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Old 07-10-2015, 04:08 PM
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Default Advice for writing a Fiver

Hello.

I am attempting to write a Fiver. It's odd, writing something for a site that makes graveyards look like raves, but that's pretty much how the music video for "Thriller" started, so... the moral is we should start playing Michael Jackson music until we start a choreographed dance?

Now, first off, I have it all done. I asked Zeke about it, but for some reason, he didn't respond. Maybe his PM box is full? I dunno. Maybe email is the better way to go.

I wouldn't mind getting some feedback on it, but I am unsure what to do. Do I post it here and solicit comments? Do I post it on some random other place? Do I show it to people I know and hope they don't have me locked in an insane asylum?
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Old 07-11-2015, 12:06 AM
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If you're hoping for it to be a real, published on the site fiver I wouldn't post it here in the forum. Maybe you should at least tell us the franchise, and one of the more experienced fivists here who's familiar with it can go over your drafts with you through PMs.
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Old 07-13-2015, 03:32 PM
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Hope is good. Yes, I'd like to try.

The one I went with was Voyager.
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Old 07-17-2015, 01:11 AM
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Response coming, but first a response about my lack of response. (I'm posting it here because it goes for any other prospective guest writers.)

I'm sorry, but you'll have to be patient with me. I don't mean in terms of sympathy or anything -- I'm saying you literally have no choice. I am very slow to do things. It's gone past the point of cliche here and looped around into being an essential part of the fabric of the site. I have guest fivers from 2004 that aren't dealt with yet. But I would actually feel more guilty if I were up to date, because I'm just as far behind on things like my career that should be coming first.

As for the specific request, I'll have more to say by PM, but the short version is this: they may be pretty out of date, but we have FAQs for a reason.
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[03:17] FiveMinZeke: Galactica clearly needs the advanced technology of scissors, which get around the whole "yanking on your follicles" problem.
[03:17] IJD: cylons can hack any blades working in conjunction

Last edited by Zeke; 07-17-2015 at 05:18 AM.
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  #5  
Old 07-20-2015, 07:36 PM
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All right, no worries. I am very laid back when it comes to writing, and when it comes to putting things ahead of Internet sites, that's obvious, especially when there's no monetary compensation on the blogosphere for what is clearly a hobby.

I thought I went through all the FAQs; didn't see the whole "Voyager has been claimed" bit. That was my bad, and I will endeavor to be more careful in the future.

So then it's time to brush up on the other series.
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Old 08-08-2015, 10:39 PM
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Some general advice, from someone who learned it through experience (writing novel fivers in the Misc forum, and a couple for the Excelsior fan series):
  • Brevity is the soul of wit. Especially so when the point is to condense something down with hilarious results. You want a lean, mean parodying machine when all is said and done.
  • Mix your humor. Wordplay, cultural references, irony, general goofiness, and of course poking fun at the source material all have their place. You don't have to have every single type of humor possible in one fiver, of course, but avoiding unfunny predictability is part of humor.
  • As it says in the Submissions FAQ (linked for other prospective fivists who might be reading this), you don't have to put every single scene in. This is your take on the story being portrayed in the episode. Decide what's important, plus what you want to include just for the sake of being funny, and include those parts. You can, occasionally, get away with not including an important scene (or an unimportant plotline, in my case) by having the characters react to it or sum it up in a line or two.
  • This may be a very specific type of writing, but general tips still apply. Brainstorm. Seek inspiration from your experiences and the world around you. Revise a lot, but not to the point that you destroy the thing you're trying to create. Read it out loud to yourself. Consider your audience: will they "get" what you're trying to do? And be willing to consider new ideas and make tough choices throughout the process.

Hope this helps!
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Old 08-24-2015, 05:58 AM
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Don't get too over-the-top on the running gags and crazy inter-fiver references. My few fivers did this, and, with ten years' hindsight, I see they did not reach their full potential because of it. The commendable editor of 5MSTNG (Derek? Mark? It's been too long, and I am too lazy to check) very politely told me that one of my submissions was bantha poodoo and made me rewrite it before publication, and that helped me turn the corner.

And, yes, way back in 2002, my first submission to the site had a one-year turnaround before Zeke replied. "'Soon'" means "'soon,'" and not a moment before -- and note the triple-quotes!

QUESTION: Given the significant changes in activity level here over the years, would it be worth considering the possibility of revoking or at least re-confirming some of the old claims, for example on whatever Voyager episode FG wanted to parody?
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Old 08-25-2015, 10:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wowbagger View Post
And, yes, way back in 2002, my first submission to the site had a one-year turnaround before Zeke replied. "'Soon'" means "'soon,'" and not a moment before -- and note the triple-quotes!
My definition of "soon" is relative to the heat-death of the Universe. So yeah, as long as he's before that, we're good.

Thank you all for your advice.
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Old 08-27-2015, 12:44 PM
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Don't be afraid that you first effort might suck. Accept that it will, and make your second one better, and your third one even better. My first submission was Body Parts, and looking back at it I find it lacking, but only because the ones I did after it are more polished.

TNG was the same way. Watch the first season, and then watch the fifth season. Huge increase in quality.
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Old 08-28-2015, 12:24 AM
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Unless you go from "Conspiracy" to "Cost of Living", that is.
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[03:17] FiveMinZeke: Galactica clearly needs the advanced technology of scissors, which get around the whole "yanking on your follicles" problem.
[03:17] IJD: cylons can hack any blades working in conjunction
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Old 09-02-2015, 05:50 PM
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All the sequel shows have this.

DS9: "Dax" to "Let He Who Is Without Sin..."

VOY: "Jetrel" to "Bride of Chaotica!"

ENT: Damn it, it should have had a season 5!
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Old 10-10-2015, 05:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flying Gremlin View Post
ENT: Damn it, it should have had a season 5!
It did, but "Some Other Disease", in which Phlox contracts a deadly toenail fungus and Mayweather tries to learn the Venusian tuba in order to save the ship from Ferengi, was so bad that it wiped out Season 5 and much of Season 4.
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Old 11-02-2015, 09:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NAHTMMM View Post
It did, but "Some Other Disease", in which Phlox contracts a deadly toenail fungus and Mayweather tries to learn the Venusian tuba in order to save the ship from Ferengi, was so bad that it wiped out Season 5 and much of Season 4.
Not Season 4, too! Dammit, that was my favorite out of the series.

"These Are The Voyages" never happened, dammit. It's not real! I will go full inverse Benny Russell on everyone if someone claims it was.
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Old 11-02-2015, 09:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flying Gremlin View Post
Not Season 4, too! Dammit, that was my favorite out of the series.
Zeke's fiver for "The Problem With Porthos" is the funniest thing he's never written.
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“There must have been a point in early human history when it was actually advantageous to, when confronted with a difficult task, drop it altogether and go do something more fun, because I do that way too often for it to be anything but instinct.” -- Isto Combs
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