As promised, here are some preliminary thoughts about the first ever (?) Final Fantasy Big Bang! renay and I are looking very much forward to being your hosts over the next year.
First off, thanks to everyone who responded so enthusiastically to my initial post to gauge interest. Over 30 people expressed interest in participating in a big bang as writers, artists, or both, and 37 people said that they would read the stories. I think it's pretty clear that we have critical mass to proceed. Woohoo!
Naturally, there are still many details to iron out, like a final schedule, and we welcome input on any or all of the following:
- Wordcount: The overwhelming majority of you voted for a 20,000 word minimum for stories, so we are planning to go with that for sure. The people have spoken.
- Schedule: I looked at the writing and artwork schedules of 30 other big bangs, both single-fandom and multi-fandom, of varying wordcounts (most were between 10,000 and 20,0000). Although there were outliers, it appears that most big bangs allow about a month for sign-ups, two to three months of writing before the rough draft due date, and another month or two until posting. In general, artists get a few more months to sign up and then either choose or are assigned a story to illustrate at about the same time rough drafts are due. (More discussion about art and artists below!) Given our need to work around Final Fantasy Exchange, we propose the following schedule:
- Signups open: June
- Author signups close: July
- Artist signups close: September
- Authors post summaries for artists' selection: September
- Story rough drafts due to artists: October
- Posting: November
This has the advantage of getting the bulk of the writing done before NaNoWriMo and Yuletide really kick into gear, and the disadvantage that stories get posted in November when people may not have time to read them! Does this seem like a fair trade-off?
- Artists: We had the beginnings of a discussion about the role of fanartists in Big Bangs in the original post, and there is definitely a larger discussion to be had about making artists feel like a part of fandom in general as well as in the Final Fantasy fandom in particular. However, we are currently planning to run this as a traditional Big Bang, where the artists choose a story to illustrate based on a summary and then create one or two works of art for the story. (Some Big Bangs have artists submit preferences and the community mods match them to an author, but we are unlikely to go that route.) That said, we are absolutely open to ways to make the process more collaborative, and it would be great to hear any ideas that people have in that direction. And we can definitely talk about running a "reverse bang" (artists go first, and then authors write a story based on the fanart) in a future year; I personally think that sounds like a fascinating idea.
- Prompts: A few folks have asked whether the Big Bang would be prompt or exchange-based, and the answer is no. At least, that's not our plan. But are there any authors who would prefer writing to a prompt? Is that an option we should pursue?
- Bringing in Existing Projects: Some Big Bangs have a rule that the stories written for them must be totally original; others allow authors to bring in WIPs. We are leaning toward the latter, but with a very strict maximum word count: no more than, say, 3,000 words already written. The idea of a Big Bang isn't to finish up a mostly-written WIP, but it can provide an excellent mechanism to breathe life into an existing plot bunny.
- Name: Please tell me that it isn't too ridiculously geeky to name a Final Fantasy Big Bang "Mega Flare". This was Nay's suggestion, and I think I'm already in love with it...
So that's where we are right now. The poll remains open, but if you have comments about the project and/or suggestions about how it might work, please leave them here rather than in the older post.
I am really glad to see so much positive feedback. :) Again, thanks to everyone for your enthusiasm and encouragement, and I hope everyone can participate!