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Messages - Firefury Amahira

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1
Seconding Team Four Star!! I would freakin' LOVE to attend one of their panels, but I have been unable to travel out of state to cons they've been at to do so. :(

2
General Convention Discussion / Re: Paramedics
« on: June 03, 2018, 11:46:16 PM »
There was a third one in Artist Alley that I saw; fortunately by the time I left the area it looked like the person was sitting up and coming around. Hopefully they're all okay. :(

3
Just realized that here we are just a couple days out from go time, and I still hadn't got our panel info posted! Without further ado...

Fanfic 101: FRIDAY, 4PM - PANELS 3- Curious about fanfiction? Already writing and want to further polish your creative efforts? Looking to start? Fanfic 101 as the title implies covers basics such as organizing your plot, writing perspectives, different types of scenes, avoiding writers' block, a brief overview of fanfic-specific subgenres and an introduction to fanfiction-specific jargon. We also discuss in brief the legal ramifications of fanfiction and tips for publishing online. Questions and commentary are welcome!

Fanfic 201: SATURDAY, 4PM - PANELS 4- This panel focuses entirely on characters. Good guys, bad guys, comic relief, background characters, the cast of a fanfic can be a lot of work! What's a Mary Sue and why do people hate her? How can you handle developing characters and their relationships? How about developing the existing characters beyond how they were in the source material? This panel is generally meant for writers who already have some practice under their belt, but also useful for beginners looking for more specific information. Questions and commentary are welcome!

Fanfic 369: SUNDAY, 8PM - PANELS 3 - 18+ ONLY- The "How to write sex" panel. This advanced panel discusses how to write erotica in fanfiction. This includes a brief lecture and powerpoint presentation with anatomical drawings detailing sexual anatomy and response, how to apply it to realistic erotica, suggestions on how to apply it to unrealistic erotica (tentacles!), and common sexual myths. Also covered are some narrative techniques for writing erotic scenes, such as the impact of language choice, in addition to some basics about incorporating fetish material into the story. Obviously, this is not a panel for children or the easily offended, given it involves some extremely frank discussion of anatomy, sex, kinks, and the occasionally extremely immature crude joke. Questions/commentary are welcome at the end of the presentation!

Fanfic 120: MONDAY, 10AM - PANELS 4- Catch-all "Open Lab" discussion for various topics that don't quite fit into the other panels. A very informal chance to go over tidbits such as fanfic titles and summaries, linguistic oddities, how best to deal with reader feedback, and other writing-related miscellany. This panel is also a chance to go over and go more in-depth on topics from the 101 and 201 panels if there's an interest. Questions and commentary are especially welcome at this one!

We've also got our Fanfic Writing Guide (v3.1) that will be handed out to anyone who wants it at the panels, and for the adults the Adult Fanfic Guide (v2.0) will be available at Fanfic 369 as well.

4
I went through Wayback Machine to find registration prices over the last 10 years: http://imgur.com/a/jpxlh

So, for pre-reg a whopping $15 increase, for pretty much everything else, about $30 increase over ten years. Between inflation and rising costs (I would bet good money that SJCC jacked facilities pricing up for the con after they finished the expansion a couple years back!), that really isn't bad at all. Seems like there is a general consensus that the one-day passes are a bit excessively high, but I imagine that is a somewhat deliberate decision since as others have pointed out, the con center staff checking badges at the access points were generally NOT checking to see if it was a full weekend pass versus a one-day pass. Having the one-day passes priced as high as they are offsets the losses from people cheating the system, while also encouraging people to try and pre-reg when possible. Doing a discounted/shoppers access badge for Mondays sounds like a great idea though- the 'just-wanna-shop' crowd could get in, and a steeply discounted final day would also be a great "first taste of a con" for convention newcomers who haven't gone to a con before but are leery about committing to a full weekend right from the start.

I can't say that I feel particularly moved by the OP's tale of woe and wanting to get in to one of the convention events (that is, the opening ceremonies) for free because they couldn't afford a badge. There was plenty of cosplay photography and mingling going on outside the convention center as always, no badge needed. It's not like the convention's timing is some big secret catching anyone by surprise; people can and usually do plan months in advance for it, including saving up the funding necessary even if it means tossing loose change in a jar for months.

By far, restricting the second floor of the convention center to badged attendees only since 2016 is one of the best ideas Fanime has implemented. It has drastically reduced the crush of the crowds on the upper floor by removing the unpaid ghosts, and certainly helps the safety of paying attendees since you don't get the late night drunks and non-paying creepers roaming the main thoroughfares of the con. If that upsets some people badly enough that they're Leaving and Never EVER Coming Back for Realsies!... well, that's their choice to make.

5
Yep, 2013 was when he came
If I recall, he completely packed Panels 1, too. With people still waiting outside in vain hopes of getting in. And Panels 1 is way bigger now than back then, TFS would pack the place! Hell, even with a late evening timeslot, their 18+ panel would probably pack Panels 1!

6
Just to add a quick $0.02:
-I didn't notice any especially alarming behavior from any of the homeless folks in the area around the convention center, however I didn't end up walking in the park or pretty much anything but going from the front of the convention center, across the street toward the Westin/St. Claire, and then across toward the Fairmont. So my commentary is excluding large sections of the area that also get heavy con traffic.

-RE: The hot dog vendors: Good gods, there were so goddamn many of them that they were a pedestrian traffic hazard, especially on the sidewalk heading toward the Fairmont. Aside from turning an ordinarily wide open swath of sidewalk into a winding foot traffic chokepoint, the stench of so many of them so close together made my eyes water and get me feeling nauseated by the time the light would change so I could get across the street and escape! In previous years, one on the corner on the Fairmont side, one on the convention center side, and one maybe on the auditorium side was fine. They weren't a traffic hazard, they didn't stink up the place, and con-goers who wanted a danger dog could get their danger dog no problem. The swarm of them this year was just obnoxious and turned every trek from the con center to the Fairmont into a gauntlet run of vendors shouting to me repeatedly trying to lure me to THEIR food cart out of fear I would buy a danger dog from one of the other half a dozen hot dog carts in the immediate vicinity.

-On the plus side, I noticed that Obnoxious Loudspeaker Preachy Guy wasn't at the main intersection this year. He was set up down at the far end of the walkway between the two halves of the Fairmont on Saturday, and I don't think he was there Sunday. At least there he could screech his creeds without disturbing too many people or getting in the crowd's way. And the Scientology stress test shmuck seemed content to just sit at his little table and not harass people! Those guys can get super obnoxiously pushy, at least the ones in LA do.

-RE: Police presence: I don't recall seeing much of a police presence this year. That doesn't mean there wasn't one, but to me it didn't seem like they were especially visible. A more visible presence would probably cut down on a lot of these sorts of issues.

7
General Convention Discussion / Re: 2017 Hype Thread
« on: May 25, 2017, 10:17:42 AM »
Packed and ready to get going, just waiting on the rest of the crew to get over here so we can hit the road!

8
Ideas and Suggestions / Re: Guests for Fanimecon 2018
« on: May 24, 2017, 10:22:54 PM »
Might as well put my annual "INVITE TEAM FOUR STAR TO FANIME!" down in here. :P

9
Bit late to get this posted, but here's our time/rooms, also edited into the opening post:

Fanfiction 101: Friday, 5pm in Panels 3
Fanfiction 201: Saturday, 2pm in Panels 3
Fanfiction 369: Sunday, 9pm in Panels 2
Fanfiction 120: Monday, 10am in Panels 3

Looking forward to the convention! Now, time to go finish getting all my stuck packed and ready!

10
Panels and Workshops / Re: Self-Publishing Panel (now separate thread)
« on: March 14, 2017, 11:36:50 AM »
Firefury,

That is a great idea!  Two panels, one after the other with a nice break!  I'll bounce it off of my possible team of people.

Any reccomendations on "selling" this idea to the staff so they select it?
<badly belated response> Other than keep your explanation of your panel thorough but concise, not really. You want to be able to explain clearly what your panel is about, but at the same time you don't want Panels' staff's eyes to glaze over trying to read a huge Wall of Text. It's kinda like a marketing pitch in a way- you've got a narrow window in which to pitch your panel, so you don't want to clog it with vague or excessive text. </badly belated response>

11
Oh crap! I should actually remember to check the forums more often! ^^;;;;; We submitted our panels over the weekend already. The idea of doing a more worldbuilding or AU-focused panel is a neat idea, one I'll totally have to bring up with One. Too late to submit for a brand new panel, but if there's interest in the specific sub-topic, we can certainly go into it at the 120 panel!

@iAteTheRamen- Yeah, the 120 panel is typically lower attendance and a lot more cozy since it's typically late morning on the final day of the con- a lot of potential attendees are busy fussing with hotel checkout or having to hit the road to go home. Plus since it is sort of the open forum for niche topics that might not fit a full panel, it's a lot less structured than the other three panels are. We have a handful of niche topics to fall back on if nobody has something specific to focus on, but that one typically gets steered by stuff the attendees want to discuss.

Admittedly our 101 and 201 panels are more geared toward a lot of general writing knowledge that can apply both to fanwork and all-original works, but we do try to skew it toward how it applies to fanfiction writing specifically. :)

12
Panels and Workshops / Fanfiction Workshop 2017 - [TIMES POSTED]
« on: January 05, 2017, 01:22:24 AM »
Still flirting with the idea of swapping out Fanfic 120 for a panel specifically on some other niche writing topic such as "How to action scene," but I'm not really sure if there's a full 1-hour panel to be had from it. Suggestions are welcome, though it'll likely be the usual 4-panel format as previous years. (Assuming we get all four approved, of course!)

So, as usual, the tentative plan for the workshops this year:
Fanfiction 101: Friday, 5pm - Panels 3 The crash course into story basics. Panel covers basics such as organizing your plot, writing perspectives, types of scenes, avoiding writers' block, a brief overview of fanfic-specific subgenres and an introduction to fanfiction-specific jargon. Also discusses in brief the legal ramifications of fanfiction and tips for publishing online. Great introduction to the subject for anyone interested in getting into fanfiction writing, with a lot of the material we cover also being applicable to creative writing in general.

Fanfiction 201: Saturday, 2pm - Panels 3 The character focus panel. An intermediate panel that covers more advanced material pertaining specifically to characters and character creation. Includes material on writing and developing existing characters, creating antagonists, creating original characters, and how characters interact. Also explains the basics of what "Mary Sue" is, along with recommendations to avoid falling into that trap. Generally meant for writers who already have some practice under their belt, but also useful for beginners looking for more specific information.

Fanfiction 369 (18+): Sunday, 9pm - Panels 2 The "How to write sex" panel. Advanced panel discussing how to write erotica in fanfiction. Panel includes a brief lecture and powerpoint presentation with anatomical drawings detailing sexual anatomy and response, how to apply it to realistic erotica, suggestions on how to apply it to unrealistic erotica (tentacles!), and common sexual myths. Also covered are some narrative techniques for writing erotic scenes, such as the impact of language choice, in addition to some basics about incorporating fetish material into the story. Obviously, this is not a panel for children or the easily offended, given it involves some extremely frank discussion of anatomy, sex, kinks, and the occasionally extremely immature crude joke.

Fanfiction 120: Monday, 10am - Panels 3 Catch-all "Open Lab" discussion for various topics that don't quite fit into the other panels. Possible topics include titles and summary-writing, reviewing and reacting to reviews, and use of foreign language in fanfic. In addition, more specific information on writing certain scene types such as action sequences can be covered if there's an interest. Also open to questions and further discussion on topics from the 101 and 201 panels. More relaxed than the 101 or 201 panels, with more room for just bouncing story ideas around.

Once submissions open, we'll keep folks posted on the acceptance status/panels times. As always, recommendations and feedback are most welcome.

13
Panels and Workshops / Re: Self-Publishing Panel (now separate thread)
« on: January 05, 2017, 12:27:01 AM »
That'd be an awesome panel idea! We sometimes get questions along those lines at the fanfiction workshop, and usually we have to regretfully inform folks that we just deal with the "how to write fiction for fanfic" side of things and aren't really equipped with the knowledge or info for actual publishing or for-profit stuff.

Based on my experience with the fanfic workshop, breaking your material up into two one-hour panels is probably your best bet. (Fanime scheduling tends to prefer one-hour slots.) Maybe divide it up along the lines of pre-publishing prep work and the post-publishing distribution/marketing type material?

14
Panels and Workshops / Re: 2017 Panel Requests!
« on: June 09, 2016, 10:31:19 PM »
World building - my friend is interested in a panel that can help explore how to build worlds for writers, game developers, etc, possibly from someone with experience in that area and how they made their fictional world, what worked for them, what helped them get creative and how to keep it all organized.
This is actually something my sister and I touch on in the Fanfiction Workshop. Granted, given you tend not to have a whole lot of worldbuilding to do in most fanfic, it's only briefly discussed, but if there's enough interest in the subject and questions on it at the panel, we can go into more depth. Generally part of the Fanfic 101 panel, but could also come up at the Fanfic 120 open lab. :)

15
I think paranoia over information already part of public record is something to laugh about, yes.  Let me know when they start collecting SSNs and bank account numbers.

Actually... this could be a serious problem, legally speaking, especially if enough people started to make a stink about it. I'm assuming that given Fanime takes place in California, the organization is also registered as a non-profit in California, and that California law applies. Particularly:
Quote
Information-Sharing Disclosure, "Shine the Light" - California Civil Code sections 1798.83-1798.84. This law lets consumers learn how their personal information is shared by companies for marketing purposes and encourages businesses to let their customers opt-out of such information sharing. In response to a customer request, a business must provide either: 1) a list of the categories of personal information disclosed to other companies for their marketing purposes during the preceding calendar year, with the names and addresses of those companies, OR 2) a privacy statement giving the customer a cost-free opportunity to opt-out of such information sharing. Financial services companies subject to the California Financial Information Privacy Act are exempted from this law. See the Recommended Practices, pdf in relation to this law.
And:
Quote
Online Privacy Protection Act of 2003 - Online Privacy Protection Act of 2003 - California Business and Professions Code sections 22575-22579. This law requires operators of commercial web sites or online services that collect personal information on California consumers through a web site to conspicuously post a privacy policy on the site and to comply with its policy. The privacy policy must, among other things, identify the categories of personally identifiable information collected about site visitors and the categories of third parties with whom the operator may share the information. The privacy policy must also provide information on the operator’s online tracking practices. An operator is in violation for failure to post a policy within 30 days of being notified of noncompliance, or if the operator either knowingly and willfully or negligently and materially fails to comply with the provisions of its policy. This law takes effect July 1, 2004.
I just went digging around the Fanime website, and couldn't find any stated privacy policy. (Granted, I'm pretty braindead from the long drive home today and may well have missed it.) In any case, I'm pretty sure that the former would apply to data collected during at-con registration, even if the answer is "We don't share it with marketing third-parties and only retain such information to contact you and send you updates." Pretty sure the latter applies to online pre-reg, in much the same way.

Standard disclaimer: I am not a legal professional, just somebody vaguely familiar with hunting up bits on laws via Google.

16
Ideas and Suggestions / Re: Guests for Fanimecon 2017
« on: June 01, 2016, 12:38:21 AM »
Once again, Team Four Star!!

17
Registration / Re: Reg Line
« on: June 01, 2016, 12:30:08 AM »
I'm particularly interested in hearing what the heck prompted Fanime to change companies on such short notice before the con, personally. The folks in charge are not stupid. I doubt such a drastic change in a core part of the logistics so close to con was done on a lark, meaning there must have been some rather dire emergency making it necessary. Had Fanime staff been prepared for a regline backup that massive, they probably wouldn't have moved registration into the Marriott- it seems they were prepared for and expecting the line to move as briskly as it has the past two years, rather than Revenge of Linecon.

Whether or not we actually get any details or explanation remains a mystery, of course.

18
Fingers crossed that they can get it sorted!

19
Based on the admittedly limited information available, it really does sound like CMR is the one primarily at fault- Fanime paid them to do a job, and if the hotels only got the info from CMR last week, then they have clearly failed at that job, nevermind all the server problems and crap that have plagued hotel reservations in previous years. Fanime seriously needs to look into finding a different third-party organization to handle this.

20
Yeow! So glad my group just doesn't even bother with the at-con hotels. That seriously sucks, doesn't bode well for the new hotel reservation system. Perhaps Fanime needs to seriously drop CMR and look for somebody else to run the housing system. I wonder if the overbooking ties in to people reporting rooms available outside of the waitlist that folks were reporting? If the hotels didn't get the lists until super late, then it's entirely possible that signals got crossed and the hotel simply assumed those rooms were open again and went to fill them up.

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