It’s here! Yes, it’s happening and I hope y’all are as into it as I am!
Banner and Icons by amyxaphania
The “Who Are You” Ficathon focuses on the theme of identity through bodyswaps and genderswaps. Often bodyswap and genderswap fics are only used to explore a character’s sexual identity and in doing so, hook them up with another character. This can lead to gratuitous sex scenes. And hey, those are an enjoyable part of fanfiction, but there’s a whole other world of identity that is not explored when stuck in this highly sexualized corner. The "Who Are You" Ficathon's goal is to explore the greater breadth and scope of identity.
Write a bodyswap or genderswap fic that explores more than just characters’ sexual identity. You don’t have to ignore their sexual identity (it’d be hard to ignore it considering how prominently it features in bodyswaps and genderswaps), but explore other aspects of identity.
For example: Socioeconomic identity, gender identity (what if Xander was switched with a girl and forced to experience sexual harassment in the workplace), political identity, national identity (all fans who don’t live in America – isn’t it time to school the Buffyverse on your country?), religious identity, ethnic/racial identity (what if Riley bodyswaped with Forrest? Racial issues at Sunnydale U, anyone?), moral identity (Buffy bodyswaps with Spike and must battle the demonic urges within a vampire’s body), age identity (bodyswapping with a person from a different generation – for example, a Freaky Friday fic where Buffy bodyswaps with Joyce – how do we not already have a Freaky Friday fic in the Buffy fandom? Or did I miss it?)
If you think about this, this includes time travel – what if Buffy were bodyswaped with the First Slayer? What if Willow bodyswapped with JFK during the Cuban Missile crisis? What if Buffy awoke to find herself as Alice in Wonderland – how would that story go differently if Alice were the Slayer? How would any popular literature go differently if the hero was the Slayer? What if the healing spell in What’s My Line switched Drusilla and Angel’s minds, leaving Angel inside Drusilla’s body without a soul and Drusilla inside Angel’s body with a soul?
Seriously, go for broke. Take the characters and put them through their paces. Throw them into the foreign and unknown. Force them to rely on their inner strength and ingenuity and, most of all, have them learn from their experience.
The plot will be guided by the bodyswap/genderswap naturally, but feel free to make the story as plotty as you like. Or you can keep it a pure identity exploration, but do so with an eye on facets of identity other than the purely sexual. If the story starts to lead into sex scene after sex scene or titillation just purely for sexual exploration, you’re heading into the territory that’s already been well-covered by bodyswaps and genderswaps in fics that hook up the characters. If the story is starting to look like a hook-up fic – “Xander becomes a girl and discovers he wants to be with Spike and make-out and have sex all the time” – then you’re falling into the area this ficathon wishes to avoid.
There is no limit. The story can be as long or as short as you’d like.
July 2-4. (Is it alright to have it on a holiday weekend? I just liked the metaphor of it. If that’s not convenient, I can push it back to the weekend of July 9-11.) I'll be posting a Master List of links to all the fic contributions.
So writers – let’s roll the dice. Comment below if you’re interested in participating (only interested! You’re not signing over your first born…yet) or if you have any questions or feedback.
Folks, feel free to help by pimpin' the ficathon - the banner and icons are snaggable (and aren't they pretty?). Also click here to share your ideas for Ficathon Prompts or check out our Beta Support thread.