About Be The First! 2017 (bethefirst2017)
Have you ever wanted to write for an obscure canon but thought there was no point? Maybe you felt lonely doing it, or unmotivated due to the lack of audience. Whatever your reasons were, Be The First! challenges you to just go for it, and write for a fandom that has zero fics.
How do I determine if a fandom has no fics? Must I look absolutely everywhere, including old personal websites and zines?
The general guideline is to check AO3 and fanfiction.net, and doing some quick googling. The latter is just to make sure there isn't a fandom-specific archive hiding in plain sight. If none of those bring up any results, then you're in the clear. I don't expect you to spend hours digging through the dark corners of the net, don't worry!
All in all, we're operating under the honor system here. I trust your judgment when it comes to your chosen fandom, and will not go double-checking anything. If there's a mistake made and a couple of fics do exist after all, well, it's not the end of the world :)
What is the minimum/maximum word length?
There is none! Your story can be however long or short it needs to be.
Where should I post my completed fic?
Anywhere you want! I'll create a collection here on AO3 where you can post your fics. Said collection will be hidden until the deadline/reveal date, and is totally optional. I'll also post a list on the LJ community with all the fics, regardless of where they're hosted.
How much time will I have to write?
Two months. The AO3 collection will close at 23.59 GMT on the 20th of April. It'll go live — and I'll round up links for all fics in the community — at 00.01 GMT on the 22nd of April.
When is the deadline for signing up?
There won't really be one, actually. I'm sure we've all been bummed out over discovering some awesome exchange or challenge just days after sign-ups closed. I wanted to avoid that here, by simply not having a cut-off date. So if you stumble upon this challenge the day before the reveal, and still want to take part? Write like the wind, buddy!
I can't decide what fandom to write for!
Then pick two! Which is to say, you can submit up to two fics for this challenge — just as long as they're for different fandoms (since otherwise one of them wouldn't be the first, y'know?).
What if someone else writes a fic for my chosen fandom in the interim between signing up and the deadline?
Then that doesn't count. So even if there are suddenly ten fics posted after you've signed up, they won't affect you. Just keep working on your story and don't worry about it.
Can I write for a franchise, where some parts have fics and others don't?
That depends a bit... If the parts are separate enough to basically be different series, then yes, that's perfectly fine. But if they're very closely connected — with the same set of characters and continuing plot — then it's not really suitable for this challenge, sorry.
There are fics for my fandom, but only in Japanese/German/Spanish/some other language.
For this challenge only fics written in English count, so go right ahead and ignore those.
I have an old WIP that I started writing ages ago, but never finished or posted anywhere. Is it okay to continue working on that for this challenge?
The fandom I'm thinking about has fanfiction, but not for the particular characters/pairing I'd like to write about. Is that okay?
I'm sorry, but no. This challenge is specifically to write the first fic for a rare fandom.
Can I combine this with another writing challenge, such as Yuletide's NYR?
Fanfic exists for my chosen fandom, but it's a crossover. Does that mean I can't write for it?
For now, crossovers don't count. This might change in the future — in which case it would depend on whether or not your fandom is the one in focus — but at the moment you can just go ahead and ignore them.
Can I write a crossover?
If none of the fandoms have any fics, then yes (it'll be a double win in terms of you being the first!). Otherwise it depends on whether or not the focus is on the eligible fandom. For example, if the popular fandom's characters are mainly relegated to cameo appearances, it's fine. But if it's the other way around then it's not really suitable for this challenge, sorry.
Can I write RPF?
By definition that would be more about people, than a specific series. So it's the same as wanting to write for rare characters — and the answer is the same, too. Sorry.ETA: It turns out that a few people had their hearts set on writing RPF, and felt that my view on it was wrong. I don't want to disappoint anyone, so I'll rescind the rule and trust your judgment when it comes to this.
I don't have an LJ account, can I still take part in the community?
Oh yes, absolutely. You can either post anonymously, or with OpenID. The latter enables you to use some other social-media account you may have, like Dreamwidth or Twitter.
I'd like to post my finished fic to the AO3 collection, but I don't have an account there.
Let me know and I'll do my best to get you an invite.
I have another question/problem/suggestion/comment.
Please comment on the FAQ post or drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I'll get back to you ASAP!