One of the biggest honors in Chronicles of Man is having your content become canon. Canon in CoM – like canon in other science fiction series – represents the official lore of the universe. By becoming canon, you get a chance to have your content etched into the very firmament that is CoM. Canon stories that you write, nations you build, and the factions that rise up from your keystrokes become the very foundation of our universe.
Building Canon Content
The hallmark of canon content is something that fits effortlessly into the universe. It feels natural. More so the universe is enriched by it. It adds flavor without being overpowering. It is unique enough to not be bland. There is without a doubt a balance to building canon content, and while we can’t give you a formula on how to turn your creations into canon, the best thing you can do is read as much as you can about the universe to get a full grasp of it all. That being said, there are a few things that will help your content become canon.
- Be Original – Originality is the cornerstone of CoM. While not everything is going to be completely original (you really can’t be in scifi these days), try to bring as much diversity to your ideas as you can. Halmarks of a good nation is something that is far from black and/or white. Gray makes up most of the shades when it comes to politics, business, war, and life as a whole.
- Be Creative – A good science fiction story isn’t an amalgamation of original words that have no meaning. Saying “the gorglleflops ran to the fitmitzer” has a whole lot less meaning than something that draws influence and research from our real world. Make sure your stories and ideas draw influence from reality. Cultures from Africa, South America, and the Pacific Islands are tragically unrepresented in science fiction. Technology grounded in some science is better than no science.
- Be Bold – While we do say that you need to fit into the lore, the lore is hardly bland. Creative and unique ideas that push the boundaries of our own rules are good. They expand the content of the universe and open new doors.
Follow these key ideas and your content will be on the way to becoming canon.
As you’ve probably read already, Chronicles of Man is an open source science fiction community. What that means is the community gets to decide what becomes canon. Of course, the process is more than just a yay or nay vote and in many ways, there is a bit of a democratic government at play within CoM. (Actually, it’s a dictatorship, I just give you all the sense of freedoms). So let’s get down to it.
- Once your content is ready to be submitted, open a thread on the Forum’s “Canon Submissions” section. Introduce your content and make your case.
- Myself, a Founder, or a Citizen will initiate a vote once your post has been made.
- All users can vote on your submission.
- After a 48 hour period, votes are closed and the results are reviewed. If you have a majority, your content moves on to the next stage. If not, then you need to go back and do some more work before attempting to submit it again.
- After you’ve passed this stage of votes, your content goes up to the citizens and founders for vote. Think of them like the upper house of congress. They will review your content as well. If one of them wants to call for a vote to overturn the results of the general vote, they can. If it passes with a majority, your content is rejected as canon and you have to do some more work again. If it passes the citizens it goes up to me – Josheua – for final review.
- As the creator of the series, Josheua reserve the right to veto something that passes the community and citizen vote. This is simply to allow him to maintain creative control of the series. If he decides to veto it, he’ll explain in detail to you why he chose to do so. He does not frequently do this and don’t expected to have to use this power often (if at all).
Guidelines for the vote:
- APPROVED: The voter believes that, with exception of minor issues such as a few spelling and grammar mistakes, the content presented is acceptable as is for being canonized.
- APPROVED PENDING ADJUSTMENT: The voter approves of the content, but something isn’t quite right. Maybe there are too many spelling or grammar errors, there are continuity errors, unnecessary “WIP” sections on a page that, if deleted, would make it look nicer, some critical concept needs to be fleshed out more. Relatively small things that, once ironed out, would leave the product as quite acceptable.
- SIGNIFICANT WORK NEEDED: Simply put: The content isn’t ready to become canon. Perhaps it’s a copy-cat of an existing nation, real or CoM, or not enough content is presented, or it’s presented so haphazardly as to be unsightly. Never fear: If your content isn’t approved, it’s not the end. It just needs some work, and the CoM team will be more than happy to help.
Assuming your content passes all the steps, it becomes canon. From here on out, your work is permanently attached to the series. An admin will go to the back end of the site and assign your content the canon tag. You should see a “canon” appear next to the title.