I have wanted to write for a bigbang for a long time, but I've heard that there have been problems with the DCBB (like complaints about the hosts, LJ as an outdated fandom platform, bad treatment of artists), so that scared me a bit. What is your opinion as a frequent participant? Are there tumblr-based bangs that you can recommend as alternatives?
Hey! First of all - congrats, that sounds awesome! You should definitely go ahead and write your story, no matter what happens with platforms and fandom problems. :)
That said, I’m probably not the right person to answer this, because I only took part in the DCBB once, and as for artists - I know literally zero things of what goes down on that side. Maybe try asking @mittensmorgul or @ibelieveinthelittletreetopper - I believe they have way more experience in bangs and can tell you everything you need to know about tumblr-based challenges.
As for me, and the experience I had last year - I only messaged the DCBB people once or twice, and they were super nice. I was a bit wary of the LJ bit, simply because I don’t know how to use it, but in the end it really wasn’t a problem - I simply created an account, and used it maybe three times? No, to be honest, my only complaint is visibility, in the sense that posting a 60K story in one day - with the way AO3 works, that’s probably not the best approach. I’ll admit that seeing a coda I wrote in one hour get almost as much attention as a story I basically created with half my soul and all my tears over a period of weeks - that’s slightly disappointing.
That said, those are normal fanfiction problems, and what can you do? Maybe posting two or three chapters a week instead of the whole story at once would get writers more visibility, but on the other hand the whole point of the DCBB is that people get to read novels and cry themselves to sleep and stuff, so if you give them a bunch of WIPs - uhm.
So, well - I would say, if you want to go for it, go for it. I don’t know if you’ve written novel-sized stories before, but it’s definitely a hard thing to do, and having the context of a challenge - a deadline, other writers flailing and panicking all around you, and your artist creating wonderful stuff based on your ramblings so you know you’ve got to keep going, because man, you’re not letting them down - I think it worked for me. I like how my story turned out, and I don’t know if I would have finished it without the framework of the DCBB.
I hope this was helpful in some way?