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Remember Improfanfic?
Remember Improfanfic?
Does anybody remember that old Impro goodness?
If you do, why do you think it's gone?
Should it have died?--------------------
I'll snap your neck like a tomato!

My Unitarian Jihad Name is: Brother Atom Bomb of Courteous Debate. Get yours.

I've been writing a bit.
Re: Remember Improfanfic?
It's not gone last I checked... checking again:
nope still there. why would you think it gone?
E: "Did they... did they just endorse the combination of the JSDF and US Army by showing them as two lesbian lolicons moving in together and holding hands and talking about how 'intimate' they were?"
B: "Have you forgotten so soon? They're phasing out Don't Ask, Don't Tell."
Re: Remember Improfanfic?
I'm sorry, I wasn't clear. It's dead, not gone.
The site's still there, but when was the last time it updated?--------------------
I'll snap your neck like a tomato!

My Unitarian Jihad Name is: Brother Atom Bomb of Courteous Debate. Get yours.

I've been writing a bit.
Re: Remember Improfanfic?
*blink, blink*
You are right. what happened? Did everyone just drift off like me?
Anyone interested in doing a revival effort? In a few hours I'll be gone till next year without a computer but I'll try to help out with such an effort if it starts. Once I ome back of course.
E: "Did they... did they just endorse the combination of the JSDF and US Army by showing them as two lesbian lolicons moving in together and holding hands and talking about how 'intimate' they were?"
B: "Have you forgotten so soon? They're phasing out Don't Ask, Don't Tell."
Re: Remember Improfanfic?
I'm actually starting to organize one. I have a plan, but I'm not sure about it. Here's what I think needs to be done:
1. New Writers
Nobody's heard from most of the original crew. They've all moved on. Therefore, we need to get new people in on this! We all probably know at least one person who reads/likes/has ideas for fanfic- let's try to get them in on the idea! If we get eight writers, that'll be enough to start things off at a reasonable pace.
2. New Stories
If we're getting an all-new crew together, we need new plot bunnies for them to chase. Everything we've got has petered out- worse, many of them are for series that your average teenage anime fan has never heard of. I know most of them- if only because I looked them up and finally saw them to better understand the site- but your average reader/prospective writer won't. The old stories drive off newbies because they're old, and because they were started by some of our best. So, we need new stories- stories where the authors know what they're writing about, and have nothing to live up to. Quality can be raised (if not to 2F's level) through experience- but first, there must be writing. This step should be tackled second, so that new writers can make the new stories.
2.5 Popularity
Once we have a cabal, and start to write new stuff, we'll need to promote. Link on, blog IFF, post on forums- everything we can do to get an audience. This happens as we write, so that, by the time the new stories launch, we have interest in the site again.
3. Community
Once we have new writers, working on their own, modern impro ideas, we need to work together, as I (not having written for Impro) can only imagine the original writers did. Nobody should be afraid to ask another writer for input; seeking help when you have a question/problem should be encouraged. Everybody takes IFF in good fun, and tries to get along with the rest. Consult the original writer on big twists, universe ideas, and major questions about an impro, before you destroy continuity: authors, don't be afraid of different ideas- only of badly planned ones. The goal is freedom of literary choice, within the continuity of the story- the original writer provides the continuity, and the other improers provide the freedom.
Any thoughts on what killed Impro/how best to fix it/how to revive a dead site that I've screwed up, or not thought of?--------------------
I'll snap your neck like a tomato!

My Unitarian Jihad Name is: Brother Atom Bomb of Courteous Debate. Get yours.

I've been writing a bit.
Re: Remember Improfanfic?
I'm not sure what caused it to die, but the thing that drove me away (far before the stories stopped coming) was the one-upmanship that kept happening.
Granted this most likely wasn't intentional, And I have a hard time seeing how IFF can solve this problem. So let me lay it out as best I can.
Each writer enjoys the story so far and wants to improve on it. The problem is that without a grand overarching plot nailed down ahead of time* it is very hard to keep the flow of a story going. There are parts that need to be cool-down sections (either emotional, action, or plot wise) you can't constantly build and build without breaking something.
And that something almost always tented to be my enjoyment of the story.
For a perfect example of this see: Magical Girl Hunters, it starts out as a very entertaining take on the classical magical girl trope and ends up places that most ranma fanfics don't reach.
I realize that nailing down a Grand Overarching Storyline goes against a lot of what IFF is about. But time and time again I started a reading a story there only to totally lose interest around chapter 35 as it spiraled out of control.
The only possible solution I could see (and i have no idea if this is currently in place or not) would be to have an upcoming-author only section of the site where plot lines could be discussed and hashed out ahead of time. The validity of this idea is untested due to inexperience in
large group writing projects.

* See eyrie productions for a totally gonzo approach to this, They have things planned out so far in advance that references made in SotS:part 1 don't really hit home until part 4. This is not saying that everyone needs to plan this far in advance, just that great things can come from doing so.-Terry
"Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away." - Antoine de Saint Exupery
The problem with America is stupidity. I'm not saying there should be a capital punishment for stupidity, but why don't we just take the safety labels off of everything and let the problem solve itself?
"so listen up boy, or pornography starring your mother will be the second worst thing to happen to you today"
TF2: Spy
Re: Remember Improfanfic?
I think the two best Improfics I ever read were Final Fantasy: Knights of the Round, and MCTFF ULTRA. Both of which were, to varying extents, supervised.
(Twoflower's ULTRA was marginally better, but Knights of the Round actually came to an end whereas ULTRA has been languishing near the scheduled end for years now.)
"What's that, Mr. Duck?"
And continuity! Will no one think of the continuity?
My issue with Improfanfic was the tendency of the various authors to forget certain significant aspects of various characters over the course of 45 chapters. Really, I think that comes from simply *having* 45 chapters, more than anything else - that and the fact that it's not a single author, so you get a sort of telephone effect, where author C is misremembering Author B's representation of author A's character. That, and the fact that it always seemd to end with either "We have to figure out a way to end this monstrosity *somehow*." or just petering out from lack of interest. I'd say that *part* of what a plot structure would do is give people a place to write towards, so that there was actual progress made towards a conclusion, and the stories eventually end.
Mind you, some of the ride along the way got pretty cool, but...
Re: Remember Improfanfic?
Personally, I sometimes found part of the fun to be the way things would totally spiral out of control. (See: Do-Gooders, ImproParty, Otaku Wish Fulfillment?)
Still, it seems like things often worked out a bit better in terms of story when there were fewer chapters and/or a lot of repeat authors, and things stayed relatively under control.
I'd still really like to see some of the unfinished stories finished. Particularly Blossoms in the Spring, since I really enjoyed the whole idea, even if there's some parts I don't like very much. (See: The parts with Dash, which had me mad for days after reading them...)
... Huh. There's some finished impros that I'd meant to read at one time, but haven't. This'll give me something to read, since I haven't been finding any fanfic that really caught my eye lately. '.'
Edit: Useful summaries would also be nice. There's a couple impros I've never read, because I was never quite sure what the hell they were supposed to be about, and wasn't in the mood to leap into an unknown pool. This is bad enough when you are just losing readers, when you need to attract *writers* as well it's a serious issue...
-Morgan."Mikuru-chan molested me! I'm... so happy!"
-Haruhi, "The Ecchi of Haruhi Suzumiya"
---(Not really)
Re: Remember Improfanfic?
I liked Dark Heart High myself.Those who fear the darkness have never seen what the light can do.
Re: Remember Improfanfic?
Once we have a cabal,
Any thoughts on what killed Impro
They had a cabal. That made it nearly impossible for new writers to join - the cabal drove off anyone who didn't want to write their way.
When the cabal members lost interest in Improfanfic, it disappeared for lack of new blood.
-Rob Kelk
"Actually, my goal is to write neat stories. The money just makes it possible for me to write them faster and then buy neat toys."
Ryk E. Spoor, 7 November 2007
Rob Kelk
"Governments have no right to question the loyalty of those who oppose
them. Adversaries remain citizens of the same state, common subjects of
the same sovereign, servants of the same law."

- Michael Ignatieff, addressing Stanford University in 2012
Well, we kinda have had starts on similar things with TK:1940 and Fenspace...
Though I'd love to see/participate in a serious attempt at "Tatsu no Kanshin" as an improfic. A resurrection of the old threads on that would make for a decent "series bible."
Another point that would help us out is imagining that we have the constraints of a tightly (but WELL! Text is cheap comparatively!) budgeted anime: "13n" episodes where "n" is the number of "seasons" we've been allotted.
''We don't just borrow words; on occasion, English has pursued other languages down alleyways to beat
them unconscious and rifle their pockets for new vocabulary.''

-- James Nicoll
Trying to answer objections and sum up...
Let me explain. No, there is too much- let me sum up.

The way I see it, there are two types of impros- epics, and games. Epics are the really long, serious stories (like Final Fantasy Legacy), and they need to be given well-defined story arcs, so that things don't spiral out of control. Game stories (though they need a better label) are the ones where half the fun comes from watching them spin out of control, and should be encouraged to get wacky.
So, all we have to do for the epic stories, as far as I can tell, is make the original author Grand High Pooh-Bah of the Plot- they keep track of the overarching plot, and individual part writers consult with them. I had originally hit on this, in a really obtuse way-
"The goal is freedom of literary choice, within the continuity of the story."
-in other words, writers get to do whatever they want, as long as they can write it within the context of the story/plot/universe/goal. This isn't a very impro concept, but that's what the game stories are there for.
To Rob, on the 'cabal' issue- you're right. The cabal approach is what killed IFF. Somebody has to get the ball rolling again, though, and that's who I was referring to- the group of 8-10 (or so) initial writers I'm hoping to gather to start things off again. Once things get going, that 'cabal' should become 'just a few impro writers' instead of 'gods of the new impro', or else the same thing will happen again. I saw the original problem, but I didn't anticipate the same thing reoccurring. Thanks.
Foxboy- I always thought Fenspace and TK1940 are more like Undocumented Features; cooperative universes, rather than a single, (hopefully) cohesive plotline, driven by different authors every chapter. Interesting.
Also, your point about episode length is good- for serious stories. The original writer should be saying "This should take about 40 chapters", and the other authors should space things appropriately. There's always a need for wiggle room, but that makes sense. For the fun stories, though, would the opposite hold true?
Morganni- Some stories should be meant to spin out of control, and others shouldn't. They should be marked as such (in the "So You Want To Write A Part" section, if nowhere else)- that way, we can keep Ye Olde Impro Madnesse out of the serious stories, and keep people from overanalyzing fun stuff. Also, I agree totally about better summaries: I can't count the number of times I asked myself "What is Mystery Club, anyway?", before finally reading it out of bored frustration.
Thank you all for your ideas so far- please, keep them coming. If anybody would like to write for a new Improfanfic, let me know; if anybody thinks I'm crazy/wrong/in need of important information to get this done, tell me. Either way, let's sort it out.--------------------
I'll snap your neck like a tomato!

My Unitarian Jihad Name is: Brother Atom Bomb of Courteous Debate. Get yours.

I've been writing a bit.
Re: Trying to answer objections and sum up...
First, the last update was in Junish of 2007, when they added the 'Infusions' chapter to DarkHeart High. They also addded several new chapters to Furnicher warrior X sometime in 2007, though I'm unclear as to when. At some random point between the 2003-2007 Slayers Glorious finished up.
A problem you missed was the lack of new story contests. What I mean is that they held a contest with voting to decide which entry or entries into a small contest got to be an offical Improfanfic story. The last one was in 2002 or 2003. Making the sight take a 'finish these or no new stories will see the light of day' approach. Making new writers not able to do much, but add to the old stories.
Add to that that the mods and those allowing posting access, infrequently bother to check the sight's forum (once a month kind of thing.) From what I can see, you have to contact them via e-mail to get a response or anything done.
What should happen is the run a new fic opening chapter contest... pick at least one, hopefully more, entries and open the queue up for writers. At the same time, the old fics have to be dropped lower on the page to incative for 2-3 months section and another for a year or loner inactive archive. You also must add a year to the updated section as some look resent that are 3 years dead.
Also, I liked Magical Girl Hunters, for its twistedness. Which I describe as 'Hundreds of new magical girls are appearing to the point they out number the villans and are running out of things to reprsent. This is the story of those payed to deal with the infestation and one new very reluctant, magical girl who is working for enough money to take out a contract on herself.'
Which comes to my next point... the stories need quick descriptions near them or in the blocks of text that appear over the link picture to story itself.

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