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Canon Author Auditions

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2 months 3 weeks ago #65988 by elrodw
elrodw created the topic: Canon Author Auditions
Since the other topic may be a bit obscure, here's more information.

Auditioning for Whateley:

Whateley is a shared universe of canon authors. As such, there are some challenges to being an author. One has to uphold the universe as defined. One has to write shared characters, and use other authors' POV characters as supporting cast so the whole set of stories is a cohesive whole. All canon work is reviewed by the entire set of authors, and revisions – especially those related to other authors' or major characters (Mrs. Carson, etc) or major universe elements – are not optional. The critique is generally friendly, but sometimes it can get a bit contentious. If a prospective author can't deal with that, you won't be able to write in Whateley.

The canon authors have periodic on-line IRC chats. Participating in these isn't mandatory, but it IS extremely helpful to bounce ideas off others and get quick feedback. We expect a canon author to contribute 3-4 complete stories (long multi-part or shorter single-part) a year, although we recognize that real-life sometimes interferes (hurricanes, floods, illness). Teaming up with other writers is encouraged, and can be very productive.

Don't plan on being best friends with every author. We're an opinionated group of people, and we aren't shy at giving our opinions, which can sometimes cause friction. The most important thing is to show respect to the other authors' opinions and work to compromise – and that applies to all of us. A new canon author needs to listen to the more experienced authors when they share their wisdom, suggestions, and experiences.

Whateley is not strictly a TG universe. It started that way purely because of the backgrounds of the original canon authors. Authors are not constrained to write only TG works (note Shine, Ratel, Elaine Nalley, Wyatt, etc). It's more about interesting characters.

What does it take to try out to be part of the team? There are a couple of routes.

  1. 1) Privately contact a Whateley author and propose a universe-building background story, such as the growth of the MCO, some major mutant incident like the Fools' Fight, or a significant step in the growth of Whateley, the Syndicate, or the like. We'll evaluate the submission, work with the prospective author, and polish it for publication as a canon Gen 0 work. If we feel the quality is high enough, we'll bring that author in as a canon author. Note that this will be a significant work, not a microscene, vignette, or short story

  2. 2) Submit an application package when we open a window of submission (such as now – August, 2019 for a few weeks). The application package will consist of:

    • - Two character definition sheets. (blank sheet is at the end). Do NOT plan on using these characters as your main POV characters, please. If you have written fan-fic (IF) Whateley stories, it may be very difficult to fit those characters into canon, so we strongly suggest NOT using those types of characters. If you submit interesting characters that otherwise have a serious issue, we may not be able to resolve that issue to fit the character into the universe. This is a measure of how well you define characters, not an audition of the character you intend to use. A canon author will be willing to provide assistance on these; don't hesitate to ask.

    • - An example of a work you have written. Again, not a short story. It can be anything. This is about quality of authorship, not how you see Whateley. As an example, some authors have written extensively and have works on FM or Big Closet Top Shelf. Other forums are fine. The submitted example should have all the major elements – character definition, drama and conflict (internal, external), climax, and resolution.

    • - A Whateley short story – Think longer than a standard (not Bek-length) microscene. A vignette or so. The key is to use an author POV character as prime, and to also use two or more existing Whateley characters as supporting cast. This is primarily to show a prospective author's ability to 'play well with others' and to help further the storyline for ALL POV characters. It is not expected that a prospective author will write the supporting characters exactly like the original author – no one will write Phase like Diane, nor Laura like ElrodW writes her. It is mostly about being able to reasonably use the characters as supporting cast with reasonable characterization that doesn't make the canon group or original author cringe.

It is a huge plus to work with a canon author; it shows that you're willing to work with the author group, to take suggestions, and to propose new ideas when someone notices something isn't quite right.

If you have questions, this topic is the place to ask them, or PM an author, or contact an author on the Discord channel.


Blank Character Sheet:
[/b]

Name (Author) - Codename

Name: (include birth-name if it's changed)
Height:
Weight:
Age:
Hair: (color, style, length, texture, etc - whatever is appropriate)
Eyes: (size, shape, color, unique features)
Face: (face shape, nose size and shape, chin shape, complexion, etc)
Race:
Build: (general build, measurements if you have them. Athletic, lithe, portly, stout, rotund, starving waif supermodel, etc.)
Gender: (include TG status if appropriate and state of transition)
POB: birthplace and/or home
Assoc: (campus associations. Cottage, floor, clubs, team, etc. THIS MAY START OUT MOSTLY BLANK - and that's OKAY!)

Powers: description of powers, written with an explanation of what he or she can do, how the powers work, limitations, etc. generally, make this descriptive enough that another author can accurately use your character's powers.

Psychology: what makes this character tick? Fears, motivations, self-doubts, etc. how does he or she react to different situations? What are his or her goals? Are there any psychological weaknesses? Again, describe this well enough that another canon author can accurately use your character.

Other: - anything else we need to know about your character

NOTE - this IS NOT the place for extensive backstory except for that necessary to explain the character's motivation, psychology, etc.

Never give up, Never surrender! Captain Peter Quincy Taggert

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2 months 3 weeks ago #66026 by marie7342231
marie7342231 replied the topic: Canon Author Auditions
One quick note from a fan sharing joy for this process. I have never seen it as a closed or elite group of authors, just excited for more content.

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2 months 3 weeks ago #66028 by elrodw
elrodw replied the topic: Canon Author Auditions
Just a note - the Gen 0 route mentioned above is always open, not just now. If you're busy with projects, life, work, etc, but will be free in a few months, you might want to try the Gen 0 route. Ask. We'll get answers.

Never give up, Never surrender! Captain Peter Quincy Taggert

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2 months 3 weeks ago #66031 by Kristin Darken
Kristin Darken replied the topic: Canon Author Auditions

marie7342231 wrote: One quick note from a fan sharing joy for this process. I have never seen it as a closed or elite group of authors, just excited for more content.


It IS closed. As much as some people see a closed canon as being elitist, that level of exclusion is necessary for the effort of maintaining continuity and for keeping the communications and review process from swamping the progression of writing. I can't imagine having a viable ongoing storyline over more than a decade with an open company of authors contributing. We'd need a full time editorial staff.

Fate guard you and grant you a Light to brighten your Way.
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2 months 3 weeks ago #66036 by elrodw
elrodw replied the topic: Canon Author Auditions
Kristin, I didn't interpret the comment the same way you might have.

To me, the comment seemed to be saying that we weren't an elitist group, which implies snobbery and nose-in-the-air. Yes, we are a closed group of canon authors, but we aren't insular. We interact with the fans quite a bit. We react to their comments, we (mostly) welcome any comments that aren't nasty or snarky or mean. We are pretty open in our opinions that we appreciate our fans and let them know it. We encourage WhateleyIF. That's what I interpret from the comments.

We've had fans in the past with whom we had HUGE battles about haven an open writing universe, and it is a very sensitive point with us authors. (I don't need to mention names.) And yes, for the reasons Kristin mentions, we have to remain a closed group of canon stories. Canon stories. I think all the fans understand the need for us remaining a small, closed group. But it seems apparent that the fans also note that we encourage microscenes, WhateleyIF, and so on. We let them know that there IS a path to becoming a canon author.

So Kristin is right, and I believe my comments are right. It looks like we're talking about two different things.

Never give up, Never surrender! Captain Peter Quincy Taggert
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2 months 3 weeks ago #66037 by null0trooper
null0trooper replied the topic: Canon Author Auditions

elrodw wrote: - A Whateley short story – Think longer than a standard (not Bek-length) microscene. A vignette or so. The key is to use an author POV character as prime, and to also use two or more existing Whateley characters as supporting cast. This is primarily to show a prospective author's ability to 'play well with others' and to help further the storyline for ALL POV characters. It is not expected that a prospective author will write the supporting characters exactly like the original author – no one will write Phase like Diane, nor Laura like ElrodW writes her. It is mostly about being able to reasonably use the characters as supporting cast with reasonable characterization that doesn't make the canon group or original author cringe.


Would that be a current author POV character (Jak, Lanie, etc.), or does it include POV characters that were one-shots or whose authors have moved on (Chaka, Tennyo, Reach, Jimmy T, etc.)?

Forum-posted ideas are freely adoptable.

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2 months 3 weeks ago - 2 months 3 weeks ago #66039 by elrodw
elrodw replied the topic: Canon Author Auditions

null0trooper wrote:

elrodw wrote: - A Whateley short story – Think longer than a standard (not Bek-length) microscene. A vignette or so. The key is to use an author POV character as prime, and to also use two or more existing Whateley characters as supporting cast. This is primarily to show a prospective author's ability to 'play well with others' and to help further the storyline for ALL POV characters. It is not expected that a prospective author will write the supporting characters exactly like the original author – no one will write Phase like Diane, nor Laura like ElrodW writes her. It is mostly about being able to reasonably use the characters as supporting cast with reasonable characterization that doesn't make the canon group or original author cringe.


Would that be a current author POV character (Jak, Lanie, etc.), or does it include POV characters that were one-shots or whose authors have moved on (Chaka, Tennyo, Reach, Jimmy T, etc.)?


I strongly suggest characters who have an active author, but any character who is the POV focus of several stories also works. I have used Tennyo as supporting cast a few times. I have used Reach as supporting a few times. For the audition, using a few is good. Once an author becomes canon, the more that are used (in various stories, not all at once), the better.

If you use a character with an active author, you can communicate with that author to get feedback during the development process, BTW. With other authors, you may not have that benefit.

Never give up, Never surrender! Captain Peter Quincy Taggert
Last Edit: 2 months 3 weeks ago by elrodw.

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2 months 3 weeks ago #66043 by Kristin Darken
Kristin Darken replied the topic: Canon Author Auditions
Ya, I recommend that you DO take advantage of working with active PoV characters in supporting roles, because unless you purposely jump on our toes while you work with us; interacting with us can't help but improve how much we care about you succeeding. :)

Fate guard you and grant you a Light to brighten your Way.

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2 months 3 weeks ago #66045 by elrodw
elrodw replied the topic: Canon Author Auditions
I'd say avoid one-shot characters like the plague, too.

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2 months 3 weeks ago #66047 by Anne
Anne replied the topic: Canon Author Auditions
If I wasn't utterly swamped by life I'd be jumping up and down to get Kelly moved over to be a canon character. I think that I could maybe learn to write well enough to extend the few thousand words I have about her trip to Whately to be a story rather than a bare novella...
Of course that would depend on me having time and the canon cabal being willing to work with me... I tried to write something for Amelia Hartford, but haven't got more than a title, at this point, Amelia's Change....

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