Authors – Rules and Q&A

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Note: Instructions for how to submit art and stories will be provided to participants well in advance. Those details are not covered in the rules or Q&A. Please do not ask an admin questions about how to post before those instructions have been released on the Fixer Forum.

General Rules

  • The first rule is don’t be an asshole. It’s the golden rule. You don’t have to like everyone, but you do have to be respectful and civil.
  • Plagiarism is, of course, against the rules and will result in you being banned from the site. Probably every site any admin has access to.
  • All stories must be part of the art claims in March to eligible for the challenge. (New for 2023)
    • The art claim is anonymous, so please do not discuss your story publicly until after the art claim in March. That means, do not reveal identifying information such as title, fandom, or pairing. After art claims, go wild.
  • All stories must be complete by 5/20 to be posted on the site. We do not post works in progress on the Quantum Bang.
  • Sequels/prequels or works related to another story off the site are allowed provided they stand on their own and satisfy the fix-it element.
    • Starting in 2023, there’s a Quantum Challenge for sequels to prior Quantum Bang works. This challenge has slightly different guidelines. Since this is only for returning participants, those details are available under the Members section after sign up.
  • Do not post any portion of your story publicly prior to the go-live date on Quantum Bang.
  • You may post the story wherever you choose after it has been posted to the Bang Archive.
    • June 30th is the official end of the challenge period. Most people wait until after the end of June to post elsewhere, but we have no specific rule about when you can cross-post other than it has to be after your posting date.
    • Setting your story to post minutes after it goes live on the QB site is honestly rude and gives us no room to have technical glitches or a server outage. A day would be polite, especially since the rules say “after the posting date” and that hasn’t changed since day 1 of this challenge.
  • There are no restrictions on genre (other than no RPF) or rating, but you must warn and rate appropriately. There are content restrictions. Please see the appropriate tab.
  • Check-ins are optional, but please reach out to the community if you need help.
    • The March 1st check-in is strongly encouraged because we need to know how many people will likely be submitting a rough draft for art claims.

Length Guidelines

Our rules have evolved since we first began, and below are our current guidelines for story length, along with minimum and maximum submissions.

  • The minimum length is 50,000 words for projects submitted to the QB.
    • A “project” is defined as a stand-alone story or a series of connected stories.
    • If you’ve finished your project and aren’t quite at 50k, please use the contact form or communication system to contact the admins and see if your story is eligible. We don’t want to exclude people who were only a little short.
  • The minimum length for any story is 17k, provided the whole series is at least 50k.
  • The maximum length for any story is 200k.
  • You may submit up to 5 stories.
  • Novels and novellas can be combined within a series (new for 2023).
  • Novellas (17-35k) may only be submitted as part of a series.
  • The absolute maximum any participant may submit is 500k across all works for that challenge year.

Content Guidelines

  • Theme
    • The theme of the Quantum Bang is Fix-it. That could be as minimal as a canon interrupt where you change an event to get the desired outcome or as major as time travel.
    • If you cannot discern if your idea qualifies as fix-it, please use the contact form.
  •  Beta
    • Beta reading is a good practice, but it is not required for the challenge.
    • If you cannot get a beta, please use spell check and a grammar checker to ensure basic quality. Stories that are obviously not spell checked will be returned to the author until this is done.
    • We recommend Grammarly or an equivalent, but Microsoft Word’s built-in grammar checker is fairly robust. Using both can’t hurt.
    • Even if you have a beta, spell check is required. Final stories submitted that have obviously not been spell checked will be rejected until this  basic quality control is completed.
  • RPF or fandoms that focus on real people are not allowed, including: bandom, reality TV shows, or the RPF version of any standard fandom.
    • You may use real people as minor characters in their real-life role. Meaning, you can use the president, reference a known reporter, talk about getting an autograph from Michael Jordan, or be interviewed by Oprah. But none of these people can be significant characters in your story.
  •  Warnings
    • You must warn for the following triggers: Rape/Non-Con/Dub-Con, Major Character Death, Incest, Cannibalism, Bestiality, Hate Crimes, Slavery, Torture, Graphic Violence, and Domestic Violence. Note: Incest for our purposes is defined as first cousins or closer. We do realize that first cousins aren’t considered incest in all regions, but they are in some.
    • Any other warnings are considerate and appreciated.
    • Do not warn for slash/het/ace or any type of preference or gender. It’s offensive to make sexual preference or gender a warning.
    • A list of reasonable warnings will be made available as we near the posting date.
    • Please take giving warnings seriously. This is about warning the readers what might upset them. Gag warnings about fluff or excessive cuteness or cat videos are not acceptable. Put it in your author notes.
    • While we don’t prohibit any kinks on the site, the following kinks must be disclosed in the additional warnings: golden showers, scat, erotic asphyxiation, daddy/mommy kinks, felching, knife play, cock/pussy torture, and any other kinks that could be considered edge play.
    • A note about bestiality. Bestiality is sex with an animal, not a sapient being who happens to have fur or tentacles. Han/Chewie is not bestiality. Timmy/Lassie is. Fred Kwan banging Laliari in her natural form is not bestiality. Beauty/Beast fics are not bestiality.
  • Forbidden Content
    • On-screen necrophilia is not permitted, and your main characters cannot engage in this activity. But if your story is about prosecuting someone guilty of this crime, it can be mentioned, but you should warn for it. It cannot be presented as an acceptable erotic act.
    • Snuff is not permitted. That means a character being killed as part of a sex act or for sexual gratification. Unless it’s not graphic and it’s being presented as a crime. If it’s being presented to titillate the reader, it’s a no-no. Be careful about how you write vampirism that it doesn’t come off like snuff.
    • Racism, sexism, discrimination, or hate crimes cannot be presented in a positive light by the main characters. Having a villain be a racist isn’t an issue, but you should warn for racist speech and/or actions.
    • Sex with characters under 16 is not permitted. Can one of your characters mention they lost their virginity at 15? Yes, but no flashbacks and no graphic description of it. If you need clarification of this policy, please use the contact form.
  • Note: Most places in the world set the age of consent at 16, but that’s not all places. Generally, adulthood is considered to be between the ages of 18-21. The admin team’s preference is that 16 or 17-year-olds be in relationships with people no more than 5 years their senior, but it’s not a rule. However, if you have a character who is 16 or 17 and their romantic partner is over 21, you must warn for an adult having sex with a 16-17 year old.

Art Rules and Art Claims

Art Claims are required for all participants. If there’s a reason why you think you’ll be done on time but just don’t want to do the art claims part, you need to talk to us well in advance. This is part of the whole Big Bang challenge, and we’d need to understand why you’re wanting to opt out before we’d okay it.

  • To participate in art claims in March, your story needs to be 80% complete. That means at least 40k, or 80% of your projected total, whichever is larger.
    • If you’re writing a series, you need to be at 80% of your projected total for the series, so the first story (or stories) should be at 100%. For instance, if you write a 3-novel series, with each story being 80k, you’ll need to have 192k completed to submit for art claims. That means, the first two stories need to be at 100% and you’ll need 12k on the third story.
    • Alternately, you could be at 80% on each of the 3 stories if you write in parallel (gah!).
  • The art claim is anonymous, so please do not discuss your story publicly until after the art claim in March. That means, do not reveal identifying information such as title, fandom, or pairing.
  • All story art on the Quantum Bang site should be made by your artist or one of the site artists in a pinch-hit situation.
    • If an author does not have a story banner or cover art, (meaning, the primary art was story art rather than cover art) a banner with the title and name of the artist will be provided by a site artist. This will not cross the line into story art.
    • If the artist does not provide chapter banners or a chapter spacer, the author may provide their own simple chapter spacer provided it doesn’t cross the line into art. This should be a single image that can be used to separate each chapter, not separate images for each chapter.
    • Cast collages may be provided by the artist or author or created by a third party. Artist-created collages will be included in the artist’s gallery.
    • Author-created cast collages are subject to the same image size rules, so please consult the art FAQ for more information.
    • We do not allow any art or images as scene separators because they interfere with accessibility tools like screen readers for the visually impaired. Chapter banners and spacers are fine, scene separators are not.
    • Document formatting guidelines will be provided on the Fixer, this includes how to handle scene separators. (Short form: you must use one, white space is not okay, simple is required. This is related to accessibility for the visually impaired.)

Getting Help

  • Artist not replying to emails:
    • If it’s been more than a week without a response, contact the admin team via the contact form or use the communication system. This is a vital as a breakdown in communication can create a crisis later on. We need to address it early.
  • Artist can’t read your story:
    • The intention is that the artist who claims your story will read it and provide art inspired by your work. However, various things can prevent an artist from being able to read a story completely. If this should occur, you may be asked to provide a more in-depth summary of the story so they can complete the artwork. The artist may approach you directly or ask an admin for help. This not a slight. The nature of the mostly-anonymous claims makes it impossible for an artist to ensure they’ve selected a story that’s suitable for them to read. For instance, a warning for miscarriage isn’t required, but it may be a trigger for an artist and they may not want to read the story as a result.
  • Deleting the story:
    • The site is intended to archive all the Big Bang stories together. However, if, after the publication, you decide to take your work offline, contact an admin to have your story deleted.

FAQ

Q: Can I write a crossover?
A: Yes, as long as the crossover fandom(s) meet the fandom criteria. You will be asked to pick a primary fandom or possibly 2 fandoms when you submit your story. All other fandoms can be listed in your header.

Q: Can I write original fiction?
A: No. You can’t “fix” something that’s original.

Q: Do I need to use more than one fandom?
A: No. Multi-fandom means the bang isn’t restricted to any one fandom. It doesn’t mean you need to use more than one.

Q: Can I write more than one story?
A: Yes. Please see the guidelines about additional stories and novel series above.

Q: Can I submit a story I posted somewhere else?
A: No. If your story was posted on another site, it’s not eligible for the Bang.

Q: Can I submit a story I’d already started?
A: We don’t care when you started your story as long as it hasn’t been posted online already.

Q: The Bang I was participating in imploded, but my story fits this theme. Can I sign up?
A: As long as you never posted the story, we welcome you to the Quantum Bang. Sorry your other challenge didn’t work out. If you revealed details publicly about your story, please don’t advertise that you switched bangs until after the art claim.

Q: Can I submit this to another bang after the Quantum Bang?
A: We don’t care, but the other bang probably will. It’s kinda bad manners.

Q: Can this be my NaNo project?
A: Yes, as long as you aren’t posting your NaNo project online at a site such as Rough Trade.

Q: Is there a penalty for dropping out?
A: Probably not, but it depends on whether your drop out results in the wasted effort of an artist. And it may also depend on extenuating circumstances. The penalty could be being prohibited from participating the next year. Assholery could get you banned for life. So if you’re going to drop, don’t drop like an asshole. Please note that there is no need to drop out if it’s prior to art claims. If you don’t submit a story, we’ll consider you dropped out. If you go through the art claims and drop, that’s when you might get barred from future challenges.

Q: Does the story have to be completed by the rough draft due date?
A: No. You need to have completed 80% of your story by the rough draft due date. That means 80% of 50,000 words OR 80% of your projected word count, whichever is larger. If your story is looking like 100k, you need to submit 80k. If your story will likely be 50k, you need to submit 40k.

Q: Can I submit a story in another language.
A: No. We wrestled with this and, at one time, agreed to it, but have decided to restrict the site to English only. The issue being if we can’t read it, we can’t assure the content meets the guidelines we’ve set forth. You’re welcome to post the English version here and any translations on whatever archive site you use. You may also link to your translations.

Q: Is co-writing acceptable?
A: Yes. Both authors would need to sign up within the signup period and one of the pair must send a note through the regular contact form letting us know you plan to submit together. If either plan to participate as a solo author, we would need to know that as well. (A co-written work would count as 1 submission for each author, which means you could could each still do up to 4 other works, and the total of co-written work would be reduced from your word count. Meaning, if the story was 50k, you’d each still be eligible to submit 450k to the challenge as individuals.)

Q: RPF is not allowed, but in a fandom like Highlander or in a time travel situation, can the characters interact with real, historical figures?
A: In general, yes. The only time it would be an issue is if a fictional character were in an on-screen relationship with a real person (historical or otherwise). That would cross the boundaries into RPF. If someone were to mention in passing that they’d been the lover of Alexander the Great, that’d be fine. But for the story to be about an immortal in a relationship with Alexander the Great…that’d be pushing the rules.

Relationships aside, the rule about how to use real people would mostly apply to historical figures, though it’d be more lax. Meaning, they should function in the story as they functioned in real life. The farther back in history you go, the less that is often known and so conjecture is all you have.

The issue with RPF is that it treads into a murky legal area. We definitely don’t want people crossing the line into defaming living people. Use good judgment when it comes to historical figures.

Anonymous Accounts

  • We no longer create “anonymous” accounts on the QB site. It’s very simple to create a gmail account to use anonymously, and the process was causing more confusion than anything as people didn’t understand what it was for.
  • If there’s a reason you need an anonymous account, please reach out to us using the contact form. We will accommodate you, but we’ll need to understand why you’re unable to handle your own anonymity, and then make sure the site is set up properly.

After reviewing the FAQ, if you have questions, please use the contact form. You may also ask plot specific questions if you’re concerned.

 

2 Comments:

  1. If you wanted to use characters from another fandom but keep the story line of the main cannon used for the fix it would this be okay? Can you use them as plot points to propel your characters on even though the other characters set would be changed completely from their original timelines? Example: Using characters from one MI6 in another worlds MI6?

    • I can’t quite decipher your example because I don’t know that fandom(s?), but based on just the question, that’d be fine. For example, I wrote a story where I used a character from a whole different fandom to fix the canon stuff in Teen Wolf. That’s already posted and obviously not for the QB, but is the example I have that sounds similar to what you’re asking. So, yeah. You’re good.

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