Why a million words? Counting words is not for everyone, but the idea here is that practice makes better. Each written or graphic story you create gets you one step further on the path of being a better creator.
How do you have such a great community? We're just lucky that way!
What is required of me if I join? How many 'words' do I have to make? How frequently do I have to participate in the things you do? How often do I have to report my counts? That's a lot of questions, but we'll answer the best we can. Nothing is required. Participate as frequently or infrequently as you want, lurk if that's better for you. The amount of written or graphic words you create is up to you. Making one word is one word more than we had before. We ask that you update your counts (Posted words ~ Posted images ~ WIP Count) before the end of each month, but we don't demand it. Some people update their counts with each project they post, some count weekly, some monthly, and some only when they remember. The links are also located on the left in the comm page.
Why do I have to apply to join? Why is membership moderated if you let everyone in? Because that great community you asked about, it deserves to reserve the right to oust anyone who is... a flaming meanie.
What creative projects get counted and how are different creative projects counted? What you count is up to you in the end. Each member must decide what counts as a creative project that they have worked on. We cannot make a qualitative decision on what work merits counting here. As to how the projects are counted: Written word is easy, each word counts for one word. Image word is a bit more tricky. Each image produced is counted as one image and when the mods do the tallies at the end of the month/year the image tally is multiplied by 1,000 (a picture paints one thousand words). That leave icons counting the same as wallpapers and videos. Yes the efforts can be vastly different, but we do feel that for the purpose of the community counts, it all levels out.
What is a typical week like? What are the regular posts? It depends on the season and what people are caught up in doing. There is a Word of the day posted daily. We also have a Daily Count Challenge that members sign up for, and a 100-in-100 that has no sign up. Mondays are spent telling each other how great we've done, getting ready for the week and talking about the things that we’ve been finding interesting. Tuesday is AU day. Wednesday has an image prompt as well as a number or a letter to get you going. Thursday we try to have a genre prompt. Fridays we have a quote prompt to push you onward. And on weekends we have challenges with rewards given to participants as well as a word race or a comment-fic-athon. There are monthly things like the Big Buddy challenge to make your own quota for the month, a themed challenge that changes each month, birthday challenges, holiday challenges. We have suggestive/porn prompts once a week (day changes seasonally), and quarterly we have WIP Pushes to help finish off ongoing projects.
How do the challenges work? Let's take this one at a time.
Daily Count Challenge - Once a month we post asking people to sign up (you can continue to sign up all month long). On the first day of the month we pick a member from that list and they have 24 hours to meet their own personal daily word/graphic count. That 24 hours starts from the time they realize that they've been chosen. If they make their words, they choose the next name and it continues. If you know you cannot make your goal for the day, make a post and pass it along to someone else, or contact a mod and we will get it taken care of. If you tried and didn't make it, pick the next person and in the post tell us if you want to be on the list to do it over (We will go through this list once the first list is finished.), or bow out for the month. If the person chosen doesn't post within a day or so, the mods will name the next person. And remember, that next month it's all brand new!
Big Buddy Challenge - Once a month we post asking people to sign up (again, you can add in all month long) with a pledge of how many written words/graphic words you think you can produce in the month. Take into account your plans for vacation, visiting relatives, pajama days of marathon dvd watching, and figure out a number to pledge. Every 6 days (roughly) we will post asking participants to check in, and you chime in with your count. There will be 5 check ins every month (20% intervals). Again, next month, it's all brand new!
WIP Push Challenge - This is one you do not have to sign up for. Every three months we're going to harass anyone who wants to get a WIP off their plate, to spend some dedicated time finishing their project. You have ten days to put some valiant effort in and get your work posted or to a beta. Every 9 or so hours there is a post reminding you to take an hour and make 60 words, we try to hit all the time zones. If at the end of the month you have finished off a pesky WIP, you get a reward. If you haven't finished it, well then you've probably made some progress and that is reward in itself!
Weekend Challenge - Rules for this vary from weekend to weekend, from challenger to challenger. In general the post goes up on Friday/Saturday, and the specifics of the particular challenge are explained (what the challenge is, specific rules if applicable, and who the rewarders will be). If you produce the written or graphic words that meet the challenge before Monday, you get a reward. If it takes a little longer, well, you've still made words! Participation is voluntary and week to week.
Word Race - These are typically held Friday through Sunday twice a month (Second and last weekend of the month), participate as much or as little as you want, work on any project you want, just try to write more words than your fellow racers in the three day period. It's that easy!
A to Z Challenge - Every other week a letter is posted, let this inspire you to make more words. The finished project is your reward, and participation is voluntary from letter to letter (but it can make for a heck of a series, just sayin').
Numbers Challenge - Every other week a number is posted. Again it is inspire you to make more words and the finished project is your reward. Participation is, again, voluntary from number to number.
Monthly Challenges (Bingo and Pool Party for example) - These are run much like the Weekend Challenges, but are generally larger in both word requirement and reward. Each challenge is different and will have its own set of rules that will be posted before the challenge starts.
100 in 100 Challenge - This is simple; Three times a year, over the course of 100 days, write 100 words or create one graphic every day. Check in every day and cheer other on.
Prompt Challenges - These vary by days and themes, be inspired if you dare. A finished project is it’s own reward.
Comment Fic Challenge - These are to give you a rest from longer work. Try and write a short fic that fits in a comment. Each time you’ll be given a theme or phrase; you see what it inspires you to create. We’ll also accept icons and small graphics here.
Birthday Challenge - Members can sign up for this at any time. Tell us when your birthday is and what sort of gifts (words or graphics, what fandoms, genres, etc) you’d like to receive when it’s your birthday (links at top left of comm journal). All that’s expected in return is that you’ll offer gifts on other people’s birthdays in the same way. Gifts can be as small or big as you want; just something you’re happy to make for other comm members. You can choose to make gifts for as many people as you like, but we’d expect that over the course of a year you’d look creating around 3-4 gifts for other people; that way you should get a similar number on your own birthday, with luck! There will be a post at the beginning of each month (or slightly before that if there are a few early-in-the-month birthdays) to let you know whose birthdays are coming that month, and on the actual birthday of each signed-up person another post will go up for you to add in or link your gifts to.
Holiday Challenge - A week before a holiday (suggestions made here) a prompt will be posted. Participants have two weeks to come up with a graphic or a fic to celebrate the holiday with the prompt!
Meme Challenge - These are random challenges, and the finished project is its own reward (MORE WORDS). If you find a meme somewhere that prompts the production of written or graphic words - Post it! The challenger will post the applicable rules and whoever wants to participate can have at it. A random meme post can be a great thing.
With any challenge, if anything is unclear to you, ask the challenger or the mods, you will play much better when you know what you're playing.
What are the deadlines for things? Our deadline is December 31st (Or the 31st of December depending on where you're from), other than that we don't demand much of anything. We don't ask the rewarders to stick around and cover submissions after the weekend is over, but you are welcome to submit to any challenge or prompt at any time.
What sort of things are acceptable to create? Not every comm is accepting of the things I do to my characters. We are a very friendly bunch, and will take whatever you'd like to give us. Fandom works or original pieces. Gen, het, slash, femslash, character death, light kink, heavy kink, real person fic, it's all good. We ask that if something is 'adult' material you say so when you link or post. We are here to support you and urge you to do more.
Can I double dip? YES! Your daily word challenge can count toward your word race, which can count towards your Big Buddy quota, which counts in your monthly and yearly word totals. Each word only counts once, but it counts in a lot of different places!
What's all this about rewards? Our weekend challenges are usually rewarded if you produce something, so we have a bunch of people who are on a roster for offering these rewards. For 2014 we’ve left it up to the person on the weekend challenge schedule to decide if they'll do their own rewards or ask others to help them, but the roster list remains there in case they require it.
Sometimes the poster of other challenges will offer rewards to their challenge. If you create a challenge, it's up to you if you want to offer rewards and to decide what they'll be. Typically, for the weekend challenge our rewarders will offer drabbles, comment fics, icons or possibly banners, and other challenges usually offer banners proclaiming participation or completion of those challenges, but it's really up to the rewarder. Follow this link for examples of rewards on offer.
Do I need to post my creations to the community? No, but you do need to post them somewhere. There is nothing wrong with creating for yourself, but there is something brave about putting it out there for others to see, not the whole world, maybe just your flist. Putting it out there is what counts.
What places do you post? Many of us post at our own journals here at LJ; some of us may post to fic or image journals with a different name. A lot of people also post at AO3 and some of them also post at ff.net. If there are places you post and you want to link us, by all means add a post and tag it as a 'resource: other communities' and 'creation: [as appropriate]' to help everyone find it, or we can look at adding a permanent link at the top left of of comm page if enough people are interested. As always, PM us to discuss at any time!
Tell me about your AO3 page? We're so excited about this! The link is at the left on our comm page, and if you're posting something from one of our challenges or you just want to show off feel free to use one of our collection links on your AO3 postings. Some of our challenges have their own collections there, or you can just post generally to the One Million Words collection! You don't have to do this, but we'd love it if you did! Oh, and we have a separate tag at AO3 too: Community: 1_million_words.
I feel spammed, what's the deal? The deal is to try and provide something every day that will inspire (and sometimes harass) people to create. The deal has blossomed and while some days are one thing, some days are a cornucopia of creatables and creations. We get excited about making the words. Our cups runneth over.
What resources do you have/how do I find...? If you check out our tags, you'll find a few resources tags - some of these relate to other communities that you may find useful for writing/image-making needs, and the general one links to tips and discussions that have been posted in this comm on different aspects of creating either writing or image-making. There's also one for beta-readers, which relates to betas available among comm members and any posts where someone has asked for beta help.
How do the tags work? We've tried to keep them straight-forward and simple, so hopefully they're self-explanatory, but as a general rule every challenge will have its own tag; regular weekly or daily posts have their own tags; there's a few random tags for 'woohoo!'s and cries for 'help!' and such; and any posts that feature work the comm members have created will have one or more of the 'creation' tags attached, a tag from the 'challenge' it was inspired by/created for, and may additionally have a 'rewards' tag.
Do I have to use tags? We won't make you do it, but we do encourage you to add tags to anything you post here, simply because this makes it easier to find things later, especially resources and creations (we all love something to read or look at, right?), and considering the number of posts we make so regularly, it's not long before the things from two days ago are no longer visible - and if you need that challenge post and you can't see it... well, you know what we're saying.
Can I add a tag myself? New tags have to be added by the mods, so ask away! We don't bite, but we're trying to keep the choices simple and not turn it into an infinity list, and/or we may be able to suggest an existing tag if you're not sure which one to use. One of the mods does try to tag anything that's been missed as and when they're able, but it's easy to get busy and miss these, so your help with tagging your own posts is really appreciated!
Can I pimp something that is taking place outside the comm that is fandom specific/genre specific/style specific/gender specific/rating specific/from a different comm? Yes! Pimp away. If the point of what you are pimping is that more written or graphic words will be created, then by all means ask our members to join you!
How can I help? SO GLAD YOU ASKED! Again, anytime you have an idea, concept, suggestion, mention it! If you have a weekend challenge you'd like to run PM either of the mods. If you'd like to help out with rewards sign up here. And if you see someone working diligently, making strides, having a rough week, doing awesome - Offer a hand, a pom-pom, a hug or a yay you! We are big on the cheering here.
Can I make a suggestion/ask a question? Sure! You can private message either haldoor or kaige68, you can leave a comment on most any post (at least one of us is following it). We are happy to take suggestions for anything, and we generally try to implement what we can.
You people are awesome! Have I told you that? Maybe you have, maybe you haven't. That's what we do on Mondays!