Who owns the copyright on the finished work?
Everyone retains the copyright in their artistic contributions to the books. So, you will retain the copyright in your own chapter, for example. Similarly, the copyright in the story / characters etc remains with me.
All participants grant an irrevocable license to me to use and distribute their contribution as a NiaD book (including the Scrivener project file), which will in turn be made available under a Creative Commons Attribution - NonCommerical - NoDerivs 3.0 Unported Licence. In other words, anyone will be free to share (to copy, distribute and transmit) the book under the following conditions:
Attribution — You must attribute the work in the manner specified
by the author or licensor (but not in any way that suggests that
they endorse you or your use of the work).
Noncommercial — You may not use this work for commercial purposes.
No Derivative Works — You may not alter, transform, or build upon this work.
In addition, by taking part you are granting Literature and Latte Ltd an irrevocable license to use your work in marketing, educational and other activities as long as they do not sell it.
Where can I read other participants’ chapter briefs?
After the event has finished, the Scrivener project files will be made available for download. The projects contain all of the chapter briefs, so you’ll be able to work out just how much of each chapter was in the brief, and how much was added by the authors.
Every year I’m amazed to see how each of the writers take the opening premise in a completely different direction to what I would have done myself. I find it fascinating to see just how much writers inject their own style and imagination into a piece. It illustrates so well just how little a part “having an idea” plays in the finished piece. The author’s creativity comes out in every single word.
I want to take part but am scared to share my work!?
You do need to have a high degree of confidence in your writing to take part. It’s going to be read by a lot of people! That said, apprehension is normal; it’s how you know you care about getting it right.
If you don’t think you’re ready to share such a rapidly produced piece of work with the general public, the answer isn’t just to take part under a false name. That’s not fair on others taking part, or on the people reading the books. Instead, I’ll be more than happy to assign you a chapter and send it out at the same time as everyone else. That way you can take part at the same time, but without being included in the final published work.
What if I’m uncomfortable with violence / grisly scenes?
Some years will contain chapters which lend themselves more readily to a little bit of violence and grisliness. Experience dictates that some people prefer not to write these sections and others seek them out, so it makes sense to make some allowance for that in the allocation of sections. If you have a preference then indicate it when you sign up.
Will anyone have a chapter with only one person in it?
No. I try to make sure that all chapter briefs have plenty of opportunity to flex the creative muscles. Of course, if by some twist of fate you find yourself with fewer character sheets in your briefing pack than you’d like to use, then by all means create whatever characters are necessary to make your section work.
What is the policy on swear words / graphic imagery?
Unlike movies and computer games, there is no age restriction or classification on books. As such, I have no policy on swear words / graphic imagery.
Read the previous books and you’ll get a feel for the norm. You can then use that information as you see fit.
How are chapter briefs allocated?
It’s basically random.
I say ‘basically’, because there are a couple of constraints:
I’ll take account of individual preferences to either seek out or avoid grisly scenes.
From time to time participants who know each other IRL have asked to make sure they have different chapters so they are guarantees to be able to compile a version that has both / all their chapters in it.
I reserve the right to punish Jaysen by whatever means are available to me.
Can I do a cover instead of a chapter?
I usually do these myself because I have a template set up ready that gives us a consistent look across all the NiaDs, and it also means I don’t have to worry about breaching someone else’s copyright. That said, if you’re amazing at this sort of thing then by all means contact me and we can talk about it.
Do I have to write in a particular style?
As long as you use the locations and characters provided (assuming any are provided - I won’t unless it’s critical) and you hit all the plot point marks, you can write your section in any style you choose. By all means turn the chapter into an action extravaganza that would make John Woo think of turning down the pace a little. Equally, if you want to play the same scene as a calm discussion over a cup of tea and a slice of Battenberg, that’s totally up to you.
What if I’m in a different timezone?
All of the deadlines are in UK / London time. So if (for example) you are living in France (which is an hour ahead of the UK) you’ll get your brief at 1am instead of midnight. Some people believe this system gives the Australians an unfair advantage.
Every year several people email me and tell me that they think they have the first chapter. One of the implications of the ‘minimal information’ and ’only aware of what’s going on in your chapter’ principles is that you will only have received something in that section if you need to know it… either to avoid major continuity issues, or to prevent you repeating something from an earlier chapter.
As such, there will be several sections that have nothing in the “Things that have already happened” section. That doesn’t necessarily mean that yours is the first chapter, it just means that (other than what is mentioned in the “General Background” and other information) there is nothing that you necessarily need to be aware of to write your section.
In other words, plenty might have happened in the book, or nothing. You might be the first chapter, you might be the last… but there’s a 23 out of 25 chance you’re somewhere in the middle!