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500themes Community FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Below is the epic frequently asked questions post. If you have a question, ask away! The only stupid question is the one never asked.


Q: Who can join this community?
A: Anyone!
is open to any writer/artist who is inspired by its existence.

Q: How often is the sign-up list updated?
A: Weekly at the very least. If it's been longer than that, contact a mod.


Q: Where do I make a claim?
A: You can do that right

Q: Do I need to claim a pairing/character/group from any particular series?
A: No way! Choose any fandom you want!

Q: Does the fandom have to be anime-related?
A: Nope. They can be anything - anime, books, movies, etc. They can even be original or real person related.

Q: Do I have to claim a specific genre as well?
A: No. Any genre is acceptable. You can write romance, science fiction, humour, angst or anything else.

Q: Are crossovers allowed between fandoms?
A: Yes. Just be sure that when claiming a crossover, you state so in the header.

Q: What sort of claims is one allowed to make? Obviously, one can claim pairings and groups, but are single characters and general fandom among the group as well?
A: Yep, that's fine!

Q: Is an OC/Character couple defined as a couple for that fandom, or a crossover couple?
A: A crossover couple.

Q: If it's considered a crossover couple, would it be okay if we already have a claim for that character in their original fandom?
A Sure. Say, you want Sora/OC and you already have Sora/Kairi, then go ahead.

Q: Can I collaborate with someone else on a claim?
A: Yes. However, you may only work with 4 (four) other people. We still want this to be a challenge after all.

Q: Are original characters/series allowed?
A: Hell yes! Please mention in your claim that they're original, though.

Q: If someone's already claimed the character/pairing I want, do I have to wait until they're done?
A: No way! Go ahead and write about whoever you want. Chances of you guys churning out the same exact fics are highly unlikely, and if it happens, someone's cheating. As I don't really see that as being a problem, go ahead and claim to your heart's content.

Q: If I'm claiming a relationship, can it be a threesome?
A: Sure. If you can make it work, then go for it.

Q: Can I claim a particular pairing twice at one time?
A: Sure! Go for it.

Q: What if I want to claim more than one couple, but some of the characters are in the same fandom?
A: *That's fine. For example, if you want to claim Aragorn/Arwen and you already have Aragorn/Boromir, go for it.

Q: Do relationships have to be romantic-themed?
A: No, this category covers all interactions between characters such as friendship, rivalry, family, etc.

Q: What if my claim covers more than one category, like both Romantic and Friendship?
A: Then put both genres down. This is a big claim. We won't lock you into writing only romance or only friendship. That's insane.

Q: Do I have to stay within established canon while writing my claim?
A: Not at all! Pick it up, twist it around, flip it inside out and go to town.

Q: Can I claim real-life actors/band members/celebrities/etc?
A: Go for it! Just remember to put a disclaimer at the beginning of each fic and each chapter stating that you do not know the celebrities of whom you write and that your story is not a statement on their personalities, sexual preferences, lives and viewpoints, etc. If it gets to be too much, then the category will have to be dropped, but for now, yes. It's allowed.

Q: What if I no longer want/can't complete my claim?
A: Then we will be very sad. *sob* But if you really can't, then head over to
this post
to drop it off. If you want a new one, make sure to stop by the
claims post
to request it.


Q: Are these themes supposed to be taken metaphorically or literally?
A: It's up to the writer. Some fandoms allow for certain themes to be taken literally, and others don't. Feel free to mix and match your interpretations. 'Sensation of loss' could be anything from the loss of a tooth to the loss of a sense to the loss of a loved one. The possibilities are endless!

Q: Do the themes need to be the focal point of the fic/drawing, or can they just be referenced?
A: Oh no. They are by no means a focal point. As long as the theme is mentioned somewhere, it can just be referenced.

Q: Do I have to write these themes in order?
A: Absolutely not. Whatever strikes your fancy at that particular time, run with it and have a ball.

Q: Do I have to finish all 500 themes to receive a prize?
A: Yes.

Q: Can I combine multiple themes into one submission?
A: No. It's a challenge, after all. *grins evily* I know. I'm mean.


Q: When and where do I post?:
A: Whenever you finish a theme, post right here in this community following the example I give on the userinfo page. It's best to simply give a link to your work; after all - you have to host it somewhere. If you like though, you can post it in the same entry, but it MUST be under an lj-cut, or at least a fake cut. The only thing I want to see outside of the cut is the form I've given for you to fill out and, if you wish, the first paragraph of your fic. Nothing else.

Q: Can I write and do artwork for the same couple?
A: Yes.

Q: Do multi-chaptered fics count as one story, or does each chapter count as a different one.
A: Each chapter counts as a different one. For instance, if you wrote a 100 chaptered story, you would only need to write 400 more works after it. Just make sure you use one theme per chapter. No repetitions, or they won't count.

Q: Is it okay if I include other characters or pairings?
A: Yes. Go for it!

Q: Can I post multiple completed themes in the same post?
A: You may post as many themes as you wish in a single entry. Just keep the header with each. Also, no more than five different fandoms allowed in a single post. This is due to the memorying system which only allows me to mark five different categories per entry. If you are going to do this, you must use an LJ cut! If you don't know how to do this, see the userinfo page. There is an example there.

Q: Is there a word limit (maximum or minimum) on the themes?
A: No. Your fics can be anywhere from a single paragraph or haiku to a multi-chaptered novel.

Q: Can I do a fanart/icon/banner for my themes?
A: No. Only artwork such as sketches, drawings, watercolors, etc. are allowed. No banners or icons please. If you're looking for a community that allows that, visit

Q: What types of works can I post?
A: Original characters, original stories, OCs with fandom characters, crossovers between two fandoms, AU stories, poetry, lyrics, screenplays, songfics and artwork are all acceptable. Icons and/or banners are not. (Try
for things such as that.)

Q: Do I have to use the posting format provided in the Profile?
A: Yes please. This saves me loads of time when tagging and memorying day comes around. You don't need to fill it out in that exact order, but please include the relevant information.

Q: Do I have to post the themes in this community? Or can I post them in my journal and link them?
A: You absolutely can. Just be sure to use the same posting format from the profile here and include the link in place of the LJ-cut.

Q: Do I have to tag and/or memory my posts?
A: You will be given tags, so please use that when you are posting. As for memorying? No. I will do that when I get the chance.

Q: What about tagging?:
A: As stated in the above question, you will be given tags when you announce your fandoms. Please use that. It will most likely simply be your username, so it shouldn't be difficult to remember.

Q: Can I use material I've written before?:
A: Yes. Guys, 500 themes and no WIPs? I'm not that cruel. My old, Laurel-didn't-just-remind-me-of-the-WIP-rule self who wrote the old FAQ was, but my new, livin'-in-Florida self is happy to allow you to fill your table with WIPs if you've got 'em. Okay, not fill your table. We'd still like this to be a challenge, but if you have a few WIPs that will fit, then go for it.

Q: What ratings are allowed?
A: Any and all. If you use a system other than the standard G-NC-17, let us know what it stands for. And any material higher than a PG13 rating must be clearly labeled as such in your header.

Q: What pairings are allowed?
A: Any and all again. Het, yaoi, yuri...whatever your little heart desires. Just make sure you put a warning on any heavily sexual fanworks.

Q: Can I insert original characters into my fics which are based on an established fandom?
A: Yes. Just be sure to put a warning up if there is the slightest possibility that what you're writing may turn out to be considered a Suefic or SI (Self Insertion) story. In otherwords, if you're gonna Mary-Sue/Gary-Stu, warn us.

Q: Can I write slash/yaoi?
A: Definitely! All orientations are welcome and encouraged.

Q: Can I post incest stories then?
A: Yes, just be sure to add a warning in your header.

Q: Is there a deadline?
A: Ahahahahahahahaha! Deadlines? *titters and sings to the fabulous music of them shooting by.* Really, guys? It's going to take you a year minimum to finish this challenge, and that's if you post something every day. I'm not gonna make things even more stressful by wrangling you lot with deadlines. Besides, the muses will not be timed. That, we all know for a fact.

Q: Why do I have to put everything under an lj-cut?
A: To keep our poor flists from being spammed. Keep in mind that not everyone likes everyone else's fandoms. LJ-cutting your entries ensures that your friends don't need to read/scroll for hours through a work they aren't interested in. And, quite frankly, it makes both the com and our flists look a hella lot neater.

Q: Can I do a fake-cut?
A: Absolutely. Just be sure to use the same header I've given on the userinfo page.

Q: Can I cross post these?
A: Tis your fanwork, feel free to do with them as you will.

Q: I don't know how to make an lj-cut!
A: Then you haven't read the userinfo page. There's an example there. :P


Q: My fic wasn't archived!
A: All entries will be archived once a month. Please let two weeks pass before notifying us of a missing memory. If you do not want your entry archived, please state so in the header.


Q: Can I affiliate my community with
A: Absolutely!!!! We LOVE affiliates! Just
fill out this form
and wait up to 24 hours to be added to the list at the bottom of the userinfo page.

Q: Can I pimp my community here?
A: Only fic/art may be posted to this community. If you want to advertise, please see
this post

If you have a question that is not answered here, then feel free to comment and I will most likely reply to you that same day since I live on the internet.

Your mods,

Sam and Ivy



( 57 Have Spoken — Speak To The Dragon )
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May. 21st, 2010 10:32 pm (UTC)
Question. So hypothetically, if the fandom allowed, I could do a different pairing for each theme? I'm not actually going to attempt that, I'm just wondering whether I could write as many different pairings as I wanted...
May. 22nd, 2010 03:10 am (UTC)
Yep! That's right.
May. 23rd, 2010 10:50 am (UTC)
If I want to do a fandom crossover for just one theme, do I have to claim the second fandom as well?

If I want to do a Marchen Awakens Romance (claimed) x Flame of Recca, do I have to claim Flame of Recca as well? Because I don't think I'll writing more of FoR.
May. 23rd, 2010 02:07 pm (UTC)
Re: Question~

I'm going to say yes just because a tag like this:

unsugared: crossover: Marchen Awakens Romance/Flame of Recca

seems like a very long tag and I'm not sure it would fit. So for now, just set it down as a separate fandom. I'll add a crossover tag as well so you can use that too when tagging.
Re: Question~ - unsugared - May. 23rd, 2010 03:11 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Question~ - moonlitxmelody - May. 24th, 2010 01:41 am (UTC) - Expand
May. 26th, 2010 04:33 am (UTC)
Question: what about AUs? For example you're writing for the Naruto fandom, but you're setting it in the Inuyasha-verse. Do I have to claim the fandom, or do I have to indicate it like Naruto/Inuyasha AU?
May. 26th, 2010 04:43 am (UTC)
Hey there! Claim both fandoms, and I'll put an "alternate universe" tag up for you to use.
May. 26th, 2010 08:02 am (UTC)
>> I'm not that cruel. My old, Laurel-didn't-just-remind-me-of-the-WIP-rule self who wrote the old FAQ was, but my new, livin'-in-Florida self is happy to allow you to fill your table with WIPs if you've got 'em. <<

Muhahahahaha. Let me be your conscience... *eg*
May. 26th, 2010 08:04 am (UTC)
Yes! Jimminy Cricket, I love you!
Delete Me, Mods! - sailorhathor - May. 26th, 2010 08:15 am (UTC) - Expand
Delete Me, Mods! - moonlitxmelody - May. 26th, 2010 08:28 am (UTC) - Expand
Jun. 28th, 2010 08:50 pm (UTC)
Would it be possible to make a mirror asylum on InsaneJournal?

Jun. 28th, 2010 09:39 pm (UTC)
Hmmmm. I'd have to talk to Ivy about that. Insane Journal's a bit more difficult to navigate with a screen reader which is what I use. I can't see, and it reads everything on the screen for me. As far as that goes, I find IJ a bit...sloppy. All over the place. But it's possible. I'll have to think about it. It would be a bit of work since it would be doing everything twice. I'd also have to get an account there and familiarize myself with everything. It's not a no, but there won't be one up right away, either. Smiles.
Delete Me, Mods! - inoru_no_hoshi - Jun. 28th, 2010 10:00 pm (UTC) - Expand
Delete Me, Mods! - moonlitxmelody - Jun. 28th, 2010 10:08 pm (UTC) - Expand
Delete Me, Mods! - inoru_no_hoshi - Jun. 28th, 2010 11:19 pm (UTC) - Expand
Delete Me, Mods! - moonlitxmelody - Jun. 28th, 2010 11:25 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jul. 24th, 2010 05:26 pm (UTC)
Okay, I know I'm going to sound like a total noob here but,
I'm really new to the whole livejournal thing so i need a bit of an help, if you don't mind.

- when i post my story to i just post it to my own journal?

i'm probably going to end up doing something wrong, so please don't be frustrated with me if i do.
Aug. 3rd, 2010 02:16 pm (UTC)
Hey there! I'm so sorry this took forever. You can post it to your journal and link it to the comm or you can post it right into the com under an lj cut.
Aug. 1st, 2010 04:14 am (UTC)
On the userinfo page you said that inspiration was all up to the muse, and I could go wherever I wanted with the theme [something about a love remembered, mr. blippy's class, and josh].

Here, however, "Q: Do the themes need to be the focal point of the fic/drawing, or can they just be referenced?
A: Oh no. They are by no means a focal point. As long as the theme is mentioned somewhere, it can just be referenced."

If, hypothetically, I do write something out there wacko, should I write a footnote at the end explaining how the theme relates to the weird random fanfiction?
Also, for example in the fanfiction I just posted [which was actually a WIP, sorry! XD] how the theme relates to the ff is pretty obvious [theme:remember me, fic:love lasting after 2 years apart] but I don't think I ever directly said it out. Again, should I assume the reader will see the reference, or explain somehow..?

Thanks! ~Lahaela
Aug. 3rd, 2010 02:19 pm (UTC)
You don't have to do that. Sorry if the FAQ confused you. I do that a lot. Laughs. You can put a note there if you want to, but it's not really necessary. If someone asks, then tell them. But it's not a rule or anything.
Sep. 21st, 2010 05:15 am (UTC)
I do not usually do community writing projects such as this, but a few months ago I stole your 500 themes for my own private usage. Since it was my project alone I felt no qualms about tweaking themes I didn't like and replacing them with ones I thought would be more interesting. If I decide to start participating in this comm, do I have to use the exact 500 themes provided, or is it okay if I have changed some and continue to change them at my liberty? (I don't have any specific scenarios in mind when I change them, and I *personally* don't feel it makes it less of a challenge. But I understand if it's too rule-bendy.)
Sep. 21st, 2010 08:43 am (UTC)
There are some slots at the end of the table for adding your own prompts. Other than that, I'm afraid you've got to use the ones provided. Loosely interpret them if you must. A single word in a prompt can inspire you, but it has to be the prompts listed, unless you're using the writer's choice options at the end.

I'm sorry, but if I just let you change the prompts as you went along, it wouldn't be fair to the others who are following the challenge.

Good luck anyway though on the enormity of the project!
Delete Me, Mods! - 13waysof - Sep. 21st, 2010 01:47 pm (UTC) - Expand
Delete Me, Mods! - moonlitxmelody - Sep. 22nd, 2010 11:22 pm (UTC) - Expand
Sep. 29th, 2010 07:09 pm (UTC)
Hello! I've been thinking about joining here and posting, but I just wanted to make sure of something regarding pairings here. Now, for each theme we do, can we do a different pairing? If we can do a different pairing/character focus for each theme, do we have to go through the claim process all over again each time? I'm sure this has probably been answered somewhere before, and I'm just not looking closely enough. Either way, thank you for your patience.
Nov. 22nd, 2010 08:55 am (UTC)
I'm possibly maybe sort of interested in joining (still deciding on that one) but I do have one question and it pertains to one of your rules for fics.

Minimum count is 100 words. I will admit that sometimes I have trouble hitting that minimum. The last challenge I did, I hit it twice and I know it should be easy to give a drabble more words but sometimes I find it loses whatever it was I was trying to say.

After that particular ramble, I'm wondering if 100 is a no exception rule? If so, that's cool. It will just give my beta extra work.

Nov. 22nd, 2010 02:29 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I'm afraid it is. I'm sorry!
Delete Me, Mods! - moe81 - Nov. 22nd, 2010 10:21 pm (UTC) - Expand
Delete Me, Mods! - moonlitxmelody - Nov. 22nd, 2010 10:32 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
Nov. 26th, 2010 09:21 pm (UTC)
Hmmm...Well I don't want to say no, but we'd prefer english. However, if it meets the minimum requirements and fits to a prompt, then you can post it.
(Deleted comment)
Delete Me, Mods! - moonlitxmelody - Nov. 28th, 2010 02:04 am (UTC) - Expand
Jan. 10th, 2011 04:16 am (UTC)
Question on Posting
Since I'm writing Original Fiction, I tend not to post it outside of my locked journal, if at all, because I wouldn't be able to publish it legally later on if I wanted to.

If I do that, does that mean I will be disqualified somehow or can I still attempt to tame the dragon one theme at a time with them? Can I just fill out the header thing with all the info and leave out the cut or cut to my Friends Only post?

In other words, is posting the responses to our themes required?
Jan. 10th, 2011 05:22 am (UTC)
Re: Question on Posting
Hmmm... So you'd post the header without a cut?
Re: Question on Posting - darkspirited1 - Jan. 10th, 2011 12:28 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Question on Posting - moonlitxmelody - Jan. 10th, 2011 07:47 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jan. 15th, 2011 09:03 pm (UTC)
Question on gender-specific themes
A lot of the themes have gender-neutral or he/she/it usage, however there are a couple that use a gender-specific pronoun. Is it okay to change that gender to fit my usage?

125. She's burning up.


126. You were supposed to be watching her!

Could I use it as "him" for what I write? If need be, I could still leave she/her in the actual listing of the theme, but maybe strike it through?
Jan. 15th, 2011 10:04 pm (UTC)
Re: Question on gender-specific themes
Oh yes feel free to change the genders. I've got to edit that dragon again and put a note there saying that's all right. Change it. You don't need to strike through.
Re: Question on gender-specific themes - ladygizarme - Jan. 15th, 2011 10:05 pm (UTC) - Expand
May. 2nd, 2011 03:34 pm (UTC)

In the rules is written, that I can post as many stories as I want in one post. I have to put the number and the prompt, I've completed in the headline, right?

But I just have a limited number of letters I can put in the header. Now, say I want to post like... 10 stories at once, How would I have to do this? Since with that amount of prompts, the headline would definitely be too full for LJ to accept.

Would I have to split them all up to three or four posts?
May. 3rd, 2011 12:24 pm (UTC)
All right, if you're going to put 10 or more prompts in one post, I suppose you could simply put the numbers of the prompts as well as the fandoms. I'd prefer you have the prompts themselves in the header, but I also understand it can be tedious having to post 3 or 4 times. I'd forgotten about the header limit. Thanks for reminding me!
May. 26th, 2011 03:13 am (UTC)
I may have missed this if it was mentioned, but...

I am thinking of writing a multi-chapter story, using a prompt per chapter. Is that acceptable?

Basically, each chapter will be inspired by a different prompt.
May. 26th, 2011 06:18 am (UTC)
Yep, that's perfectly acceptable!
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( 57 Have Spoken — Speak To The Dragon )


500themes: Write a Story for Each Prompt!


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