Please bear with me as I gather my thoughts. I've just had a rather emotional day and my son's birthday is tomorrow so if I seem a little unclear I apologize ahead of time, I merely have a great deal on my mind.
I'd also like to make it a point that I tend to sound angry or mad when I'm not. I'm not mad or upset in the least so if anything sounds that way I really
apologize ahead of time! *bows* (seriously I work on this and nothing changes. *weeps*)
It has been brought to my attention that there is some qualm about how this community is run. I expected that and am prepared to answer your questions so I will warn you now that this will be long.
When I began this community it was nearly a whim and nothing more. While I am serious about the idea behind it I have not written anything in stone. Everyone's opinions and ideas count.
However, when I chose to start this community I also determined that I would in no way ever allow this to become a beta service. There are plenty of places and individuals out there for authors to go to for beta service. Giving advice
to an author and simply telling them what they should
be doing would be a beta service. That is what beta readers do. They go through a fic and they explain to the author "Hey, this sounds out of character and you should use a comma here." and then it is up to the author to change those parts of their story or not.
I also very strongly feel that just giving advice such as "This is good but you could probably improve on characterization." would be no better than a basic review. To go into more detail would be nothing more than a review of concrit.
There is nothing wrong with either of those, however - and this may sound a little cynical - if authors really took such advice then we could all just write concrit reviews or be beta readers and there would be no problems with having badfic.
I made it firm that we are against self-nomination to prevent abuse of this community. Nominating yourself to recieve concrit or beta service under the guise of admitting your fic is badfic in itself is faulty logic. I won't fall for it. Nobody wants to admit they write badfic.
The entire point of this community was for the reader
to nominate the fic. The author loves their work automatically... it takes a good deal more to convince your readers to love your work even though it has problems. Therefore I still stand firm in the belief that we should not allow authors to self-nominate.
I agree that there could be more author participation but at the same time I'm hesitant to put a measure on that. When it came to our last project I made a specific note that the Categorical staff should change things and make two parts. One with the changes and one with the notes. I even made it clear that to make both these parts was for the author's benefit
. That if they wanted to read the notes as to why changes were being made then they would have the right to do so and that if they wanted to read the changes just "as is" they had that opportunity as well.
I also made it clear in my instructions that after the beta went over the work it would be given back to the author for approval. In no way will the community ever
make changes to a fanfiction and not confirm those changes with the author of the work. We may as well write new fics all of our own if that's how things are going to go.
So... I suppose the real question is, how much author participation leads into just giving suggestions and how little just leads into our doing whatever we want? I figured that our current method was the best way to go about things.
People's feelings are going to be hurt by this project. There is no going around that. There are going to be those who feel that we're taking the "voice" away from the author. To this I must simply argue that this is fanfiction
and not original fiction. As a fanfiction author myself I must fully understand that the characters and the settings that I use are not my creations. My "voice" in a fanfiction is very minute. I have a style, of course, and if my fic was nominated I would expect my way of writing to remain intact. However... the way the characters speak and act is not my creation. That belongs to the originator of my fandom. My voice is in the narrative.
The Categorical staff is only meant to change the narrative if it goes against canon facts, not fanon, without being previously explained in the fic. (An example would be a fic that takes place in Ancient China and then having a character use a zipper, obviously zippers did not exist in the canon universe so they should be omitted for something else.)
The Technical staff is only meant to change the narrative if it is grammatically incorrect.
The Beta staff is not meant to change the narrative unless seconded by the Technical staff that it is grammatically incorrect or by the Categorical staff that it is against canon. (which if the other staff do their jobs well shouldn't happen often.)
Perhaps this was not stated clearly enough and so it was simply thought that staff are just meant to re-write any part which they don't personally agree with. That is not how this project is meant to be run.
I am open to questions, concerns, and ideas at any time.