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Formatting

Hellraser

I need a bit of advice. How many words per page and does the site automatically add 'next page'. I did just glom onto the fact that you post last chapter first. Many of my readers complained they had to search to make sense of the story.

Crumbly Writer

@Hellraser

I'm not sure what you mean by "post last chapter first', as I've always posted in sequential order (ex: chapters 1, 2, 3 ...).

But chapters can be (largely) as big as you want. Once the chapter gets to a certain size (I think the number is 12,000, but I'm not sure), SOL is break it into multiple pages (i.e. readers will have to press "Next" to continue reading it). That's not an especially odious requirement, as SOL readers typically reward longer stories.

The bigger SOL limit is storage, rather than word count, which is why Lazeez limits the use of images in stories. You can include pictures in your stories, but you're limited to one per chapter, and if Lazeez thinks you're abusing his limits, he'll start culling pictures. There are also picture size limits. However, there aren't many picture stories here--largely because many such stories never get the legal rights to their pictures (though there are a few notable ASSTR exceptions).

If your readers are confused, I'd suggest reading your posted story over, figuring out what order it needs to be in and then repost it with a note to the Admins about the story order, as well as posting an apology to your readers for the confusion in your blog (so they don't think it's a sign of sloppiness on your part).

Ernest Bywater

@Hellraser

From:

http://storiesonline.net/author/posting_guidelines.php

Chapter/Part/Story length:

Due to various technical reasons, we try to keep the length of each file served from the site below 58,000 characters (approximately 12,000 words). Any story or chapter longer than 58,000 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.


Comment on above by me,
Note well: the 58,000 character count limit includes all punctuation marks and all code command characters included in the text being posted. So the , . " ' etc. are counted, so are the < H2 > etc stuff if posting html and the { red } stuff if posting tagged text.

I try to aim for around the 8,000 to 10,000 words per posting part at SoL. I say posting part because I write in chapters and sub-chapters that suit the story and cut the finished story up to suit SoL's needs.

BTW This is the third time I've posted this info in the forum so far this year.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

I try to aim for around the 8,000 to 10,000 words per posting part at SoL. I say posting part because I write in chapters and sub-chapters that suit the story and cut the finished story up to suit SoL's needs.

I've always aimed for about 6,000 words, though that varies by chapter from 4,000 words to 12,000. If it goes over that, I'll generally break it into extra chapters, even if each is only Part I/Part II. However, given complaints over time about my writing style, I've gone for more concise (i.e. shorter) chapters more in the 1,000 to 5,000 word range, but my original aim still makes for a good target. The biggest guide for chapter length should always be story content. Any time the focus of the story changes, you need a new chapter. That doesn't include scene changes, but does include a switch in conflicts, conflict resolutions or story complications. It takes a while to get the hang of, but you'll catch on to where to divide chapters pretty quick.

Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer


The bigger SOL limit is storage, rather than word count, which is why Lazeez limits the use of images in stories. You can include pictures in your stories, but you're limited to one per chapter, and if Lazeez thinks you're abusing his limits, he'll start culling pictures. There are also picture size limits. However, there aren't many picture stories here--largely because many such stories never get the legal rights to their pictures (though there are a few notable ASSTR exceptions)


The problem that we currently have is bandwidth. Our bandwidth is currently limited, so since pictures take a lot of bandwidth that doesn't really contribute to the length of time the users spend on a story, we do our best to keep them under control. There are no limits to the number of pictures allowed. If you note the 'six times a day' story, it has more than 3000 pictures in 150+ chapters. But so far I've been optimizing all pictures submitted.

Soon we'll be moving servers.

I'm currently working on setting up cloud servers which are currently under testing. When we move, the bandwidth limitation will be greatly relieved and I may allow or even encourage covers and stuff like that.

Of course, everything within reason. Our current policy will still stand. A picture will have to add something to the story, otherwise it would be a total waste of bandwidth even if we had plenty of it.

Waste not, want not.

Ernest Bywater

@Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)

A picture will have to add something to the story,


I have cover artwork I use on the books elsewhere, would you regard adding that image to the first page of the story an acceptable addition? And, if so, what are the limitations for it?

Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)

@Ernest Bywater

would you regard adding that image to the first page of the story an acceptable addition? And, if so, what are the limitations for it?


I already allow covers. File size is important. I try my best to keep it under 50KB. And keep in mind, more than half of the site's visitors are on phones these days and anything wider than 480px is a waste, so keep it under that width.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)

How do I attach a cover art image to an existing story? I know how to load it with a new story, and wonder if I need to reload the file for an existing story with the image attached as well.

Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)

@Ernest Bywater

How do I attach a cover art image to an existing story? I know how to load it with a new story, and wonder if I need to reload the file for an existing story with the image attached as well.


Submit as a repost for the cover. If there is nothing currently above the chapter list, then simply attach the picture file, otherwise attach the file itself and the image as explained here:

http://storiesonline.net/h/41/how-do-i-submit-a-story-or-chapter-with-images

Ernest Bywater

@Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)

Submit as a repost for the cover.


I thought that's what I'd have to do, but wanted to make sure. Thanks.

Ernest Bywater

@Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)


Submit as a repost for the cover.


I've done a trial by reposting the Foreword file for Play Ball with the image. In the past I've had images further down in the text, but this is the first time the code for the image has been the first line in the file. The image is a separate file lodged with it and the image is reduced to 450 x 679 pixels at 150 dpi. Home it displays well.

Crumbly Writer

@Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)

I'm currently working on setting up cloud servers which are currently under testing. When we move, the bandwidth limitation will be greatly relieved and I may allow or even encourage covers and stuff like that.

I've got covers up for each of my stories, and have for some time. I'm happy with the quality on those and wouldn't change the allowable sizes. The key for many sites (ex: Apple and Google) is that they want images heading to any mobile device to be 300dpi so they'll display properly on the newer high-resolution screens. I'm not expecting that from SOL though.

I'm thinking of one author on ASSTR who somehow managed to convince a variety of artists on deviantart to donate their artwork, she for some time he posted original artwork for each chapter. Me, everyone wants me to pay or to read the entire unfinished story upfront!

@Ernest

How do I attach a cover art image to an existing story? I know how to load it with a new story, and wonder if I need to reload the file for an existing story with the image attached as well.

I typically start any story with 3 files: the cover image, the cast list and then the first chapter. I've typically start with a minimal cast list as I don't want to reveal anything early, but I've eventually decided that's demanding a lot from the admins (and pushing the numbers for the one non-chapter incredibly high), so now I just post the entire list upfront.

Hellraser
Updated:

Well, as to uploading stories/chapters - I once broke a long story into chapters and uploaded it 1,2,3....ect. What resulted was mixed order. As I had uploaded several stories in one setting, that's where to complaints came from.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Hellraser

Well, as to uploading stories/chapters - I once broke a long story into chapters and uploaded it 1,2,3....ect. What resulted was mixed order. As I had uploaded several stories in one setting, that's where to complaints came from.

Ah, I understand what happened then. You submitted multiple stories at one time, and they were submitted as individual sequel chapters of the same story. That's why the very first question you answer is "Story Title".

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