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Author Topic: Fanfic? Fanfic's for dorks! Give me that.  (Read 1544 times)
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Urban Legend
« Reply #40 on: 11-20-2004 18:20 »

which you put in the wrong thread.

Space Pope
« Reply #41 on: 11-23-2004 22:17 »

Might I suggest to the writers or readers that sometimes it's good to start at PE or Fry/Bender's or Leela's apartment than move it to somewhere else. Like first your at PE than I don't know your on the Nimbus delivering a package to Zap. Just a thought.

Urban Legend
« Reply #42 on: 11-24-2004 17:22 »

Yet another ammsusing look on the shiper genre.

On the Phil/Turanga thing. Admitidly my first fan fiction was incredibly guilty of this (I just hope the fact you mentioned the different spelling,Toronga, wasn't a stab at my fic as it was just at that point I had no reference for the spelling). Now in my defence when I used this the whole L/F shipper thing was quite new so calling them by these names seemed logical (also at that point it had not been pointed out that Leela was her first name)

You know if "Loves Labours lost in cyberspace" was still around it would be so much easier to track down certain fics.
Tongue Luck

Starship Captain
« Reply #43 on: 12-19-2004 16:43 »
« Last Edit on: 12-20-2004 00:00 »

Crap, over a month! So, when you half promise, you also half... unpromise. Right? Yeah, I know, I don't have a leg to stand on. Okay, lots to say.
Kurt - Haven't you opened, like, thirty threads for pimping your own work? Use one of those, or a general thread. Incidentally, thanks for taking the BOTP post so I can post this section where people can conveniently read it.
Venus - Did I ever tell you you're my hero?
Spacedal - Um, kay... Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
Wu - Thanks for calling it amusing. That really means a lot to me. No, the Toronga thing wasn't a dig at you in particular. In fact, I debated long and hard with myself about whether or not to mention that common misspelling.
(Lee's mind: Okay, so she needs to think of herself as Turanga.
Lee's mind: Right. And Toronga.
Lee's mind: No... A lot of those stories were written pre-4ACV. It's not their fault.
Lee's mind: Yes, Renata, but not all of them. People have been following that precedent even after the correct information was out there.
Lee's mind: Maybe...
Lee's mind: Plus, it's annoying! You know that, Renata. You're in PEELer mode when you read fanfic, so you keep sight-reading it as Tongue and then getting confused.
Lee's mind: That's true. But, I don't know. It's not really worth making a big deal about.
Lee's mind: All right. How's this, Rinada? Just mention it in passing and then get on with it.
Lee's mind: Okay. Sounds like a plan.)
I actually really don't like my phrasing for the line in question, so I think I'll tweak it before submitting it somewhere. If I submit it somewhere. Hmm... Maybe I shouldn't cross that can of worms before they hatch.
Marcus, if you happen to be lurking - I've been thinking about what you said. Especially that bit about how excruciatingly personal fanfic is. It got under my skin, and I knew I had to do something about it. So I did. See, I have this embarassing video tape of a very drunk me whining about someone who won't return my affections. So I had a little screening before writing this and used a couple of the dumber things I said as inspiration for the mindspeak. Now it's got some of my personal bullshit, and I hope that makes it a little more fair.
Everyone - For some reason, I just couldn't make this part work. I've worked it and reworked it so much, I don't even know which way is up anymore, but I do know that this is about as good as I can make it without spending another couple weeks not looking at it, then attacking it with fresh eyes and an editing pen. But I'm not going to do that. However, I can tell you I've written a very detailed outline of things to come, and I think the rest of it will be better than this. Well, the ideas are, anyway. I'm never sure if the execution's going to work. Also, have some useless trivia... This part is at least semi-awesome, since the rough draft was written entirely aboard trains, buses, ferries, and in interestingly named eating establishments: The Cyclops Cafe, Crash Landing Pizza, and--my personal favorite--The Sip and Ship. They actually mean ship in the package delivery sense, but it still works. What a neat word.

Anyway, onto the content.

Of course, she won't. Now's the time to incorporate something that we'll call Sitcom Dramatic Irony. Since you've crammed this many shipfic hallmarks into such a small space, you can afford to make your new fanbase sweat a little. "Oh, if they could only read each other's minds," your readers should moan, "everything would be so so simple!" It's sort of like a fairy tale. Everybody knows that Snow White and Prince Charming are going to hook up eventually, but it'd be boring not to let the evil witch get in a blow or two. And in this case, the witch's name is miscommunication.
(establishing shot: exterior of the Planet Express building)
(cut to everyone sitting at the meeting table. Fry and Leela are, of course, next to each other)
Leela's mind: Okay. Just invite him to an ape fight or something. No big deal. Quick, do it now before you lose your nerve. Now, Turanga!
Fry's mind: She's so perfect. She's probably sick of you. If you don't want to lose her, you should pretend to be over her.
Leela: Fry...
Fry (simultaneously): Leela...
Leela (relieved that some of the pressure is off): Yes?
Fry: I'm sorry about yesterday. I promise I'll stop hitting on you from now on.
Leela (flabbergasted): Oh, Fry...
(enter Farnsworth)
Farnsworth: Good news, everyone! You'll be delivering this package of bazookas to Granola 6, the hippy planet.
Amy: What would hippies want with bazookas?
And we've got our premise. Or, we're about to. The best way to deal with exposition like this is to get it all out of the way in one long, dull monologue. Many of your readers will probably only skim this part, but no matter. As we discussed earlier, the storyline is of secondary importance in shipfic. Few people care to read those boring parts, so why bother intricately weaving them in with the good parts? Another tip: make the premise as silly and ridiculous as possible. Something nobody would want to copy. That way, you can follow formula down to the letter but still feel like you have something unique to your name.
Farnsworth: That's an excellent question, Amy. You see, up until recently, the Granolians have lived pleasant lives goverened by their three pillars of happiness: pacifism, drugs, and free love. This all changed when missionaries from the neighboring planet of Ophelia 4 arrived to teach the Granolians the concept of romantic love. All hell broke loose. Used to their no-strings-attached approach to dating, the Granolians were not prepared for the heartbreak that all spurned lovers know only too well. Then, to make matters worse, the Ophelians stole all their drugs and ran off to Tijuana 7. Left with nothing to soothe their pain, the Granolians' only recourse was to use bazookas to blow holes in one another to mirror the holes in their own hearts.
(suddenly, there is a loud noise and a smoking hole in the table. Fry has apparently gotten bored and decided to give one of the bazookas a try)
Sitcom Dramatic Irony can only get you so far. If you really want to create tension, get Fry and Leela to scream at each other for a while. This is good for two reasons. Firstly, it will give them something new to brood about until they resolve it in the most saccharine manner imaginable. Secondly, and more importantly, arguing--like such things as sitting next to each other, looking at each other, not looking at each other, smiling in each other's presence, disregarding each other's feelings, eating, sleeping, breathing, and wearing shoes--is a sure sign of barely concealed love.
Leela: Fry! This is why you're not supposed to touch the packages! You are such a child sometimes!
Fry: Oh yeah? Well, at least I'm not too uptight to take a chance every once in a while. Why don't you learn to live a little?
Leela: What chance? You fire a bazooka at the table, you should be pretty certain about what's going to happen! There's "living a little" and then there's risking lives!
Fry: What about breaking hearts?
Leela: How dare you bring that up right now? I'm sorry if I've hurt you, but that is no excuse for such reckless idiocy!
Fry: Oh, stop being so damn superior all the time! Maybe I'm dumb, but you're a heartless, manipulative slut! Now, if you'll excuse me, we've got a package to deliver.
(Fry stomps off in the direction of the hangar. Leela, Amy, Hermes, and Bender hesitantly follow, Amy and Hermes holding the package between them and exchanging knowing glances)

(new scene: Planet Express ship. Leela is piloting, but her mind is elsewhere)
In a fanfic argument, both parties say some hurtful things, but one person--namely, Fry--invariably comes off worse.  The other person--by process of elimination, Leela--then feels that she is to blame. Why? Well, look at our example in chronological order. Fry endangers everyone's life and damages company property, Leela chastises and criticizes him, he tries a little criticism of his own, she shoots down his criticism,  he uses the ship against her, she rightly tells him that was uncalled for and whips out some bizarre apology/insult hybrid, and he calls her a heartless, manipulative slut and stomps off. Then she feels guilty. Yes. If you find yourself under attack for this turn of events, go with the old standby. Leela's a complex character! She doesn't have to make sense!
Leela's mind: Dammit, Turanga. Why are you always so hard on Fry?
Leela's mind: I don't know. I wish I had the courage to tell him how I really feel. He must be so hurt right now.
(enter Hermes and Bender)
Having some trouble writing Hermes and Bender? There's a marvelously easy solution. Each comes standard with a word (though I'm using the term "word" loosely) to include in just about every sentence. Drop the g's at the ends of -ing words on top of that, and viola! Instant characterization! For Hermes, the word is mon.
Hermes: Leela, mon, we need to talk about Fry.
Leela: Yeah. I know.
Hermes: He's sittin' in his quarters--where fanfic Fry spends entirely too much of his time--right now, mon, angry and hurt. I can tell you care about him, mon, so why are you rippin' his head off?
Leela: I'm not sure. (puts her head in her hands, defeated) I don't mean to yell at him, but sometimes I can't help it. I do care about him, but--
And with Bender, the word is ain't. Yes, Bender rarely, if ever, used that word in the series. But, well, he's rakish and low class. Why put extra effort into accurately writing a supporting character (and there's no denying that Bender is doomed to be reduced to that role for the sake of optimal ship factor) when a single word will get you into the ballpark automatically?
Bender: But you sure ain't showin' it!
Leela: I mean to--
Bender: Well, why ain't you?
Hermes: It's no good to hide your true feelin's like that, mon.
Time for declaration of love #2!
Leela: My true feelings? (sighs deeply) Okay. I... love him. But I'm scared!
Bender: There ain't nothin' to be scared of.
Hermes: Bender's right; he obviously loves you, too, mon.
Leela: Really? You think I should talk to him about how I feel?
Hermes: Yeah, mon!
Bender: Fry ain't some kind of genius! He ain't goin' to get it without you spellin' it out for him.
Leela: I'll think about it. (turns her attention to the window) It looks like we're just about there. (yells) Hey, Amy!
(enter Amy)
Amy: What?
Leela: Go to Fry's quarters and tell him we're about to land.
Amy (significantly): Why don't you talk to him?
Leela: I need to land the ship.
Bender: She ain't ready yet.
Hermes: Definitely not, mon.
(Leela pretends not to have heard. Amy ambles over to Fry's quarters.)

(cut to Fry, sitting on the bottom bunk of a bunk bed)
To recap, Fry said some incredibly cruel things, and Leela was slightly snippy. Thus, Leela was overcome with guilt. Fry, on the other hand, should feel wronged and hurt. If you find yourself under attack for this turn of events,  go with the old standby. Fry's dumb! He doesn't have to make sense!
Fry's mind: Why does she have to do this to me? She knows just what to do to make me feel terrible. I thought maybe if I fought back, my feelings wouldn't be so crushed, but now I feel worse than ever. It's this unrequited stuff. I'm so tired of it! Why does everyone else get to requite things when I'm stuck here, all alone?
(enter Amy)
Amy: Hey, Fry.
Fry: What do you want?
Amy: Wow, touchy. I just came here to tell you we'll be landing soon.
Fry: Sorry. I guess I'm not in the best mood right now.
You know what that means! Another heart to heart. By now, even you and your readers are probably running out of patience with these things, so you're allowed to cut this one mercifully short.
Amy: Yeah. Neither is Leela.
Fry: Really?
Amy: She has very strong feelings for you, but she hasn't quite come to terms with them. Give her some time and space. She needs it. Then she'll realize that she needs you. Oh look. We've landed. Let's get going.

That's all for now. I'm not making any fractions of promises this time, but I will at least try to get the next part out at a reasonable time. It should be easier now that I have my outline. Any comments would be much appreciated.

Urban Legend
« Reply #44 on: 12-19-2004 16:56 »

*hides head in shame* i made bender say 'ain't' in my fic! And i dropped 'g's' to approcimate  speech mannerisms! I'm a horrible writer! Bwaaaaaa i wish i was dead!
Lenny dude

« Reply #45 on: 12-19-2004 17:00 »

ok you guys hav seriously to much time your hands

Space Pope
« Reply #46 on: 12-19-2004 17:05 »

Hah! Reminds me of something from MAD:
"Now you just need to throw in as many random pop references to hide your total lack of writing talent."
Kif White

Bending Unit
« Reply #47 on: 12-19-2004 17:14 »

Originally posted by Venus:
*hides head in shame* i made bender say 'ain't' in my fic! And i dropped 'g's' to approcimate  speech mannerisms! I'm a horrible writer! Bwaaaaaa i wish i was dead!

I disagree. I don't see any problem with Bender saying "ain't" at all. To say otherwise is being picky... it DOES suit his character. I'm sure I've used it myself, and I know for SURE Bender has used it at least a good few times:

"With that bloodshot eye... you ain't winning any beauty pageants, lady!" -- I Second that Emotion.
"Well, it ain't my fault.  I'm a non-voting felon, thank you." -- A Head in the Polls.
"Yep. It's like I taught them: if it ain't black and white, peck, scratch and bite." -- The Birdbot of Ice-Catraz
"Precocious little scamp, ain't I?" -- Bendless Love.
"That's right, baby. I ain't your loverboy, Flexo - the guy you love so much!" -- Bendless Love

Bending Unit
« Reply #48 on: 12-19-2004 17:14 »

Are you happy now, you made Venus cry! And me,too. (Blubbers) I do the very same thing on occaision Venus, and from now on, I'll be completely paranoid about it. (In fairness, your fic still rocks my socks.)

Seriously, you cracked me up all over again along with giving me the urge to do a complete rewrite. (It's okay though, I was plannign to anyway.) I really liked it, and I can't wait for more! (So I can fret needlessly)

Urban Legend
« Reply #49 on: 12-19-2004 20:49 »

I drop most gs off of -ing words for Hermes, and I intend on continuing! 

Secondly, and more importantly, arguing--like such things as sitting next to each other, looking at each other, not looking at each other, smiling in each other's presence, disregarding each other's feelings, eating, sleeping, breathing, and wearing shoes--is a sure sign of barely concealed love.
laff best line of them all.

TL, you make me laugh with this stuff.  Good job, and lets see another part before February, OK?


Urban Legend
« Reply #50 on: 12-19-2004 21:23 »

ok you guys hav seriously to much time your hands

I think he's telling you to time your hands.




While you're doing that, I'll just say that I'm still heartily enjoying these. Especially because Hermes is refering to Leela as 'mon.' Heh.


Space Pope
« Reply #51 on: 12-19-2004 22:28 »

Originally posted by M0le:
Hah! Reminds me of something from MAD:
"Now you just need to throw in as many random pop references to hide your total lack of writing talent."

No, see, that's how you write a Family Guy fanfic.

DOOP Secretary
« Reply #52 on: 12-20-2004 04:05 »
« Last Edit on: 12-20-2004 04:05 »

No, that's how you write a current Simpsons fanfic.  Using scads of obscure movie/television references is how you write a Family Guy fanfic.

TL, I haven't posted in this forum for ages, but I have to say your observations are dead-on accurate and have made me yearn for the days when I brazenly picked apart fanfics (while secretly envying the writers).  In fact, the only reason I have even been poking around here as of late is to assist in research for the upcoming PEELies, and I have found my body rejecting some of the glurge that I've tried to read.  I still can't take omniscient POVs seriously.

I'm not going to pretend my shit doesn't stink, but TL is right on the nose, hit the nail on the head, and three other accuracy cliches.
Tongue Luck

Starship Captain
« Reply #53 on: 12-22-2004 04:46 »
« Last Edit on: 12-22-2004 04:46 »

Yipes. Looks like I struck a few nerves with that Hermes/Bender stuff. I think I didn't explain myself very well. I'm not anti-g-dropping. Er, g-droppin'. I'm not anti-mon or anti-ain't, if the words are used in moderation (thank you for that ain't list, Kif White. I had a nagging feeling that he'd said it a few times but couldn't find any examples. I'll add that "rarely, if ever" bit to my long list of stuff to fix). What bugs me is when it seems like, if you added g's and took away those key words (which I maintain are used a hell of a lot more often in fanfic than in canon), there would be nothing about the lines that made them in character. It strikes me as lazy. *sigh* But, yeah, I am picky.

Also, I made a weird and embarrassing mistake. Four important lines had been in all the early drafts but somehow got lost by the time I posted the section. I realized this at about 1AM PEEL time the night after posting, panicked, and ran to edit, fully aware that just about everyone had already read the slightly shorter version, so... 
Hastily edited in by Tongue Luck:
Time for declaration of love #2!
Leela: My true feelings? (sighs deeply) Okay. I... love him. But I'm scared!
Bender: There ain't nothin' to be scared of.
Hermes: Bender's right; he obviously loves you, too, mon.
If anybody's keeping score, there you go.

Venus - I have no idea if that post is 100% sarcasm or some percent less than 100, and it terrifies me!
Lenny dude - yeah well you hav seriously to much space your feet. *chuckles* Oh, Tongue Luck, you master wordsmith, you.
M0le - Yes! Compared to our nation's largest mental illness themed magazine! Uh-oh, I just random pop referenced, didn't I? Seriously, nice to see you stop in again. Though I'm kind of wondering what became of Gorky and Kloudes. I figure N-o-r's gone 'cause I insulted him for no reason. Oops.
Kif White - Oh no! I'm making some powerful enemies. *cries with Venus and Layla*
Layla50 - Aww, I feel a little guilty for making you all paranoid. Well, glad you liked it.
JBERGES - Speaking of paranoid... You know I asked, like, four different people if they thought boots counted as shoes before approving that line? I'll shoot for mid-January for the next part. And miss.
SlackJawedMoron - That made me giggle for reasons I still don't fully understand... Mon.
Kryten - Yeah! Woo! Family Guy! The baby talks! About Tommy Tutone! Hmm... Maybe I should give this "respond to everyone, even if they're not talking to me" plan a little more thought.
DrThunder88 - Wow, thanks. It feels strangely awesome to get kind words from someone who's on that big important committee. Wait, you just subtly revealed my secret envy! Oh no! The source of all my powers!
Everyone - Happy Christmas, Hanukkuh, Solstice, Ramadan, Kwanzaa, and New Years!
Kif White

Bending Unit
« Reply #54 on: 12-22-2004 05:22 »

Originally posted by Tongue Luck:
Kif White - Oh no! I'm making some powerful enemies. *cries with Venus and Layla*

Enemy? Naw... it was just one error in an otherwise brilliant and pretty spot-on piece of satire. And it was more consoling Venus not to feel bad than anything. You hit the nails on the head with your other points, for sure  smile

Urban Legend
« Reply #55 on: 12-22-2004 12:29 »

I figure N-o-r's gone 'cause I insulted him for no reason. Oops.

Nope, I'm still here.  What, I have to comment on every single section you write?  If I did that, I'd be reduced to the boring, generic ass-kissing I did for about a month in Layla's thread, because it (both of them I mean) is/are so excellent.

*Tries to think of something intelligent to say, since he did not in fact respond to the last section*

The "mon" thing was absolutely hilarious.  Why is he there again?
The entire argument/aftermath deal:  Man, I have so lost my sympathy for shipfic Fry now.  Except for Layla's version.  And a couple of the other good ones...you know who I mean.

I'd add more, but now I have to slog my way through some disgusting mix of snow and rain for last minute Christmas shopping.

Urban Legend
« Reply #56 on: 12-22-2004 15:07 »

Originally posted by Tongue Luck:
Venus - I have no idea if that post is 100% sarcasm or some percent less than 100, and it terrifies me!

Nah i'm good. I only cried for a few hours. And then i ate the hard copy of my fic so no one would ever see my shame. So i guess it's a good thing that i have the whole thing saved to disk.
say what now

Bending Unit
« Reply #57 on: 12-22-2004 21:09 »

This made me laugh... a lot. I'm very happy now. The whole raccoon-eyeliner-winamp-playlist thing made me DIE WITH WOE... I mean, laughter. This is so on the ball it's crazy... the whole internal monologue/dialogue. That gets on my nerves, too. Why does Leela talk to herself about it!? She ALWAYS does it. Oh, and the Phil/Turanga thing always drives me nuts too. This fanfiction is so accurate it's scary... or rather, funny. I love it!

Space Pope
« Reply #58 on: 12-23-2004 01:27 »

M0le - Yes! Compared to our nation's largest mental illness themed magazine! Uh-oh, I just random pop referenced, didn't I?
Um..uh...er... seven! Seriously, it's alright to reference MAD. That's not popular enough. In fact, I think it needs to be referenced even more. The next step should be:
Insert your own character based and named after yourself into the storyline and make them the hero. New characters help disguise spelling mistakes.
Everyone - Happy Christmas, Hanukkuh, Solstice, Ramadan, Kwanzaa, and New Years!
You forgot Festivus!

Delivery Boy
« Reply #59 on: 12-23-2004 01:59 »

Hang on. Do these rules also go for songfics of the shippy kind?

DOOP Secretary
« Reply #60 on: 12-23-2004 03:31 »
« Last Edit on: 12-23-2004 03:31 »

Are you writing a shippy, non-fiction song about Futurama?

M0le, I think writing oneself into a fanfic isn't an exclusively shippy element.

Delivery Boy
« Reply #61 on: 12-23-2004 23:27 »

I don't know anymore. Reading all of this is making me reconsider the way my story is going. I don't know if that makes me sad or angry. Thinking when I'm not at school burns!

And Erin, we were just talking and since your available, we wanna marry you. ~Q.T.
I'll marry you 5 times in one night! ~Mickey
That's the nicest thing anyone has ever said to me! ~Erin
For real? ~Mickey
The sweetest thing I've ever seen was a baby dressed up as a bumble bee. ~Chad
On this video I saw, The Wu Tang turn into a army of bumble bees. ~Mickey
One time when I was in a coma, I was a bee and I had sex with my mom. ~Q.T.

Space Pope
« Reply #62 on: 01-06-2005 21:50 »
« Last Edit on: 01-06-2005 21:50 »


Though I'm kind of wondering what became of Gorky and Kloudes.

Yay, my whole "falling off the Earth in a vain attempt to get people to reference me arbitrarily in their own posts" thing worked!   wink In weird-o Gorky language, that means that I'm back to compliment your greatness.

This last part was up-to-speed, in my opinion. It was actually really great. It reminds me of so many things from shippy fics that I've read, and brings up a number of good questions. Particularly, why the hell do Hermes and Amy always accompany Fry, Leela, and Bender on their missions? I guess that you just need a vehicle for Leela to uncharacteristically blurt out her love for Fry that may or may not exist to a partial third party who's normally oblivious, or something. Also, why do shipper fics usually disregard the existence of supporting characters once they've helped advance the ship (and why is it like Farnsworth and Zoidberg don't even exist in the Ship universe)? Oh yeah, and you do a great job of getting the really wretch-inducing argument dialogue going on. Like, why is it that, when engaged in a pretty nasty fight that would never have happened on the show, the characters are very articulate? For example, Leela saying "How dare you bring that up right now? I'm sorry if I've hurt you, but that is no excuse for such reckless idiocy!" I mean, has she ever talked like that? I guess being pissed makes Fry snappier, too, because he's fully capable of calling Leela a "slut", something he'd never think of doing on the show, especially considering the fact that he's hopelessly in love with her and only wants to be the best friend he can possibly be.

Well, enough babbling. I guess there's nothing more to do but applaud your teriffic satire on some of the biggest conventions in the Futurama fanfic world. Eagerly awaiting the next update, as always.
Tongue Luck

Starship Captain
« Reply #63 on: 01-09-2005 11:12 »
« Last Edit on: 01-09-2005 11:12 »

Kif White - Oh, good, one less rivalry to get worked up about. Also, I could submit this to TLZ maybe?
Nerd-o-rama - Yeah, I don't know why I expected to have, like, regulars based on two updates. Feel free to keep quiet about this one. Hermes is there for the same reason he's there in all those other stories: to confuse me. Hope the shopping went well.
Venus - Fwah! Why are the drama writers so good at being funny?
say what now - Happy to see you're liking it. And thanks for complimenting me in that other thread. And thanks for that post in that other other thread that forced me to picture Fry trying to screw a pastry. I had to pour bleach on my brain afterwards, but I had some good laughs.
M0le - See, I think most self-inserted characters kind of go against shipfic, since they usually end up playing the romantic lead instead of one of the real characters. But, as you'll see, I did at least mention it.
Pataloca - I'm a little confused. Are you writing a song, like Thunder said, or writing a fanfic where you insert lyrics of an existing song? Is it posted somewhere? It's a little hard to give specific advice when I'm not sure what your songfic looks like. Plus, I'm probably not the best person to ask. More of a cranky pundit than an expert. Go ahead and drop me an E-mail, though, if you want. If this is even still relevent a couple weeks after your post. Oh, also, I'm digging the Rocko signature. My senior quote in my high school yearbook was, "Look into my nipples of the future" --Really Really Big Man.
DrThunder88 - Uh, hi! Once again, I'm thwarted by my weird omni-reply scheme.
Gorky - Damn your bump for inspiring me to hurry up and get this part out!
Everyone - I hope this next section is up to par. My better judgement is telling me to get some sleep and then look over it again before posting, but sleep deprivation is keeping me from listening to my better judgement. As always, comments are madly appreciated.

At one point or another while reading this, you must have furrowed your brow, thinking, "This feels nothing like Futurama!" If this bothers you, be aware that there is an easy way to take care of it. So, how do you maintain your ties to the canon when you've warped the characters, interactions, pacing, and tone? You mention it. Constantly. Make Fry obsess over every shippy moment in the series until he resembles one of those 5 o'clock shadow sporting sadsacks who spend all their time in dingy pubs knocking back pints and lamenting past failures until they're called upon by some former friends to pull off one last heist. Though, come to think of it, those fellows only seem to exist in bad action movies... Random digression aside, boundless episode-related chatter is not only a cheap way to tie your fic to the series. It also ups your ship quotient considerably. And you can never do enough of that. If you want to feel creative, try mixing in an episode with little to no ship content and twisting it until it's useful to you.
(cut to the surface of Granola 6. The crew is heading towards a big building in the distance. Everyone is silent. Fry is carrying the package and bringing up the rear)
Fry's mind: Is she still angry? I bet she is. Remember when that guy was going to sell the company? She was disappointed when he didn't. I said you can't put a price on people you love, but she obviously disagreed. I all but told a whole roomful of people that I loved her, and she responded with anger.
But don't get too clever. Make sure to include a generous helping of actual shippy episodes in Fry's meandering train of thought. Bonus points for squeezing all of them in there!
But she did kiss me after I gave her that flower. And we were married in that other universe. We went on a date after meeting ourselves, and that other time, when we were teenagers. We kind of spent a romantic Valentine's Day together after we dumped those candy hearts overboard. That night on the Titanic was pretty romantic, too. But whenever something like that happens, we somehow reset to zero. Everything's the same, only my heart is a little more broken. Even after I talked her out of that coma, we were stuck being friends. The only times I had a chance with her--when I had the worms and when I wrote her a love note in the sky--cruel fate and my foolish ideas of nobility intervened.
Then immediately and abruptly switch back to your universe, to complete the illusion that your story meshes with the canon.
Amy said give her time to figure out how she feels. Hermes said she's been coming around. Maybe. As much as it kills me inside, the only thing I can do is wait.
Give Sitcom Dramatic Irony one last gasp before the action starts. If you're confident enough, try for some hamfisted foreshadowing as well.
Leela's mind: What is he waiting for? If he'd come walk with me, and strike up a conversation, maybe I'd have the courage to tell him how I feel.
Leela's mind: Well, Turanga, you could always initiate the conversation.
Leela's mind: No! I'm too nervous.
Leela's mind: Life's too short for that stuff, Turanga. You're taking him for granted. Talk to him now before it's too late.
Leela's mind: Too late. We're there.
(and, lo and behold, they've arrived at the big building. The sign in front of it once read Communal Love Hut, but has been crossed out to say Military Fortress. The characters exchange uneasy glances.)
Bender: Standin' around like this ain't goin' to accomplish nothin'!
Leela: You're right. Let's go.
(they approach the door, Leela in the lead. She tries knocking, but no one answers. She turns the knob to find it is unlocked. They all enter.)
Uh-oh, time to invent an alien race. Without armies of underpaid animators at your disposal, character design is a huge hassle that is worth neither your time nor your energy. Aliens are especially worthless. With a fan-created human character, you at least have the opportunity to turn them into a smarter, stronger, richer, more popular, talented, and attractive (but still completely accurate, of course) representation of yourself who gets all the good lines, becomes the object of a favorite character's affections, and ultimately saves the day. But who wants to project themselves onto a mass of identical aliens (don't bother distinguishing between or naming these buggers, by the way)? Not you, that's who. Luckily, it's easy to get away with varying degrees of laziness when it comes to these new species. You can be extremely lazy and not describe them at all. Many of your readers won't notice or particularly care. Case in point, did it bother you that there was absolutely no description of planet Granola 6 before you read this sentence? Be honest. If you swear it did, you can always upgrade to very lazy. Obscure your new characters somehow. Keep them in the shadows, hide them under robes. Anything to avoid that two-headed dragon of imagination and adjectives. Very lazy carries the added bonus of creating an automatic sense of mystery. If you're someone who fears the unknown, however, you might as well go for just plain lazy. Pick something from Futurama's repetoire and change a feature or two. After all, a polka dotted Trisolian is no longer a Trisolian. Since we tried extremely lazy with regard to the planet itself, we'll do very lazy for its inhabitants. We'll get to just plain lazy soon enough.
Mysterious voice: You must be the delivery boys. Nice of you to show up.
Leela: (narrows eye) Who said that?
Mysterious voice: (annoyed pause) To your left.
(everyone turns around accordingly, only to see a big cloud of smoke)
Amy: Where... are you?
Mysterious voice (even more annoyed): When Granolians spend too much time without drugs, smoke seeps from our pores.
Irrefutable! Now to quickly move on before anyone thinks too hard about that. As any good shipper knows, Futurama is primarily a bittersweet romance. Yet its fanbase includes this crazy faction that insists that the occasional joke has some value, as well. Utter nonsense, yes, but it might be wise to indulge the poor delusional bastards. These "sense of humor" types are a strange and often dangerous breed. Keep them happy or end up on the wrong side of a cream pie. But calm down. There's no need to go to the trouble of writing your own jokes. Instead, turn to the episodes, pick some gags at random, and use them for your purposes. Don't bother with the kind of high class callbacks you encounter within the confines of the series. Too much effort for something of such minimal importance. Instead, simply snatch the joke in its entirety and repeat it in a new context. Mix up who said what every so often to throw naysayers off the scent. If these hardened anti-emotion people think the show is so funny, rehash should be more than sufficient.
Fry: It's like that drug trip I saw in that movie when I was on that drug trip.
Bender: Why'd you open your bong hole, you smelly hippy?
Granolian #1: We want the bazookas, mechano man.
Granolian #2: Now there's something we can all enjoy!
Leela: But you might be invaders! Possibly from space!
Granolian #3: I find that offensive!
Leela: What if you try to attack us? I wouldn't trust you with the Professor's dentures.
Granolian #2: You're not nice!
Bender: Raise middle finger.
Fry: Bam!
Granolian #4: Enough of this! Agreed. As with shipper episode recaps, these borrowed jokes should occur every so often throughout a comedic shipfic, but that worked well enough for the sake of example. If they won't willingly give us the package, we'll take it by force! And take the cyclops, too! That should teach them a lesson!
(clouds of smoke descend upon the PE crew. One hits Fry over the head with a club and the screen fades to black)

While we wait for Fry to come to, we'll briefly provide some context for what just happened. Leela is a physically and emotionally strong character who has rescued Fry innumerable times. In the later, shippier, seasons, Fry has been able to return the favor and inch close to winning her affection in the process. Fanfic writers take note of this development and respond by reducing Leela to the role of damsel in distress. The more saving she needs, the more malleable her emotions are, the sappier you can make your ending. In addition to that, Leela is significantly more difficult to write than Fry--if only because the chasm between fanon and canon is wider in her case--so it's hard to pass up an opportunity to get rid of her for a while. 
(fade back in. We are now back at Planet Express. Fry is laying on the couch. He suddenly regains consciousness)
Fry: Leela? Are you okay? Leela!
Amy: (walks in from the next from) Morning, sunshine.
Fry: Amy! Where's Leela?
Amy: (awkward pause) Still on Granola 6.
Fry: What?
Amy: They captured her and threw us out. It was all we could do to get ourselves back safely. Not to mention you! We thought you had a concussion or something.
Fry: Well, let's go get her!
Amy: We can't. There are lots of Granolians, they're really good at camoflauge, and they're heavily armed.
Fry: There's got to be a way to save her!

He's right. You can't go ending a shipfic without Fry proving himself and Leela swooning. But how to get from here to there? If you haven't planned ahead, you're probably feeling a wee bit panicked right now. Never fear! There's a trick that shipfic swears by. When the going gets tough, introduce an incredibly convenient invention, and all will be well again.
(cut to Farnsworth in his lab. Fry comes running in)
Fry: Professor! Leela's been kidnapped by renegade hippies! Do you have any new inventions that could save her?
Farnsworth: Why, yes! My new Deus X Machine should be perfect for the job.
Your incredibly convenient invention should bear a striking resemblence to a canon invention, in both form and function, and you should not be subtle about telling your readers as much.
(picks up the Deus X Machine from his lab table. The device looks exactly like the Cool-o-meter from Bender Should Not Be Allowed on TV, only in tye dye colors) It's a device that measures how peaceful you are, much like my Cool-o-meter. The Granolians are a very image conscious race and will likely revert to their pacifist ways once they realize how brutal they look.
Fry: Wow, thanks Professor! I don't know what I'd do without you!

And that's all for this update. Not much of a stopping point, but it works, lengthwise. Next time: the end!
Kif White

Bending Unit
« Reply #64 on: 01-09-2005 16:42 »

Originally posted by Tongue Luck:
Kif White - Oh, good, one less rivalry to get worked up about. Also, I could submit this to TLZ maybe?

Sure! As soon as you're finished, send it on through  smile

Urban Legend
« Reply #65 on: 01-09-2005 20:51 »
« Last Edit on: 01-10-2005 00:00 »

Deus Ex Machine? Beautiful.

I've noticed that 'recycle line/joke from series' thing, too... It... sickens me.

No promblems here. Quite amusing.

Urban Legend
« Reply #66 on: 01-10-2005 11:57 »

Tounge(sic), you are awesome.

That 'recycle line' joke made me laugh the most yet, partially because of how you assembled the lines, and partially because of how true it is.

However, the "mention episodes to fit canon" has to be the device abused by most writers.  If you can slip in a reference to make a joke, it's all the better.  I like it when people do that.  But when it comes across as forced it ruins the tone of whatever I'm reading.

Keep them happy or end up on the wrong side of a cream pie.
Damn straight.

You have certainly gotten the hang of this, TL.  I hope to see another update soon; good luck in the depths of shippy despair doing more research!

(ditching a character because you don't feel like writing them is an awesome strategy.  I'm lazy enough to do that sometimes...)

« Reply #67 on: 01-10-2005 14:52 »

Bergey, are you hinting that you're writing fanfics again?

Oh, and I loved the Deus X Machine. I want one for my laundry room. Yay to TL.
say what now

Bending Unit
« Reply #68 on: 01-10-2005 22:27 »

Haha... wow, now I can't get pastry sex out of my head...

Anyway, this part was loverly. You nail everything that comes to mind (and more!) when I think about a bad (and, sadly, typical) shippy fic. It is very true that when a bad Futurama writer hears a line from a character they think even barely pertains to the character, they'll use it excessively... I knew this one chick who, when she wrote Bender, mentioned stealing, beer, and smoking in every single sentence. I don't think I have been more annoyed. Ever.

SO, thank you for doing a play on that. And the whole I MUST REMEMBER EVERY SHIPPY MOMENT THAT EVER HAPPENED AND DETAIL IT thing. Why do they do that?! I don't understand! How do they all do the same things? It's a plague! And yeah, damsel in distress Leela and hero Fry happens a lot... the reason you give for why is perfect and I believe it is very true.

So all in all you made another solid and very true chapter and made me laugh a lot. Huzzahs are in order!
Tongue Luck

Starship Captain
« Reply #69 on: 01-12-2005 03:17 »
« Last Edit on: 01-12-2005 03:17 »

I sort of miss when this thread was chock full of spirited debate. Now I'm bored. Ah, well.

Kif White - Will do. Yay!
SlackJawedMoron - I'd been anxiously sitting on that Deus X Machine idea for so long, I think it's permanently stained with my assprints. So thanks to the max for commenting on it.
JBERGES - Yes! Something good comes of Operation Make my Quote Game Entries Look Decent by Comparison! Now to work on Operation Learn to Come up with Shorter Operation Names...
Shaucker - Good to see you back at PEEL! Too many awesome people have been vanishing lately, and it was extra sad when you were among them. And once again, Deus X Machine... permanently... assprints... thanks... max... it.
say what now - Wow, thank you. I kind of think my hero/damsel context babble was too much of an oversimplification. Prob'ly should've said something or other about archetypes, but every time I tried, it turned out too feminist-y. So, it was very reassuring to hear a positive comment about the explanation that made it to the final cut.

Urban Legend
« Reply #70 on: 01-12-2005 03:47 »

There might not be any spirited debate but at least you can take solice in knowing you've made at least this fic writer paranoid enough to go back over her fic with a fine tooth comb.

DOOP Secretary
« Reply #71 on: 01-12-2005 03:48 »

I was once told Shakespeare said, "There is no higher art than drama."  To which I replied, "There is no higher art than making fun of Shakespeare."  Then I found out he probably didn't say that.

My point is, I'm enjoying this very much.

Bending Unit
« Reply #72 on: 01-13-2005 13:17 »

I've read the entire thing by now, and I'm anxiously waiting for the rest  big grin I haven't read that many Futurama fanfics to have seen before what you're pointing out, but I'm thoroughly enjoying this nonetheless. Update soon?  love

Space Pope
« Reply #73 on: 02-11-2005 20:53 »


Gorky - Damn your bump for inspiring me to hurry up and get this part out!

Hey, it worked once--maybe it'll work again.

Anyway, what to say, what to say, what to say (what to say, what to say, what to say)? Let's see--you managed to fit in that whole "Whoo-hoo, let's see how many episodes I can allude to!" formula (nice twisting of the "Futurestock" ending to satisfy the shippiness). (Actually, I shouldn't talk, because I did that in my first (finished) fic (to some extent), but, um...ooo, look over there, a birdie! *escapes*) Oh yeah, and again, Fry is painfully articulate when he's reflecting on past misfortunes (Did I mention I hate that...for a third time or something). The return of sitcom dramatic irony (nice term, on a totally pointless note) was perfectly placed--of course Leela's never gonna tell Fry about her feelings that the author pretty much created for self-serving purposes, because something always gets in the way. Finally, I like the whole damsel-in-distress thing because, let's stop kidding ourselves, in the Futurama-verse, all everyone cares about is Fry saving Leela, who has proved on numerous occasions that she can take care of herself.

Great work as always, Tongue Luck. And, even though I'm bumping this, you really don't have to worry about updating any time soon. I know how it is...that damn "life" thing always gets in the way of appeasing all us PEELers (we forgive you  wink).
Tongue Luck

Starship Captain
« Reply #74 on: 04-25-2005 02:35 »
« Last Edit on: 04-25-2005 02:35 »

Good lord, it's been an inexcusably long time. Which is convenient, as I have no decent excuse. Really, I just stopped wanting to work on this thing. I decided to wait until the snark muses started poking at me with sticks instead of forcing myself to write a subpar final installment. Then, as the months passed, I realized the muses had abandoned me. So I temporarily banned myself from PEEL and forced myself to write a subpar final installment. Enjoy!

Hmm... It's been too long for personal replies to be relevent, so I'll just randomly compliment people.
Venus - That picture you posted in the Fotoshop thread might just be the best thing ever. Don't spread it around, but I absolutely adore The Ring. Also, I like your umbrella.
DrThunder88 - When I first joined PEEL, I assumed the 88 in your username stood for 1988, which I further assumed was your birth year. I remember thinking you were much more hilarious than any sixteen year old I'd ever known. I still think so.
AsaB - Your fanart makes god jealous.
Gorky - Much of your analysis is more insightful than my source material. Damn it.
Everyone - You smell nice.

Armed with a handful of plot contrivance, Fry is about ready to lead this ragtag bunch of misfits to a predictable, sap-drenched conclusion. But what of the misfits the author personally dislikes? If there's a major supporting character you'd rather not write, don't bother. Until it's time to bother. Then bother a little. In other words, be sure to include a cameo to acknowledge this otherwise forgotten character, no matter how forced and unnatural it feels.
Fry (continued): So... We're ready to go, right? Let's go save Leela!
(enter Zoidberg)
Zoidberg: Hello!
Farnsworth: Where have you been, Zoidberg? I haven't seen you in days.
Zoidberg: My home planet's embassy is having a week-long potluck dinner! A marvelous celebration with balloons and streamers and other great things to eat! I'm only here to search the kitchen for a covered dish. Farewell friends! (exits)
(a beat)
Fry: Let's go save Leela!

(cut to: the PE ship. Fry is piloting with a determined look on his face. Amy, Bender, Hermes, and Farnsworth are there, doing nothing of interest. Everyone is silent.)
Now's as good a time as any to mine some more angst out of that ludicrous bazooka argument. You may skip this if you like. It will most definitely come up when Fry and Leela are reunited, whether or not you go to the trouble of threading it throughout the narrative. Normally, it would be better to sacrifice subplot continuity in favor of a quicker route to the final shippy resolution, but it's hard to pass up an opportunity to give Fry's mind something to whine about.
Fry's mind: I hope Leela's okay. What if she's not? What if she's... No! She's alive! She has to be. We never got a chance to make up after that fight we had. God, Phil, imagine if your last words to her were spoken in anger. You should have swallowed your pride and forgiven her. Now that Leela isn't around, Fry can go ahead and feel guilty about the argument. That does not, however, mean you should let go of the illusion that he was in the right. Momentarily throwing aside broad strokes of obvious characterization to dabble in subtext, this device will help you to create the impression that Leela is redeeming herself when she finally accepts Fry. She's been wrong to stubbornly reject his clumsy advances all these years, so she ought to be wrong in some other aspect of your fic as well. But we're getting ahead of ourselves. We haven't even made it back to Granola 6 yet. Unless...
Fry: Well, looks like we're there. You guys wait here. I'll go alone.
Hermes: No, mon! It's too risky!
Farnsworth: You'll be killed!
Amy: Let him go. He needs to prove himself. Indeed he does. Similar to Leela needing to see the light, Fry needs to go all out to impress Leela and finally win her love. Just like... all those other times, when he didn't win her love.
Farnsworth: No! It's suicide! I'm not hiring a new delivery boy!
Amy: But he's in love!
Farnsworth: Oh, okay.
Bender: Go get 'er, meatbag!
Fry: I will. Thanks, guys.

(cut to: the outside of the Granolian Military Fortress. Fry is banging on the door. Apparently, they've locked it this time.)
Fry: Let me in, you creeps! The girl of my dreams is in there, and I'm going to get her!
Voice from Within (exasperated): I'm coming, I'm coming!
(door opens)
Granolian: What do you want?
Fry: I want to see the prisoner!
Granolian: The cyclops? Never!
Fry: But I'm in love!
Granolian: Oh, okay. Follow me.
(Fry follows the Granolian down a series of hallways into a room containing a caged Leela. Granolian guards are stationed on either side of the door, in front of her cage, and scattered in other random places in the room. All are armed. Some are wielding the newly-acquired bazookas, some have laser guns, one has a sword.)
Fry: Well, I'll just be... taking Leela and going. Nice seeing you again.
Guard #1: Not so fast. You think we're going to let you go twice? If you're so determined to see this captive, perhaps we should imprison you as well. Get him!
(the sentient puffs of smoke descend on Fry, who, panicking slightly, fumbles in his pocket for the Deus X Machine)
Leela: Fry, no!
Guard #2: He's got a gun! Shoot him!
(Guard #2 shoots him. None of the other guards follow suit. The laser blast hits Fry in the chest. Leela gasps like a good piece of helpless damsel set dressing.)
Fry: (staggers slightly from the pain and impact but successfully finishes fishing the Deus X Machine from his pocket) Does this look like a gun to you?
Guard #2: Maybe.
Fry: Well, it's not! It's a gizmo that measures how peaceful you are! I think it's time I gave it a try. (He turns on the machine and points it at each of the guards in turn. It beeps infrequently and the arrow hovers around the lowest value.)
Guard #3: What fools we've been! (beeping speeds up, arrow starts to climb) Who cares what the Ophelian missionaries did? We can't let the man bring us down, man. Let's free the woman and have a hemp-growing festival!
Other Guards: Yay!
(Deus X Machine beeps furiously. An oversized white hand pops out of the side, making a peace sign. A voice vaguely similar to Tommy Chong's says, "Righteous." The guards all exit, one of them pressing a heretofore unnoticed red button on the wall as he leaves, unlocking Leela's cage.)
That was easy, eh? Once your incredibly convenient invention has been activated, everything must work exactly according to plan. Your readers will love being lulled into a false sense of security by a cheap knockoff of canon technobabble, only to be shocked when--at the moment of truth--the machine works exactly as they expected. If the guilt pangs brought on by the foul stench of lazy writing start to get to you, just repeat to yourself a mantra of, "irony is no longer ironic," until you've forgiven yourself. Or transcended reality to achieve a state of total Zen-like serenity. Whichever comes first. While you're working on that, take note of this. Before the machine is used, your characters are fair game for calamity. For instance, didn't Fry get shot?
Leela: Fry! You saved me! (opens cage door and runs to him... just as he collapses on the ground, unconscious) Fry? (gently peels back his jacket to reveal an ominous growing red stain on his shirt) Oh god! The laser... It must've... No! And... he used his last ounce of strength to save me! Once again taking cues from the series, you must make sure that Fry's heroics lead him to a near death experience, with Leela being the one to revive him. But how? First aid? The surprise unveiling of Deus X Puff Senior? Ha! Looks like someone's forgotten their cheesy Disney movies. The only surefire awakening technique is Declaration of Love #3. Fry, no! You can't die! I won't let you! I can't go on without you! Please, please, please live! I love you! And maybe a kiss for good measure. (She leans over and plants a gentle kiss on his lips. As she gets back up, a tear rolls down her cheek.)
Fry (weak): Got anymore where that came from?
Leela: Oh, Fry! I'm so glad you're alive!
Fry: Me too!
Leela: I don't know what I would've done if you... hadn't made it.
Fry: That's how I felt the whole flight over here.
Leela: Listen, Fry, I'm so sorry about earlier. I was being overly harsh.
Fry: It's okay, believe me. I could never stay mad at you. I promise.
Leela: (slightly watery smile) Promise me one other thing.
Fry: What's that?
Leela: That you'll never die on me.
Fry: (smiles back) I promise.

The end.
Or is it? This is a decent way to end your fic. Not quite up to par, but acceptable. The enemy has been deterred, love has been declared, the argument has been resolved, blood and tears have been shed, lines mushy enough to have been left on Jerry Maguire's cutting room floor have been spoken, and the reader is free to imagine a storybook continuation of this saccharine mass of cliches. Ah, but therein lies the problem. If you learn one thing from this guide, let it be this: never trust your reader to imagine anything. Who knows what equivocal places their simple little minds could wander without you leading the way? So, let's see a more concrete ending.

(cut to: Fry's quarters on the PE ship. Fry has been bandaged up, and he is sitting alone on his bunk, looking sullen. Leela enters. Fry looks at the floor.)
Leela: Hey. Feeling any better?
Fry: A little. I was just lucky that laser blast didn't hit any vital organs.
Leela: I'll say. Chests are pretty vital places.
(They both laugh awkwardly.)
Fry: Look, I know why you're here.
Leela: What are you talking about?
Fry: You're here to tell me not to read too much into how you said you loved me. That you were saying all sorts of crazy things to try to bring me back. I already know. I'm not mad. I'm not deluding myself. I'm happy it worked. So, there's no need to confront me about it, okay?
Declaration of Love #3 was delivered under stressful circumstances, leading Fry to jump to strange conclusions. He chooses to believe she was speaking out of cunning, ignoring the obvious fact that the words were forcefully squeezed out of her by an overzealous writer who values disingenuous emotion over consistent characterization. Er, the obvious fact that she was speaking out of love, I mean. Don't know how that other bit got in there. Anyway, this contrived display of pessimism can be put to good use, as it brings us to Declaration of Love #4.
Leela: No, Fry. That's not it at all. I do love you. I've always loved you. I've only recently been able to admit it to myself, but I now realize that you're the only one for me.
Fry: Really? You're not... You didn't... This is great! I love you too, Leela!
Leela: I know. And I never get sick of hearing it. (she takes a seat next to him on the bed and holds his hand) So... Now what?
Fry: Let's set a date. Tomorrow night at Elzar's. And an ape fight the next day. And then dancing the day after. And then maybe a movie after that...
Leela: Plans for the rest of our lives together, then? (smiles) Sounds great.

The end.
Or is it? This sort of ending is like a more conclusive version of certain 4ACV endings. Instead of the promise of a date, there's the promise of a relationship. Instead of a confused moment of awkward sweetness, there's a moment of confusion followed by intense, overdone sweetness. But the episode endings always reversed themselves by the start of the next show. What if your ending were to do the same? With that in mind, you may want to either besmirch an existing canon ending or take the lovebirds far beyond the realms explored by said inconclusive conclusions. Let's take a look at both.

(establishing shot of the PE ship pulling into the hangar)
(cut to: Fry's quarters. He and Leela are still on his bed, now engaged in some heavy petting. The door opens and Farnsworth enters.)
Farnsworth: Get a room, you two! There's to be no canoodling on my ship!
(Fry and Leela both quickly get up, looking embarrassed. They follow Farnsworth into the ship's cabin, where Amy, Hermes, and Bender sit, all looking extraordinarily amused.)
Bender: It's about time you flesh piles hooked up!
Amy: Ooh, when's the wedding?
Hermes: What'd I tell you, mon? I knew she was about ready to fall for you.
Leela: Ugh... Fry, you want to get out of here?
Fry: Please.
Leela: Good. Walk me home?

(cut to: Fry and Leela walking the pavement as the sun sets on the futuristic cityscape. Their hands are clasped tightly, their smiles unwavering, their eyes misty.)
Fry: Some day we've had.
Leela: (nods fervently) I wouldn't want it any other way.
Fry: Me neither. I still can't believe this is actually happening. I keep thinking it's some wonderful dream.
Leela: (clutches his hand tighter) A dream come true maybe. (leads Fry to the front door of an apartment building) I'm in this building here. Don't you remember the way?
Fry (suddenly melancholy): How could I forget?
Leela: What do you mean?
(they sit down on the front steps)
Fry: The only other time I was here... It didn't end so well.
Leela: Oh. That. Fry, I'm so sorry about that night. I was stupid. You caught me off guard, and I was in an emotional state, and... (looks down, ashamed) Those aren't excuses. I'm sorry for the way I acted.
Fry: It's fine.
Leela: How did you even manage it? Getting rid of the worms, I mean.
Fry: I never told you, did I? (Leela shakes her head) Well, I needed to know if you loved the real Fry, or just the worm-induced SuperFry. Hmm... Is it just me, or does that name sound familiar? If you want to feel fiendishly clever, find a way to work in the name or pseudonym of a prominent member of the Futurama fan community. If you want to feel fiendishly elitist, make sure the name belongs to someone completely obscure to those unfamiliar with the history, culture, and in-jokes of peelified.com. Take that, a third of TLZ's readership! Anyway, back to Fry's episode-ruining divulgence. Ends up it was the second one you loved.
Leela: SuperFry, you mean?
Fry: Right, him. I was crushed, but it was worth it. It was worth dueling an army of those disgusting worms. It was worth making a mess of my own brain. It was worth threatening to chop off my medusa enchilada if they didn't leave, even though I would've died in the process.
Leela: (gasps) I had no idea! That's so noble of you.
And, with that, a little piece of Parasites Lost dies forever. As a shipfic writer, it is your duty to feel personally affronted by the bittersweet endings of 3ACV's shipper episodes. Luckily, this duty is accompanied by a privilege. If you wish, you may go to great lengths to undo these endings. In this example, Fry simply told Leela the story, but feel free to include heaps of crazy plot twists in your own ending negation. The unlikelier the circumstances, the better! On another note, don't go reversing one ending without the other. If you're going to be killing episodes, you might as well go for the double homicide.
(Leela opens the front door and the two of them begin to walk up the stairs. The camera stays focused on one place, showing their backs as they exit the shot.)
Fry (voice over): Oh, also, I used some stars to write you a love note in the sky when we were trying to fix the time skips, but then time skipped over it, and then, later, I saw the message, but it imploded before you could.

(cut to: apartment 1I's front door. She unlocks it. Fry shuffles his feet, looking uncomfortable.)
Fry: Well, I'll see you tomorrow. Elzar's at seven, right?
Leela: Right. (awkward pause) Good night! (closes the door. Fry stands there in the hallway, gazing wistfully off into the distance. The door opens again.) Oh, get in here! (Leela drags Fry into her apartment, through the living room, and into her bedroom. She closes this door as well, but this time it stays shut. The camera lingers on the door as moans of ecstasy and creaking bedsprings become suddenly audible.)

The end.
Or is it? Funny thing about Leela's apartment. It spurs a sex scene like no other place in the known universe. Guess the underfurnished state of the place doesn't leave them much else to do. This is a fine way to end your fic. PG rated romantic comedy style sex implications are sure to be enjoyed by giggling twelve year olds around the world. But if you really want to wow your readership, you'll have to take that extra step to move this already rushed relationship to the speed of light.

(new scene: Leela's bedroom, the next morning. Leela is asleep, her head nestled in the crook of Fry's arm. He is awake, watching her.)
Fry's mind: Wow, Phil, can you believe your luck? She's so beautiful, and now she finally loves you back. It doesn't get any better than this.
Leela: (stirs slightly, blearily opens her eye) Good morning.
Fry: Good morning, Leela.
Leela: Have you been awake for long?
Fry: Not too long. As if it matters. I could lie here forever, watching you sleep peacefully and letting my mind wander.
Leela: You really mean that?
Fry: I do.
Leela: So, what were you thinking about?
Fry: All sorts of things. You, mostly.
Leela: Really?
Fry: And... That thing Amy said. "When's the wedding?"
Leela: (smiles) As soon as possible.

The end.
No, really. So, as this friendly guide draws to a close, you should feel confident enough to write a shipfic of your own. You'll be fine, so long as you remember to change the characters almost beyond recognition, utilize internal monologues and dialogues to the point of mental anguish, liberally borrow from canon even as you mangle it to suit your fancy, and always, always underestimate the intelligence of your readers. They'll love you for it.

So, that's it. There will be much editing and reworking before I submit it to TLZ. Maybe after that I'll look my money in the mouth that feeds me and try my hand at some actual fanfic, but probably not. It'd be sure to take me decades to get past the first sentence. Anyway, I thrive on your comments like pigeons thrive on rice before their stomachs explode. Anything you have to say will be appreciated.

Urban Legend
« Reply #75 on: 04-25-2005 02:58 »

M'lady TL, your absence was like a thorny vine encircling my heart, growing tighter by the day.  But lo! My heart is freed to beat again without rending itself to bloody messy pieces all over my lungs! (And have you ever tried to clean your lungs? Difficult business.) Your return is like the sun emerging from behind the cloud! The grass growing after the landfill! The ice-cream stand floating in the lava! I need never feel like eating my neighbours again! (Except maybe the youngest one. He's small, he won't be missed).

Yeah. So, absolutely top job. You actually made the ending(s) so excruciating that I had to destroy my computer in a blind rage.

You rock and stuff.

Starship Captain
« Reply #76 on: 04-25-2005 05:50 »

 Just thought I would stop by to set the Topic Icon on fire.
 Well, task completed; Im off.

No, really. So, as this friendly guide draws to a close, you should feel confident enough to write a shipfic of your own. You'll be fine, so long as you remember to change the characters almost beyond recognition, utilize internal monologues and dialogues to the point of mental anguish, liberally borrow from canon even as you mangle it to suit your fancy, and always, always underestimate the intelligence of your readers. They'll love you for it.

Just had to quote that.

*Yeah, but you're using induction.

Space Pope
« Reply #77 on: 04-25-2005 17:05 »

Wow, this thread is back. Great ending, TL.

Anyway, here's my meaningless analysis of this part, 'cause lives are for chumps.

Okay, let me just say that this was a perfect example of a typical shipper fic ending. Not only was the action minimal (exposition's for losers...and so is half-decent adventurey Futurama type stuff), but the sap was piled on. Case in point, the multiple endings. The audience can't be satisfied with just Leela's totally Out-Of-Character declaration(s) of love--they have to see 1.)as many revelations as possible, 2.)classic Futurama episodes degraded, 3.)the implication of sex, 4.)sex in and of itself, and 5.)um...did I mention sex? And, of course, there's Super-Slut Leela, the man-hungry spinster just waiting for a man she never showed much of an interest in! (I'm refering to her "As soon as possible" line regarding marriage.)

The second area of discussion is, of course, disregarding some of the funniest characters in the series. Zoidberg is usually the first "minor" character to go by the wayside, usually because most people writing shipper fics are 1.)too lazy to even attempt to write good Zoidy lines that'll probably just end up coming off as cheap rip-offs of a line from the series or 2.)too blinded by their "mission" to appease themselves and other shippers by getting Fry and Leela in bed together as soon as possible (screw courtship!) to really care about Zoidberg and others.

Ah...and, it's the return of contrived set-ups! I mean, all Fry has to say is "But I love her!", and not only do the feeble-minded old dude (um...that Professor Farnsworth guy) and a vicious guard from a bazooka-obsessed race let him on his way. Seriously, that's one of the most annoying inventions by ship writers everywhere.

Annoying invention number 2 is making Fry an old soul, desperate for love, who can be as articulate as a poet when he wants to be. Example:

You're here to tell me not to read too much into how you said you loved me. That you were saying all sorts of crazy things to try to bring me back. I already know. I'm not mad. I'm not deluding myself. I'm happy it worked. So, there's no need to confront me about it, okay?

Delude? Confront? What, did Fry swallow a dictionary or something? (It doesn't work...trust me.) It's not even so much the fact that he's using big words (at least, by his standards), but he's using them in a coherent manner. I mean, does he ever talk like that?

As for Leela, her dialogue is usually just as...boring and proper and...un-Leela-ie. An example:

No, Fry. That's not it at all. I do love you. I've always loved you. I've only recently been able to admit it to myself, but I now realize that you're the only one for me.

Yes, Leela always talks like that. That's why she's such a funny comedic heroine. Because of properly structered sentences that sound nothing like her at all. That's why she's so endearing to us all.  roll eyes

Although, I do have one complaint about the dialogue that doesn't have to do with articulation...

It was worth threatening to chop off my medusa enchilada if they didn't leave...

Now that's just too funny! What have you learned from reading shipper fics? No jokes, missy! None! Humor of any kind--slapstick...um...knock-knock jokes, you name it--is strictly forbidden! Now go to your room and think about what you did, young lady! Jesus... I need a smoke...

Er...anyway, great job, TL. I can't wait until you decide to submit this to TLZ...to see what kind of rating and feedback and all that sort of stuff you get. They'll either hate you or love you. (Hope it's the latter...)

And, is it just me, or would a legit fic from this girl be fantastic?

It's just me, isn't it...

Urban Legend
« Reply #78 on: 04-25-2005 18:05 »
« Last Edit on: 04-25-2005 18:05 »

The more I think about your Deus X Machine gag, the more I laugh.  So clever.

Anyway, the end of your fic did what many Futurama fics have done; force me to skip past concluding monologue/dialogue before I punch the nearest object out of sheer hatred for the text.  This time, though, I went back and read it to get the full effect of your tireless research.  The drawn out, formal, proclamations of love, the death and dearth of subtlety, the intentional ruining of season three episodes...  what makes it all the sadder is that you barely had to exaggerate to turn it into a satire. Well done on all accounts, Tongue.  Now please write a fun comedy fic, because I know you can do it right.
If you want to feel fiendishly clever, find a way to work in the name or pseudonym of a prominent member of the Futurama fan community.
Hey, I  invented that!  Don't make fun of it! *cries forever*

Liquid Emperor
« Reply #79 on: 04-25-2005 18:13 »

My absolute favorite line?

Leela gasps like a good piece of helpless damsel set dressing.


Well, this last part was the most gag-inducing of them all, so I guess that means it was a great success.  This is the most creative Futurama writing I've ever seen hit PEEL (sorry JBERGES  frown) You really did an excellent job.  I'm looking forward to a 'real' fic, if you ever get around to it... Though have fun avoiding all the pitfalls you so graciously pointed out in this story  wink
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