Okay. Decisions, decisions...
Okay, so we have an editor (JeffTibbetts), at least three proofreaders (Cormac Airt, helterskelter, and Battle-Brother Ludovic), and a publisher (me).
As editor, JeffTibbetts gets to make the hard decisions on things such as deadlines, story length(s), content requirements (themes, etc.), which stories are accepted (whether from a quality perspective or any other criteria), etc.
We'll let JeffTibbetts develop his plan and then start a new topic here to announce his ideas (and he's free to contact me for any B&C administrator guidance he might like - purely optional on whether or not he wants to do it and I won't hold it against him if he doesn't).
So, here are my initial thoughts. Feel free to chime in however you like. I would not mind a couple editorial
lackeys assistants to help with the workload, but this will be a community-based project and I'll do my best to support our collective ideas. I do plan to keep things on track as much as I can, though, so don't be mad if I take a tough-love approach for the sake of quality work.
Length: this is tough and I'm open to suggestion, but I would really like a lot of shorter stories. There's no reason they can't be developed more in the future but let's keep them trim here. Some will hate me, but I don't want anything longer than 3,000 and that's on the long end. Here's why: a good short story collection can have works in the 5-6K range. But, those are print. We must conceive of this project with the mindset that it will be consumed online. Even if it's a pdf, I'm not expecting a print run. Most people reading even a thousand pages online will start to feel fatigued and distracted. It's like waiting on hold on a phone call: 5 minuets seems like 10. 1000 pages online feels like 2000, etc. I feel extremely confident that we can get some really quality writing in that length, even if the first drafts start much longer. So, there will be length requirements for each draft, getting smaller as we go. Rarely is a short story made better by adding to it. If we could get these down to 1-2K I would be very happy.
Content: I'm open on this one. Really open. My initial thought is that I like balance in collections. Individual stories can be all over the map and over-the-top, but on the whole I want to feel like this represents the board as a whole. I'd love to see stories about marines, loyalist and traitors, sisters, guard, maybe even mechanicus. But, I'm also looking for some thematic balance. I'm biased towards anything that's different. BL does a great job with action and heresy-era (obviously) but what we rarely hear about in fan-fic is what happens behind the scenes. Before and after battle. Also, what makes the stuff we're doing better than what's already being done. If you'd like to submit something, I'd love you to put some thought into this: why should someone keep reading what I'm writing? What's in it for them?
What will be the criteria for selection? Not writing skills. We can work on that. Not length. We can pad and trim anything. Not bribes. I was a Boy Scout. I will be looking for two things: something that catches my interest first and foremost. Second, a sense of commitment and work ethic. I want to think that the potential of the story will be realized in a disciplined manner. Writing is not always fun, folks. It's often hard. But, as Rogue Trader taught me: "Endeavour is its own reward."
So, deadlines. I'd like people to really look at what's going on, and ask themselves if they have something they want to be included. If so, I'd like you to submit a draft to me, by email to submissions@TibbsForge.com, before the end of May. Please include 'Fanthology' in the subject line. This 'draft' can be as simple as on outline or as fleshed out as 4000 pages of thought-vomit. Either is fine. I'm not using my personal email to be a jerk, I'm using it to help me stay organized and make the workshopping process easier. I'd like to be able to take these files and send them around to the other writers to start the workshopping process. Take note: that means if you have a submission accepted, you will be expected to help your peers to make their writing better as well. We will share a bond of brotherhood (and sisterhood) as we go through this together.
Again, I'm looking for potential in these drafts, not a polished gem. That will came later. Once the actual submissions start rolling in, we'll see what we have to work with. If we get 100 subs, I'll do my best to read them all and we'll select the right ones. If we get 5 serious subs, that doesn't mean the project is off, but it also doesn't mean we'll just put out whatever we get. We WILL work and hone these until they're great. Depending on how many we get, I will organize passing the drafts to each other.
Throughout the process I'll be posting progress and asking questions here on the board. Please, please reply with thoughts, objections, etc. Nothing here is carved in stone and I'm open to anything if it makes sense.
Edited by JeffTibbetts, 15 April 2014 - 08:26 PM.