The Dark Xander Fic-A-Thon is definitely on tap. Based on poll results, there's a definite interest among writers and readers (and both are equally important in my mind), so I say let's get the show on the road.
Graphic by naol
1. This is an "open" Fic-A-Thon.
There will be no assignments and no specific requests and/or prompts given to writers who chose to participate. No one is going to be "gifting" another participant in a fic exchange. If writers feel like showing up to play, they can show up to play. If for some reason a writer can't do it, they can back out without feeling guilty.
2. Minimum story count is 1,000 words.
How you meet the minimum is entirely up to you. You can do one story that's 1,000 words, or you can do 10 drabbles that equal 1,000 words. Conversely, if you feel like writing a million-word opus, knock yourself out.
3. Completed stories would be nice, but not a must.
I'm guilty of putting a "downpayment" on fic-a-thon promises, so I can't be hypocritical about it. All I ask is that at some point you plan to finish it.
4. You do not have to be an LJ member to play, but your story has to be accessible and you have to send me a direct link to the story.
Yes, you read that right. Anyone can play, not just people on my FList or even just people on LJ. However, you must send me a direct link to your story, and it must be posted in an online open space that readers can access without having to type in a username or password.
For example, if you are on LJ, that means you cannot post your story in a Friends-Only journal and you can't post it in a Friends-Only locked post. If you have a Friends-Only journal, it should be posted in a LJ community that is open and viewable to everyone.
If you are not on LJ, that means you cannot post your story on a private Yahoo Group, a closed message board, or a viewable to members-only archive. However, you can post your story on public archives, your personal Web site (provided no password is needed to see the story), or public message boards that are viewable to all.
5. If you don't want to write (or even if you do), and have plot bunnies, ideas, or a fic request, please go to pygs_lj to post it.
naol has graciously agreed to take all suggestions and plot bunnies for the fic-a-thon.
At any point before October 8, reply to the latest pygs_lj post and write "Dark Xander Fic-A-Thon Plot Bunny" in the subject heading. Your plot bunny/request will be put in the next daily posting for the community.
Non-LJ members and AnonyMice can comment in the replies for pygs_lj with no problem, so if you're "off-LJ" feel free to jump in the water there.
While I can't guarantee that someone involved in the fic-a-thon will take your idea and run, there's always a possibility that someone who isn't might take a swing at the idea.
6. Please make your story as angst-free to read as possible for the readers, that means cleaning up grammar and spelling.
Pleeeeease, edit your fics, make it as typo-free as you humanly can, and check your spelling. If possible, grab a beta to read it over and fact-check. Your readers will thank you.
7. All seasons and post-seasons of Xanders are welcome.
That means you get to pick on any Xander you want. You can play with Xander from S1 through S7 and shake him up in interesting ways. You can speculate on post-S7 Xander and take him in interesting directions. Whatever your flava of Xander, he's more than welcome to attend.
8. When I say Dark Xander, I mean any version of Dark Xander you can think of.
The only limit is your imagination.
You can write anything from a Xander who's downright evil to a Xander who's still a basically decent guy but is in a no-win situation. You can tackle all the varying shades of grey in between rather than go with either extreme. Dark Xander can be dark through every fault of his own, he can be a Dark Xander that's been pushed to the edge by circumstances, or he's a Xander in a dark place through no fault of his own.
Whatever your shade of Dark Xander, and whatever the construct of his dark place may be, it's entirely up to you.
9. Gen, het, slash are all allowed, but you have to state that right up front regardless of whether there's het ship, a slash ship, or no ship at all.
I'm not joking here. Under the pairings section (see below), state whether your story is gen, het, or slash. If there is even a mention of past het or slash relationships, I will ask you to state that. The way I see it, if writers have to warn for slash, then writers should warn for het and gen as well. Fair is fair.
I will make no assumptions that your story is "gen" if you leave it blank. Before posting your link to the masterlist, I will email you to confirm that your story is "gen" or to get clarification on a pairing.
10. If you want to do something multi-media with your fic it's allowed, provided you warn if it's not work-safe. If you are posting your story on a graphics-heavy LJ or Web space, warn if the images that pop up there are not work-safe.
I know there are some talented people out there who are good with the graphics, the vids, or pulling together a soundtrack. If you want to do that in addition to writing a story, please feel free. But I can't stress this enough: if the accompanying material is not work safe, warn people for it so they can view your story and the accompanying material when they are in an appropriate place and time to do so.
I also know that there are Web pages and LJs that are also graphics-heavy and some of the images may raise eyebrows if they are viewed at the wrong place and time. Please warn for that if this applies to you.
11. No hardcore Slave!Master fics allowed.
I'm not talking about a situation where Dru has Xander under a thrall. I'm not talking about a situation where Xander is being held captive by demons and forced to do their will. I'm not talking about Xander ruling over his minions with an iron fist as he makes them do his bidding. I'm not talking about Xander holding someone captive because he wants to get something out of the Council.
I'm talking about sexually explotive fics where Xander uses and abuses a canon character who is coincidently his slave or Xander is used and an abused by a canon character who coincidently has enslaved him.
Like I said, there's some wiggle room around the edges. If you have doubts about what I mean, or whether your story falls into my "no-way josé" zone, email me and I'm more than willing to discuss it.
12. No RPS/RPF/ActorFics, please.
I'm not talking about Xander accidentally running over Mel Gibson while he chases after the Champaign Guzzling Demons of Thirsty Gulch. Nor am I talking about something fun like bellatemple's Fannon Fodder where Xander finds out he's a fictional character. I'm talking about traditional RPS/RPF/ActorFics.
I have nothing against people who read or write RPS/RPF/ActorFics, I just don't enjoy them and I'd rather not include them in this particular fic-a-thon.
13. Avoid character-bashing as much as possible.
This is more applicable to characters other than Xander, but only because I'm assuming that people who are entering into a Xander-centric fic-a-thon aren't interesting in bashing Xander (although I could be wrong). If you've got canon characters turning on Xander for whatever reason, please try to make it understandable within the context of your story. Don't have Buffy be a bitch just for the sake of having her be a bitch, and don't have Robin advocating for Xander's head on a platter without cause, and don't have Giles casting Xander into hell unless there's a reason.
Now, that reason could be that they're all possessed by demons, or have jumped to a conclusion that is not true, or are trying to act in Xander's best interests even if he can't see it. Hey, I didn't say they had to be good reasons, just reasons.
14. Other than the above exclusions, anything and everything else is allowed, provided you warn for it.
Yes, that means everything including character death, cold-blooded murder, rape, non-con, necrophilia, drug use, alcoholism, self-destructive behaviors, deadly and not-so-deadly sins, and general mayhem.
This is a Dark Xander fic-a-thon, so chances are someone is going to be tackling subject matter that will be problematic for some readers. Mindful that one person's plot point is another person's trigger (or at least another person's serious squick), I'm not disallowing anything but I am insisting that you warn for anything and everything that might be considered a trigger. If you have doubts about whether or not to warn for it, warn for it just to be on the safe side and out of consideration for your fellow writers and for any readers who want to see your story.
15. All genres allowed.
By the same token, any genre is allowed. All-human AUs, canon-based AUs, crossovers, angst, character study, drabble-story, humor, old skool fics, future fics, "missing scenes," alternative takes on canon scenes...whatever floats your boat. Just make sure to state your genre it in the form below.
16. Please include the following headers when submitting your Dark Xander Fic-A-Thon story to the master list.
Here's the header format for all stories in this fic-a-thon and some examples of answers:
Title: Don't Close Your Eyes
Author (link): Mary Kaplansky (lj name or personal Web site)
Story Link: hxxp://my.site.zom/eyes
Gen/Het/Slash: Gen, past mention of slash ship, past metnion of het ship
Parings: None. Past mention of Angelus/Xander. Past mention of Buffy/Angel and Buffy/Spike
Genre: Future fic, with mention of S2 events, angst, mystery
Story Warnings: Character death, murder, rape, noncon, child abuse, post-traumatic flashbacks, drug use
Summary: When news reaches Xander about Angel's last stand in Los Angeles, he disappears from his post in Africa. Two years later, Xander re-emerges with a plan to bring Angel back. Is Buffy willing to pay any price to help him?
Accomanying Media: Graphics banner. NWS.
17. On October 8, send me a link to your story so I can add it to the Dark Xander Fic-A-Thon masterlist. Do this by replying to the masterlist post.
Please don't send me your story earlier than October 8 since the masterlist won't be up before then. Since I allow anonymous comments on my LJ, I ask for people who aren't on LJ to also post a reply to the masterlist post. That way, I won't miss your story in the avalanche of email I expect to get as a result of this. I want to be sure I capture everyone and I don't want to leave a hard-working writer out in the cold by accident.
18. If you plan to contribute as a writer, please reply to this post. However, it's not required if you want to jump in at the last minute.
Again, since this is an open fic-a-thon, no one is going to hold you to submitting something if you say you're going to. I just want to get a rough idea how many people to expect. If for whatever reason you can't pull something together, no one is going to beat you with a wet noddle.
On the other hand, if you decide to participate at the last minute, don't feel you can't because you didn't tell me ahead of time. However, people are going to love you forever if you decide to jump in.
There's totally no pressure either way.
If you comment, you don't have to give me any details about what you plan to write. You don't have to give me much by way of information at all. Just drop in with your LJ name to say you probably will be contributing a story. If you're not on LJ, just let me know who you are (anonymous comments are unscreened for this post) and that you might be playing.
That should cover everything.
Please feel free to pimp this fic-a-thon far and wide, including non-LJ groups.
I'd like a more-the-merrier good time for as many people as possible.
Here's a shareable icon courtesy of naol. Anyone can snag, whether you're a contributing writer, pimping the fic-a-thon, or just plan to read. Please credit naol in your icon's comments section.