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RULES: The Writers' Workshop Rulebook & Information Hub

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For all first timers, the Writers' Workshop is where all the writing on the forums is located. If you've written fiction, a poem, an essay, a non-fiction short story, or any other kind of creative piece of writing you want to share with everyone, then this is the place for you! This thread in particular is a guide to help get you started with useful links and an FAQ section along with our rules.


Please remember that all forum-wide rules apply in the Workshop as well, so ensure you read and follow them alongside these ones.

1) Mislabeled Threads
All threads containing sexual, violent, or other potentially inappropriate content must be labelled with the appropriate prefix of EVERYONE, TEEN, or MATURE and must state in the first post what that inappropriate content is.
- Please refer to the Rating Guide for more details. Note that all three excerpts are the exact same story with differences depending on the rating; use the numbered footnotes to help you locate said differences.

MATURE
Half an hour into the party and I'm already wishing I hadn't come. John started chugging those cheap Blue Cresselias at nine in the morning, and he's still going like he's for sure aimin' to slip into a coma tonight. And knowing him, well, he won't even stop there. The guy probably paid his dealer to lurk so he can go and get a line or two of coke the moment he's ready for it [1]. I hear his dealer raises roselia, too, enters 'em into horticultural shows. You never can tell. It's a dull-ass subject, but I'd debate it all night if John would put his pants back on and stop swingin' his dick around [2].

Whatever. I haul myself off the kitchen counter and head round into the living room, tempted to ditch and go home, play some Minecraft. That temptation only grows when I see Kayleigh's straddling Sam's lap, the bulge in his groin obvious as he runs his hands under her shirt and over her tits [3]. Smug bastard. She's just about the hottest girl in our class.

Damn. At this rate I'm going to have to add porn to my to-do list when I get home [4]. Or get smashed like everyone else in an attempt to have drunk sex.

"Hey, what are you fuckin' starin' at [5]?"

I'd made the mistake of getting lost in my thoughts. Sam's giving me the blackest look I've ever seen. He seems to forget all about Kayleigh, roughly shoving her aside. She looks on from the couch, suddenly visibly anxious. Now why would she be so scared of a guy she was so willing to suck off, exactly?

Something tells me I'm about to find out. Maybe if I play dumb, then -

"Huh?"

Sam grabs me by the scruff of my shirt and shoves me backward so hard I crash into the entertainment stand behind me and bowl the old Panasonic TV over. The other partygoers clamour in shock as a flared vase flies through the air like a leaping magikarp, smashing into a hundred glittering shards. I put my hand down to steady myself and a stray shard slices right through the palm of my hand. I scream and grab my wrist with my good hand on reflex, as if that alone could still the searing pain throbbing in my fingers and knuckles.

Sam steps forward, not quite laughing. He seizes my wrist, grabs the glass with his other hand and contemptuously yanks it free, blood immediately running down my hand and dripping onto the carpet.

"Seriously. Don't need a faggot starin' at me like that [6]. Now get on outta here."
"No, I wasn't -" But I stop myself, because really, what's the point? Admitting to staring at Kayleigh isn't gonna earn me any favours, and anyway, Sam - and everyone else - is in the way of the exit.

Sam lunges forward, pushing me back to where I started and driving glass shrapnel into my forearm [7]. The partygoers around us gasp; I can hear Kayleigh crying; my heart thunders in my chest. Why is no-one doing anything?

"Door's that way. If ya show your face again, I'll fucking do you one worse, you hear?" Sam growls [8].

I stare down at my hands, wanting to move but my body won't respond. How deep does the glass go? I don't dare so much as flex my fingers, my bright blood obscuring everything. The smell sickens me, vile and pungent and metallic and reminiscent of the hate I didn't know a person could feel for another until now.

A gunshot rings out, and suddenly, Sam looks like he's missing a goddamn eye. The bullet went straight through, and as he crumples to the floor, blood pools all around him, so dark and thick I think it's gotta be staged. But no, his good eye is open in a permanent state of shock, staring at everything and nothing at once, and fuck, is that part of his brain mixed in there [9]?

I want to hurl.

I look up to see Rod, the one who threw the party. The gun in his hand, now a murder weapon. That's exactly what everyone else is thinking as they scramble over each other, horrible screaming mixed with questions about if someone should call the police, if someone should call 911, if someone should do anything.

Something about it pushes my body into action. I duck past Sam's body, blood sticking to the bottom of my shoe. I can't bring myself to care about it until I reach the door to the backyard, where I throw it behind a thorny bush and crouch under a small space under the porch. It's calmer here, sans the footsteps stampeding above me and the blood quietly dripping from my hand.

Noticing the glass shard is still stuck in my palm, I stare at it, blinking and hoping this is all some horrible dream I'll wake up from soon. I pull the shard out myself, slowly for full effect. It's not a dream. Even if I don't wake up, don't I deserve the pain? All I did was glance Sam's way, and he lost his goddamn fucking mind because of me only to get killed.

Fuck. How do I not deserve the pain?

My face scrunches up, a yelp escaping my lips as the full brunt of reality hits me then. My hand shakes, the glass shard in my view taunting me. I bring it to my wrist, first lightly, then deeper, deeper, drawing blood until there's more of it from the self-inflicted cut than from the wound Sam gave me. A strange sense of relief washes over me, knowing I'm giving to myself exactly the pain Sam himself wanted to. I could go deeper, though. I could. Could cut a vein and call it a day, call it a life. So I push the glass shard deeper into my wrist, stifling a grunt at the sharp throb that courses up my forearm into my shoulder. Blood gushes from the cut, dripping onto the ground and staining the dirt a deep, rich red. [10]

It would be so easy right now to just... go... and why shouldn't I? I stay here, the police will find me. Eventually. I didn't pull the trigger myself, no, but I instigated things. That's just as bad. Just as worthy of jailtime and being deemed a hardened criminal for the rest of my life.

When I put it that way, the blood looks goddamn fucking beautiful, more beautiful than anything I've ever seen in my life. I can see my obituary now: teenager realizes the futility and tragedy of life way too soon and realized what we're all too afraid to admit - that is, that life is only made of suffering. A miracle I ever made it this long, really, it'd say [11].

Sam was trying to tell me something, wasn't he? That he didn't want me around, not just in his life, but anywhere. That he didn't want me to make it any further. Well, I get it, Sam. I really do. You won't be able to tell me again... or will you? Not in this life, anyway. But the next. If that's a thing and we meet.

Everything slows. My breathing, my heartbeat, everything. Even looking out from the little alcove I made for myself, the world seems to have stopped, and I can't hear screaming anymore, just muffled noises. I close my eyes and let my thoughts drift from my family to my friends back to Sam and Kayleigh. Kayleigh... She won't blame herself, will she? God, I hope not, but -

I think I just screamed, but I don't know. Dizziness has taken over by this point, but I crack an eye open and see my hand had slipped. Just how deep can this glass shard go?

I close my eyes, and I don't get to open them again [12].

[1] Explicit Substance Abuse
[2] Implicit Strong Suggestive Themes (Nudity)
[3] Implicit Strong Suggestive Themes (Sexual Behavior)
[4] Implicit Strong Suggestive Themes (Sexual Innuendo)
[5] Explicit Strong Language
[6] Explicit Strong Language (Slur included)
[7] Strong Violence
[8] Explicit Abuse
[9] Strong Gore
[10] Explicit Self-harm
[11] Glorification of mental illness
[12] Explicit Suicide
Your story is suitable for ages 17+ because it depicts one or more sensitive subjects as a recurring theme and/or with intense detail. Rate your story MATURE if it includes any or all of the following:

⦁ Strong Suggestive Themes - Implicit and/or frequent mentions of nudity, sexual behavior, and/or sexual innuendo. No explicit depictions are allowed.​
⦁ Strong Violence/Gore - Explicit and/or frequent depictions of blood, injury, torture, dismemberment, violent deaths, and/or mutilation of body parts, excluding genitals.​
⦁ Suicide - Explicit and/or frequent depictions of attempted and/or completed suicide, including glorification of suicide and/or mental illness as a whole.​
⦁ Self-harm - Explicit and/or frequent depictions of characters injuring themselves, including glorification of self-harm and/or mental illness as a whole.​
⦁ Strong Language - Explicit use of slurs, no matter how infrequent or frequent they are and regardless of context. What counts as a slur is subjective and open to debate, so please contact a mod if you're unsure! Alternatively, rate the chapter that might have a swear MATURE to be on the safe side.​
⦁ Substance Abuse - Explicit and/or frequent depictions of addiction and substance abuse involving drugs, alcohol, and/or tobacco.​
⦁ Abuse - Explicit and/or frequent depictions of psychological and/or physical abuse. Sexual abuse can also be a theme, but cannot be explicitly depicted.​

TEEN
Half an hour into the party and I'm already wishing I hadn't come. John started chugging those cheap Blue Cresselias at nine in the morning, and he's still going for some reason. Rumor has it he's even got his own personal dealer somewhere in town and can snort a line or two of coke anytime he wants [1]. I hear his dealer raises roselia, too, enters 'em into horticultural shows. You never can tell. It's a dull-ass subject, but I'd debate it all night if John would put his pants back on [2].

Whatever. I haul myself off the kitchen counter and head round into the living room, tempted to ditch and go home, play some Minecraft. That temptation only grows when I see Kayleigh's all over Sam, his excitement obvious as he runs his hands under her shirt and over her tits [3]. Smug bastard. She's just about the hottest girl in our class.

Damn. At this rate I'm going to have to add some alone time to my to-do list when I get home [4]. Or get smashed like everyone else in an attempt to have drunk sex.

"Hey, what are you fuckin' starin' at [5]?"

I'd made the mistake of getting lost in my thoughts. Sam's giving me the blackest look I've ever seen. He seems to forget all about Kayleigh, roughly shoving her aside. She looks on from the couch, suddenly visibly anxious. Now why would she be so scared of a guy she was so willing to suck off, exactly?

Something tells me I'm about to find out. Maybe if I play dumb, then -

"Huh?"

Sam grabs me by the scruff of my shirt and shoves me backward so hard I crash into the entertainment stand behind me and bowl the old Panasonic TV over. The other partygoers clamour in shock as a flared vase flies through the air like a leaping magikarp, smashing into a hundred glittering shards. I put my hand down to steady myself and a stray shard slices right through the palm of my hand. I scream and grab my wrist with my good hand on reflex, as if that alone could still the searing pain throbbing in my fingers and knuckles.

Sam steps forward, not quite laughing. He seizes my wrist, grabs the glass with his other hand and contemptuously yanks it free, blood immediately running down my hand and dripping onto the carpet.

"Seriously. Don't need a little bitch like you starin' at me like that [6]. Now get on outta here."

"No, I wasn't -" But I stop myself, because really, what's the point? Admitting to staring at Kayleigh isn't gonna earn me any favours, and anyway, Sam - and everyone else - is in the way of the exit.

Suddenly I'm pushed to back to where I started, Sam's right up in my face, and the shock of glass shrapnel being forced into my forearm makes the room spin [7]. The partygoers around us gasp; I can hear Kayleigh crying; my heart thunders in my chest. Why is no-one doing anything?

"Door's that way," Sam growls, then mumbles something about what he'll do to me if he sees my face around here again [8].

I stare down at my hands, wanting to move but my body won't respond. How deep does the glass go? I don't dare so much as flex my fingers, my bright blood obscuring everything. The smell sickens me, vile and pungent and metallic and reminiscent of the hate I didn't know a person could feel for another until now.

A gunshot rings out, and suddenly, Sam looks like he's missing a goddamn eye. The bullet went straight through, and as he crumples to the floor, I see his good eye is open in a permanent state of shock, staring at everything and nothing at once [9].

I want to hurl.

I look up to see Rod, the one who threw the party. The gun in his hand, now a murder weapon. That's exactly what everyone else is thinking as they scramble over each other, horrible screaming mixed with questions about if someone should call the police, if someone should call 911, if someone should do anything.

Something about it pushes my body into action. I duck past Sam's body, blood sticking to the bottom of my shoe. I can't bring myself to care about it until I reach the door to the backyard, where I throw it behind a thorny bush and crouch under a small space under the porch. It's calmer here, sans the footsteps stampeding above me and the blood quietly dripping from my hand.

Noticing the glass shard is still stuck in my palm, I stare at it, blinking and hoping this is all some horrible dream I'll wake up from soon. I pull the shard out myself, slowly for full effect. It's not a dream. Even if I don't wake up, don't I deserve the pain? All I did was glance Sam's way, and he lost his goddamn fucking mind because of me only to get killed.

Fuck. How do I not deserve the pain?

My face scrunches up, a yelp escaping my lips as the full brunt of reality hits me then. My hand shakes, the glass shard in my view taunting me. A strange sense of relief washes over me as I bring it closer to my wrist, knowing I'm giving to myself exactly the pain Sam himself wanted to. I could do worse. I could. Could call it a day, call it a life [10].

It would be so easy right now to just... go... and why shouldn't I? I stay here, the police will find me. Eventually. I didn't pull the trigger myself, no, but I instigated things. That's just as bad. Just as worthy of jailtime and being deemed a hardened criminal for the rest of my life.

I can see my obituary now: teenager did what every teenager does and goes to a party, wanting to have fun, only for it all to go wrong. Typical millennial, right? Would've been a miracle if I'd done anything worthwhile with my life [11].

Sam was trying to tell me something, wasn't he? That he didn't want me around, not just in his life, but anywhere. That he didn't want me to make it any further. Well, I get it, Sam. I really do. You won't be able to tell me again... or will you? Not in this life, anyway. But the next. If that's a thing and we meet.

I close my eyes, unsure if I'll be able to open them again [12].

[1] Explicit Substance Use
[2] Implicit Moderate Suggestive Themes (Nudity)
[3] Implicit Moderate Suggestive Themes (Sexual Behavior)
[4] Implicit Moderate Suggestive Themes (Sexual Innuendo)
[5] Explicit Strong Language
[6] Explicit Strong Language (Slur removed from MATURE)
[7] Moderate Violence
[8] Implicit Abuse
[9] Gore removed from MATURE
[10] Implicit Self-harm
[11] Glorification of mental illness removed from MATURE
[12] Implicit Suicide
Your story is suitable for ages 13+ because it depicts one or more sensitive subjects either as a recurring theme or just often enough to be considered important to the overall piece, but there's not a lot of intense detail.

⦁ Moderate Suggestive Themes - Implicit and/or infrequent mentions of nudity, sexual behavior, and/or sexual innuendo.​
⦁ Moderate Violence - Implicit and/or infrequent depictions of blood, injury, and/or violent deaths.​
⦁ Suicide - Implicit and/or infrequent depictions of attempted and/or completed suicide. If your piece in any way glorifies suicide and/or mental illness as a whole, your piece must be rated MATURE.​
⦁ Self-harm - Implicit and/or infrequent depictions of characters injuring themselves. If your piece in any way glorifies self-harm and/or mental illness as a whole, your piece must be rated MATURE.​
⦁ Strong Language - Explicit use of profanity, excluding slurs. Profanity is allowed under global forum rules and can be used as frequently or infrequently as you'd like, but slurs must be rated MATURE.​
⦁ Substance Use - Explicit and/or frequent consumption of drugs, alcohol, and/or tobacco, including implicit themes of addiction and/or abuse.​
⦁ Abuse - Implicit and/or frequent references to psychological, physical, and/or sexual abuse.​

EVERYONE
Half an hour into the party and I'm already wishing I hadn't come. John's acting a little strange already, to the point where he can't walk straight and he's slurrin' all his words. Don't know what's up with that, but he's a popular dude, since rumor has it that he knows a guy or two around town and can hook them up with good deals [1]. I hear these friends of his raise roselia, too, enters 'em into horticultural shows. Who knows? It's a lame subject, but I'd debate it all night with him if he'd stop threatening to take his clothes off out of nowhere [2].

Whatever. I haul myself off the kitchen counter and head round into the living room, tempted to ditch and go home, play some Minecraft. That temptation only grows when I see Kayleigh making out with Sam, his hands not visible under her shirt, but I can imagine [3]. Smug guy. She's just about the hottest girl in our class.

Darn. At this rate I'm going to have to add some alone time to my to-do list when I get home [4].

"Hey, what are you fuckin' starin' at [5]?"

I'd made the mistake of getting lost in my thoughts. Sam's giving me the blackest look I've ever seen. He seems to forget all about Kayleigh, roughly shoving her aside. She looks on from the couch, suddenly visibly anxious. Now why would she be so scared of a guy she was so willing to kiss, exactly?

Something tells me I'm about to find out. Maybe if I play dumb, then -

"Huh?"

Sam grabs me by the scruff of my shirt and shoves me backward. I crash into the entertainment stand behind me and bowl the old Panasonic TV over. The other partygoers gasp dramatically as a flared vase flies through the air like a leaping magikarp, smashing into a hundred glittering shards. I put my hand down to steady myself and accidentally cut myself on my hand. I grab my wrist with my good hand on reflex, looking to make sure I'm not too hurt.

Sam steps forward, not quite laughing. He seizes my wrist, stares at my hand and laughs for real.

"Seriously. Don't need a guy like you starin' at me like that [6]. Now get on outta here."

"No, I wasn't -" But I stop myself, because really, what's the point? Admitting to staring at Kayleigh isn't gonna earn me any favours, and anyway, Sam - and everyone else - is in the way of the exit.

Suddenly I'm pushed back to where I started, Sam's right up in my face, and he's got a devillish, goofy grin on his face as he squeezes my hand hard [7]. The partygoers around us gasp, including Kayleigh; my heart thunders in my chest. Why is no-one doing anything?

"Door's that way," Sam growls, then mumbles something about what he'll do to me if he sees my face around here again [8].

I stare down at my hands after Sam lets go, wanting to move but my body won't respond. I don't dare so much as flex my fingers, my bright blood obscuring everything. The humiliation of everyone watching sickens me, a wave of confusion washing over me as I wonder how a person could feel this much hate for another over something so small.

Suddenly, Sam crumples to the floor. His eyes stay wide open in shock, seemingly staring at everything and nothing at once [9].

I want to laugh. Who's the one humiliated now?

I look up to see Rod, the one who threw the party. There's a BB gun in his hand and an amused look on his face, like he'd been looking for an excuse to use the thing for a while. But not everyone's amused. A couple of the guys what he thinks he doing, and another throws a curse word or two, barely audible. Kayleigh, of course, rushes over to Sam's side to help pull him back to his feet.

Sam brushes himself up and looks around the room. His gaze eventually settles on me, and he says, "Sorry, I just..."

"It's fine, man."

"Huh?"

"I said it's fine. Don't worry about it," I say.

"I get angry like that a lot. Make assumptions. Stupid stuff like that, you know?" he says, rubbing his arm sheepishly.

"Yeah, I know what you mean," I say, though I don't know what he means, not entirely.

"Not a real excuse, but I'm working on it. Looking into taking meds for... for how I feel like this." His head hangs low - out of embarrassment, I'd assume, though I can't say I understand why still. He's right in that, well, attacking me isn't okay. All we did was lock eyes, sort of. That don't we've got to fight till we faint like in a real Pokémon battle, but I can distinctly remember times I acted without thinking first, too [10, 11, 12, 13].

I tell him it's all right once more, and finally, Sam accepts it and sighs in relief. The tension seems to slip from the rest of the partygoers as well, and the party carries on.

[1] Implicit Substance Use
[2] Implicit Mild Suggestive Themes (Nudity)
[3] Implicit Mild Suggestive Themes (Sexual Behavior)
[4] Implicit Mild Suggestive Themes (Sexual Innuendo)
[5] Explicit Strong Language (Still allowed, but appears rarely compared to TEEN/MATURE)
[6] Explicit Strong Language (Slur removed from MATURE)
[7] Mild Violence
[8] Implicit Abuse
[9] Gore removed from MATURE
[10] Self-harm removed from TEEN/MATURE
[11] Glorification of mental illness removed from MATURE
[12] Suicide removed from TEEN/MATURE
[13] Mental Illness
Your story is suitable for all ages because it depicts one or more sensitive subjects sporadically or not at all. Details are nonexistent or glossed over quickly. If you're unsure, these things are still allowed.

⦁ Mild Suggestive Themes - Implicit and/or rare mentions of nudity, sexual behavior, and/or sexual innuendo.​
⦁ Mild Violence - Cartoon and fantasy violence are fine in any amount. Blood and gore should not be present, and any deaths should not be violent in nature.​
⦁ Mental Illness - Explicit and/or frequent depictions of mental illness, excluding the extreme concepts of self-harm and/or suicide. If your piece in any way glorifies self-harm, suicide, and/or mental illness as a whole, your piece must be rated MATURE.​
⦁ Strong Language - Explicit and rare use of profanity, excluding slurs, which must be rated MATURE.​
⦁ Substance Use - Implicit and/or infrequent references to the consumption of drugs, alcohol, and/or tobacco, not including implicit themes of addiction and/or abuse.​
⦁ Abuse - Implicit and/or infrequent references to psychological, physical, and/or sexual abuse.​

IMPORTANT NOTES
Here's some misc. info to clarify on some things not mentioned above!

⦁ It is required that you include content warnings at the beginning of your piece, excluding pieces rated EVERYONE if no content warnings apply.This is to help clarify the rating you've chosen. You may use the above list to help write your content warnings, and we encourage you to put any specific information about the content warning you think is appropriate. You can choose to warn for content that will appear only in future chapters, but it's not required. Examples:​
  1. MATURE Content Warning: Rated for vivid imagery describing gore, characters cutting themselves, and characters being physically abused by family members. Also, there'll be plenty of sexual innuendo and use of the word "faggot."
  2. TEEN Content Warning: Rated for a few "fade to black" sex scenes here and there, a minor amount of blood and wounds during Pokémon battles, and the characters
  3. EVERYONE Content Warning: None, really! You might briefly hear about characters visiting the bar once or twice, and the occasional "damn" might slip out, but that's about it.

⦁ The sensitive subjects listed above should be treated with care and not be solely used in an offensive, unnecessary, and/or exploitative fashion. If you must write about such subjects, you must be to the point and be able to justify your use of them.​
⦁ Having TEEN/MATURE material in your work doesn't automatically mean it needs to be labeled TEEN/MATURE; it's fine if one or more chapters deviate from your story's rating. Simply put a content warning before the start of the chapter to reflect this (ie., chapter 30 can be rated MATURE in a TEEN story for use of slurs).​
- However, if 30% or more of your chapters deviate from the rating, please change your rating tag accordingly. Because story plans change all the time, you can change your rating tag an unlimited amount of times.​

⦁ Use your best judgment! Ratings are up to an author's discretion, and the moderators have no intention of handing out warnings or bans over something so subjective in nature. If a piece is reported and/or obviously mislabeled (ie., explicit gore is depicted in a fic rated EVERYONE), then a moderator will PM you and discuss your piece with you.​
- This also means you don't need to rate a story more highly "to be safe". If you think your story is suitable for EVERYONE, rate it as EVERYONE. Upping the rating on individual chapters "to be safe" is encouraged, however; feel free to reach out to a mod to discuss it!​

⦁ Still confused? We understand. Again, this is all up to discretion in the interest of assuring readers they won't run into any content they're not comfortable reading about. An objective rating guide is impossible because it wouldn't take context or tone into consideration, so feel free to post in this thread with questions or PM a moderator. We'll help you as best we can!​

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  15. Our Twitter is where we post helpful writing resources and links and other miscellaneous things!
  16. The Character Development Den has a lot of unique and fun questions to help you flesh out your characters more.
  17. Struggling to figure out a name for a magical ability or a custom created pokemon attack you made? Check the Master Spell/Power Name Idea List!
  18. Bulbagarden's public Discord chat has a #writing channel for discussing the writing craft, sharing short excerpts of your writing to get feedback, offering and asking for fic recs, hosting word wars - all in real time!

1) Can I still participate in the section even if I don't write?
Sure! You're welcome to comment on stories and join in discussions in the Written Word.

2) What's the Written Word, exactly?
The Written Word is where you can discuss all aspects of writing, ask for help with your writing, or to talk to other users about anything else in the General Chat Thread.

There has been some confusion in the past about keeping anything worldbuilding-related to blogs only, but we welcome you to share your world by making a new thread for it in the Written Word and labeling it with the WORLDBUILDING prefix. One thread per setting is allowed.

The prefixes in the Written Word indicate what type of content is in a thread. It's not required to use these prefixes, but they can help users search for topics more easily! HELP is for those needing advice and tips with their writing; DISCUSSION is for those who want to talk about a certain aspect of the writing craft; WORLDBUILDING is for those who want to share atlases or original ideas from their work; ACADEMY labels articles written for the Workshop Writing Academy; and POPULAR is for general catch all threads for common subjects such as fanfic clichés. Note that only moderators can mark threads with ACADEMY and POPULAR prefixes.

3) What's the Workshop Archive?
The Workshop Archive is where completed and abandoned works are stored, so have a read of some wicked awesome work from the past! You can use the COMPLETE prefix as a filter if you're specifically looking for one-shots, poems, and completed chaptered fics.

4) What if I want to roleplay?
Roleplaying isn't done here in the Workshop. There is a section for all your roleplaying needs right here.

5) Do I have to review?
No, reviewing is not required, but we do encourage it so that writers can get feedback, improve, or at least know someone is reading. You don't even have to write a lot. Just letting the author know you are reading can make a world of difference! For advice on reviewing, click here and here.

7) I've already finished my story. Can I post it all in one go?
You can update your thread as regularly as you want, but we recommend waiting for a day or two between each chapter/installment. This gives your fellow users more time to read your story and share their thoughts.

8) I'm still confused about a few things. Who can I talk to?
You can talk to the mods! We'll answer any questions.

9) Are you forgetting something?
Yep. Have fun!


No problem! If you have any questions, contact a moderator or post in this thread. We won't bite! Also, if you believe another user has broken the rules, feel free to use the Report button so that the moderators can discuss and take action accordingly.

Forum Moderators: @LightningTopaz, @Beth Pavell, @Cresselia92,@unrepentantAuthor, and @namohysip
 
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make plove not warble
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The Workshop is changed. I feel it in the fics. I feel it in the discussions. I smell it in the memes. Much that once was, is archived, for none now live who will post there anymore.

It's a new rules thread. That's the change.

At long last, we've got an updated set of rules to announce, including a revamped Ratings Guide! It's not been an easy one to write. We've aimed to make the guide as concise and clear as we possibly can. Inevitably, although we do have to draw a line somewhere, the nature of fiction is subjective so we can't make hard and fast rules. But a key consideration for us what was that it should be possible for authors to tag in good faith. What we don't want is for authors to be afraid of being hit with infraction points, and end up rating their stories too highly, or worse, not post at all.

So what does this mean for you all? It would be a good idea to have a look at the new guide. If you've got stories already published here, chances are you won't need to change the rating. If the moderators do think you need a rating change, don't worry. Our first course of action will always be to message you and talk about it, not hand out infraction points.

Other than the Ratings Guide, most of the rules remain the same with some cleaned up language. That said, you should definitely give it a once over or risk becoming a depraved criminal. The useful links are also especially... well... useful.

BRAND NEW STORIES FOR YOUR READING PLEASURE
@WanderingKalosan brings us The Missing One, a three chapter short story which has already been completed!
@Greninjaman brings us a retelling of the classic Final Fantasy with his own twists.

OLDER, YET RECENTLY UPDATED STORIES FOR EQUALLY PLEASURABLE READING
@Huikyeong's new installment of Paul's [Shinji's] New Adventures
Week 368d: The Tale of Brian of the Leppas in Live from the Fireside by @LightningTopaz
LightningTopaz also baked us Episodes 21: Cooking Up a Sweet Story and 22: Oh, Do You Know the Poffin Plan? of Pokemon Shine Diamond
Interview 12: Mina on The Paxton & Joseph Show (Games) by @JFrombaugh
I bring tidings of Chapter 14: Troublesome Tidings from Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Guiding Light by @Ambyssin
Chapter 21: Escape of Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Unequivocant by @lucarioknight56
Welcome to Chapter 2 of Welcome to the Insanity by @SinnohEevee
Chapter Two of Different Eyes by @unrepentantAuthor
@Sike Saner delivers Chapter 10: Belief of The Worldslayers
Chapter 9: Why of Project Toaster: Decolonized by @jasonwolf
The train rolls on with Feeling Blue in United We Stand by @AceTrainer14

On to Pavell for...

THE WORD OF THE WEEK
This week’s word has a longer history than we can cover here:

tournament (n.): 1. (in a sport or game) a series of contests between a number of competitors, competing for an overall prize.

2. (in the Middle Ages) a sporting event in which two knights (or two groups of knights) jousted on horseback with blunted weapons, each trying to knock the other off, the winner receiving a prize. [Oxford English Dictionary]

Tournament is at least 800 years old, entering English from the Old French tornoier. But the idea of the tournament as a generic sporting competition dates from the mid-18th century. Perhaps it’s appropriate that in Pokémon, tournaments are a kind of martial art.

BUT THAT'S NOT ALL: Keep an eye out later this week for some sweet business the mods cooked up :discordeyesemoji:

And with that, Aether drifts deeper into the abyssal void...
 
Princess of Dorkness
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Another week, another newsletter!

Today is a special day for me. Every generation of my family has served in the military in some capacity, from the fierce Highlanders of medieval Scotland up to my cousin, who served two tours as a United States Marine in Iraq. I usually take time out on this day to remember friends and family who have lost their lives in the defense of their homeland, regardless of country. The world we enjoy today endures because of your past, current and future sacrifices.

Announcements
First off, appologies for the later-than-typical newsletter, that's entirely on me. Low energy and a lack of time awareness really snuck up on me this weekend!

Right, now, announcements! If you haven't seen it yet, we're running a community event focused on your characters, the Trainers of Fanfiction! We're looking to push the first entries out sometime next week, possibly as soon as June 4th. There's no hard deadline for getting into the first week of character interviews, but time is creeping!

Onto the Review League, @Athena, our main Crossover Battles writer, has lowered the point cost from 90 to 50 for the summer. If you've ever wanted to see your characters square off against other trainers in the Workshop, that's a good way of seeing it happen! If you're interested in the concept of Crossover Battles itself but aren't ready to request a chapter yet, you can also nominate your character for the pool of eligible characters which is more like a puddle at this point!

Teaser?!
Not much progress has been made on it so it'll be awhile before we see it, but I've started to redesign the Workshop Directory. The list will be starting anew and divided not just into the usual genres (with fancy header graphics!), but also rating categories! I'm hoping that it'll be a bit easier to navigate (and maintain) than the current one is. So when exactly will we see it? Hmm... I'm not sure.

New Releases
Another slow week of new releases... Not that that's a bad thing, of course.
@canisaries returns to the TPP universe with another addition to her collection of short stories, Vivarium!

New Chapters
It's been quite a busy week! Let's look at what we have.
Completed stories!
None this week, though since Vivarium is a oneshot, honorable mention?

Word of the Week
@Beth Pavell brings us yet another word of the week, and it's a strange one you might not hear... ever!

Dialect words have a habit of dying out in the face of a global world, but some cling on:

haar (n.): Coastal fog along the coast of North East England and Scotland bordering the North Sea. [Wiktionary]

Robert Macfarlane says that haar is also found in Cornish, which suggests it’s not quite as specific as all that. John Trotter Brockett (1829) writes it may be a Middle Dutch word, but I can’t help but be reminded of the usual suspects in the North East: the Vikings. Either way, haar is alive and well.

That's it for this week!
 
Brock's Pikachu
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Good day, writers of Bulbagarden! Here's what's happening around the Workshop!

Our new event, Trainers of Fanfiction, will officially get underway today! Come check it out and get to know your favorite characters!

Also, the awards are coming up soon! The nominations period will start on June 22nd, so start thinking about some worthy fics!

New releases

@ZDaemon09 brings us The Lost Ranger!
@Persephone, formerly Athena, brings us The Alola Pokedex, a companion piece to guidance!
@Arbirchy brings us a new tale, Windswept Hair!

New chapters
Chapter 23 of PMD: Unequivocant by @lucarioknight56
Chapter 16 of PMD: Guiding Light by @Ambyssin
Episode 25 of Pokemon Shine Diamond by @LightningTopaz
Week368f of Live from the Fireside by @LightningTopaz
Chapter 3 of Different Eyes by @unrepentantAuthor
Chapter 93 of How To Conquer Kanto in Eight Easy Steps by @AceTrainer14
Interview 13: Caitlin of The Paxton & Joseph Show (Games) by @JFrombaugh
Chapter 3 of guidance by @Persephone
Chapter 4 of Let's Play Pokemon Plus and Minus by @SeanWheeler

Completed stories!
n/a

Word of the Week
We’re digging into the past this week, for an unusual usage of a familiar word:

jet (v.): to go, walk, stroll; figuratively, to die.

The OED records just one use of jet as a synonym for die, an example from 1546 (“I will not jet yet”). The language of death has always been full of euphemism. In Old English you could say gegan (Gone), leoran (Departed), or geferan (Gone on a journey). John Heywood’s jet might have been a one-off example invented by an author being playful with words, but who knows?
 
shame personified
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A N N O U N C E M E N T S

- First up, here's another reminder that the A W A R D S are starting soon! Nominations will open on June 22 and end on July 8. Updates after July 8 won't be considered in the judging round, so if you're interested, go go go and write! And don't forget to read your fellow authors' work to get a feel for what to nominate and for what you might want to judge, if you're participating!

- The F I N A L deadline for Trainers of Fanfiction submissions is June 17! We're excited to see so many submissions and definitely plan to host future seasons of the event. :3

- A while back, we created the C O M P L E T E prefix for the Workshop Archive to help readers browse over there. Each fic has been checked and marked accordingly now for a whopping total of 53 pages of completed fics! We're kinda wondering now if the Archive should be for completed fics only, however, with all in-progress fics, abandoned or otherwise, moved to the main section and pushed to later pages. Or something else entirely. Got ideas? Let us know here or shoot us a PM! Any change is going to be easy to implement with fics marked the way they are now, so don't worry about how wild the idea is.

N E W R E L E A S E S

@Misfit Angel has released a Land of the Roses spinoff, Night with the Stars!
@Patrick Haines has released The Legend of the Ampharos!
@canisaries has released Seiren, an improved rewrite of the previously finished fic, Agápe!
@ZDaemon09 has released Family Therapy!

N E W C H A P T E R S

Chapter V of The Deprogramming by @Arkadelphiak
Chapter 24 of PMD: Unequivocant by @lucarioknight56
A new installment of guidance by @Persephone
Chapter 17 and an old Halloween special featuring a Giratina troublemaker in PMD: Guiding Light by @Ambyssin
Episodes 26 and 27a of Pokémon Shine Diamond by @LightningTopaz
Week 368g of Live from the Fireside by @LightningTopaz
Interview #14 with Astrid in The Paxton & Joseph Show (anime) by @JFrombaugh

W O R D O F T H E W E E K

As always, @Beth Pavell sets out to educate us all about the beautiful English language. This week, the word is B A L N E A R Y, which sounds an awful lot like Buneary, doesn't it?

So many of our obscure words seem to come from Latin, and many of them don’t add a tremendous amount to the language. An exception can be made for balneary:

balneary (n.): 1. a room for bathing [Wiktionary]
2. of or relating to a bath, bathing, or bathroom [Merriam-Webster]

Balneary is from the Latin balneum, in turn from the Greek balaneîon. Unlike Classical or Islamic civilisation, Britain lacked a culture of bathing and so never developed a specialised lexicon associated with it. Balneary fills a gap in English that sentō does in Japanese. We could do with more hot springs to go with it.
 
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Aqua Ninja Frog
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11) Are game travelogs, Nuzlocke fics, Let's Plays, and other niche types of fanwork allowed?
Of course. As long as the majority of its contents are in a creative writing format (ie., no video-based Let's Plays or one-sentence screenshot captions), it's fine! Blogs are a good place for content not mostly in written format or for diary-esque writing.
Could you explain this rule a bit more? I was thinking about writing a summery of what I did in the challenge I'm planning in addition to the story part. Is that allowed?
 
shame personified
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Could you explain this rule a bit more? I was thinking about writing a summery of what I did in the challenge I'm planning in addition to the story part. Is that allowed?
A summary's fine, as long as the majority of the challenge is put in story format (ie., a very, very long summary that only sometimes has dialogue like a real story doesn't count).

I noticed that you didn't include that I posted Chapter 24 of PMD: Unequivocant. It was posted on Sunday, so I just thought you should know!
I always forget something... This week, it was checking to see if anything else updated between the time the list was gathered and when I posted. xD Added!
 
Aqua Ninja Frog
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A summary's fine, as long as the majority of the challenge is put in story format (ie., a very, very long summary that only sometimes has dialogue like a real story doesn't count).
Ok, I'll do the summery in the format of a list. Thanks! I don't know when I'll start the challenge. I'm not going to bother with a team update, though I think I should...
 
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Good Monday, from about ten minutes into it here in England fair!


Announcements

It's that time of the year again - Summer Awards season is upon is, and my boy AetherX is determined to get the hype going. We're changing things up a bit this season, so go ahead and see what's on the cards. Remember, these are your Awards too, so if you've got an opinion you want to share, share away.

Submissions for Trainers of Fanfiction have just closed. We'll very likely run this event again in the future - it's good to see how much interest there's been in this event.

New releases
@Donna Baines has released A Mightyena Tale
@kintsugi has released Dungeons and Dragonite
New chapters
A new instalment of The Legend of Ampharos by @Patrick Haines
Chapter 28 of PMD: Unequivocant by @lucarioknight56
Chapter 18 of PMD: Guiding Light by @Ambyssin
Episodes 27b and 28 of Pokemon Shine Diamond by @LightningTopaz
Week 369a of Live from the Fireside by @LightningTopaz
Interlude 4 of Land of the Roses by @Misfit Angel
Chapter 4 of Dreams That You Dreamed by @AceTrainer14
A new entry of The Alola Pokedex by @Persephone

Word of the Week
In a place like this, how could we forget one of our most useful concepts?

thesaurus (n.): 1. a book that lists words in groups of synonyms and related concepts.
2. an erudite or loquacious dinosaur of the theropod suborder.

Our word comes from the Greek thesaurōs, meaning, rather pleasingly, storehouse, or treasury. To a logophile, this is especially apt, but to a writer, being able to browse through synonyms is invaluable. Roget’s Thesaurus (1852) popularised the word’s current meaning – the full title of the first edition read: “Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases Classified and Arranged so as to the Facilitate the Expression of Ideas and Assist in Literary Composition”.

Believe it or not, it was pure co-incidence that I would posting this word, this week
 
make plove not warble
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Newsletter time, yo!

A N N O U N C E M E N T S

Big news! Nominations for the Summer 2018 awards have opened! Get reading, get writing, and nominate away. It's time to be the best you can be!

Also, Trainers of Fanfiction is in its final stretch for June. Check 'em out if you haven't already!

BRAND NEW STUFF
ALSO NEW BUT NOT QUITE AS BRAND NEW STUFF
Word of the Week
‘Tis the season to be sunny, or at least for some of us:

aetherval aestival (adj.): belonging to or appearing in summer. [Oxford English Dictionary]

Aestival is just the sort of adjective you don’t realise is all that useful until you hear of it. It appears to have entered the language through the Middle English vocabulary explosion, from the Latin aestivalis. Related words include vernal, hibernal, and the more familiar autumnal.
 
Brock's Pikachu
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Good morning (or evening), writers of Bulbagarden! Here's what's happening around the Workshop!

Announcements
Nominations for the awards close on the 7th - so hurry and get your nominations in if you haven't already!

New Releases
@Greninjaman brings us Pokémon Anime Rewrite!
@Extroth has released Pokémon: This Wide World
@Derpghost has released The Creations

New Chapters
Interlude I of Different Eyes, by @unrepentantAuthor
A new 'dex entry of The Alola Pokédex, by @Persephone
Episode 1B of Digimon Odyssey, by @Kung Fu Ferret
Chapter Ten of Project Toaster: Decolonised, by @jasonwolf
Production Roundtable #2 of guidance, by Persephone
Chapter Thirty of Land of the Roses, by @Misfit Angel
Interview #16 of The Paxton and Joseph Show (Games Universe), by @JFrombaugh
Chapter 20, plus a bonus chapter of Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Guiding Light, by @Ambyssin
Episodes 31 and 32 of Pokémon Shine Diamond, by LightningTopaz
Two chapters of The Legend of Ampharos, by @Patrick Haines
Week 369c of Live from the Fireside, by LightningTopaz
Chapter 2 of Seiren, by @canisaries
A new chapter of United We Stand, by @AceTrainer14

Word of the Week
Hola weġ - the sunken lane. The holloway is half a tunnel, so often made mysterious and fey when trees on either side lock their branches together, and the way becomes a tunnel half-earth and half-tree.

holloway (n.): A road or track that is significantly lower than the land on either side, not formed by recent engineering, but possibly of much greater age. [Wiktionary]

The holloway survives in Modern English in the odd places – in the names of streets that no longer have any trace of the way, in surnames whose origin is forgotten. And so in days of metalled roads and tarmac, the holloways are forgotten, hiding in plain sight.

That's all for now--happy writing!
 
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Princess of Dorkness
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Another week, another newsletter!

Announcements
Are you living under a rock? If so, you might be unaware that we've officially begun the Writers Workshop Summer 2018 Awards! Judging pools are currently in the process of being created, so if you're a judge and you haven't been assigned anything yet, fear not! For everyone else, user voting is now open! It's a tough race between Best Newcomer, Best Reviewer and Best Contributor, so make your voices heard by voting in them! Votes can be either posted publicly, or submitted to the host (@AetherX this year!) Best of luck to everyone who is competing!

Don't forget, we introduced the Honorable Mentions in Winter 2017's award season and they've returned. Want to recognize one of your fellow authors for a stunning display in their writing, or how they've livened up the community atmosphere with their relentless shitposting? You can also give a nod to character-related mentions as well, such as best on-screen chemistry, if you'd like.

New Releases
Unfortunately, nothing new has graced us with its presence this week.

New Chapters
It's been quite a busy week! Let's look at what we have.
Completed stories!
Nothing this week, it seems!

Word of the Week
As is tradition, @Beth Pavell brings us yet another word of the week: crapulence. This one definitely describes me today, I've gone through an excessive amount of tea in an attempt to stay awake after a restless night and I'm starting to regret that decision.

“I was free to wallow in my own crapulence!”

crapulence (n.): 1. sickness or indisposition caused by excessive eating or drinking.
2. intemperance; debauchery; excessive indulgence. [Wiktionary]

No, The Simpsons didn’t invent this one. Crapulence is related to crapulent (adj. relating to the drinking of alcohol or drunkenness, Oxford English Dictionary). Thanks to Mr Burns, the Urban Dictionary gives the definition as “Mean-spirited, mischievous, and/or immoral activity (Or the mindset that leads to it)”. But crapulence comes to us from the 17th century lexicon, from the Latin crapula – inebriation.

That's it for this week!
I'd just like to thank everyone for their continued interaction with the community. Activity is through the roof and we're still going strong! Let's keep it up!
 
shame personified
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THEY TRYIN' TO CATCH ME WRITIN' FANFIC

A N N O U N C E M E N T S

Awards judging is underway! Everyone's busy, busy, busy reading and discussing fics. User voting is open, too! There are a variety of ways in which a user can contribute to the Writers Workshop, so, if you think a fellow writer stands out for one reason or another, be sure to let them know you appreciate the hard work they put into making this community what it is. <3 Non-conventional awards can be given to specific fics, characters, fic scenes, etc as well!

N E W C H A P T E R S

Chapter 5 of Let's Play Pokémon Plus and Minus by @SeanWheeler as it continues to depict what the authors hopes to see in Generation 8
Chapter 32 of Land of the Roses by @Misfit Angel, where the protagonist, Andrea Dennison, struggles with the recent curveballs life's been throwing at her
Chapter 22 of PMD: Guiding Light by @Ambyssin, where an infected Bewear attacks and and puts numerous characters' lives at risk
Week 369e of Live from the Fireside by @LightningTopaz as it continues to retell an old fairy tale known as The Sun-Moon Boy
Episode 35 of Pokemon Shine Diamond by @LightningTopaz, featuring Paul challenging the renowned Sinnoh champion, Cynthia
A new entry of The Alola Pokedex by @Persephone offers a unique look into the Rattata & Raticate species
Letter 13 of Flying in the Dark by @diamondpearl876, in which Haley confides to Markus about a bad dream

C O M P L E T E D S T O R I E S


Super excited this week to be able to congratulate @lucarioknight56 on completing his fic, Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Unequivocant, the third in a series filled with ambitious tales to match the spirit of such an ambitious writer. Thanks for sharing with us, and good luck on your next projects!

W O R D O F T H E W E E K


@Beth Pavell brings us a word of Japanese origin this week. And perfect timing, too, since this is the first week there's been all sun and no rain for me! :p

komorebi [木漏れ日] (n.): sunlight filtering through trees. [Wiktionary]

Some words are difficult to translate entirely. The characters that make up this word shed some light: 木 “tree”, 漏れ “leaking/coming through”, and 日 “sun”. Komorebi could mean “sun-dappled shade”, or “sunbeams through leaves”, or perhaps even “chiaroscuro”, but none of these fully capture the connotations of the word. Komorebi is the fragile, intransigent beauty of the sun filtering through leaves, the patterns of the escaping sunbeams and shade.
 
Thesaurus rex
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Totodile knows what tenacity means.

Announcements
It's still Awards season, so things are a little slow here in the Workshop - but don't forget, there's still user voting to participate in!

New Chapters
Just squeaking in under the bar, The Legend of Ampharos by @Patrick Haines
Production Roundtable #2 of guidance, by @Persephone
Chapter VI of The Deprogramming by @Arkadelphiak. Ayyy.
Butterfree, and Ledian, from The Alola Pokédex, by Persephone
Interlude Sixteen of How to Conquer Kanto in Eight Easy Steps, by @AceTrainer14
Chapter 23 of Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Guiding Light, by @Ambyssin
Episodes 36 and 37 of Pokémon Shine Diamond, by @LightningTopaz
Chapter 33 of Land of the Roses, by @Misfit Angel
Week 369f of Live from the Fireside, by Lightning Topaz
Interview Sixteen of The Paxton and Joseph Show (Anime Universe), by @JFrombaugh
Chapter Four of Seiren, by @canisaries

Word of the Week


“Gimme five bees for a quarter, you’d say!”

bees (n.): Money, cash, coins, etc.

Whenever there’s an utterly bizarre slang term floating around the English language, there’s a good chance the Cockney dialect is to blame. Bees, and likewise sugar, owe their slang senses to rhyming slang: bees/sugar and honey = money. The Oxford English Dictionary records these usages as late 19th-century, 1892 for bees, a little earlier for sugar.
 
The acest of trainers
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May I ask for some clarification around the use of slurs? I have recently received some communication around my apparent usage of one in a recent chapter, and I was just wondering which words count under that rule, and what the rationale is behind this rule?
 
Princess of Dorkness
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Basically, a slur is a word that, in common use, carries with it a sense of extreme negativity, or is used to attack a (an often marginalized) group of people. These words typically have a deep and lengthy history associated with them and are still considered slurs in most contexts, even if the affected group is starting to reclaim and remove the social power of the word.

Some words are considered slurs in most parts of the world, while they're not in other parts of the world due to differences in culture and social acceptability; for simplicity's sake we're looking to ignore those social acceptances because they're often narrow and only apply to one country or region (such as Australia's love of the c-word), whereas the rest of the world finds it grossly offensive. It can be annoying, I understand. But the idea is to make things simple on both us as moderators and on the authors themselves, who can refer to the guide to accurately rate their work.

You can appeal based on context, but in a lot of cases it'll still be considered a slur and we'll ask you to rate the chapter it appears in (or the story as a whole, if it's frequently used throughout it) as MATURE.

As far as the rationale behind the rule, it's aimed towards building a community where people can escape those words more easily. With authors being asked to explain why their content is rated a specific way via content tags ([use of slurs]) at the start of a chapter or in the table of contents with a story, it's much easier for readers to find what they would want to avoid.
 
make plove not warble
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It's really hot out.

Announcements

The Workshop Summer Awards are still ongoing! Submit your user voting and honorable mentions before time runs out. User voting closes at 11:59PM PST on Sunday, August 5, 2018! That's less than a week!

BRAND SPANKIN NEW
@Jared DiCarlo brings us all 14 chapters of Giovanni's Master Plan, completed already!
@UselessBytes brings us another oneshot, Rooftops!
An old man tries raising a Lucario in Lucarious by @RockJackal

NEWLY UPDATED
Chapter 2 of Pokemon Anime Rewrite by @Greninjaman
"Ariados" of The Alola Pokedex by @Persephone
Chapter 24 of PMD: Guiding Light by @Ambyssin
Week 369g of Live from the Fireside by @LightningTopaz
Episode 38 of Pokemon Shine Diamond by @LightningTopaz
"Andrea #1" of Night with the Stars by @Misfit Angel
Chapter 48 of Pokemon: A Marvelous Journey by @Juliko

WORD OF THE WEEK
It’s not often that geological terminology manages to capture a sense of romance, of poetry even. And yet, and yet:

astrobleme (n.): an eroded remnant of a large crater made by the impact of a meteorite or comet [Oxford English Dictionary]

Why would you want to use a term like “impact structure”, when you can use astrobleme? Literally meaning “star wound”, from the Greek ástron (star, celestial body), and blêma (wound from a missile), this is also quite a recent coinage, dating from the 1960s. What a wonderful coinage it is – precise, evocative, lyrical.
 
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@Misfit Angel (or any mod interested) My issue here though is that this rule goes against the purpose of this revised guide to put more judgement back in the author's hands and work with context more. I find it very strange to grasp that, as a gay man writing a story about gay men, I would have to automatically label a chapter 'Mature' if I was to have one of those characters use the F-word, a word that many in my community have reclaimed or seek to reclaim, simply because this one particular rule is given a 'one size fits all' brush stroke. I think these words are as open to interpretation and context as pretty much anything else in the guide - and, personally, I feel are more open to contextual interpretation than some things that are given major leeway under 'Everyone'.

Personal thoughts aside, what are the 'slurs' we have to label under Mature? I tried to find some sort of handy, concise list to bring it up, but basically anything I found included basically any word under the sun. This Wikipedia page on homophobic slurs includes words such as twink and dyke that are commonly used by members of the LGBT community in an affectionate and positive way. They would be slurs, in a sense, if used in a negative and derogatory manner, but 90% of their usage these days would be by the people who are supposed to be offended by them.
 
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@Misfit Angel (or any mod interested) My issue here though is that this rule goes against the purpose of this revised guide to put more judgement back in the author's hands and work with context more. I find it very strange to grasp that, as a gay man writing a story about gay men, I would have to automatically label a chapter 'Mature' if I was to have one of those characters use the F-word, a word that many in my community have reclaimed or seek to reclaim, simply because this one particular rule is given a 'one size fits all' brush stroke. I think these words are as open to interpretation and context as pretty much anything else in the guide - and, personally, I feel are more open to contextual interpretation than some things that are given major leeway under 'Everyone'.

Personal thoughts aside, what are the 'slurs' we have to label under Mature? I tried to find some sort of handy, concise list to bring it up, but basically anything I found included basically any word under the sun. This Wikipedia page on homophobic slurs includes words such as twink and dyke that are commonly used by members of the LGBT community in an affectionate and positive way. They would be slurs, in a sense, if used in a negative and derogatory manner, but 90% of their usage these days would be by the people who are supposed to be offended by them.
Yeah, I can see where you're coming from. What do you do if you're using a slur in a setting where it's normalized (ie., the N-word in a U.S. civil war setting)? What do you do if you're using a slur among friends where it's not meant as a true insult (ie., the C-word used affectionately)? Right now, I'm of the mindset that using slurs colloquially does not take away the offensiveness or the stigma surrounding them. It is still a slur. And it is not the WW's place as a small corner of the internet to start determining which groups of people would be okay, on the whole, if we started allowing slurs aimed at them to be treated as if they're on the same level of other curse words.

At best, I can see allowing colloquialism of slurs used in TEEN, but never EVERYONE, and even that is a slippery slope for me as I type this. I'd say "slurs used in moderation," but all we ever got with the old rating guide was questions about an objective number of swears that were allowed, which wasn't viable to figure out. Anyway, what's currently allowed in EVERYONE was based off of a reflection of our current community, where EVERYONE was just not a common tag for people to use compared to TEEN and MATURE. So, we opened it up a bit more, and honestly, in a real world setting, it's not that unexpected to see innuendo or adult references to alcohol/drugs all over the place, and curse words are allowed in very minute amounts. Spongebob Squarepants and Ren&Stimpy from Nick come to mind immediately. However, I would never expect an explicit slur in any context to show up in anything less than rated R.

That said, if we completely disallowed the criteria currently set there, we'd run into the exact same issues of people saying: "Well, I want to say 'fuck' once, but that means I have to bump up my rating" or "I want to have a character smoke after a long day, but I can't show that with my rating." The mods discussed the suggestiof a 4th rating to try to bridge some gaps, but we found the criteria lists would end up being more restrictive and prone to people worrying about what to include in their fics to avoid rating changes than not. Basically, we couldn't make each rating distinct enough to make it worthwhile.

The problem with a list of slurs is that it'll never be comprehensive, and there's always going to be controversy about what constitutes a slur and what doesn't, colloquialism aside. That's why it's specifically stated in the rating guide that we're not out to get users with warnings and bans. If users want to express their concern about context, then they can! In fact, I encourage them to do so. :) Slurs are open to argument right now in the sense that we could be convinced a word we thought was a slur is not actually, in fact, a slur... and yes, I’m aware that it takes context out of the author’s hands a tad more than other criteria. That’s purposeful as a reflection of the extra sensitivity regarding slurs in most of the world. I'm open to feedback and ideas, but just letting you know this is where I'd stand right now. Perhaps a list of words we've concretely decided to be slurs based on past discussions would suffice?
 
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