We Invented the Remix

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Challenge
Name: We Invented the Remix
Date(s): 2003-2008
Moderator(s): cathybites (former), zvi (former), stubbleglitter
Founder: cathybites
Type: remix
Fandom: popslash
Associated Community:
URL: 2003, 2004 (Wayback copy)
2005-2006
2007 (Wayback copy)
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.
You might be looking for We Invented the Remix... Redux.

We Invented the Remix was the first remix challenge. It was started by cathybites, also known as MI, in 2003 and went through several incarnations:

  • 2003: We Invented the Remix, organized by cathybites
  • 2004: We Invented the Remix 2: Son of Remix, organized by cathybites
  • 2005: We Invented the Remix 3: Back to the Streets, organized by zvi
  • 2006: We Invented the Remix 4: Curtain Call, organized by zvi
  • 2007: We Invented the Remix 5: Flip It and Reverse It, organized by stubbleglitter

In 2004, the explanation of what a remix is given at the top of the FAQ was:

Ever read a fic and think, wow, what a fascinating story, but if I had written it, I would have... Well, now here's your chance to do just that. Rewrite someone else's story, tell somebody else's tale. Take the work of another person and wrap it up in your vision and style, just like a remixer does to songs.[1]

In a 2007 comment, cathybites recalled the impetus for starting the challenge:

...when I first came up with the idea for the challenge, it was because there was this writer in popslash who had really great story ideas, but whose writing left a lot to be desired. Everytime I read one, I would think, 'man, this would've been so much better if this other person had written it, or this person.' I was going to talk my friends into just rewriting her stories, but someone convinced me that the wankstorm wouldn't be worth it, and that I should do it up as an official challenge.[2]

Rules

2003 & 2004

The rules for 2003 weren't archived, but the FAQ for 2004 explains:

So just take another person's story and change everything?
     * Yes and no. You can do whatever you like to the story - change POV, dialogue, mood, characterization, make it longer or shorter, whatever - except for three things: pairing(s), setting(s), and the basic plotline.

Why can't I change ____?
     * Basic plotline is fairly obvious, I think. If you change the plot, then you're really not writing the same story, right? This doesn't mean you can't change little things, adding or deleting things as you see fit. For example, if you were rewriting The Little Mermaid, you might decide to give the mermaid a best friend who's a fish and a guardian who's a lobster, things that weren't in the original story. But you would keep the sea witch and the fact that the mermaid loses her voice because those are essential to the story. Of course, what are and aren't essential plot points is purely subjective, but I trust people will be able to decide what to do.
     * I had several people ask about being able to change the pairing(s) and after thinking long and hard about it, I've decided it'd be best to keep the pairing(s) as is. While this can certainly be argued, I think once you change who the story is about, you're pretty much writing a new story and contrary to popular belief, that's not what this challenge is about. It's about reinterpreting a story that's already been told. So, no, you cannot change the pairing(s) in the story.

     * Last year, I gave the option of turning non-AU stories into AUs but I don't think anyone did that anyways, so that option is out this year. Keep the settings the same. [1]

The FAQ goes on to explain that each participant will be assigned to rewrite a story from a different participant at random and everyone gets one safe story which were described as the "one story that you don't want anyone messing with, for whatever reason," and may have been new that year. The 2004 We Invented the Remix also forbid remixing of remixes and of stories which had already been remixed. Participants were required to have at least five available stories. Writers who defaulted in 2003 were banned from participating again.[1]

As for the deadlines and late stories:

Are there any sort of deadlines?
     * Why yes, there are! People can sign up for the challenge until 11:59 PM EST January 17. Assignments will be handed out on January 19, probably sometime in the evening. And then the stories aren't due until 11:59 PM EST March 20.

When will the stories be put up then?
     * I would like to have them up by March 23 and have the authors revealed March 30.

Oh yeah? What if I miss the deadline? Then what're you gonna do?
     * Well, I'm not going to hound you for the story. I've got better things to do. But I'm not putting up any of the stories until I have all of them. And when people ask me, "Hey, why aren't the stories up?", I'll point them to the site, which will have the names and email addresses of everyone who's late, and say, "Because of those people."

That's kind of mean.

     * Why, yes, yes it is. [1]

2005 & 2006

Much of the 2004 FAQ was copied straight over to the 2006 FAQ, which presumably applied to the 2005 round as well. AUs were reinstated as a permitted form of remix, and this rule had changed:

But what if the story that was remixed last year gets remixed again?

This is different from last year. It's just fine if the story that was remixed last year gets remixed again. However, for the purposes of your qualifying minimum, neither the story that was already remixed, nor the story you wrote as a remix is eligible. Everyone needs five stories that are not remixes and have not been remixed in order to play.[3]

The way of dealing with participants who don't write their story in time for the deadline had also changed:

Oh yeah? What if I miss the deadline? Then what're you gonna do?

Once the stories go live, I'm going to put the word loser next to your name everywhere it appears on the site. I'm also considering a repulsive orange green color combo. And I'm not putting up any of the stories until I have one for each participant who sent in a story on time. If, while the pinch hitters do their thing, people ask me, "Hey, why aren't the stories up?", I'll point them to the site, which will have the names and email addresses of everyone who's late, and say, "Because of those people."

That's kind of mean.

Why, yes, yes it is.

Dude, what they did to my story sucks! Can you help me beat them down? or Dude, what they said about what I did to their story made me cry. Can you help me put them down?

No. Look, some challenges are gift exchanges, like Don We Now Our Gay Apparel. Others are a chance to do something cool, and see how other people do cool shit. You are writing a remix to see what kind of cool shit you can do, not to put a smile on the face of REmixFan#1. And, of course, REmixFan#1 is not writing you a birthday present, she's jumping into the guts of your story and swishing that shit all around. You're a grownup. Live with it.[3]

2007

The FAQ/rules section for We Invented The Remix 5: Flip It and Reverse is not available in the Wayback Machine copy of the site.

Collection links

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 We Invented the Remix 2: Son of the Remix FAQ, accessed via Wayback Machine 07 August 2018.
  2. cathybites. April 27, 2007 comment posted in musesfool's LiveJournal.
  3. 3.0 3.1 We Invented the Remix 4: Curtain Call FAQ, accessed via Wayback Machine 07 August 2018.