To ensure that everything on the SB will be running smoothly from here on out, I've taken the liberty of compiling a small list of guidelines that I'd like for everyone to take a look at and pay attention to. However, before I continue, I would like to direct everyone's attention to the TZ Forum Rules and the Story Board/WF Writer's Corner FAQ that should be read very thoroughly before posting anything on these forums. Second, I would like to make this very, blatantly clear: Ignorance of the rules is not an excuse. There are various sources of guidance for what is allowed and not allowed on this forum, and on TZ as a whole. If you still manage to find yourself in trouble after three FAQs being set up specifically to aid you--not to mention the ability to PM a moderator or admin to ask questions--it's not for lack of information. Only under very extenuating circumstances will I accept, "I didn't know," as any excuse. It doesn't work in getting you out of a speeding ticket, and it won't work on getting you out of trouble here. Thankee muchly, guys. Now, onto the meat of this. And yes, I was cheap enough to copy a few of the rules from the TT FAQ; they're good and apply here, in any case. The Rules No nonsense allowed. I'll be straight with this: any story that shows a complete disregard of grammar, plot progression, and/or proper prose/script formatting will be locked. Continued disregard of the basic principles that makes anything written legible will result in thread deletion and a warning. No "game" stories. Writing a fic solely featuring fictional characters getting chosen for 'Who Wants to Be a Millionaire', or 'Survivor', or 'Real World', or some kind of generic battle arena, or anything that pertains to random characters thrown together to face silly tasks/questions for no other reason than fanservice will be summarily locked. "Game" stories have more in common with spam than they do with anything remotely fun to read. Introducing 'game show' elements into a plot is fine, however; provided it has an explanation. Plagiarism is ILLEGAL. Do not post a poem, story, or what-have-you in its entirety under the guise that is it yours, or even saying, "I thought I would share this with everybody..." No. If it has been written by someone else, credit them, and work that into something you are currently writing. Any indication that you are stealing from the works of another author results in thread deletion, a warning, and your lucky blessings that the feds didn't catch wind of it first. Grammar = good. To further expand on Rule #1, I'm not a grammar nazi by any stretch of the means. I'm also not above silly stories, but for the love of all that is holy, try to write it in a way that doesn't make my eyes bleed. Use of punctuation, paragraphs, and the spell-check function; these are all very handy tools that should be utilized. Much like the first rule, any story that is unnecessarily difficult to read will be locked. Make scripts readable. I rarely, if ever, write in script format, so I wouldn't necessarily know the "proper" formatting style. However, I do know the difference between a script I can understand versus a script I can't. Make the distinction between character speech, action between the dialogue, and scene changes, so as to make your lovely readers' lives that much easier. Any script that is a jumbled mass of nonsense will be closed until the formatting is fixed. Discographies are not stories. Do not--and I mean do not--rewrite the lyrics to a theme-song to fit whatever it is you're writing, or make a 'discography' of a certain fandom. A discography isn't a story and has nothing to do with a story, so don't be foolish enough to post them up as one. Any 'discographies' or theme song rewrites will be deleted. Links aren't stories, either. I understand that TZ isn't the only place on the net to showcase fics and poetry; I head to other places, as well. But if you are to post a story or poem here, actually post it--don't just start a thread with a link at the top and a small description underneath. If you wish to add a link to the first post and then add the rest of the story, that's fine, but linking alone is considered spammy and will result in your thread being locked/deleted. Ratings are fun. To ensure that our younger readers don't trip over a rated R/17 fic, put ratings into your titles. If you're not certain whether or not your fic is PG-13 or R, rate higher to be safe. Given that I have no SB-specific rating system, writers can use either the MPAA rating system, or the European equivalent; whichever suits you more. Authors who don't put ratings in their title will be poked with a very pointy stick. Repeatedly. If you wish for the mods to add a title into your rating, PM us and we'll edit one in. Watch your language. I'm not known for having the cleanest language on earth, however, there are children browsing these forums, and they should not under any circumstances be reading people dropping the f-bomb every other sentence. This is a rule that applies to all forums on TZ. Repeated use of bad language (I.E. language that would ordinarily be filtered out) will result in a warning. Note, this does not necessarily apply to stories rated PG-13 or higher, but those should be labelled as such for the youngins to steer away, and even then, the language shouldn't exceed reasonable limits. Language in fics is judged on a case-by-case basis, and anything seen as excessive will be edited. MST3k was never malicious. I've seen a few MSTs, or whatever variation it might be, and I'd like to point out that while MST3k did often rip various bad movies into shreds, they were never personal about it. If you intend to MST a fic, first get permission from the author as a courtesy (especially if the author frequents TZ), and second, don't make it an excuse to viciously tear into a story/author that you personally dislike. MSTs that do not comply by this will result in thread deletion and a warning. And an email to the author of the original fic, depending upon how vicious I might be feeling at the moment. No spam. Period. If you have nothing worthwhile to add to the topic at hand, don't post. It's that simple. This includes posting something completely irrelevant to the story, quoting an entire response to write, "Me too," or posting a four word reply that has next to no content about anything. Any post that can be considered spam will be deleted and the author warned. No bumping/necroposting. If your story is on the second page, and you don't have a new addition/development that needs clarification, then don't post. If a story hasn't been touched in a long period of time, only the author should make an addition that brings it back to the front page, unless the post is an in-depth review. And by in-depth, I do not mean, "This story needs to be finished. I really like it! " Necroposting/bumping will result in post deletion and a warning. Bear in mind, this is also a TZ rule. No ransoming replies. Begging and bartering for replies will not be tolerated! "What? I've only gotten two replies? Well, I'm not posting my chapter up until I have ten!" Don't do that. Ever. There is no excuse for that kind of behavior. Anyone seen participating in this kind of 'I won't post x chapter until I get y reviews' ransoming will have their thread locked immediately and will be warned. However, asking for constructive criticism and/or feedback is perfectly welcome--and anyone should feel welcome to post their thoughts. No begging for chapters. Yes, we love X story soooo very very much and we're just dying for another chapter. Badgering the author--who undoubtedly has other things to do than appeal to your every whim--is both annoying, and rude. Be respectful to the authors who write the stories you enjoy, or else you might just scare them away, and I'd have to give you a warning. Keep us informed. You can do that, you know. Believe it or not, if someone is causing you trouble, you can let us know. It's a nifty little function called "Report" that makes the lives of your friendly mods much easier than having to sift through pages of fic to root out troublemakers on our own. Not that I wouldn't relish hunting through fifteen pages of posts to find someone starting more trouble than they ought to, but, well, let's face it, that can get daunting at times. So dare to care, and help out your bedraggled mods before they happen to inadvertently snap one day after too much work and go berserk on everyone. Not that I'd know about that or anything. Ahem. Posts that break either Toon Zone's or SB's rules or evil SPAM! are examples of things you should immediately report to a moderator. Any other questions or concerns can be swiftly answered by either reading the two FAQs I linked above, or PMing myself, GS, or Not Romey. Remember, us mods are here for a reason, and we're always interested in dicussion and reasonable discourse. (Also, please bear with us if we don't answer within the hour; dedicated as we mods are in helping you all out, we do amazingly have lives outside of TZ, and thus might be unavailable to respond immediately. Still, even if we don't respond quickly, rest assured we are looking into whatever problems you might have expressed. Thanks.) Having said all of that, enjoy and write to your heart's content! Thank you and happy writing!