It appears that I’ve tackled new things this year. In addition to Challenges (my own and others), claims tables, fic prompt requests and fests, I wrote for a bingo card and actually signed up for three Big Bangs!
I’ve always liked Challenges. They are fun to host and participate in, and there’s usually enough leeway to keep my Muses inspired. :) Challenges do have deadlines but they generally only require a 500-word minimum, so it’s easy to meet the deadlines.
Taking prompts helps me loosen logjams and jump-start Muses or are just plain fun! I’m very interested in seeing what people come up with for me to work with.
Fests are very much like Challenges, and they promote a spirit of camaraderie as people offer prompts, take prompts, and generally get into the swing of things.
Bingo cards are fun in there’s all sorts of ways you can write or draw or create graphics to fill the squares on your card.
Big Bangs are certainly challenging! They generally range from committing to writing at least 10,000 words, and others routinely ask for 20,000, 50,000, or even 100,000! There’s strict schedules to be kept and a pace to be maintained, and artists are on a similar schedule when they sign up to create art for the stories.
Looking over my specific commitments, I have to wonder if I’ll be doing them again next year. Firstly, there’s no guarantee that any of them will be held again next year, but if they are, would I commit to Big Bangs again, or fests, or bingo cards? Challenges will always be there, because I host them and I like to contribute at least one story per Challenge. But what of other things?
I do know that it’s hard to continue adding more things on your plate every year without getting bogged down. I’ve done dark_fest for the last two years, and did lgbtfest last year and this year’s successor, queer_fest, but the former takes up more of my time as generally those prompts are for explorations of queer issues, and you need more than 1,000 words on average to really do a good job, IMO, though of course it can be done for less!
dark_fest comes at a perfect time for me, right after my Valentine’s Day Challenge, when I’ve gorged on schmoopy and sweet and romantic. ;) So a touch of darkness is just right! And sometimes you need very few words to get that dark twist, so most likely I would continue with that Fest next year, if the right prompt moved me.
Bingo cards are fun! I would probably do them again, and claims tables, too. Though my mind boggles at people who routinely sign up for claims tables with 50 or 100 prompts!
Big Bangs? The rules I have for them are pretty simple: what’s on my plate at the time and do I have the time to write one in the allotted schedule, and do I have an idea worthy of the minimum word count? Generally I would probably stick with Big Bangs with 10,000 words as the minimum, and no more than 20,000 if I was really intrigued. I’m not interested in doing 50,000 or, Suffering Sappho, 100,000 words! It’s why I don’t do NaNoWri Mo, because I’m perfectly capable of writing 50,000 words, but I prefer my own timetable, not theirs. And it’s at the worst possible time of year, anyway.
It’s the reason why I stayed away from Big Bangs until recently. I always prefer my own timetable for such a massive word count, but the series finale of Smallville inspired me this year, and how could I resist a Big Bang for Clark/Bruce? ;)
Would I do the Historical Big Bang again next year? I don’t know. There are others out there that sound intriguing, and I can only do so many per year! So I think it’s a case of wait-and-see. :)
I wanted to prove to myself that I could so a Big Bang, and the smallvillebbang is coming along nicely, so I don’t need to keep proving it to myself over and over. Now it’s for the fun of it, mostly, though the challenge of this form of writing is certainly exciting.