skieswideopen (skieswideopen) wrote,

The Alternative Guide to Stargate Atlantis: Discussion Part III

Conversation seems to have died down, so on to the next step. (If you feel like you're not being given time to participate because of the speed with which this is happening, I'm sorry. I'm trying to maintain momentum here, so once I feel like a consensus has been reached--or as close to a consensus as we're going to get--I move on. But feel free to keep bringing up stuff from previous posts if you feel strongly about it. I haven't even created the community yet, so things can still change. And if you're not on my flist and are having trouble keeping up with the new entries, just track the 'alternative guide to sga' tag.)

First off, I want to clarify the purpose of this project. What I envision is for this project to serve as a guide for people who are interested in a particular character or pairing/poly relationship. A starting point. It's not meant to list every possible fic or fanwork in an area; just to tell people where to start looking. And it's meant to fill a gap. As far as I know, there are no beginner's guides for pairings/poly relationships other than McShep, and I'd really like to see one so that people who are drawn into the fandom by characters like Elizabeth or Teyla have some idea of where to begin, and people who are curious about new pairings/poly relationship have a place to start. We are, as several of you have put it, the non_mcsmooch to the various mcsmooch-type guides out there.

With that in mind, and having listened to the feedback, I'm going to say that I think we're better off linking to the existing McShep guides rather than trying to reinvent the wheel. This is not in any way meant as an indictment of McShep! It's just that there are an awful lot of guides out there already that list the key resources and stories, and I think most of those probably do a better and more complete job than we'll do here. I hope that those of you who wanted it to be otherwise will be able to find or create the kinds of things you're looking for in other places, like Fanlore. (I should add that if you want to include a rec on another page that focuses on another pairing/poly relationship, but also has background McShep, that's fine. Just make sure you label it appropriately. Which should always be true of any fic that includes a pairing/poly relationship.)

None of this is meant to suggest that McShep fans of any flavour aren't welcome here, because you absolutely are! It's just that McShep is already well-served by fandom, and so we're trying to focus on the many other pairings/poly relationships (and gen) that people often have a harder time tracking down.

As far as content goes, I'm going to take the suggestion made by several of you and say that starting out, we should limit pages to:
  • Gen discussions of characters (with links to the relevant pairing/poly pages, and including a page for OCs and gen team fic)
  • Pairings, OT3s, and OT4s (or just plain threesomes and foursomes if you're not so much into the "one true" aspect)
  • A page each for rare f/f, f/m, m/m, and poly relationships that can cover pairings and relationships too small to qualify for their own pages. I might also throw in a page for OC/character pairings, if anyone volunteers to tackle that
Later, we might expand to include themes. But for now, fic that focuses on things like alternate realities and whump and asexuality and so on can all go in the appropriate character or pairing page.

It probably goes without saying, but there is to be no bashing of any character or relationship here. If a particular character or relationship isn't your cup of tea, that's fine; just move on. But no negative comments, please, because chances are someone here loves the relationship or character you can't stand, and someone probably hates the relationship or character that's close to your heart. (Not that anyone has done anything like this; I'm just being proactive here.)

Some other decisions based on the poll:

In terms of location, and again having listened to feedback, I'm going to say we stick with LiveJournal. I think what I'm going to do is put up a DW community that links to the various LJ posts without actually mirroring them (so as to avoid the double-updating problem). You're welcome to include links to DW communities, etc., in the guide, of course. As far as the wiki goes, I encourage everyone who contributes to think about mirroring their material on Fanlore. [personal profile] facetofcathy, frogspace, and aethel have all offered help and advice to anyone interested in going to Fanlore, and [personal profile] busaikko and [personal profile] facetofcathy are working on developing character, gen, and pairing templates which will simplify the process for those who are interested. This is also a great place to take theme entries if you want to explore those further. Fanlore seems to be quite flexible that way.

For posting, I think I'm going to go with a central mod account, mostly to avoid the awkwardness of putting people in a position where they have to recommend their own fic because only three people write that pairing, and the guide creator is one of them. However, if someone creates a guide and has a strong objection to it being posted via the mod account, talk to me then and we'll see what we can work out. (And yes, the intention is for multiple people to have access to the account. How many people? I don't know yet. Feel free to comment on that here.)

For backstage work, locked community posts seem to be the preferred method. Unless people really object, I'll probably open membership to anyone who wants it, because some people have said they'd like to be able to make suggestions without taking responsibility for the construction of a full guide. It won't be open membership, though, because I don't want people joining through reflex. I'm thinking some sort of low-demand application post, so that people know what they're getting into. Does that sound good?

In terms of what the individual entries should look like, these are the things I think could go on the posts. Not every post will have all of these, of course, because some of them won't be applicable, but hopefully we can fill in at least a couple of categories for each of them.
  • A discussion of the relationship or character. Things like history or biography or just a basic description of who they are could go here.
  • A discussion of common fandom tropes and patterns for this character or relationship, possibly with links to examples
  • A list (and description, if desired) of key episodes or scenes
  • Links to any character or pairing/relationship-specific communities, thing-a-thons, etc.
  • Links to other places where fic for this relationship or character can be found (archives, rare pairing communities, delicious tags, A03, etc.) and if you can make it specific (linking to the specific tag or the master post, for example), that's even better
  • Links to other resources like rec lists, thematic lists, etc.
  • A list of key authors or creators (this should be fine for smaller pairings, but if seems too contentious--which it might be for popular characters and relationships--feel free to leave it off)
  • A list of selected works (fic, art, videos). This shouldn't be a complete list unless it's a very rare pairing; we're looking for important or representative or interesting or different works. These are the ones that everyone refers to, that serve as a touchstone for that community, or the ones that illustrate a common trope or theme, or highlight a particular author, or that you think everyone should read, or that do something different from the norm. Again, those who find this too contentious can skip it if they want to, as long as there are links to fic sources. But this is also a great opportunity to poll your flist or character or pairing/relationship community and have some fun coming up with a list. Collaboration is good here.

tl;dr Summary
  • The purpose of this project is to create a series of introductory guides focusing on gen fic (classified by character or group of characters) and pairings/OT3/OT4s. We may expand to include thematic posts later.
  • We'll link to various McShep guides, but we won't create a new guide for McShep, because that's already been done and done well.
  • The project will be located on LJ. Cross-posting to Fanlore is encouraged.
  • Posting of official entries will be done via a centralized account
  • Backstage work will take place on the community in locked posts. Membership will be open to anyone who wants to help.

Next Steps:
  • We need a community name! I'm terrible at coming up with names, so suggestions are welcome.
  • We need to decide on the minimum requirements for a character or relationship to qualify for its own page. How many fanwork creators? How many fanworks? Should there be other minimum requirements? Or should there be not be any minimum requirements?
  • Is there anything else you'd like to see included on these pages? Is there anything on that list you don't want?
  • Who should have access to the posting account? Everyone writing a guide? Everyone writing more than one guide? Everyone writing a guide who wants access? Just the administrators? Some other criteria?
  • And speaking of administrators, does anyone want to volunteer to take on a co-administrator role? (As opposed to guide-writing, although you're welcome to continue volunteering for that too.)
  • Does anyone want to volunteer to help with things like setting up the layout, appearance, community icons, etc.? (Like picking names, layouts are so not my strong suit.)
  • Does anyone want to volunteer to create a template for the entry pages?
  • Are there any other comments about any of this?
  • Is there anything I've missed?

(If you're reading this on DW, I really recommend coming over to LJ for the discussion, because that seems to be where everyone is, and it's easier to keep it in one location.)

The community has been created! Come over to sga_guide and join in the fun there!

This entry was originally posted at, where it has comment count unavailable comments. Comments are equally welcome on either entry.
Tags: alternative guide to sga, fandom: sga
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