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How do things work?

Well, the Violet Guild is just something that I, and various other people, take part in during our spare time as opposed to doing something less fun and more productive. :4) It's a type of a fanfiction club based on the premise of a group of people that serves as sort of "back-up" for the League of the Scarlet Pimpernel, following them around and helping in what ways they can (of course we all know Percy can handle anything on his own, but it's a fun premise, non? :4) ). Every month to six weeks I send out a "scenario" , something that establishes a character in a particular, usually rather tense situation related to Guild activities, and I trail off at a crucial point, and anyone who wishes to finishes it, setting their own character in the action. The responses are sent to me and I post them on a messageboard for all to read. There's scenarios that have already been used, as well as all the lovely responses written for them, here.

Sound interesting? Read the rules just below, then go here to fill out a form about the character you want to write as!

The Rules

1) First and foremost: Nothing unpleasant. This is not a place for you to act out any of your fantasies with Chauvelin, Percy, Grappin(don't laugh, I know people like that!(And they know who they are..) ) Sir Andrew, or anybody else. No profanity, no sexual things, and no graphic violence(be realistic about the period, there was death during the French Revolution, but let's not get disgusting).

2) STAY TRUE TO THE STORY. Baroness Orczy was a wonderful writer whom I have the deepest respect for, and I would be highly ashamed to think any club I started led to her plot and characters being defamed, even in a little response. I'm aware the different interpretations of the novel put a slightly new spin on Marguerite, Percy, and especially Chauvelin, but nothing truly un-Orczy, so keep it that way. Percy does not commit mass-murder, Chauvelin does not open a orphanage, Armand does not win a full scholarship to Oxford.(Sorry..I happen to have my own views on Armand St. Just's intelligence after reading Eldorado..:4) ) At least not without giving some credible reason as to WHY their personalities underwent such a formidable change. By the same token: Be accurate, plot-wise. I have seen both the 1934, 1982, and A&E(BLECHICKYBAD!!) versions of the movie, all four versions of the musical, have listened to the old Marius Goring Pimpernel Radio show, have listened to a recording of a community theatre musical called "Pimpernel" performed in the UK, and have read the books more times than is good for me. I'm not going to demand you stick to any ONE version (not even over the matter of Chauvelin's first name--it's ARMAND, people, not Paul!) but some attempt to stick to SOMETHING would be nice. If I get stories claiming that Chauvelin is really Marguerite's half-brother or that Percy was seventy-seven years old when he began the League work, we will have words -- I'm not saying you won't be able to convince me of the logic of your stance, but you WILL have to convince me. :4)

3) The character of Eliza Charlotta Hastings may be used in any story, as long as I'm not killed off.(That's the general rule...if I'm portrayed as a murderer or adulteress or something equally unpleasant, I may take issue. :4) )

4) Either I or someone else in the Guild has to edit these things, both HTML and grammar and spelling-wise, before posting them nice to us. :4) Run it through a spell-checker or past a friend before sending it to us..make sure the plot makes sense, the grammar and spelling is correct, etc.

5) Do not post your own scenarios on the messageboard. I or a helper will attend to it. This lets me scan for profanity, etc--you may have different ideas of what is "too much" than I--and check for errors. It's always best to run something through the most people possible anyway before putting up "the final draft", and if you want me to give you any editing tips that occur to me besides simple grammar and spelling, I can do that too. (Of course, that's just pure opinion, and my opinion's worth no more nor less than anybody else's.)

6) NO ONE in the League of the Scarlet Pimpernel besides "my husband" Lord Hastings is supposed to know about the Guild. This means A) Percy can't CHARGE in to rescue you or congratulate you on a mission..he doesn't know about it. If you choose to bring him in somehow WITHOUT telling him about the Guild, that's great. In some situations a revelation about the Violet Guild may be appropriate, just be careful. B) Your character can't be Percy, one of the Leaguers, anything like that. Baronessish characters like Suzanne Ffoulkes, Jellyband, Juliette Marny, etc, are available on a first-come, first-serve basis.(Due to the necessity of her character in many responses and other things, I've decided to make Marguerite Blakeney no longer an available character, so that anyone who wants to can use her. )

7) You may, personally, have up to five characters, although I must have approved the bio for each. Any more than five to a person would be confusing.

8) Any two or more Guilders may collaborate on a response, but do NOT use another person's character, list yourself as a relation to theirs, or make any reference to them in your response or fiction without ASKING THEM FIRST.(This does not apply as strictly to Baroness-created characters such as the ladies Ffoulkes and Dewhurst or the like, although dropping the person a note and checking with them would still be a nice sentiment.)

9) You'd think this would fall under being true to the story, but it bears repeating. Don't give your characters unrealistic relationships to the main characters. How likely is it that Percy would have an illegitimate daughter, or Marguerite a past as Queen of France, or that Chauvelin would have an ex-lover who was an aristocrat?(The man is a fanatic and (if you go by the musical) in love with Marguerite, he's not a nymphomaniac!!!) And good to your character. Give him/her some faults, some problems, a painful past, an emotional or physical handicap or two, SOMETHING to make us sympathize with them. Nobody's perfect, not in fiction nor in fact. And a perfect character is going to annoy the Chauvelin out of everybody and make you look like a bad writer.

10) We're not worrying about canon. Don't consider yourself bound by what somebody wrote in a response before you...don't even consider yourself bound by the events of your OWN previous responses, although of course it's always a wee bit more interesting if there's a romance, or friendship, or personality conflict or something that we're following from response to response. If So-and-So said in a response to the third scenario that Marguerite was going to be in Switzerland for a year, that doesnt' mean you can't very well have her in France for a response to the fourth scenario.

11) This can be set at any point in the story...before the novel, after the novel, during the novel. The only regulations are A) It must obviously be AFTER the Scarlet Pimpernel has begun his work (sometime around the wedding, if you go by the musical or the books) and B) Don't just re-tell the novel, throw in another plot element.

Scary-Sounding Warning Statement: Failure to comply with any or all of these rules will result in the scenario being sent back to you for improvements.(Or ejection from the Guild, if it's truly serious and there's no willingness to change.) But that's never happened yet, and I doubt it will -- everybody writes so well in this thing!