Chaos Rules

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  • Each chapter is to be finished within a 7-day period from the posting of the previous chapter. Chapters may be finished sooner, but may only be posted on the scheduled date to prevent confusion, etc. If you cannot complete your chapter by your assigned deadline, please give as much advanced notice as possible so that the next person in line can pick up the slack. If no notice is provided, you will be skipped over and an embarrassing “Please stay tuned” message will be posted until the next chapter is available. If it happens a second time, you will be removed from the Chaos’ rotation for the rest of the story arc. You will be eligible to apply to the next Chaos (if you promise not to make a habit of it!).
  • Each chapter must be no less than 2,500 words and no more than 5,000 words long. No need to hog the stage, your turn will come again! It may also seem like this is a high word count to ask, but remember that you will have more than just seven days to write your chapter; you can start writing during other authors’ turns, and make adjustments as needed based on what they write.
  • Dance with the one that brought you. Remember your genre requirements and restrictions. If the story is set up as a steampunk pirate romance, please try not to introduce Marauder Knights from Xenathia Prime if you can help it. They might not get on well. “But what about Cowboys and Aliens?” you may ask. You may ask…
  • Stay appropriately tensed. Generally speaking, whatever “tense” the story starts in, that’s the way it should finish. If Chapter 1 is third-person, don’t write Chapter 2 in first-person. That’s messy and will confuse people, not least of all the person to follow you in the rotation.
  • You will have access to the world built in the chapters that have come before. The beauty of this system is that you don’t have to do all of the heavy lifting on your own! Use what’s come before as a history for where the characters have been, and use it to predict where you’ll send them. The caveat: you must stay true to the developmental arc of the character. If Jim says he has a fatal allergy to shellfish in Chapter 5, please don’t take him to knowingly eat at a shrimp shack in Chapter 17… unless you and your team have invented a cure or really wish to kill Jim in the face. If Shannon has been resisting Bob’s advances for ten chapters but you’ve decided tonight’s the night, find a damned good reason why.
  • You can introduce new information in your own chapter at will. However, please bear in mind that introduction of primary characters is a tricky business at the best of times… please try not to introduce the Best Sidekick Ever ™ 15 chapters into an existing Chaos. All primary characters and important secondary characters should be introduced in the first half of the story. Also, be careful how many new characters you introduce. Don’t overload the reader, or your fellow authors, with names to juggle.
  • Write well with others. Don’t be a douche; if someone’s obviously put a lot of hard work into character building, please don’t come along and throw a Mack truck into that character’s face unless you have a really good reason for doing so within the context of the world created. Also, please try not to Mary Sue. That’s just annoying.
  • No spoilers, sweetie! You’ve probably got all sorts of new ideas floating to the top since you wrote your last chapter, ideas that cannot be contained! People must know of these ideas! You feel the urge to run to the comments section and let everyone know that, if they’d just stay tuned till it’s your turn again, they’ll see all sorts of wonder, and magic… No. Curb the impulse, sit on your hands, wait your turn again. Part of the fun is seeing how the story unfolds! No one, not even the authors themselves, knows how the story will go from start to finish. Don’t take that away from anyone.
  • Be strong enough to ask for help. If you’re blocked and/or floundering, contact one of your roundmates or the moderator. Do not suffer in silence, or force us to do the same… collaborate. This goes double for spelling, grammar, characterization, historical accuracy, and craft technique. When in doubt, ask.
  • Frisky business and risky subjects. We’re all adults here, or at least we should be. If you feel the story has come to a natural place for the characters to <insert euphemism here>, fine. But be tasteful about it, and don’t just look for any ol’ excuse. We’re not peddling free erotica here. Get your fellow writers’ okay before you send your characters flying past third base, because it’s only polite. And for FSM‘s sake, don’t drown us in purple prose. (If you don’t know what purple prose is, you probably shouldn’t be messing with the story rating in the first place.) Likewise, even if you’re not of a mind to make your characters that amorous, be open-minded to the possibility that your fellow writers may feel differently.
  • Banned topics. As far as questionable subject matter, there are certain things that we will not allow: graphic depiction of underage sexual activity, graphic depictions of/promotion of bestiality, and blatant bigotry outside of the bounds of what’s necessary for characterization. There’s a difference between art and widespread harassment. If needed, a moderator will step in to guide you on appropriateness. We are accepting adults, but we want to foster a positive experience here, and so certain limits must be maintained for the benefit of all.
  • Comments from the peanut gallery are encouraged. Feedback soothes the savage writing beast. Eventually, with enough audience feedback, we’ll start incorporating audience participation. Comments will be curated for suggestions, the best of which will be put into a weekly poll for everyone to vote on. The winning suggestions will be given to the next author in the rotation to somehow work into his/her chapter, as an added fuck you challenge.

Rules may be edited/revised/added as the needs arise. Check back here often for updates, refreshers, or just because you like the font.

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  1. ryansmodernlife says:

    It is a rather delightful font.

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