So... What's the big idea?
We write! The idea is to write ficlets or "drabbles" of 85 to 300 words in length, in the Harry Potter fandom, on the night of Tom Riddle (aka "Voldemort")'s birthday. As a sort of incentive, there is a contest. Not to mention the acclaim and support of everyone else crazy enough to sign up for this.
How is this fest different from other fic fests?
For starters, it's got a very finite time frame: 3 hours in which to write as hard and as fast as you can! Also, our goal here is to encourage prolific writing – we want to write lots, but we’re not concerned at this point about quality. This is to encourage the fast, free, uninhibited creative writing that speed enables us to find. If this sounds familiar… yes, the idea is based on NaNoWriMo.
Whoa! How did you come up with such a weird idea?
At the close of of National Novel Writing Month 2006, summerborn and hasaidreamer were lamenting the lack of a great writing project. When Summer mentioned her intention to stay home and write drabbles this New Year's Eve, Hasai jumped at the idea and suggested a fest. And things snowballed from there.
How many drabbles am I supposed to write?
You can write one or two if that's all you want to commit to... however, to encourage the sort of unpredictable creativity and wild flights of inspiration that can only come with fast-paced writing, we're setting the goal at 13 drabbles of 85 to 300 words each. That's 1275–4500 words in three hours – or 13 minutes per fic! – assuming 10 minutes for two washroom breaks or to stretch your hands. Remember, the point is to stomp out writer's block, hammer out a bunch of quick fic, and have fun! - not to create a masterpiece here.
Admin note: Since this is our first incarnation of the event, we don't know if 13 drabbles is easily attainable, too hardcore, or just right. We'll be soliciting feedback after the event is done so we can improve things if we offer it again. After all, Voldemort's birthday happens every year!
What if I don't like wordcount goals? (or) What characters am I supposed to write about?
If you're not too keen on setting a goal number of drabbles, we're offering an alternate goal: 13 characters instead of 13 drabbles. Can you use 13 characters, in more than "cameo" ways, in drabbles written in three hours on New Year's eve? We want to find out.
Are there any other tricky goals that we should aim for?
Hasai would like to see each drabble you write on New Year's be on a different character focus or pairing (whether that be het, slash or friendship). Summer had the fun idea of taking one character from the previous drabble, and using them in a new pairing or gen fic for your next. e.g. Say you just wrote a Harry/Ron fic. You next fic could be Harry/Hermione, followed by a Snape & Hermione friendship fic. See where we're going with this?
These are just suggestions - you can feel free to just aim for 13 drabbles, or think up another goal and share it with us!
What about art?
We love art! If you want to try 13 sketches instead of 13 drabbles, or as many characters as you can draw in three hours, we'd love to see it. The main idea is to spend a solid block of time focused on creating. So our main focus might be drabbles, but artists are welcome to participate.
What am I supposed to do with all my drabbles/sketches when my three hours are done?
What we don’t want to see is hundreds of drabbles being posted on the community itself – please post those in your journals! A post with links is fine for the community, but since we're going for quantity over quality here, we'd like to showcawse some of the cream of the crop of this night.
We will put up a post once the event is over - please post your favorite of your drabbles or a link to it. We will be selecting winning drabbles for such categories as "most characters," "best use of food," "best use of language," "most unusual," "best canon," "best Christmas," "best Channukkah" (and many more!) at the end of the event. The deadline for submissions will be midnight GMT on January 4, 2007, at which time posting to the community will be closed until winners are announced. Summer and/or Hasai will read each submission and select the winners. Then we'll post a list of all the participants and the winners for much cheering and applause!
We will be monitoring to ensure that comments are kept friendly, supportive, and PG-13 so that younger members can participate. You may link to or cut explicit content, just remember to label it as such so people know what they're getting into before they click. Things that need to be labelled are: ratings of R or higher; any chan, BDSM, dubious/non consent, or bestiality.
To sum up, if you're going to post fic: one post containing one drabble per person, please, with appropriate rating warnings. Posts that do not follow these rules will be deleted.
If we’re not posting drabbles here, what is this community for?
We're going to keep this open for posting all day from December 30 to the end of January 1, and we'd like to encourage dialogue about the writing process, where your ideas are coming from, how the writing process goes, how it doesn't, prompts and ideas for others, why you chose to aim for 13 drabbles, 13 characters, or both - even to talk about why you haven't got other plans on New Year's Eve and how you feel about it!
What if I want to participate, but I don't write drabbles?
You’re welcome to write anything you want, and participate in our "discussion board" with everybody else. Creativity is a good thing! If you want to submit something as part of the contest, you're welcome to find an excerpt of 85-300 words that can stand alone and pretend it's a drabble :).
What if I start out writing drabbles, but they get too long for the fest?
That's really up to you. You can either set them aside until the fest is over (a matter of a couple of hours) or give up on the fest and write what you feel like. Either way, we’re happy that you participated and that this fest was helpful in sparking creative ideas.
I've already got New Year's Eve plans, but I'd really like to participate! Can I?
Sure! Just choose a three hour period anytime during the day on December 31 (or January 1, if you prefer) and jump in! It's 9:00 p.m. somewhere in the world!
Feel free to leave a comment here with any other questions! Or contact one of the mods, hasaidreamer or summerborn.