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galfridian ([personal profile] galfridian) wrote in [community profile] crossovering2017-06-15 02:49 pm
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Crossovering 2017 — Brainstorming & Feedback

Before we set an official schedule for this year's exchange, we wanted to get your feedback on a few subjects.

First, there's been some discussion in the past about changing how we do matching. Previously, we've simply set each request/offer up as bucket requests/offers, and participants have matched on 2+ fandoms. However, we know there's some interest in other approaches.

... unfortunately, AO3's code somewhat limits our options, so these are the options we're considering:
  • Nominations, signups, and matching remain as they've been — except that we will approve all fandoms, rather than impose a 2+ nomination requirement.

  • Participants nominate, request, and offer pairs of fandoms. For example, you might nominate: Wonder Woman (2017) & Xena: Warrior Princess. (We do not yet know what this would mean for the signup form.)

  • For each request or offer, participants would be required to choose 2+ fandoms and 2+ characters. However, this does complicate the matching process, and we might hit a wall with matching. If that happened, we would have to match based ONLY on the 2+ fandoms in each request/offer.

  • Participants nominate, request, and offer crossover relationships. Gen relationships (&) and romantic relationships (/) would both be accepted. For example, you might nominate: Diana Prince (Wonder Woman 2017)/Xena (Xena: Warrior Princess). All relationships would be nominated under Crossover Relationships.

Next, we'd like to talk about Crossovers and Fusions. For the purpose of this exchange, we've defined crossovers and fusions as such:
A crossover is when the characters/worlds of both fandoms interact. For example, Joan Watson and Sherlock Holmes solve a case with Kate Beckett and Richard Castle

A fusion is when the characters of one fandom are placed into the world of another fandom. For example, Joan Watson and Sherlock Holmes are co-pilots in the world of Pacific Rim, but the characters from Pacific Rim do not need to appear in the fic.
For the last two years, we've included these as additional tags but have not required them. (We also have not matched on them.) We only want to continue to include these if participants find them useful. We also know that some participants like the idea of requiring them — specifically, so that participants prone to leaving their Optional Details blank at least leave some useful info behind. We'd like to know your thoughts on these things.

Last, we've seen multiple request to include art. We've been hesitant to do so in the past, because it can be more difficult to maintain standards for art. However, we're willing to give it a try if a significant number of you would like to see that as an option.

So there's a poll behind the cut! Results are visible to everyone — for transparency's sake — but they're also anonymous. Anonymous commenting is also enabled, for those who can't vote in the poll and/or want to leave additional input.

Poll #18490 Crossovering 2017
This poll is closed.
This poll is anonymous.
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 27

What's your matching preference?

View Answers

How it is now! (Requests/offers are bucket lists.)
13 (48.1%)

Fandom/Fandom. (Fandom A/Fandom B.)
8 (29.6%)

Fandom + Characters. (More complicated matching.)
4 (14.8%)

Relationships only, no fandoms. (& and /
2 (7.4%)

What's your opinion on the Fusion or Crossover detail?

View Answers

Keep it and leave it optional.
9 (34.6%)

Keep it and make it required.
17 (65.4%)

Would you like to see art included?

View Answers

Yes.
17 (65.4%)

No.
5 (19.2%)

Yes, but with qualifiers.
4 (15.4%)

If you chose option #3 for question #3, what qualifiers?

Anything else?



Edit: Oops! I forgot to include the option to remove the Crossover/Fusion element from the signups in the poll. If you'd prefer that, you can say so in question #4 or in the comments! Sorry about that!

graycardinal: Alexis Castle, thoughtful (Alexis (thoughtful))

[personal profile] graycardinal 2017-06-16 05:27 am (UTC)(link)
I am very much in agreement with this, and I'd like to take a moment to explain why.

Most of the multi-fandom exchanges in which I've taken part are deliberately constructed around the idea of story-as-gift -- the writer is strongly encouraged to create a story that will not merely meet a general standard, but one that will specifically address the recipient's wishes and desires. (Before anyone does a scream-and-leap, let me emphasize that this is NOT, repeat NOT, a criticism. Gift-oriented exchanges are absolutely a Good Thing, and I wouldn't be a long-term Yuletide veteran if I was at all uncomfortable with that structure.)

Crossovering, it seems to me, is a different animal. It is, far more than any other multi-fandom exchange I've been involved with, a challenge. [Indeed, I think its closest cousin in the immediate fic-producing universe is "A Ficathon Goes Into A Bar", which is explicitly a challenge rather than an exchange.] It's an exercise in flexing my writing muscles, doing something I typically haven't done before, thinking about particular fandoms in ways I haven't previously considered, and doing justice to two different source canons in the process.

I think that's both inevitable and appropriate. It's generally understood that writing crossovers at all -- let alone writing them well -- is more difficult than writing most other kinds of fic, which is why most multi-fandom gift exchanges count them as Extremely Optional at best. By extension, writing the particular crossover that a given recipient/requester most wants to read, in the particular pair/cluster of fic-universes under consideration, is likely to be even more difficult (and finding someone both willing and able to write That Particular Story -- and write it well -- is likely to be trickier still).

Which is why I like the bucket-list matching system as it currently functions. I like the element of surprise in receiving an assignment and looking through the possible fandom-pairs in my recipient's lists (there are usually several I'm potentially capable of writing). I like the flexibility of having multiple possible fandom-pairs in the matched bucket lists. And I like the specific challenge of finding interesting connections between the fandoms I ultimately pick from a recipient's bucket lists.

On the opposite side of the coin: as a requester of crossovers, I am almost never motivated to request fandoms with specific character relationships in mind. Thus if I request Stargate SG-1 and the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it isn't because I want to see Vala/Loki fic (although I would read the heck out of a Vala/Loki fic if someone wrote one); it's because I want to see how someone not-me might put those two canons together...which might or might not involve throwing Vala and Loki into contact with one another. Maybe my writer will put General Hammond and the Black Widow together instead -- and that would be totally cool with me.

Thus: if matching went to pre-set Fandom/Fandom pairs, I might still play, but the thrill of the thing would likely be much diminished for me. If it went to Characters (Fandom)/Characters (Fandom), or to specific Person (Canon A) - Person (Canon B) matching, I would almost certainly not play, because that framework runs strongly counter to my writing process. (If Not Prime Time sticks with relationship matching next year, I may permanently -- if regretfully -- drop that one from my rotation.) I emphasize here that I don't think there's anything inherently wrong with relationship-based matching; it's just that I don't think I'm compatible with it.
morbane: pohutukawa blossom and leaves (Default)

[personal profile] morbane 2017-06-16 05:42 am (UTC)(link)
I have similar feelings about the weighting towards challenge vs. gift-tailoring in the matching, and agree that both are perfectly good things to want - just that some participants will prefer one over the other.


Here's a possible compromise: single fandoms are still nominated (maybe without the "seconding" requirement), and then participants are allowed to put a minimum of two fandoms in each request and offer - but can still put more.

This would allow you and me to put several different fandoms in one offer, or one request, and enjoy the adventure of not knowing what combination we'll be assigned or receive - but allow people who want a crossover between A & B, and between B & C, but NOT between A & C, to request/offer them confidently.


I also would prefer fandoms to be nominated one by one, rather than "Fandom 1 & 2" being a single tag, because that makes it far more likely I can combine my nominations and someone else's nominations in a fun way. I'm too lazy to do the math right now, but I suspect I requested over 40 possible combinations in the last Crossovering. It would not have been possible to nominate them all except with multiple accounts or very strategic teamwork, and surely approving all those 40 combinations would be work for the mods.


(I feel the same way as you do about characters, but I don't know how to suggest a compromise there. I know that getting specific relationships or team-ups can be really important to other people; I guess we'll just see what works out in terms of votes and in terms of matching complexity.)
Edited (grammar) 2017-06-16 05:47 (UTC)
morbane: pohutukawa blossom and leaves (Default)

[personal profile] morbane 2017-06-16 08:56 am (UTC)(link)
(Whoops - I requested ~20 combinations, but offered ~40.)

(Anonymous) 2017-06-16 02:33 pm (UTC)(link)
Here's a possible compromise: single fandoms are still nominated (maybe without the "seconding" requirement), and then participants are allowed to put a minimum of two fandoms in each request and offer - but can still put more.

As someone who's mostly interested in specific fandom pairs being combined, this sounds a good, workable compromise to me. It allows those who enjoy the bucket offer system to combine three or more fandoms and keep the surprise and the mystery and the challenge, while also allowing those of us who'd love to see fandoms A/B or A/C but not B/C to avoid getting a gift that would disappoint us (or having to write something we absolutely don't want to write).