Welcome back to Parallels! 2012 will be our second year.
Parallels is a rare fandom fanworks exchange for media from anywhere in Asia.
(Open, Unmoderated, Gift Exchange Challenge)
About Parallels Fanworks Exchange 2012 (Parallels_2012)
June 1-15th: Nominations
June 16-29th: Signups
July 1st: Assignments go out
August 1st: Assignments due
August 1st-6th: Frantic scramble to find pinch hitters
August 7th: Works go live
August 13th: Creator names are revealed
Fandoms & Types of Fanworks
Q: What kinds of fandoms are allowed?
A: Rare fandoms of any type of media from anywhere in Asia. (Anime, Bollywood films, kdramas, manhua, tokusatsu, komiks, RPF...)
Q: How do you define "Asia"?
A: With extreme vagueness. Anything on that top map in the Asia article on Wikipedia is fair game. I'll let in anything from Russia and any place that's partly in Asia or whose status is ambiguous. At this time, I am not allowing media about Asia but produced elsewhere (e.g. historical novels set in Asia but written and published in the US).
Q: What kind of fanworks do you allow?
A: Fic, vids/amvs, and 2D art. I'm open minded about what counts as "fan art", but these should be finished pieces and, if they use pre-existing images, they should be substantially transformative. (No manips of the head A on body B type. No funny captions on otherwise unaltered pictures.)
Q: What if my source is a historical manga about European aristocrats?
A: As long as your comic/movie/whatever is from Asia, that's fine. I'm restricting sources based on geography, not content.
Q: How do you determine rarity?
A: I don't. Parallels operates on the honor system. Anything that is nominated will be on the signup form. If someone else has nominated something that's not in the spirit of the exchange and you're outraged, outraged, I say!, don't offer it and don't make fanworks for it. Whether the works produced for Parallels are really in rare fandoms is up to you, the writers, vidders, editors, and artists.
Q: But, but, but!
A: Dude, have you seen how much wank most methods of determining rarity cause? Plus rarity means totally different things for different types of media: a "rare" fandom for shounen anime is not the same thing as a rare fandom for anything from West Asia or even for josei manga. You know whether your fandom is genuinely rare a lot better than I do. The honor system will have about the same success rate as any other method and is far less trouble.
Q: How many fandoms/characters can I nominate?
A: The things you're planning to request yourself. Nominating extra characters mostly just makes fandoms more intimidating to offer without benefitting you. Nominating fandoms you hope other people will ask for almost never works.
Q: I'm going to be away during nominations. ;_;
A: Have someone else nominate for you. At this time, I don't have restrictions on how many things each person can nominate. (If our total membership grows a lot in future years, I will institute a cap.)
Q: I don't have an AO3 account; can I still participate?
A: You must have an AO3 account to use the signup form. I can send you an invitation if you need one at the last minute. Otherwise, please add yourself to the queue.
Q: How many fandoms do I have to request/offer?
A: You must request 4. You must offer at least 4, but you can offer more if you want.
Q: What if I only want to request/offer fic/art/video? Can I offer fic in one fandom and art in another?
A: The form will let you specify media type. This can be different for different fandoms.
Q: I only want offer/request certain characters.
A: Nominated characters will be available to request. You will also be able to specify characters on your offers, but options may be more limited there depending on how many fandoms you are offering.
Q: I'm going to be away during signups. ;_;
A: Make a temporary password and have a friend sign up for you or talk to me in advance and we will work something out.
Q: I signed up with the wrong pseud and now it won't let me switch.
A: Delete your signup and try again.
Q: Can I sign up multiple pseuds of the same AO3 account? Can we sign up as a team? Can I sign up twice?
A: Unfortunately, the AO3 challenge interface only allows one signup per account. You can make a second AO3 account for the other person. After Parallels is over, you can add the correct pseud as a co-author and remove the new account. I don't mind if you sign up multiple AO3 accounts that are all you or if there are multiple people using your one account and you want to collaborate on your Parallels assignment. As long as you can get your assignments done on time, the rest of that is up to you.
Q: I hate my assignment!
A: If something went wrong with matching, I will assign you to someone new and send your old assignment out as a pinch hit. If matching ran fine and you just hate your assignment, you can either default or suck it up and finish anyway.
Q: I hate the optional details!
A: They're optional. Just ignore them if you can't or don't want to use them.
Q: I was assigned on one request, but I like one of the others better.
A: You only have to do 1 work. It can be for any of your recipient's requests whether or not you matched on that one.
Q: Can you explain the minimum requirements?
A: Fic should be 500 words+ and feature the characters your recipient requested. Optional details are optional. Vids/AMVs should be substantially footage from the requested source and feature the requested characters. Art does not need to be portraits of characters' faces, but it should be recognizably related to the fandom and characters your recipient requested. (That is, if someone complains, you should be able to explain to me why your art is a valid response to your assignment.)
Q: Do I have to use the requested characters?
A: Yes. Unless your recipient indicates in their optional details or a separate letter that it's ok to not use them.
Q: Can I write a crossover, use external source in a vid, do non-representational fan art, etc.?
A: Uh... try to make something your recipient will like. If you as a recipient like things like non-representational fan art, that would be a good thing to put in your optional details or in a separate letter. Using a small amount of footage of an actor in another role is probably ok. Doing original animation for an AMV is totally fine. Including so much crossover/original/external stuff that your assignment is no longer recognizably in the requested fandom is a problem.
Q: Can I give my writer/vidder/editor/artist more detail?
A: Sure! Just write a letter. Most people post these places like DW or LJ. I will have a post up on the two communities for people to either link their letters or post them directly in comments.
Q: What should go in my letter?
A: Themes you love. Squicks. If you're requesting a vid/AMV, you could talk about what kind of music you like. You could link to favorite fan art. Basically, anything that gives your recipient a better idea of your tastes is fair game.
After the exchange
Q: Do I have to comment on my gift?
A: Yes. It's a gift. At least thank them for making something for you. Jeez.
Q: Can I remove my works from Parallels?
A: No. These are gifts. No takebacks. You may, however, orphan your works any time you want.
Q: I gave embedded art/video and now I have a hosting problem!
A: You are welcome to change your hosting and edit the Parallels work to include a new embed. (And if I notice that your work is no longer available, I will ask you to do this.) If you need help with hosting options, talk to me. If and when AO3 natively hosts art or video, you are encouraged to update your older Parallels works accordingly.
Defaulting & Pinch Hits
Q: I defaulted last year. Am I banned? ;_;
A: No. I am lazy; I didn't even keep a list. It's not like threats of banning actually reduce the default rate anyway.
Q: What if I have to default this year?
A: Use the 'Default' button under your 'Assignments' tab on AO3.
Q: I'd like to pinch hit.
A: Great! Like last year, I'll be posting pinch hits to the DW and LJ communities.
1. Nominate Asian sources that don't have big fandoms.
2. Make a fanwork meeting the minimum criteria and using the fandom and characters in your assignment.
- fic: 500 words
- vids/amvs: 30 seconds
- art: 500x500px
3. Don't be a dick.