The challenge schedule
, Big Bang rules
and the Big Bang FAQ
posts should answer most questions you have about the challenge.
Some other key pages
- submission guide and formatting advice for writers
- Submission guide and formatting advice (coming soon) for artists
...for writers - 31 August
...for artists - 4 September
...for cheerleaders - 16 April (you can still unofficially join as a cheerleader after the post closes)
...for beta readers - never!
Writers #1 - 14 April
Writers #2 - 20 May
Writers #3 - 24 June
Writers #4 - 29 July
Writers #5 - 1 September
Artists - 30 September
Artists - 4 September
Writers - 1 September
Art rough drafts - 22 September (no extensions)
Art final copy - 27 October
If you have a question and can't find the answer above, you can use this post to contact the mods and we'll answer your queries.
You can also ask your questions on our mailing list: http://tv.groups.yahoo.com/group/sentinelbigbang/
Or email us privately at mods at sentinelbigbang dot com
Please do not email us (Patt or Morgan) at our personal email addresses with questions about the big bang. We work together as a team on this and it's really important we're both in the loop when there are questions or problems.
Here's our third checkpoint and discussion of the 2017 Sentinel Big Bang.
And I need to open with an apology. I let the ball drop last checkpoint - a family crisis - and I know I've been AWOL since then. I will do my best to be more present going forward. If you have contacted us and are still waiting please email mods (at) sentinelbigbang.com again and I promise a quick reply. ( Check in target and instructionsCollapse )
Each of our checkpoints this year will include a roundtable discussion on some aspect of writing. I'm offering my take on the subject, and I hope lots of you will join in with your own take on how to approach writing.( Discussion: DialogueCollapse )
Here's our second checkpoint and discussion of the 2017 Sentinel Big Bang. ( Check in target and instructionsCollapse )
Each of our checkpoints this year will include a roundtable discussion on some aspect of writing. Maybe "round table" is a better name, as I'm not pretending to be a master of any sort! All I'm doing is offering my take on the subject, and I hope lots of you will join in with your own take on how to approach writing.( Discussion: World BuildingCollapse )
(Cross posts coming later today. Also apologies for any typos. I'm on my phone.)
I've been thinking about ways to make our checkpoints more useful.
Having regular check-ins is really important for the mods, because it's our way to keep track of how everyone's doing, and to offer help when we can see someone's struggling. But although it's an opportunity for our writers to ask for and offer support, the checkpoints have become routine and I don't think that's happening.
So this year, I want to do something a bit different.
We will still have our regular checkpoints, and there'll still be a target to aim for at each one, because I think some of our writers find that helpful. If you're not someone who works that way, just ignore the targets - that's fine.
This year, alongside each checkpoint, there will be a separate post discussing some part of the writing process. The post is just a way to kick-off the discussion, one person sharing what they think. I hope then, that others can join in - share how they approach it, ask questions, give advice or ask for it.
There are five checkpoints, and these are the topics I'm suggesting:
: Plot - getting started, how to outline/plan (or whether to do it)
: World building - how to make that setting come to life
: Dialogue - how to get canon and original characters' voices right
: Working with a beta - what a beta does, and what she doesn't
: Working with an artist - share your Big Bang experiences as a writer or artist
I'll "host" the first checkpoint topic, but it would be great if we could get someone different to host each one. As I said, you don't have to be an expert to begin the discussion - just write about 300-500 words to kick of the discussion. You could do that by describing how you do it, or you can say how difficult you find it and ask questions. It's a starting point for others - whether they are signed up or not - to jump in.
What do you think? Are there different topics you'd like to cover? Any volunteers to host?
Comment below to sign up as a writer
for the Sentinel Big Bang.
You are signing up to create an Sentinel
-related written project (fiction, meta or a combination of the two) of at least 10,000 words.
You must submit a final copy of your project by 1 September. This is a NOT a rough draft.
Signing up is a statement of intent; if you sign up but find you can't finish by the submission deadline, you can drop out with no penalty, no hard feelings.
One new thing this year - please give us a title for your project when you sign up. If you haven't got a final title yet, it's fine to give us a working title or even just a hopeful one: "Morgan's Curtain-fic" would work. for example. It's just so the mods can keep track of the projects. If you submit something that's totally different in the end, that'll be fine.( How to sign upCollapse )
Hopefully, everyone who signs up will submit a project or two in September. But we understand that's a long way off and things can change. If you want to withdraw your sign up, you can do so any time before the deadline just by deleting your comment on this post or by commenting again to let the mods know. But you don't even have to do that; if you decide not send in a project when the time comes, the mods will assume you've dropped out. No harm, no foul.
Writers' Signups will close on August 31.
Sign up below to take part in the Big Bang as an artist
“Art” for the Big Bang refers to any creative fan work that is not written. It can mean traditional art, manips, etc. but could also be fanvids, music mixes, podfics...and much more. Anything we can post on a web page. You'll be signing up to produce at least one piece of art
to accompany or illustrate your assigned project. (Exception: if you only make icons, we ask you to create at least three, 'cause they're tiny.) You are, of course, welcome to do more, but that's the minimum!
You won't be assigned a project to illustrate until September, because we won't have drafts from the writers until then. But you can sign up early to be ready, or wait until the end of summer if you prefer. We will post reminders before artist signups close.
Artists will have some choice over the project they are assigned but there is no guarantee an artist can be assigned their first preference.( How to sign upCollapse )
Artist signups will close on September 4.
Art claims will open on September 4. That’s not a misprint: signups will remain open for the first day of artist claims - this is to allow for last-minute signups on that day. But please sign up early if you intend to take part: it helps the mods enormously if we know in advance how many artists we will have.
Hopefully, everyone who signs up will want to claim a project or two in September. But we understand that's a long way off and things can change. If you want to withdraw your sign up, you can do so any time before artist claims just by deleting your comment on this post or by commenting again to let the mods know. But you don't even have to do that; if you decide not to claim a project when the time comes, the mods will assume you've dropped out. No harm, no foul.
What's a big bang "cheerleader"?
Well, it doesn't (usually) involve pom-poms.
A cheerleader's job is to encourage a writer to write her Big Bang project. You'll be cheerleading for a specific writer, and you'll agree between yourselves what is the best way you can help. Basically, you're there to gently prod your writer to keep writing, perhaps read parts of the project in-progress, to help her brainstorm ideas if she hits a writers' block and generally, well, cheerlead. The key to it is to be positive.
Signing up as a cheerleader does not obligate you to beta-read, though if you want to beta you can - that's between you and your writer. Do try not to mix them, though: a beta reader should be willing to criticise, and that's not always compatible with cheerleading.
The cheerleading part of the Big Bang seems to work really well for some people, but not so well for others, so taking part in this is completely optional. Cheerleading assignments will not be imposed by the mods, because for a writer/cheerleader relationship to work, you’ve got to be compatible personalities. Only you can decide that, so we're asking the cheerleaders to offer their services directly.( Here's how it worksCollapse )
Cheerleader requests/signups will close on 16 April.
(Note: you can still request or sign up as a cheerleader after this date, but the mods will no longer watch this post after 16 April, so it’s up to you to match yourselves up.)
The Big Bang rules state that all
written projects must be beta-read.
The mods won’t force anyone to use a particular beta. If you’ve got someone you usually work with, you can go ahead and continue to work as you usually do. But for those who don’t usually work with a beta reader, or who want to work with someone new, this post is one place you can look for a beta for your big bang story.Writers:
please comment with brief details about your project (fiction or non-fiction, genre, pairing, length). Alternatively, reply to any beta who has offered her services below to request her help.
Please don’t ask for a beta until you’ve got at least part of your project written. A beta needs something to work with, after all. If you need help before you’ve really begun you may be better off asking for a cheerleader, which is a separate post.Beta readers:
please reply to writers to offer your help or leave a comment of your own to offer your services. If you're making a general offer, please say something about your strengths as a beta (plot, grammar, etc.) and whether there anything you would not want to beta (e.g. any pairings you dislike, or content you personally find disturbing).
We recommend you track this post so you will be notified by LJ when a new beta request is posted in the comments.
Beta requests and offers are also welcome on the mailing list: http://tv.groups.yahoo.com/group/sentinelbigbang/
The mods will watch this post and we’ll try to ensure that every writer who asks for help gets a beta reader. Don’t forget, though, that this isn’t the only place you can look for a beta reader. The sentinel_betas
community isn't very active but does still exist, and a lot of other lists and communities in the fandom allow beta requests, too.
There is no "close" date for beta requests. We'll keep watching until this year's challenge is over.
We are due to open sign ups tomorrow but there's going to be a slight delay. Signups will open over the weekend instead.
My laptop keeps crashing on me (there's some issue with the screen, the computer is fine, darn it), and I'm working really long hours at the moment so I can't deal with it in the evening. On Saturday I can take my time and get it right.
Sorry about the delay, but if you're keen to get writing you don't have to wait for sign ups :)