What does this mean? Well, let's assume (or indeed predict the future rather accurately) that bogwitch gets the ball rolling with a piece of art. That piece of art is to be admired for what is, but it is also now free to be used as a prompt for someone else, for example me, quinara, who might (also to predict the future) be inspired by it to write a fic. My choice is as free as it would be with any prompt - I can use it in its entirety, essentially writing a fic that could be illustrated by that piece of art, or I could write a prequel, explaining what came before - or, indeed, what happened next. I might also choose one aspect of it, remixing the story the picture represents into something new, in a way that gives my spin on what's going on in that picture, but also diverges from its details.
Say that I write that fic, and then post it to the comm. Now I have a shiny thing people will hopefully like to read (yay!), but there are also now two prompts on the table for anyone else to respond to, both bogwitch's art and my fic. Maybe someone will have a different ficly interpretation of the artwork, or maybe they want to draw a similar scene in pencil - maybe they'll want to continue my fic, or remix it, or write a prequel. Anything is possible and the game is on!
The only rules are those which function normally in terms of length and Spuffiness, but also, for this round, you cannot respond to your own prompt!work. It's been an absolute coincidence that we've had some wonderful series last month, something which we would never want to discourage, but for the purposes of this game, where we really want everyone to get involved, we think it will all work a lot better if we concentrate on responding to other people's stuff, rather than taking something and running and running and running. What this rule does not preclude, however, of course, is tag-teaming with people, so if you and a buddy find yourself constructing a lengthy dialogue of works, you go right ahead! (Just obviously accept that other people might pitch in too!)
Just before we begin, it's probably worth saying is that we intend to allow everyone freedom of creation for this round, by which I mean that if/once you post something, we won't be on your side if you decide you don't like what someone does with it. Everything is limited to stuff posted this month, so hopefully everyone thinks that's fair, but remember that if you want to post something connected to anything else you happen to have created, then that context to your piece will likely influence your respondents, who might then touch on things that you didn't necessarily mean to include in the free-for-all. Of course, you might alternatively want to use this as a closed occasion to open up one of your universes to other people, just for fun, as I would love to.
Finally - everyone's really good about this, but it would be extra fun this month if everyone could make sure to link back to their prompt, so that readers and viewers can follow prompt trails where they lead. In addition, leaving a comment on works you've been inspired by with a link to your own will help even more in this regard, and if creators want to list the works that they've inspired in an edit of their original, then that's very welcome too. Hopefully by the end of March we'll have a wonderful, collaborative fractal map of Spuffy - so let's get going!