Dragon Pulp Project Revisions & Clarifications

Written for Beta Release. 7/31/2013.


PITCHES

1. FORMATTING

Every pitch should have two components: a brief and prose.

1.1: The brief should be two to three sentences and is a summary of the pitch. Think of it as a teaser blurb about what makes the pitch special- it needs to illuminate the conflict that will be handled in the pitch and do it in a way that’s intriguing. When the team votes on which pitches make it to the general audience, your teammates will be voting based on the brief.

1.2: The prose is where you flesh out the pitch. Write in whatever style feels most comfortable or fun. Experimentation is okay. If you honestly feel most comfortable writing in script format, Ram can work with that, but prose is preferred. Don’t worry about the limitations of the comic when writing your prose. Write what you feel is appropriate for the story in written form. If the previous pitch has a narrator, don’t worry about matching that narrator.

The prose should be less than 400 words, but that’s mostly to cap the amount of time you spend on it. If longer is easier, that can still work. The prose doesn’t need to be your most polished work, but should be edited for grammar, spelling, etc.

For most of the project, Ram will be the only one that sees the prose. At the end of the first six month ‘season’, the prose from all of the pitch submissions will be collected into an anthology available exclusively to project supporters.

2. SETTING

The original goal was to have the first season be set in a single world that would be developed by the core team. Instead, each story will be set in its own idiosyncratic setting, giving the writers more flexibility and downplaying the need for a rigorously updated setting bible.


LOGISTICS

3. PITCH PROCESS

When its time to begin a new installment, Ram will e-mail five team members with invitations to write pitches and any other details (deadlines, incentives, etc). If you receive an invitation, you’ll be expected to accept or decline within three days based on your availability (if you won’t be able to do it, just let us know and we’ll tap another team member). The target is to have four pitches.

A list of who is invited (including who accepts and who declines) will be visible in a google document. The document will also include the briefs as they’re submitted. Team members invited to pitch will be based on a combination of overall writing quality and thematic interests.

4. PAYMENTS

I’ve revised payment structure. Please read this:

4.1: The original payment structure was this: Out of a $100 budget, $10 was set aside for optional incentives. The winning pitch won $50, with the remaining $40 being split among the remaining pitches. In this scenario, if there were five pitches, the winning pitch would get $50 and the remaining pitches would get $10 each. If there were four pitches, the winning pitch would get $50 and the remaining pitches would get about $13.33 each.

4.2: The new structure is this: The budget and optional incentive is the same. The winning pitch gets a bonus of $20, with the remaining $70 being split among all the writers. If there are five pitches, each gets $14, with the winning pitch getting $34 (the $14 plus the $20 bonus). If there are four pitches, each gets $17.50, with the winning pitch getting $37.50.

There are two reasons for this change: A) it makes payment a little more egalitarian, and B) since we’ll be hopping from world to world, there will be less emphasis on needing to maintain a setting bible (which lowers the responsibilities of the winning pitch writer).

Crowdfunding campaign profit shares are still the same.

4.3: Please be honest with yourself about profit shares.  If the crowdfunding campaign fails, the shares won’t have any value.

5. COPYRIGHTS

As stated in the initial description, all work is considered work for hire- once a character or setting is used in Dragon Pulp, odds are that it’ll be influenced and shaped by so many writers that trying to parse out individual creator rights would be impossible. That said, there are a few clarifications to this that are important.

5.1: If you’re writing a pitch for a new story that’s not based on one of the currently established Dragon Pulp worlds or characters, and the pitch isn’t used, full rights to that pitch will revert back to you after 1 year. Since the material is still largely yours- it hasn’t been altered by the other team members- it makes sense for the rights to it to revert to you.

If you have an opportunity to use the material before then- in a contest, or in a deal with a publisher, let me know. I’ll likely approve it.

The operative intent is to make the Dragon Pulp fundraising anthology the sole source for material written for the project as an incentive to encourage supporters to buy it. Once the window of fundraising is closed, there’s little reason for us to hold on to the material.

5.2: If you write a pitch for a new story that is accepted and want to take it in a different direction than we did in Dragon Pulp, let Ram know. Odds are the way you develop the characters and settings will be different enough from the way it developed in the project that it will effectively be a unique creation.

5.3: Posting excerpts from your work is likely okay. Shoot a link to Ram- if it’s an issue, he’ll let you know. As a rule of thumb, keep excerpts to less than 25% of the material from any given pitch.

5.4: Inspired and derivative works are somewhat expected. If you want to run in a different direction with similar characters or themes, that’s generally kosher. This is expected to go both ways. If you write a pitch and the rights reverted to you, but a later story shows influence from your original work- be cool with it. We’re all influenced by each other anyway, the structure of this project just makes that process more obvious. Ram retains the right to protect the Dragon Pulp brand and shepherd its intellectual property, but he has realistic expectations of how far that control goes.