The Other Pokeauthors, Part 149

Very chill today.

re: Your review to In Beta
30 MayNamohysip
A response to your review at

Heya, thanks for the review! I’ll reply to this bit by bit.

-I didn’t actually know that bit about blond and blonde. “Blond” looks so… strange to read. I don’t know why. But now I know. English is weird.

-regarding capitalizing Pokemon species names. I understand your argument and it makes sense, but in terms of how it’s treated in canon, seeing it capitalized is more comfortable to the eye. Additionally, I actually have an in-universe explanation for this, though that’s only really seen in my main, Mystery Dungeon work than this, but it leaks into here. The species name is their legal name, in the same way we have last names. Grammatically, “He’s a Charmander” is the same context of “He’s a Smith” and so on, similar to referring to someone by their clan name. A happy compromise!

Regarding thinking it was “silly” — I think I may have misconstrued exactly what it means to have that code that seemed to change itself. As someone who is working in software development, you absolutely don’t want your original source code to change itself, and don’t confuse neural networks with code that changes its own source. While they sound similar, they’re very different, and what Evan was making was not intended to be something that switched around its own source code.

As for the missing symbols… oh dear. I think you’re right. FFN doesn’t like some of the stuff I put down here thanks to the strange characters used. Ugh. Now I have to track down what it ate… Thanks for pointing it out.

Next up, “Servers still running hot” is intentionally incorrect. The correct way to say it is, “The servers are still running hot,” but Ted’s speaking in shorthand because, uh, everything’s almost on fire.

And lastly, yeah, bit of a slow opening to set it all up. If I wanted to bother with revising this again, I probably would have simplified it down to just Evan, Ted, and Growlithe for the beginning and imply everyone else already left, so we can get to the interesting part faster. But yes, this is everything. This is the story about the very first Porygon, nothing more than that.

Thanks again for reading!

re: Your review to A Legacy of Burnt Sienna
31 MayJonathan Cena OFFICIAL
A response to your review at

Part of me isn’t sure if I should laugh at the fact that you tried to review something like this seriously, or if I should be thanking you for triggering the absolute SHIT out of this Hybrid of Fate nutjob who keeps PMing me, because that’s pretty funny too.

I guess the only logical conclusion is to do both, so thanks. 😂

P.S. My word processor goes out of it’s way to try and force me to capitalize pokemon, and you’re the only reason I bothered to go out of my way to fix it (I went back to change it immediately after hybrid sent their first PM to me), so I’m glad that you appreciated it so much.

secs agoComedy is fair game for criticism as much as any genre. Slurs and low-hanging fruit make for poor comedy, even if you’re not trying to put effort into this.
1h agoI never said it wasn’t, and it’s fine if you don’t like my sense of humor. I wasn’t trying to come off as angry or anything, I was just genuinely elated that you bothered. I didn’t think you’d take the time to leave a review on what basically amounts to heavily edited drunk shitposting, so it made me laugh when I got home after work and saw it. I do appreciate it though.

You don’t have to like me or the things I make, but I got no beef with you. 😊

(The postscript was completely serious though, lol.)

St Elmo’s Fire,

A new guest review has been posted to your story. Please login to moderate this review.

Story: The Darkness Between Stars
Chapter: 11. Heart of the Crystal Gems

From: Guest

:You wouldn’t capitalize animal or mouse or dragon, so you shouldn’t capitalize words like pokemon or pikachu or charizard. The only time you should capitalize it is if you’re using it as the pokemon’s name, ie, Ash’s pikachu is called Pikachu. This is because you only capitalize when it’s a proper noun, which are the names of places or things. Similar reasoning should be applied to any other words you’re thinking of capitalizing, like trainer or professor or gym.


Thank you!
31 MayEli Mara
A response to your review at

Appreciate the thoughtful review. Thanks for reading!


  1. Ghost says:

    The species name is their legal name, in the same way we have last names. Grammatically, “He’s a Charmander” is the same context of “He’s a Smith” and so on, similar to referring to someone by their clan name. A happy compromise!

    That’s actually pretty clever if the story’s confined to one region or location.

    1. Namo says:

      At least for my main work, it is indeed confined to a specific setting, Kilo of Hands of Creation. From what I understand, PMD doesn’t garner the interest of folks around here, so I imagine that’s why it isn’t taken into account.

      It’s something that I would consider an appropriate canon explanation for capitalization, and it has worked well for me so far. At least it’s not being typed in all caps, right?

  2. Namo says:


    I’m the author of In Beta, the first reply on this page. It came to my attention that my private messages are being published here. I found out because one of those anti folks published an excerpt of my reply as another review to my work.

    So, aside from the fact that I briefly thought my account was hacked, I kinda don’t appreciate the fact that this was done without, like, asking first. Kinda not cool. I have nothing to hide in what I had replied, and I’m not asking you to take it down, but it’s sort of a huge breach of mutual respect to do something like this on a public blog.

    Please keep this in mind for the future and ask first if you review more of my work. I generally reply to everyone out of courtesy and in confidence, and hope that a similar courtesy is given to me in return.






    If you need to verify that it’s actually me, just send me a private message on FFN. Don’t worry, I don’t publish it anywhere…

    1. I clearly state that I repost PMs on my profile. I have never made any attempt to keep this a secret or entrap anyone.

      I do not see how this is in any way a breach of trust. Your message was in response to a public comment and contained no sensitive information (if either of those things are different, I do not repost). I genuinely do not understand the issue.

      1. Namo says:
        Nowhere in your review did you disclaim that what you get in reply privately is posted to a blog publicly. The review is going to be where most people look when they replying. It is completely disingenuous to expect someone to consent to something like this if you put your “disclaimer” somewhere else other than the initial point of contact.

        If you’re going to be doing this, I recommend you revise your introduction for your reviews to state this explicitly. Placing a disclaimer in the middle of your bio is not sufficient. The onus is on you to provide this information upfront and in the appropriate location if you are going to be sharing private conversations publicly. You are not the judge of what the other person felt was “sensitive information” or not. You cannot expect everybody who replies to you to look at and read your entire profile before replying. Be responsible.

        Thank you.

        1. Farla says:

          Think about how badly that’d actually be taken. It’s easy to jump to the idea that any other way of doing it must be better simply because one’s already happened and the other hasn’t.

          PMs on a site that has no other way of talking to people are not getting sent as the result of an intentional decision that they wanted something kept private. They’re getting sent because someone clicks the only links available to them. The main difference between what’s happening here and the standard behavior across the internet is that we attempt to do so consistently and honestly instead of picking a couple people we want to crucify and showing off precisely enough to best mock them.

      2. Negrek says:
        Eh, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to ask that a disclaimer about PM reposting be included in the review boilerplate, especially if people are now taking things posted in private messages and using them to attack authors who don’t immediately condemn everything you say in your reviews. I would find it really unsettling if someone got up in my face with words that I thought only one other person had seen, and I don’t usually look at author profiles before I reply to reviews.
        1. Farla says:

          The boilerplate would be great and free up profile space (it’s usually not even relevant to people actually showing up to PM me through my profile) if people hadn’t made it clear that the “I’m doing this thing” warning gets taken even worse than seeing us doing the thing. Indeed, this has just illustrated that people are completely nuts on the subject and left to their own devices decide a pressing issue is that hypothetically we could put different text in people’s mouths.

          1. Negrek says:
            Well, I figure the people who’ll get weird about it will get weird about something no matter what you do, and the people who don’t get weird about things might appreciate it. But I totally understand not wanting to invite more drama. :(
          2. bastion says:
            I feel like a fair middle ground would be to append this to the bottom of the initial disclaimer on the “I’m doing a round of reviews on the site” paragraph, or maybe upon the first response in the PM chain? I completely understand your need to keep thorough documentation, but sharing of theoretically private information is ideally opt-in rather than opt-out and I can see why people would be a little leery of it.
            1. Namo says:
              If a single line was added stating that mentioned these private messages are being published to this blog, none of my complaints here would have happened, yes. Somewhere above, I mentioned as much; the issue wasn’t that they were being published. It was that I hadn’t been fairly informed of this happening in the first place, and had a brief freakout that my account had been hacked and someone gained access to my private messages. That’s just one unforeseen consequence of publishing someone’s private conversations publicly without their knowledge. That’s in addition to the perceived dishonesty I felt by Elmo doing this in the first place without telling me.

              Again, let me reiterate: If you just added a “your PMs will be published here”-like disclaimer in your “boilerplate” review base, everything I said here would be resolved and you can safely say you’re being completely honest. I understand what you’re doing and why you’re doing it otherwise.

  3. Namo says:
    Hi, Farla.

    You contradicted yourself within two paragraphs.

    [Think about how badly that’d actually be taken.]

    You’re right. How badly would that be taken if people knew that the conversations you have with people privately is shared publicly all the time? Maybe that’s a sign that it’s sort of a not cool thing to do.

    [PMs on a site that has no other way of talking to people . . . ]

    Forums with a subscribe function. Those exist on FFN. If you want a public conversation about your work, you can tell them to join you on a forum. No harm no foul if something they say there gets posted somewhere else. It’s already public and everyone knows it.

    I’m sure you’ll be complaining that not everybody would want to go out of their way to join your forum, but then again, not everybody is going to go out of their way to read someone’s bio before replying to a review. You’re already expecting people to go out of their way in order for you to consider yourself “right.” This is no different.

    [we attempt to do so consistently and honestly]

    Honestly, as in, by hiding your disclaimer in a bio that not everyone will read when they reply, and then post to here without their knowledge? You just admitted you don’t want to put the disclaimer front and center to be truly honest, after all. Because you know it’ll look bad. When ironically, it’s the one thing that might justify you doing it in the first place. You aren’t being honest. You’re lying by omission.


    Speaking of honesty, you know what’s also funny about doing these private conversations publicly? Editing source html on a page. It’s stupid easy to hit F12 on a page and literally edit the text of what’s said in a private message before taking a screenshot, copy/paste, whatever. And because a lot of people don’t actually know this is done, they’ll have no way to defend themselves if their message had been edited.

    Do I think you’re doing this? Probably not. However, because you’re the only other person who has original access to these messages, if the other person in the conversation isn’t here, you’re the only person who can truly know if that was done or not, with no way to prove it one way or the other. This problem is completely resolved if you had these original conversations on a public forum instead. Or, you know, didn’t share private conversations publicly in the first place, or at least made a disclaimer so more people could come here to verify that, yes, they said that, and yes, they were fine with it being made public.

    If you’re trying to justify yourself and how you’re going about things now, you’re fighting a losing battle.

    1. Act says:

      Your over-the-top catastrophizing is not useful, nor is your seeming assumption that this was started last week as some plot to humiliate you. Take a deep breath, look around the blogs and Farla’s forum to get a sense of why this has been the review procedure for like 15 years, and then come back and have a calm discussion.

      If you don’t want your conversation here, tell us and it will go away. No one will think less of you for this.

      Or, idk, keep raving incoherently about how there’s some timeline where posting PMs causes nuclear war.

    2. Farla says:

      Speaking of honesty, you know what’s also funny about doing these private conversations publicly? Editing source html on a page. It’s stupid easy to hit F12 on a page and literally edit the text of what’s said in a private message before taking a screenshot, copy/paste, whatever. And because a lot of people don’t actually know this is done, they’ll have no way to defend themselves if their message had been edited.

      So because a bad thing we’re not doing is physically possible in the world and such misrepresentation of what was actually said is horrible, it’d be better to not have the actual text. Because people being able to defend themselves against mistruth is important, we shouldn’t let anyone know what was actually said and it should just be however we choose to describe it instead.

      People are not actually hurt by their words here. They consistently don’t ask us to take the PMs down even when they’re here just to say how very upset they are about it. Instead, like you, people mostly start hypothetical arguments about how this could be a terrible thing if only we intentionally did something to make it terrible – misrepresenting people, using it as a hitlist, publishing actual sensitive information, refusing to take it down when the person asks. And those tend to be the reasons why people react badly to being told we’re doing this – not because they don’t want their words known, but because when they think of the very idea, they assume there’s some convoluted malicious plan behind it.

      1. Namo says:
        I’m not implying that what you’re doing is intentionally malevolent, let alone that you have some plan beyond trying to defend yourselves of what you say in private conversations. I’m saying that your means of doing so is irresponsible and disrespectful. And for someone who seems to hold themselves to such high standards, I’m surprised to see you  doing it. I’m disappointed, because I held you in a positive light beforehand.


        But it seems that we’re at an impasse. You’re justified in your mind that what you’ve been doing all this time is perfectly acceptable, even if you have to hide the truth a bit when actually posting your reviews. After all, you’ve been doing it for 15 years, according to someone up above. I just hope that by posting this all publicly, it will continue to have the intended effect. But I’m sorry to say that while I had some respect for your group (particularly against the trolls that have been hounding you) that has diminished after seeing what has happened on this page. Sorry. I don’t think there’s much more to be said here unless things change.




        1. Act says:

          Wait, so you’re aware we’ve been undergoing a targeted alt- right hate campaign that including among other things *someone contracting the lawyer of our web host to try to get the site taken down for hate speech* and you’re unable to understand why we’re in favor of clear, comprehensive documentation? In fact, in this situation, we’re in the wrong for promoting total transparency.


    3. I thought I’d pop in to give my two cents. Sorry for the long post, everyone. I actually do agree with you on an emotional level, Namo, specifically about how the disclaimers pertaining to the posting of PMs aren’t posted in the most relevant place, as most people don’t actually visit the profile of the person reviewing. Ideally, such information wouldn’t be posted at all. The overall situation at hand, however, is far from an ideal one, where people react fairly and rationally. As Act has pointed out, and as you yourself are apparently aware of on some level, the people here have been treated unfairly, and as a result, have had to respond accordingly. It’s not that they’re doing this as part of some harassment campaign, it’s kinda the opposite.


      I haven’t been around long enough to see all of it, but from my understanding, Farla has been reviewing fairly, giving constructive criticism for 15 years. “Fairly,” in this case, means reviewing a story without going for the praise sandwich, and illuminating all the various flaws she sees for the author to be able to address so that they may improve their story or as a writer. Unfortunately, most people don’t want a fair review, they want idle praise, even if that means a reviewer lying through their teeth or not saying anything at all. And in this society of “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all,” a great deal of people have arisen with the notion that for some reason that a review– an actual review, not just “omg I luv it pls continue”– is out-of-bounds, and should be treated as an act of war.

      Hence, Hybrid.

      The people here are actually really good, honorable people, though. I haven’t agreed with every method they do, and my involvement in the scene first came with my being a petulant naysayer, even, after Saint told me my extremely less-than-perfect story was less than perfect. But it didn’t take me long to realize that they’re not actually the spawn of Satan, and that they do have a reason for the way they do things.

      In the past, I had even requested that the people here take down PM chains regarding my reviews, and they did. If this is about your reviews being made public, and if you genuinely have a problem with that, if you ask them to remove them, they will do so. I can understand your issue with private messages being made public. I don’t really like it, either. The issue at hand is that they’ve been attacked for fifteen or so years (I have no idea the exact amount for when this started happening, just that it’s been going on for some time) by people who can commit all manners of libel. They can say Farla or Saint or Act or anyone who reviews, really, made a death threat against them, made hate speech, any provocative thing that will get the already-aggravated masses even more riled up against the people who dare to give more than the customary praise sandwich.

      That, of course, is where the PMs come in. I’m sure you’re aware that some reviewing websites post the PMs of authors who behave in a childish manner, so that they may mock them as a deterrent for future childish behavior, such as in the case of this:

      The problem here is that Farla has a stronger code of ethics than scifiandscary, and while that website is probably justified in their policy of posting private conversations for people who harass them, it has the possibility of damaging their reputation or writing career, as was mentioned by the author that link concerns. People don’t notice a PM chain if it’s one in a thousand, but if someone posts one in a rare occasion, or if people know it’s tied to drama, it’s like an endorsement to gather the internet ’round to gawk at the person, “see that’s the one, look how stupid he was for saying those things, what a loser…”

      Furthermore, having access to everything that’s been said provides Dragon Quill a defense against people who would and have committed libel. No, it’s not perfect, photoshop exists, but something is better than nothing, right? If DQ didn’t have to deal with such an overwhelming amount of trolls, I would argue for a compromise, something similar to what I did when I thought my reviews might be made public, and give the author options in a corresponding review, such as:

      -PMs remain totally private-A summary of what you have said will be given-PMs are posted with name omitted-PMs will be posted without modification

      But if such a system exists, DQ’s name can be slandered with impunity, as they have the first option of making everything private. The fact that they’re willing to take down PM chains at all is proof of their applying a code of honor to this system. The second option still allows room for people to cry wolf. The third one is totally useless, as it doesn’t tie the conversation to a specific user at all, and thus cannot be used as a defense against an untrue accusation. The fourth option, the one currently in place, is the only one capable of doing that, at least to some degree.

      TLDR; the system in place exists for a reason, if you care to look hard enough. They’re not doing this to harass anyone, but so that they won’t be harassed further.

      Edit: cleaned up some of the beginning paragraph so my intended message was made clearer.


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