November 2016: A Whole New World

Banner by Jilly James

Dates: 11/1/2016-11/30/2016
Theme:  A Whole New World
Challenge: Write an AU using characters from the fandom of your choice (not a crossover or fusion)
Minimum Word Count: 50,000
Sign Up Dates: 10/1/2016-10/15/2016
Project File Due:10/25/2016


The challenge itself is an immersion challenge and that means your goal is to shape your characters around different circumstances. I chose to use fandom characters (instead of original) because not everyone is comfortable creating OCs and frankly one of the biggest issues I see in fandom comes from writers drastically changing a character’s circumstances and yet the characters themselves are unruffled by this.

For some on RT, the idea of creating a whole new world from scratch would be daunting and perhaps even demoralizing so it was decided that we would allow for a single fandom canon. In order to meet the challenge you have to IMMERSE your characters in this new fandom (no matter which fandom they came from originally) from birth. Shortly I’m going to put up the FAQ that Jilly worked up for you on the schedule page.

It boils down to this:

  1. Pick a favorite cast of characters (cherry pick others from whatever fandom you’d like if you must)
  2. Create a world for them to have been born in OR choose a different fandom to place them in.
  3. Write your bloody story.


Challenge-Specific Questions

Q: Can I write original fiction for this challenge?
A: No. This is a fandom challenge. To take recognizable characters and put them in a new world.

Q: Can I do an AU of my main character’s universe? Like take Criminal Minds as is and make it a shifter verse? Or a BDSM AU?
A: No. The point is to take your main character and put them in a new world. If you put Criminal Minds in Teen Wolf, the Teen Wolf characters can still be there, but the CM characters must be your focus. It’s about extrapolating how they would be in their new world. If you want to do a shifter!verse, pick a shifter fandom, or create your own world.

Q: Does it need to be a complete AU, or can we use elements from their word. For instance, if using Stargate: Atlantis characters, can we have a Stargate?
A: No. Your character’s original world does not exist. They’re in either a new fandom, OR in an AU of your making.

Q: Can it be a very similar world (parallel world), such as Harry Potter but James and Lily live or some other key element change?
A: No. That’s not “a whole new world.”

Q: How is it not a crossover if you are taking characters from one fandom and putting them in another?
A: For our purposes, a crossover would be using the world of two or more fandoms. You are limited to the world/canon of one fandom, or even no fandoms. You can use characters from as many fandoms as you wish, but your world is limited to ONE. All your characters MUST be born/live/die in the fandom you chose, or the original world you build.

Q: Does this mean my characters would lose universe-specific powers in the new world?
A: Yes. Jim Ellison would not be a sentinel. Harry Potter would likely not be magical (unless you set him in another magic reality). Bruce Banner would not be the Hulk. Tony Stark could still be a genius, but he would not be Iron Man.

Q: Can my character’s canon universe be a dream or hallucination and they wake up in the new world?
A: No. Your characters need to have no connection to anything from their original verse. You may choose to mirror some of their life experiences in their new verse, but it can’t be because they saw or remembered something from the original verse. You could choose to put Harry Potter in the Star Wars universe and have him neglected as a child. But Harry cannot have dreams of living in a cupboard at #4 Privet Drive.

Q: So I can take my characters and put them in Skyrim? Or in Labyrinth?
A: Yes. That’s the definition of the challenge. Provided they don’t KNOW that they’re from the original fandom. Skyrim/Labyrinth/whatever is where they were born. Their original canon no longer exists. This is not a dimension jump or a quantum leap anything like that.

Q: Can I use time travel to a new time for the AU?
A: No! Your character’s universe still exists. They know who they are, they’re just forward or backward in time. The point is they are BORN in a whole different world.

Q: Can it be set in the modern world?
A: Yes, of course. If you want to take the entire cast of Criminal Minds and set them in a modern military environment, that would meet the challenge.

Q: Can I use characters from more than one fandom?
A: Characters, yes. You can use any characters you like, but you get ONE world. If you choose Stargate as your world, you can use characters from anywhere, but Stargate is their new canon universe. This not dimensional travel. And non-Stargate characters have to be the focus. If you’re focused on Stargate characters in a Stargate AU, that is NOT the challenge.

Q: Can I use canon from more than one fandom?
A: No! One fandom to build your world on, or use original world building. That’s it. Minor caveat… if your fandom has multiple shows in the same universe, that’s still one fandom for our purposes. All the Marvel Cinematic Universe Movies and Agents of Shield are ONE fandom for this challenge. If that’s your world, you can then put your Blindspot cast in the Avengers and have Phil Coulson and Agents of Shield be around.

Q: Do I have to build an original world
A: No. You can choose a fandom world to bring your character(s) into. For instance, you could build a new society on another planet for your NCIS Sci-Fi AU, or set it in Star Trek.

Q: Can I use any fandom?
A: Think about the challenge and then answer the question. If you move your characters from the NCIS environment to the FBI, that’s not really meeting the challenge. Technically, it’s in the rules, but why would you write an AU that’s just another procedural crime drama? Bottom line is some fandoms have better world building for using as your backdrop. The point is to learn about world-building, not how-to-write-your-characters-in-almost-the-same-world.

Q: What is world building?
A: Please see:… or… Also, you can google World Building… there are a lot of resources.

Q: Can I do a fusion?
A: No, there are no fusions allowed in the challenge. You can use any fandom for your new ‘verse but you can’t snag bits of canon/fanon to create a new ‘verse and ignore the origin of the content.

Q: Can I do a Sentinel or His Dark Materials AU?
A: Sentinel – No. We do sentinel fusions every July. Save your elaborate Sentinel stories for when you can use more than one fandom! That said, you CAN take Jim and Blair and put them in a new world (they would, of course, no longer be sentinel and guide).
A2: HDM – His Dark Materials is a fandom. Of course you can set your characters down in that world.

Q: Can I use an existing AU of my own creation that I’ve used in another story?
A: No. Everyone will start on the same foot for this challenge.

General Questions:

Q: Can I write less than 50k?
A: That does not meet the challenge. That said, plot for 50k. If you don’t meet the goal, you didn’t meet the challenge. The sky will not fall. There is no penalty box—that’s for people who sign up, make Keira put in work, and never post a damn thing.

Q: Can I write more than 50k?
A: Yes, but try to plot what you can actually write in the challenge period. Life happens, but plan for a one-month challenge, not an ongoing monster fic.

Q: Can I do two shorter projects to meet the word count goal?
A: No.

Q: Can I do RPF?
A: No. Real People are not “characters.” This is about fandom characters.

Q: How often do I have to post?
A: At least 2 times per week

Q: When do have to have up my first post?
A: By 11/4/2016

Q.Is there a minimum post length?
A. 1,000 words

Q.Can I start working on them now?
A. No, don’t be a cheater.

Q.Is there a limit to title length?
A. No, but don’t be fucking ridiculous either.

First: Pick the character or characters you want to work with.

Think: As much as this is a world-building challenge, it’s also about character development. Ask yourself some questions: How did this new world shape my character as a child? What were his/her life circumstances like? You have to go back to the beginning to figure out how these new universe rules impact your character and how they would be different, and what would be the same. You may need to go back and think about their whole family line, cultural norms, laws… so much impacts how a character develops.

Figure out what’s core to your character—what would they be in any universe—and then extrapolate how that core personality would evolve in a new world.

Then choose your approach. Read both so you understand the rules.

Approach #1 – The Road Most Traveled

Take your character or characters out of your fandom, it doesn’t exist any longer, and insert them into a different fandom. The second fandom is the only fandom canon that then exists. Ideally, your fandom would be some sort of departure from where you started. There’s not much point in taking the NCIS characters and putting them in the Las Vegas Crime Lab.

Approach #2 – Thinking Outside the Box

Take your character or characters and build an entirely new world for them. It’s 500 years in the future and they’re living on a planet with a military caste. Or they’re space pirates. Something completely different and new that you created.

Note about Crossovers: This is a single-fandom challenge, meaning the universe of no more than one fandom exists BUT you may have characters from other fandoms as long as that fandom universe isn’t mentioned.

Shows that share a universe are exceptions. So, for instance, Marvel Cinematic Universe and Agents of Shield share a canon. So if you’re setting Criminal Minds cast as members of the Avengers, Agents of Shield is on the table as far as canon goes, as well as the rest of the MCU franchise.

Similarly, the NCIS franchise/JAG/Hawaii Five-0 are all the same universe. The CSI franchise shares a universe. The Stargate Franchise shares a universe. And so on.

If you set NCIS characters in Stargate, ALL the Stargate shows are part of your new world, but NONE of the NCIS shows. Clear? But you’re welcome to have Aaron Hotchner be a team leader of another SG team. You can use the characters, not the shows.

A note to the Sherlock Holmes fans. If you’re going to use SH as your new world, you get ONE Sherlock Holmes world. Sherlock, Elementary, RDJr movie-verse, or something else straight from ACD.

Examples of Thematic AUs:

  • Alternate Earth
  • Future Earth
      • This is NOT your fandom set five years in the future. Could be post-apocalyptic, dystopian, Sci-Fi, etc as long as the original fandom canon does not exist.
  • Fantasy
      • Examples, have your characters be elves in LotR, or an original fantasy setting.
  • Science Fiction
      • Examples would be something like Supernatural characters as Jedi/Sith. Or Lucifer is a Betazoid (stop laughing).
  • Paranormal
      • Example: Your characters are ghost hunters, or perhaps a psychic AU (this could also be considered alternate Earth)
  • Supernatural
      • Example: Your characters are shifters, vampires, witches, zombies, etc.
      • You can use your own unique world building or pick an existing fandom that meets the supernatural criteria and insert your characters in it. Example: The NCIS team are a hunter coalition in the Supernatural fandom.
  • Historical
      • Example: could be anything from real historical periods, like Victorian, to a historically-based fandom you bring your characters into.
  • Magic
      • Unique magical world-building, or bring your characters into an existing magical fandom (again, when you bring Stargate Characters into Harry Potter World Building, there is NO MORE STARGATE)
  • Gaming AUs
      • Your characters exist in the video game world. A common example would be Halo—Perhaps your Hawaii Five-0 Characters are Spartans
  • Military/Police
      • Example: Blindspot cast is a SEAL team.
  • Sports
      • Example: Gibbs is the coach of a football team, Tony is quarterback… etc.
  • High School/College
      • Your characters set in a college or high school environment.
  • Superhero
      • Unique superhero world building, or move your Buffy characters into the Avengers universe (in this example, Buffy would NOT be a slayer, because your universe rules are Avengers rules, not Buffy rules).
  • Alternate Humans
      • X-Men AU, other mutant AU, etc.


A few AU examples:

  • Shifter/Werewolves
  • Vampires
  • Pirates
  • Ancient Rome/Ancient Greece
  • BDSM
  • Spartan
  • Steampunk
  • Angel/Demon
  • Dystopian Future
  • Pre-historic
  • Medieval
  • Victorian
  • Psychic
  • Space Opera
  • Zombie
  • Mutations
  • Soulmates
      • This merits special mention. Soulmate AUs are usually written so they don’t change a show’s canon or characters overmuch. This is not the challenge.

Common Fandoms used for AUs (this is not a complete list):

  • Harry Potter
  • Sentinels are Known
      • Though this is a very common AU, there is NO Sentinel AUs for November. Save them for July.
  • His Dark Materials
      • You would be placing your characters in the HDM world, not using HDM concepts in another fandom. That’s a fusion, and it’s not what this challenge is about.
  • LotR/The Hobbit
  • Sherlock Holmes
  • Star Trek
  • Star Wars
  • Spartacus
  • Stargate
      • Another one that deserves special mention. Taking Tony and sending him afloat on Atlantis does NOT meet the challenge. If you’re doing NCIS characters set in Stargate, they were always in the Stargate Universe. Perhaps Gibbs is a team lead, and Tony a munitions expert. Kate is an anthropologist and McGee a field medic.
      • How would your characters be different raised and educated differently? This is the challenge!
  • Halo
  • Mortal Kombat
  • Call of Duty
  • Fallout
  • World of Warcraft
  • Skyrim
  • Pokemon
  • The Stand
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe
  • X-Men
  • Anime Fandoms

Specific Fandom Examples

    • If John and Rodney are in the Supernatual fandom — the stargate doesn’t exist and they kick demon ass.
    • If Stiles works for the FBI as a profiler then he might be able to find Beacon Hills on a map if he tried hard but he’d have no idea why he’d want to go there.
      *If Sam and Dean are on Atlantis — they’ve never hunted for a demon in their life and their dad is a lawyer (or something) and Castiel is easily the hottest doctor on the whole city as far as Dean is concerned.
    • You could take your All-Star Fandom Team ™ and repopulate the entire Atlantis Expedition. Aaron Hotchner is the Expedition Leader, Colonel Derek Morgan is the head of the Military. Dr. House is (still an asshole) and the CMO, and Dr. Reid is the CSO. Garcia is the head of information science and she’s really the boss but no one else knows. Back on Earth, Steve McGarrett is leading SG1 and blowing up shit and making enemies. He’s got this foolishly curious kid on his team named Stiles who keeps getting kidnapped.

Note: If you are inspired by examples above, you may be able to adopt an idea. Leave a comment. 


      1. Read every single bit of this page.
      2. Do not ask me a question that has already been answered in the FAQ. You’re not special and there are no exceptions.
      3. Questions should be asked on the forum thread.



  1. Okay. I am pretty sure I get it but I just want to check one little thing.

    If I take the Avengers and make them magical, (purebloods, half-bloods, muggleborns) and plop them into the HP universe as Tony Stark, Steve Rogers, Bruce Banner, not Iron Man, Captain America, Hulk, can I place them within the HP canon, meaning can the story I write take place during the seven HP books with the Avengers characters populating Hogwarts alongside Harry, Hermione, Draco, Snape, etc. with some of them being in the DA, or the Inquisitorial Squad or dormmates of Harry or Percy or on the Quidditch team with the twins or Cedric.

    They wouldn’t be taking the place of the canon characters. Steve wouldn’t be the BWL and Bruce wouldn’t be teaching potions. They would be additional inhabitants of the 7 books and change them through being there and being the wizards and witches they were born as.

    I am pretty sure from what I’ve read, and I have read it several times through, that it is okay but I want to make sure before I get lost in the plot bunny.

    • Yes, as long as:

      1. They’re not The Avengers
      2. Their talents/powers fit into the HP ‘verse.
      3. There is no SHIELD or any elements of Marvel canon outside of the characters themselves.

  2. Can I build on the verse that I dump my characters into? Cause there was so much more that could have been done when it was on TV.

  3. keepcalmloveseverus

    Do you have a list of ideas/plots, or a good website? I’m thinking either Teen Wolf or Harry Potter characters dumped into the Treasure Planet universe but I don’t want to just rehash the movie. I was thinking they could just live in the space-steampunk type era but my biggest problem with writing is always the plot.

  4. I’m working on my plotting and a question came up. I, like many of us, like to do cast pages. My world is a take on the Unseelie and Seelie courts of the Fae. Since this is a “born in this world” challenge could it be safe to assume that the characters we use from a fandom might not look the same? If I recast characters as different actors would that be skirting the edge too much towards OC’s?

  5. I can’t decide whether I want to kiss you or kill you. My ability to write has gone down the crapper since last November due to family drama. I just haven’t seemed to have the mental energy to bother.

    And then I clap my eyes on this challenge and all but instantly go ‘OH! IDEA!’.

    Which … hey, idea sparkage is of the good. But I really could have used it on my *other* stuff. *amused snort* but at least there’s hope.

    In the meantime, I can cackle amusedly at the idea of the HP gang in the Dragonriders of Pern world. I’m having FUN contemplating who would be what.

  6. Lady Frisselle

    I’m thinking of trying this one out.  Would it be considered cheating if I wrote a paragraph or two every so often to work out world specifics ahead of time?

  7. Ok, I have an idea for a Harry Potter in the SG reality, but I have a few questions.

    HP is not magical at all, but he has an extremely strong expression of the ATA gene. He can’t cast any magic, but he is a linguist, and because of the ATA gene, can communicate with anything, including snakes.

    Would this be permissible in this challenge?

    Thanks for your input (and for Iterum, I loved it!)


  8. Here’s my question. I know we’re supposed to set this story in a single AU. In the comic books, the X-men and Avengers are part of the same ‘verse; in the movies, they are not (although it’s never been explicitly stated that they are separate). Can I keep them all in one ‘verse for my story, even if I wrap the movies’ overall history into the AU? The reason why I ask is… I want my main character to be a mutant who grew up attending Xavier’s School for the Gifted, during the time that ‘Apocalypse’ is set, but he eventually ended up as an Avenger, post-‘Civil War,’ rather than as part of the X-Men. However, this character is not part of the X-Men ‘verse in any way, and I don’t plan on using Xavier & Co. for anything more than cameo appearances in the overall Avengers’ AU. I just want those characters, with their canon histories, to exist within the same AU. Will that work?

    • I think we established that Marvel is all one ‘verse regardless of medium so yes that works as long as your main character is NOT from Marvel. He/She has to come from another fandom and be set down in the Marvel canon from birth.

  9. Definitely not Marvel. I’m leaning toward Sherlock Holmes (BBC Sherlock) as my main character. But Wesley Wyndam Pryce (Angel) is also a possibility. Haven’t quite decided yet. I know I’m way early with this, but I want to have a pretty clear outline of the plot before the challenge starts because I’m really nervous about participating. I’m a writer by trade, but I haven’t written fiction in a LOOOOONG time. Sixteen years, give or take.

  10. greywolfthewanderer

    bloody hell, reading this challenge just gave me a helluvan idea!!  ta for that, m’Lady!  *cackles fiendishly, rubs his paws together*  wow.

    always want to do the Sentinel (which is so not the above idea, no worries) but 3 stories in 1 month daunts the hell outta me.  *so* not your problem, just a wistful notion.  nowt to stop me writing one on my own, after all.

    still.  one world’s characters, born in a different world, no world-specific abilities/powers/artifacts, etc.  works for me.  I can do zat!  (RIP to Anton)

    and in the meantime, July will bring much good stuff to read, so made of win!

  11. You know those ‘which Hogwarts House would you be” quizzes? Imagine a dozen fanfiction writers sitting around (the interwebs) debating which house all their favorite characters would be in – not one or two, but whole casts. This challenge make me think of this, because Hogwarts AU is kind of like a Barista AU; there’s one in every fandom.

    Tony DiNozzo – Slytherin

    Spencer Reid – Ravenclaw

    Naruto – Gryffindor

    Jim Kirk – Slytherin

    John Watson – Hufflepuff

    Also, I should be working on a sequel to my April story and plotting my Sentinel Fusion stories for July. Instead, I’m thinking about Tony DiNozzo as an Auror and imagining Hogwarts as this huge inter-fandom Hub World where all the characters hang out when not in their own stories.

    My muses are officially feral – and not the Sentinel kind of feral, but like a colony of feral cats. Feed them once, and they keep coming back and making a mess in your garden and keep you up at night with their noises.

  12. I plan to do Teen Wolf for this challenge, first time round doing this and I have two questions.

    1.  If I create my own world are the werewolves still allowed to be wrewolves/wolf-shifters?

    2.  If I fall laughably short of the word count will there be issues because when I do Nano I normally do 10k short stories?

  13. I think this is going to be the first RT challenge I actually try to write for because I have a great idea. I hope plotting it early doesn’t count as cheating, because I can’t help that!

  14. Can i pick my main character from a novelle?

    Problem is that most here probably don’t know the series.

    It’s the Sky O’Malley saga/legacy. I’m thinking on either Sky or Jasmine(her granddaughter)

    Probably Jasmine. Who says India cant have a magical grand Mughal? (since she is his youngest daughter in the books. Gives me a great plot)
    These books are written by Beatrice Small. They are semi historical correct (clothing, events, monarch etc are all correct for the 1500 and 1600 Ireland, England and Scotland with a bit of India and Ottoman empire). The main characters are not real individuals and are completely by Mrs Small own creation.

    The woman in these books are always strong and high spirited (which is NOt so historically correct).

    • Yes, you can pick a character from a book or book series but keep in mind this is a complete Alternate Universe challenge so none of the book canon events are useful in this challenge. Jasmine or Skye would be born in your new world so their character history in the books would not apply.

      • So I have a question for this – – can we use the target canon events to mirror the original canon? For example – Castiel the angel is wearing Jimmy, but maybe Castiel the Tok’ra is also wearing Jimmy?

      • I don’t really understand your question since I’ve never watched Supernatural.

        Castiel = a tok’ra symbiote?

        Sure. Castiel as an angel hiding in a human shell? Ask yourself why that would be necessary in a new ‘verse.

  15. I think I might dive in and try to write for this challenge.  The only fic I have posted anywhere is Profiler and that was a long time ago.  Hoping I don’t make a fool out of myself.  Dumb question – sorry in advance.  I have a mac, is there any problem downloading wordpress to a mac?

    • RoughTrade is entirely web-based. We have several Mac user who have no issues using the WordPress Web Interface. The “download” for WordPress would be for creating your own website and managing it offline.

  16. Hey! I’m new here, but wow did this challenge give me so many ideas to think about so thanks!! Also, I’ve never written anything this long before, so the prospect is a little terrifying, but on the other hand I love a challenge, so here’s hoping November comes quickly ; ) Anyway, I had two quick questions regarding the rules:

    Can the story have a pairing of more than two people, for example a polyamorous relationship between three different characters?

    Can the main character still have the same family members they had in the original canon-I’m thinking of writing a Houdini and Doyle(2016) AU set in the Star Wars universe, and I wanted to include Doyle’s children from the series(although as Padawans, not his biological children). Would that work for the challenge?


    Edit: My computer is very slow right now, so if duplicates of this post show up by mistake, I apologize and will delete the extras.

    • 1. There are no restrictions regarding relationships on RT. In fact, I avoid any challenge structure that includes those kinds of restrictions. (well, except for that part where I would stab someone for writing chan on my site)

      2. Yes, you can drop an entire ‘verse of characters into the alternate reality.

      • Thanks for the answers! Now I just have to psych myself up enough by November to write that many words without getting scared and heading for the hills.

        Seriously though, I’m super excited about this challenge!

      • So my insatiable curiosity has come back to make me ask possible stupid questions… I apologize in advance.

        Keira, what exactly do you mean by “writing chan”? I tried googling chan and relationships and I didn’t find a level of stupidity that would constitute that type of response… Then again maybe I missed something big.

      • Chan is pedophilia.

        When it comes to fandom terms. Fanlore is your best option for figuring out what things mean:

  17. So, this is my first post (tried one earlier and didn’t seem to got through).  I found out about RT through Penumbra on AO3 and thought I’d give this a try.


    I’m interested in taking part in the world building challenge; how does the sign up work?  I saw something about a file needing to be uploaded before NANO and challenge starts so any info would be greatly appreciated.



    • Sign ups will start in October and there will be an announcement post.

      Once your sign up is processed, I’ll send you an email with instructions. A working knowledge of wordpress would be very beneficial. We have a youtube playlist all set up for participants:

      • Awesome, I have a plot wombat idea ready to go so I’ll be waiting until then to get started.  Thanks for replying!

      • I’ll be looking for the sign-up soon.  I’ve been plotting a few ideas but nothing solid yet.


        Quick question, one idea has the idea for gender-bending one of the main characters while in this new world.  Is that ok or no?


        Excited about November – is it all right if it’s used as a Nanowrimo project since it falls in the same time frame?

      • Genderbending is fine.

        Yes, we actually run the 50k challenge during November because of NANO.

  18. Hi!

    I might try to write this chalenge, but have a question: are non-english fandoms allowed (books or series that are mostly not known to peole outside one or two countries)? Because for most this fandoms might look like characters from original fiction. For example tv series “Sled” (След) (wiki on it: )

  19. Hi… Just a question, is a kidfic considered OK for this?

    Like for example if I took the Mag 7 boys and dropped them in er, say the LOTR universe as children? (I’m torn between LOTR or Young Blades right now >.<).

    I know kidfic is a common AU type thingy but I didn’t see it in the list.

    Also, just to be 100% certain I’m clear on the rules… Would it be all right if the original characters are still in the universe I write in as themselves? Like the Mag 7 boys would be different according to the new fandom universe, but say I drop them in Young Blades’ world and they meet d’Artagnan and Jacqueline and the other musketeers?

    (Assuming RL doesn’t kick me in the *** I’d really like to try and join in, hope it’s OK as I’ve only recently joined this site and never entered previous challenges before.)

  20. Wow, I haven’t seen anything that inspired me to write again in years, but this just might do it.  A couple questions regarding the world building:

    1) If I use a canon that has several different parts to it (multiple shows, sequels, Marvel or DC type expanded universes), you said we could legitimately use everything as one fandom.  Can I reverse that?  For example, I love Avatar: The Last Airbender but I hate Legend of Korra. Can I drop my characters in the AtLA universe but not keep any LoK canon even though they’re technically the same fandom?  Have my story be set a hundred or more years after AtLA but no Republic City, my own idea of what happened to the characters afterwards (which would now be history for whoever I make the Avatar)?

    2) In the same vein, can I use a canon universe but ignore canon events? For example, my characters are benders of the four nations but Aang, Zuko, et al don’t exist and consequently, the events they took part in never happened, the Hundred Year War doesn’t exist, etc. I’m pretty sure the rules allow this but would appreciate some clarification as many fandoms’ world-building depends so much on the canon characters and history (an HP story that didn’t have Hogwarts because maybe Godric killed Salazar would technically still be in the fandom but it would be almost original too as there’d be so much to change).

    3) You said we can transplant as many characters (from one fandom) that we want.  How about as few?  Only one?  Though I’m thinking more along the lines of a specific two from an ensemble as usually that’s how many characters I like in a show.

    I’ve already got the beginnings of several ideas though I’ll have to plot them out to see if they’ll work and I can write them.

    • 1. Yes, you can ignore any canon in the new universe that you wish to ignore.
      2. Yes, of course. This challenge is more about your character and no one is required to adhere to canon events.
      3. The minimum is one and there is no maximum as far as characters are concerned. This is, however, a 50k challenge so plan/plot with that goal in mind.

  21. I keep trying to post a comment and it’s not working – here’s hoping third time’s the charm!

    I’m thinking of writing a story with Harry Potter in the MCU and I had a question.  In your note, you said that Harry shouldn’t have magic if he’s in a non-magic world, but since the magic in Harry comes from within, is it violating the rules if Harry displays much of the same abilities that, say, Tom Riddle could as a child?  He wouldn’t be casting spells or have a wand, but rather display “accidental” or “wandless” magic that he might then further explore.  Would that be permissible?


  22. I was wondering if we take characters like NCIS (all) or Criminals Minds keep them as Agent but set them in historical setting like 1920 Prohibition or WWII or Cold war. They would be still agents but not due to historical elements.

  23. Looks like I’ll have more time later this year than expected, so I’m thinking about doing this one.

    I’ve been thinking about the no canon specific back story. And I am not sure if that us just a restriction on canon verse specific back story or all the characters back story.

    I thinking about transplanting Spencer reid probably. But a lot of the plot line and the only ease of transition depends on pre canon events back story. Could my Spencer still be a genius with a schizophrenic mother and a dad who left them if these experiences did not push him into later canon events? I’ve been thinking about dropping him into sga and his eidetic memories and genius are paving his way into the stargate sgc. He will have different PhDs and apart from keeping his mother’s illness and the weak father I won’t follow the time line. No high school issues and probably a Sheppard as am early influence.

    I just don’t want to give up on the schizophrenia because tech that talks with you and that background open a side plot

    • The whole point is to give your character different circumstances and reshape them in their universe. Can Spencer still be a genius — sure that’s an integral part of his character. But the more you bring from the original canon with you — the less you challenge yourself within the challenge itself.

  24. This sounds fascinating. It makes me want to try but I’m not sure if my idea fits within the rules exactly. Could I do a Skyrim/Hobbit cross by placing the Dovahkiin into the Hobbit world? Would explaining how they got there be against the rules? Or is it okay as long as they are raised there?  Since Tolkien has magic and shapeshifting would it be against the rules for her to be able to shift into a dragon form since you can’t actually do that in Skyrim?

    • You could put Dovahkiin in the Hobbit BUT she couldn’t be from Skyrim. She would have to be born in the world of the Hobbit/LOTR.

      The rest is up to you.

  25. …Damnit, I’ve just been bitten by TWO potential bunnies for this and I already had plans for Nano. This novel is never going to get a second draft.

  26. I am currently working on a rough outline and notes for my intended plot for this challenge, and I had a question. The canon in which my fic is set doesn’t have a set date equivalent but it isn’t on Earth. Can I use the Earth dates of my transplanted characters (mostly SGA), or should I devise my own date equivalent for the purposes of telling the story when I get to that point?

    For example, can I use Jack O’Neill’s birthdate of Monday, October 20th, 1952 or should I make a day-month-year equivalent in the new world? Um, something like Hynesday, Luna the 20th, 2042?

    I’m okay with it either way, but I figured I’d ask.

  27. What is the type of challenge you are working towards with writers this month? I’m not sure which option I should focus on…

    Are you trying to get the reader to simulate creating an original character by having them use aspects and the same name as a character they know well and moving them while having to create a new backstory for that character?

    Or are you trying to get us writers to work on creating our own realities and worlds with our favorite characters so that we can eventually translate that experience into our original fiction writing?


    Or am I over thinking things and just need to stop analyzing the challenge?

    • The main thrust is shaping your character around NEW circumstances but because some of the participants on RT aren’t ready to make their own original world — we gave them the option to put a known character in a different fandom.

      But really, the purpose is realizing that making major changes in a world must change your character. A person isn’t static — they shift and change due to their circumstances.

  28. I am pretty excited about this.  I’ve been pondering my outline, trying to get my story straight – I think I’ve changed directions about 4 times.  I’m thinking of writing NCIS characters in the SGA universe.  Just wanted to thank you for inspiring us!

  29. I have two questions:
    1) since the point of this challenge is to shape the characters around new circumstances, can I change a few aspects of the new world they’re born into? I was thinking about Harry Potter world plus soulmates exist.
    2) if a character’s father is an asshole in the original world, can he be an asshole even in the new one? After all some traits of a person don’t change.

  30. There’s only one AU allowed for this challenge, right? As in, we can’t have stargates existing in the Marvel ‘verse?

    • Your character has to be taken out of their original ‘verse and put into another. There are no limitations on what new universe is so you can write a crossover if you want as long as you aren’t writing a cross over with your character’s original universe.

  31. This question is somewhat related to my earlier one about putting the BBC version of Sherlock Holmes into the Avengers/X-Men ‘verse. Could my version of Sherlock be named after the original, ACD book character, by parents who loved those stories? Or must the Sherlock Holmes of ACD canon not exist in any form?

  32. This may be an odd couple of questions but say I want to move Harry Potter characters into another universe possibly valdemar…

    can I adapt some of the influencing factors in the early life of characters such as Harry’s parents being killed to something similar but that would fit in with the new world or does the back story need to be completely new… To make the characters similar to how they were in the original world as a starting point?

    In the new world I am assuming that I can move the timing of cannon characters/events around in the world

  33. So, just to check before I go hog wild on this plot bunny that’s hitting me in the head with a hammer, are we allowed to write in your BDSM universe? I know that BDSM is on the list, but I want to make sure that using yours is okay.

  34. I have a partial AU plot for the series Graceland. In Season Two, we are introduced to Sid Markham who’s a corrupt cop.

    Now can I take the *main cast* and simply shift them from being various law enforcement into a gang of sorts, while still leaving Sid as a corrupt cop, or would that fail to make the AU standard of the challenge? Want to make sure *before* I start working out the plot points and planing it out.

  35. My first comment seems to have disappeared, but I just want to verify if I can use some events from canon (shaped to the new universe) as part of my character’s backstory. For example, if I stick Tony in a sci fi universe and he joins the military instead of the police or NCIS and works briefly for Gibbs in that capacity (before the events of my story even begin).

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