Updated 1st February 2014 ( in the last few days there have been new queries about 'special' prompts, movie prompts, reality show RPF prompts, adding extra prompts, filling prompts, and what to do if you don't finish an entry on time.)
Q. Can anyone take part?
A. Anyone who is either over 16, or over the age of consent in their country, whichever is oldest.
Q. Where do I find the challenge?
A. The full challenge (all posts) can be found on both Livejournal and Dreamwidth. Some entries are also posted on AO3, a fan archive. Links can also be found on the main page of this website.
Q. Someone else has already filled a prompt that I want to write/draw/vid. May I still post my entry?
A. Absolutely! There is no limit to the number of fills to each prompt.
Q. Is anonymous posting allowed?
A. Anonymous comments will be disabled for the duration of the battle. However, if you want to remain anonymous, you may email your entry to the challenge mod, who will post it for you. Make sure you include the title, fandom, pairing and prompt words, and any necessary html in the story.
Q. Do I have to have a Dreamwidth or Livejournal journal to participate?
A. No. If you don't have a journal on either site, you have several options. (1) open a free Livejournal or Dreamwidth account (Dreamwidth accounts currently do not require an invite code). (2) use openID (more options here). (3) email your prompts or entry to the challenge mod, who will post it for you; make sure you include the title, fandom, pairing and prompt words, and any necessary html in the story. Or (4) ask a friend to post on your behalf.
Q. What is the maximum word count?
A. If you are posting on the Livejournal entry post, the maximum is 4,300 characters, roughly 750 to 800 words. The maximum comment size on Dreamwidth is 16,000 characters, approximately 2,750 words, so longer stories should be posted on the Dreamwidth post. The restriction is simply to make sure each ficlet fits in one comment box. If (and only if) the story is too long to fit in the comment box, you may post it elsewhere (on any journal or website, but not on a locked post), then post an excerpt and a link in the comments on either the Dreamwidth or Livejournal entry post.
Q. The word count in Word says my story is under 16,000/4,300 characters, but Dreamwidth/Livejournal says my comment is too long - what do I do?
A. Sometimes Word and other word processing software disagrees with blogs as to the exact number of characters, so you may have to trim your story a little if you're unable to post. Also, bear in mind that the journals are counting the spaces between words, and any html formatting you might have used. See also the answer to the question below.
Q. If my story is considerably longer than the maximum word count, what should I do?
A. Post either the porn section or the first part of the story in the comments, and add a link to a post with the full story at the end of the comment. Please do not post the story in multiple comments on the Battle post, and do not link to a locked post.
Q. Should I post my story/art/vid/song to both the Dreamwidth and Livejournal entry posts?
A. No! Please just post your entry on one of the sites - which one is up to you.
Q. Is there a minimum word count?
A. No. You can submit haiku, six word porn, poetry, drabbles, etc.
Q. May I make art/a vid/a song?
Q. May I combine art and fiction or art and a vid in one entry?
A. Yes, any combination of media is welcome.
Q. Is there a limit to the number of prompts I can fill?
A. No. You can fill as many as you want within the time-frame of the challenge.
Q. What if I have nowhere to upload my art/vid/song? May I use a temporary link like sendspace for vids?
A. Temporary links aren't acceptable - this should be a lasting archive. If you don't have anywhere to permanently upload your media, email the challenge mod who will upload it and provide you with a permanent link.
Q. Is real person fiction allowed?
A. Yes, as long as the persons concerned are over 16.
Q. May I post an older work if it fits one of the prompts?
A. No. This challenge is intended to encourage new work.
Q. Do all of the single word prompts listed next to the pairing have to be used in a fill or can I pick and choose which ones to use? NEW
A. You can use one of the words, two of the words, or as many as you like. Any combination of prompts is allowed for fills.
Q. I can't get the entry page on Dreamwidth to load properly - it keeps cutting out midway through an entry. What can I do?
A. The problem is an incompatibility between the Dreamwidth Tropospherical site scheme and Firefox. Options that should fix it are to use a different Dreamwidth site scheme (any of the others will work), add ?format=light to the end of the page url, or use a different browser.
Q. Is it okay to post gifs in response to entries?
A. It would be better if you don't. While most people enjoy them, unfortunately they slow down the loading of a page, so can cause difficulties on a large challenge like this.
Q. Can creators use prompts from previous Battles?
A. No. To keep it fresh, only use prompts from the current battle (though some prompts may well be repeated from previous battles). However, outside the Battle, you're welcome to dip into any of the prompt lists at any time to find some inspiration for fan works.
Q. My story/art/vid isn't very porny - should I post it?
A. Absolutely, yes. Everyone's taste in porn is different, so it may just be exactly what someone was looking for.
Q. Do I have to get my fanwork betaed before posting?
A. No, it's not compulsory. It's a good idea though, when possible, so if you're looking for a beta, check out the beta post (there is one on both Livejournal and Dreamwidth)
Q. Should I use warnings for any potentially disturbing content?
A. Yes, please warn before the work for rape/non-con, major character death, graphic violence or underage content, or state that you chose not to use warnings. Any other warnings are at the discretion of the author/artist/vidder. You can also say 'No warnings apply'.
Q. Why can't I see a subject line on the livejournal post when I try to post my work?
A. The likeliest reason is that you have style=mine added to the url for the post - remove that, and you shouldn't have any problems.
Questions regarding archiving on Archive of Our Own (AO3)
Q. If I enter the battle, must I also post my entry on AO3?
A. No, it isn't compulsory. Just a very useful optional extra - hopefully as many people as possible will archive there, to provide us with an easily searchable archive of work.
Q. How do I post my entry to AO3?
A. For basic information on archiving there, please see the AO3 FAQ. Of particular use is the section on how to add a work to a collection. If you have already archived an entry from a previous Battle on AO3, you can add it to the archive Porn Battle subcollection. Just click on 'edit' on the work you've posted and want to include in a subcollection, then scroll down to the box that says 'Post to Collections/Challenges'. In that box, type in the start of the name of the collection you want to add it to - just typing in 'Por' will be enough, and you'll be given auto-fill options, from PornBattleI through to PornBattleXII. Click on the correct one, then save your story as usual.
Q. May I post my entry to AO3 instead of Dreamwidth or Livejournal?
A. No. The AO3 is an optional extra - all entries should still be posted on either the Dreamwidth or the Livejournal Battle post first.
Q. Can I post art on AO3?
A. Yes, but you currently have to host the art yourself, i.e. post an embedded external link. Please check on the AO3 for the latest information on media other than the written word.
Q. May I post a vid or song on AO3?
A. Yes, the archive supports video embeds from Youtube, Vimeo, blip.tv, Dailymotion, Viddler, Metacafe and 4shared.
Questions regarding the Chromatic Porn Battle
The Chromatic Battle was run simultaneously with Porn Battle XI.
Q. What was the Chromatic Porn Battle?
A. This was an extra provision to encourage greater diversity in the Porn Battle. A list of prompts including characters of colour was provided, and at the end of the battle, there was a listing of chromatic fills. The aim was to increase the number of chromatic works in the challenge by encouraging participants to consider prompts they might not otherwise have thought of and to provide a handy resource for fans looking for chromatic fan works.
Q. Is there any way I can help?
A. If you would like to volunteer to help with this project for a future battle, or have any suggestions, contact the challenge mod. Even though the Chromatic Porn Battle isn't currently running, you can help by tagging any entries on AO3 featuring a character of colour appropriately, e.g. Character of Color, Chromatic Character, etc.
Questions regarding prompts
Q. May I leave prompts even if I'm not going to be producing anything for the challenge?
Q. Can I leave prompts that I've submitted for previous battles?
A. Yes. We'd like as many new prompts as possible, but a few repeats are fine too.
Q. If I want to produce a fan work for the challenge, do I have to leave prompts first?
A. No. Some people like coming up with prompts, some people like filling prompts, some like doing both - all are good.
Q. May I fill my own prompts?
Q. If I suddenly think of more prompts I wish I'd left, would you prefer me to edit my comment and add them or post a new comment? NEW
A. Please leave them all in a new comment to the post, not a reply to your original comment, and not by editing the original comment. I compile prompts daily through the prompt period, so if you edit previous comments, I won't see the new prompts.
Q. May I suggest prompts including original characters?
A. Yes and no. Yes, you may pair up a fandom character with an original character (e.g. Agrias Oaks/OMC or Veronica Mars/OFC, or Brad Colbert/OC if you don't want to specify gender). But this is a fannish challenge, so original fiction isn't allowed (e.g. OMC/OFC is not permitted).
Q. May I specify the actor playing an original character?
A. Yes. You can do that in this format: Fandom Character/OFC or OMC (played by Actor's Name). For example, John Watson/OFC (played by Cate Blanchett) or Bruce Wayne/OMC (played by Jeremy Renner). See the answer to the question above for more details on original characters.
Q. Do the 'special' prompts in the form 'any character played by Actor X' include voice acting or radio roles? NEW
A. Yes. Any character they've ever played, whether it's live action, voicing a cartoon, a radio play, etc.
Q. What's the ideal way to format an RPF prompt for reality show participants? NEW
A. RPF, Name of Show, Person A/Person B, prompt.
Q. For films, do I have to put the year after any movie in parenthesis to prompt it, or would that only be necessary to distinguish it from other fandoms with the same name? NEW
A. It's only needed if there could be any confusion, say with another movie, a TV show or something else with the same name. But either is fine.
Q. I want to submit prompts - are there any restrictions?
A. All real person characters must be over 16, otherwise any sort of pairing is permissible. See also the answer to the first question, regarding age limit for participants in the battle.
Q. May I leave prompts anonymously?
A. Anonymous commenting is disabled for the duration of the battle. However, if you want to leave prompts anonymously, you can email them to the challenge mod who will post them on your behalf.
Q. Does it really matter how I format prompts for entry.
A. Yes! Very much so. Sorting the prompts takes hours and many volunteers, and if they're not formatted uniformly, it takes many more hours to manually edit them. So please read the instructions on the prompt post carefully before submitting prompts.
Below are some examples of the right and wrong way to format prompts.
Fandom, pairing, prompt word(s) (if any) <-- right
Crossover, fandom A/fandom B, pairing, prompt word (if any)
Chuck, Chuck Bartowski/Bryce Larkin, jealous, weapons, miracle, spy <-- right
Crossover, Doctor Who/Harry Potter, Ten/Remus, magic <-- right
Supernatural: Sam/Jess - summer <-- wrong. There is a semi-colon and a dash, both of which will disrupt the sorting method.
HIMYM, Barney/Lily, battle of the sexes <-- wrong. The fandom is
abbreviated, and the prompt is a phrase rather than one word.
Crossover, Star Trek: Reboot/Heroes, Mohinder Suresh/Leonard McCoy, 'power' <-- wrong. The crossover is not in alphabetical order and there are inverted commas around the prompt word.
After the Battle
Q. I didn't finish my entry on time - can I still enter it into the Battle? NEW
A. Late entries won't be included on the Battle website, so shouldn't be left on the entry posts. However, you can fill prompts from any previous battle and archive them in the appropriate Porn Battle Collection on AO3 - the AO3 collections remain open permanently, both for participants belatedly posting entries there, and for late entries. You can also check out pbam, the Porn Battle amnesty community.
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