Issue 11: January 6, 2013

50px-3327121.png 2012 in the Fanon Portal 

Happy New Year, everyone! This is ARG signing in with his first newsletter column in 2013. It may be a little late, but I’d like to take the opportunity to look back at 2012 and the great year we had, which was the first for our new fanon-centered newsletter. The first few months had some roughness in them, and saw the editor position passed around a few times. Like always, some times of year weren’t as active as others, but on the whole, this was a very active and exciting year. We had 58 fanonbending advancements, compared to 17 in 2011. We also had more fanon stories and reviews than any other year so far. I’ll be going though some of the major ups and downs we had for the White Lotus Sentinel and for the fanon portal in general.

  • January 2nd – The featured fanon series and article nomination page is archived monthly, so that one no longer has to go through the chore of scrolling up or down incessantly just to find the place to vote or nominate.
  • February 11th to February 28th – The Fanon Awards are held for the first time since September 2010. Despite the hype leading up to the ceremony, the Third Fanon Awards show much lower turnout than the previous two awards.
  • February 20th – In one of the more memorable events for the year, the fanon administrator user rights group is abolished by community forum. Two more administrator positions were added in its place, which were later filled by Lady Lostris and AvatarRokusGhost.
  • June 17th – The Fanon Awards are revamped with updated rules, a new style and comment-voting. The Fourth Fanon Awards are subsequently scheduled for August and selection begins for a new Awards Council.
  • June 20th – The White Lotus Sentinel is conceived in a forum through the merger of Master Ratava’s “White Lotus Classifieds” vision for a page for users to find each other for editing and illustrating and Rassilon of Old’s “Beyond the Portal” idea for a fanon-centered newsletter. After discussion with The 888th Avatar, the new newsletter is granted a two-month trial run and Rass and MR are named Co-Editors. Other possible names brought up included the White Lotus Journal, the White Lotus Gazette, the Republic City Report, the Sun Warrior Bugle and the Eastern Air Temple Express.
  • June 21st – The Fanon Advertisement System is created, which includes permanent advertisements with a name and image, rotating advertisements, half-month fanon promotions for lesser known fanons and a promotion contest, which has been won 10 times so far and for which our very own Minnichi has just offered some extra incentive for, in the form of professional quality deviantart illustrations.
  • July 4th – White Lotus Classifieds requests and appliances open for business. Several users have since used this service as an “editor wanted” section and for similar inquiries. Thusfar, the requests section has had a greater amount of activity than the appliance section, but efforts have been made since then to promote the service.
  • July 16th – Almost one month in the making, the White Lotus Sentinel debuts with its first ever issue, posted in a blog by editor Rassilon of Old. The inaugural edition is listed in community messages.
  • July 29th – Master Ratava steps down as Co-Editor of the Sentinel and is replaced by Suzon.
  • Augut 12th to August 29th – The Fourth Fanon Awards are held. In contrast to the previous awards, this one gets a higher turnout than ever before. Due to comment-voting and nominating, the updated results can be tracked from recent activity.
  • August 13th – Suzon steps down as Co-Editor of the Sentinel and is replaced by AvatarRokusGhost.
  • August 23rd – Omashu Rocks publishes the first ever Fanon Urban Dictionary, which has since become the Sentinel’s most popular regular column.
  • August 24th – AvatarRokusGhost steps down as Co-Editor of the Sentinel and is replaced by MateyY.
  • August 25th – One day later, MateyY steps down as Co-Editor of the Sentinel and is replaced by Suzon, who becomes Editor for a second time.
  • September 6th to October 12th – The White Lotus Sentinel experiments with a new “magazine format” with tabs for each article. After a couple issues, the newsletter format is restored.
  • October 1st – Rassilon of Old steps down as Co-Editor of the Sentinel and is replaced by Omashu Rocks. Also, a new rule is introduced for featured fanon series and article nominations, saying that users may not nominate each other’s fanons in the same month. This was, in effect, an extension of the rule that states that users may not nominate their own work (December 2011.)
  • October 3rd – After the trial period ends, the community decides overwhelmingly to continue to have the White Lotus Sentinel as an official newsletter indefinitely.
  • October 13th – Suzon leaves his post as Co-Editor. For the next month, Omashu Rocks is the sole Editor of the Sentinel.
  • November 17th – Minnichi, previously a Deputy Editor, becomes Co-Editor of the Sentinel alongside Omashu Rocks. We all hope that they will both continue to hold their positions for a long time to come. (knocks on wood)
  • December 21st – On this date, Bolon Yokte, the Mayan god of judgement, decided that he would end the world. Before doing so, he looks around at all he is about to destroy. When he comes across Avatar Wiki and its fanon portal, he realizes that he cannot bring himself to destroy something so awesome and changes his mind.

White Lotus Tile Fanon Urban Dictionary

Agent Appeal

noun; An approach that's becoming increasingly common on the Wiki. This occurs when users present themselves to Minnichi as fellow obsessed fans of the Dai Li for some strange, ulterior motive... Not that she can tell, of course. "Hello! We've never met before, but now we're automatically best friends because guess what, I'm a huge fan of the Dai Li!!!" "You are?! That's AWESOME! Don't you love that one scene in 'Lake Laogai' -" "Mhmm oh yes, I do. Sooo where do you get those cool fanon illustrations...?" "Illustrations? I have one of the Dai Li! Want to see -" "Yeah, that's nice. I mean, think you could, heh, you knowww, get one for -" "OH, wait til you see this one Dai Li fanart..." (Runs off enthusiastically) "Argh! I was so close this time too! *Snaps fingers* I just need to tweak my agent appeal some more..." 

The Goodbye Bandwagon 

noun; That which is used as a last-ditch attempt to gain attention from other users. Even though it's true that most who've retired from the wiki recently have very real complications in their outside lives, the trend becomes a bandwagon opportunity for others as well... "It breaks my heart, but I must say goodbye to the wiki. Forever. That means I'm never coming back. Ever." (Several gasps of horror follow) "You can't leave!" "Nooo, come back!" "Guys, guys, it means SO much to me to hear your cries of love and despair at my departure. It only makes it harder for me to go! Oh, woe is me!" (2 weeks later) "You have quite an edit history for someone who 'retired' from the wiki; comments, canon articles, AND fanon? Hitching a ride on the Goodbye Bandwagon, are you?" "I - uh - well... Goodbye! (Slips away quietly)" 

Hands-off Writers 

noun; Those who have zero tolerance for even the slightest edits on their fanons. Of course, this also means zero help from others, and thus zero improvement, but they're still happy as long as the work is 100% their own. Literally. "YOU there! How dare you!!!" "What? o_o What'd I do?" "You CHANGED my fanon! Did I ever say it was okay for strangers to alter my writing? Huh?" "B-but, it was only a red link I fixed -" "Red link?! I know not this 'red link' you speak of - only that YOU tampered with MY work! Hands off, buddy!" "Okay okay, I'm sorry! (Sheesh, what a paranoid hands-off writer...)" "What was that?!" "Oh, nothing, just that I'm glad you take such pride in handling your, uh, interesting fanon allll by yourself." "'Interesting?' Why, thank you." "(Facepalms)" 

 The Rocks Departure   

noun; The horror that occurs when Omashu Rocks leaves the Fanon Review Squad. Suddenly, you realize how empty it can feel without constant rants about the political problems of the United States. (Despite it being a usergroup about fanons) "It greatly saddens me to write this, but I must resign from the FRS." "WHAT?! Mr. Rocks can't leave the FRS!" "Uh, yes I can. Life's complicated, and I've got a newsletter to run! Toodles!"  "Wha - hey!" "Don't worry about it, guys. At least now we can stop hearing him complain about Obama!" "Haha yeah!" (A week later) "*Sniffle* T-this is the same place he used to sit when he tried to get me to join Conservative Wiki!" "A-and he used to write with that pro-Romney pencil over there!" "Man, the Rocks Departure sucks!!!" (And the sobs continue to echo away into the distance...) 

NEW YEAR'S SPECIAL: A Visual Definition
"The Line War"

noun; The epic battle that rages in the Rock Li headquarters every time the WLS is set to release an issue over whether articles should be separated by a dotted or solid line. The two editors have done everything they could to solve the issue. They've played "Rock, Paper, Scissors," flipped a coin, dueled with swords, asked Jeeves, visited a psychic, and even had a blinking contest. Still, the question remains unanswered for all of time.

- by Minnichi :)

Love the Fanon Urban Dictionary? Miss any definitions? See the complete collection here!

48px-4357864.png Sad to say I'm leaving the FRS
Omashu Rocks - Editor

On January 7, 2012, in the Fanon Review Squad 2011 Review of the Year, BlackMonkey, Bahjy1, and Millennia2 announced that they had chosen me from a list of candidates to be the next reviewer on the squad. It was a proud moment of my Wikia career. I had tried once before to join the team and failed despite there not being any other applicants. I was new to Avatar Wiki, had written no blog posts, and had a fanon that was unread and unnoticed. Luckily, I didn't let that discouraged me, I tried again later when a spot opened up, and that time, I was successful. I immediately created my schedule and set out to fairly evaluate the many amazing fanons we have in this community. The best part for me? Being able to read story after story, diving into a completely different world every week, and meeting hundreds of exciting and unique characters. They say every book is a new adventure, and boy, I've sure been on a lot of adventures this past year. Unfortunately, my time in the FRS has come to an end. Now that school has begun again for the year, I have realized that my time is limited and that I must prioritize the time I spend on Avatar Wiki. I have decided that it is best or me to to remain editor of The White Lotus Sentinel, even if it means giving up my cherished position on the renowned Fanon Review Squad. It was an incredible year, and it's fun to look back at all the changes that have been made since I joined. Earlier, I mentioned the three users who voted to accept me into the group, and now, none of them remain. In fact, two of them are officially "Inactive" on the Wiki. This means that I am the most senior member on the Squad, and I am happy to say that once I leave, Mageddon725 will assume that title. I have come to respect and admire his reviewing style as well as those of Minnichi, and MibuWolf, and I have the utmost confidence that they will continue to make the Fanon Portal greater than it has ever been. Keep up the great work guys, I'll miss ya!

This brings me to the second part of my goodbye. Although the three reviewers I am leaving behind are exceptionally talented and capable, it is extremely difficult to recruit new reviewer candidates, wait for their "test reviews," judge their test reviews, then discuss through email and IRC conversations who should be selected. We were already in the process of searching for another teammate when I announced my resignation, and although I insist that I need not be replaced, the rest of the squad might wish to add two new members, making the selection process even more difficult and time consuming. I usually don't ask for much, but as someone who may have read your entire fanon and spent a Sunday morning writing a review, I will beg for one favor: please make the job of the remaining reviewers easier and consider applying for the open spot(s). The benefits? Not only do you get a fancy userbox to put on your profile page, but you get to submit a review to this fantastic newsletter whenever you please… AND you have the opportunity to explore every corner of the Fanon Portal and read wonderful stories you otherwise may not have noticed. The most important thing, however, is that you, yes you, get to turn someone's fanon dream into a reality by publicizing their work and possibly delivering them a few readers. There is no greater feeling than knowing that your review gave an undiscovered fanon author the attention he/she deserved and the desire to continue writing instead of giving up.

50px-2152184.png Air's One Year Anniversary

A year? Already? I can’t believe it either. But January 9th marks the anniversary of my fanon, Air. (Annivers-air-y? Air-iversary? Too much? You’re probably right.)

It must be time for acknowledgments and some shameless self-promotion.

Mua ha ha.

First, the promotional segment of our program:

Conspiracies, intrigue, punny titles, running jokes, a play even worse than The Boy in the Iceberg, unconventional pair ups, a ‘Best Supporting Female Character’ and trouble in the Spirit World –this story has it all!

What can I say about ‘Air’ that my readers already haven’t?

It’s “…a beautiful expansion on a story [we all] loved.”

Twelve years after the War, the old Gaang must reunite to travel the Earth Kingdom incognito in search of a rebel group who has done the unspeakable. This is “…a mystery like origami, so the reader never expects the twist behind the final fold” told from different perspectives that “gives the story a good pace” as the dark web entangles not only the Gaang, but Firelady Mai and Princess Ursa back in the Fire Nation, the soon-to-be re-coronated Kuei, and the endearing employees of everyone’s favorite tea shop.

“Like literary quicksand,” the “intrigue continues to abound” and it “drag[s] people in.” It will leave you in stitches and in tears (just ask SifuHotman!). “This is not high-quality writing,” claims ARG, “This is genuine writing art.”

Next on the agenda is a completely imaginary interview with me conducted by moi —

Interviewer: How does it feel to see your baby turning one?

Wordbender: Wonderful! Amazing! Unbelievable! ‘Air’ has been my guilty writing pleasure for years. I hadn’t intended to publish it, and I’m so happy that I did.

I: What would you like to say to your fans?

WB: To put it simply, they rock my socks off. They are awesome people who deserve the absolute best story I can give them. I love you guys, and keep reading!

I: Air is currently at 52 chapters. What would you say to those who might hesitate to undertake such a long story?

WB: It’s worth it. Just ask any of my readers. The only complaints I’ve ever received is that the chapters are too short and there are never enough. In fact, my readers would probably tell you that starting now would be ideal –more to read, less wait-time.

I: ‘Air’ is your first fanon. What do you like best about the fanfiction genre?

WB: I love playing with someone else’s characters. It’s awesome to climb into their skin and imagine how they’d act. But the best part by far is taking one of the extremely minor characters who you always wished had had more involvement in the series and giving them a major part in the story.

I: Who is your favorite character?

WB: That’s a toughie. Zuko and Mai have always been favorites and I have loved developing their characters further, but Ursa is quite near and dear to my heart.

I: What about your favorite chapter?

WB: Another impossible question! To date, probably ‘The Life and Times of Toph Bei Fong’, since it tackles the unresolved relations of the Bei Fong family. It’s a pet peeve of mine that this has yet to be addressed in canon.

I: Is there anything you think potential readers should know?

WB: I like messing with your emotions. My favorite episodes are the insanely hilarious ones and the gut-wrenchingly tragic ones, and my story reflects that. To the hundredth power. Corny jokes are kind of my thing. Oh, and I’m obsessed with ‘Zuko Alone’. You should definitely know that.

Phew! Now that we have that out of the way, I’d like to applaud some of my wonderful readers, because I’m certain they are the most awesome on the planet.

Air was lucky enough to catch the attention of two wonderful users right from the get-go; Mageddon725 and AvatarRokusGhost, I’m looking at you. Without their support in the beginning, Air would not be what or where it is today. Many thanks to you, my friends. I’m glad our virtual paths crossed.

I must also thank the continued and vocal devotion of SifuHotman, Indygirl96, LotusontheLake, Kikiwikia, Ystjhinjry, Rana2001, King Bumi’s Heir, Luuk, and An anonymous contributor. (Yes, anon; you. All of you.) May the comment fairies continue to bless you with such refined wit for your kind devotion.

And what would an anniversary be without a celebration? It’s time for a BONUS CHAPTER RELEASE! In addition to the Tuesday chapter, there will be another waiting anxiously for you all on January 9th.

Happy Air-iversary, dear readers. (Yep, I’m going with it.)

50px-2210886.png Op Ed: Post-War Fanons
Agent Slash

Heyo, everyone! Agent Slash here! I'm here today to talk about something that has been on my mind lately. Now, I'm sure everyone here is familiar with post-war fanons. Yes, these fanons deal with the life of the gaang after the war and contain characters from the show. However, there is a problem with these fanons nowadays: nobody reads them! This is a major problem for people with post-war fanons, as this gains them less readers than a fanon with original characters. Now, the most important aspects of a fanon are the plot and how well it is written. There are quite a few post-war fanons that have these things, but are being criticized for simply being post-war fanons! I do not believe that simply because a fanon has characters that were not in the series means it is not readable. I saw a poll recently that confirmed this as well. People think we have enough post-war fanons and are not willing to give newer ones a chance. I say that as long as the story is written well, and the plot is interesting enough to you, any fanon, be it original or post-war is readable. All I ask is that more readers give post-war fanons a chance. Authors of them should not have to suffer simply because the plot and some of the characters are not original.

50px-5426097.png Get an Interview for Your Fanon!

Hello fanon writers! We at the Fanon Fact Finders would love to read your fanons and interview. Seriously, we're down to three members and dying out, we need something to do. It's easy, just go to the main page and put your name down under one of our few members. We'll put one of the interviews in the WLS or the BSST. Well, this is Snip101 signing off telling you to sign up.

Fanontastic Polls

Are you with Omashu Rocks or Minnichi when it comes to solid vs. dashed lines in this newsletter?

The poll was created at 06:33 on January 6, 2013, and so far 0 people voted.
Have you been active in the fanon portal lately?

The poll was created at 06:33 on January 6, 2013, and so far 0 people voted.
Want to know more about The White Lotus Sentinel? Find out here!