X What is a "multi category 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 writing, art and fanmixes?
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"?
A Big Bang challenge is 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. A multi category Big Bang challenge is much the same, but it's not just fic and art that can be posted. Icons, podcasts, meta, fanvids, fic recs... anything goes.
- 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 a Big Bang challenge was Supernatural and they are working on their sixth year at spn_j2_bigbang</lj> . Other fandoms have done this too (e.g. smallvillebbang</lj>). The idea for the multi category Big Bang came from Ladies Big Bang over at Dreamwidth.
- Who can participate?
Okay, okay... honestly, although I've been running the Big Bang community here for the last few years I've never run a multi category Big Bang before, so I'm kinda winging it here. The main goal is to generate good, long, NEW fanworks. This is what interests me! As far as what art is created, that is based on the fic/art/meta/icons/podcasts/fanmixes you read/see/listen to (yes, if you sign up you get to see 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 creator beta reader, or cheerleader.
- What would the time line be like?
All Categories Sign-Ups Start: May 1st
Sign-Ups Close: May 14th
Beta Sign-up: May 14th
First Draft Due: August 14th
Fanwork Selection: August 17th
Final Works Due: October 6th
Posting: October 13th - October 31st
- How many entries can you submit? Can I do writing, art and famixes?
Our main goal is to make sure we get new fanworks of whatever description. With this in mind, you will only be able to sign-up for one category 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 claim in up to three cateogies at the fanworks selection. Ultimately, only fanworks with complete rough drafts turned in by August 14th. will be posted to the fanworks selection.
So, to make it clear, people are only able to sign-up for one category, but will be able to claim up to three pieces across all categories in the fanworks selection post. For example, I could sign up to write some meta, but as long as I turn a rough draft in would also be able to claim a piece of artwork to write fic to, claim a fic to create icons for, and claim a comic to produce a fanmix for. Each of these pieces would have to be posted on the date that I was given. Make sense?
- 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</lj> 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</lj> . 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</lj> , 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 fanworks for the final reveal, you must upload the work 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.
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Questions from Writers
X I've already started this story/meta and posted or shared a bit of it with friends, but I really want to develop it into something longer. 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?
X Is there a word limit for the first draft?
X Can I post a soundtrack?
X What do you mean I need a beta?
X When you say we need to keep the work secret, how secret do you mean?
- I've already started this story/meta and posted or shared a bit of it with friends, but I really want to develop it into something longer. 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 work 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, or have made a 4,000 word argument with an introduction, conclusion and bibliography 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?
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</lj> do not guarantee readers for your 50,000 word, CSM-goes-to-Disneyland,-finds-God,-and-r
etires-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 or a piece of meta of at least 3,500 words by the August 14th deadline. This helps make sure that our other creators will have completed fanworks to work with.
- Can I post a soundtrack?
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/meta 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 sign-ups close, a post will be made to let people volunteer to beta for others. Writers can contact willing betas through that post. If some works still have not found betas after the draft deadline, beta readers will be assigned by the moderators.
We want your work to be it's best! :D
- When you say we need to keep the work 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 work you are likely to write. Mostly we will want to know if you're writing fic or meta, 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 work. It should be long enough to give our creators a good idea of the type of work they'd be creating for while not giving away major plot details/arguments. 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 work as vague as possible. Feel free to use omg_xf_bigbang</lj> 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. ;)
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Questions from Artists
X What is art?
X What about icons, banners and headers?
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, art is anything visual. An artist will be expected to create at least one screen-sized graphic, a comic, a picspam containing at least 5 pictures or 2:30 minute length video based on a fanwork.
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/meta 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, highlight the central theme of the meta or even pick a song mentioned in the text and create an inspired video.
- What about icons, banners and headers?
Artists may choose to create icons, banners or a header for a story, but those signing up as artists in the initial sign-ups are expected to go beyond a batch of icons or a banner (however large), and such icons would be considered a (very welcomed) bonus creation.
- Can an artist and a vidder share a prompt?
As we're trying something new this time, I'm going to say yes. Ideally, it would ROCK if every fanwork could have a piece of art, a video, a fanmix, some meta or a series of drabbles produced for it, so the mods may have to restrict the number of claims made against one piece if there are others with none.
- 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 piece, but it is ultimately the writer's call if they choose to use that suggestion.
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Questions from Famixers and Podcasters
X What are you defining as audio?
X Can I record any fic?
X Will the writer be telling me what they want to hear? Do I have to read the story the way they ask me to?
- What are you defining as audio?
In short, fanmixes, podfics and podcasts. For the purposes of this challenge, anyone creating audio will be expected to create at a fanmix containing at least 6 songs, a podfic of one or more fanfics or 2:30 minute podcast based on one of the fanworks.
- Can I record any fic?
You will need to get permission from the author to podfic their story. When you post, you will need to credit the author and include a link to the fic itself (unless the fic is f-locked at the time of posting, which is okay as long as you obtained permission to record it).
Of course, you're more than welcome to podfic your own fic, as long as it wasn't created for this challenge.
- Will the writer be telling me what they want to hear? Do I have to read the story the way they ask me to?
No. This is not a commission. We encourage creators and podficcers to communicate and inspire each other, but the choice of reading is ultimately up to the podficcer and they are not beholden to the writer's directions. In just such a way, the podficcer may have a suggestion for the writer after reading the first draft of the work, but it is ultimately the writer's call if they choose to use that suggestion.
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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 and I have no artistic talent. What can I do?
Check out omg_xf_bigbang</lj> ! 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 May 14th 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/meta/artwork/etc. As these fanworks are to be kept secret until the reveal on October 13th, the beta reader will be one of the first people to see each piece. 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 of fic, 3,500 words of meta, a 2:30 minute vid or a picspam is a big chunk of time and some pieces may go through several versions before they are complete.
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Questions may also be sent via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please comment with any further questions. As this is the first time I've run a multi category Big Bang I'm sure there'll be something I've forgotten! :D
- What is a "Big Bang Challenge"?