the story is based with these characters" summery in the first post (combined with update dates in the topic line which MANY authors are using!) is the best...
  23. DarthBreezy

    DarthBreezy Force Ghost star 6

    Jun 4, 2002
    I'm with Casper Knightshade...

    If you do go to specifics, do so by era like we do with KnightWriter's Story Indexes: Beyond the Saga, Saga, and Before the Saga. That way there isn't fifty boards that are so darn specific to what it is. Most of the generes are trends, and like any trend they go up, then down, and then up, or to the dark abyss; waste of data space and the time put in to create it. Era is much broader.

    But even after all this, how long will it be that people complain that new fiction isn't getting read again? It won't be too long, and that's the truth.

    COPY/Pasted because that sums it up...
    another bit of Ugly...

    Who's going to transfer all the stories????

    What about ONGOING works???

    This ONCE I'd like to see an excutive decision that says "This is just too much to ask for... New fics will be discovered... if you are willing to put so much effort into a piece, take that extra step and ADVERTISE ... Put it in the index, utilise "fan fic quotes', put a link in your sig... read other fics... we've ALL 'paid our dues' as new authors... (and some of my stuff STILL sinks like a rock) but I will keep plugging away...

    Ever here the Aesop fable about the Miller, his son and the Donkey? By trying to please everyone he lost everything...
  24. JediGaladriel

    JediGaladriel Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 3, 1999
    If we go by era, what about time-travel fics and things like that? Up to the author?

    My inclination would be to go with wherever it starts--who is doing the time travelling. (And since a lot of these are PT-OT travels, they'd all go in a saga forum anyway.)

    Well, if we split the forum up, wouldn't it be enough to split it into two, or maybe three at the most? One is strictly PT, the other is strictly OT trilogy, and the third is any intertrilogy stories? Just a thought.

    Then you'd be blocking stories that took place before or after the movies. I doubt the NJO writers would like not having a post-movies category!

    It's just easiest to keep the movies together. I have a basic headache problem about trying to answer questions all the time about whether a story that includes more than one era of the movies belongs in OT or PT (heck, I wouldn't even know where to put Lady Vader, who lives in the OT era but would appeal only to people who like the prequels because it's entirely prequel based!). More than that, I have an extreme philosophical problem with splitting up the saga at all--this is a single continuous story with a twenty year gap; it's not a breaking point.
  25. anidanami124

    anidanami124 Jedi Master star 6

    Aug 24, 2002
    JG if you split it up then I don't even know where I would put my Fanfic. One of them is a crossover. It really does not take place in any of the movies or the EU.
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