How much work will participation involve?
Only as much as you want it to.
All you need to do to participate in Among Us is create a Twitter account (or use one you already have), follow @au_twitfic and be online for as long as you can manage on the 15th and 16th March 2014, tweeting in character with the hashtag #au_tf. You can tweet as much or as little as you like. The only limits on participants at this level is that your character cannot know one of the aliens personally (although you can suspect you do…) You can have a close encounter, as long as it doesn’t involve any information about the aliens that hasn’t already been made clear in the news tweets from @au_twitfic.
If you’re participating, please do check the #au_tf hashtag regularly and try, as far as possible, to make sure your impressions of the aliens aren’t too contradictory with other people’s. Be guided by the news reports with regard to their appearance, abilities and behaviour.
Please only use the #au_tf hashtag for in-character tweets, as these will appear on a live feed! To discuss and retweet the story, use the hashtag #au_twitfic instead (this commentary will appear in the feed on the sidebar of this site).
What if I want a closer encounter?
If you’d like to be a little more personally involved with the aliens, you can volunteer to take on a protagonist. This will mean creating a character beforehand and committing to a minimum of 30 in-character tweets over the 24 hours of the story. If you’re interested in this level of participation, contact me with your character idea, and I’ll give you some behind-the-scenes information that will help you to develop a character whose plot can involve closer interactions with the aliens (though it doesn’t have to, if you have other ideas).
What if I want to be one of the aliens?
Sorry, you can’t be an alien. That would mean giving too much away. However, you could think you’re an alien…
Any tips on creating a character?
When deciding on your character, think about what your response to the aliens will be. Are you out to hunt them down? Worship them? Investigate them? Or are you coming to terms with the sudden revelation that somebody close to you is not who you thought they were?
Here are some ideas for basic character types that you can riff on (though feel free to make your own):
The one who saw it coming: UFO conspiracy theorist/past abductee. Whether your ideas on the aliens are real or imagined you’ve known they were among us for years, and you’re prepared.
The one who isn’t fooled: It’s clearly all an elaborate hoax. Every piece of evidence that arises, you have a way to debunk it. There’s no way any of this is real.
The one who’s going to stop them: Paranoid xenophobe or action hero? Whatever your reasons for mistrusting the aliens, you know you have to stop them before their next revelation.
The one who’ll be saved: Whether you believe they are angels in disguise or beings evolved to a level of consciousness beyond our comprehension, you know that they’re here to save us – or perhaps not all of us, just those who are worthy. You must make your pilgrimage to the site of glory, for your faith to be rewarded.
The one who’s not impressed: If they’ve been living among us this long and nothing’s happened, chances are nothing will continue to happen. Big whoop. Who do they think they are? Your life doesn’t stop for them, and neither should anybody else’s.
Why should I participate?
Because it’s fun! Because you love to tell stories! Because I’ll really appreciate it!
I can’t offer any kind of material reward, but everybody who tweets in the story will be listed in the acknowledgements page, and those who commit to more intensive, planned participation will get a special mention, including your real name (or any name you want to give me), a link to your own blog and twitter and a 140 character personal biog if you want to provide it.
What about Copyright?
The copyright of Tweets is something of a complex issue, and the copyright on a collaborative story on Twitter even more so. It’s not something that’s been entirely tested, so I’m going to be guided by a combination of the law as it stands and what seems ethically reasonable.
Legally, your creative work will be subject to the normal rules of posting on Twitter, which means that you own the copyright to what you have written, and if somebody tries to publish it for profit as their own work you will probably have cause to sue, but if somebody shares/retweets/reuses it online with attribution to your Twitter handle that will probably be considered fair use, given that the medium you published it in is designed for precisely that purpose.
However, it’s reasonable you should want to know my intentions for a story that you are contributing to, and what will happen to it over time. You should know that I will be Storifying the hashtag #au_tf and keeping a complete copy of it which will remain online and in my possession for research purposes, even if you delete your contributions from Twitter at a later date.
While copyright of each contribution remains with the contributor, by entering into a collaborative project you are agreeing to be part of something larger than your own contribution. I consider authorship of the project to be shared between all of us, and will not claim sole authorship of the completed work, but I reserve the right to identify myself as curator and originator of the overall work and I have the intention of using it for purposes that include academic research.
While I may create copies of the completed project in printed or digital form for academic purposes, I will not publish it for sale without making every reasonable effort to seek permission from participants to include their contributions. If I can’t contact you, or you don’t grant permission, I won’t use your contributions for a sale publication. All such publications will give full acknowledgement of all participants, by Twitter handle or any other identifying information participants wish me to use.