Saturday, 1 March 2014

A way into the Castle...

Back in November I wrote Project 10x10 and submitted it to the publishers. It was the most difficult writing project I had ever undertaken because it meant a lot to me for various reasons which I'll get to in a moment.

Yesterday they revealed the top 25 entries, and more importantly, the top 5 semi-finalists. Those who move to the next round. One of those five will be the author selected for the open call. I was not in the top 25.

I've had over 12 hours to process the disappointment and believe me I was disappointed. For the first few hours after the reveal I was in a constant state of upset. A weird numbness coupled with a stomach ache. But I can talk about it now.

I've been rejected before, of course. And I move on, oh well, wasn't meant to be...

But Project 10X10 was my entry to The Dark Crystal Author Quest Open Call.

I'm sure it's all clicked into place for you now, hasn't it? Why this project was so intense?

If you know anything about me you know my fanaticism regarding The Dark Crystal. I have been writing Dark Crystal Fanfiction since 2000. I hosted the fanfiction archive, I was an active RPer in original tDC RPs on Y!Groups, I have been to the Jim Henson Exhibit twice. I have seen skekZok in person. I own Dark Crystal books, comics, novels, artbooks. I am the Dark Crystal expert in my circle. The Dark Crystal was my first and oldest fandom.

So it was difficult to write because the pressure was enormous. I was so keenly aware of not only how many other people were writing, but what this story meant. It was a chance to contribute and give back to a legacy that has given me so much joy and hope and reason to keep going.

I was over the freakin' moon to learn it was a request to write a prequel and not that weird "Oh no the crystal cracked again everyone's back gotta heal the crystal again!" sequel that just didn't seem to want to die. Apparently it had indeed died? Good.

Instead, we were asked to write about "The Gathering of the Gelfling", when the 7 clans meet up, learn of the prophecy and carve the Wall of Destiny. I could get behind that. And how!

For a brief moment I was a little concerned that participating in this conflicted with my fandom ethics. I hate it when people make money off of fanart and generally money from fanfiction is frowned upon. But the Hensons were asking the people to do it so, other than the idle worry I'd be labelled a hypocrite, I waved the worry aside.

People chided that it was a rights grab and idea mining but that didn't bother me because essentially it's fanfiction. If I wrote it I'd never be able to get money from it anyway. Besides, the Jim Henson Company is the one entity that I will say "Shut up and take my ideas!"

Likely my ideas were too dark. Dark like a garthim's carapace.

So, that was Project 10X10. It was one heck of a ride. I want to thank my proof-readers: Monday, Raphael and Marissa, Dopp, Ruari, Ali and Kippur for all your help! Thank you all so much!

I have posted my submission on my blog and you can read it here. Enjoy my take on the world of Thra.

ETA: For ease of use, here's a PDF version.

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