Rules & Regulations

First and foremost, all potential participants are required be over the age of eighteen and must have in no manner plagiarised, from any other source whatsoever, the characters which he or she intends to other words, all characters in the Phantom Realm Saga must be completely original and created by the author who will be utilizing them. If you meet this initial criteria and would like to participate in the "Phantom Realm Project," then please continue reading...

Have you ever created a character that no longer exists, a character that you loved and nurtured? Most of us have. It is for that reason that I have created "The Phantom Realm," a magical region where your creation can live and seek out fantasy adventures with others.

I have created a mystical island continent where I/we we will be able to tell our tales of adventure, dark and otherwise, appropriately named, "The Phantom Realm."

In the past, this method of writing has produced some formidable tales (please see "The Quest" in F&SF...available only to AOL users, unfortunately). However, that "world" came to an abrupt end, in my opinion, due to a lack of rules and regulations, some common misunderstandings and miscommunications. The writing, however, was excellent.

Nonetheless, before you decide that you want to join this hardy group of adventurers, here are some writing rules and regulations that must be read, followed and most of all understood.

If you have any questions, please contact DOlarnick.

Rules and Regulations for the Phantom Realm

Writing Format: For distribution via e-mail to other Phantom Realm writers, the submission should be in 12 pitch (font), black print (Arial, Arial Black or Courier) on a white background. Let us endeavor to write our tales as though we were submitting them to an actual publisher, in the hope that they will be sold to our "vast" reading audience. (Most, if not all publishers call for Courier style and 10 pitch/font.)

Your character or creation cannot kill off another character or creation without written permission. Such request must be sent to the author and to me (Dolarnick). If permission it is granted, then you will be notified via e-mail and will be at liberty to proceed. In other words, only the creator of a character may choose to kill his or her own creation without prior permission.

Abandoned Character: A character shall be deemed abandoned if the author fails to submit a post within a given period of time, which is three writing cycles. Once the character is abandoned, then the hunt is on: the vampires will find him; the werewolves will catch his or her scent and track the character down; a dragon will make that character toast; or an assassin will be assigned to bring the character to his or her honorable end. The creator-author will be given the opportunity to write a chapter ending the life of their character (should he or she so choose) or the character may simply become a casualty of an ongoing quest.

Every sanctioned writer will be assigned a writing letter and number, in order that they do not overwrite each other. Each writer will have a maximum of seven (7) days in which to "control" his or her chapter but may pass that chapter on sooner to the next writer. If the writer would like to "skip" his or her allocated writing position, then it will necessary to notify the group in order that the "flow" be maintained. Another allocated place within the given writing cycle may be provided upon request.

Example: Let us conclude that I (Daniel Olarnick) am the first writer. I have been designated with the letters of PRW1 [Phantom Realm Writer 1]. When I am finished writing my chapter...again, no longer than seven days...I will pass that chapter on to the next designated fantasy writer.

An example of this is the writer, "Hensbane." She has been designated as PRW2. At the end of the last page of my chapter you, the readers (or writers) will see "PR1-PR2." This will continue until every writer has had an opportunity to post his or her chapter. That will conclude the first writing cycle. The second cycle will then commence.

You cannot refer to any other fantasy world, folder, publication or magazine while writing in the Phantom Realm. If this is done, then the the chapter will have to be stricken. This rule includes using established characters that are in existence or have existed in the past.

Any writer may pass on his or her writing position a maximum of three (3) times. If a writer fails to contribute by the third writing cycle, then his or her character(s) are subject to being retired. If it should happen that such character (or characters) is killed off by a dragon or meets with some other nasty and final end, then such a character or characters may not be revived. This rule will, of course, be enforced on an individual basis and may be flexible dependent upon any given writer's circumstances. However, it will be important to keep the group informed of future intentions since any "dead" character will remain in that state.

Supreme Beings: Gods, Goddesses, etc.: You can create them and they can be "all-powerful," but only to your personal characters. Should the "group" and/or individual writers decide to accept that particular "Supreme Being" for the sake of the story line, then the "Supreme Being" will be able to exert his/her all-powerful force upon those characters, but cannot kill them unless notification is made and permission granted.

You can own an inn, a castle, a valley, a town, village...whatever. However, you must notify me (Dolarnick) of your request. I will assign you a place in the Phantom Realm...and that might not be immediately since maps are currently being prepared detailing the Realm and not all areas have yet been charted.

Collaborative work requires communication. You must communicate with the author you desire to work with. If you desire to use another author's place of creation (an inn, for example) no prior permission is required, but you cannot change anything in the inn without the author's permission.

In order for this project to be successful, all writers will need to cooperate with each other. Therefore, if writer PRW7 has a magnificent idea for a wonderful tale and tells PR5 about it, imploring him or her to switch positions you must write me (Dolarnick) first, as others might have tales that they too are planning.

You must be prepared to have some of your characters die in the course of a quest. This is an unfortunate necessity. The odds would be overwhelming of there being no fatalities at all in dangerous adventures or quests. A party of 10 can expect to lose at least 3 or 4 of its warriors, bards, knights, paladins and healers...and, yes, perish the thought...even their trusty scribe. Each writer will, of course, be at liberty to choose which of his or her characters will fall in the heat of battle.

Spell check your submission, this is a must!

The Phantom Realm is an adult-theme oriented work area. However, no profane or obscene language will be allowed. Yes, an occasional oath in a death scene...the ending of a life when one least expects it, of course, is permitted...but no offensive language. If you feel, for the sake or realism that such language must be stated, then use the first letter of the word followed by an asterisk (F****) Yes, add an extra "*" it is not so offensive in that manner.

The Phantom Realm is a fantasy environment, complete with dungeons, castles, dragons, werewolves, vampires, ceremonial kings and name it. However, there may be no spaceships or ray guns. Magic is the ruling power supply...and please refrain from using "Magick" since that is a term of art created by a published author.

Crystals make up a large part of the background story. You do not have to use the crystals in your story line but be assured they will be part of the overall tale. The Phantom Realm is a rather metaphysical place. Crystal healing can help a number of physical problems.

The rules are ever living, expandable and subject to revision as the need arises. You will be notified by email of any truly important changes.

No insects enlarged can be used as an enemy. No giant beetle, ant, wasp, name it...can be used.

All were-creatures are allowed, but not a were-creature that turns into an insect. The only exception(s) being Hensbane's spider-people (women "web-walkers"). They will have their own kingdom and can travel throughout the Realm. There may at a later date be room for some were-snake people if the Serpentine Gods truly exist.

No super-heroes are permitted. No characters based on characters created by other authors. No character that is able to defeat more than 10 warriors, via Robert E. Howard (Conan the Barbarian).

No Magic Sword (or weapons of any kind) Attack methodologies. There are ample places for that type of writing genre.

Let us limit our heroes to being able to outfight 10 well-armed and well-equipped warriors, hand-to-hand, sword-to-sword, weapon-to-weapon, wizard-to-wizard...of necessity, wizards may have more power.

You must supply each author and the Chief Scribe (DOlarnick) with a Character Sheet for each character you are using. The only exception will be the "passing through" characters, or characters that die within the given chapter, never to be heard from again. For examples of the "Character Sheets" that have already been completed and posted on the Realm WebSite, please visit the "Cast of Characters" page. (You might want to do this after you have read the remainder of these "Rules" since there is no link on that page to return you here.)

You must register with me (DOlarnick), be assigned a number, write within a continuing story line and/or use your own story line within the Phantom Realm Rules. Once you register, you will be deemed to have read these "Rules and Regulations" and be willing to abide by them.

Critiques: Be prepared to give and receive critiques. This is the lifeblood of any writing group. No one-liners, please, but if that is all you have in you...after all, you are a writer and should be able to comment in brief detail...we have to accept what we receive (in a reply) as a method of acknowledgment.

Want to be a "reader" only? Excellent! Contact me (DOlarnick) and you will officially be registered as an official reader.

Poets: You are especially welcomed...but please compose your poetry about the person and places being written about in the Phantom Realm only.

Illustrators: As of this time, there is no official illustrator. If you would like a shot at the position, then please contact me (DOlarnick). We would be delighted to have you aboard. All illustrations will be posted to the "Pictorial Portfolio" area of the site for public viewing, with all due recognition given.

Chats: We will try for one a month, with a log to be sent to all members.

Posting to the WebSite: Each chapter, upon completion, will be circulated to the Group via e-mail. Each member will then have the opportunity to critique and offer suggestions. The chapter will be posted on the WebSite subject to the time available to...and the whim of...the hostess of the Site (NovaReinna). The chapter may be available for viewing that same day, or it could take as much as one week, so please be patient. An e-mail will be circulated to all members of the Project whenever the Site is updated. The same applies to any Character Sheets submitted. Remember that nothing is "set in stone." If, after a chapter or Character Sheet is posted, you would like to change anything, such can be easily accomplished.

Writers who are members of AOL may also, if they so choose, post their completed chapters to the "F&SF" Folder found in the "Writers Block" forum. Please contact DOlarnick for instructions on the location of this area and details regarding how such chapters should be titled, if you would like to do this. As noted, this capability is available only to members of AOL due to the fact that non-members do not have access.

"Rules and Regulations" originally composed by DOlarnick
with minor revisions/additions by NovaReinna (June of 2001)

If you are interested in participating in this collaborative project
of round-robin writing, we would be delighted to have you among the company.
Please contact: DOlarnick, referencing "PR Application"
as the message box title of your e-mail.

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