WORDMONGERS’ MASQUE

Do you like writing fiction? Have you always wanted to write some, but worry about how it might be received on Everything2? Do you have some ideas for stories or scenes, but aren’t quite sure how to wrap them up? Or do you already write fiction of a certain kind, but daydream about changing your voice and trying a new look – and dread the consequences to your carefully cultivated E2 reputation?

Thought so. I’ve got just the thing for that.

Step this way, good sir – er, madam? No matter. I want you to try on this mask. Ah, it fits you perfectly. And what a disguise! Why, your own mother wouldn’t know you in that. What freedom! You could commit whatever literary crimes you wished in such a guise, and no one would ever know. Oh, such thoughts.

And now that you are incognito, you’re ready. For what? Forsooth, such a question! Surely you’ve heard of the Wordmongers’ Masque, that begins this very night? The mayhem! The revelry! The legendary spectacle! No?

Oh.

Okay, well it works like this:

STEP ONE (R.S.V.P.): you devise an alias, and send me (DejaMorgana) a message telling me what your username will be. Aliases don’t have to follow any specific theme, but they must be new accounts. Sorry, but you can’t come as wharfinger or JohnnyGoodyear. I repeat: you must tell me who you are going to be before you create the account. (If you just want to play around with multiple identities, be my guest, but you won't be eligible for any of the spectacular prizes that way.)

STEP TWO (INTRODUCTIONS): after you’ve notified me, you create your alias account using that cool “Create New User” button. Embellish your alias as much or as little as you like.

STEP THREE (THE DANCE): under your new alias, you submit whatever stories you like, in whatever style or genre you like, as many times as you like for the next three weeks. There’s only one rule – all stories must be written in first person and submitted as daylogs. Include your story's title (if it has one) in the body of your writeup. Other than that, the world’s your dance floor. Write smut, irrealism, hard SF, parodies, children’s stories, spy stories, flash, novellas, what have you. Okay, one more rule: no fanfic. I don’t want to hear from J.K. Rowling’s lawyers over this.

Send me a message with a link to the daylog when you submit, so I know what's what and can list it in the Masque writeup.

STEP FOUR (THE GAMES): half the fun of any masque is trying to guess who’s who under the cleverest costumes. If you think you know who wrote a certain story, send me a message. Any user (I mean regular users, not aliases) can play this part – you don’t have to have submitted a story. But you only get one guess per story, and I won't tell you if you're right or wrong. You'll have to wait for the grand unmasking.

Meanwhile, please vote. Vote early, vote often, or whatever they say. If you like something, ching it. If you have feedback on a story, send it out. Participants are encouraged to check their aliases' messages.

STEP FIVE (THE UNMASKING): when the E2 server clock rolls over to September 15th, the Masque will end. "Final" scores of all w/us will be calculated as close as I can get it to the beginning of September 17, server time (this is Saturday evening for the Merkins). Hopefully sometime that day, I will unveil the “real” identities of all participants in the Wordmongers Ummasked node.

(Note that if you don’t want everyone to know who you are under the pseudonym, just say so when you register, and only you and I and the god in charge of blessings will ever know of your heinous crimes. I do hope there will not be many requests of this sort.)



AND AT LAST, BOOTY!!

First of all, there will be blessings. Shortly after the Unmasking, I will get one of our gods to dispense blessings to your primary accounts. Blessings will equal (total rep of your stories + 3 XP for each ching + 20 XP just because).

In addition, there will be prizes. I like making shit from hooks and thread, so I will make prizes in the form of filet bookmarks. These are the prizes that will be awarded:

  • The Nemo (Best Costume, Unidentified) - the grand prize goes to the author of the story (or stories) with the highest total rep whose identity was never guessed by anybody.
  • The Keyser (Best Costume, Identified) - an only slightly less grand prize for the author who attained the highest rep, but got busted.
  • The Number Six - for the single story with the highest rep.
  • The Agatha - a prize for the sleuthy noder who correctly guesses the most pseudonyms.
  • The Spirit - Finally, a prize to whatever story I think best embodies the spirit of the Masque, based on completely subjective criteria which I’m not sure even I understand. Go for originality, is probably your best bet.



THE SPIRIT OF THE MASQUE? YEA, VERILY!

This isn’t homework, it’s a Masque. It’s meant to be fun, so we’re emphasizing play, not craftwork. For once, not every submission has to be a complete story with a clear beginning, middle and end. Flash, vignettes and other formats will be happily accepted. But it must be fiction of a sort. Don’t just write about your own life and change the names, and don’t be sending me poems or political screeds (unless they’re fictional screeds, which worked pretty well for at least one literary Brobdingnagian).

Please don’t go using another existing alias to ching and upvote your own writeups. I probably can’t stop you, but it’s very bad for your karma.

Please, PLEASE do not send every “suspicious” new user a dozen messages guessing hir identity. Harassment is no fun, and I aim to encourage people’s artistic freedom through anonymity.

Finally, I can bet that some of you may wish to have your entries reparented to your primary accounts after the Masque. It is possible to do this, but I'm discouraging it for two reasons: it's a hassle for the gods, and it sort of messes up the Masque for any readers that may discover it in the future, in the same way that it's not much fun to watch The Usual Suspects after your doltish best friend tells you how it ends. So I'll compromise with this mini-contract: by entering the Masque, you agree to leave your stories on your alias account for at least three months - that's until December 14, 2006. If you want them reparented after that, send me a message. Sound fair?

Excellent. Then shall we dance?




It's Alive!

The Masque is now closed to submissions. DejaMorgana gratefully slumps back in his chair, closes his eyes, falls asleep, and is stabbed through the heart by the psycho killer who is NEVER REALLY DEAD THE FIRST TIME, DUMBASS!!

Nobody told me it was that kind of movie.

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