Rules And Faq

To start with...

What is the Finish-a-thon?

Remember all those poor, neglected plot bunnies that have been starving from lack of attention, because all those ficathons kept on having higher priority? The stories you wish you could finish, if only you could find the time? Well, fear not, the finish-a-thon is coming to the rescue!

The finish-a-thon is a ficathon, with all the ficathon-like things like deadlines and fellow volunteers to encourage you, but with this ficathon, you write your ''own'' ideas. But since part of the encouragement of a ficathon is writing things for other people, what we do is vote for which story ideas people should write.

Who are you?

This ficathon us run by Kerr Avonsen aka Kathryn A, who has run this ficathon from the multific LiveJournal community since 2005.

How does it work?

The way it works is this:

  1. Sign up.
    There is a handy-dandy sign up form where you can list a short description all the plot bunnies, unfinished stories (apart from other ficathon stories) and vague ideas that you are putting up for voting on. Say what fandom(s) it's in, a very brief description, and some idea of what rating (all ages, teen, adult) and type (gen, het, slash or other) you think it will be, to give people a good idea of what they'd be voting for.
    Also give your voting preference, whether you wish your story to be voted on by participants only, or all interested parties.
  2. Join or friend the multific LJ community, so that you will recieve assigments, important notices, and reminders. I am NOT going to notify people individually. Yes, this assumes that you are a member of LiveJournal; since the polling is done on LiveJournal, that is a prerequisite.
  3. A poll is made, each "question" consists of the potential stories of one participant.
  4. We vote for which story we want each person to finish. The winning story in each section is the one which that author has to work on.
  5. Each writer works on their winning story, and finishes it by the deadline. They then put it up on the web somewhere, either in their journal, or on a website.
  6. I will post a master-list of all the stories on, so that people can find them.
  7. Everyone rejoices!


What time-zone are you using for the dates?

I live on the East coast of Australia, so I am using Australian Eastern Daylight Time (AEDT) and Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST). For the convenience of those who live in other countries, I also give the information in Greenwich Mean Time. For Americans, this basically means that everything is due a day earlier than the Australian dates. For Australians, this means that you do not have that "extra day" that is usually the case for things that are organized based in the Americas.

When do sign-ups start?

Saturday 5th June 2010
4th June 2010

When do sign-ups end?

Saturday 12th June 2010, 8am
11th June 2010, 10pm

When does the voting start?

Sometime between the 12th and the 13th of June.

When does the voting end?

About a week later.

When do assignments go out?

Results announced by the 19th of June.

When are the stories due?

14th August 2010, 10am
13th August 2010, midnight


What do you mean, not other ficathon stories?

Unfinished stories from other ficathons already have a ficathon for them. This is the Home For Lost Plot-Bunnies that don't have a ficathon of their own.

What if I started the story for a ficathon, but missed the deadline?

If you started a story for a ficathon, and did not complete it, then you can use it for this ficathon, but we shall only allow ONE bunny of that kind. This is still the Home For Lost Plot-Bunnies that don't have a ficathon of their own.

Are there any restrictions? This isn't an anti-slash thing, is it?

This is for fan fiction; that is, fiction written by fans about fictional characters and/or fictional settings. This does not include fiction written by fans about actors (RPF/Real People Fiction) or bands (Bandom).

Otherwise, there's no restrictions. They're your own ideas, hence, your responsibility. Just let people know, in the descriptions, what kind of story you think it will be, so that they can vote wisely.

Is this just for unfinished stories, or can it be story ideas I never got around to writing?

This is for both; that's why we are referring to "stories" (unfinished stories) and "bunnies" (plot bunnies; ideas for stories).

What about sequels? Can I include bunnies for those?

Sure. Just give a link to where we can find the previous story or stories. Note that the sign-up form doesn't allow you to use HTML codes, so just give the URL(s) without HTML markup.

Is there a minumum number of bunnies required?

Yes. Three. We need something to vote on, after all.

Is there a maximum number of bunnies allowed?

Yes. Ten. Otherwise we'll never be able to decide. Just pick the bunnies you most want to write.


What if my story is a huge epic that I'll never be able to finish in 8 weeks?

We want to encourage story writing, so, if a story is an epic, still put it on the list, but commit to writing a given number of words of it (7000-10,000), or finishing it, whichever is shorter.

10,000 words? You gotta be joking!

I did say "epic", didn't I? And it's much much less than NaNoWriMo, in twice the time. But you are allowed to choose a lower number of words to commit to, so long as it is at least 7000 words.

Is it a 7000-word minumum for all stories?

No. If you commited to writing 7000 words but you found that you had actually finished the story, and the story turned out to be fewer than 7000 words, that is fine.

If you know beforehand that it is going to be a very long story, that you will not be able to finish in the time, then you are allowed to commit to a given number of words rather than commiting to finishing the story. That commitment must be to write at least 7000 words, but it could be a commitment to write 10,000 words, or 8,000 words, or some other number. Whatever the case, you must write that many words, or you must finish the story.

If I only write 7000 words of a story that I said I'd finish, is that okay?

No. If you committed to finishing the story, you must finish the story. It is expected that most people will commit to finishing their stories - this is the finish-a-thon, after all!

So is there a minimum length requirement or not?

Unless you committed to writing 7,000-10,000 words of an epic, there is no minimum length requirement. However, it seems a bit pointless to waste an 8-week ficathon on a drabble. But I don't want you to be sweating over length requirements. Stories have natural lengths; try to pick story ideas which would naturally fit into more than a drabble.

Is there a maximum length requirement?

No, but do remember you've only got 8 weeks.

Signing Up

So how do I sign up?

  • Go to the sign up page.
  • Type your name or pseud in the form. NOT your LJ username.
  • Click the "Edit" button.
  • You may be prompted to log in, if you have not already done so. The wiki I'm using uses OpenID for authentication, so all you need is a LiveJournal account, which you need anyway for this, since the polls are done on LiveJournal.
    • Click on the LiveJournal icon (that's the pencil), and it will prompt for your LiveJournal username.
    • When you click on the login button, you will be taken to a LiveJournal page which asks you whether you want to allow my site to accept your ID. Follow the instructions there.
    • You should then get redirected back to my site.
  • You will now be presented with the handy-dandy sign-up form which has fields for all the information you need to provide.
  • Click on "Save Page" when you're done.
  • You should now be on your author information page, with all your bunnies and everything.

What if I have a typo and want to edit my sign-up, or add another story idea before voting starts?

  • Click on the "Edit" button on your author sign-up-info page.
  • You may be prompted to log in if you haven't done so already. (see above)
  • Then it will give you a form where you can update your sign-up information.
  • Click on the "Save Page" button at the bottom to save your changes.

What if somebody else (maliciously or accidentally) messes up my sign-up information?

Fear not, for I have Mighty Administrator Powers! Contact me on the sign-up post on LiveJournal, and I will revert your information to an earlier, pristine version. (That's one of the good things about using a wiki as a back-end; you get versioning)


Where does the voting happen?

I will be putting the polls on the community.

Who gets to vote on what I write?

When you sign up, say what you would prefer: (a) other participants only (b) all and sundry (that is, get your friends to vote so you get a better idea of what your peers want)

I will put a note as part of your poll entry as to what your preference is. I won't be able to enforce the preferences, but we can hope that people will be considerate.

Do participants get voting incentives?

Why, yes they do. If a poll is for "all and sundry", in order to celebrate the specialness of being a participant, a participant will get TWO votes in the poll.

If a poll is for "participants only", then the specialness is that they get to vote in that poll, while everyone else doesn't.

What if I don't know what story to vote for?

Try. It is possible to not answer a poll question. But please do try to pick one story from everybody if you possibly can.

What about my own stories? Do I pick one of mine as well?

Nup. The point is to find out what other folks here wish you to write. If you are the author, click on the "I am the author" option for that poll.

What if there's a tie in the votes? Do I have to write both of them? Which story would I write?

No, you just have to write one of them. If you can't decide which one, toss a coin. If you can't toss a coin, I'll toss one for you - just ask.

Arrgh. I never thought people would vote for ''that'' story!

People will surprise you. They'll vote for ''anything'', however unlikely you think it. So be prepared to write ''any'' of the story ideas you put up, don't assume that people won't vote for the wierd one that you put there half-jokingly.


Where do I post my story?

Anywhere you like; so long as it is on a publicly-accessable web page. I will post a master-list post on, you give the link to your story in a comment to that page.

I will make a master-list page here, showing all the links.

I didn't finish. Can I have an extension?

No. If you have a Real Life reason for not being able to finish (like "my computer died" or "my mother broke her hip") then you can have an exemption. After all, it's your story, you will finish it later.

Otherwise: A) post a 1000-word extract from what you've managed to write so far, indicating that it isn't finished. You will then get a week's grace period in which to finish or revise the story. Note that those who do not post anything by the deadline will NOT get a grace period.


B) Write me a nice note saying, "sorry, I couldn't finish". The flimiser the excuse, the more grovelling required. You get a gold star for participating.


C) Drop out without a word or excuse. This will get you banned from participating next time.

A 1000-word extract? I thought you said there wasn't a minimum length requirement!

There isn't. If you've written less than 1000 words, then post everything you've written. The 1000-word extract is so that one doesn't have to post the whole thing and feel embarrassed. Instead, you can just show us the best bit. Or feel embarrassed because you haven't fulfilled your commitment.

I finished my story, but it isn't betaed!

As with unfinished stories, if you post something by the deadline, you get a week's grace in which to revise. If you don't post anything, you do not get the grace period. Do not treat the grace period as an extension to the deadline. It is not.


I didn't finish my story last time. Can I still sign up?

If you gave it a go, sure. If you bailed out for no reason and didn't even bother contacting me, no.

To be explicit, the following people are banned:

  • Ari B (average_goof)
  • Gray Cardinal (graycardinal)
  • Vana Tuivana (vana_tuivana)

To end with...

But what about...? I have a question that wasn't answered here.

Ask the question in the multific LiveJournal sign-up announcement post and I will try to answer it.