Posted: 2017-01-30

Text formatting guide for WLPC Sites

by Ernest Bywater


WLPC is short for the World Literature Publishing Company, the company running the story websites Storiesonline (storiesonline.net), Finestories (finestories.com), and SCIFI Stories (scifistories.com). This chapter is about the format restrictions WLPC places on stories people submit to their site for the Submission Wizard (Wizard) to convert the story for display on their websites. These may change in the future, and they include options being phased out. Thus this chapter is about preparing a file for these sites in HTML. The site does have its own set of guides and instructions they update you can read at:


The following is a list of the site instructions on preparing a story for submission as well as some extra information to help with this.

Stated Instructions

The first sections below are from the WLPC web pages on how to prepare a file for acceptance, and what HTML codes they accept. I have slightly adjusted the presentation format to bring it in line with the rest of this document. The rest is the site's actual wording of the instructions to writers.

HTML Files

If you feel like submitting your own html files you can do so. However, keep in mind that all html code gets stripped from your files with very specific exceptions, and your files get reformatted from scratch.

The exempted html codes carried over to the site are:

The site's conversion utilities try to support centered and right justified text, but it doesn't work very reliably due to the different ways this may be acheived.


Requirements:

Failure to comply with the above requirement could result in unpredictable results. We may correct your html code or we may remove your formatting if fixing is too complicated or time consuming.


Chapter / Part / Story length:

Due to various technical reasons, we try to keep the length of each file served from the site below 55,000 characters (approximately 12,000 words). Any story or chapter longer than 55,000 characters will be served in pages on the site, just like in a book. The page breaks are created by a script, so you never know where your file will be divided. If you don't like the idea of page breaks in unexpected places, then divide your own text into smaller chunks.

Note: All code on font sizes, font styles, and font colours are stripped from the file and not used.


Accepted HTML Not Listed

There are some HTML codes not listed which the Wizard accepts which I've learned from the site management. Some are shown in other instructions on the site. Although the codes aren't listed in the general instructions they are accepted by the system because they use them for other aspects of the site presentation. To use them you have to use the codes the way they do on the site.

Image Files

The sites accept image files as long as they're lodged in the Wizard as a separate file to the story file, you have the proper HTML code in the place in the story where you want it, and you place a note about the image in the Moderator's Notes field in the Wizard when you submit the file. The restrictions are:

No illegal imagery: real photographs of illegal acts like bestiality, or anything that could be construed as kiddie porn are not allowed.

The author must own or have permission to use the artwork.

Images must not contain any material that is found objectionable by the moderator. Yes, what is objectionable is very subjective, but we must protect the site from what we think is harmful. If we don't like it, it's not going on the site.

It's been my experience a 600 x 900 pixels at 150 ppi is acceptable. However, there's also a special note:

Please note that, due to bandwidth limitations for some readers, images are treated at the discretion of the moderator. If the images don't add anything to the story and are just gratuitous, then they may get removed. If they are too large then they will be scaled/re-compressed down to a more reasonable/acceptable size.

The actual HTML image commands to use is:

<img src="image name.jpg" alt="Cover">

Place this code with the appropriate paragraph command where you want the image to display in the text. Use your actual image name in place of the one I have as 'image name.jpg'. The site staff will do the rest.


Centred and Coloured Text

The CSS stylesheets and the normal font commands are stripped from the files by the Wizard. However, because the site uses its own CSS stylesheet and uses font colours for its own needs you can use them if you fit within the way they have them. I use a very minimal CSS stylesheet that's a sub-set of the site CSS stylesheet.

<style>
.center { text-align: center;}
.red { color: red }
.blue { color: navy }
.green { color: green }
</style>

Within the document I can now use the span commands of <span> and </span> to apply the colours to where I want applied to headers and in the text, as well as the command of class=" center" to have the text or header centred on the page, then use the normal closing tag of </p> and </h3> for them. Examples are:

<span class="blue">
<p class="center">
<h3 class="center">

When properly nested all these commands work with the others.


Nesting the Commands

Nesting commands is where you sit them inside each other, and the commands have to be in the proper order or they don't work right. All of them have to be properly closed off in the exact reverse order too. In this example below I have how it appears here, then the code to have it do that on site:

Note: This mixed style blue text.
<p><span class="blue"><i><b>Note:</b>This mixed style blue text.</i></span></p>

The paragraph is first, then the colour span command, next is the italics because it applies to all of the following text, then the bold. The bold text ends first so it sits inside the italics which sits inside the span for the colour which is inside the paragraph, and thus the closing order.

I could've used the 'blockquote' command for this example, but I did not because the site displays a blockquote in a very different font, which I don't like. So I use the normal paragraph command.


Carriage Returns

The normal paragraph command of <p> has a space between the paragraphs, so if you wish to end a line of text but have the next line of text immediately below it, despite it not taking up the full line, you use the 'Carriage Return' command of <br>. When you use this you have to tell the moderator, in the Moderator's Notes field, you've have <br> in the text of the file, or it may get stripped out.


Partition Command

The Wizard uses the Partition Command of {p} to split a file into the chapters to be displayed on the site. You enter {p}Chapter XX at the point you want it to have the new chapter start. It will also accept the start of the Table of Contents with {p}ToC for you.