Before discussing the newsgroup, one must define 'sf', for which I refer to the original CFV for the group that created the rec.arts.sf.* hierarchy: "Both science fiction and fantasy, as well as that vast blurred mass of material in between." This charter mirrors the position of the HWA: Horror is an emotion, not a genre. If the Horror takes place in a speculative fiction book, it can be discussed in an sf newsgroup.See also rasfw and rasff.
The rec.arts.sf.composition newsgroup would include, but not be limited to the following types of discussion:
- General writing questions, to be answered from the sf perspective. This includes market research, submission format and discussions on the process of writing itself, as it connects with the writing of sf.
- Discussion of the process of writing speculative fiction between professionals, aspiring writers or the merely interested.
- Discussion of the methods and processes of worldbuilding, the creation of new, alternate or historically-based worlds in which speculative fiction is often set.
This newsgroup is not meant to replace or significantly overlap other groups. As such, topics that are on-topic and useful in other groups should be kept to those groups. That would include, but not be limited to the following exclusions:
- Discussion connected to writing, but not specifically to sf, nor with an important sf slant should be posted in misc.writing.
- Discussion about the science used in speculative fiction should be posted to rec.arts.sf.science.
- Discussion of existing written work should be left to rec.arts.sf.written.
As well, the charter specifically excludes the posting of work unless that posting is specifically related to a topic that is being discussed, and is used in that context, and quoted briefly. Posting of work to be read and/or critiqued is excluded from the charter of this newsgroup, for a number of reasons. For those who wish to avail themselves of the group's resources, a specially marked header, "CRIT: " will be used to post short requests for critiquing or reading, with all followups directed to email, the poster's web page, rec.arts.prose, or any other valid forum, rather than the newsgroup.
As for advertising, overt advertising is excluded from the group, particularly off-topic overt advertising (the kind that doesn't care what this charter says anyway). Tactful, brief, infrequently posted references to information that can be found elsewhere will be tolerated, but advertisers must tread that fine line carefully if they wish to avoid flamage from ad-hating regulars.