For those who have done it before, here is the character/pairing guide and here is the sign up page! However, if you are new to the ficathon, or need a refresher as to the rules, please read the information below.
What's a ficathon
A ficathon is a story exchange where you sign up to write a story and, in exchange, you get a story written for you!
To give your assigned writer something to work with, you'll be asked to provide three prompts when you sign up, together with some information on what you would like genre and pairing wise and what you would not like. Your assigned writer will then write a story based on one of these prompts (or a combination of prompts if they're feeling particularly creative) and you'll do the same for your assigned recipient in return.
Assignments will be kept anonymous until the day of posting - i.e. you won't know who is writing for you until they post their story, and you won't reveal who you're writing for until the day stories are due.
All stories will be posted on the same day so there will be a smorgasbord of fic to read.
How it works
We have a shiny sign up form, which will enable us to match authors to assignments on the basis of the information given. Some information on how to use the form to indicate which characters and/or pairing combinations you would like is provided here. (The default option in all cases will remain gen so if no one has offered to write the pairings you've requested, you'll be matched with someone who offered to write gen about one or more of your chosen characters.)
When sign ups close, you'll be mailed with your assignments.
When the big day arrives, you post your work either to the primevalathon community or, if you're not based on livejournal/insanejournal, to another journal site or your webpage, letting us know the location so we can make a post to the community. Then aithine and I put together a master list of all stories.
Then we read ::g::
How long does the story need to be?
At least 1,000 words minimum. There is no maximum.
When does it have to be done by?
Sign ups are open until 28 February 2010. Matching will be done that weekend and assignments will be sent out by the 2nd March.
Stories are due on 30 April 2010. That means you'll have two months to write something.
What if I don't have a livejournal? What if I don't have a webpage?
The community exists on livejournal, insanejournal and dreamwidth, so you can simply post your story to the primevalathon community on whichever journalling site you use. We'll be posting the masterlist in all places.
If you don't have a journal, you can still play. Just sign up as normal with your e-mail address and then, when the day of posting arrives, you can either send aithine or me the link to your work or comment with the information on one of the admin posts. As long as we know where the story is, it doesn't matter whether it's posted to livejournal/insanejournal/dreamwidth, the web or another journalling site. We'll make a post to the main community with your story details so that no one misses it.
If you genuinely don't have a place to post it, please let us know and we can arrange to host it on one of our websites and link it in the same way.
How does matching work?
We try to match you to your assigned author/recipient as closely as possible. However, as this is a small fandom, it may not be possible to have a perfect match particularly if you only request a very rare pairing or indicate that you're only willing to write a very rare pairing (for example, Caroline/Leek). Obviously, if you say that you can't write a particular pairing, you won't be assigned it, but on the other hand if you say you'll only write a particular pairing, then it may not be possible to accomodate you if no one requests it.
In those circumstances, the default will be to match you to someone who has offered to write or requested gen for one or both characters. You may be lucky and your assigned author will try and write what you've requested, but authors are under no obligation to write something that they haven't signed up for.
Also, please bear in mind that you are trying to fill someone else's request. You may like writing and reading angsty, non-con or death fics but that doesn't mean that your recipient will like receiving a story that contains these things. Please take a cue from the prompts they've submitted and please pay attention to the things that they've indicated that they wouldn't like in their story as well as those they would.
What should my prompts be?
Anything you like, really. To give you some ideas, it can be: a short synopsis of a story; an opening line; a quote you think might be inspiring; or three words that you'd like your assigned author to include in the story. Please keep the prompts fairly simple rather than detailed plot synopses, because they're no fun for the writers to work with.
However, we are going to caveat this a little:
- please keep your prompts clean. That doesn't mean that the end story needs to be ::g:: but there are a lot of younger authors in the fandom, so you should bear in mind that one of them may receive your prompts and word them accordingly.
- please be reasonable about your requests. A ficathon is a great place to request a story that you may not get to read otherwise, but remember that someone has to write it.
This means that while we won't stop you from requesting original characters, crossovers or smut, specific requests for any of these (or any combination of these) should be limited to only one of your three prompts. This will ensure that your assigned author will have at least two prompts to choose from if they're underage or not familiar with the other fandom/fanon character.
Does this mean that I can't include established fanon original characters (OCs) in my story?
No. We realise that certain fanon OCs are very popular in some parts of fandom so we've included on the sign up form a part where you can indicate:
- whether it's okay for your author to include established fanon characters or not; and
- whether you're willing to write established fanon characters or not.
There's also an additional text box where you can indicate which fanon original characters you would like/would be willing to write, but this is not used to match authors and recipients. It's just more information for your assigned author.
If your recipient has indicated that it's okay to include fanon original characters in their story, you can include them even if there isn't a specific prompt for them. In other words, the assumption is that if they've ticked 'yes' to that option, they're happy for you to include them in any and all prompts they've submitted unless they say otherwise in the prompts themselves or in the additional information box.
If your recipient has selected 'no', please respect that and don't include them in your story.
We will be matching on the basis of pairings or characters requested before we get to other choices like whether you want hurt/comfort or fanon OCs. Unfortunately, as we've said, this means we can't guarantee you'll get a perfect match but we do do our best to ensure that everyone gets as good a fit as possible.
Does that mean I can't write or won't get more adult stories?
No. Provided that you and your assigned author/recipient are adults and your recipient has indicated that they're fine with more adult stuff in their request, then it would be fine to write something like that. However, I would suggest wording your prompts in such a way as to make it easy for people to also write non-adult stuff if they're not comfortable with it.
- I'd like a dark Stephen and Nick story, with slash preferred, and first time if you can make it
- I'd like a romantic first time Abby/Connor story, featuring Rex, an accident with a tranquiliser gun and a prehistoric creature we haven't seen yet.
Those requests wouldn't be rating specific, but could be written to any rating.
However, if you are underage please, for the love of all that is holy, do not request adult rated material. If you do, you're likely to get your assigned author and us into trouble, and we will not be happy.
What else isn't allowed?
Because we have fans from all over the place, who only have the show in common and don't move in the same fannish circles, your author/recipient may not be familiar with everything in fandom terms that you're familiar with. We therefore ask that you do not:
- request sequels to, missing scenes from or remixes of your or anyone else's stories
- write a sequel to or missing scene from something you or anyone else has written. Your story should be a standalone story, written for your recipient.
It's not really fair to your assigned author if they have to go and read something written by someone else before they can write your story, and it's not really fair on your recipient if they get a story that they can't understand because they haven't read the original.
What if I get my sign up mail and realised that I've made a mistake in my sign up? How do I correct it?
Just complete the sign up form again, using the same e-mail address. That will overwrite your previous submission in the database. You can keep on doing this until we close sign ups, at which point the last sign up you submitted will be the one you're committed to.
I didn't get a confirmation mail for the sign up. Where is it?
Check your spam filter, especially if you're using gmail. The mails go out more or less instantaneously, but we've discovered during the testing phase that gmail likes to eat them :) There may be a similar issue with other mail services.
If, after checking your spam filter, you still can't find it please let aithine or I know. Copies of your sign ups are also sent to us, so we should have a copy to forward to you. If we haven't got it either, that means that for some reason your sign up didn't go through to the database and you will need to resubmit it.
What if I can't complete my assignment on time?
First of all, please give it your best shot. It's really not fair if someone signs up, delivers their promised assigment and then discovers that the person assigned to provide something for them has dropped out.
That being said, if there's no helping it, please let either aithine or me know as soon as possible. The earlier you can let us know, the more time we have to find someone to step into the breach (pinch hit).
Please note that:
- if you need to drop out, we may contact the person who was assigned to write for you and ask if they could swap to writing for your recipient instead
- if you drop out within the last two weeks of the ficathon period before stories are due without good reason, you may, at the discretion of the mods, be banned from participating in future ficathons. What constitutes a 'good reason' will be for the mods to determine.
Please see this post for more information.
I started my story but I haven't managed to finish it by the deadline. Can I still post it as a WIP?
We realise that sometimes stories run away with you and you end up with a monstrosity that you cannot finish in time, in which case it's far better to post what you have than leave your recipient without a story. However, if you don't think that you can finish your story, please contact either aithine or I before the deadline so we can discuss whether you post your WIP or whether it would be better for us to organise a pinch hitter - this will depend on a number of factors, such as how long your WIP currently is (hint - the longer the better), whether it's at a natural breaking off point and whether or not we've had our morning cup of coffee.
What if I have a great idea for a story but it includes something that the recipient says they don't want? I'm sure she/he will like what I'm planning, so can I write it anyway?
Not for the ficathon, no. By all means, if you're inspired to write more than one story by your recipient's prompts, feel free to do so - we post any unfilled prompts after the ficathon has closed, and they're pretty much a free for all. However, you have signed up to write a story for someone else, and if that someone else has indicated that they would rather not read certain types of story, we would expect you, as the assigned author, to do your best to write a story that they can read and would like.
Cool. What do I need to do now?
Simply read the character/pairing guide and then go and sign up!
If you have any other questions, please just let aithine or I know, either here or via PM.
The best way to ensure that you have a better chance of getting everything you've asked for is to pimp the ficathon like a pimping thing that pimps ::g:: The more signups, the more likely it is that someone is itching to write what you've requested, and the more people you encourage to sign up who like the same things that you like, the more likely, again, it is that you'll get a good match.
So, go forth and pimp, my pretties ::g::