LAST UPDATED: 2016/07/17


Dennis Carr took over maintenance of the FAQ temporarily. Obsolete data has been removed and/or revised.


Dennis Carr <dennisthetiger@chez-vrolet.net>


Switch <niftol@i-manila.com.ph>
Shunsuke <shunsuke@direct.ca> (no longer working) Gary Kleppe <gary@garykleppe.org>
Warr <warr@gci.net>
The Eternal Lost Lurker
Andy "Panda" Skuse (Co-Creator)
Sapphire, The Blue Tigress (Co-Creator) Vincent Seifert <seifertv@csus.edu>
Michael A Chase <mchase@ix.netcom.com> (no longer working)

If you have any questions or comments regarding this FAQ, or would like the latest updated version, please E-mail one of the current maintainers above.

The FAQ is also on the web in plain text at:


Shaule Sachs has put together an HTML version of the FFML FAQ at:

http://zaxxon.freeshell.org/ffml/faq.html (out of date as of current revision)



If nothing else, it will tell you how to unsubscribe when you are ready to leave. As a hint, posting a message to the list will NOT get you unsubscribed, and will probably only result in a lot of angry E-mails or FAQ copies from other users.


If you think you've been unsubscribed or if you think the list is down, see the section "'I think I've been unsubscribed.' OR 'Is the list down?'"

On-list replies to test messages are subject to the same rulings as posting a test message; in other words, a tempbanning.


Be forewarned that anyone posting a chain message to the FFML will be immediately banned. Chain messages include any E-mail that instructs the recipient to forward it to as many people as possible, especially computer virus warnings.


You should generally not reply on-list to [Admin] posts; if for some reason you feel it is absolutely necessary to do so, remove the tag [Admin] from the subject header. Anyone using the [Admin] tag who is not an admin may be tempbanned.



People injudiciously using the Reply-All function on posts of this nature have created problems in the past. If you wish to submit a fanfic to RAAC at the same time as you post it to the FFML, simply send two separate posts. If you cross-post to the FFML and RAAC, your FFML posting privileges may be removed.


For the following information about email messages and requests, any word in angled brackets <like these> should NOT include the brackets with the word. The angled brackets are used only to clarify the word(s) they contain.


For information about fanfic related websites, newsgroups and irc, see the "FFML Resources" guide. If you missed it when it was posted, send a request to either of the FAQ Co-Maintainers listed at the top of this FAQ. Or you can get it from the following websites:


Yes, we know it's badly out of date. If you'd like to help do something about that, please contact us.

The fanfic mailing list (FFML, or ML for short) is a forum for authors and fans to discuss fanfics (fanfiction stories) that are posted to the FFML. Originally, the FFML allowed only stories involving settings, characters, props, attacks or any combination of the above from anime/manga. The scope has since expanded, but it still has a strong anime/manga flavor.

Just in case you don't know what anime or manga is, anime refers to Japanese animation (cartoons) and manga refers to Japanese graphic novels (comic books).

To SUBSCRIBE TO or UNSUBSCRIBE FROM the FFML, access the page at


and fill in and click as advised.

You can also make such adjustments via email. You can obtain a list of commands recognized by the list server by sending a message to:


with the word "help" in the subject or body (don't include the quotes), and you will get back a message with instructions.

Excellent question!

First off, all commands should be sent to: ffml-request@chez-vrolet.net

...with either a single command in the subject line, or a list of commands in the body of your email.

The important commands are as follows:

password [<oldpassword> <newpassword>] [address=<address>]

        Retrieve or change your password.  With no arguments, this
        returns your current password.  With arguments <oldpassword>
        and <newpassword> you can change your password.
        (Semi-important - you were automatically issued a password
        when you initially subscribed if you did not provide one
        through the webui.  If you don't have that, use this command.

set -

Set or view your membership options.

        Use `set help' (without the quotes) to get a more detailed
        list of the options you can change.

        Use `set show' (without the quotes) to view your current
        option settings.

There are other commands, but the above commands are the ones you'll most likely use through email. To retrieve the full list of commands, simply send a message to:


with the word 'help' in the subject or body (don't include the quotes), and you will get back a message with instructions.

Options (functionally equivalent to "flags" on the old FFML) determine how the computer deals with your list subscription.

For example, if the option 'Mail delivery disabled' is set on your account, it will not send you posts made to the list. This is useful for going on a vacation without having to unsubscribe from the list; it's equivalent to the 'Vacation' flag on the old FFML.

If the option 'Set Digest Mode On' is set, instead of receiving individual messages from a list, you'll receive one post per day containing all the day's messages. If the day's traffic exceeds 256K, you'll get more than one digest for that day.

If the option 'Receive your own posts to the list' is set (as it is by default), you will receive copies of your own posts.

If the option 'Receive acknowledgement mail when you send mail to the list' is set, you will receive a short note telling you that your message has been received.

You can set options by going to


and logging in with your email address and the password sent to you when you subscribed.

The list software automatically does this when too many messages come back to chez-vrolet.net because they could not be delivered to your address. This may happen because your mailbox is full, or because of some technical problem at your internet provider. The option may be enabled in the usual option-setting way (see 'What are options, and how do I use them?' above). If it keeps getting disabled by the system, consult your internet provider and ask them why your account is bouncing messages.

Important note - one has three weeks to remedy the situation on their own before they are automatically unsubscribed.

Send mail to <ffml@chez-vrolet.net>. As a measure to block E-mail advertisements on the list, only subscribers are allowed to post. Those subscribed in 'vacation' mode (see 'What are options, and how do I use them?' above, and the section immediately below) can still post even though they do not actually receive any FFML mail, however.

Before you send anything, please, please, PLEASE read the rest of the FAQ, especially the following sections "What can I post to the ML?" "What is SPAM?" "Don't beat a dead horse;" and the first section of "What is C&C?"

Yes and no. You can't post from an address that isn't on the list, but you can subscribe for posting purposes only, without actually getting any mail sent to you.

Subscribe as described in 'How do I subscribe to/unsubscribe from the FFML?' above, then use your password to access the options page and set option 'Mail delivery disabled'.

This will allow you to post, but you will not get FFML mail to that address. This is useful if you have multiple email addresses; set 'mail delivery disabled' on the ones that you want to post from, but don't want to get FFML mail to.

You can post stories, of course; C&C on posted stories is also very welcome, and posting well-thought out story ideas is permissible. Also, where to find background and character information and questions and answers about the same. Email people directly when answering a simple question, and don't forget to remind people to email you directly when answering your question. Posting requests for fics to the list is strongly discouraged; see "How can I find a fanfic that I'm looking for?" below.

The FFML was originally intended for stories that are directly related to existing anime or manga. The scope of allowed fanfic genres has since widened considerably. After careful discussions by the moderators, here is a listing of the new genres allowable.

Comics: DC, Marvel, independent publishers, Heavy Metal, etc. But not Archie comics (see below).

Sci-fi/Fantasy material (literary, television, movie): Star Wars, Star Trek, Doctor Who, Buffy, Xena, Harry Potter, and like genres are all permitted... but not things like Desperate Housewives, Magnum PI, Titanic, etc.

Video games: some sort of sci-fi/anime/fantasy element is required. Final Fantasy has always been permitted. Resident Evil would qualify. Legend of Zelda, sure. Pac Man, Frogger, and the like, no.

Non-Japanese animation: probably permitted if it has SF/fantasy elements.

Formerly allowed and still allowed: matter relating to the broader spectrum of Japanese culture, such as things deriving from Japanese fighting games and the like. Thus, things like Sonic, Final Fantasy, Street Fighter, and the like are okay, as are stories based on American-drawn manga such as Gold Digger and Ninja High School,

There are a number of authors who have been quite definite about not allowing fanfiction of their works, so those are banned. Included in this list are anything by:

P.N. Elrod
Raymond Feist
Terry Goodkind
Laurell K. Hamilton
Robin Hobb
Dennis L. McKiernan
Robin McKinley
Irene Radford
Anne Rice
Nora Roberts/J.D. Robb
Archie comics
Mercedes Lackey
Marion Zimmer Bradley
David Weber
Terry Pratchett
Chelsea Quinn Yarbro

DC and Marvel lemons are not allowed. This is being extended to any story using those characters, even if it's a crossover and the lemon elements don't involve the licensed characters.

If you are in doubt, ask the moderators privately by emailing to <ffml-owner@chez-vrolet.net> rather than posting the question to the list.

This mailing list is mostly for stories not yet on rec.arts.anime.creative, although there are exceptions such as if it's not available via ftp anywhere or if the general consensus on the list is to post it. Also, if you're posting the next part of a series that has never been seen on the list before, post the previous parts unless they're really big.

Please be judicious about reposting chapters that have already been on the list. It's not necessary to post all previous sections of a story along with a new one that you've just completed; most of the people who are interested in your story probably already have the back chapters, and for those who don't, WWW or FTP addresses can be included in the current chapter, or you can offer to send them privately upon request. If you do feel that a repost is called for, we advise at least a day or two's wait between each sizable section so as not to overwhelm readers.

Do not cross-post to the FFML and the rec.arts.anime.creative e-mail submission address using a single post. Send two separate posts instead, one to the FFML and one to RAAC. See the 'VERY VERY IMPORTANT NOTES' section of the FAQ for more details.

If you've just arrived on the list, be advised that there's no need to introduce yourself; if everyone did it, there wouldn't be much room for anything else. If you feel the need to introduce yourself, it is suggested that you do so as a preface to a fanfic or a bit of C&C.

When you reply to an FFML posting, please be aware that the new list has limits on how much you can quote from a previous poster:

A message which exceeds these limits will be referred to the admins for clearance rather than being posted to the list immediately or disappearing into oblivion.

Please don't "top post" in your replies; the standard Usenet/mailing list posting conventions of putting newer text below the text it replies to, either at the bottom of the message or interspersed within the message, is much clearer about who said what about what when long, complex replies from multiple respondents are involved.

To help members of the list sort the mail they receive from the FFML more efficiently please use the following tags in the subject header of your posts to the FFML.

[Fanfic], [Fic] = Marks a message as containing a story\chapter. [C&C] = Message containing Comments & Criticisms on a fanfic. [Spam] = Something that admittedly does not belong on the list. [Spamfic] = A fanfic, usually under 10kb, and usually written either for humor or shock value; a parody or short fic with a punchline. [Info], [Announce] = Side notes, not quite spam, but not 'fics either.
[FAQ] = Frequently Asked Questions update or Resource Guide. [Admin] = Moderators' use only. If a post comes over the list with

      this tag, you should read it. DO NOT post a message to the list
      with this tag in the subject header, even if it is a reply to
      another such post, unless you are one of the moderators.

[Lemon] = See the section below on 'LEMON' fanfics.

Tags are also used to identify which series a fanfic is based on, e.g. [Ranma], [BGC], [Inu-Yasha]. This will help direct your story toward those who would like to read it. Other tags may indicate the general tone of a fic, such as [Dark] or [WAFF] (the latter is an acronym for Warm and Fuzzy Feeling).

Anime and manga series often have important plot or character elements which are not immediately obvious, but are revealed over the course of the series, usually with full revelation coming in later installments. It is important to keep in mind, when preparing to post information which could reveal a major plot element of a series, that there may be people on the list who haven't seen the entire series, and who may not appreciate having it ruined for them when they open their e-mail.

Therefore, any time you post information which might spoil the series for others, please include the tag [Spoiler] in the subject heading of your message. It is also useful to enter several (usually 10-15) blank lines somewhere before the spoiler itself, as a further precaution.

Spoiler warnings should also be used when discussing a fanfic, if the discussion would reveal a major surprise in the fic -- for example, if an important character gets unexpectedly killed off.

This is just to tell you to use plain text characters and to wrap your lines to about 74 characters a line or about 10 to 12 words a line. Basically, whatever word processing program you use, save the story in ASCII text format (the one with the extension .TXT). Don't use fancy quotes and characters either; not all of these characters translate very nicely to plain text format. Please, do not post in HTML format; some of us do not use email clients that can parse HTML correctly.

Thomas Michael Edwards' Reform is available from:


Baptiste Lepilleur published Ttr (The Text Reformatter) here:


If you use a better one, let me know and I'll put it in the FAQ too.

The FFML software does not allow the posting of stories as attachments. Text attachments sent through the list will be stripped and converted back to plain text by the system before being sent out. Non-text attachments will be auto-deleted.

You also might want to note where to find previous parts or chapters of the story. New list members are more likely to read that new chapter if they can get their hands on the previous chapters. On the other hand, mass repostings of previous parts are not recommended, as it can be very annoying for readers to have their boxes filled up with stories that have already been sent out.

You do want your story read, don't you?

The FFML was originally created by White Wolf.

Philip Mak hosted the server and the domain for a long time after that until he passed on in early 2007.

The server on which the list runs and the domain name "chez-vrolet.net" belong to Dennis Carr <dennisthetiger@chez-vrolet.net>.

There are currently several moderators of the FFML, who monitor the list for content and issue bans to list policy violators.

If you have any problems related to the list, DO NOT write to the list itself about it! Send email to <ffml-owner@chez-vrolet.net>, which will forward your message to all of the list moderators:

Gary Kleppe <gary@garykleppe.org>
DB Sommer <sommert@connecttime.net> Adrian Tymes <atymes@gmail.com>
June Geraci <karaohki@snet.net>
Christopher Angel <c_j_angel@hotmail.com> (on hiatus) John Biles <rhea@ikkoku.maison-otaku.net> (on hiatus)

and also to:

White Wolf (Thom Woosley) <cherry@thekeep.org> Dennis Carr <dennisthetiger@chez-vrolet.net>

Dennis Carr manages the machine on which the list runs; contact him about technical problems.

If you believe that an admin has acted unfairly against you, write to <ffml-owner@chez-vrolet.net> and explain why you feel you have been wronged. You may request that another admin review your case.

You will not be banned or have other action taken against you for making a complaint, as long as you don't make it to the list.

First, here's what NOT to do:


If you think the list is down, DON'T email the list!!! Ask one of the moderators privately. Alternatively, E-mail another subscriber, or one of the auxiliary lists (see the Resource Guide), and ask whether they have been receiving list mail.

Remember, if the list is down and you send a test message, you're just making matters worse. And if the list isn't down (or when it goes back up), you'll draw the wrath of the moderators down on your head.

If you think you may have been unsubscribed, the easiest thing to do is to send a subscribe request to <ffml-request@chez-vrolet.net>. The system won't let you be subscribed twice -- if you're already subscribed, it'll tell you. If this doesn't work, E-mail the admins at <ffml-owner@chez-vrolet.net> or Dennis Carr at <dennisthetiger@chez-vrolet.net> and explain the problem you're having.

SPAM is junk mail/ off-topic conversation. DON'T SPAM a lot. We're a pretty easy-going bunch about this, but if you don't stop when asked, you may be "postbanned" -- meaning that for a time, you will be prohibited from posting anything to the list.

The FFML moderators have the following policy on SPAM:

Extremely offensive flames
Chain letters, especially virus warnings Commercial solicitations of any kind, including attempts to sell anime/manga related goods through Ebay or any other means

Test messages
Spam polls: off-topic surveys that ask for on-list responses Continuation of a thread that has been banned by the moderators Portrayals of the murder of another author without permission (yes, somebody actually did this)
"Merry Christmas" posts, or similiar holiday-related spam (this does not include holiday-themed fanfics)

Controversial off-topic arguments
Fic requests (but see the next section below)

"Me too"s -- posts that agree without adding anything Character debates (e.g. "So-and-so is Ranma's Best Babe!") Off-topic discussions
Silly and thoughtless "Story idea" posts (but well-thought out ideas are very welcome)

Evasion of a postban (by, for example, posting under a different account) will result in the ban being made permanent.

Note that, except in very unusual circumstances, you can't be banned for anything other than your posts to the list.

"Flames" are insults or other attacks that target someone personally. Negative comments on a fanfic are *not* flames, and the moderators will not ban you for them -- though continually posting nothing *but* negative, unconstructive comments will probably not win you any friends on the list.

It is always a good idea to check through an entire thread before posting in it. The question you are answering may have already been answered, or the moderators may have already called a halt to the thread. If you think a thread is going to be banned, it probably will be. In such a case, the proper thing to do is to refrain from posting in it. Don't try to slip in one last post before the ban comes through.

SPAM includes threads where a few people are replying to each other more than twice a day so the list seems more like a conversation between two or three people, and anything that would be better off emailed privately. Don't forget that complaints about the amount of SPAM on the list are SPAM themselves and tend to generate even more SPAM.

Fic requests are a technically forbidden but in practice tolerated aspect of the FFML. This is mainly because a ban on all fic requests would be needlessly authoritarian--sometimes, posting to the FFML in search of a fic really is the last resort.

However, a great deal of fanfic requests are unnecessary, and create needless trash on the mailing list. This section clarifies what future policy towards fic requests will be, in an attempt to lower the volume of unnecessary requests and the SPAM threads created by them.

Fic requests tend to fall into four general categories:

  1. Genuine Last Resorts

The author has no web site. They don't respond to e-mails. If they do, their hard drive has crashed, and they don't have a copy of the fic. The FFML Archive shows no trace of it.

In this instance, posting a fic request to the FFML is acceptable. Please make a genuine attempt -- checking web sites and e-mailing the author at the very least -- to find the fic without resorting to a FFML post; see the next section, "HOW CAN I FIND A FANFIC THAT I'M LOOKING FOR?", for tips. Specify, as you always should with fic requests, that people should reply to you privately.

2) General Requests

Classically, this is the request for "any fanfics where Ryoga and Ukyo are a couple" or any other similar such thing. There are generally two reasons for making requests like this -- either you're interested in reading a fanfic of this type, or you want to see if the idea you've got has already been written.

Requests like these are discouraged, as there are other methods to find them--the prime one being to read a lot of fanfics. You can also ask on a newsgroup such as rec.arts.anime.fandom, or, if you have on-line friends who are also into fanfic, ask them.

If you do post requests like this, don't do it frequently. And, of course, ask for private replies.

3) "I Can't Remember the Name"

It's a fanfic you read half of on a forgotten web page several months ago. Ranma was in it. And Predator. And Bun-Bun, from "Sluggy Freelance". But the page is gone, and you can't remember what the fanfic was called, or who the author was.

Like general requests, these are discouraged, and the same methods outlined under general requests can be used to attempt to find them. If those don't work, be as detailed as possible in posting your requests to the FFML, don't do it frequently, and ask for private replies.

4) Simple Laziness

You were off the FFML for a week, and would like everyone who wrote a Sailor Moon fanfic that wasn't WAFFy to send it to you. Sure, you could use the author database or the archives to look for them, but you don't want to take the time. Or you deleted a fic and then saw C&C that made you interested in it, but can't be bothered to write to either the author or the person making the commentary to ask for a copy.

Requests like these should never appear on the FFML. Asking for private replies won't cut it here--people posting fic requests spawned from an unwillingness to make a little extra effort will be warned, or possibly even tempbanned.

No matter what the type of request, ALWAYS make replies to fic requests privately, even if the author does not request it. Do not post them to the FFML. If the author of a fic request finds himself or herself deluged with e-mail, he/she can post a short notification to the FFML that the request has been filled.

If you are also interested in the fic requested, write to the person making the request and ask him/her to pass on any information received to you. Do not post such a request to the FFML.

There are plenty of ways to obtain a fic *without* posting to the list. The first thing you should try is to E-mail the author of the story, or check the author's web site. Web sites for many authors are listed in the FFML Resource Guide. Didn't get the Guide? Email one of the FFML FAQ Maintainers and ask for a copy, or see the web addresses above.

If you don't know who the author of a fic is, try emailing someone else on the list who seems to have read the story; or check the FFML archives (see the last FAQ entry).

Web search engines such as the ones at


may be helpful; just search for anything specific you can remember about the fic, such as author or title, or even fragments thereof.

If you're following a link, but the site is gone, you can use


to go back in time to when the links on the site weren't dead. For example, entering this page:


(which is currently a dead link) into the wayback machine, as the following:


gives a list of dates that the page was edited, and links to the page as it had been then. Selecting the last date the page was edited, for example, displays the last valid version of the page.

It's a very useful tool for someone who knows where a fic *used* to be, and can't find where it's moved to... archive.org can be used to (re)read it without having to ask the mailing list.

Threads that usually degenerate into SPAM, or are SPAM to start with, are better not started on the list in the first place. If you really have to ask about such topics on the list, make sure you remind everyone to send responses PRIVATELY and not to the list. If you want to, you can post the results of the PRIVATE discussions on the list afterwards.

To keep list traffic at a manageable level, certain types of responses are almost always better sent privately:

Comments and criticisms. All authors want feedback on their stories to help improve them. After all, this is what the list is really for.

When sending comments or criticisms to an author, there are a few things to consider before posting your observations:

  1. Lurk for a while before posting to the list. Spend some time getting to know the FanFic ML. There is no better way to find out about etiquette and 'unspoken' rules.
  2. Some authors want comments on creative content (plot, characterization, etc.) while others like a more detailed analysis of their stories that includes technical aspects such as grammar and spelling. Some authors greatly appreciate honest negative criticism, while others would prefer those without anything nice to say to say nothing at all. Often authors will indicate what kind of feedback they are looking for in their authors' notes. If not, consider asking the author via private email which type of response they would prefer.
  3. Posting your C&C to the mailing list is fine unless the author states otherwise. If an author specifically asks for private comments then you should abide by his or her wishes.
  4. In your C&C, quote however much (if any) of the story is necessary or helpful for readers to understand what you are referring to. Sections that you have no comment on should be snipped. Do NOT repost an entire fic or section merely to add a line or two of commentary.

For an expanded discussion of this, see the "What is C&C" FAQ Supplement. This is available via E-mail from the FAQ maintainers, or on the web at:

http://zaxxon.freeshell.org/ffml/what_is_c+c.html http://webpages.csus.edu/~seifertv/ffml/ffml-cc.txt

MST stands for Mystery Science Theater, a cable TV show featuring a man and two wisecracking robots. They are forced to watch bad movies, and they make clever commentary on them as they go.

Fanfiction MSTs are based on the format of that show. In a fanfiction MST, several characters (one of whom is usually the actual author of the MST) read a fic and make running commentary.

It's important to note that an MSTing doesn't necessarily indicate a bad fic. While it's true that some authors do MSTs to make fun of stories that they didn't like, others do them for stories that they did like in order to give them more exposure.

'Lemons' are stories with explicit sexual content and should be labeled as such in the [Subject:] field when posted. Not everyone on the FFML is over 21 years old.


Subject: [LEMON] Story name

A 'Lime' is a story that involves sexual situations, but does not give explicit descriptions of sexual acts. Tagging this type of story as [LIME] is highly recommended.

The term 'Lemon' derives from an anime called "Cream Lemon."

A challenge is a request or suggestion to the FFML for writers to write stories within parameters specified by the challenge.

The preferred method for challenges is for all entries to be sent directly to the person who posed the challenges, who will then weed out those which don't meet the requirements and post the final results (or a URL for them) to the list in one post.

Generally, the above is recommended but not mandatory. We may require it for challenges which are expected to generate a lot of responses. If you have any doubt, contact the moderators with a description of the proposed challenge and ask.

Challenges shouldn't be used as an excuse to post silly or thoughtless fanfic ideas.

The archive for the current incarnation of the FFML is online at

http://www.chez-vrolet.net/pipermail/ffml (local) http://www.mail-archive.com/ffml@chez-vrolet.net/">http://www.mail-archive.com/ffml@chez-vrolet.net/">http://www.mail-archive.com/ffml@chez-vrolet.net/ (mirror)

The older archives are in the works.

Sanjiyan's Anime Forums has a web-based FFML archive starting 2003 May 01 at


There are some unofficial web-based archives in which you can find the older posts; these are listed in the Resource Guide.

There's also the FFML Map Project, newly reborn as the FFML Directory, a purely-voluntary effort to locate the members of the FFML. For those on the list who would like to be included in the FFML Directory, please send an email to


with the following information:

Name you'd like to be known as (very vital!) City and state/province/prefecture/department/etc. that you reside Country
Preferred email address (if different than the one that the mail came from).

Any other information that you might think is useful (like college/home addresses) will also be accepted.

The result (the FFML Directory itself) is online at



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