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Drafts and ponderings
SSar's Beast
I am taking a break from an exchange fic that is refusing to write itself.
Instead: some notes-to-self about things I want to organise.

First, a song-based fic exchange, to be run between July and September.

Basic parameters:

-gift exchange
-works posted on AO3, supported by communities on DW and LJ
-canons must be nominated ahead of time (with generous nomination allowances).
-treats welcome
-text-based, fics of 1,000 words + (maybe with an upper limit?)
-I'll be happy to open the exchange up for art in future years IF I manage to run the exchange smoothly the first time. Most of my choices are based on things I'm most comfortable with.

What are my goals for the exchange?

-I like anonymous gift-based exchanges: I want to enjoy the atmosphere of secret-santa writing presents and I want other people to enjoy this.
-I want the canons to be easy to access and consume, thus minimising one of the pressure aspects of exchanges.
-I want people to discover new music.

Name? All of my ideas are pretty cheesy so far.

-Liner Notes? (mild pun, but not very informative)
-ReVerb? (no, worse pun, also with emphasis on text)
-Songstart? (maybe) (available on DW and LJ)
-more puns about tunes and notes and records, etc

What will count as a song for purposes of the exchange?

-A piece of recorded music that includes lyrics (in any language) and is shorter than 20 minutes (this is an arbitrary cut-off point...).
-It must be widely available. Preferably, there will be a YouTube link or a link on the artist's website or another publically accessible link.
-It must be able to stand on its own. (I won't object to people nominating songs from musicals or operettas - but if they think that someone would have to know the whole musical or operetta in order to fully understand the song, then I'd rather they didn't choose that song.)
-Covers can be nominated separately. Music videos can (and should) be nominated separately from songs where the nominater does not care about the vid. It's perfectly possible to differentiate these when nominating on AO3.
-This is negotiable, but a nomination needs to fit in with my goals for the exchange.

What are the likely dates and what will affect them?

-I need to balance optimal periods in my time zone with optimal periods in, well, American timezones, since a lot of the people I suspect i can persuade to join up will be in the US.
-I have said in other spaces that I'm thinking of starting the fest around August. However, I'm possibly going to be on holiday for the first week of August now, so I need to adjust... Hope people don't mind. I probably need to start it after I'm back.
-I'm assuming I'll need a week for nominations, and a full weekend for tidying them up, given I've never wrangled AO3 nominations before. (Of course, I'll do some testing beforehand.)
-A week for sign-ups also seems to match general expectations in fandom.
-I like an anonymous pre-reveal period.
-How long to give people to write? A month to six weeks seems generous to me, given that canon review isn't a problem. (Treats will be encouraged!)

Draft schedule:

Nominations open: Thurs 8 August 14:59 EDT / Fri 9 August 06:59 NZST

Nominations close: Thurs 15 August 23:59 EDT / Fri 16 August 15:59 NZST

Nominations wrangling ends: Sat 17 August 23:59 EDT / Sun 18 August 15:59 NZST

Signups open: Sun 18 August 14:59 EDT / Mon 19 August 06:59 NZST

Signups close: Sat 24 August 23:59 EDT / Sun 25 August 15:59 NZST

Assignments go out on or before: Mon 26 August 07:59 EDT / Mon 26 August 23:59 NZST

Assignments due Mon 23 September 23:59 EDT / Tues 24 September 15:59 NZST

Collection opens Thurs 26 September 14:59 EDT / Fri 27 September 06:59 NZST

Collection revealed Fri 4 October 17:59 EDT / Sat 5 October 09:59 NZST

I don't want to edge too far into October, because Yuletide. The last weekend of September also poses some problems, because I'll be out of internet contact for much of it.

Other concerns:

-Will probably discourage RPF and crossovers, in line with the "keep things accessible" goal.

To do:

-Edit the above into a much shorter, simpler version of rules
-Decide on a name and create the comms
-Create banners and colour schemes (maybe recruit help here!)
-Decide on a schedule and promote it


Second: a offline social club for the purpose of reading things aloud.

This idea sprung from me typing up a short story within an IRC chatroom, enjoying wearing a storytelling hat, and wishing I had more opportunity for that kind of text sharing between a speaker and an audience.

Some of my offline friends sounded pretty keen; Pip in particular offered to help me start it up.

So, how would this work?

-At a fixed venue, probably someone's house at first, then a pub or cafe later
-Regular meetups - I'm thinking fortnightly could work
-People arrange in advance to bring short texts to read aloud. Poetry, essays, articles, short stories, etc.
-This would not be a writing club. People must bring something <i>someone else</i> has written.
-Participants could ask for someone else to read their offering out if they were shy/uncomfortable/?. (But they would have to be at the session, I think.)
-There would need to be plenty of time set aside for discussion.

What are the goals?
-Sharing the works/ideas we love with others in a way that could be more direct than "hey, here's a link to something on my facebook page, cool, right?"
-In-person discussion
-Speaking-in-front-of-audience practice, I guess?

Ideally, this would not be confined to a circle of friends.

On the other hand, I can see this flopping. I can see people getting interested for a few sessions, then losing interest. I can see me getting bored. I can see ways to get others involved, but there would be plenty of problems as well as benefits to expanding the pool of participants.

So, what do I need to do next to get this running?
-Figure out if I actually have time/motivation to lead this on a regular basis
-Get together the friends who sounded most enthusiastic to do this at my house as a trial run and talk to them about what they most like about the concept.
-Create a one-page manifesto/purpose statement
-Create a Facebook page
-Schedule further sessions
-Sound out cafes/pubs for external venues.

(Please excuse formatting difficulties that remain. This is my first attempt at crossposting between DW and LJ.)

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I would TOTALLY participate in a songfic exchange!


Awesome! Well, those dates are pretty close to the dates that it actually will be, so, uh, keep it in mind?

(Hi and welcome!)

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