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Twitter Fic Month / 2011 Writing Contest Community

August 15, 2011

So the Blizzard 2011 Writing Competition was announced late Monday evening. Participants have roughly a month to submit a 2500-7500 short story set in a Blizzard universe. For official information, read here.

I hate competitions. But I love writing. Competitions remind me of playing classical piano in front of a room of judges, lots of quiet hours practicing in a windowless room.

For various reasons, I can’t discuss my fic publicly. But I’ve had some really fruitful conversations in private about my ideas. Competitions have negative connotations to me, and even though I write fics throughout the years, I feel a bit dirty saying that I’m writing a fic–but it’s going to be submitted to a contest–it’s as if I’m selling out or something. But when I have a good email chain with a friend it helps put it in perspective.

A lot of people were talking about fic writing, insecurities, and ideas on twitter, and I posted this:

I like viewing the contest as ‘twitter fic month’ instead of ‘contest.’ Feels a lot warmer and cozier that way, not isolated.

Then I got the following idea, after getting some feedback–why not make a directory of players interested in being involved in the writing process, either as a writer or beta reader? If you’re writing a fic, maybe you’ll find someone willing to beta. (If you want to write for fun, but don’t want to submit, join too!) If you want to both beta and write, that’s awesome. If you don’t want to beta, but instead would be happy to offer facts and backgrounds about a particular topic, that’s cool too. And sometimes, a reader unfamiliar with a swath of lore can be the best critic because gaps in the narrative will be even more apparent. (I understand putting personal writing out there can be nerve-wracking. If this paragraph has made you uneasy and you just want to bookmark it, or write a fic without poking others, that’s cool too. It’s just nice to know that there’s a community of writers out there, that you’re not alone.)

I’m hoping the following list and comments will help people find others for good lore discussions and helpful criticism. Sometimes writing is lonely, especially if others have concerns about publicly sharing ideas.

Perhaps it can be a way for people to get to know each other better–sometimes twitter can be like high school, due to the brevity, where players are known by a handful of characteristics. You may learn something new! You may also find a new community of people to help you write fics and discuss ideas in the future–long after the contest is gone.

Here’s the template, using me as the example.

Contact info: @perculia (DM for email)

Writing a fic: Yes

Beta Reader: Sure

Favorite topics: night elves, alternative histories, material culture, artsy things. Should have a good sense from the archaeology series right here at Flavor Text. Also happy to read most everything for tone/form.

Anyway, fill out the form, or add other categories that you like, and I’ll add you to the list. Happy writing!

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