Fanfiction, or /fic/, was formerly described as a highly organized board for posting and discussing fanmade stories, or "fanfiction". A variety of threads existed for discussing themes, stories, or literature in general, posting short fiction, organizing reviews, and creating collections of specific authors' work.
It was also the greatest point of contention that inspired the launching of MLPchan, with most of its users migrated to the new site. However, /fic/ existed across both communities until MLPchan's board was axed out of an apparent lack of community interest. As of late 2014, Ponychan's board was considered dormant, and discussions had popped up suggesting to merge it or simply remove it all together. In late 2015, both /fic/ and /art/ were archived, and their general concept merged to create /fan/ or Fanworks. /fic/ in its original form now exists only as an archive on vintage.ponychan.net .
The boards on both sites had a history of newcomers unwilling to comply to the board's rules as well as the community guidelines.
/fic/, in the early days of Ponychan, was originally /st/, or "Stories", but was renamed to /fic/ at the reopening of the site.
The board was recognized, for a long time, the premiere place for the majority of writers to get help for fanfiction submissions on EqD, and the board had received much publicity for it. It would be a common sight to see EqD prereader threads, a populated mini-serial for story suggestions, and reviewer threads to be hosted. Fanfiction writers of /fic/, in this case, moreso on Ponychan than MLPchan, often have a great desire to see their fanfic showcased by the most populous pony news site, Equestria Daily. For every case of which the submissions guidelines on EqD are rewritten, /fic/ is typically the first to catch wind of it.
Rules and Etiquette
/fic/ had an extensively detailed sticky in attempt to counteract the history of overzealous newcomers whom were too quick to post before getting to understand both the rules alongside community etiquette. As it has always stood, /fic/'s community has particularly embraced board etiquette to the point where one could argue is not so farfetched from being essentially mandatory. One persistent /fic/ regular, Ion-Sturm, published a document, presented as an introductory to the typical newcomer in hopes to give them a quick understanding of the community, mainly directed towards the aspiring EqD fanfiction writer.
The appearance of the front page is also crucial, and regulars have set their standards notably high. Throw-away threads, or stubs, have been strongly discouraged, and are often told to close said threads with a deletion. Furthermore, meta-related talks on /fic/ (or any off-topic comment for that matter) are usually marked with a sage. According to the last public posting records on Ponychan's /fic/, about 20% of all posts were saged.
Reviewers whom planned to stick around on /fic/ usually posted with a name, though not so often a tripcode. However, this was simply a matter of convenience, and the community won't look down upon anons.
Over the past three years, /fic/'s traffic plummeted tremendously, and is now widely considered even by many of its long time users, such as Iron Sturm, as a lost cause. Roger Dodger, runner of many of the competitions /fic/ used to host, stated he believes that the collapse was the consequence of its seemingly ever rising complexity of its own board ediquette. Sturm also added that popular pony fanfiction site FiMfiction attracted most of its old traffic, where their layout "just works better". Neither or the two board veterans contested its proposed merge or removal.
Former Board Serials/Generals
The Training Grounds, or TTG, is a thread maintained by an organized group of reviewers who regularly review and/or edit by request. An external spreadsheet keeps track of the TTG queue, documenting which stories have been waiting the longest, which reviewer is assigned to them, and other general information. Both new and established authors have been known to have their stories reviewed by TTG. Upon autosaging, the thread is recreated with a brand new theme, or "edition".
Ask an EqD Pre-Reader Anything is the AmA mini-serial for communicating with official EqD pre-readers. As anyone from /fic/ would be quick to attest, Equestria Daily's pre-reader process has had a history of growing to be prestigious, and as the acceptance rate of fanfic submissions fell, relevance of pre-readers grew. It would often be the case that EqD Pre-Readers would hop in help writers familiarize themselves with the acceptance process.
Story Ideas is a mini-serial where story tellers throw around new ideas to either get feedback from them, or to allow someone else to pick up the idea and use it as inspiration for their story.
Reccomendation and Request General is listed as a discussion thread, one of which is for readers and lurkers alike to discuss what stories said person should begin with.
Current influence in the fandom
While many of the early denizens have moved on from the Brony fandom, some remnants of /fic/'s old populace still frequent sites like Fimfiction and Equestria Daily, and in fact most of the Equestria Daily Prereading staff are former a/fic/ionados.
Roger Dodger developed a host site for /fic/'s old story competitions, which still runs today via the Fimfiction group: The Writeoff Association.
Fimfiction's listed Writing Guide under the help tab, was written by a /fic/ user known as Ezn back in late 2011, in response to the many common mistakes and poor writing habits he observed in dozens of EqD aspiring authors who were funneled in by EqD Prereaders.
- http://vintage.ponychan.net/chan/fic/ - Ponychan's /fic/ board
- https://mlpchan.net/fic - MLPchan's /fic/ board (404)
- https://docs.google.com/document/d/1boBefiUNF_drrc6PNnJUdGltr5fjCe-rNFGmErUJgAQ/edit?hl=en_GB - Ion-Sturm's guide to the board.
Last edited 2018/07/19
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