So, time for some updates. First of all, here is a new submission tally:
Section 1: 1 (3)
Section 2: 3 (1)
Section 3: 4 (0)
Section 4: 3 (2)
Section 5: 0 (3)
Section 6: 0 (1)
TOTAL SUBS: 11 (10)
So, a few submissions over the holidays, and several more queries, which means more are coming. Here are a few thoughts on submissions received so far:
Section 1: This is your best chance to submit a story that isn't really about the invasion.
Sections 2, 3, 4: The lines get fuzzed here a lot, and between sections 4 and 5, which is inevitable to some extent. Making your story great comes first, but here are a few tidbits on the differences I'd like to see in the sections.
Section 2 is about the air war. At this point, the aliens are still trying to establish a beachhead. Super-folk and conventional forces are fighting the invaders in the air and still believe they can repulse the aliens before they land.
Section 3 is about the ground war. Here the aliens are still fighting their way into the city. They are being resisted by, again, both supers and conventional forces (Ohio National Guard, etc.). I'm seeing several section 3 stories where the fighting is all over and the aliens already have control of the city. That really belongs in section 4. During section 3, control of the city has not yet been ceded to the aliens. Things like work camps and pit excavation crews belong in section 4. Of course, it's a fluid situation, and there may be sections of the city that are already held by the invaders in section 3. But the general guideline is that the fight is still going on.
Section 4 is about isolated solo or small-group resistance. This is in contrast to section 5, which is about organized resistance. Think of Star Wars. In the first half, it's just Luke and Obi-Wan and Han and Chewie and Leia against all the bad guys. In the second half, the organized Rebellion shows up. Section 4 is the darkest hour for the city; the army and the government have collapsed, and anyone working against the aliens should feel very alone. Small groups are okay, but if you want to include city-wide resistance networks, think about going for section 5 instead.
If you want to try for sections 2 or 3, think about giving me some solid action. I know the guidelines say not to just focus on aliens vs. heroes, but, y'know, a few explosions here and there are good too. Even if you don't have the action "onscreen," the difference between sections 2 and 3 is how the war is going. So consider letting us know what's going on, in the background if nothing else.
And, finally, if we've discussed your story individually, whatever we've agreed upon there supercedes any general guidelines I post in the blog. Feel free to query if confused.