You've Been Canonized!: anonymous4401
Hi there everyone and welcome to You’ve Been Canonized ! If you’re new to the series , I am canonized , author of Timelines: What if Spain Failed to Control the World? . As some of you might know , at Timelines we do a weekly interview segment and have been doing so since March and now we’ve been sponsored by the AARLander and have found a happy home here ! Here’s how it works: Each week we interview a friendly patron author who’s stopped by at our thread and ask them about themselves , what they think of Timelines , and their current project whether it’s an AAR , mod , or AARLand community project ! At the beginning of each new month that week’s interview will be featured on the AARLander accompanied by links and descriptions to the other three interviews done by me that month so there is lots to read if you so wish ! This week’s guest is appropriately the Editor in Chief of the new AARLander , anonymous4401 ! Let’s get to the questions .
Part I: No Longer Anonymous
Anon answers a few questions about himself .
canonized: For those of us who might not already know who you are , could you tell us how long you've been on the forum and how long you've been writing AARs ?
anonymous4401:: I have been on the forums for four long years now and have been writing AARs for three and a half years, though probably only half of that continuously.
canonized: Not only are you an established writAAR , but you're also one of the most active extra-curricular participants on the boards especially with the upcoming AARLander and of course the AARLand Choice Awards . What brought you to be so active in the community and how did you come to come up with these activities ?
anonymous4401:: Probably because I thought that if I wouldn't get recognition for my works, I'll get them as a person that says things about other people's works! Though I really do at this point think that I have made more of a positive impact on AARland through my AARland projects rather than my AARs. And I came up with them and I do them because I really do believe in AARland as a community and want to make sure that its pillars of community stand strong, even if I have to haul the marble and carve it myself. That may sound oddly sappy but that is how I really feel. That and the ulterior motives of course.
canonized: Haha; You're definitely an eccentric one , but the points on the boost to the community is well taken . What parts of the community do you believe are worth bolstering and protecting ? What is it about the AAR Community that has you doing so much for it ?
anonymous4401:: Well first of all I see a lot of very promising writers that have really researched their history and given us epic tales that would be worthy of being published if it weren't fan-fiction about a Swedish computer game. These people I want to see keep writing both for the entertainment I get from reading their works and for the improvement they'll see in their writing only if they, at the very least, keep writing. And one day I too hope to be one of these people that keep writing and get better at it. And second of all I see a unique culture that I have never found and will never find elsewhere on the internet. If you asked someone that's never seen this community and told them 'Here, write a story about your latest game' you'd probably see something like the AARs from the very early days of the EUI AAR forum. That is, a straightforward, unrefined 'I did this and that'-type report that is alien even to the most gameplay-heavy AARs of today. Occasionally you'll have someone that tries some actual writing. They stick a few characters in there like a general or a king and have them give the reports or something. But will you see a pulp tribute set in an alternate World War Two mashing together characters from dozens of period fictional works as well as historical sources? Will you see a Lovecraftian horror story set in the Middle Ages? A collection of screenshots painstakingly edited together to tell the story by itself? Sugar-addicted aliens attempting to take over the world? A fictional history book that reads exactly like a real one? People here, and only here, have turned the art of writing game fanfiction into something very interesting. And not interesting as in weird and insular and creepy like most uses of that word on the internet, but really just interesting, with a variety and vitality you just won't see anywhere else.
canonized: And what works would you say have helped solidify this opinion of the AARland as well as helped shape your own writing ?
anonymous4401:: Well with that listing I gave those who are AARland veterans should be able to pick out a few already. The first two are the Fu Manchu series by The Yogi and The Tower of Fear by MacRaith, both of which I consider to be among the best this forum has to offer. There are also AARs like The Cobras Are Smoking!, the Picture Scroll AARs in CK, Knud Knytling, Collage of CAARdinals, Peter Ebbeson's AARs and others that showed me that AARland is also quite varied and imaginative in the formats and styles they can write AARs in. And for those that have shaped my own writing, though I have read and appreciated and admired many great narrative AARs, I cannot say that they have shaped my writing, as I try to write things and they end up looking nothing like those works I admire. I might, if I decided to, sit down and be able to analyze my writing and really figure out just where my 'style', if any, comes from, but then again I might be forced to conclude that the 'style' is actually called 'bad writing' and that my life has been a LIE.
canonized: Haha , well your style indeed as a a WritAAR yourself has ranged from a ponderous evaluation of reality to slapstick surrealist comedy . How did you come to be able to create stories with this wide spectrum ?
anonymous4401:: Spectrum? Well considering that there isn't much else to work with, I suppose that you are talking about my Delusions of Grandeur II and my Secrets of the AARk. And I'd have to ask what the difference is. Narrative comedy is just that, narrative with comedy in it. If you're deficient in either the end product comes out looking terrible, and indeed a good portion of Secrets of the AARk suffers from this. Stylistically, I write Secrets of the AARk just like I would anything narrative, and if you peel away the absurd situations and the constant cutting off of sentences because I quite literally could not figure out a way to end them it readily becomes apparent. I really don't have a spectrum at all, and I can say this non-self-depreciatingly because I actually haven't even tried to write a variety of different things. Am I good at writing tearful drama? Realistic romance? Action and suspense? I honestly do not know as I have not tried to write any of them recently, but I can probably say 'Probably not'.
canonized: Last question for this section is , what kind of plans do you have for the future aside from , obviously , the continuation of the ACA and the debut of the AARlander ? What kind of changes do you also want to see in AARLand if you could implement it ?
anonymous4401:: Well a wish of mine would be some sort of AARland Wiki, which will take the strain of categorization of all of AARland's AARs off the shoulders of six LibrAARians and onto the collective shoulders of all of AARland. In fact, it would be some sort of freakish mutated Super-LibrAARy that would have way more information about each AAR than any mortal LibrAARy would, due to this division of labor. It may be a pipe dream, but there are almost seven thousand AARs out there and at least a few have enough rich story material to have a wiki about by itself, much less all of them.
Part II: ReadAARship
Anonymous tells us what he thinks about Timelines ! This section of the interview can be found at the Full Interview Post Here .
Part III: Hail to the Editor in Chief
Anonymous talks to us about being the director for the new AARLander Project !
canonized: First question is: We both know that you were a fan of the Advocate before , what would you say are the defining differences of the AARLander to anything AARland has seen before ?
anonymous4401:: I wanted to work on the Advocate but I didn't remember the deadline or something and before I knew it the Advocate was dead. The closest I came was an interview I had with Singleton Mosby in which I also went into unnecessary details and tangents while answering his questions in a sarcastic manner. And the difference between the AARlander and anything AARland has seen before is that it will be run by me, which means that for the first few months I WILL get enough articles from enough writers to make each issue a full, well-rounded one, even if I have to literally strangle it out of them, which I can't because nobody lives in Hawaii but me. And then I'll probably disappear for a few months for no reason and somebody will have to pick up the slack before I return again. That by itself is sufficient difference!
canonized: Haha , what are your hopes for the AARLander and its eventual goal ?
anonymous4401:: Just like my other project, the AARland Choice AwAARds, my goal is for it to become a self-sustaining operation that will continue to operate indefinitely even if I disappear, something that didn't happen to the Advocate and the Gazette. (Such fools, if they only knew their weakness was their writers stopping writing articles!) What I mean by this is that I want people to, every month, get used to the idea of reading articles. Of writing articles and submitting them. When people get done with reading a classic AAR, or when they notice a trend in AARland, or when they try out a new mod, I want one of the thoughts firing randomly in their heads at that moment to be considering writing an article about it in the AARlander. And then, hopefully, listen to that thought and write them.
canonized: Could you share with us some of the difficulties and challenges you've had as Editor in Chief ?
anonymous4401:: Why yes. For instance this one guy said that he'd do an article but then it turned out he got a job and then didn't have time to write one! How dare he gain employment at a critical time as this, the maiden voyage of the finest and only channel of media in AARland? And for some reason writers kept sending me their articles by PM, which really filled up my PM box fast as these articles had to be broken down into two or three PMs thanks to the character limit! Clearly what they should have done is to cipher their article into some sort of code-speak, and embed this code into one of the updates of one of their own AARs, or perhaps a comment on another AAR if they don't have one, and then just send me a PM explaining the code. That would have certainly saved me a lot of inbox space.
canonized: We already know that you've planned to draw articles and , hopefully , permanent writers from all the sub-forums of AARLand ; how is this going so far ?
anonymous4401:: Well I've actually decided that it would be a lot more sensible to just have a handful of regular, or 'permanent', writers and just make sure that each subforum gets represented in each issue. Especially as many regulars frequent multiple subforums or even all of them. So far my regular writers are the ones that expressed a desire to become one. For all I know everyone who submitted an article is an aspiring 'regular writer' but probably not. The only requirements are that you promise to deliver an article every month barring an emergency, and if you have a vacation or something notify us an issue early or something. And if you fail, the consequences will be DIRE! That's right, my opinion of you will go down!
canonized: So tell us on why you decided on the text-only format and the various images you're planning on implementing such as the cover page .
anonymous4401:: I've actually decided to allow images, though I'm still struggling with how to regulate that to make them 'fit'. It would be great if I had the time and skills to do it like Singleton Mosby did with the Advocate and make the articles static images, because then I could stick pictures with captions on there all I want and make it look pretty like it was a real magazine. But simulating magazine layout is pretty difficult using simple forumcode. And I hope to have a unique cover page for each issue though I am not too sure how that will turn out considering that I am actually not good at graphically-related things.
canonized: What would you say are the highlights that you personally enjoyed of this first issue ?
anonymous4401:: I have enjoyed the fact that a lot of writers have come forward to write quality articles for this. If I had to pick one I would say that I have especially enjoyed Estonianzulu's look into what AARland was like in its infancy, which was so far back I bet it wasn't even called 'AARland'. I wouldn't know, as I wasn't there for it, and that's why it interested me.
canonized: And lastly , what are your goals for next month's issue and what should we expect ?
anonymous4401:: My goals for next month's issue is the same as my goal for the issue before it and after it: To get as many good articles from as many people as I can! You can also expect it to be the first issue of The AARlander to carry the ACA results, if voter turnout is sufficiently high to end the vote within the month of July. Aside from that, what else can I say? It depends on YOU, AARland itself, to provide the content. So get cracking!
canonized: Well thanks again Anon for being on the show ! And thanks again to our audience who tuned in again this week ! Stay tuned next week where we’ll be interviewing our friend Legolas ! Good night , everyone . If you’re interested in the Canonization series , or interested in helping with the other Timelines projects , please feel free to contact me ! Also , please support the AARLander and talk to anonymous4401 for any questions or comments ! If you would like to read some more interviews please check out this past month’s interviews as well !
The first interview of this past month was with our good friend Karasuman and can be found here ! We discuss many cool things about his Hephthalite AAR as well as his quirky video game obsessions !
Our second interview of the past month was with our wonderful fan and friend Fiftypence and can be found here ! Fiftypence shows us the depth of his new AAR set in the Kingdom of Jerusalem and takes us into a tale of intrigue and holy war !
Our third interview of the past month was with fellow Catholic Judas Maccabeus and can be found here ! JM is the author of an Anglo-Saxon English megacampaign that is not only steeped in historical nuance but also human and realistic in its approach !
Still want to read more of my interviews ? We’ve been interviewing someone once a week since March 17 , 2007 ! Please come visit the Communion of Saints
Canonization index !