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15 October 2012 @ 01:01 pm
I may have a problem when my first thoughts on hearing the Coulson news were (a) damn it. JOSSED AGAIN. shoulda fucking known. (that sound you hear would be my avengersfest fic needing a rewrite. or maybe whimpering.); (b) I hope it was a LMD and Loki knew, because that would be hilarious if Thor is judgy on Asgard about the death and Loki's all "Dude, he was a puppet, what's your problem?" "... Say whaaat?" Alas I didn't know it for Poison Rain, so now I have to play it that neither of them knew in any follow-up. But that would be spectacular.

YULETIDE AHOY. (Small fandoms, giving out treats, it is my most favoritest time of the fannish year!) I have my sign-up in, but it's still a bit tentative both in requests and offers. Well, actually more on the request side which is unusual for me - I might add a fandom or two to offers, but they're pretty much set. But only one of my requests is set. I'm much more excited about writing other people's prompts this year for whatever reason. Now I can start the tradition of refreshing the summary to see what other people have requested. It's so pretty and colorful! But I think I know fewer fandoms every year...

And here's an introduction to how Yuletide matching works.

Yuletide is a HUGE exchange of thousands of people. So the matching is automated. The program doesn't look at your optional details. It doesn't know you're trying to be nice by giving lots of character options. It looks at your fandoms/characters and assumes you WANT ALL OF IT.

Therefore, if you request Kara, Lee, Sam, and Cavil, the computer will only look for potential writers from those who offered to write Kara, Lee, Sam, AND Cavil (or who offered to write ANY character). The matching system does not care that you're fine with the first three in any combination and Cavil's just kind of cool on his own - it looks for all of them. But Mary Sue Writer is terrified of getting that random person who might request Lee/Cavil, so she offers only Kara/Sam/Lee. Mary Sue would love to write you a story, but she is not a match as a potential writer for you. (Mary Sue is, however, a potential writer for anyone requesting K/L, K/S, S/L, K/S/L, or any of them alone, FYI).

With more restricted character lists this is not quite the issue it used to be (one year the ASoIaF character list was 30 people long, which pretty much eliminated people offering ANY) but still, if you really want a story in a fandom with very few offerors, you increase your chances of getting a match with a slimmer character list. This is especially true if there's a potential combo in your request that people may design their offer to avoid (like a known slash/incest ship, for example).

Worst case if there are no matches for you is that you go immediately to the pinch hit list, where people can see your request and realize you didn't actually mean you wanted everybody. So it's not a tragedy and you won't, like, ruin Yuletide or anything. But still it's easier on the system to request a few favorites, and leave the "these other characters are also awesome and I totally don't mind stories about them if you'd rather write that instead" in your optional details.

Also realize that if you don't say otherwise (in optional details or a letter or something), your writer is required to use ALL OF YOUR REQUESTED CHARACTERS. This might be difficult for some groups of four characters.

Yuletide is great fun! But it's also ginormous and therefore has to be a bit less flexible that your average "let's arrange the matches on the floor"-type of exchange.
hearts_blood on October 15th, 2012 08:34 pm (UTC)
Loki totally knew it was a puppet and he just likes to make Thor angry.
lizardbeth: Avengers - Loki-Friggalizardbeth_j on October 15th, 2012 09:02 pm (UTC)
at least I had Loki be confused about why Coulson should be dead, when he didn't think he'd killed him. But DAMN IT, that would've been a great scene to have in there. *grumps at open canon*

hearts_blood on October 15th, 2012 09:12 pm (UTC)
Maybe this way is better; that way when Coulson does reappear, Thor can be all "OMFG Thou livest!" And Loki's response will be more like "...Yes. Yes, he does. Did I miss something?"
lizardbeth: Avengers - Lokilizardbeth_j on October 15th, 2012 11:11 pm (UTC)
NGL I want to see his smug little face so much when it turns out Fury lied to them.
hearts_blood on October 15th, 2012 11:22 pm (UTC)
Oh, that so needs to happen. Just so he can smirk at Fury and make some comment about ants on their anthills.
The Plaid Slytherin: [BSG] B/S hallwayplaid_slytherin on October 15th, 2012 09:21 pm (UTC)
Thank you sooooo much for explaining all this! I'm thinking of signing up because people are talking about it but signups look so complicated and I heard people referencing an and/or issue but had no idea what they meant. I think I will sign up mow though since (a) this makes sense now and (b) I usually only like a couple of characters or logical pairings so it probably should work.

Any other tips a newbie should know?
lizardbethlizardbeth_j on October 15th, 2012 11:03 pm (UTC)
no problem! Glad to help - it can be a very intimidating process, but don't let it stop you! And if you have any questions I'm happy to help out!

a lot of Yuletide is what you want it to be honestly and people 'do' it differently. Some people only sign up for fandoms and characters they feel they could write in their sleep, while some people make offers for everything they kind of know for the sheer randomness of what they might end up with. But do be aware of your source availability if it's not a fandom you know super-well - one year I had to request a book from the library on interlibrary loan because I couldn't find my copy and that added a whole lot of anxiety I could've spared myself by trying to locate the book first!
The Plaid Slytherin: [MHS] Haruhi - Tanabataplaid_slytherin on October 16th, 2012 12:11 am (UTC)
I mostly jumped all over this because of Caprica. I'm pretty monofannish though there are things I've seen. Just never contemplated reading or writing fic for them. I'm very intimidated.
lizardbethlizardbeth_j on October 16th, 2012 12:54 am (UTC)
aw, it's not so bad. A thousand words! It's not that much! :)

But yes, do be wary of only focusin on one - you have to be able to offer at least the minimum and it seems the fates often give people the assignment they were the most worried about receiving. But the challenge is fun, too!

There are lots (and lots) of fandoms in all kinds of genres from Huge Doorstopper Book Series to cracky YouTube vids, so hopefully you can find some you would like to write about!
The Plaid Slytherin: [BSG] Bill looking down and smilingplaid_slytherin on October 16th, 2012 12:58 am (UTC)
I think I may have found the four I could write - I'm just awful nervous about not having experienced all the source material for multimedia franchises.
lizardbeth: Yuletidelizardbeth_j on October 16th, 2012 02:06 am (UTC)
People are very understanding about that sort of thing that not everything is accessible to everyone. I'd just state up front that you aren't familiar with the comics or whatever it might be, so readers know what 'verse you're working from and you're good to go. For several Yuletides, writing in Jeremiah I put a little disclaimer that I wrote only in tv-verse canon and I knew nothing about the comics, and it was always fine.

Generally people are just hugely excited to get a story, ANY STORY, in their tiny fandom.
The Plaid Slytherin: [SRW] Filiciaplaid_slytherin on October 16th, 2012 03:31 am (UTC)
Oh, lovely. I'll state in my notes where I've only seen the anime etc.

Also, I know you explained how to structure your character requests, but what about offers? For example, if I offer Shirou and Rin (because I like Shirou/Rin), I might be matched with people who want Shirou/Sakura or Rin/Archer etc., right?
lizardbethlizardbeth_j on October 16th, 2012 03:51 am (UTC)
No, you can only matched on characters you offer - So let's say you offered Bill, Saul, and Laura (just for a completely RANDOM example *g*) you could only be matched to requests that asked for any subset of those three. You would NOT match with anyone who requested Laura/Lee. To also match to that you have to also offer to write Lee. Which also adds the possibility that you could match to someone who requested Saul-Lee. (though keep in mind you NEVER have to write shippy fic. it can always be gen no matter who the characters are.)

If you offer only Bill and Saul, you will only match to those who requested one or both of them, but not with anyone else. (and you will also not match to anyone who's trying to be helpful by requesting lots of characters *g*)

So generally, the strategy is to offer as widely as you can/feel comfortable with. "any" is the best (and some fandoms that's all you can do because there are so few characters nominated anyway ). But if there's a character you can't stand, don't understand, or heck, don't even know exists, then it's best to leave it off.

The Plaid Slytherin: [BSG] B/S cookiesplaid_slytherin on October 16th, 2012 04:05 am (UTC)
Okay, great. I'll definitely be tweaking my offers later, if that means I can safely do that. :)
Galactic Cupcakelostinapapercup on October 15th, 2012 09:36 pm (UTC)
But I think I know fewer fandoms every year...

I've been feeling the same way the past few years! But I love doing Yuletide! I think I know what two of my requests are and most of the offers I'm going to make, but I still need to go through and do my usual can-I-or-can't-I routine with the characters.

I was thinking about plugging Yuletide in my journal and mentioning that both Major Crimes and The Closer are nominated fandoms to see if that entices any of the Mary fans. I couldn't do either show myself, but that's kind of awesome for someone who can.
lizardbethlizardbeth_j on October 15th, 2012 11:30 pm (UTC)
there are so many fandoms I either don't know at all, or knew such a long time ago that I can't do them anymore. Though it's always fun to go through the requests and "hey, I wanted to read/watch that, maybe I should go find it." even if it's not for yuletide.

Is MM's character nominated for closer? I didn't even look. They seem to have a pretty good network, so they probably know already, but it doesn't hurt!

Silver: kitty curioussilverblade219 on October 16th, 2012 04:15 am (UTC)
I'm confused about the Coulson news? So they are reconning his death officially?
lizardbeth: Av - Nat Reeselizardbeth_j on October 16th, 2012 04:38 am (UTC)
He's going to be the headliner for the SHIELD tv series and confirmed not-dead. But afaik, no one's stated 'how' yet. Simplest explanation is that he never actually died, Fury just said he did.
Panthera: Loki - trick or treat!panthology on October 17th, 2012 10:32 am (UTC)
Re the LMD and Loki knowing - watch the scene again, and note the way he smirks and points at the blood on his staff-blade.

Then imagine him saying, "Look at that! It even has 'blood'. Now that's realistic!"