pokemod: please do not take. (by koyuki @ DW. [woopa])
pokémod team ([personal profile] pokemod) wrote in [community profile] pokemon_bigbang2011-12-21 09:50 pm
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Frequently Asked Questions


(To ask a question, go here or contact the mods.)

Any ground rules I should be aware of?
[community profile] pokemon_bigbang follows [community profile] pokeprompts' basic posting rules, which can be found here.

Additionally, you have to join the comm. It's also recommended that you watch the comm/check it regularly, or at least on the important days mentioned in the calendar of events. If that's difficult, you can always track the comm or follow its RSS feed.

Why aren't original characters (OCs) allowed?
There are a few reasons we focus on canon characters only. First, there is so much to play with in the Pokemon verse already, even with the canon-only limitations, that we feel it's a big enough sandbox while still providing some structure. Secondly, everyone is going to be familiar with canon characters; not everyone will be familiar with original characters, and so this focus helps reduce confusion/explanation time/etc. Thirdly, it greatly reduces the chance of Mary Sue fics.

Who counts as an OC?
Any character ever mentioned in any Pokémon franchise is considered a canon character. That can be anyone from a character as important as Cyrus, May, or Professor Oak to a character as inconsequential as an episode-of-the-day character, a person who shows up in PokéSpe for three panels, a trainer you encounter on Route 32, a specific Pokémon especially mentioned in a PokéDex entry, the red gyarados from the lake of rage, or an Officer Jenny growlithe.

Anyone outside these (really rather lax) guidelines is considered an original character, and therefore not allowed. That doesn't mean your fic can't include original characters, even a lot of them in important positions if need be, but the fic shouldn't be centered around them.

Are AUs allowed? What about crossovers?
AUs are definitely allowed! As for the latter, that depends on what you mean by "crossover."

If you mean smashing two universes together, such as "Inception/Pokémon crossover, Steven Stone is the mark and the other region champions are a crack dream extraction team hired by his corporate rival, Wallace," then yes, that's totally allowed and even encouraged.

However, if by crossover you mean "Carmen San Diego magically appears in Kanto, collects a team of awesome Pokémon, and challenges the league!!", then Carmen is operating as an OC character and is therefore not allowed.

Why am I only allowed to sign up for one position (writer, artist, or beta-reader)? I know you explained, but I want a TL;DR answer.
Well, you asked for it.

The reason it's not allowed is because, quite honestly, it's a setup for a burn-out. If we allow it, people will inevitably try to hold all three positions and inevitably realize too late that they've bitten off more than they can chew. That means they'll have to drop some of their extra positions, leaving their groups to scramble without them, and that's just a setup for no fun all around. Or, if they do manage to pull through, it'll probably result in a lower standard of work and lot of stress that might ruin the whole experience for them and possibly their teammates.

The rule is simply in place to make sure that everyone can have a good time. We want this to be a fun, exciting challenge, not something that will potentially ruin someone's summer holiday.

There are a lot of things you can do to make it more difficult for you. For example, if you think 10,000 words is too easy, set your personal bar higher. You can aim for 100,000 words, or you can try to write about characters or verses you've never written about before—the struggle to discover new characters' voices can be very exciting. If you want to sign up as an artist, find ways to step outside of your comfort zone. Maybe try a completely new medium, or do more than you've ever tried to do in three months, or work bigger, or something. There are ways to push yourself as a beta-reader, too, although they mostly involve studying from what I've found, haha. In short, you can still have fun and make this exciting within the constraints of this rule! It's just another challenge if you look at it the right way. :)

I'm an artist/beta-reader. Will I have full control over what group I join/what I choose to create/what I choose to edit?
Absolute complete 100% control! You'll choose which story you'll be working with at the match-up post (here's an example from big bang 2011). So no, you'll never have to work on something you don't want to.

My friend and I already know that we want to work together coming into this! Is that okay?
Definitely! When the match-up post happens, just say who's already on your team (x writer, x artists, x beta-reader) so people know how many spots are available to be filled. This can work for any creative combo—writer-beta, writer-artist, etc. If you want to come into this with three of your friends and have a completely set group from the start, go for it!

I want to pinch-hit!
Awesome! Just keep an eye out for the pinch-hit post to offer your services!

(NB: Here is an explanation of pinch-hitting.)

Is it okay if I create art for my own fic (or vice-versa)?
Well, it's not like we can stop you...but the whole point of this challenge is to work with other people, not shoulder all of the work yourself.

Can I begin the big bang with a fic I've already been working on?
We would really prefer if you didn't, since the purpose is to create one body of work within the three-month period you're given.

Can I write multiple shorter works to reach the 10,000 word count?
The purpose of a big bang is to write one story of at least 10,000 words. If it's less intimidating to think of it as writing short stories and one-shots that are actually all different scenes which ultimately move towards the goal of telling one cohesive story, then that'd be acceptable, but the major point is to tell one story.

Is it okay if I enter this piece into multiple big bangs or to other contests?
Please don't? It seems to defeat the purpose, somehow...getting twice the credit for one piece of work.

How do drop-outs work?
Extreme extenuating circumstances aside (you can always drop for that), the simple version is that once you join a group, you can't back out. The biggest concern was have is that people will disappear and leave their teammates high and dry. Basically: if you post on the match-up post, you are announcing your intention to see the big bang through to the bitter end. You can't drop out after that.

What happens if we reach the 10,000/15,000 word count by the deadline, but it's still a WIP/our entry isn't finished?
Well, first we make pouty faces at you for a while. We do have a protocol for WIP situations, but it's on a need-to-know basis because we don't want you shooting for anything less than a fully completed story of at least 10,000 (or 15,000) words. Don't sell yourself short—you can do it!

Where are we allowed to host our finished work?
You can host your fics and art anywhere you'd like, as long as it follows these simple guidelines:
  1. it's a stable location that is very unlikely to go offline,
  2. it displays your work in a readable/non-seizure-inducing fashion,
  3. it's a site that requires no registration or payment to view content, and
  4. it's safe for work.
Dreamwidth, InsaneJournal, Fanfiction.Net, DeviantArt, Photobucket, and Archive of our Own are all popular choices.

Do keep in mind, however, that no part of your big bang entry should be anywhere online publicly until your posting date. Additionally, you're required to post a masterlist here, which will include links to all the parts of your entry, including all chapters/sections/parts and all related artworks.