Reality One - Challenge One Fic
A little later than I would have liked, here's my first entry for the Reality One challenge.

Title: This Time of Madness Part One: Gwen
Author: Criccieth
Complete or WIP: WIP - Part 1 of 3
Rating: 12
Pairing: Jack/Ianto; Rhys/Gwen
Warning: CoE compliant, so spoilers for that
Theme: Reality One
Disclaimer: I don't own anyone or anything in this except for the idea of Morgan Jones. Brigadier Winifred Banberra and Ancelyn ap Gwalchmai are from the 7th Doctor story "Battlefield" and the novelisation of that adventure gives Ancelyn's family title.
Beta'd by: MadTheo - you're wonderful.


Through the Looking Glass: An Impossible Thing
sailor kiss
Title: An Impossible Thing
Author: chasingtides
Complete or WIP: Functions as stand-alone, part of a larger universe
Rating: PG
Pairing: Slight Owen/Gray
Warning: References to CoE, in future stories in the universe: war, death, famine
Theme: Through the Looking Glass
Disclaimer: I don't own Torchwood or Dr Who
Beta'd by: smallcaps, graspthethorn, senry, littledarkvoice

( 'The question is,' said Humpty Dumpty, 'which is to be master -- that's all.' )

Torchwood Season 4
without wishing to sound like we're moaning, the mods have become a little concerned. We're all working on our own stories for the challenge and real-life has delayed each of us.

however, we're a little alarmed to see that NO-ONE, not one single member, has posted any response at all to the challenge - not even a complaint!

So - two things.

One - we're extending the deadline for the challenge - you're now free to post any sort of respone to the challenge up to and including Saturday 31st October.

Two - is anyone out there intending to write for the challenge? or to write any piece for either theme? if so, brilliant - PLEASE come and post! If not: can we ask why not? Do you dislike the theme? Feel the rules are too restrictive? Or have we given everyone the impression that we';re already at the stage of approaching authors to write specific fic?

We'd love to see this comm take off and produce some great stories and go on to produce a wonderful season 4. But if everyone who joined, joined only to read fic (which is great - not much point writing if no-one reads), then let us know!


Reality One - Challenge One
All: In case anyone is lost for ideas as to what to write for this community, we've decided to open the challenges.

So here is Reality One - Challenge One, and the challenge is:
What happened in the six months between Ianto and Stephen's deaths and Jack leaving? What happened to Jack? Gwen? Torchwood? Did Ianto come back during that timeframe, and if so why doesn't Jack know? you don't have to answer all of these questions in your fic, we're just throwing them out there. But the prompt is "The Missing Months"

There's no word limit and we will accept mutli-part fics. The closing date for CHALLENGE fics is midnight BST (GMT + 1) on Friday 25th September - that is, the START of Friday 25th September - just over four weeks from now.

If you don't want to write a reply to the challenge this time round, then there's no obligation: we aren't just open to challenge fics. If you have a plot bunny you want to write now, then go ahead and write: we're open to fics all of the time, people are always welcome to post fics that don't fit into the challenges. HOWEVER please remember to follow the rules for whichever theme you are writing in: Reality One or Through the Looking Glass. For a reminder of the rules for each theme, please click on the links to the right. If a fic is posted that breaks the rules, the mods will take it down and detail the problem to the writer, who is then welcome to re-post the fic if they can amend the problem and still be happy with the outcome. Iif you feel that fixing the problem would detract from the story, between us the mods are aware of a large number of post-CoE comms that are either denying CoE or have not opted for the restrictions we've chosen to have, and we'll happily point you in their direction (and then come along to read the fic!). The reason for the rules is not to limit people, but to find out which authors out there (including ourselves) work well when given a framework to write in. After all, show-writers have certain things they can or can't do in their work, and our intention is to select from the authors who post here to form a team to write as professional a Season-Four as we can.

Please feel free to post your fics (challenge-based or not) as you write them - either directly onto the journal's comm or via a link to your own journal. We'd prefer beta'd fics - there's a list of willing betas in the link to the right.

Please note we intend to run a challenge-arc alongside the intended Season Four (we're not going to start writing Season Four until we've got a short-list of writers drawn from posters on this comm - so if you want to be involved in writing a Season Four that "puts right what [once] went wrong", then please post your Reality One or Through the Looking Glass fic here). For challenge-arc details, please click on the "Challenge Arc Details" link to the right.

We will be posting Through The Looking Glass Challenge One in about two weeks time. In the meantime, if you have suggestions for future challenges please post or comment. Good luck and we're looking forward to seeing some new stories and all sorts of takes on the challenge and theme!

Challenge Arc Details

The idea of the challenge arc is to build a constantly-evolving on-going story SEPERATE to our fan-written Season Four. From the first challenge in each Theme, we (the mods) will pick what we consider to be the best story. We will probably do this by voting (please note that although we may enter a challenge ourselves, no mod will vote for their own story) for our first, second and third favourite and then seeing what list comes from there and selecting the one with the most votes - sort of transferable-vote style.

We will then post declaring the winner of that challenge.

After that, each time we post a challenge, writers have a choice: they can either simply post a fic in reply to the challenge, in which case they can write what they want provided it complies with the general rules of the theme (Reality One or Through the Looking Glass) that they are writing in. OR they can post specifially to the "challenge arc". If they do that then they have to accept whatever happened in the story that won the previous challenge. So, for example: say the winning story for Challenge Number One for Reality One states that Ianto is returned to life via cloning (please don't take that to mean that only stories that use cloning can win the challenge!). Say that Challenge Two poses the question of who Jack meets when he teleports away at the end of CoE. A story replying to that challenge which is written for the "challenge arc" CANNOT state that Ianto came back to life because the Doctor used his sonic screwdriver. You could have someone [including Jack, Ianto or the Doctor} THINKING that was the reason (and therefore taking actions based on that assumption) - but if you NEED Ianto to actually be returned to life by the sonic screwdriver because it's essential to the story, then fine - write it and post it in reply to the challenge, but it CAN'T be considered for the "challenge arc".

When you post a challenge reply, you can indicate whether or not it's for the challenge-arc or a one-off reply to the challenge.

Out of the replies to Challenge Number Two that are marked to us as for the challenge-arc, we will again select a winner. We will then post Challenge Number Three and again: if you want to, you can write to the challenge-arc, which means accepting what happened in Challenge Number Two's finalist. Or you can write a story that replies to the challenge, but isn't for the arc.

Points to Note:

1. Challenge arc stories DON'T have to be direct sequels to previous winners - after all, "Adam" is not a sequel to "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang", but it develops along the theme laid down in the earlier story. Think of it as a continuity thing: whilst "Adam" isn't a sequel, it doesn't contradict "Kiss Kiss." (Yes. Yes, I KNOW certain Who and Torchwood episodes have contradicted themselves. Let's try and improve on that!). Anyway - if you want to write to the challenge-arc but don't want to pick up any themes that have been laid down in earlier winners - then don't pick up any themes. Just don't openly contradict FACTS from earlier winners (peoples interpretations of what happened, or their opinions on things, can be wrong or can change of course!)

2. If you write something to the challenge arc and you create an OC (such as a new medic), or introduce a theme never-before seen in Torchwood [such as Gwen being the Master's daughter, or Jenny falling for Rhys] then please be aware that those characters and themes will enter a sandbox - anyone who writes for the challenge-arc later WILL BE ABLE TO USE them - but ONLY OCs or themes from fics written for the challenge-arc are sandboxed. OCs introduced in general fic, or in challenge-fic that isn't for the arc, ARE NOT TO BE USED BY OTHER AUTHORS. I don't think you can really claim ownership of a theme (look how many slave/whore Ianto fics there are out there [there are times I REALLY hope Gareth doesn't do LJ....], or m-preg etc). However, if you're going to pick up a theme previously read elsewhere and take it in a new direction, then I think it's polite to say "saw this idea on XXX's journal and loved it".

3. If you want to write your own on-going story, and respond to the challenges but don't want others to play with your themes and OCs, then feel free to make it clear in your posts that YOUR challenge reply is NOT for the arc, but it does take place in an on-going you-universe that fits within the parent theme (Reality One or Through the Looking Glass)

4. Whether you're writing to the challenge-arc or replying to the challenge without entering the arc, please remember the theme rules will still apply.

5. Although you're welcome to post a mutli-parter in response to a fic, only complete fics will be considered for the arc. A complete fic will be something that has dealt with the fic challenge. So if we say "bring Ianto back" and you write a story that starts in Ianto's primary school days and hasn't actually raised him from the dead by the closing date - it won't be considered for the arc, but you're more than welcome to go on posting your parts and raising Ianto from the dead.

6. The challenge arc will be completely seperate from the formal Season Four when we come to write it. If you've never written for the arc, or responded to a single challenge but all three mods have devoured every single one of your stories/every chapter of your epic, then you've every chance of being approached to help us write Season Four!

7. If any of the above is incomprehensible or worded in such a way you're thinking "WTF", then please post asking for clarification or re-phrasing.

Ladies, gentlemen and other notables: we are OPEN
Hello all.

Right. We're opening to fics as of this post.

At the moment, how you post is down to you - either provide a link from here to your own journal or if you can fit the whole fic in one post, post here in it's entirety.

PLEASE give the following information for a fic post:

Complete or WIP:
Rating: (use either US or UK ratings. The UK ratings are: PG, 12, 15, 18)
Pairing: (if relevant)
Warning: (if relevant)
Theme: (Reality One or Through The Looking Glass)
Disclaimer: Yes, we know a lot of people think the Beeb and RTD don't deserve them anymore but still...
Beta'd by:
Link: if you're posting to your own journal.

For the moment, we intend to mod posts, so we will add the tags. As fic comes in, we will build up master-lists of the fics falling under each theme.

Just to remind you, each theme has it's own rules so please bear those in mind when writing/posting. The rules for each theme are in the links.

Remember that in BOTH themes, we're not just looking for Jack- or Ianto-centric fics, we're also looking for fics focusing on Gwen and Rhys and Torchwood.

We would prefer that fics be beta'd: yes, we all know inspiration can strike like a lightening bolt, but beta'd fics tend to be easier for others to read - please see our list of betas from the link to the right, and approach these volunteers!

We intend to be open to general fics set within either theme permanently. At some point in November/December, we will start approaching people asking if they wish to be involved in writing the community Season Four. Who we approach will be determined by the joint opinions of the mods on the quality of fics.

FINALLY: don't forget we plan to run challenges. The first step is to get some ideas, so if you have any prompts/suggestions/plot bunnies for either theme, please comment here, letting us know the idea and the theme it's for!

Beta Request
Winter is Coming

We know that many new writers can have trouble finding a beta and here at torchwood_s4 we would prefer fic to be beta read. We would like, therefore, to put together a list of people who would be willing to beta.

If you are willing would you please fill in the form below and post it as a comment.

E-mail address:
What you prefer to read:
Will not read:
Anything else:

Thank you.

Season Four - Results.
Winter is Coming
Hello all,

After much discussion of the results, the other mods and I have decided which route we wish to take.

Although the majority of voters chose the 'Reality One' option (50.5%), 40.2% of voters opted for 'both'. This, we agreed, was a considerable number and so we decided that we would run both themes. They will be run one after another to make it easier for both up mods and anyone who wishes to participate in both themes.

Instead of setting up a sister comm we decided that both themes will be part of this community with each one being tagged accordingly. There will be a mod-run master list for each theme.

We hope to be opening to fics later this week. :)

Season Four - poll
Hello all.

The poll has been closed - thank you to everyone for voting!

Myself and the other mods will be discussing the results and we'll get back to you all as soon as possible to confirm where we intend to go.

Anyone who voted for "other" - could I ask you to drop a quick comment outlining what ideas you had? It may be possible to integrate them into the theme we choose.

Anyone watching the comm - we're open to members now if you want to join but PLEASE ALL - remember no fic just yet.

Season Four - General Theme
Hello all!

We're looking to get up and running here as soon as possible but the first and most important question has to be asked first:

What KIND of Season Four do we want?

This Season is to be written by the fans, for the fans. HOWEVER - it is essentially a Jack/Ianto-centric Season, so if you happen to be one of those who 'ship Jack and Gwen (or Gwen and Ianto....Jack and get the picture) then this probably isn't for you. No offence - all power to your elbow if you decide to go write your own reply to Children of Earth - but this one is for the Jack/Ianto shippers! ALSO, after discussion between the mods, we have decided to go with CoE compliant- that is to say, whatever the theme we choose, Season Three in it's painful entirety took place. If you want a verse where Season 3 didn't happen, or want to fix what you didn't like about Season 2, then did you know of the existence of torchwood_denial or torchwood_redux? Redux is even more ambitious than us - they're looking to re-write from "Everything Changes".


We have two basic suggestions for the theme of the season.

REALITY ONE - This would effectively pick up where Season Three left off. EVERYTHING that happened in Seasons 1, 2 and 3 is canon and has to be accepted as true (in the case of Debenhams and other say-what issues, for a given value of 'true'!). There are certain additional rules that would govern Season Four - Reality One:

1) Ianto died. No coma, no dream. He died.
2) No Immortal Ianto or TimeLord Ianto.
3) No re-set button: that is, you can't re-wind time as RTD did with The Year That Never Was. Let's be MORE imaginative than RTD and come up with something new, as opposed to re-using Season finales!
4) Whatever remains of Torchwood, Gwen is heavily involved.
5) In case you were getting worried: bring Ianto back!

Within that? Do whatever you want - we want to see how people "fix" CoE and show Torchwood surviving and doing it's job, whilst also seeing how authors manage within the rules.

Don't like that? How about this:

THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS - This would NOT feature the Ianto of 'our' reality returning from the grave. Instead, the theme is two-fold: one strand has Jack going dimension-hopping by whatever means you like, moving between the realities with the intention of effectively 'finding' another Ianto. The second strand (you can write fics which look at one, the other or both if you choose) would look at how Torchwood cope, left behind. Once again, to make things interestings, there are rules:

1) Jack does NOT get the guy. Seriously. Whether he finds a reality where Ianto died at Canary Wharf, or finds a reality where Ianto is already happily in love, or a reality where different decisions made in the past led to a Ianto that Jack will kill rather than sleep with - this will INITIALLY be a no-happy endings theme (stay with me: it gets better, honest)
2) If your AU has a Jack (it doesn't have to), then he's immortal for the same reasons as our Jack. Doesn't mean he has to be the same guy - different decisions can led to a different outcome.
3) No TimeLord Ianto.
4) Whatever happens to Torchwood in our reality, Gwen is involved [what involvment AU-Gwens have with 'their' Torchwoods is entirely your affair].

Other than that - the sky's the limit: AU all the way. Just remember that if Ianto led a very different path, it might be a tad difficult for Jack to track him down without the sort of access to information he has in our reality.


Initially, the comm would be open for any and all fic written within the rules laid out above (fics written here by the mods will of course have to follow the rules). Eventually, the mods would approach selected writers and invite them into a closed-shop to thrash out a whole 13-episode season between us all. If we go for 'Reality One', then the season WILL bring Ianto back and reunite him, eventually, with Jack. If we go for 'Through the Looking Glass', we would have a first half-Season (or possibly entire season) that revolves around Jack's failures and Gwen's Torchwood work before giving Jack his 'happy' ending of finding the 'right' Ianto and bringing him home - only to find major problems at home, possibly resulting from Jack's own actions (damage to the space-time continuum, or threats from wherever he got his dimension-jumping tech or something else we come up with!). The second half-Season (or possibly Season Five) would then be Jack and the new Ianto trying to fix this problem.

While the season is written, whatever the chosen theme, the comm would remain open for general, rule-compliant fic. In addition, we would occasionally give out challenges. HOWEVER, this would be a challenge-arc: after each challenge, a winner would be declared. Within the challenge-arc, this winning fic would be regarded as having happened - fics written for later parts of the challenge don't have to be a sequel but they cannot contradict it, although they can look at it from another angle (think how Fragments fits in against everything we'd had on-screen about Jack, Tosh, Owen and Ianto up to that point). THIS MEANS that if you enter a story for the challenge-arc that contains an OC and you win, your OC is now available for anyone else to play with WITHIN THE CHALLENGE ARC. The end-result of the challenge arc will be akin to a seperate Season Four, evolving in response to each winning contribution. It keeps things interesting while the season proper is being written!

SO - anyone who is interested, please place your votes: would you like Reality One, Through the Looking Glass or a double-comm, running with both ideas. OR - do you have a totally new (season 3 compliant) idea for the underlying theme of Season Four? Feel free to vote and make any comments you care to!

EDIT - when I made the comm I set it to explicit adult content because I was anticipating NC-17 fics. It's come to my attention that this also prevents under-18's from voting. Going to try and fix that, but if you find you can't vote due to age, then either messge me with your vote or leave a comment here or on the comm where you found the link. Being WAY over the age of majority, I didn't realise people might actually be locked-out, so will try and ensure that at least the over-14's can join in the fun.

EDIT No. 2
We weren't going to open for membership until AFTER the poll had closed. However, after a rush of people wanting to join, we've amended things a little: the POLL is still open until midnight on Friday, British Summer Time (GMT +1). We ARE accepting memberships now but posts will be moderated and NO FIC POSTS WILL BE TAKEN UNTIL THE POLL RESULTS HAVE BEEN DETERMINED. So post with questions, suggestions, plot bunnies etc will be allowed but anyone wanting to post fic is asked to wait until we declare the theme. Thanks for the interest, everyone!

Poll #1435986 Poll 1 - Season Four Theme
This poll is closed.

What general theme would you like to see for the fan-written Season Four Community?

Reality One
Through the Looking Glass
Both - two sister comms


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