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IFQ Issue #47

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Arts and Poetry Mod

Joined: 10 Oct 2010
Topics: 122
Posts: 1858
Location: Surrounded by many beautiful naked men



PostPosted: Mon Mar 04, 2013 10:38 pm    Post subject: IFQ Issue #47 Reply with quote

The madness has struck here on IF with new Storygames, fantastic RPs, and the daily mad rush for the Inn by IFians new and old! What was the spark that ignited the blaze that swept through the city, re-igniting IF's true glories? Who knows, and we're all so mad, who cares!?

Story by Tikanni Corazon

Over the last few days, the City of IF has been waiting on tenter-hooks to see which of the population of our fair city will put their names forward for the position of Mayor/Mayoress. That's right, folks – the election is upon us!

It was reported in last month's IFQ that our current Mayoress Andolyn would very likely be going for the position again this time around, and those rumours have now been confirmed as fact. And over the last couple of days, the first of her opposition have made their intentions known.

After much personal deliberation on the subject, the current Vice Mayoress, Tikanni Corazon has decided to put herself forward for the position for the first time in her three and a half years residency in the City. The other party in question is the IFQ Editor, PopeAlessandrosXVIII, who's trying his hand once again. Will any others emerge to attempt to gain the title?

Regardless of who comes out top dog, the IFQ guarantees a full statement from the winner, as well as quotes from all candidates involved. Watch this space!

Character Interview

Dressed in a long black coat, Reporter Olivia Luviere enters the dank bar at the heart of Signet City, followed by her work partner, Rufus. She looks around in distaste, at the dark figures sitting at the bar or situated around tables in tight huddles. Leaning against the wall nearby are a couple of women, scantily clad and clearly prostitutes. The air in the room is a mixture of cigarette smoke and beer, with a faint undertone of body odour. She nods to Rufus to stay by the door, tensing her jaw slightly.

Swallowing her pride, Miss Luviere moves further into the building, glancing around at the people currently inhabiting it with slight discomfort, feeling eyes upon her. She spots the table indicated in the phone call, nearly hidden in the shadows in the back corner of the room, a single red rose in a tall glass vase marking it's centre. Gingerly, she threads her way through the surrounding tables, removing her coat, and taking a seat in one of the two vacant chairs. Her interview isn't here yet, but she was informed by her editor earlier that it was a juicy story, so she is willing to forgive the lateness.

The barkeep approaches, collecting the used glasses from a nearby table, before glancing at her.

Barkeep: You wanting a drink?

Miss Luviere: A vodka and tonic please.

She eyes the smudged and stained glasses in his hand, hoping that hers would be thoroughly washed beforehand. She straightens the grey pencil skirt cladding her thighs and absent-mindedly tidies her golden-blonde hair. The barkeep gives a nod and wanders off. Miss Luviere wonders why her interview chose such a location for the meeting.

Stone enters and everybody in the room keeps their eyes down, not daring to look at him directly as if he were the sun. He takes a seat next to the reporter as the barkeep places a bottle of high-end tequila in front of him.

He takes a drink and keeps his eyes in front of him as the barkeep hurries away.

Stone: So you're the broad, I'm supposed to meet? Not bad.

Miss Luviere: Yes, I'm the...broad. *holds out a hand towards him* I'm Miss Olivia Luviere, Mr...?

Stone: *takes a drink* Stone. Folks call me Stone.

Withdrawing her hand, narrowing her eyes slightly for a moment at the rudeness of it being left unshaken, Miss Luviere sets her expression into one of subtle pleasantness, keeping her eyes upon the unkempt form of the pale, dark-haired man before her.

Miss Luviere: Well, it's good to meet you, Mr Stone. * glances around at the bar* Lovely location you chose here, I must say.

Stone: *nods* No Mister...just Stone. And it is a nice place, isn't it. Not as nice as some places I've been but for an interview its perfect.

Miss Luviere: If you say so, 'Stone'. *smile widens slightly * Well, let us begin the interview, if you're ready?

Stone: Sure thing, Olivia.

She raises her eyebrows slightly at the usage of her first name, but decides to say nothing.

Miss Luviere: Very good. So, from what my boss tells me, you're described as being a 'man in the know'...Would that be a correct assumption?

Stone: Quite correct. For example: I know that your partners name is Rufus. The barkeep has been having an affair for the last two years with a man while his wife is in the cancer ward. She just passed away ten minutes ago and he has yet to be notified. He will though, right after closing.

Stone takes a drink and smiles.

She frowns a little at the mention of Rufus' name, and it only increases as Stone lists what he knows of the barkeep...information that should be private.

Miss Luviere: do you know all of that?

Stone: Its my job to know things. There is a complicated network of spies, informants and agents who all report to me. I then take all the information I gather, file it away and remember it all. Photographic memory and all. It is my business to know about everyone that ever sets foot in my city and know every little detail.

He smirks as he takes another drink.

She fumbles absent-mindedly inside the neckline of her white blouse, latching her fingers around the silver chain around her neck, and twiddling with the tiny heart pendant, looking thoughtful.

Miss Luviere: Is that how you think of it? As your city?

Stone: Yes. Yes I do. I see everything, I hear everything. I've slept with the Mayor's wife. This is my city. There was someone who used to own it, but I took it from them. Forcibly

She eyes him, feeling slightly braver for a moment.

Miss Luviere: You seem rather egotistical, if you don't mind me voicing my observations?

Stone: I don't mind in the least, Olivia. I am egotistical. I freely admit it.

Miss Luviere: *smiles * Well, I suppose the fact that you freely admit it redeems you slightly.

Miss Luviere: So, what do you use all of this information for, Stone? And how did you get into such a business in the first place?

Stone: My father was an information broker for a crime boss. I was brought into the family and worked as a fixer. Cleaning up the messes and so on. Then I was promoted. As for what I do with it, sometime I sell the information. Other times, I use it as blackmail to get something I want or a client wants. Other times I use it to help pass along a message. It all depends on the info and the occasion.

Miss Luviere: I'm assuming that you 'work' with some rather seedy characters in that respect?

Stone: The seediest. Gang leaders, mobsters, politicians. I meet and mingle with all of them.

She nods slowly, taking up her drink, discreetly checking that the glass has been cleaned, before taking a sip, then replacing the glass on the table.

Miss Luviere: And is your father proud of how his son has turned out?

Stone: *take a long drink from the bottle* He's dead.

Miss Luviere: Oh...

She looks down at her lap for a moment.

Miss Luviere: I'm sorry to hear that... Were you and he close?

Stone: When I was a kid, yes. Teenage years still fairly close. After that, no. At the time of his death, we were to the point of only speaking on holidays.

Miss Luviere: ...How did he die?

Stone: He was shot. Back of the head. On the Signet Bridge. Facing Signet tower.

Miss Luviere: That's...very detailed description... *swallows slightly *

Miss Luviere: Well...Stone, that should be enough to keep my boss happy.

She gets to her feet, slipping her coat back around her lithe form, and flicking her long, golden locks free. She pauses, itching to chew her lower lip, but knowing that it will show her discomfort.

Miss Luviere: May I ask one more thing of you?

Stone: Sure thing, Olivia. What do you want to know?

Miss Luviere: Well...if you're so in the know...tell me something about me.

The slight smile on her lips is mirthless, her eyes telling how uncomfortable she is with the request she's making, but still needing to know for sure if Stone has been truthful.

Stone stands and polishes off the tequila bottle before making eye contact with the reporter for the very first time in the entire interview.

She's unable to hold back a swallow, finding the direct eye contact unnerving somehow.

Stone: Luviere is you mother's maiden name. She was french. Your father was an English bastard and beat her. He was arrested and you two fled so now you use her maiden name. You got the pendant around your neck three years ago on your 21st birthday from a Uriel Summers. You were engaged but he ran off with another woman a couple weeks before the big day. Its been a year since it happened but you still cling to that trinket because you love him while he resides in France with the same woman he left you for.

Stone: Paris to be specific. How'd I do?

Her jaw tightened in a combination of anxiety and annoyance that he dared to bring up her parents and Uriel. Her hand moves up to her neck, stroking down the chain at the mention of her ex's name. Her whole stance tells that everything Stone said was correct. Nodding slowly, unable to answer his question, she starts to move away from the table, turning back to Stone briefly.

Miss Luviere: I thank you for your time, Stone.

Miss Luviere: She nods curtly, then hurries towards the exit, grabbing a hold of Rufus's arm as she pushes the door open and steps outside.

He follows her out and waves as she departs.

Stone: Anytime you want another know where I am.

The characters of Stone and Miss Olivia Luviere were played by Misterbiz and Tikanni Corazon

Who's "King of the Jungle" now!?

And now for this month's picture!

Alright, this month for a little change. You can either submit a caption, or a short story about the picture, it's subject, or how the picture makes one feel. Have fun!

A Figure in the Mist – Tikanni Corazon – 5
Escaping Eternia – misterbiz – 4
Kissing The Darkness – misterbiz – 4
The Other Side – Tikanni Corazon – 4
Getting Lucky – misterbiz – 4

Flying to the top of the list out of nowhere, A Figure in the Mist by Tikanni Corazon takes first place this month with five favs! Second place with four favs is Mr. Biz's Escaping Eternia. Following that up, Mr. Biz makes a second appearance in the Top 5 with Kissing The Darkness in third place with four favs. Tikanni Corazon also makes a second appearance on the list in fourth place with The Other Side holding four favs. For the hat trick, we have Getting Lucky by Mr. Biz in fifth place with four favs.

Story by Mister Biz.

Boils and ghouls, it is that time once again. Time for you to dive headlong into the Mister Biz Mindset. The next few issues I will be dishing out some advice designed at helping all you novice horror writers out there. Kinda like what Tika is doing with her world-building and using fantasy. I'm going to be helping you dig deep and bring out the best terror that you can. Alright now, let's begin. This week we are going to talk about one of the key factors in any story. Setting. However, I am going to give you examples on how anywhere can be the perfect horror setting if done right.

Think to some of your favorite horror flicks and think about the locations you see. Abandoned space station. Hospital. Middle of the woods. All of these places tend to put the chills into people so it makes sense that they would work so well in the horror world. But let's look at a couple different examples, shall we?

Stephen King sets most of his works in Derry, Castle Rock or other small towns in Maine. Now, I know that some people have a nice drinking game when it comes to Stephen King films and that it being set in Maine is one of the drinks but I'm just going to say that that is actually a fairly idiotic thing. One, he lives in Maine so it makes sense that his towns and tales are mostly set there and two, look at any story set in Derry or Castle Rock and after all the horror that they've seen...would you want to live there?

Small towns like that have the perfect horror potential because typically they aren't scary. Sure, suburbia may seem scary cause its all uniform but small towns. No. I'm from one. No. So when things start going downhill, horror picks up.

Now another example I'm going to use is Bentley Little. His tales mostly take place in Arizona. See above reason why. Bentley Little takes places that aren't typically scary like say a big franchise store similar to Wal-Mart and makes it terrifying.

And take a peek at the Wizard of Oz or Alice in Wonderland, while they are magnificent tales of fantasy. They are also places where one could set a horror tale. Everything about them with the right tone and right tweak is a setting in a horror movie.

I hope this has helped. Next issue, we will be discussing mood and flow. Until next time my loyal minions, I am Mister Biz and this has been my Mindset.

Article by HalfEmptyHero

Who is my favorite? Anyone that knows me can guess the answer with ease, as it is the same answer I give when asked about my favorite anything. Quite simply, I don't have one. My brain is unable to make such a choice, and when I try I am met with only blankness.

But that's a rather inappropriate answer in this case, as it really serves no purpose except further inflating my ego as I proclaim that "I am too good for favorites." So, I will instead write about an author I like. There are many authors that I like, but I have decided to go with Philip K. Dick.

I had watched many movies based on his writing growing up, without even knowing it. I can remember watching Minority Report, Blade Runner, and Total Recall (yes, the eye-exploding Arnold one) without knowing they were even written by the same person. And then, for some reason, I was interested enough in Blade Runner to find out who wrote it. Immediately, I bought two of his books: Ubik and Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep. I read Ubik first, and loved it. It was a tale of existential madness, and I finished it not knowing what had just happened. It was fascinating, and well written, and really helped to define what I thought a good science fiction novel should be like. A little later I finshed Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, liked it better than the movie, and decided I needed more.

At this point I knew I was going to like pretty much anything he wrote, but I decided to do a little more research. After a quick trip on the interwebz, I heard a crazy story involving PKD, an aching tooth, and a beam of purple light. I had found the VALIS Trilogy.

The first book was wonderfully witty, and thought provoking, and curious in many different ways. It brought quotes like, "Fish Cannot Carry Guns," and heralded odd yet captivating conversations between the characters. These are the sort of conversations one has with himself in the confines his own mind, but PKD put them into real conversations among members of the Rhipidon Society. And it worked.

I had high expectations for the second book, The Divine Invasion, and rarely are those expectations met, let alone exceeded. But it did, and it remains as one of my favorite (for lack of a better term) books of all time. The characters in it were so real, and so spectacularly frightening. Not in the traditional sense, mind you, but in how genuine yet exotic they truly were as individuals. The characters were so human, and so vulnerable, yet strong and quite literally godlike. PKD was able to masterfully meld together a mix of science fiction, religion, and philosophy to create something more than a mere linear story.

Unfortunately, I don't feel like I am doing Dick justice, so really there is only one way to realize how great he truly is, and that is to read them yourself. Perhaps you don't like science fiction, or religion (he is quite religious, though not in the mainstream way), but that doesn't matter. If you like reading, and you respect a man's attempt at understanding life, then you will like Dick. Give Dick a chance.

Again it is time to take some time out of your day, and peruse the more poetic aspect of the written word.

HalfEmptyHero - Wise Men Weary

Wise men stay weary
of that which stands on
silent feet

And let loose careful
That only the whimsied
could ever meet.

Smee – No Name

It starts off well, feeling fine.
Two at a time I climb them.
Base camp one, no sign of a whine.
Water please, you're a gem.

On I go, with far more care,
Only one step at a time.
Scale the heights, conquer a stair,
Victory will be mine.

Knees are wobbling, sweat is pouring,
I need a break, a pause is so near.
Base camp 2, I feel like snoring,
Fall asleep right here.

Foolish boy, futile endevour.
A perfectly good lift over there.
Getting fit, you think you're clever
Never again climb the stair!

D-Lotus - Lean verses

Light are the scrolls
Of ancient wisdom;
Lithe the emotion
Surged from a caress;
Limber the sunrise
That dilutes the darkness.

Weightless is the motion
Of memories caught adrift,
Frothing in the twilight
Like foam upon a sea.

Slender are the stems
Of fluorescent ideation;
Sprightly the shadow
Of an unspoken dream;
Slight the white sinew
Which rolls clouds to meet.

Life at its finest
Is captured only
In lean verses.

Mr. Biz - After-Life Sentence

Voices echo through the halls
From someone that I can't see
Their footsteps bounce off the concrete
I know that they're coming for me
They reach out to pull me down
Shadow hands that start to suffocate
Beckon me to join them down in the darkness
Down in the hole I will forever stay

Cuz here the dead are never quiet
Fueled by unbridled rage
And the blood spilled in a riot
They smile as you come in the entrance
Cuz now they've got company
In their after-life sentence

They scream and they shout
As they relive their final stands
They choke, fight, scratch and bite
Denfending themselves the best they can
Look to the north, up in the tower
There sits the mastermind two
Go on up, feel free to say hello
I'm sure that they will welcome you

Here the dead are never quiet
Fueled by unbridled rage
And the blood spilled in a riot
They smile and refuse to give repentance
They are perfectly fine serving
Their forever after-death sentence

Way out back in Montana way
Is a home to those who've gone away
Tis a prison of mortar, blood and stone
You'll enter by yourself but won't be alone
Men lurk in the shadows, begging you to stay
See how long you last when the spirits come to play
Try to stay the night and see if you can survive
But, tempt those within and you won't come out alive

Cuz here the dead are never quiet
Fueled by unbridled rage
And the blood spilled in a riot
They smile and refuse to give repentance
They are perfectly fine serving
Their forever after-death sentence

Here the dead are never quiet
Fueled by unbridled rage
And the blood spilled in a riot
They smile and refuse to give repentance
They are perfectly fine serving
Their after-life sentence

PopeAlessandrosXVIII – Upon The Ocean

I feel my life
once the most precious to me
slip slowly away
into the waves striking me

In my hands
I clutch tight to me
the final line
keeping alive the dearest to me

With a soft sigh
the line slips away from me
with a light splash
there simply is no more “me”

It's the ocean
that took it all away from me
and upon which
I found what was truly meant for me

Submit your own poetry to PopeAlessandrosXVIII to get it published here in the IF Quirer!

Story by Tikanni Corazon

World-Building ~ Part 2

We started this last month with what I deemed to be a simple way to start out with building a world, though there have been a couple of people who thought that I was calling the world of Tolkien 'simple' despite saying several times in the article that I wasn't calling it simple at all, just outlining a simple way of starting out with your creations. And I think I was actually correct in my way of thinking, to be honest. But, just to clarify for such readers, I was NOT calling Tolkien's world simple. Just so we're clear.

Moving on to part two of this Writing Class. At the end of the article last week, I mentioned Terry Brooks' Shannara and The Word and the Void books. Now, I've spoken to a lot of people about Terry Brooks' novels in the past, and many people can't seem to really get into them, though I have no idea why, as I can safely say that he's one of my favourite authors. Regardless, it is he that I'm using as a base for this article.

Terry Brooks Shannara series started out with the original Shannara Trilogy, followed by the Heritage of Shannara Tetraology, and then a prequel to the original trilogy. These novels are set in a typical fantasy world, based mostly around the races of Elves and Men, with dwarves, trolls, demons and wizards thrown in on occasion. At this point, one could probably say that that his world was much like that of Tolkien in complexity of basic creation.

He then wrote The Word and the Void Trilogy. Upon first reading these books, one cannot find a connection to the Shannara novels. They are set a couple of thousand years before the Shannara books, and in our modern day world basically. They do include demons, they do include magic, but the connection doesn't really go much further. Indeed, the Shannara stories seem to have no connection with 'our' world at all thus far. One would take it as a pure fantasy and that be it.

He then moved back to Shannara, with The Voyage of the Jerle Shannara Trilogy, which takes place after the Heritage of Shannara Tetraology, and it is here that glimpse of a past world creeps into the mix. A world that used technology rather than magic. A world that's long gone and lost in the past for the most part. These in turn were followed by the High Druid of Shannara Trilogy. And then by the Genesis of Shannara Trilogy. And it is here that The Word and the Void and Shannara become one.

The Genesis of Shannara takes place in a post apocalyptic world, preceding that of the other Shannara books and set after those in The Word and the Void. But there are distinct connections to both, joining them together into one huge tale that extends over centuries. You get to put together how things came to be in the lands of Shannara, piecing together the puzzle blocks as to how the different races came about and why, how the original magical race, the Elves, survived, and so on and so forth. Altogether, it's an incredible piece of literary art, and it continues to become more and more complex in it's histories as more books appear, but also more plausible as one reads on.

I suppose really this class is less about showing you an alternative method of world-building, but how the original method can be built upon. But it's not really a task to be taken lightly, as it requires quite a lot of thought to make the connections over that length of time, especially given how different the past world is to the future one in the example given.

So, you have your original world built. You write a story based around that world, illustrating the races and their ways within the story. Maybe you write a few stories, further outlining the complexities within your world, of the people and the links between them, familiarising yourself and your readers with your world. Then you decide to ponder how your world might have come to be, trying to find possibly a scientific aspect of it. You might think of the world we live in, containing just humans, all looking relatively the same other than difference in skin colour and the like. Why would there be different races all looking different?

Going back to Brooks' world. It contains humans, elves, dwarves, trolls, etc. Of the examples given there, all are different in physical appearance, yet they all live in the same world. Humans – they're basically like us, obviously. Elves – taller, elegant, magical, highly attractive for the most part, they have longevity, they age at a much slower rate. Dwarves – Shorter as an entire race,, squater, generally thick-set and strong. They have a whole appearance of their own rather than just looking like small versions of human. Trolls – Huge and entirely different in appearance from any of the other races, hardly looking even basically humanesque in the layout of their bodies. And so on. So why and how would they have come to be? You try and imagine how evolution could have worked to make things as they are at the present moment in your world. You're dealing with generally intelligent races, all similar to humans in that way, other than level of said intelligence.

Now, some of you may not have read the books, and may be intrigued to do so now, so I'm not going to layout what Brooks' did in his novels to answer these questions. But they could be questions that might occur to you if you're pondering the origins of your world. This is the main focus of this class. Asking why.

This question doesn't have to be focused upon the races in your world or even in how your world came to be. You could be asking 'I wonder what explanation I could give for how/why that works?' The 'that' in question could be weather patterns, the shifting tides, the effect that nine moons could have upon the planet on which your world is set...and on and on you can go, asking as many questions about your world as we ask about the one in which we live. We want to know how everything works in our world. We want to answer the great mysteries in life. So why not in your stories?

This is the method that Andi and I are adopting for our SG Frozen Flame currently. We have epic brainstorming sessions about how our world works, because it's an idea that's entirely outside the norm. Rather than being a round planet, like earth, the world in which Frozen Flame is set is set upon nine plates, each one set atop the other upon a huge mountain. These plates are each flat, as our world was thought to be many, many years ago. Now, each plate is, as I said, on top of the preceding plate. So we then had to try and figure out how this was going to work in the way of ...*ponders* each plate would have light, for example. Having a sun like ours wouldn't really work, would it? We contemplated individual suns, alternative possibilities in the way of light, etc. It's a process that we're still tweaking at the moment, but which is becoming more and more clear all the time. Added to that, the gravity flips at the centre plate. We had to start questioning how that would work too. The plates each have different environments. Another multitude of questions to be asked and answered. And it's a lot of fun to take on. But hell is it difficult to pin down the answers and connect them to all the other answers.

Many people might think 'why is it necessary to do this?' Well, the answer is that it's not necessarily necessary. But, if you have an outrageous idea and you yourself are questioning if it's waaay OTT and if it'll work...what's the betting that others will do the same?

It's hugely rewarding to create something so elaborate and believable. Andi and I still have a huge amount to figure out yet, but I'm sure she'd agree with me in that each time we find a conclusion to each question, it makes one feel rather accomplished. It's the kind of process that benefits from having someone to bounce ideas around with though, so that's something to keep in mind. But it is awesome!

So there we have it for part two of World-Building! The final part will be in next months issue, in which we take complexity to another level. Hopefully my babble made sense and didn't bore you too much. Thanks for reading, folks! Until next time, T.T.F.N!

All copyright for the Shannara/The Word and the Void novels goes to Terry Brooks
All copyright to Frozen Flame story/ideas goes to Andolyn and Tikanni Corazon

Story by PopeAlessandrosXVIII

Time for another session of Author to Author. This time we'll be taking a trip to the Fantasy Forest to get a good look at the Queen of Fantasy, Tikanni Corazon.

I won't lie, Tikanni and Mr. Biz are my favorite authors on IF, each in their respective genres. Tikanni though is the mistress of my favorite genre. He work in the field still continues to amaze me to this day, and I can't wait to read her work with each new update. I had to actually stop and think hard about who she reminds me of, and it came down to two of my all time favorite authors. Raymond E. Feist, and Terry Goodkind.

We'll start with Goodkind. This is an author who has an excellent grip on just what it is to be human, and just what a human could become given the right incentive. His bad guys are evil in the sense that they believe what they are doing is right, but in reality, can that truly be considered evil? His works makes one question the true nature of human beings. Despite it's fantasy setting, the strongest interactions in the tales are between humans for the most part, with the fantasy bits there just for flavoring. He has a firm grasp of map logistics as well as a wide breadth of cultures that seem fully formed and believable. He describes things only as necessary, leaving large swaths of canvas in the reader's brain they can fill in themselves with what they themselves can imagine the world and it's people to be like. His Sword of Truth series is chock full of little wisdoms that are quite accurate, not to mention helpful, such as the first book's namesake Wizard's First Rule “People are stupid and will believe anything. You just have to know how to go about convincing them. A person can be smart, but get them in a group and they lose intelligence by the second.” Not an exact quite, but you get the idea.

Next we have Feist. I discovered him years ago, and knew from the first few chapter I was going to love his works. I haven't read them all, but the saga centered around Krondor and the ever evolving hero of the tale, Pug are truly inspiring. From the beginning he makes a hero no one likes, no one wants, but seems to have some secret that you as the reader are dieing to find out. And boy does Feist know how to string you along. Even the parts that seem pull away from the storyline keep the reader fascinated, and it may take several books, but everything ties back together in the end. He has a wide variety of character, and each one catching the reader's attention in their own special way. Jerks you meet in one chapter end up best friends with the hero three books in. He does not shy away from the darker nature of battles and war, and even the beloved main characters are not completely safe from annihilation. Feist is one of the first writers I've ever read that killed off some of his most loved characters. Spanning generations he manages to give you time to fall in love with the new characters before shifting things over so that they are the new characters. The old ones are still there, but now it's time for the children to have they're day in the sun so to speak.

Tikanni Corazon has many of these wonderful aspects in her writing. Like Feist, she makes characters you can feel for. Ones you can easily step into the shoes of and experience what they do. Through her fantastic writing, new worlds spring up before your eyes. Fully formed and believable like the creations of Goodkind, but with her own soft flare. Her characters are real for the readers, as they should be, and her timing is impeccable. Dropping moments into her tales that come back later to mean so much more then one thought at the time. Also like Goodkind, the readers lean while they read. They learn important facts and ideals. She also knows just how to place event to get the max response from her readers. The death of a character is something that can ruin a story, but she has pulled it off flawlessly so that the readers, while shocked, accept the death rather then shy away from it. Her work is moving, inspiring, and over all some of the best fantasy tales I have ever read. The power of Goodkind, and the flare of Feist, Tikanni Corazon rightfully wears the crown, of Queen of Fantasy.

Story by HalfEmptyHero

At some point in high school (exactly when I cannot remember), and from a source that I have since forgotten, I received some advice that I took to heart. It wasn't really advice, more of an insight, and it wasn't really even aimed at me. But for some reason it stuck with me: don't describe your characters, let their actions describe themselves.

It is a simple concept, really, but it can do wonders for your writing. Instead of explaining how so-and-so suffers from depression, let so-and-so show you his/her depression—let the story unfold itself. The reader wants to connect to the characters, and the connection can be significantly weaker if you, as the writer, decide to lay everything out at once in manner that is rather matter-of-factly. It can be done, mind you, and it does have its place. But it is not the only way and is, at least subjectively, not the best way to do it.

Let me be clear, however, with what I mean by descriptions. I am not referring to physical descriptions of a person, and I am not telling you to not tell me that Arthur's pet monkey has brown fur. The amount of physical description varies between writers; some prefer to describe every tree in the forest, while under other penmanship a person might finish the entire piece and not even know the gender of the protagonist.

In any case, this article is merely food for thought. For those of you who already do this, and have made it through the previous three paragraphs, I apologize for wasting your time. Clearly you were holding on out of some unwarranted sense of respect (I assure you, I warrant none), and not due to style or substance. I am only sorry that you cannot unread this article, and give whatever amount of time—be it large or small—it took you to read this and use it in a more deserving manner. Perhaps picking your nose, or scratching your rear.

For everyone else, while I am not very optimistic,* may you find at least a little intrigue from my obscure ramblings.

*See name of writer

Story by PopeAlessandrosXVIII

Back again from a trip into the dusty tomes that hold the treasure that is our noble city's history, I bring to you now the early years of construction. With a great idea, and a fiery spirit we'll see how Interfable took it's first step in becoming the second home we've all come to know and love.

Interfable first cam into existence as a small site where our king could post up chapters, receive suggestions, and set up polls to vote on said suggestions. As fist, he kept it a private site. Only people he knew personally had access to the site. The site had only one storygame, which would later become “The Archer's Flight”, a now published novella. Being a new concept, the king was amazed at how well the process seemed to go over, and how well the players seemed to be able to make suggestions in character and have a real “feel” for the story. For the first six months the story went basicly the way he thought it would, no big surprises in people's suggestions. Then, one chapter, there was a big decision to make. The hero's village was under attack and the players had to decide what she'd do.

The King had already guessed a few paths the story was likely to take, and had already begun planning out the next chapter when someone made a totally radical suggestion he'd not thought of. The vote came to pass, and the suggestion won. Rather then defending her village, the hero would disguise herself as a boy and run off to the big city. A perfectly logical choice as far as the story was concerned, but Key hadn't planned for it at all. For the first time he was at a complete loss for what would happen next, and he loved it. This moment is what he'd been looking for. The feeling of true exploration that one gets with an RPG.

“No one knew where the story was going, but we were going there together” - Key

Sorry for the short section this month, but come back next month for the next installment and you won't be disappointed. Making a site is easy, but building a community?

--What does a houseboat become when it grows up?
A Township

--Actual questions asked in courtrooms:

“How many times have you committed suicide?”

“Were you alone, or by yourself?”

“How far apart were the cars when the collision occurred?”

“Now doctor, is it true that when a person dies in his sleep, he doesn't know about it until the next morning?”

“Were you present when your picture was taken?”

“You were there until the time you left, is that true?”

“These stairs that went down to the basement, did they go up, also?”

--What did the shaggy dog use to make his kite?

--Customer: Look, you are giving me a big piece of bone. With meat as expensive as it is, I don't want all that bone!
Butcher: I'm not giving it to you, lady, you're paying for it.

--Student: Would you punish someone for something they didn't do?
Teacher: Of course not.
Student: Good 'cause I haven't done my homework.

--Money isn't everything, and don't let anyone tell you different. There are other things, such as stocks, bonds, letters of credit, checks, traveler's checks, and drafts.

Story by Tikanni Corazon

In general news this month, the City has been taken over by the activity of two new RPs! A Life Everlasting, GMed by Tikanni Corazon, and More Human than Human, GMed by Misterbiz, have take the city by storm! The positive reaction from the citizens of IF has been phenomenal!


"The fight scenes are exhilarating!" Sagittaeri

 "It takes classic forum RPing to a new level!" Pope (A Life Everlasting)

"Anthora is the coolest hero I've ever seen..." MisterBiz

“The most fun I've had in a long time; I'm working with awesome people with amazing writing skills, and all of us are pushing the boundaries of our skills together. It's great to be a part of it! Tikanni Corazon

"The diversity of personalities and abilities is amazing." Sagittaeri

"Totally amazing. Peoples creativity is just astounding..." Mister Biz (players in More Human than Human)

"It takes real dedication for them to do what they do!" Pope (GMs)

 "The GM puts a lot of effort in creating a complete world you can immerse yourself in!" - Sagittaeri (A Life Everlasting)

"Taking writing to a whole new level - the creativity of each character and each world knows no bounds." Seraphi

 "Totally Phenomenal..." Mister Biz (A Life Everlasting)

"One very fun way for a community to interact...I never get tired of it!" Sagittaeri

 "RPing on IF is truly a challenge to one's writing skills" Pope

All in all, it's very obvious that the RP is quickly gaining a prominent place in the hearts of the citizens of IF, is flexing their creativity to a different level, and is very likely here to stay!


There has been an outbreak of bugs on the City of IF in recent weeks, affecting anything from posting and editing threads and profiles, to sending Pms. It's been requested that the members on IF keep an eye out for these bugs and report them either to Key or one of the mods on IF, so that it can be noted, fixed, and also potentially help to locate the source of the problem. Citizens of our fair city – keep your eyes peeled!


And finally, the City of IF is celebrating it's birthday!!! That's right folks, our fair city is 9 years old and still holding strong, along with it's founder and our king, Key! Three cheers for the awesomeness that is the City of IF and King Key! Hip-hip-hooray! Hip-hip-hooray! Hip-hip-hooray!!! Happy Birthday!

And that's all for general news this last month! If you feel you have a bit of news you'd like to see in the next edition of the IF Quirer, feel free to contact the Chief Editor PopeAlessandrosXVIII at any time during the month.

By Gon

Here's a Happy IF Day to all those who joined in February

A Very Special IF Day to our glorious founder of the City of IF:


A SPecial IF Day to our only 8th year:


Now for our two 7th year members:


A Special IF Day to our only 6th year:


And now we're at our 5th year members:

Lord Bryon

And here we have all the 4th year members:


Those who have had only two IF Days before, now for their third year:


Those who have had only one IF Day before, now for their second year:


And for those who are receiving their first IF Day:

awesome guy123
The Aorwings Oracle

Happy IF Day!

Congrats to all and Happy IF Day!

.... There is no religion without love, and people may talk as much as they like about their religion, but if it does not teach them to be good and kind to man and beast, it is all a sham....

Black Beauty by Anna Sewell, 1887


This issue has been brought to you by the IFQuirer Team - Chief Editor~PopeAlessandrosXVIII, Reporters~Misterbiz, Seraphi, HalfEmptyHero, and Tikanni Corazon. From all of us, thank you for reading!

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