sarken: anderson cooper in oscar the grouch's trash can ([pundits] ac for gnn)
[personal profile] sarken posting in [community profile] thirdmonday
Whether you've already signed up or are still thinking about it, we've put together a short list of information designed to help you get the most out of your Third Monday sign-up. Some of the tips are specific to Third Monday, but many of them can be applied to any gift exchange you participate in at An Archive of Our Own.

  1. Assignment matches are "and," not "or." This means a single request listing ten characters is harder to match than a single request listing three -- someone needs to have offered all of the characters in your request, not just some. If there are ten characters you definitely want in your fic, that's fine! But if you're listing a lot of characters to give your author options, your best bet is to do something more like this:
    Fandom: West Wing
    Character: Charlie Young
    Prompt: Charlie hanging out after work with someone from the senior staff. It's up to you who else to include! If Charlie's the only character you've offered, you can focus on something like coming home after having fun, working up the courage to ask someone to hang out, or realizing he's lonely.

    That way, you'll be a match for anyone who's offered Charlie -- your most-wanted character -- regardless of who else they've offered.

  2. Provide an alternative prompt. We require prompts because it can be terrifying to receive only a list of characters and instructions to write something (anything!). Of course, it can be equally terrifying to receive a prompt focused on something you're unfamiliar with -- so it's fine if you give your author multiple options! If you're asking for a Keith Olbermann/Anderson Cooper 19th Century AU in which Anderson is living the life of a Vanderbilt, that requires knowledge of not just a historical period, but also a specific family. History might not be your author's best subject, so you could add that you'd also enjoy Keith and Anderson having unresolved sexual tension at some sort of modern-day gala.

  3. Sign-ups can be edited. You can edit sign-ups until they close on December 16, so if you can only think of two requests right now, you can put placeholder fandoms, characters, and prompts in, press "Submit," and then go back to Third Monday and choose the "Your Signup" link when you're ready to edit. Likewise, you can go back and add the URL for your Dear Author letter, so there's no need to make a placeholder post.

  4. Remember: Dear Author letters are optional! That applies to reading them, not just writing them, so make sure you don't put important information like triggers solely in your letter -- your author isn't required to read it or adhere to any information in it. This is for practical reasons: requests are final once assignments have been sent out, but letters can be edited at any time, and in the event of a complaint, we can't verify whether your author wrote that 5,000-word always-a-girl AU before or after genderswap was listed as a dislike in your letter. We'll definitely know if it's in your request.

  5. Offers can contain multiple fandoms. Offer 1 should include all specific characters you're willing to write, even if they're from different fandoms. This makes matching crossover requests easier. Offer 2 should only be used for fandoms in which you are comfortable writing any character, kind of like a Yuletide bucket offer.

  6. Offering "Any" character isn't as broad as it sounds. Requests are automatically restricted to characters in the tag set, so there won't be any surprises. The characters on the tag list are the only characters you could be assigned to write if you offer "Any."

If you have any advice for fellow Third Monday participants -- regarding sign-ups, the writing process, or anything else -- feel free to share it in the comments!
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