Subject: I actually kind of like this idea, especially if it's already a trend.
Posted on: 2022-05-13 09:00:19 UTC
...actually, come to think of it, I kind of wrote something like that myself, as a way to develop the characters, since I found that easiest to do by writing them. I never posted it, largely because it remained unfinished (and unedited/not mildly rewritten) and was kind of chaotic (the concept is that Charlie's kind of...test mission involved going into her own badfic with a temporary partner/supervisor, and then Brenda followed her in to see what was taking her new partner so long, or something like that) - anyway, that's fairly irrelevant except to say that I understand why the trend came to be. I vaguely remember a whole discussion on it, too, some years back (several, actually, I think).
Anyway, the prompts were kind of unofficial interludes anyway, so I don't see a problem with shifting to the Permission piece being a first interlude. A suggestion: the prompts could be an optional part of it - sort of the best of both worlds, so that people who don't feel they need a prompt can just write the interlude they'd like to write, and people who aren't quite sure where to begin or would enjoy a challenge can cycle through some and pick something that looks interesting.
I do wonder if there should be a length range (like, "ideally 5-10 pages" or something, since interludes can get very long), and whether or not it would be good to require it be an interlude that is at least partially set in the PPC - on the one hand, the profiles should be enough to give a sense of understanding of HQ and so on; on the other hand, it's a little different, seeing it in action. I'm really not sure.
Actually, as an alternate to a length range: when I went for Permission, I used a chapter of a fic I'd been writing (and polished that chapter a lot). As it was the...fourth chapter, I believe, I also provided a couple contextual notes. In that kind of vein, if someone writes a very long first interlude, they could potentially choose what they feel is the best ~5 pages (I include ~ because I don't feel it makes sense to quibble over a paragraph that spills over onto page 6 or something like that - this is not, in fact, a school assignment of the sort with a very strict word or page limit) and, if necessary, add a note about skipped parts for context. Theoretically, the full interlude could be available upon request? Or the rest of it quickly summarized so that something glaringly obviously not PPC-appropriate doesn't get missed? But on the other hand, that kind of thing could easily be caught and corrected post-Permission, as occasionally does happen with posted material.
This way, we'd be kind of...blending a few Permission piece concepts. We get a writing sample, the prompts are there for those who want or need them (but are not obligatory, leaving more choice and freedom in the content of the piece), the Permission piece is an actual PPC story that would be written anyway (and this way gets extra polishing and feedback)...odds are this could use a little more fine-tuning, including the question of what people have been writing as their first story and if missions should be included in the options here, but overall, I think this could be a decent new version.
~Z, unexpectedly more active on the Board for the first time in ages