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30 January 2016 @ 08:41 am
Fandom Snowflake Challenge 2016 #6  
#6. Issue a challenge.

This #6 stymied me for a while. I've given it much thought. Really, [community profile] fkficfest/fkficfest is in and of itself all the challenge I can handle issuing each year! (The annual pre-game planning poll will come in February.) But I do want to fulfill the spirit of the Snowflake event.

As I pondered this Snowflake prompt, I thought about:

Mailing list story challenges

On FKFic-l, the original structure of a story "challenge" was — loosely — that the challenger would imagine a scenario or question, and would write a story fulfilling it. Then she would post both the challenge and the example fulfillment of that challenge. It was key that the challenger was responsible for that first entry. A challenge might have a deadline (e.g. Susan's original Christmas Challenge), but many didn't (e.g. Forever Not Challenge, Song Challenge, Card Challenge).

Later, the N&Npack began issuing collective challenges with a deadline and without that first sample story (for example, perhaps they'd issue a challenge to write a Nick/Natalie story including a sleigh and a snowglobe, and to post it by December 31). This is much more like the model that became popular on the journaling sites, after we all migrated off email lists.

Of course the individual exchange model (rather than the collective challenge) became most popular of all.

Flashfic challenges

On the journaling sites, flashfic and drabble challenges were once very common. Maybe they still are! But I don't happen to personally see them as often. I know that much of fandom has moved to Twitter, Tumblr and Instgram, while I've stayed here, so I assume that I'm behind the times.

Now, flashfic challenges initially reminded me a little of the old 15-minute Challenge in Highlander fandom (it followed cancellation and preceded the rise of the journaling sites). In that game, someone posted a prompt — weekly, I think — and all players were to spend at least 15 minutes writing for that common prompt, to help keep fanfic coming as the fandom got used to the slower pace of out-of-production life. I admire the 15-minute Challenge and its results! (Two of my all-time favorite HL stories began as 15-minute Challenge installments, and one of the 15-minute prompts inspired one of my own best FK stories.)

Fandom has developed since then, and I've found that I've diverged from the majority view of such spur-of-the-moment creations. I, personally, feel a distinction between off-the-cuff, un-beta-ed, top-of-the-head, beat-the-clock sketches, on one hand, and crafted, researched, pondered and polished works, on the other. Because of that, flashfic challenges have become something that I'm less and less comfortable with. I feel that I could have a lot of fun playing flashfic, if we mostly agreed on its ephemeral nature. But the difference of opinion on what the game produces makes me uncomfortable.

Other challenges

Of course the Snowflake meme itself is a challenge, and it didn't intend this prompt #6 to refer only to fanfiction (or fanart) challenges. That just happened to be where my mind went.

Memes and friending threads surely count, as well as dares and invitations to do such things as recommend a certain number of stories, comment on every fanfic you read, post a certain number of times a month...

My out-of-production fandom rewatch challenge

In the end, I decided to launch an Out-of-production Rewatch Project, and to challenge you to join me! Once a week, I'll re-watch one episode from an out-of-production TV fandom and post a few thoughts about it. I'll go in order through a season, so that you can easily join in the re-watching if you like! (I won't necessarily go through a whole series, though; I'll probably switch series between seasons. So many beloved out-of-production fandoms!)

You can play along by re-watching, and/or commenting on my posts, and/or posting yourself! You can join in my re-watch choices, or you can choose an entirely difference season or series.

I'll start with first-season Forever Knight, my favorite! And because it came up in conversation recently, I'll back up all the way into the original pilot Nick Knight for kick-off. I'll plan to watch and post this weekend; I'll promise no later than next Friday night.

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