Subject: [FFML] [FAQ] FFML Frequently Asked Questions
From: Vincent Seifert
Date: 11/1/2005, 2:00 PM
To: ffml@anifics.com



==============================================================
WELCOME TO THE FANFIC MAILING LIST FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS!
==============================================================

LAST UPDATED: 2004/06/01

CHANGES:

  purged dead URLs

CURRENT MAINTAINERS:

  Vincent Seifert <seifertv@csus.edu>
  Michael A Chase <mchase@ix.netcom.com>

FORMER MAINTAINERS:

  Switch <niftol@i-manila.com.ph>
  Shunsuke <shunsuke@direct.ca> (appears not to be working)
  Gary Kleppe <gary@garykleppe.org>
  Warr <warr@gci.net>
  The Eternal Lost Lurker
  Andy "Panda" Skuse (Co-Creator)
  Sapphire, The Blue Tigress (Co-Creator)

If you have any questions or comments regarding this FAQ, or would like
the latest updated version, please E-mail one of the current maintainers
above. The FAQ may also be obtained by E-mailing
<ffml-request@anifics.com> with:

  faq ffml

in either the subject or the body of the message. It is also on the web
in plain text at:

  http://ffml.anifics.com/faq.txt
  http://sfcreators.com/atlantis/ffml/faq.txt
  http://webpages.csus.edu/~seifertv/ffml/ffml-faq.txt

Shaule Sachs has put together an HTML version of the FFML FAQ at:

  http://sfcreators.com/atlantis/ffml/faq.html


VERY VERY IMPORTANT NOTES
=========================

1) SAVE A COPY OF THIS FAQ!!!

  If nothing else, it will tell you how to unsubscribe when you are
  ready to leave. As a hint, posting a message to the list will NOT get
  you unsubscribed, and will probably only result in a lot of angry
  E-mails or FAQ copies from other users.

2) DO NOT POST TEST MESSAGES TO THE LIST!!!

  If you think you've been unsubscribed or if you think the list is
  down, see the section "'I think I've been unsubscribed.' OR 'Is the
  list down?'"

  On-list replies to test messages are subject to the same rulings
  as posting a test message; in other words, a tempbanning.

3) DO NOT POST CHAIN MESSAGES TO THE LIST!!!

  Be forewarned that anyone posting a chain message to the FFML will be
  immediately banned. Chain messages include any E-mail that instructs
  the recipient to forward it to as many people as possible, especially
  computer virus warnings.

4) IF YOU ARE NOT AN FFML ADMINISTRATOR, DO NOT USE THE [ADMIN] TAG!!!

  You should generally not reply on-list to [Admin] posts; if for some
  reason you feel it is absolutely necessary to do so, remove the tag
  [Admin] from the subject header. Anyone using the [Admin] tag who is
  not an admin may be tempbanned.

5) THE FAQ MAINTAINERS HAVE ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO DO WITH THE ACTUAL
   LIST MANAGEMENT ITSELF!!!

  If you have a problem with the list, email the list moderators at
  <ffml-admins@anifics.com>.  See the section "Who are the moderators
  of the list?" On the other hand, the FAQ maintainers *can* answer
  questions or requests for information, so please feel free to E-mail
  us.

6) DO NOT MAKE CROSS-POSTS TO THE FFML AND THE REC.ARTS.ANIME.CREATIVE
   E-MAIL SUBMISSION ADDRESS!!!

  People injudiciously using the Reply-All function on posts of this
  nature have created problems in the past.  If you wish to submit a
  fanfic to RAAC at the same time as you post it to the FFML, simply
  send two separate posts.  If you cross-post to the FFML and RAAC,
  your FFML posting privileges may be removed.


IMPORTANT FAQ NOTE
==================

For the following information about email messages and requests, any
word in angled brackets <like these> should NOT include the brackets
with the word. The angled brackets are used only to clarify the word(s)
they contain.


TABLE OF CONTENTS
=================

* What is the fanfic mailing list?
* How do I subscribe to/unsubscribe from the ML?
* What other server commands can I use?
* What are flags, and how do I use them?
* Why does FFML keep setting me to vacation mode?
* How do I post to the ML?
* Can I post to the ML if I'm not subscribed to it?
* What can I post to the ML?
* What's this about "subject tags?"
* What are spoiler warnings, and when do I need to use them?
* What about story format?
* Who owns the FFML?
* Who are the moderators of the list?
* 'I think I've been unsubscribed.'  OR 'Is the list down?'
* What is SPAM?
* When is it permissible to post a request for a fanfic?
* How can I find a fanfic that I'm looking for?
* Don't beat a dead horse.
* When should I respond to FFML posts by private mail?
* What is C&C?
* What is an MST?
* What is a 'LEMON' fanfic?
* What is a challenge?
* Is there an official archive for the FFML?

For information about fanfic related websites, newsgroups and irc,
see the "FFML Resources" guide. If you missed it when it was posted,
send a request to either of the FAQ Co-Maintainers listed at the top
of this FAQ.  Or you can get it from the following websites:

  http://sfcreators.com/atlantis/ffml/resource-guide.html
  http://webpages.csus.edu/~seifertv/ffml/ffml-rg.txt

Yes, we know it's badly out of date.  If you'd like to help do
something about that, please contact us.

====================

* WHAT IS THE FANFIC MAILING LIST?

  The fanfic mailing list (FFML, or ML for short) is a forum for authors
  and fans to discuss fanfics (fanfiction stories) with an anime/manga
  theme that are posted to the FFML. Generally, this means stories
  involving settings, characters, props, attacks or any combination of
  the above from anime/manga.

  And just in case you don't know what anime or manga is, anime refers
  to Japanese animation (cartoons) and manga refers to Japanese graphic
  novels (comic books).

====================

* HOW DO I SUBSCRIBE TO/UNSUBSCRIBE FROM THE ML?

  To SUBSCRIBE to the mailing list, send an email message with the
  words <subscribe ffml> in the body or subject of the message to
  <ffml-request@anifics.com>. You will receive an automatic reply from
  the server; follow the directions in the reply, and you will be
  subscribed.

  To UNSUBSCRIBE from the mailing list, simply send a message with the
  words <unsubscribe ffml> in the body or subject of the message to
  <ffml-request@anifics.com> or <listar@anifics.com>.

====================

* WHAT OTHER SERVER COMMANDS CAN I USE?

  set ffml <flag>
	Sets the flag you specify on your subscription to the list.
	See the "What are flags, and how do I use them?" section below.

  unset ffml <flag>
	Unsets the flag you specify on your subscription to the list.

  stats ffml
	Shows what options you have set on your subscription to the
	list.

  flags
	Gives a list of all currently available flags.

  Again, all of these commands should be done by sending mail to
  <ffml-request@anifics.com> or <listar@anifics.com> with the commands in
  the body of the message.  You should end the message with the command
  'end', just to ensure that the software doesn't try to process a
  signature file or the advertising banners that free e-mail places add.

====================

* WHAT ARE FLAGS, AND HOW DO I USE THEM?

  Flags determine how the computer deals with your list subscription.

  For example, if the flag 'VACATION' is set on your account, it will
  not send you posts made to the list.  This is useful for going on a
  vacation (hence the flag name) without having to unsubscribe from the
  list.

  If the flag 'DIGEST' is set, instead of receiving individual messages
  from a list, you'll receive a single (very large) post once a day,
  containing all the day's messages.  (If you instead choose to set
  'DIGEST2', you will receive normal posts as well.)

  If the flag 'ECHOPOST' is set (as it is by default), you will receive
  copies of your own posts.

  If the flag 'ACKPOST' is set, you will receive a short note telling
  you that your message has been received.  (Useful if you don't have
  ECHOPOST on, are using DIGEST, or if - as in the case of the FFML -
  the list is quite large and it can take a long time for posts to get
  to all subscribers.)

  So, for example, I might send the commands:

    set ffml digest
    set ffml ackpost
    end

  And I would then be in digested mode, receiving acknowledgements of my
  postings. To get back to normal, I would send:

    unset ffml digest
    unset ffml ackpost
    end

  Again, the command 'flags' will give you a list of all available
  flags.  Flags with (ADMIN) after them can only be set by an
  administrator.

====================

* WHY DOES FFML KEEP SETTING ME TO VACATION MODE?

  The list software automatically does this whenever a message comes
  back to anifics.com because it could not be delivered to your address.
  This may happen because your mailbox is full, or because of some
  technical problem at your internet provider. The vacation mode flag
  may be unset as normal (see "What are flags, and how do I use them?"
  above). If it keeps getting set by the system, consult your internet
  provider and ask them why your account is bouncing messages.

====================

* HOW DO I POST TO THE ML?

  Send mail to <ffml@anifics.com>. Currently, as a measure to block
  E-mail advertisements on the list, only subscribers are allowed to
  post; this, however, includes those subscribed in vacation mode (see
  "What are flags, and how do I use them?" above, and the section
  immediately below) who do not actually receive any ffml mail.

  Before you send anything, please, please, PLEASE read the rest of the
  FAQ, especially the following sections "What can I post to the ML?"
  "What is SPAM?" "Don't beat a dead horse;" and the first section of
  "What is C&C?"

====================

* CAN I POST TO THE ML IF I'M NOT SUBSCRIBED TO IT?

  Yes and no. You can no longer post from an address that isn't on the
  list, but you can subscribe for posting purposes only, without
  actually getting any mail sent to you. Send a message to
  <listar@anifics.com> with the command:

    subscribe ffml

  in the body or subject -- one or the other.  Respond to the
  confirmation message. Then send another message to
  <listar@anifics.com> with the command:

    set ffml vacation

  in the body or subject.  This will allow you to post, but you will not
  get FFML mail to that address.

====================

* WHAT CAN I POST TO THE ML?

  You can post stories, of course; C&C on posted stories is also very
  welcome, and posting well-thought out story ideas is permissible.
  Also, where to find background and character information and questions
  and answers about the same. Email people directly when answering a
  simple question, and don't forget to remind people to email you
  directly when answering your question. Posting requests for fics to
  the list is strongly discouraged; see "How can I find a fanfic that
  I'm looking for?" below.

  The FFML, despite its non-specific name, is intended for stories that
  are directly related to existing anime or manga.  In general, the
  moderators tend to allow things relating to the broader spectrum of
  Japanese culture, such as things deriving from Japanese fighting games
  and the like.  Thus, things like Sonic, Final Fantasy, Street Fighter,
  etc, and the like are okay, as are stories based on American-drawn
  manga such as Gold Digger and Ninja High School, while things like
  Star Wars, Tolkien, White Wolf, Elric, General Hospital, etc, are not.
  If you are in doubt, ask the moderators privately by emailing to
  <ffml-admins@anifics.com> rather than posting the question to the list.

  This mailing list is mostly for stories not yet on
  rec.arts.anime.creative, although there are exceptions such as if
  it's not available via ftp anywhere or if the general consensus on
  the list is to post it. Also, if you're posting the next part of a
  series that has never been seen on the list before, post the previous
  parts unless they're really big.

  Please be judicious about reposting chapters that have already been on
  the list. It's not necessary to post all previous sections of a story
  along with a new one that you've just completed; most of the people
  who are interested in your story probably already have the back
  chapters, and for those who don't, WWW or FTP addresses can be
  included in the current chapter, or you can offer to send them
  privately upon request. If you do feel that a repost is called for, we
  advise at least a day or two's wait between each sizable section so as
  not to overwhelm readers.

  Do not cross-post to the FFML and the rec.arts.anime.creative e-mail
  submission address using a single post.  Send two separate posts
  instead, one to the FFML and one to RAAC.  See the "VERY VERY
  IMPORTANT NOTES" section of the FAQ for more details.

  If you've just arrived on the list, be advised that there's no need
  to introduce yourself; if everyone did it, there wouldn't be much
  room for anything else. If you feel the need to introduce yourself,
  it is suggested that you do so as a preface to a fanfic or a bit of
  C&C.

====================

* WHAT'S THIS ABOUT "SUBJECT TAGS?"

  To help members of the list sort the mail they receive from the FFML
  more efficiently please use the following tags in the subject header
  of your posts to the FFML.

    [Fanfic], [Fic] =  Marks a message as containing a story\chapter.
    [C&C] = Message containing Comments & Criticisms on a fanfic.
    [Spam] = Something that admittedly does not belong on the list.
    [Spamfic] = A fanfic, usually under 10kb, and usually written either
      for humor or shock value; a parody or short fic with a punchline.
    [Info], [Announce]  = Side notes, not quite spam, but not 'fics
      either.
    [FAQ] = Frequently Asked Questions update or Resource Guide.
    [Admin]  = Moderators' use only. If a post comes over the list with
      this tag, you should read it. DO NOT post a message to the list
      with this tag in the subject header, even if it is a reply to
      another such post, unless you are one of the moderators.
    [Lemon] = See the section below on 'LEMON' fanfics.

  Tags are also used to identify which series a fanfic is based on,
  e.g. [Ranma], [BGC], [Inu-Yasha]. This will help direct your story
  toward those who would like to read it. Other tags may indicate the
  general tone of a fic, such as [Dark] or [WAFF] (the latter is an
  acronym for Warm and Fuzzy Feeling).

====================

* WHAT ARE SPOILER WARNINGS, AND WHEN DO I NEED TO USE THEM?

  Anime and manga series often have important plot or character elements
  which are not immediately obvious, but are revealed over the course of
  the series, usually with full revelation coming in later installments.
  It is important to keep in mind, when preparing to post information
  which could reveal a major plot element of a series, that there may be
  people on the list who haven't seen the entire series, and who may not
  appreciate having it ruined for them when they open their e-mail.

  Therefore, any time you post information which might spoil the series
  for others, please include the tag [Spoiler] in the subject heading of
  your message. It is also useful to enter several (usually 10-15) blank
  lines somewhere before the spoiler itself, as a further precaution.

  Spoiler warnings should also be used when discussing a fanfic, if the
  discussion would reveal a major surprise in the fic -- for example, if
  an important character gets unexpectedly killed off.

====================

* WHAT ABOUT STORY FORMAT?

  This is just to tell you to use US-ASCII characters and to wrap your
  lines to about 74 characters a line or about 10 to 12 words a line.
  Basically, whatever word processing program you use, save the story
  in ASCII text format (the one with the extension .TXT).  Don't use
  fancy quotes and characters either; not all of these characters
  translate very nicely to ASCII format.

  Sam Brown has written 3FT, a program which filters and formats
  non-ASCII files so that they are suitable for posting to the FFML:

    http://www.mono211.com/4ca/code.html

  Thomas Michael Edwards' Reform is available from:

    http://www.motoslave.net/reform/

  Other formatters have been reported at:

    http://home.ix.netcom.com/~mchase/zip/wrap_long.zip

    http://gaiacrtn.free.fr/ttr/index.html

  If you use a better one, let me know and I'll put it in the FAQ too.

  The FFML software does not allow the posting of stories as
  attachments.  Text attachments sent through the list will be stripped
  and converted back to plain text by the system before being sent out.
  Non-text attachments will be auto-deleted.

  You also might want to note where to find previous parts or chapters
  of the story.  New list members are more likely to read that new
  chapter if they can get their hands on the previous chapters. On the
  other hand, mass repostings of previous parts are not recommended, as
  it can be very annoying for readers to have their boxes filled up with
  stories that have already been sent out.

  You do want your story read, don't you?

====================

* WHO OWNS THE FFML?

  The owner of the list goes by the name White Wolf, also known as
  Cherry Tiger. The server on which the list runs and the domain
  name "anifics.com" belong to Philip Mak <pmak@aaanime.net>.

====================

* WHO ARE THE MODERATORS OF THE LIST?

  There are currently several moderators of the FFML, who monitor
  the list for content and issue bans to list policy violators.

  If you have any problems related to the list, DO NOT write to the
  list itself about it!  Send email to <ffml-admins@anifics.com>, which
  will forward your message to all of the list moderators:

    Matt Lewis <maybeso@rogers.com>
    Gary Kleppe <gary@garykleppe.org>
    John Biles (aka "Rhea Seraph") <rhea@ikkoku.maison-otaku.net> (on hiatus)
    DB Sommer <sommer@3rdm.net>
    Christopher Angel <c_j_angel@hotmail.com>

  and also to:

    White Wolf (also known as Cherry Tiger) <cherry@fanfic.com> (on hiatus)
    Philip Mak <pmak@aaanime.net>

  WW is the list owner. Philip Mak manages the machine on which the
  list runs; contact him about technical problems.

  If you believe that an admin has acted unfairly against you, write to
  <ffml-admins@anifics.com> and explain why you feel you have been
  wronged.  You may request that another admin review your case.

  You will not be banned or have other action taken against you for
  making a complaint, as long as you don't make it to the list.

====================

* 'I THINK I'VE BEEN UNSUBSCRIBED.'  OR 'IS THE LIST DOWN?'

  First, here's what NOT to do:

  PLEASE DO NOT SEND TEST MESSAGES TO THE ML!!!

  If you think the list is down, DON'T email the list!!!  Ask one of
  the moderators privately. Alternatively, E-mail another subscriber,
  or one of the auxiliary lists (see the Resource Guide), and ask
  whether they have been receiving list mail.

  Remember, if the list is down and you send a test message, you're
  just making matters worse.  And if the list isn't down (or when it
  goes back up), you'll draw the wrath of the moderators down on your
  head.

  If you think you may have been unsubscribed, the easiest thing to do
  is to send a subscribe request to <listar@anifics.com>. The system
  won't let you be subscribed twice -- if you're already subscribed,
  it'll tell you. If this doesn't work, E-mail the admins at
  <ffml-admins@anifics.com> or Philip Mak at <pmak@aaanime.net>
  and explain the problem you're having.

====================

* WHAT IS SPAM?

  SPAM is junk mail/ off-topic conversation.  DON'T SPAM a lot.  We're
  a pretty easy-going bunch about this, but if you don't stop when
  asked, you may be "postbanned" -- meaning that for a time, you will be
  prohibited from posting anything to the list.

  The FFML moderators have the following policy on SPAM:

  * Posts that are not allowed and can result in permanent postbanning:

    Extremely offensive flames
    Chain letters, especially virus warnings
    Commercial solicitations of any kind, including attempts to sell
    anime/manga related goods through Ebay or any other means

  * Not allowed, may result in immediate temporary postbanning:

    Test messages
    Spam polls: off-topic surveys that ask for on-list responses
    Continuation of a thread that has been banned by the moderators
    Portrayals of the murder of another author without permission
    (yes, somebody actually did this)
    "Merry Christmas" posts, or similiar holiday-related spam (this
    does not include holiday-themed fanfics)

  * Not allowed, postbanning may result for repeated offenses:

    Controversial off-topic arguments
    Fic requests (see the next section below)

  * Discouraged, postbanning may result for excessive amounts:

    "Me too"s -- posts that agree without adding anything
    Character debates (e.g. "So-and-so is Ranma's Best Babe!")
    Off-topic discussions
    Silly and thoughtless "Story idea" posts (but well-thought out ideas
    are very welcome)

  Evasion of a postban (by, for example, posting under a different
  account) will result in the ban being made permanent.

  Note that, except in very unusual circumstances, you can't be banned
  for anything other than your posts to the list.

  "Flames" are insults or other attacks that target someone personally.
  Negative comments on a fanfic are *not* flames, and the moderators
  will not ban you for them -- though continually posting nothing *but*
  negative, unconstructive comments will probably not win you any
  friends on the list.

  It is always a good idea to check through an entire thread before
  posting in it. The question you are answering may have already been
  answered, or the moderators may have already called a halt to the
  thread. If you think a thread is going to be banned, it probably will
  be. In such a case, the proper thing to do is to refrain from posting
  in it. Don't try to slip in one last post before the ban comes
  through.

  SPAM includes threads where a few people are replying to each other
  more than twice a day so the list seems more like a conversation
  between two or three people, and anything that would be better off
  emailed privately.  Don't forget that complaints about the amount of
  SPAM on the list are SPAM themselves and tend to generate even more
  SPAM.

====================

* WHEN IS IT PERMISSIBLE TO POST A REQUEST FOR A FANFIC?

  Fic requests are a technically forbidden but in practice tolerated
  aspect of the FFML.  This is mainly because a ban on all fic requests
  would be needlessly authoritarian--sometimes, posting to the FFML in
  search of a fic really is the last resort.

  However, a great deal of fanfic requests are unnecessary, and create
  needless trash on the mailing list.  This section clarifies what
  future policy towards fic requests will be, in an attempt to lower the
  volume of unnecessary requests and the SPAM threads created by them.

  Fic requests tend to fall into four general categories:

  1)  Genuine Last Resorts

    The author has no web site.  They don't respond to e-mails.  If they
    do, their hard drive has crashed, and they don't have a copy of the
    fic.  The FFML Archive shows no trace of it.

    In this instance, posting a fic request to the FFML is acceptable.
    Please make a genuine attempt -- checking web sites and e-mailing
    the author at the very least -- to find the fic without resorting to
    a FFML post; see the next section, "HOW CAN I FIND A FANFIC THAT I'M
    LOOKING FOR?", for tips.  Specify, as you always should with fic
    requests, that people should reply to you privately.

  2)  General Requests

    Classically, this is the request for "any fanfics where Ryoga and
    Ukyo are a couple" or any other similar such thing.  There are
    generally two reasons for making requests like this -- either you're
    interested in reading a fanfic of this type, or you want to see if
    the idea you've got has already been written.

    Requests like these are discouraged, as there are other methods to
    find them--the prime one being to read a lot of fanfics.  You can
    also ask on a newsgroup such as rec.arts.anime.fandom, or, if you
    have on-line friends who are also into fanfic, ask them.

    If you do post requests like this, don't do it frequently.  And, of
    course, ask for private replies.

  3)  "I Can't Remember the Name"

    It's a fanfic you read half of on a forgotten web page several
    months ago.  Ranma was in it.  And Predator.  And Bun-Bun, from
    "Sluggy Freelance".  But the page is gone, and you can't remember
    what the fanfic was called, or who the author was.

    Like general requests, these are discouraged, and the same methods
    outlined under general requests can be used to attempt to find them.
    If those don't work, be as detailed as possible in posting your
    requests to the FFML, don't do it frequently, and ask for private
    replies.

  4)  Simple Laziness

    You were off the FFML for a week, and would like everyone who wrote
    a Sailor Moon fanfic that wasn't WAFFy to send it to you. Sure, you
    could use the author database or the archives to look for them, but
    you don't want to take the time.  Or you deleted a fic and then saw
    C&C that made you interested in it, but can't be bothered to write
    to either the author or the person making the commentary to ask for
    a copy.

    Requests like these should never appear on the FFML.  Asking for
    private replies won't cut it here--people posting fic requests
    spawned from an unwillingness to make a little extra effort will be
    warned, or possibly even tempbanned.

  No matter what the type of request, ALWAYS make replies to fic
  requests privately, even if the author does not request it.  Do not
  post them to the FFML.  If the author of a fic request finds himself
  or herself deluged with e-mail, he/she can post a short notification
  to the FFML that the request has been filled.

  If you are also interested in the fic requested, write to the person
  making the request and ask him/her to pass on any information received
  to you.  Do not post such a request to the FFML.

====================

* HOW CAN I FIND A FANFIC THAT I'M LOOKING FOR?

  There are plenty of ways to obtain a fic *without* posting to the
  list. The first thing you should try is to E-mail the author of the
  story, or check the author's web site. Web sites for many authors are
  listed in the FFML Resource Guide. Didn't get the Guide? Email one of
  the FFML FAQ Maintainers and ask for a copy, or see the web addresses
  above.

  If you don't know who the author of a fic is, try emailing someone
  else on the list who seems to have read the story; or check the FFML
  archives (see the last FAQ entry).

  There are also author databases on the web, listing fics that have
  been posted to FFML with their authors. Some are located at

    http://azhrael.anifics.com
      (appears to be dormant since 2003)

  Web search engines such as the ones at

    http://www.google.com
    http://www.altavista.digital.com
    http://www.lycos.com
    http://www.webcrawler.com
    http://www.hotbot.com
    http://www.find.com
    http://www.yahoo.com

  may be helpful; just search for anything specific you can remember
  about the fic, such as author or title, or even fragments thereof.

  If you're following a link, but the site is gone, you can use

    http://archive.org

  to go back in time to when the links on the site weren't dead.
  For example, entering this page:

    http://home.att.net/~ashira/masn3_1.txt

  (which is currently a dead link) into the wayback machine, as the
  following:

    http://web.archive.org/web/*/http://home.att.net/~ashira/masn3_1.txt

  gives a list of dates that the page was edited, and links to the page
  as it had been then.  Selecting the last date the page was edited,
  for example, displays the last valid version of the page.

  It's a very useful tool for someone who knows where a fic *used* to
  be, and can't find where it's moved to... archive.org can be used to
  (re)read it without having to ask the mailing list.

====================

* DON'T BEAT A DEAD HORSE

  Threads that usually degenerate into SPAM, or are SPAM to start with,
  are better not started on the list in the first place. If you really
  have to ask about such topics on the list, make sure you remind
  everyone to send responses PRIVATELY and not to the list. If you want
  to, you can post the results of the PRIVATE discussions on the list
  afterwards.

    * Romanization.  Especially, the 'u' argument.  "Is Ryoga
      spelled 'Ryoga' or 'Ryouga'?" Just remember that there's more
      than one 'official' system being used in the world today.

    * Physics discussions.  Anything from black holes to time travel.
      Questions on these subjects may be E-mailed directly to Gary
      <gary@garykleppe.org> for answering.

    * Technical discussions.  Mech designs, weapon comparisons, and
      things that go boom.

    * Character debates, such as those over who would make the best
      spouse for character X or who would win in a fight between
      characters Y and Z. (Characterization issues that are related
      to a specific posted fic *are* fair game for the list,
      provided that they are kept focused and that the discussion
      stops if the moderators ask that it do so.)

    * Discussions of controversial topics like religion, politics,
      etc. when not directly related to a particular posted fic.
      Remember that the list serves people with a wide variety of
      beliefs and nationalities. One person's honored leader is
      probably someone else's rotten scoundrel, and what you think
      is an inspirational message may be a declaration of war to the
      next person.

    * Complaints about certain types or genres of fanfiction, e.g.
      'Why do so many fics feature Ranma' (or Sailor Moon, etc.)
      Everyone has different tastes, and if you don't like a
      particular type of story, the best thing to do is simply to
      look for something else to read.

    * Personal arguments between yourself and another list member. If
      you have a problem with someone else's behavior, take it up with
      him/her by private mail. If you feel someone is violating
      list policy, E-mail the admins about it. Posting to the list is
      not a good idea, as this sort of thing tends to result in long
      and bitter spam feuds.

    * Posts containing debates or guides as to the use of Japanese
      honourifics, or Japanese language in general, are now disallowed,
      excepting as how they may pertain to a specific story. Threads
      containing such will be banned immediately as such can easily and
      more readily be dealt with privately, or with a modicum of personal
      research (see FFML Resource Guide for some useful webpages).

====================

* WHEN SHOULD I RESPOND TO FFML POSTS BY PRIVATE MAIL?

  To keep list traffic at a manageable level, certain types of responses
  are almost always better sent privately:

    * Answers to questions, unless you really think your reply contains
      information beneficial to the list at large. Remember, if the
      answer to a question is obvious to you, chances are it's obvious
      to a lot of other subscribers. The person who posed the question
      might deserve to have his or her mailbox filled with hundreds of
      replies, but the rest of the list certainly doesn't. So please,
      send your reply privately. In particular, survey questions (e.g.
      "What is your favorite anime?") MUST be answered privately.

    * Replies to someone who asks for private responses only. This can
      be violated in RARE circumstances, such as when a poster gives
      inaccurate information and refuses to post a correction. When
      people ask for private responses to a question, they are doing it
      to keep the spam level on the list down. You should oblige them.
      If you really feel the need to have other people read your
      response, consult the Resource Guide for a listing of other
      places to which it might be sent.

    * Posts that don't add anything that hasn't already been said.
      ALWAYS make sure this isn't the case before posting to the list.

    * Flames, responses to banned threads, or anything else prohibited
      by list rules.

    * It goes without saying that a private message should be replied
      to privately. Do not reply to private messages on the list,
      unless the sender gives you permission to do so.

====================

* WHAT IS C&C?

  Comments and criticisms.  All authors want feedback on their stories
  to help improve them.  After all, this is what the list is really for.

  When sending comments or criticisms to an author, there are a few
  things to consider before posting your observations:

  1) Lurk for a while before posting to the list. Spend some time
  getting to know the FanFic ML. There is no better way to find out
  about etiquette and 'unspoken' rules.

  2) Some authors want comments on creative content (plot,
  characterization, etc.) while others like a more detailed analysis of
  their stories that includes technical aspects such as grammar and
  spelling. Some authors greatly appreciate honest negative criticism,
  while others would prefer those without anything nice to say to say
  nothing at all. Often authors will indicate what kind of feedback
  they are looking for in their authors' notes. If not, consider asking
  the author via private email which type of response they would prefer.

  3) Posting your C&C to the mailing list is fine unless the author
  states otherwise. If an author specifically asks for private comments
  then you should abide by his or her wishes.

  4) In your C&C, quote however much (if any) of the story is necessary
  or helpful for readers to understand what you are referring to.
  Sections that you have no comment on should be snipped. Do NOT repost
  an entire fic or section merely to add a line or two of commentary.

  For an expanded discussion of this, see the "What is C&C" FAQ
  Supplement. This is available via E-mail from the FAQ maintainers, or
  on the web at:

    http://sfcreators.com/atlantis/ffml/what_is_c+c.html
    http://webpages.csus.edu/~seifertv/ffml/ffml-cc.txt

====================

* WHAT IS AN MST?

  MST stands for Mystery Science Theater, a cable TV show featuring a
  man and two wisecracking robots. They are forced to watch bad movies,
  and they make clever commentary on them as they go.

  Fanfiction MSTs are based on the format of that show. In a fanfiction
  MST, several characters (one of whom is usually the actual author of
  the MST) read a fic and make running commentary.

  It's important to note that an MSTing doesn't necessarily indicate a
  bad fic. While it's true that some authors do MSTs to make fun of
  stories that they didn't like, others do them for stories that they
  did like in order to give them more exposure.

====================

* WHAT IS A 'LEMON' FANFIC?

  'Lemons' are stories with explicit sexual content and should be
  labeled as such in the [Subject:] field when posted.  Not everyone on
  the ML is over 21.

  Example:

    Subject:  [LEMON] Story name

  A 'Lime' is a story that involves sexual situations, but does not
  give explicit descriptions of sexual acts. Tagging this type of story
  as [LIME] is highly recommended.

  The term 'Lemon' derives from an anime called "Cream Lemon."

====================

* WHAT IS A CHALLENGE?

  A challenge is a request or suggestion to the FFML for writers to
  write stories within parameters specified by the challenge.

  The preferred method for challenges is for all entries to be sent
  directly to the person who posed the challenges, who will then weed out
  those which don't meet the requirements and post the final results (or a
  URL for them) to the list in one post.

  Generally, the above is recommended but not mandatory. We may require
  it for challenges which are expected to generate a lot of responses.
  If you have any doubt, contact the moderators with a description of
  the proposed challenge and ask.

  Challenges shouldn't be used as an excuse to post silly or thoughtless
  fanfic ideas.

====================

* IS THERE AN OFFICIAL ARCHIVE FOR THE FFML?

  Yes. The FFML archive is accessible via FTP at

    http://ffml.anifics.com/archives/

  The archives of previous incarnations of the FFML are also online
  now at

    http://ffml.anifics.com/archives/old/

  thanks to the diligent efforts of Thomas Dye and Philip Mak.

  There are some unofficial web-based archives in which you can find
  the older posts; these are listed in the Resource Guide.

  There's also the FFML Map Project, newly reborn as the FFML
  Directory, a purely-voluntary effort to locate the members of the
  FFML.  For those on the list who would like to be included in the
  FFML Directory, please send an email to ffmldirectory@yahoo.com with
  the following information:

    Name you'd like to be known as (very vital!)
    City and state/province/prefecture/department/etc. that you reside
    Country
    Preferred email address (if different than the one that the
      mail came from).

    Any other information that you might think is useful (like
      college/home addresses) will also be accepted.

  The result (the FFML Directory itself) is online at

    http://www.nabiki.com/mst/ffmldir/

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