The Circle of Friends Remix was directly inspired by Remix Redux, and to a large extent follows the same format. The main difference is that it is deliberately limited, operating within a small group of ficcers who ‘know’ each other, and it operates on a round-robin basis. (As an example, in Round 1, aadler remixed lwbush, who remixed sroni, who remixed eilandesq, who closed the circle by remixing aadler.)
The primary focus is on Buffy the Vampire Slayer / Angel: the Series, so anyone who signs up should be qualified and prepared to write in that fandom. Once having entered and been assigned, participants aren’t limited, but most of the remix material available WILL be Buffy-oriented.
We hope to have at least four participants in each round, and hopefully no more than ten or twelve, just to keep it manageable. This isn’t designed to replace Remix Redux, but to offer an additional opportunity for those who enjoy the remix experience.
NOTE: the following rules/FAQs are adapted from those of remix_redux, customized to fit Circle of Friends.
What is a remix? – In fanfic terms, it’s a matter of taking someone else’s story — in this case, with his/her permission — and writing it the way you would if the original idea had been yours. A ‘good’ remix preserves the basic elements of the original, but provides a different approach, perspective, interpretation, what have you. Ideally, a remix is a form of tribute to the original author.
How much can you change in a remix? – The safest course is to change no more than is necessary to make ‘your’ idea work. The most basic change (and one of the most frequent) is to use a different POV, telling the same story from another character’s perspective. Other approaches are to show what happened before or after the original, or in some cases parallel to the events therein. (The Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode “the Zeppo” would be a wonderful example of this: assuming that the big, threatened Hellmouth-opening apocalypse was the main story, Xander’s misadventures on the sidelines and in the background would be concurrent to that narrative. Of course, in the TV episode the ‘main’ story was the background.) A story can be made longer, shorter, recharacterized from comedy to tragedy to schmoop, go off in different directions, the variety of possible choices is near-endless. Traditionally, however, three areas have been off-limits to change: the basic plotline, pairing(s), and setting(s).
Why are those three proscribed? – Basic plotline: The point of a remix is to write the story as you would have done it. If you change too much of the plot, you’re writing an entirely different story, rather than exploring a different slant or presentation on the same essential story. Much of this can come down to a judgment call, but that’s the general principle a remix author should be trying to follow. – Pairing(s): This rule, I suspect, was originally instituted to prevent remix authors from changing slash pairings to het or vice-versa; some people get really passionate about such things, and it’s easier to forbid it than to fight about it. (Also, since the intent is to reinterpret an already-told story, rather than substantially alter the story, changes of pairings skew too much away from the original.) It is permissible, however, to move a pairing to the background, or simply ignore it while focusing on other story elements. – Settings: This one may have been put into place to head off the retelling of a story as an AU … or, in the Buffyverse, the once-popular (and, to my mind, utterly pointless) proliferation of “all-human AUs”. Once again: a remix is to be a different version of the same essential story. Changing the setting takes it too far.
Why is this remix designated as non-slash? – Why not? There are plenty of sites and events that allow slash; there are plenty, even, that specifically focus on slash. This event focuses instead on het, gen, and other (mainly non-sexual) sub-genres. Gen is preferred, but that’s a preference rather than a dictate.
Are all of an assigned author’s stories eligible for remix? Most, but not all. The exceptions are: – Remixes by that author. The intent of a remix is to reinterpret an original story; a remix of a remix just doesn’t match that intent. – That author’s chosen “safe” story/stories. The safe story, or stories, are selected by the author as not available for remix. The reasons can vary, but the rule must be respected. Currently, Circle of Friends allows participating authors to designate as many as three safe stories. That may change in the future. – Works in progress. Only complete stories are eligible. Future rounds may allow the entering authors to list any long-term WIPs that can be counted as eligible, but not yet.
There are also two lesser limitations. A remixer may remix the following types of stories, but is advised against it: – Collaborations. If a story has been done by two authors in partnership, both must give permission before it can be remixed. This can be done (and has been), but getting permission can take extra time, increasing the risk of falling short of the deadline. – Stories that have already been remixed. Who wants to see the same story remixed over and over? Which author wants to see all his/her other stories ignored in favor of one that’s been done before? If the only story that inspires you is one that has already been remixed, then you MUST read the remix that’s been done, and then make sure your own remix of the original story doesn’t echo the first remix. Better, all in all, to just choose a different story to begin with.
Is the remix limited to Buffyverse fics? – No. BtVS is preferred (simply because the remix originators like it that way), and any entrant should have enough Buffy stories to provide other participants a decent field for remixing. Once an entrant has been assigned an author, however, it’s fair game to remix any eligible stories by that author regardless of fandom.
How many Buffyverse stories are needed to qualify an author to enter a round of Circle of Friends? – Qualification comes from having four eligible stories of at least 1,000 words, eight stories of at least 500 words, or ten drabbles, all in BtVS/A:tS, available for remixing.
Do all the remix-eligible stories have to be on a single website? – It really helps; two sites should be the absolute maximum. If the stories are on a journal site (LiveJournal, Dreamwidth, InsaneJournal, etc.), it’s much better to have a single page that lists all the stories, with links to them, than to force a remixer to track stories down by tags. (Check the fic listings by aadler [here] and sroni [here] for examples.) If you don’t have such a listing, it would be helpful if you could create one.
Is there a minimum/maximum length for a remix story? – The minimum is 1,000 words. (In other remixes, some authors have met their minimum by writing a series of ten drabbles. If linked drabbles combine to produce a story, that’s perfectly valid.) There is no maximum, as long as it doesn’t run so long as to prevent meeting the deadline.
What is the deadline? – For Round 7, sign-ups last through July 31st. The deadline for posting the remix will be August 31st. Once all stories have been completed, and links posted at cof_remix, the archive will be opened.
How does someone join cof_remix? – The easiest way is to click here; that will send your request to join. Once an admin (aadler or sroni), approves you, you’re in.
How does someone enter a round of the remix? – Click here, and provide the sign-up information. Info to be included:
Name: LiveJournal or Dreamwidth home page (name & URL): Story site (name & URL): Primary fandom: Preferred fandom (to write): Safe story/stories (no more than three): Stories that have already been remixed (and the ficcer who did the remix): Stories that ARE remixes (and the original story/original author)*: Stories you’d like to see remixed (no more than three)**: *If you have some already-existing list of your remixes, you can post a link to that. **The assigned remixer will not be required to follow your request(s), but will be encouraged to consider them.
An example of a proper sign-up (just an example, not all relevant info has been included here):