Hi! This is my little FAQ, written because I seem to be getting the same questions over and over again and it's gotten sort of annoying to have to repeat myself like a broken record. So, please read it and take note of my little dos and don'ts so we can all get along.
1) "Hi! Do you remember me?"
Chances are, no, I don't. It's not that I purposefully forget a person's name, but I get a lot of email on a daily basis. If you have only written to me once before, or talked with me over a year ago, I probably will have forgotten who you are. If this happens, don't get mad and start yelling at me about my "bad memory." Instead, pretend that this is the first time we're meeting and reintroduce yourself. It might trigger a memory, or it might not. Either way, if I was friendly to you before, I'll most likely be friendly to you again.
2) "When are you going to update your story(s)?"
Whenever I get around to it. I can't just write at the drop of a hat. I need inspiration. I never quit a story, just put it on hold for a while. I'll admit that I have more than one story going on at once. Between anime related stories and games, I have a good 6+ stories to work on. I try to write chapters as often as I can, but unless the muse moves me, I write at a snails pace.
3) "When you have your newest chapter done, can you mail it to me?" or "Can you mail me what you have finished right now?"
The answer is no. I don't have the time to send out mass emails to everyone who wants the next part of my story. I don't believe in spoilers for my writing, so unless I need immediate feedback, the chances of you seeing a new segment of any of my work is slim to none.
4) "I noticed that you have a lot of spelling errors/grammar problems in your story(s). Would you like me to be your beta reader?"
Again, the answer is no. I appreciate the offer, but I can do my own beta reading. Most of my early stories and chapters were done before I had access to a spell checker. I plan to go back and revise them someday to fix the mistakes, but that will have to be done when I have the time to do so. This also ties in to my "non-spoiler" issue regarding my fics.
5) "Could you read my story and tell me if it's any good?"
That entirely depends on if I have the time. I'm the type of person who, when asked to review something, needs at least a couple hours to give it my full attention so I can make accurate notes about the problems I found or the parts I liked. As a writer, I understand that feedback is important and I try to give the best feedback I know.
6) "Since you read the first chapter of my story, does this mean I can send you every chapter I write from here on in?"
No, no, and double no. When you ask for me to review something, I'm doing it out of courtesy to another author. I take time out of my busy schedule to give good notes and generally don't have the time to do the same for each and every chapter. I am not your editor, so please do not expect to take advantage of me whenever you feel like it. Chances are, you'll only make me less likely to read anything of yours again.
7) "I didn't like the feedback you gave on my story!"
Tough cookie. I don't like some of the feedback that I get for my stories, but I understand that each person is different and views things in a different way. Something I thought was incredibly well written might come across as forced to another reader. If I make a negative comment, please don't get all full of yourself and send me flames. If I found something that I felt was out of place or just didn't like, I will tell you about it honestly. My feedback is designed, not to tear apart your story, but to show you areas that might be weak and need sprucing up. Please note that I will never write a flame on someone's story (unless it contains something like racial hate, for example, with no purpose in the plot). I can always find at least one good thing to say and will do my best to stress that no fic is hopeless. Everyone's writing has room for improvement, mine included. If you feel the need to justify what you wrote, I will listen to your arguments for why it shouldn't be changed. Who knows, you might change my mind. Or you might not. When it comes down to it, this is your story, and you can write what you want. But if you take my feedback badly, I probably won't review anything of yours again.
8) "I did some fanart for your story. Would you like to see?"
9) "Can I post your story on my website?"
Sure, as long as you give everyone involved due credit and do not edit or change my story in any way. Also, I want a link to your page where it is posted so I can check up on it from time to time.
10) "Can you send me your files so I can post it?"
Actually, no. A lot of my early files were lost during system crashes, so the only places you can get them is from other sites. As for the newer chapters, I generally forget who I gave my story out to, so I'd advise you to just copy and paste from IcyBrian's web site to yours. If you want to do a direct link, you have to talk to the web master about that.
11) "Um, the link to chapter 15 is down. Fix it."
I have no control over broken links. I only send in my chapters and the web master updates it. If you find a misdirected link or a broken one, all comments and questions should be directed to him/her.
12) "When is the web master going to update?"
How should I know? I'm just a writer. They will update whenever they get the chance. Remember, fanfics and fan pages are done for the fans by fans who are not getting paid for spending their free time posting things for you to enjoy. Instead of complaining that they don't update enough, why not send them a cash donation and a thank you card for the hard work they've put into their site thus far. Just because you have no life doesn't mean that they don't either.
13) "Have you read so-and-so's fanfic?" or "I liked your fic almost as much as [insert story name here by another author]."
Probably not. I don't read other people's fanfics much. It's not because I don't like to read or because I'm conceited or something. Generally, I consider most authors to be better than me. If I read a really good story, I start getting severely depressed about my writing and wonder why I bother when there is such talent present. Also, no one likes to be compared to another person, so don't tell me my Magus story reminds you of "Mt. Woe," only the latter did this and this, etc. Judge my story for what it is and please keep the comparisons to yourself.
14) "Would you like to do a joint fanfic?"
Not really. I don't have the time, between all the other fics I have to do and college. Also, I have found that writers tend to have creative differences. The last thing I need is to get into a fight because I don't write Tifa the way the other author wanted her portrayed.
15) "Can you help me? I'm stuck in [insert game here] and need directions."
I'm not a strategy guide. If you need help, go to WWW.GAMEFAQS.COM.
16) "I was reading your "Story of Magus" and noticed an error in Janus' age. He said he was eight and now he's ten. What happened and when is it going to be fixed?"
I know about the age problem. What happened was that I forgot what age I set him at and went with ten instead of eight. I'll make the correction whenever I get around to updating those chapters.
17) "Isn't Flea a guy?"
It varies. I've seen it where Flea was a guy, and othertimes when Flea was a girl. I was going by the picture they had in the official CT strategy guide that was released by Nintendo when the game first came out. It showed Flea with boobs. I'm sorry, but hermaphrodite Flea just isn't in the equation. I say that she's a girl with a gender complex.
18) "Um, you're changing the game plot at parts in the story. Why?"
Yes, I know. I am doing it with artistic license. What we saw in the game was from Crono's point of view. He sees the things the way we see them at home on our couch. This is Magus's story, and he's going to see things differently. I'm changing some things to make it fit better wit the flow of the story, but over-all, the original story is not going to be changed all that much.
19) "Why wasn't Crono seen in Zeal Kingdom during the early parts of your story?"
Because it hadn't happened yet. Time hadn't been altered until Janus was sent back in time. In my opinion, the Mammon Machine was what caused the time distortion, not Lavos per say. If the Mammon Machine hadn't disturbed it, life most likely would have gone on happy and normal until Lavos awoke and destroyed the planet. Time wouldn't have been altered, and Crono wouldn't have gone back in time at Lucca's sideshow. But by building the Mammon Machine, it disrupted the fabric of time as it drew power out of Lavos. This formed the Gates.
20) "How long will it take you to finish your 'Story of Magus'?"
I have no idea. I am aiming to have at least 50+ chapters.
21) "How far do you plan to take the story?"
At least until the end of the game. I have plans for a post-game continuation of "Story of Magus" but it's too early to say whether or not those ideas will ever get off the drawing board.
22) "I noticed your Shadow Lance spell sounded a lot like something off the anime show 'The Slayers'. Any relation?"
Yes, as a matter of fact. Sue me. I needed a spell and I had Dragon Slave going through my head at the time. Do you have any idea how hard it is to come up with a chant? Why do you think I only used the spell once? It sounded hokey so I never used it again. It was a cool spell, though, so I might revive it in the latter half of the story.
23) "Why did you add that spell in when it's not on Magus' attack list?"
This isn't like the game, people. I wanted Magus to have a better arsenal of spells. But I will admit, Shadow Lance shouldn't have been used to early in the story. It messed Flea up pretty bad though, heh heh.
24) "Why did you take Flea out of action, anyway?"
Because I wanted to give Slash a chance to shine. If the Mystics are ever shown in fics, Flea seems to get the spotlight most of the time. I wanted to show that Slash was a cool character too, and though he's sometimes dense, he's not a complete moron. Just like Ozzie isn't as stupid as the game showed him to be either.
25) "But aren't you making them out of character by doing that?"
In most stories involving them, it seemed like everyone thought they were stupid bumblers. I agree, they aren't the brightest bulbs in the lamp, but c'mon! They survived a pretty long time before Magus showed up.
26) "Isn't Magus the leader of the Mystics, not Ozzie?"
Ozzie is, and always will be, the Mystic leader. Magus is a figurehead, just like Cyrus is a figurehead in his role as the Hero. Magus will sort of take control of the Mystics at one point but only to force them to build his Castle. He can't be bothered with anything else, so he leaves it to Ozzie to manage everything. The Humans mistakenly call the three Mystics his generals, but their roles are still the same as they've always been.
27) "If Cyrus was disgraced, how did he become a Knight?"
He regained his honor after defeating the Frog King and saving the Hero's Medal.
28) "Is Cyrus in love with Queen Leene?"
In my opinion, he is. It's a very King Aurthur/Lancelot/Gwenivier setup. Leene loves her husband, but not in the romantic sort of way. He's kind to her and she cares for him as a close friend. Political marriages suck that way. She loves Cyrus romantically, but can't be with him. Cyrus loves Leene, but as a Knight, his loyalty belongs to the King. By being in love with the Queen, he's sorta betraying that loyalty. And the King loves Leene, but knows she really wants to be with the Hero. It's a terrible triangle. It's a good thing that Cyrus died or else some adultery would have gone on there.
29) "What was up with Toma being Cyrus' illegitimate father?"
I started working on a story called "Of Glory and Honor" that was supposed to explain all that but it seems to be on permanent hold for the time being. So I'll explain it here for the sake of coveniance. Back in the day, Toma and Sir Cedrick were good friends. Cedrick believed strongly in honor and Toma kinda thought he was a stick in the mud. The Mystic/Human war was going on even back then, though to a lesser degree. The Knights were sent out to battle and Toma went along for the adventure. After much fighting, some of the Knights were captured and hauled off to the Fort for questioning and torture. Cedrick was one of those men. However, someone mistook a corpse for him and he was proclaimed dead. Toma returned home to Llana, Cedrick's wife. He comforted her, and she him, and though not really in love, they "did the deed." Several months later, there was a Mystic civil war and Cedrick was able to escape. Returning home, he found Toma living with Llana and she was with child. Rather than bring disgrace on their house, Toma agreed to fade out of the picture and Llana would say it was Cedrick's son.
30) "Will Magus ever have a love interest?"
Yes, he will. Thought the story is not really about him falling in love. The only reason why I'm adding in the love interests is, to put it bluntly, to keep from people thinking he's in love with his sister.
Whew! There, I'm finished....for now. If you find that your question has not been answered, then please feel free to email me. Otherwise, please refrain from asking these questions again. Thank you for your cooperation.