What's New This Month
Feature of the Month
Fan Fiction Writers' Resources
The Yellow Ribbon Campain
"In My Humble Opinion"
The Outsider Survey
Technical Support Centre
OutsideTheLines Home Page Awards
As with all good things, we ask that a few minor rules be put in order so that respect for everybody and peace on the list are maintained. It may seem like a lot to remember, but it's all pretty basic; the underlying theme is respect.
No one-line responses.
This is basic netiquette. Please do not respond to anything on the list with anything like this :
- Me too!
- Wow, that was great!
- Can I archive this?
We understand occasional accidents happen and stuff goes to the list that was meant as a private response - we will not be angry if that happens. So please do not send any "Oops! I'm Sorry!' posts to the list, we forgive you ;)
For the sake of peace on the list, Thumper's Law Applies: "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all." That means no abusive language, no taking shots at anyone. In short think before you press SEND, 'would I feel the need to defend myself if someone said this to me?'
If you still have to say whatever is on your mind, please do so via private email rather than the list.
MST3K stories and Pop-Up Fics MUST have the permission of the Original Author.
A MST3K story gets its name and premise from the Comedy Central TV Show "Mystery Science Theater 3000" wherein a guy and his two robots make fun of really bad B movies, poking fun at writing, acting, direction, etc.
While some folks think it's funny to do this to a fic, a lot of us, the OTL staff included, think it's a cruel insult on a writer who isn't considered "very good" and may be so discouraged by the public ridicule s/he may not improve in their writing. Hence, MST3K's are considered flames. Although, some authors do and may appreciate a good natured "roasting" of their stories, so OTL requires that any such stories MUST have the original author's permission and MUST have their E-Mail address within the story.
Pop-Up Fics get their names and premise from the VH-1 show "Pop-Up Video" - a music video show in which videos are accompanied during the flow of the videos by "popping" up interesting trivial tidbits about the video. Such tidbits might include the info about people, cast & crew in the video, the location it's shot in, the lyrics, behind the scenes "dirt", or other semi-coincidental "info- bytes". Generally these are researched, are not insulting, and are informative (in their own way).
A Pop-Up Fic generally adds a touch of "silliness" to a story and isn't meant to be offensive. Nonetheless we require that Pop-Up's also have the original authors permission.
Do not post anything containing HTML tags to the list.
Attached files and HTML tags caused some computers to crash so we request that you refrain from using them and if your story is too long for your mail provider to send, please break your story into multiple parts.
We are aware that plain-text format makes some types of speech hard to show, so we recommend that use character tags to show *BOLD FACED WORDING*, <<Psionic Speech>>, and _Underlined phrases_.
Always rate your fic (R, PG-13, G, etc.) use an appropriate subject notation in the subject heading.
The thing is, we have a lot of younger readers on the list. We also have a lot of fic with content not really suitable for them. In order to maintain courtesy for all members of OTL, we would like an appropriate heading and rating for everything you post to the list. More info on ratings and headings can be found on our OTL FAQ page.
Always put a disclaimer at the top of your posts.
In the interest of giving credit where credit is due, and since fanfiction necessarily works with characters the writers haven't created, a DISCLAIMER is necessary. A disclaimer states who truly owns the characters in your story. If another fanfiction writer's characters appear in your story, make sure you have that writer's permission as well. You can see an example of a disclaimer on our OTL FAQ page.
And above all...
Respect other Authors.
If an author has made a specific request for no feedback in public, please only send your feedback to the author privately. If the author has requested no feedback at all, please respect that and do not send feedback.
If these rules are not followed, we may (although we really don't want to have to) ban you from the list.