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10 August 2008 @ 09:23 am
Forsaken Fandom Awards: Last Week for Nominations  
At the end of July, I posted about the forsaken_fandom community, and their project to recognize and encourage fanfiction in fandoms (including FK) that no longer have multiple regular award projects of their own.  This week (through Friday 08/15) is the last week they're accepting nominations for this round.  Looking at their FK nominations list, I currently see 31 stories by 11 authors.  Several sub-categories (including slash, erotica and fluff) as yet show no nominations, but all genres are eligible in the overall categories.

Any story originally posted or substantially revised in the past five years is eligible (so: 2003-2008).  They will confirm approval for all nominations with the authors, and the stories must be available online.

If you're interested, see their community profile, nominating rules, award categories, and the nominations post itself (to nominate, you post a screened reply to that post).  Note that there's an eligibility password in the rules.

Please consider checking their nominations to see which contemporary FK authors are missing, and then nominating excellent stories by them.  Please encourage FK authors to write more FK fanfiction!  Nominating them for awards is one good way to show we would like to read more.

greerwatsongreerwatson on August 11th, 2008 11:23 pm (UTC)
Interesting. I see that one is permitted to nominate one's own work. That's not usually the case in my experience, admittedly not with fanfic awards.

I don't know whether I should nominate any of my FK4 things or not. They were written over a period from fall 1996 to about 2002, but they were never posted until 2004/5 (and all were revised before posting), so they would seem to be eligible.

On the other hand, they're in a sort of script format—which appears nowhere in the categories, though I suppose the series as a whole would qualify.

Trouble is, no one ever nominates my stuff for anything. Either they don't like it, or they don't read it. I don't know which. Such feedback as I've had has been good; but I have had people say that they never read scripts. So probably mostly people just haven't read it.

Truth is, though, it does seem a bit off nominating one's own material.

What do you think?

Amy R.: Nick Solemnbrightknightie on August 12th, 2008 05:19 am (UTC)
>"I see that one is permitted to nominate one's own work. That's not usually the case in my experience ... Truth is, though, it does seem a bit off nominating one's own material. What do you think?"

It is unusual, and doesn't feel entirely comfortable, I agree. I have thought of two possible reasons why this is allowed there: it's easier to allow than to police, and better self-nominations than no-nominations in a too-quiet fandom. But on the side of the more usual practice: besides the fair consideration the challenges of objectively evaluating our own work, of course a writer wants a reader to recognize her work!

(I've thought about nominating something of mine, I admit. An urge to "advertise" a story -- I tell myself I think it genuinely my best work. The thought wasn't entirely pleasant, and I haven't acted on it. I've already been treated to a nomination; how could I ask more?)

Returning to the "sleepy fandom" rationale, though, I think you should indeed nominate something of yours that qualifies! (If someone does not do it for you before the deadline.) I think it would be good for us.

>"On the other hand, they're in a sort of script format -- which appears nowhere in the categories..."

I believe that script-format fanfiction should be eligible in the overall categories by word count, exactly as stories in straight prose are. (I noticed there were no sub-categories for script-form or for poetry/filk.)

>"...but they were never posted until 2004/5..."

Um, posted where? Not to fkfic-l? I don't think I ever saw them...? If they came, I've mislaid them. (Unless you post under a different identity, and I'm confused?)

>"...though I suppose the series as a whole would qualify."

And there were no series nominations yet when last I looked!

>"...but I have had people say that they never read scripts."

I'm afraid I'm one of those who very rarely read script-form fanfiction. I used to never read it, which is likely how I've missed yours.

When FK fanfiction was plentiful, I'm sorry to say I was very finicky by genre, and didn't read crossovers or script-form or some other things, none of which were objectionable in themselves, but just didn't happen to be my own favorite at the time. I started reading crossovers a few years ago, and have gone in and out of some of the other things, but script-form is something I'd almost forgotten; it's a new well to tap! Thank you very much for the reminder.
greerwatsongreerwatson on August 12th, 2008 06:38 am (UTC)
"Um, posted where? Not to fkfic-l? I don't think I ever saw them...?"

No, it would have been too much of a nuisance to reformat everything. It went on my own website, http://ca.geocities.com/gwatson2@rogers.com/index.html. However, I did make an announcement on FORKNI-L. In fact, it was posted right through the regular TV season. I linked in an episode each week (Sunday night, usually), and posted the notice on FORKNI-L so those people who were reading it could "tune in". It started in the fall and ended in May, just like a real TV series.

If you were getting FORKNI-L messages during the 2004/5 television season, then you got the notifications. However, it is entirely possible that—since I always said right in the message that things were in a type of script format—you just read right over the announcement, ignoring it as being something you weren't interested in.

FK4 is a virtual fourth season for ''Forever Knight'' based on the premise that "Last Knight" never happened because the show was never cancelled. Therefore, when they did "Ashes to Ashes", they didn't kill off Vachon and Urs (both of whom appear as regulars in my series); and, of course, there was no "Last Knight".

The cast of FK4 is basically that of Season Three, except that (a) Vachon is in all episodes, and Urs in nearly all; (b) Janette is a recurring character, in almost half the episodes. Also (though appearing less often), I use Screed & Bourbon and Tracy's mother as recurring characters.

The script format is modified; and the feedback I get from most people is that my stuff is a lot easier to read than actual scripts. Though much, much longer. Each episode runs about 115 to 120 pages. Essentially, it's a transcription (in great detail) of everything that you would be seeing and hearing, except the music. You not only get all the dialogue, but also all the camera angles, all the editing, shot by shot, and all the "actor's business", like intonation and minor movements. That may sound impossibly dull; but I have been told that, as a result, it is much more rewarding than reading a regular script. (I have also been told that my episodes are just like real ones. Which is one hell of a compliment!)

Do try them out if you are feeling FK deprived. Start with the season premiere, which is a two-parter, and do them in order. As the season progresses, there is a bit of continuity. Not a lot, since that wouldn't be authentic. But a little.

I hope you like them.
greerwatsongreerwatson on August 16th, 2008 02:02 am (UTC)
Well, I did it. I still feel a bit weird about it; but, as you say, if no one else does it....
Amy R.: Janettebrightknightie on August 16th, 2008 04:47 pm (UTC)
I'm sorry it didn't get nominated for you. I do honestly think it will be positive for us to have a look at something of yours, something we may have missed, and something a little different. So I'll look forward to learning what you submitted when they work through the rest of the nominations!
greerwatsongreerwatson on August 16th, 2008 11:40 pm (UTC)
Well, after all that, it appears that my virtual season will not be considered eligible for consideration for an award, nor any of the individual episodes I nominated be considered for any of the awards either.

The joke is that I thought the dicey bit would be the rule about their having to be written no earlier than 2003. All the episodes were written long before that (starting in 1996, though revised later). After all, I had to write 22 of them, and they aren't exactly drabbles! But nothing was published/posted until 2004. And they were all revised before posting.

However, the community has rejected FK4 on a completely different ground altogether. This is their reply:
I'm very sorry, but we have to reject your nominations on the grounds that fics that people have do download onto their computer in order to read, is putting an unreasonable burden on the judges and voters. I've discussed this with the other mods and the judges and the consensus was, no one is going to download more than a dozen fics to their computer for voting and that we have no way to guarantee people won't be downloading a virus to their computers.
If you can provide us with links to viewable fics, ie visible html pages, lj, ff.net, or any alterate locations that do not require download, we would be happy to add all of your nominations. We can give you until 6 PM EST on 8/17 to provide an acceptable alternative. I'm sorry to be difficult; but I can't post your nominations as currently listed leading to zips.
Which was so not what I was expecting that I got pretty mad, as you might expect. I re-read their rules, and there's nothing there about zipped files. So I sent them back this:
Of course there's no HTML version! The whole point of FK4 was to do something resembling the scripts of the fourth season of the show. It is true that I modified the format to make it more readable (since real scripts tend to be pretty boring, as they lack the visual detail you get when you actually watch the show). But I made every effort to get the modified script to resemble, on a superficial visual level, the way that a full script would look—as best I could without having the computer program for script format.
When it came time to upload the 22 episodes onto my server, I discovered that putting the Word versions of them up unzipped would exceed the webspace allotted to me by my ISP.
Being on a limited budget, I can't afford to pay for more webspace.
I should add that you do not say in your rules that the stories may not be zipped. You say that they have to be accessible. I gave you the URLs for the webpages from which you download them. There are certainly people who read the whole thing, one episode per week when it was first posted. (I know this because I got feedback.) Clearly they found FK4 accessible!
So the readers in 2004-5 found it accessible. FK4 fits your rules as you stated them. If you want stories not to be zipped, you should say so right in the rules.
Of course that may mildly have relieved my annoyance; but it's not going to make any difference. They've made their ruling, and that's that.

I hope you will try FK4 anyway.
greerwatsongreerwatson on August 17th, 2008 02:04 am (UTC)
As you were. My reply to them prompted this:
No, we do not say in our rules that stories may not be zipped because we never imagined encountering the situation. I've consulted the mods of four other awards, one of which has been going on for ten years and they've never heard of such a thing.
HOWEVER, I can understand your frustration. So here is what I will offer you. We will allow the nominations to stand - with the understanding that should you wish to participate in any future rounds you'll need to arrange for a plain text version for people to access that doesn't involve downloading- I'd suggest one of the Forever Knight comms on LJ - there are probably people who haven't read your work that would be excited to read it there.
So all's well that ends well. Much relief.
Amy R.: N&Nbrightknightie on August 17th, 2008 05:24 pm (UTC)
I'm glad it all worked out! I must admit that I didn't realize they were zip files; I hadn't looked, and had guessed they were PDFs. I'm afraid I probably wouldn't download a zip file from a stranger for exactly that fear-of-viruses reason, so I can see why they will add that rule for future events.

I know it would take quite a while to reformat, but you might indeed reach a new and wider audience if you did post them to LJ, perhaps one every other month for two years...? Just a thought. ~shrug~

I see that the moderators have had a family tragedy, so everything will be delayed for a little while.
greerwatsongreerwatson on August 18th, 2008 12:19 am (UTC)
I can see the attraction to the reader (or potential reader) of my reformatting. But, until you actually unzip one and take a look, you don't know what this would entail.

Just for a start, each episode is about 115 to 120 pages long. The number of LJ posts this would take is seriously daunting. I have no idea how much I could get in any single post; but, from experience, I know that I'm often having to cut a post in two or three sections. So whatever I think I've chunked off to post will probably need to be re-chunked. If we assume that I can get a couple of pages per post (since it is an expansive format), then I would have to make upwards of 50 posts per episode.

There are 22 episodes.

As for re-formatting beyond chunking it into sections: nope. No way. This was formatted with excruciating care so that it would visually resemble an actual full script. Oh, it's not exact. To do that, I would need to have the computer program for writing scripts (which, of course, I don't). But, despite all the detailed differences that are designed to make the episodes more satisfying to read that real scripts ever are, superficially it looks as though you are reading the script. And that is intentional.

I did initially think of rewriting each script into HTML—this was back in early 2004. Even the attempt to simulate the appearance of a script left me dizzy. I'm sure some real expert at HTML/CSS could pull it off with a laugh, but I could never get it to look remotely right.

I know there are people who got the FORKNI-L announcement and did unzip the episodes and read them. I know it, because I did get a little feedback. Perhaps they are very trusting souls—or maybe they took the FORKNI-L announcement as proof of good intentions and probable lack-of-virus.

I do hope that you feel confident enough to unzip them now you know me a bit better.
greerwatsongreerwatson on August 18th, 2008 12:31 am (UTC)
Zipping was actually NAT's idea. I had to find out how to do it. (I was very new to Windows at that point. My old computer only had DOS.) It was she who turned my WordPerfect files into Word, too. All in the interests of accessibility!

Someone did later suggest doing PDF files; but, when I checked, I realized that 22 of them would also exceed my ISP webspace limits.

The joke is that zipping sufficiently compressed the episode files that I found that I had ample space to put graphics on my webpages. Even plenty of screen captures—well thumbnailed down in size, of course.

I'm ridiculously proud of my little website. But it's primary function is to display its 22 jewels. The joke, of course, is that if I'd lacked the stick-to-it-iveness to finish the whole season (and how many virtual seasons get done?), then I could have easily put up half a dozen or so episodes without zipping them. It's the very fact that I completed the project that's causing problems!