Each publication has its own identity and a style to its contents to match. By following the guidance below, we should make Panic Moon a distinctive and well-written fanzine.
Articles should be:
- Short! 400-800 words suits us well though sometimes we’ll go longer. Please agree a length with me before writing
- Concise and free of digression or irrelevant asides – keep it punchy
- Original. Say something new or, at the very least, something old in a new way
- Opinionated. Don’t waste words describing stuff (no plot descriptions please), give us your insight instead and don’t be afraid to be forthright.
- Cliché free (more on this below)
Clichés of general writing but, more importantly, traditional Doctor Who fan writing, should be avoided like the plague. We don’t need a whole new vocabulary but we do need to reinvigorate Who writing by stripping out all the meaningless or misused terms, such as “classic” and “gritty” and “oddball”, which clutter much fan writing and putting more original thought in its place. Avoid these words/phrases in particular:
- Gothic and gothic horror
- Historical and particularly pseudo-historical (pseudo-anything for that matter)
- Allegory and satire (can be used with care; not to be confused as they are often are)
- Realism/realistic (nothing in Doctor Who is realistic, but it could be credible or believable instead)
- Pantomime / comic strip (when applied to something that isn’t one)
Also, please avoid some of the flip and facetious language which has become popular online – no “nu-Who” or referring to a Doctor simply by a number for example. We do not use the phrase “classic series”.
Don’t worry too much about this, as this is the detail I’ll fix in the edit, but the standard formatting for text is:
- British English spellings, as the zine is published in the UK
- Double quote marks, “like this”, for all quotes
- Please keep brackets to a minimum (no more than one set per paragraph is a good rule of thumb).
- Don’t cap-up unnecessarily. It’s “ninth Doctor”, not “Ninth Doctor” and “producer”, “director” etc follow the same format.
- Date format: 23 November 1963 – rather than, for example, November 23, 1963
- Programme, episode, film, book titles, etc, in italics.
- Use non-gender specific terms when available, e.g. “actor” (which covers both sexes) rather than “actress”.