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Forum » Suggestion Box » To allow, or not to allow? That is the question.
Vaporman87
If you've read vkimo's recent Halloween epic and the comments section for it, you know all about this already, so skip to the last paragraph if you did.

Recently, the work of vkimo has brought our writers here to a crossroads. We must consider the question of whether or not we consider a work of fiction to fit our definition of an "article".

Now, I made no stipulation regarding this for this year's (or any other year's for that matter) Halloween Article Contest, so his entry is permissible in my view. But this does bring up a subject we must all consider and make our opinions known in it's regard. Do we, as a group, consider a work of fiction appropriate for publishing here as an "article".

In my view, I believe a work of fiction should be considered an "article". My reason for feeling this way is twofold. For one thing, our memories and our cultural influences from the past are finite. What happens when our best writers no longer have memories, products, films, etc. that inspire them to write? Do we just allow the well to run dry and move on? Secondly, so long as the work is inspired by, takes place in, and involves "retro" persons, places, things, and ideas, it will still benefit our appetite for nostalgia. But these are only my opinions. Now you need to make yours known.

So, what do you think? Make your voice heard, ESPECIALLY if you have written, submitted, and had something published here.

EDIT: I hadn't considered it, but Hoju's "Dr. Timewarp" articles could also be considered works of fiction, although they are written in that way to enhance the experience of recalling certain non-fictional persons, places, things, and ideas. Keep this in mind.

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shakin steak
I also vote NO to such restrictions. It would close off an avenue for me and as you know I'm already barren for ideas. But more than that, variety. I'm a fan.  I am really tired of reviews and top ten lists. They have saturated the "creative writing" sites, be they content mills or blogs. They're easy, cheesy, and cheap. NO offense to anyone who writes those. They're also fun. But I like to see more. And I think fiction requires another set of skills. Let's don't be a one-ring show.

Finally, it's really not possible. How would you enforce, how do you distinguish a work of fiction from autobiography? It would be so easy to hide. "Oh, yes sir, Vaporman, sir, I truly did skin my knee when I fell off my Big Wheels trying to show off to my babysitter by racing down the driveway" when I really didn't? Who cares? They're just strangers' stories anyway. That something actually happened, as described and wholly unembellished, to the person who typed the words makes little to no difference to me as a reader. And what of embellishment, or exaggeration? What if someone fills in details to make better writing, even if it's not exactly as it happened? Would that also be disallowed?

No. Your initial instinct was entirely correct.
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Vaporman87
shakin steak wrote :
No. Your initial instinct was entirely correct.
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Thank you for that incite shakin. It's important that you and the other writers let us know how you feel.

And your right. I have no way of distinguishing fact from fiction. This site could already be full of works of half fiction, and we not even realize it. So in the end, we are really only deciding whether or not it can be openly declared as a work of fiction.
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echidna64
Allow it! Retro Fan fiction is original content and vkimo worked incredibly hard on his article.

Having original content like stories could help bring in more visitors who are eagerly awaiting for Stupendous Man Issue #2 
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Vaporman87
echidna64 wrote :

Allow it! Retro Fan fiction is original content and vkimo worked incredibly hard on his article.

Having original content like stories could help bring in more visitors... 

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You are quite correct. People who may not wish to share their own personal stories might feel at ease using those memories as inspiration for a story that everyone enjoys.
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Ajimbo
I absolutely refuse to read vkimo's article.  I will not allow it!  Not in my house!

Fiction articles are okay by me.
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kidcoffee
I think it's a great idea. I was fortunate this year to have a few non fiction ideas rattling around in my head, but come next Halloween I am not sure I'll be so lucky. Plus there's nothing better than sitting around a virtual campfire sharing scary stories with friends. Top ten lists are fun, but there are only so many to be had. Fiction would allow for us all to tap into our vivid imaginations and explore worlds that have yet to be ventured. Also if enough people were onboard it could be fun to collect the very best work to be published in an annual retro daze short story collection that could be purchased in the points store.
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Vaporman87
kidcoffee wrote :

I think it's a great idea. I was fortunate this year to have a few non fiction ideas rattling around in my head, but come next Halloween I am not sure I'll be so lucky. Plus there's nothing better than sitting around a virtual campfire sharing scary stories with friends. Top ten lists are fun, but there are only so many to be had. Fiction would allow for us all to tap into our vivid imaginations and explore worlds that have yet to be ventured. Also if enough people were onboard it could be fun to collect the very best work to be published in an annual retro daze short story collection that could be purchased in the points store.
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A nice idea there kidcoffee. Actually I once considered producing a RetroDaze Yearbook each year, containing, among other things, some of the best articles of that year. But that proved to be way more of a headache than I thought. A simple collection of articles would be easier to produce.
Ajimbo wrote :

Fiction articles are okay by me.
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Thanks for your input Ajimbo.
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vkimo
Ruh Roh!

The only reason I decided to do a fictional piece was because like NLogan, I had participated in the 2 previous Halloween contests and was pretty depleted on subject matter aside from focusing on a super obscure aspect of the holiday.

I'm definitely on board for fiction, but making sure it doesn't veer off the sites purpose might be tricky. I could totally see this place becoming a hub for My Little Ponies fan fiction. I really don't plan on doing many fictional pieces myself but could see great potential. Maybe a different section devoted to fiction?
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jkatz
Kidcoffee Johnson is right! 
Fiction articles would add variety the site and might actually get more people to contribute.

Count this as another vote for yes. 
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Vaporman87
vkimo wrote :
I'm definitely on board for fiction, but making sure it doesn't veer off the sites purpose might be tricky. I could totally see this place becoming a hub for My Little Ponies fan fiction. I really don't plan on doing many fictional pieces myself but could see great potential. Maybe a different section devoted to fiction?
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Indeed. And yeah, I know what you mean by keeping things focused on the purpose, and not letting it turn into a fan fiction site. Unless it's just plain old "retro" fan fiction. Not a place where twenty short stories about Care Bears appear every day.

I wonder if adhering to the simple restriction that "fictional work cannot take place in the universe of an existing intellectual property or rely heavily on characters from existing intellectual properties" would suffice?

A writer could potentially create a story in which one or several characters from existing intellectual properties can be used, but they cannot be the "main" protagonists or antagonists and the story cannot take place in the universe of those characters.
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