New Story Premiers

New Story Premiers by Nad331

So this is my first ever contribution to the newsletter. I wasn't quite sure whether "new stories" referred to stories published since the last newsletter or stories that will start by the November newsletter. So I'll do both. Bear with me here. First, there have been an overabundance of stories in the past two months, too many to name here. I thought I'd name some of the most popular. First, Gideon's started his Courney bashing story Courtney and the Violin of Despair. Also, you shouldn't skip Fanny's Total Drama Road Trip, not to be confused with Nonny's Total Drama: Road Trip, which is on hiatus.

Next up, the upcoming stories. Of course, Sprink has more tricks up his sleeve with the sequel to TDTT: Total Drama Super Powered. And also just around the corner, Nayld has a new story coming. It would be nice if I could remember the name, but, alas, I have an extreme case of laziness and cannot bring myself to search for it.

Well, that's all for this time. Remember I'm new to this and, please, go easy on the criticism.

Advice Column

Advice Column by Sunshineandravioli

Hello again, loyal readers! This month we have two letters that need answering, the first of which is from someone who wrote in for advice previously...

Dear Sunshine,

I assume you remember me? I decided to continue the fanfic, but put it on a hiatus so I wouldn't feel pressured to get the chapters out. This has lifted a great load of stress off of my shoulders...but there's one problem. Now I've loaded my schedule with other things and find little time to write said fanfic. In the 2 months or so it's been on hiatus, I've only produced one chapter. I want, by all means, to continue writing, but I need some ways to bust my procrastination...and now I settle back in the irony and wait for the end of the month.

--Welcome back to my life

Dear Welcome Back to My Life,

Hello again! :D Ah, procrastination… plaguing the human race since the dawn of time. I think your main problem is, as you’ve said, you’ve loaded your schedule with other things. If these “other things” are real-life commitments, then you should definitely focus on those first and concern yourself with the fanfic later. On the other hand, if your schedule is filled up with other fanfics and camps and whatnot, there are a few things you can try. I would suggest selecting a few fanfics (somewhere between one and three is probably ideal) to focus on for the time being, so that you’re not overwhelmed by trying to pump out a new chapter for dozens of stories every week or two. The same goes for camps- pick out a few to focus your attention on, especially ones that you find particularly enjoyable or are very active at the moment. Then, if one of those camps slows down or goes on hiatus, you can switch up to another, more active camp- or just put more focus on fanfics! You can also use your chosen camps as a motivation for writing (ie. “When I finish half the chapter, I’ll go RP on [insert camp here] as a reward.”). Also, don’t pressure yourself and make yourself believe you have to get the fanfic restarted right away. If you feel really pressured to get it going again and pump out chapters, all it’s going to do is make you miserable and probably make the quality of your writing go down. Just focus on other fics right now if you feel more committed to them, and return to the other fic when you’re ready. No one will hold it against you, trust me. We all have days where we just want to chuck away the word document and not have to concern ourselves with the fic anymore. XD

I hope I’ve been able to help you out!

-Love and Ravioli, Sunshine ♥

Good luck with your fanfic, Welcome Back to My Life! Our second letter is from someone struggling to become known...

Dear Sunshine,

Forgive me if I sound whiny, but I really want your advice on how to become more popular both story-wise and comment-wise. I know a lot of users who just got here and they got real successful stories in just a few weeks or months, while I've been here for quite some time and I still don't think I'm that good when it comes to comments, but I'd still like story-wise help as well. So, Sunshine, can you please tell me the best non-complicated ideas I can try to be a more successful author and user on the wiki? I'd really appreciate it if you tell me how. :)

--From Just A Guy Guy

Dear Just A Guy Guy,

It’s really difficult to become popular now, as there are so many popular and talented users on the wiki that you have to have something truly original and amazing to even turn a few heads. Thus, I think you should just put some focus and drive into working on and improving upon your writing, and making sure you enjoy the process as well! If even one person sees the effort and enjoyment that goes into your writing, that will get you some comments both from them and from word of mouth. You should also put your name on the subscriptions page if you haven’t already, and make sure to comment on other stories, blog posts, etc. so your name gets out there. I would also suggest trying to post your new chapters at a time there’s a lot of traffic on the wiki, so that more people will notice your edit and perhaps wander to the page out of curiosity. But above all, find a story you enjoy writing and put all the effort you can into making it great. That alone will get you on the right track!

I’m sure I’ll be hearing about you soon! :)

~Love and Ravioli, Sunshine ♥

I hope your quest to become more well-known is sucessful, Just A Guy Guy! Thanks to both of you for writing in, and remember that you or anyone else out there is welcome to send in an anonymous letter here for the next newsletter! Until then... love and ravioli, Sunshine!

Featured User Interviews

Featured User Interviews by Reddude

Reddude's Interview

  • Interview Reddy: Hello “Featured User Interviews” viewers! Today we have the Total Drama Island Fanfiction Wikia Featured User of August 2010; Reddude!
  • Featured Reddy: Hi Reddy!
  • Interview Reddy: Welcome to the studio, Reddy! Excited for the interview?
  • Featured Reddy: Oh, yes!
  • Interview Reddy: Great! What was your first thought when you became Featured User of August 2010?
  • Featured Reddy: First I thanked all my supporters, and all that.
  • Interview Reddy: Kind of lame.
  • Featured Reddy: You know we’re the same person; right?
  • Interview Reddy: Moving on, which of your stories, finished, in-progress, or in-production do you think the wiki will enjoy most?
  • Featured Reddy: Total Drama Hotel, mostly because it’s my first attempt at writing a competition story that I’m committed to. I’ve also received a lot of positive feedback.
  • Interview Reddy: ‘Kay, what is your favorite story/series to read on the wiki?
  • Featured Reddy: Well, my favorite stories to read on the wiki are Total Drama Time Travel and Total Drama Lost. They really inspire me. I also love the plot of said stories.
  • Interview Reddy: What do you think you are best known for on the wiki?
  • Featured Reddy: Probably being the guy who cancels a bunch of stuff. XD Either that or “That Red User”.
  • Interview Reddy: Which user(s) inspire you to write Fanfiction for Total Drama Island?
  • Featured Reddy: Probably Sprinklemist and Bocaj910. They’re very supportive of my work, but I have tons of other users who inspire me but the list would probably bore you to death.
  • Interview and Featured Reddy: =O
  • Interview Reddy: What are your plans for your future, near and far, on the wiki?
  • Featured Reddy: Scheduling; One of the many things I’m horrible at. XD
  • Interview Reddy: Now for the question everyone’s dieing to know; Where in the world is Waldo?!
  • Featured Reddy: Waldo is secretly stalking an old lady ninja.
  • Interview Reddy: Who is you’re favorite character to watch on Total Drama?
  • Featured Reddy: Alejandro; definitely.
  • Interview Reddy: Are you said the interview’s over.
  • Featured Reddy: No, I don’t have to hang around you anymore! =D
  • Interview Reddy: *Facepalm* that’s all for this episode of “Featured User Interviews”; come back next time!

Gideoncrawle's Interview

  • Excited for the interview?

It is my desire, it is my wish

To set out to sing, to begin to recite,

To let a song of our clan glide on, to sing a family lay.

The words are melting in my mouth, utterances dropping out,

Coming to my tongue, being scattered about on my teeth.

Beloved friend, my boon companion, my fair boyhood comrade,

Start now to sing with me, begin to recite together

Now that we have come together, have come from two directions.

Seldom do we come together, meet one another

On these wretched marches, these poor northern parts.

Let us clasp hand in hand, fingers in fingers,

So that we may sing fine things, give voice to the best things

For those dear ones to hear, for those desiring to know them

Among the rising younger generation, among the people which is growing up,

Those songs got about, those lays inspired by

Old Chris McLean’s false tongue, the depths of Eva’s fury,

The point of the knife of Chef Hatchet, a man with a far-roving mind, the range of Duncan’s bow,

The remote corners of Wawanakwa’s fields, the heaths of the Muskoka District.

These my father formerly sang while carving an ax handle,

These my mother taught me while turning her spindle,

Me a child rolling on the floor in front of her knee,

Miserable milkbeard, little clabbermouth.

There was no lack of songs in the Dock of Shame, nor did Heather lack magic charms.

In the songs the bonfire grew old, in the charms Lindsay disappeared,

In the lays Cody died, Bridgette in her frolics.

There are still other songs, magic words learned of,

Plucked from the wayside, broken off from the heather,

Torn from thickets, dragged from saplings,

Rubbed off the top of hay, ripped from lanes

When I was going about as a herdsman, as a child in cow pastures,

On honeyed hillocks, on lovely knolls,

Following dusky Blackie, going along with spotted Frisky.

The cold recited me a lay, the rain kept bringing me songs.

The winds brought another song, the waves of the sea drove some to me.

The birds added songs, the treetops magic sayings.

These I wound up in a ball, arranged in a clew.

I thrust the ball into my sled, the clew into my sleigh;

I pulled it home on my sled, on my sleigh to the threshing barn,

Put it up in the storehouse loft in a round copper box.

For a long time my lays have been in the cold, housed in darkness.

Shall I pull the lays out of the cold, draw the songs out of the frost,

Bring my box into the house to the end of the long bench

Under the fine ridgepole, under the lovely roof?

Shall I open my chest of words, unlock my song box,

Clip the end off the ball, undo the knot in the clew?

Thus I will sing a really fine lay, intone a beautiful one

Out of rye bread, barley beer.

If no one happens to bring any beer, serves no table beer,

I will sing from a leaner mouth, intone on water

To gladden this evening of ours, to honor this memorable day

Or to delight the morrow, to begin a new morn.

--from The Kalevala (compiled by Elias Lonnrot, translated by Francis Peabody Magoun, Jr.)

  • What was your first thought when you became a Featured User?

I thought, “Yes! Now I can make my 1,000th edit something truly extraordinary!” The prospect of using my 1,000th edit for my “acceptance speech” was, in fact, the main reason I cared whether I was Featured in July, or August, or September. (Had it taken much longer than that, I might have started to feel like a TAU-style perpetual bridesmaid.)

  • Which of your stories, finished, in-progress, or in-production do you think the wiki will enjoy most?

Well, Legacy was lightning in a bottle. In addition to introducing the wiki community to my writing style—a style unlike any other seen here before—Legacy has a level of emotional power that, quite frankly, I hadn’t thought my writing capable of. Because it was my first story, and was such a huge success (the first short story to win Featured Story honors, among other distinctions) it will surely be the story that every other story I ever write here is measured against. Early success can be a mixed blessing that way.

That said, I do have one story in development that, if reader reaction to the previews is any indication, has the potential to be as big a hit as Legacy was. That story is my TDI reimagining, discussed more fully below.

  • What is your favorite story/series to read on the wiki?

My preference is generally for noncompetition stories with canon characters in the central roles. As with almost everyone else here, Gigi’s signature story, Life After Lies is a favorite of mine, and I also have a high opinion of the After They're Gone collaboration. Nor shall I fail to speak well of TDIRM’s one-shots, for that is the story form where I think he is at his best.

Recently, I finally found the time to start reading a few competition stories. My favorite type of competition story is the TDI reimagining, and my favorite of these is Kgman04’s reimagining, Total Drama Island...? My favorite original-character competition story, at this point, is Total Drama the New Challenge, by UltimateTORINOR, partly because the level of descriptive detail is a big help in keeping the characters straight. I routinely support both stories on the Featured Story ballot.

  • What do you think you are best known for on the wiki?

Being the longest-lived and most cleverly disguised of the QOS sockpuppets. *revives fainted Admins with smelling salts*

Seriously, though, I’m best known for being different. There are just so many ways, from writing style to demographics, that I am like no one else here. My writing style, which Gigi has called “elegant” on more than one occasion, helped to put me on the map, and I tend to apply the same style to such mundane things as blog comments and talk page posts. (And, naturally, to this interview.)

Most of my differences are related, in one way or another, to my status as the only registered Old Fart on a kid-dominated wiki. This means, among other things, that I was brought up in a different way and my life has different reference points. For example, I remember what life was like before the Internet, which didn’t come into widespread use until I was in my 30s. I even remember what life was like before things like VCRs and cable TV, neither of which became common until I had reached adulthood. I remember, from the days before we could time-shift TV programming, how I would hurry home from high school so I could catch the 4:00 start of the Star Trek reruns.

So, how have I thrived here as the demographic outsider? By treating the kids here as equals and by not trying to hide my age.

There’s an old adage that states, “If you want to be respected, you have to be respectable.” If I had tried to pass myself off as a teen, I would eventually have been found out, and people would probably have thought that I was a pedophile or something. Instead, I was very upfront about my Old Fartness and became a respected elder statesmen. Furthermore, I gained that respect, not be demanding it as some sort of birthright, but by earning it through my conduct and my writing.

That said, there may be some here who are uncomfortable with my “special” qualities. If there are such people here, they haven’t gotten on my case; they’ve merely avoided contact with me. That’s their prerogative and, if I may be so bold, their loss.

  • Which user(s) inspire you the most to write fanfiction for Total Drama island?

That’s a bit of a trick question, in a way, because writing fanfiction was not my original purpose in coming to the wiki. Originally, I was going to become a registered user for one purpose, and one purpose alone: to promote my crossover, Total Drama Island, by Gilbert and Sullivan (TDI-G&S). Because TDI-G&S (pronounced “Tiddigus”) is heavily hyperlinked to other sites and retells the canon story arc instead of offering an original plot, it is as much a work of scholarship as it is a story.

Then, one day, whilst working on TDI-G&S, I suddenly had an idea that became the premise for Legacy. The rest, as they say, is history.

I have, however, written two things for the wiki that were expressly inspired by wiki users: Gigi in one case, and the Courtney haters in the other.

Gigi was one of my first close friends on the wiki, so much so that my correspondence accounts for almost half of her 2nd archive. When Life After Lies became only the second noncomp to be enshrined as a Featured Story (back in April), I honored her achievement by drawing from the TDI-G&S verses to create a Gilbert & Sullivan playlist for LAL. Originally consisting of 15 songs, I have since expanded the playlist to twice that, and I expect to be adding even more when Gigi posts LAL’s remaining chapters. (Will there be selections for every new chapter? Regrettably, I can’t promise that.) The playlist currently has over 70 minutes of music.

Going from the sublime to the ridiculous, I have read several Courtney-bashing stories, and I found them uniformly dreadful. As I have noted elsewhere, there’s nothing inherently wrong with having a single character suffer a string of misfortunes, since most comedy is based on the misfortunes of others. (How many readers’ hearts were made glad every time something unpleasant happened to Heather, especially in Season 1? Let’s see a show of hands!) For most people, though, such mishaps can quickly cease to be funny if it seems that it’s being done viciously, and viciousness is the common failing of the Courtney-bashing stories I have read.

Perversely, the execrable quality of these stories is what inspired me to write my own. I wanted to show the Courtney-haters (and other character bashers, for that matter) how it’s done, so to speak. I wanted to show them that they can beat on their favorite punching bag, if they must, in a tasteful way and without sacrificing story quality. The result was Courtney and the Violin of Despair, scheduled for completion on 6 September.

  • What do you plan for the future, near and far, for on the wiki?

For the immediate future, I will continue posting the wiki version of TDI-G&S. Posting one episode chapter per week, the scheduled completion date is 31 October. This may be a moot point, though, because now that the full version is available for download, I suspect the wiki version won’t be getting nearly as much traffic as before.

I also have a behind-the-scenes role on the writing team for Spenny’s brainchild, No Boundaries: A Wikia Pokemon Story. Because my knowledge of the Pokemon universe is limited, I won’t actually be writing chapters. Instead, I suggest ways to improve phrasing, word choice and descriptive color without changing the essential character of my teammates’ writing. I have always been better at refining than creating, and this “copy editor” role plays to my strengths. Spenny and co. are also planning to use some of my ideas for working in TDI characters and references.

For the more distant future, my TDI reimagining, The Legend of Total Drama Island (LTDI) is my main project, and my progress has been promising. I now have most of the elimination order set, I have some idea of what I want to happen in nearly all of the episodes, and I have a number of finished scenes.

I have posted the Prologue to reserve the story title, and my best guess is that LTDI will officially launch in Spring 2011. The launch date is distant for two reasons: first, my defense against writing myself into a corner (as well as my defense against writer’s block, Sunshine Syndrome, and related ailments), is to not start posting a story until I’ve finished writing it; and second, my sports photography takes a great deal of my time in the fall and winter.

Given my strengths and weaknesses, as noted above, I expect LTDI to follow the original more closely than some reimaginings. Indeed, one of my most important early changes merely corrects a continuity lapse in the original. As with the premise of Legacy, it is a minor change with far-reaching effects. (Another early change, though, is a major departure.)

For the most part, the players who will get deep into the game are either (a) those whom I feel the most comfortable writing for, or (b) those whom I have a specific need for in one late episode or another. How well I liked a given character in the original actually has little bearing on how far that character will go in LTDI.

As I have mentioned elsewhere, LTDI will have a couple of structural elements that, as far as I know, nobody has used here before. This is in line with the tradition of the wiki’s writers breaking new ground with their first competition stories. I also expect that LTDI will be quite long, because my writing style is so description-intensive. (I don’t expect it to be as long as Ult’s story will eventually be, but it may come close.)

In addition, I expect LTDI to make certain references to the wiki’s users and content. I’m not actively trying to think of such references, but a few have come to mind unbidden. Currently planned references include one of Sunshine’s characters (who is mentioned by name, and who may even appear in one scene), one of Spenny’s stories (also mentioned by name, although there is no reference to the content), and a certain pixie remarkable for culinary specialization. I also have ideas for a couple of LAL references, including a parody of the torture scene.

  • Where’s Waldo?

Hereupon we’re both agreed, *conspiratorial wink-wink-nudge-nudge*

All that we two

Do agree to

We’ll secure by solemn deed,

To prevent all

Error mental.

You on Sunshine are to call

With a story

Grim and gory

How this Waldo died, and all

I declare to,

You will swear to.

Tell a tale of cock and bull,

Of convincing detail full

Tale tremendous,

Heaven defend us!

What a tale of cock and bull!

--W.S. Gilbert, The Yeomen of the Guard

*speaks normally* Waldo lies at the bottom of the river Thames, may God have mercy on his soul. I left him there after his ill-fated attempt to escape from the Tower of London, where he had been in residence after being condemned to die for having dealings with the Devil. It all came to pass thusly:

Who fired that shot?

Who fired that shot?

Waldo's Fate

*cues music*

Like a ghost his vigil keeping—

Or a specter all-appalling—

I beheld a figure creeping—

I should rather call it crawling—

He was creeping—

He was crawling—

He was creeping, creeping—


He was creeping—

He was crawling—

He was creeping, creeping—


Not a moment’s hesitation—

I myself upon him flung,

With a hurried exclamation

To his draperies I hung;

Then we closed with one another

In a rough-and-tumble smother;

That fiend Waldo and no other

Was the man to whom I clung!

After mighty tug and tussle—

It resembled more a struggle—

He by dint of stronger muscle—

Or by some infernal juggle—

From my clutches quickly sliding—

I should rather call it slipping—

With a view, no doubt, of hiding—

Or escaping to the shipping—

With a gasp, and with a quiver—

I’d describe it as a shiver—

Down he dived into the river,

And, alas, I cannot swim.

Ingenuity is catching;

With the view my King of pleasing,

Arquebus from sentry snatching—

I should rather call it seizing—

With an ounce or two of lead

I dispatched him through the head!

I discharged it without winking,

Little time I lost in thinking,

Like a stone I saw him sinking—

I should say a lump of lead!

Like a stone, my boy, I said—

Like a heavy lump of lead.

Like a stone, my boy, I said—

Like a heavy lump of lead.

Anyhow, the man is dead,

Whether stone or lump of lead!

--from The Yeomen of the Guard

  • What is your favorite character to watch on Total Drama?

The Season 1 Gwen. I didn’t like the way the Season 2 writers defanged her and, as I write, she hasn’t done much in Season 3, although she seems to have regained much of her original attitude.

Other favorites include LeShawna and Izzy. Eva is my favorite minor character (what can I say? I like girls) and I was disappointed when the writers turned her into a one-joke character. Chef Hatchet is my favorite male character, and #3 overall behind Gwen and LeShawna. I like the Season 3 newcomers much better than I thought I might, although they’re not likely to ever be among my favorites.

Conversely, the characters I like least are the Season 2 Courtney (I have no serious objections to the Season 1 and Season 3 versions), the Season 2 Duncan (Season 2 DxC is a match made in hell) and Owen.

I rank Owen so low mainly because he was so heavily overused in Seasons 1&2. For example, I don’t automatically object to bathroom humor, for which Owen is the show’s go-to character, but I do think that a little goes a long way. Most of his other running gags didn’t age much better. With his excesses toned down in TDWT, I would probably rank the Season 3 Owen somewhere in the middle.

  • Sad the interviews over?

And now the measure of my song is done:

The work has reached its end; the book is mine,

None shall unwrite these words: nor angry Jove,

Nor war, nor fire, nor flood,

Nor venomous time that eats our lives away.

Then let that morning come, as come it will,

When this disguise I carry shall be no more,

And all the treacherous years of life undone,

And yet my name shall rise to heavenly music,

The deathless music of the circling stars.

As long as this is the Eternal Wiki

These lines shall echo from the lips of men,

As long as fanfiction speaks truth on earth,

That immortality is mine to wear.

--Ovid, The Metamorphoses (translation by Horace Gregory)
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