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Rules for Challenges

Site Rules

What can be posted

1.

This site is primarily for crossover fan fiction pertaining to Buffy The Vampire Slayer and/or Angel. We also archive poetry, fan art and some non-crossover fan-fiction stories, subject to the rules below. Although in these rules we use the word 'story', all rules apply equally to these other types of content, unless otherwise stated. We do not allow essays, story outlines, or original (not fan-based) works to be posted.

2.

You may use a real person as a character in a story only if using that specific person is required to portray a scene realistically. Valid examples include meeting historic figures during 'time travel' stories, characters appearing on TV shows and interacting with the real-life presenters, and real politicians in positions of power. However:

a) Real people should be portrayed realistically and respectfully. Expressing their opinions should be avoided, especially on controversial subjects. For example, Joan of Arc hacking her way through an invading army would be acceptable; Victoria Beckham doing the same would not.

b) Celebrities and historic figures should only be employed as characters in the role for which they are famous. Those not in the public eye (especially other site members) may only appear with their consent.

c) Absolutely no sexual/romantic situations involving real people, even if they are established in the canon of the universe you are writing in. Fictional characters may express an attraction to real people, but not vice versa.

d) Anything deemed remotely disrespectful / libellous will be removed. More latitude will be granted in situations where real people have portrayed 'spoof' versions of themselves in the universe in which you are writing.

e) Stories where BtVS characters appear in a reality/documentary TV show will be treated as non-crossover stories, not a crossover with the show in question. They should go in the BtVS/AtS Non-crossover section of the site.

f) Moderators have discretion to remove any story involving real people that they find inappropriate.

3.

We will not archive stories that crossover with the following, or crossover with authorized derivative works based on the following:

  • The works of Anne Bishop (she does not permit fan fiction)
  • The works of Anne Rice (she does not permit fan fiction)
  • The works of Anne McCaffrey (our site is not compatible with her terms)
  • The works of Diana Gabaldon (she does not permit fan fiction)
  • The works of George R.R. Martin (he does not permit fan fiction)
4.

All stories posted to the site must be at least 100 words per chapter. This does not include the word count of the disclaimer, author's notes or quoted material. This restriction does not apply to fanart.

Any item posted to the site with quoted material, such as song lyrics, poetry or dialogue must contain at least 75% story; don't just write a couple lines and then slap an entire song in the middle to make it last longer. We understand that song lyrics/poetry etc. can enhance the "mood" of a story, but the quoted material should not be the story itself. Include the title and author/owner of any material in the disclaimer of your story.

5.

Users are not permitted to open multiple accounts. All stories and reviews must be posted under the same pen name.

6.

Sexual explicit stories including BDSM, multiple partners, slash, kink, etc. are usually accepted. However, at the moderators' discretion, very extreme cases may be removed. You must label such stories accordingly with appropriate warnings posted in the summary and the author's notes of the first chapter. You should also tick any relevant classification checkboxes when posting your story.

Sexually explicit images are not permitted.

7.

You may only post a story once. If it fits in more than one category, you can add secondary categories; see the FAQ for guidance on how to use this feature. If you are posting in a category that contains works from more than one fandom, you must state what you are crossing over with, as in the future, moderators may need to spilt the category into sub-categories . If you do not want to spoil a surprise, you can post this information at the bottom of the story.

8.

In order to maintain the theme of the site, at least half of what you post must be crossover stories. If you wish to post an item that is not a crossover between BtVS/Angel and another genre you must adhere to the following rules:

  • You must have posted at least one crossover story (and we mean story here, not fan art); this applies to all members including donors. For new authors, this means the first story you post cannot be a non-crossover.
  • Unless you are a donor, at least 50% of your stories must be crossovers and at least 50% of your total words must be in crossover stories. Your current ratios are displayed in pie charts on your profile page. If either ratio is below 50%, recently posted non-crossover stories may be quarantined. We waive the ratio restrictions for site donors.
  • On this site, we consider a story that only crosses BtVS with Angel to be a non-crossover. We also consider a story that only crosses other fandoms (e.g. Harry Potter with Stargate) a non-crossover.
  • You must tick the non-crossover checkbox in the classification section when posting the story if it is not a crossover by the above definition.

NOTE: This rule is only enforced when starting a new story. We do not prevent you from adding chapters to an existing story if one of your ratios are below 50%; however, no new non-crossover stories can be started unless both ratios are 50% or more. (Unless of course you are a site donor).

Ownership Issues

9.

We do not tolerate plagiarism. We consider plagiarism to be copying, in totality or in part, any other author's story without clear attribution. In the case of including lines of canon dialogue, you should mention this in your disclaimer. If you're posting someone else's story, you must have the author's express permission to do so - i.e. they must be aware that you are posting it here. In such circumstances, you should:

  • Create a new author account for each author on behalf of whom you are posting. Do not post different stories from mulitple authors from the same account.
  • Unless the author does not want you to do so, you should enter the author's email address when creating the account so that they receive any messages from the site, and may use the forgotten password feature to take over the account themselves at a later date if they so desire.
  • You must add a note to the story that you are posting it on behalf of the author. You should link your name in this note to your author profile (see the FAQ for how to add links).
  • If you have used your email address when setting up the account, you must make it clear in this note that email will be sent to you, and not to the author.
  • Verify that the story meets all site rules before posting it - the author receiving quarantine notification messages for story they have not posted will not make them particularly happy with you.
10.

All stories must be posted with a complete disclaimer that states you claim no rights to copyrighted material. This is not negotiable. Stories found in violation of this rule will be quarantined. Your disclaimer should list all fandoms that appear in your story, and also attribute any material such as poems, song lyrics or canon dialogue that is quoted. The disclaimer should normally be at the start of the first chapter, but can be placed at the end of a completed story if you want to avoid spoiling a surprise crossover. If is important that all fandoms are listed so that we know how to categorize your story if we refine the site categories in the future, or if we need to remove stories using a particular fandom for legal reasons.

11.

Any stories you post here will remain your intellectual property, and you retain copyright. However, by posting material you grant us permission to distribute it over the Internet, and to syndicate the title, summary and other details of your story. We do not intentionally syndicate the full story text to any other sites except search engines, but cannot be held responsible if other sites duplicate it.

12.

You must set a valid email address in your profile before posting stories to the site, so that we may contact you in the event of any issues.

Labelling and Formatting

13.

All stories must be posted with a title and summary that is spelled correctly and uses correct grammar. The title should be an actual title ("Untitled", "No Title Yet", "Undecided", etc. are not titles). The summary should be a trailer for the content of your story. "Pls read my fic" or a running commentary on how many chapters you have posted are not summaries.

14.

All stories must be rated correctly. Please give all stories a rating of at least FR13 unless it is uber-vanilla. BtVS/AtS were considered Pg13 shows, after all.

Ratings System:

  • FR7 - Suitable for your seven year old cousin. No nightmare inducing material of a sexual or violent nature. No naughty language. As fluffy a fluffy bunny as you can get.
  • FR13 - Behold the wonders of dirty words. But only saying them. Not doing them.
  • FR15 - The sexual exploration begins! But nothing explicit, and the violence is kept to Super Mario levels.
  • FR18 - Violence ho! But nothing extreme. Be reasonable. If it'd give an 18 yr old nightmares, move it on up a level. Nookie, but not porn.
  • FR21 - No holds barred, Skinamax experience. Should that be no clothes barred? Or maybe just a round of particularly descriptive violence. Regardless, not for the faint of heart. Place stories with explicit warning labels here. Those under the age of 18 may not read or post stories of this rating.

**Thanks to Houses for the ratings definitions.

NOTE: We allow individual ratings for chapters for situations such as when multiple FFA responses are posted as chapters of a single story, or a long story contains the odd raunchy chapter that the reader can skip over without spoiling important plot points. However, the story rating should reflect the typical rating of its chapters.

15.

You should use the story classification tick boxes when posting a story to categorise it appropriately. Stories containing violence or sexual content must be classified as such. However, you should still place any appropriate warnings in the summary text. Please note that the Slash and Femslash classifications are for stories with explicit sexual content; they should not be used for stories that contain gay and lesbian couples in non-sexual situations.

16.

Do not post excessively long author's notes. Obviously, the longer the story, the more you have to note upon, so we don't set an absolute word limit. However, notes should remain relevant and of interest to the general readership. Whilst a quick thank you to reviewers or a request for feedback is ok, do not post long notes responding to reviews individually - that is what the review comment button is for. Do not post notes along the lines of "review or I won't write any more". Also, bear in mind many of your readers will read the whole story in one go long after you have posted it, and it is annoying to have to reread the same notes over and over in every chapter.

If you want to add very long notes / cast lists / background information about your story, you can add the story to a series, and then use the series introduction to hold this information. The series introduction supports all the formatting that is allowed in story chapters. A link to the series page is automatically added for any series with more than one story. If your series only has one story, you can manually add a link to the series page to your notes in the first chapter.

If you want to update readers on the status of your story, do not add a note to a story as new chapter, just add it to the end of the last chapter you posted. The reason for this is we don't want email notifications going out to people tracking a story, or stories being bumped onto the latest page, just because the author is adding a note. There are a few exceptional circumstances where this is allowed, but check with a moderator first.

17.

All stories should be in the English language, and be proof read, ideally by a beta reader. They should adhere to a reasonable level of spelling and grammar. Typically, stories that require attention will be quarantined; however, moderators may, at their discretion, remove them.

Common errors that usually lead to quarantine include:

  • Failing to spell check your story, or repeatedly spelling character names and/or place names incorrectly.
  • Poor formatting of paragraphs, such as failing to leave a blank line between paragraphs, double-spacing all lines of the text, or not using paragraphs at all.
  • Poor formatting of dialogue: when a new character speaks, start a new paragraph.
  • Extreme cases of poor punctuation or capitalisation that make the story hard to read.
  • Stories should be formatted as stories, and not be laid out as scripts with stage directions in place of prose and dialog tags.

See our Resources for Authors section for links to sites offering advice on grammar and punctuation to authors.

General

18.

While we recognize that not everyone will like every story written on this site, please conduct yourself with some degree of decorum if you choose to review a story that you do not like. While constructive criticism is welcome and even encouraged, ad hominem attacks and other unconstructive negativity are not permitted.

19.

Stories found to be in violation of these rules may either be placed in quarantine until corrections are made, or removed at the discretion of the moderators. Moderators may also quarantine other stories that, in their judgment, are unsuitable or inappropriate for the site, even if they do not breach any of the above rules. In such cases, a discussion will be held amongst the moderating team to decide whether to allow the story, and if felt necessary these rules will be revised. If you find a story from another author that does not adhere to these rules, please use the 'Report to Moderator' link at the top of that story.

20.

If you have set a valid email address in your profile, we will notify you when placing your story in quarantine or removing it. If your email address is incorrect, your stories may disappear without warning. You can still access stories in quarantine from your profile, and can request that the quarantine is removed using the link at the top of the story. Stories that remain in quarantine for more than one month may be removed without further warning.

21.

These rules are subject to revision at any time without notice. Last revised: 13th October 2014

See the Contact Us page for details of the current staff.

Style Guide

The following comments are taken from a past discussion on our forums where readers listed things that annoyed them most when reading stories. Note: These are only opinions - they aren't site rules; your story won't be removed just because it doesn't follow these suggestions. Some quotes have been edited/split/merged for consistent style and presentation.

"Author's notes. Not the ones in the header or footer of the story, but those in the middle of the text. Usually they'll look something like this: (A/N. Yeah I know this couldn't really happen, but it's really cool). Those just set my teeth on edge. If you want to explain something do it in the storyline. If you want to comment on something you wrote, put it at the end of the chapter."

"Character bashing, especially for the purpose of validating another character drives me insane. If you don't like a character, leave them out of the story instead of assassinating them for your purposes."

"'Burly Detective' Syndrome. This is the inability of some writers to refer to characters by their names, or with simple pronouns. Instead they use brief descriptive phrases, usually the same phrase, over and over. e.g. 'The dark haired Slayer' instead of 'Faith' and so on."

"Can't stand stories where something didn't happen, but everything that resulted from it still happens. For instance: Tara didn't die, but Willow's still got all powerful and in touch with the dark side of the force."

"If making someone a relative is the only way you can think to crossover two fandoms... you're not trying hard enough."

"Over/incorrect use of nicknames. Xander doesn't reuse the nicknames that he bestows on people. He uses them once, and only once. He called Giles 'G-Man' once, he called Angel 'Deadboy' once, he called Buffy 'The Buffinator' once and he called Dawn 'Dawnmeister' once. Faith only calls Buffy by her initial - she doesn't call Xander 'X', Dawn 'D' etc. Daniel Jackson was called Space Monkey once. Xander is not persistently a 'shaped friend'."

"Stories where you won't recognise the characters if you remove the names. I've seen too many stories where the writer takes the names, slaps them on totally different characters, and tries to pass the result off as fan fiction."

"British characters speaking in American idiom, or vice versa. Willow in New York will use the term elevator. Hermione in London will use lift."

"Prophecies: Treat them like they did in the show - i.e. Have your characters talk about them, rather than spell out the text of the prophecy word-by-word, and then immediately have your characters accurately interpret every single line and discover - shock horror - that it gives a complete list of each character you've introduced and specifies their exact role in defeating the big-bad."

You can also find helpful writing tips on our Resources Page.