To get started, you may want to familiarize yourself with our lore and canon, or pick a ship or planet to inhabit. If nothing you see is exactly to your liking, reach out to us about carving out a space for yourself.
Our writing process is pretty simple, and it’s designed to give each contributor as much agency as possible, while still allowing for all of our creations to live on in a universe that is largely coherent.
As such, there are some rules you might want to know. The rules have their own page with more detail, but I’ll summarize here:
- No one can decide what happens to your character but you.
You must be a consenting participant in any storylines that involve your character. If someone else isn’t respecting this, report them so that we can work with you to resolve the situation.
- Keep your hands where I can see them.
What I mean is: try not to get too lewd. This isn’t that kind of role play. If you insist on exploring your characters sexuality, please keep it in the designated sections of the site, and remember rule #1.
- Ships and Settlements are more than just settings.
Think of the setting as another character, with someone (or a group of several people) running it. When you join a crew, you’re agreeing to work with the people who run that ship to tell stories. You become a participant in building a larger tapestry.
When we are producing content for a collection, or putting together a podcast, it will often be at the Ship or Settlement level, and you are of course welcome to participate or not to participate at your option.
There is a lot more to say about settings, ships, and settlements so I recommend you check out that part of the rules in more detail.
- About the license
In order for this kind of a collaboration to work, we all have to agree on the terms through which the things we produce are distributed. This means that we need to pick a license. Intergalactic Social and Jupiter’s Ghost are available under a Creative Commons – BY-SA license.
When you upload content to the site, you are agreeing to make it available under the same license. This means that people can remix your content, as long as they attribute it back to you, and as long as they use the same (or a compatible) license for their work.
This also means that people outside of Intergalactic Social can use your content, and those people may or may not choose to follow Rule #1 above. That’s the nature of open content and collaborative fiction, and I want to make sure you’re aware of it before you contribute.
Of course, there is also our code of conduct.
Beyond a basic understanding of the rules, it helps to be familiar with a couple of conventions that we use.
Posts here are almost always in first person (it’s a social network, after all.) Our podcasts and other work are also usually in first person.
The podcasts specifically follow this structure:
- The setting runner posts (part or all of) an official mission log, detailing the Big Event that makes up the A plot of a given episode.
- The crew/inhabitants of that setting have a set amount of time to write/record their personal logs.
- They can collaborate with one another or work solo.
- They can use the social network to post updates that other people can reference within their updates, if they’d like.
- These personal logs can be part of the A plot, or can make up B and C plots.
- The setting runner collects all of the personal logs, makes any additions they want to the official mission logs, and cuts together an episode.
- Not every personal log will be included in the finished episode (this is due to time considerations) but most or all of them will be included in the personal log feed for that setting, and the personal log feed for the universe overall.
That last bit might not make sense if you aren’t familiar with the structure of our podcasts.
There are several:
- One ‘official’ podcast per setting, which is the episode described above
- One ‘unfiltered’ podcast per setting, which is every personal log, including the full versions of logs that were cut short for the episode and logs that weren’t included in the episode
- One podcast feed which is all the official episodes across the whole universe
- One podcast feed that is every log from every setting across the whole universe. (This isn’t very large right now, but it is my hope that eventually there is so much in the full feed that it’s basically impossible for one person to listen to all of it.)
If you submit a log that isn’t included in an episode, don’t necessarily take it as criticism of your content. It was probably cut for time (we try to keep the episodes between 10 and 20 minutes long, so that I can make them fit on floppy disks.)
If you submit a log that isn’t included in the unfiltered logs, the setting runner should reach out to you with information as to why. If they don’t, go bug them. Maybe it got lost. (Common reasons for rejection:
– violating Rule #1,
– breaking character,
– difficult to hear/understand because of background noise,
– it was marked “not for distribution”.)
If you and your setting runner disagree over if a piece should be included, feel free to contact an admin about it, and we can all discuss it, but please remember that the setting runner runs the setting.
Setting owners: it’s recommended that you include every log in the unfiltered logs unless there is a strong reason not to include it. When in doubt ask an admin.
Beyond that, have fun. You can participate on Intergalactic Social without taking part on the podcasts (and you can appear on a podcast without being a regular poster on Intergalactic Social.) Tell a good story, have a good time.