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F.A.Q. 2011

X-files Big Bang
F.A.Q. 2011


General Questions


X What is a "Big Bang Challenge"?
X Wow! That's a great idea, truemyth! Are you a genius or something?
X Who can participate?
X What is the timeline?
X How many entries can you submit? Can I do both writing and art?
X Will we be reminded of important dates?
X OMG! WHAT HAVE I DONE?! I need to flail/squee/rant/explode! Is there a place for me?
X I don't have a LiveJournal account. Can I still participate in the challenge?

    • What is a "Big Bang Challenge"?
      It's a fanfiction/art challenge that challenges authors to write new, looooong fanfics (15,000 words or more) and then artists to create accompanying pretties. The end products are kept secret until a set date... at which time there is an explosion of new work over a very few number or days.

    • Wow! That's a great idea, truemyth ! Are you a genius or something?
      Oh, stop you, I'm blushing.

      No, this far from my idea. The first fandom I heard of doing this was Supernatural and they are working on their third year at spn_j2_bigbang . Other fandoms have done this too (e.g. smallvillebbang ).

    • Who can participate?
      Everyone!

      Okay, okay... honestly, I've never been closely involved with a Big Bang community before, so I'm kinda winging it here. The main goal is to generate good, long, NEW fanfic. This is what interests me! As far as what art is created, that is based on the fic (yes, artists get to read the drafts early and stuff. It pays to create!). We'll also need beta readers to help edit and act as sounding boards to our writers and artists and cheerleaders to help keep our energy up.

      Oh, and I'd totally hope that we could pimp this out to the other places on the web that X-Philes lurk. It would be LJ based, but I'd love to see writers from Haven, TWoP, Ephemeral, and other X-files places.

      Please read below to find out how you can participate as a writer, artist, beta reader, or cheerleader.

    • What would the time line be like?
      Writer and Artist Sign-ups Start: May 1st
      Writer Sign-Ups Closed: May 14th
      Beta Sign-up: May 14th
      First Draft Due: August 14th
      Artist Sign-Ups Closed: August 14th
      Art Selection: August 17th
      Final Art Due: October 6th
      Posting: October 13th - October 31st

    • How many entries can you submit? Can I do both writing and art?
      Our main goal is to make sure we get new, novella length, fully realized stories and beautiful art. With this in mind, writers will not be able to sign-up for more than one story at the initial sign-ups. However, if you can submit a near finished rough draft far in advance of the draft deadline (August 14th.), you may begin a second story. Ultimately, only stories with complete rough drafts (i.e. over 15,000 words, with a beginning, middle, and end - turned in by August 14th.) will be assigned to an artist.

      So, if you're just that VERBOSE a writer, you may complete and submit more than one story, but we'd prefer you complete one story at a time to help make sure you will have at least one completed story done by the deadline.

      After last year's Bang we've decided to open artist sign-ups to those who have written stories as well as those who haven't. To make certain everyone has a chance to participate though, please leave it a week or so before signing up if you have already signed up to write a story.

    • Will we be reminded of important dates?
      Yes! We will post a few reminders to this community when deadlines loom near, so be sure to watch this community. Additionally, omg_xf_bigbang will have near weekly reminder posts along with games to help break writer's block and posts to spur you to greater creations.

    • OMG! WHAT HAVE I DONE?! I need to flail/squee/whine/explode! Is there a place for me?
      Check out omg_xf_bigbang . While this community will post sign-up posts and big reminders, the support community - run by the wonderful hankmoodyblues - will be the place for weekly updates, humor, and flailing. Members are welcome to post questions or links to helpful sites and interested readers and cheerleaders are encouraged to post there anything that they think might inspire greatness in our creators. This community is inspired by omgspnbigbang , so check that out, then come join the fun!

    • I don't have a LiveJournal account. Can I still participate in the challenge?
      Yes! We know some of our greatest talents in the X-files fandom don't have a home on LiveJournal. We are reaching out to all Philes who'd like to participate and encourage people to advertise the challenge and this community in other places.

      If you don't have a LiveJournal account, here's how you can still take part:

      1) First off, it's not too hard to create a personal journal to use for this challenge.
      2) If you prefer, you may sign-up using a valid e-mail address. It will be your responsibility to keep track of the deadlines and activity in this community (if you have a journal, it's easy to track updates to the community and be notified via e-mail when something is posted here).
      3) When posting fanfiction or art for the final reveal, you must upload the story somewhere and provide readers/viewers with some way to contact you with feedback. A moderator will be able to post this information for you if you provide it.

      Return to Top of Page | Writers Qs | Artists Qs | Other Qs



      Questions from Writers

      X I've already started this story and posted or shared a bit of it with friends, but I really want to develop it into a long story. Can I use it here?
      X So, I can use any pairing I want, right?
      X How about RPF?
      X Are cross-overs allowed?
      X My story is rather AU / set before the Pilot / focuses on an obscure character *AlienBountyHunterCough*. Can I still write it?
      X Can writers collaborate on a story?
      X Is there a word limit for the first draft?
      X Can I post a soundtrack for my story?
      X What do you mean I need a beta?
      X When you say we need to keep the story secret, how secret do you mean?

    • I've already started this story and posted or shared a bit of it with friends, but I really want to develop it into a long story. Can I use it here?
      Of course! Previous works are just fine as long as a few criteria are met:

      1) Please lock or remove any currently posted parts of your story until the reveal date.
      2) Please do not choose something that is too close to being finished at this point. If you've already posted two or three chapters and have over 7,000 words written, that's not really in keeping with the spirit of this challenge.
      3) This mod likes Starbucks... just sayin'.

    • So, I can use any pairing I want, right?
      Pretty much, so long as you stay within a few, very liberal decency guidelines... We welcome stories that are Gen, Het, or Slash. This is not a Mulder Scully Romance only challenge, although we welcome those stories, too. Our only real restriction is that any sexual material be between characters over the age of 18 and that any other extremes (incest, extreme violence or profanity, explicit sexual situations, non-consensual acts, character death, etc.) should be duly warned of in an author's note.

    • How about RPF?
      At this time, we are not allowing Real Person Fiction stories in this challenge.

    • Are cross-overs allowed?
      Short answer: Yes!

      Long answer: You may choose to cross the X-files universe with any other fandom in television, movie, or literature. The caveat is that at least one character from The X-files must be at the center of the story.

    • Can writers collaborate on a story?
      Most certainly. Make sure to pick someone you don't mind e-mailing like crazy for three plus months! ;)

    • My story is rather AU / set before the Pilot / focuses on an obscure character *AlienBountyHunterCough*. Can I still write it?
      Yes, yes, yes, and YES! As long as an X-files character is at the center of the story and you can write over 15,000 words of fanfiction about them... it fits the challenge.

      Disclaimer: The moderators of xf_bigbang do not guarantee readers for your 50,000 word, CSM-goes-to-Disneyland,-finds-God,-and-retires-to-carve-wooden-shoes-in-Holland fanfiction. We will however allow you to post it here and suspect we can find at least one person to make some art for you involving CancerMan in Mickey Mouse Ears.

    • Is there a word limit for the first draft?
      There is no upper limit for the word count of either the first or final draft, but you must submit a story of at least 15,000 words by the August 14th deadline. This helps make sure that our artists will have completed stories to work with.

    • Can I post a soundtrack for my story?
      Oh, wouldn't that be nifty?! Yes you may, but any artwork for your fanmix must be created by your collaborating artist when the mix is posted during the bang. You may choose to "re-release" the soundtrack with different art at a later date.

    • What do you mean I need a beta?
      Every story must be beta'd before the final posting date. A 'beta' is a fandom term for a editor/sounding board/first reader of a story. Your beta can help you work out plot points, clean up grammar errors, or simply act as a fresh set of eyes. Also, as part of the fun of this community is keeping most of your epic under wraps until the big reveal, your beta can help you talk through any issues you might normally bug your friend list with (Am I revealing too much of my creative process?).

      You may choose to use one or two betas you've already worked with or know well. After writers sign-up, a post will be made to let people volunteer to beta for others. Writers can contact willing betas through that post. If some stories still have not found betas after the draft deadline, beta readers will be assigned by the moderators.

      We want your story to be it's best! :D

    • When you say we need to keep the story secret, how secret do you mean?
      While we're not expecting you to take the extreme lengths that Chris Carter did about the paternity of Scully's baby... a big part of the fun of this community will be the final reveal. We ask that if you post teasers or parts of your story to your journal or message board (friend locked or not) you don't go into too much detail. Building suspense is fine, giving away the plot isn't *g*

      When you first sign-up you will be asked to give us a brief idea of what kind of story you are likely to write. Mostly we will want to know a pairing if you have settled on one, Gen/Slash/Het category, a yes or no on crossover potential, and if you have a beta lined up. When you submit your first draft on August 14th, you will also be asked to submit a short summary of your story. It should be long enough to give our artists a good idea of the type of story they'd be creating for while not giving away major plot details. We mods and your beta can help you write the summary if you're stuck.

      Other than that... we prefer you keep the details of your story as vague as possible. Feel free to use omg_xf_bigbang to commiserate over characters who want to take the story in an unexpected direction or how to get the words out... just use general terms. Believe me, every writer will know what you're talking about. ;)

      Return to Top of Page | General Qs | Artists Qs | Other Qs



      Questions from Artists

      X What is art?
      X What about icons?
      X Can an artist and a vidder share a prompt?
      X Will the writer be telling me what they want to see? Do I have to make the art they ask for?

    • What is art?
      Ah... such a timeless question! ;)

      For the purposes of this challenge, an artist will be expected to create at least one screen-sized graphic or 2:30 minute length video based on a fanfiction.

      The artwork can be hand drawn, computer generated, or Photoshopped. If the writer has ideas for a fanmix for the story, the artist may create a cover. Artwork may be an illustration of a pivotal scene from the story or a more impressionistic piece inspired by its mood. The artist may create a series of art, if they have time and inclination.

      The video could convey the story of the fanfiction, develop a mood, or even pick a song mentioned in the text and create an inspired video.

    • What about icons?
      Artists may choose to create icons for a story, but artwork is expected to go beyond a batch of icons (however large), and such icons would be considered a (very welcomed) bonus creation.

    • Can an artist and a vidder share a prompt?
      At this time, it doesn't seem likely that we will have enough artists to make double claims possible. Ideally, it would ROCK if every fic could have both art and a video. Once all fanfictions have an artist assigned, the mods may open prompts to double claims by different media.

    • Will the writer be telling me what they want to see? Do I have to make the art they ask for?
      No. This is not a commissioned piece of art. We encourage writer and artist to communicate and inspire each other, but the choice of art is ultimately up to the artist and they are not beholden to the writer's directions. In just such a way, the artist may have a suggestion for the writer after reading the first draft of the fanfiction, but it is ultimately the writers call if they choose to use that suggestion.

      Return to Top of Page | General Qs | Writers Qs | Other Qs



      Questions from the Rest

      X I want to help, but I don't think I can write 15,000 words and I have no artistic talent. What can I do?
      X A beta reader, you say?
      X Do I need to sign up as a beta if I've already agreed to work with one of the writers? We know each other really well and I've beta'd for her in the past and if you try to separate us I'll totally CRY.

    • I want to help, but I don't think I can write 15,000 words and I have no artistic talent. What can I do?
      Check out omg_xf_bigbang ! We'd love to hear from people who are ready and eager for more great X-files creative endeavors and can always use more cheerleaders. We also need help getting the word out... if you know someone whose talent you admire, make sure they know about the community and encourage them to take part. Finally, consider signing up as a beta reader.

    • A beta reader, you say?
      That's right. Starting June 1st you can sign up to a post much like this one and offer your services to one of our writers. A beta reader is someone who helps with grammar and word choice, and gives overall feedback on the story. As these stories are to be kept secret until the reveal on October 13th, the beta reader will be one of the first people to read each story. Prestige!

    • Do I need to sign up as a beta if I've already agreed to work with one of the writers? We know each other really well and I've beta'd for her in the past and if you try to separate us I'll totally CRY.
      Oh, baby, don't cry! You do not have to sign up as a beta if you've already reached an agreement with a writer. The beta sign-up post will be for those who have time to work with a story but haven't made a commitment to do so. While we don't mind some beta readers working with multiple authors, please use caution when agreeing to beta. 15,000 words is a big chunk of time and some stories may go through several versions before they are complete.

      Return to Top of Page | General Qs | Writers Qs | Artists Qs




      Questions may also be sent via e-mail to xfbigbang@gmail.com.
      Please comment with any further questions. I'm sure I forgot something! :D
Tags: !mod, 2011, faq
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