Since this site's inception in the fall of 2000, the UXN has been a cross between a Herculean task and a labor of love. Like our slogan says, "For the Fans, By the Fans." We do this for the fun, we receive nothing in return except for the satisfaction of creating a resource that others will enjoy or find helpful. Over the years, many have helped, providing a varying amount of contributions, all leaving their mark.
Help, large and small, is always welcome and greatly appreciated. This guide is designed to help you with contributing to the site, hopefully answering most, if not all the questions you may have. That being said if you still are unsure just send an email to Dean Clayton and will do our best to answer your questions.
Where to start?
First and foremost, its always good to think about what you would like to contribute. There are many sections on the site, each requiring a different approach for contribution. Preferably we'd like to suggest what you would like to help out with, be that Issue summaries, a Character profile, or an Article on how many times Wolverine called Professor Charles Xavier, "Chuck".
Now we dont want to dishearten you, but there are a couple of things we need to make clear. Being able to contribute isnt just about wanting to do so. It can take significant more time than you realise to produce content to the level of quality that we try to adhere to, so ask yourself, are you up to the task? Do you have the proper grasp of grammar? can you handle constructive feedback and use it to further improve your writing?
Who to Contact:
Our site has numerous sections, and we all help manage and act as each others editor, however to simplify the starting point Dean Clayton is your first point of contact.
Now, to make life easier for you we've created some guides to help when wanting to contribute to certain sections of the site, so please give them a read, as they will answer most of your questions
Just like the manner in which you speak helps people to have - right or wrong - an immediate judgment on you, so too does writing on the Internet or in e-mails. We dont expect English to be your first language, and for many contributors its a second language, however we do expect a certain quality in terms of grammar, punctuation and spelling. We would also prefer that when you send us your contribution its sent not as part of the actual e-mail but instead as a Word.doc attachment.
Issue Summaries and Crossovers
Unlike most sites, the UXN has maintained a strict neutral opinion voice – ergo no reviews. What one person hates, another might enjoy – and vice versa. In lieu of this, the UXN staff has been writing summaries – prose adaptations of the comics. While the goal is to have a summary of every Marvel comic with the appearance on an X-character (the definition of which can be complicated), we are very specific in what a summary should be. For instance, a summary should follow the following format.
1) It should be in a present, but non-progressive tense, with a 3rd person omniscient voice. The first basically means that you are describing what is happening as it happens, rather than explaining what happened in the past. The 3rd person is the manner in which most fiction is written.
2) The prose should be interesting and exciting, almost as entertaining as the source material. It should never be dry or boring.
3) The detail of the summary can vary with the summarizer. However, the ultimate goal should be that a reader – who has not read the source comic – should be able to follow the summary and understand what happened, being able to more or less hold their own in a conversation about the issue.
While it is not the goal of the UXN to replace comics – far from it – we wish for our site to be a source where people can read summaries to issues that they cannot find or maybe even afford. Also, it can be a quick reference for those needing to quickly figure out “now when did that happen?” without searching through six long-boxes to figure it out. Hopefully, the Issue Summaries will forever be a welcome supplemental to people’s collections.
How to become a summarizer:
Becoming a summarizer is not difficult. Assuming that you are up to the task of writing a summary detailing the action and dialogue of a 22+ page comic, making it informative and entertaining at the same time, all you have to do is ask. Contacting Dean would be your first step, who will hand you over to one of the senior summary editors once you're first submission is ready
What can you summarize:
Generally, we assign “runs” to summarizers. That is, we assign a number of consecutive issues of a title, which, more or less, feature a whole storyline. People are not allowed to summarize their favorite issue and leave the dregs for everyone else. To use a famous example, when our summarizer Fantomex signed up for the Dark Phoenix saga, he had to do all of the issues – not just the exciting end.
What comprises a storyline can be a little difficult to determine – but we are here to answer such questions – so just ask. Annuals, mini-series, one-shots and issues of the 1st Unlimited series are great for a first timer. They can allow a novice to write at their own pace, without fear of a deadline.
As one might expect, titles that come out every month – called Current Titles by us - can be very enticing. However, it is extremely rare that people are assigned these without proving talent, that their interest in working on the site is something that they will stick with and that they can meet a monthly schedule. As a rule, newcomers must prove these traits with runs on Back Issues, and when a Current Title opens up will be given a shot.
When the UXN was first started, the field of what could be summarized was wide open. Now, thousands of summaries later, what is left to be claimed is slim pickings. As of the time of this writing, every single issue of Uncanny X-Men and X-Men (2nd series) has either been summarized, has been assigned or is being held back (Event Month or Crossover Entry). Following closely behind are X-Factor and, to a lesser extent, Excalibur.
Since this information is fluid and subject to change as a staff member might request a run, it is recommended that a prospective summarizer take a look at what has not yet been done, compile a list of what they are interested in. We can then compare it to the most recent list of issues claimed and reply back. Of the ones that are not yet assigned, the new summarizer can choose on their own what they would like to work on.
When it comes to Issues that belong to a Crossover, then it’s not only the individual Issue Summaries that are expected, but also an overall Crossover entry. Naturally for such an approach, you need to have insight to all parts of the Crossover and all Issues need to be summarized first, without any of them being released until the entire crossover had been handled. If it’s a really huge storyline, you can ask another contributer to team up with you on such a project. Naturally, this is also something we only hand to our more experienced contributers.