Wednesday, 6 March 2013

How to load a story on fanfiction.net


First, write your story. Sounds easy, doesn’t it? *snorks*

Have it divided into chapters of however long you like. I usually shoot for 2-3,000 words. It depends, for me, how much info I have in each chapter. Some are wordy but nothing much happens and some just have good places to break them. I usually write the whole story before I start posting, but it’s up to you. Others prefer 10-15k words in a chapter, but as I post often, I can get away with shorter ones.
Make sure you have put all legal disclaimers, ratings, warnings about content or trigger themes, etc. in your story. Think about and write your summary before you start loading it.
1. First you have to upload your saved document.
Open the ‘publish’ tab in ff.
Click on ‘doc manager’. It shows a box with a lot of slots. Scroll down to see more info about the types of documents you can load. There is a box marked ‘upload’.
Name your document and click ‘locate file on your computer’. Find the file and select it. Press 'submit document'. Wait a few seconds.
It will appear in one of the slots. You can edit it here. It’s a good idea to check to make sure it uploaded without problems. A dot in the middle of a word, for example, Mr. J.Jenks will read as a web address and ff will delete it. Add spaces after the dot if you want to put in a net address and it will miss it.
Save the changes.
2. Accept guidelines.
Open the publish tab, go to the ‘new story’ tab. You will have to read and accept the guidelines.
The warning looks like this:
The site insists that you accept the guidelines each time you start a new story. It will stay in force for seven days. So, if you start another story within that time period, you will not have to accept the guidelines again.
Please abide by the wishes of authors who have actually requested that fanfic NOT be written for their stories. They are listed on the same page. Click 'yes'.
3. New story
Click ‘new story’ again. Follow the prompts to name your new story, write a summary, pick the genre, main characters, language etc. There are thousands of categories and crossovers if it combines two genres. i.e. Harry potter and Twilight or whatever. You can save your favourite categories.
Do NOT write in your summary that you suck at summaries. If you, as the author, can’t write a decent summary, why the hell should anyone else bother to read it? It just shows that you can’t write and they will assume that your story will be rubbish too. I know they are tricky to write, but you know your story better than anyone, so sell it. Don’t give away the whole story in the summary either. Try to write it like a movie tag line.
The story example I am using in the pics is a one shot challenge about Charlie and Sue’s history called Heroes and Villains.  My summary was this:
A writing challenge from JBNP. Did you ever wonder how in the world Charlie suddenly ended up with Sue Clearwater? What happened in the past to make Charlie the man he became? Did those actions influence his friends as well?
People skim through the summaries looking for things to read so make sure it sounds interesting and not lame.
If it was a one shot don’t forget to select the ‘complete’ button.
Load the first chapter where prompted and you’re away.
Fanfic will send an email to all the people who have you on their author alert list that you have loaded a new story.
4. Loading other chapters.
Load the new chapter into the doc manager in the usual way, check it, edit it, and save the changes.
Then go to the ‘manage stories’ tab. You will see a page that lists all your stories and summaries. Select the one you are adding a chapter to, click the title and the summary page opens.
Click ‘content/chapters’. You can edit and name your chapters in here if you wish to do so.
Click ‘post new chapter’. Select the next chapter from the drop down menu at the right hand side. It will default to number consecutively. Don’t forget to save changes.
Again, a message will be sent out that you have uploaded to anyone who has you on an alert.
When your story is complete, don’t forget to change the story status to ‘complete’ and save changes.
5. Pictures.
I haven’t dealt with the image loader function. You can now add an image to your story after you click a box to say that you own the image or have the permission of the image owner to use it. I do not understand why fanfic has done this. I get that images are cool and add something, but it’s fanfic; we don’t own the worlds we are writing about. We sure as heck don’t own the images. But in any case, the images are loaded through an image manager, similar to the document manager.
Oddly, fanfic has chosen a 6/9 width to height ratio, or basically the opposite to every other banner maker out there. I assume that has something to do with the mobile site version.

So, that’s it. If you notice any errors, follow the instructions in my post titled ‘editing posted stories in fanfic’ to fix them.
Write often, write well.