You need to create a pen name for yourself on the site. To create a pen name, go to the 'Story Posting Guidelines'. Read the guidelines and follow the instructions to create your pen name.
Once you add a pen name to your account, you use the submission wizard to submit stories to the site's moderators.
Two types of files are accepted for stories submitted as attachments in the submission wizard:
Plain Text Files: files ending with .txt or .asc. Those are plain text with no formatting.
HTML Files: files ending with .htm or .html. Those are basically web pages. They can be created with most word processors. Use them only if your story's text needs and contains bold or italic text.
If you use MS Word to write your stories, you can save your story as HTML by selecting 'Save as...' from the file menu and in the 'save as' dialog box, select 'Web Page (filtered)' or 'HTML (filtered)' from the file type drop-menu. If you're using MS Office 2000, you may not have the '(filtered)' option. In that case you need to download a filter from Microsoft to create compact html files. Here is a visual guide for the steps required.
Alternatively, the site's submission wizard gives you the option to paste your story's text directly into the form instead of attaching a file. Use that option if your story's text is fairly short (under 10,000 words) and if you don't need formatting.
The site's Text Formatting Guide provides more in-depth information about your options.
Yes. Through the 'Account Manager' you can create new pen names. Pen names on the site are handled in a way that no one but you would know if you had more than one name (unless you tell of course). Each pen name can have it own different email address.
Readers and other authors have no way of knowing whether two or more pen names are for the same individual.
The site cares about your privacy. All the default settings for a pen name are designed to protect you. You can have an email address for reader feedback, separate from your account's email address. Your pen name's email address is concealed by default. And of course, your user name and ID are always hidden. However, you can choose to reveal your email address to the public. The option to have your pen name's email address revealed can be set while you're creating your pen name and can be changed at any later time through the Account Manager. Of course, later on, if you receive reader feedback and reply directly to them, those individuals that you respond to will have your pen name's email address.
In June of 2004, the site started handling pen names through user accounts, there is no more author accounts. To be able to post new stories/chapters under your pre-existing pen name you need to link you pen name to your current user account. In order to link your pen name to your user account you must have access to the email address that is in your pen name's record on the site.
If you do have access to the pen name's email address, then go to the 'pen name linking system' and follow the instructions. Multiple pen names can be linked to one user account.
If you do not have access to the pen name's email address, then you should contact the webmaster for help, and you must have some way to prove that you are indeed who you say you are.
A Serial is a story with multiple chapters.
A Series is a group or collection of independent stories with something in common.
How to decide between a serial and series?
It's simple. Ask yourself this question: Does the reader need to read all the parts to understand the whole thing? Or Can a reader read one part and know everything they need to know?
If a part of the tale requires a previous part, then it shouldn't be a series; it should be a serial and posted as multiple chapters.
If each part has a beginning, a middle and an end with no loose threads, then it's a story and should be posted as an independent story, and the whole should be organized into a series of stories using the series management tool on the site.
The 'Account Manager' provides that function among other things. Go to the account manager and click the 'Manage Stories' button. If you have more than one pen name, you need to select the pen name the story is posted under.
You can't delete stories on your own. You must contact the webmaster about deleting your story(ies).
The 'Account Manager' provides that function among other things. Go to the account manager and click the 'Prefs/Profile' button. If you have more than one pen name, you need to select the pen name for which you want to change the email address.
Each pen name can have its own email address for feedback.
Please note that pen name email address is separate from the user account email address. The pen name's email address is used exclusively for reader feedback and is displayed in the stories if you choose to do so. The user account email address is used for requesting passwords and stuff like that.
You can't edit the text while it sits on the server. You need to edit your copy, or a copy of the story from the site, and then use the submission wizard to resubmit the whole story, or the edited chapter. If you edited just a chapter or two of a multi-chapter story, then it would be easier for the moderator to handle it if you upload the edited chapters only.
Anything other than the info handled by the 'Account Manager' is done through reposting. If it's a single part story, you repost the story. If it's a multipart story, then you repost the 'Cover'.
The site supports story versioning. Each story can have a version number. The default version number when a story gets posted is 1.0. Version 1.0 does not get displayed in in the story's text, it is only implied. Once the version number is higher than 1.0, then it shows up at the end of the story.
Story versioning helps you keep your stuff organized.
Version numbers can only be number. Example: 1.2 or 1.31. No letters allowed.
If you repost a story, the version number is automatically incremented by 0.1 unless you assign your own version in the story's text. Chapter reposts and chapter additions have no effect on version numbers.
You can edit the version numbers manually or you can embed a tag in the uploaded file to have the system automatically assign your version to it.
Tags always takes precedence over the auto-incrementing of the version information in the site's database.
Version 1.75 becomes 1.85 if auto-incremented.
To edit a story's version go to the 'Account Manager -> Manage Stories'. Select a story and click the 'Edit' button. There will be a version number field in the form
To embed a version number in the story's text to make the system apply it to the story when posting it or reposting it, read the 'Formatting Guide' for more details.
A Blog is short for 'Web Log', which means an online journal.
You need one if you want to communicate with your readers other than through stories. For example, if you want to tell them why you're not posting anymore, or when you will be posting again, or even what you had for lunch, etc... Basically, use your imagination.
The blogging features on Storiesonline are basic ones. There is no archiving, no blog comments (where readers can post comments on your blog entries). If you need an elaborate blog with more features like feedback and stuff, you should get one at one of the dedicated blogging sites like Blogger.com (free, operated by Google) others offer more services and may or may not be free (you can find many services by googling for 'blogging service'). If you do get an external blog, you can link to it through the database on the site. (read the next question for details on that.)
The 'Account Manager' provides that function among other things. Go to the account manager and click the 'Prefs/Profile' button. If you have more than one pen name, you need to select the pen name for which the blog belongs.
There is a 'Blog' field in that form. Paste your blog's full URL into the blog field of the form and click 'Save changes'.
External blogs take precedence over the site's built in blogs, so if you have an external blog linked through the preferences, it will be linked to even if you have blog entries locally.
The story's download counter counts accesses by readers during log in periods. That means that when a reader accesses a story today, that counts as one story access on their account and the story's download counters (daily, weekly and global) are incremented. If the same reader accesses the story again during the same day, their counter is not incremented, neither are the story's counters.
However, if the same reader accesses the story again the next day, then all counters are incremented; the reader's and the story's.
Chapters have download counters too, but those work differently. Due to the large number of chapters on the site and the large number of users, it becomes somewhat impossible to track who accessed what during a log in period. So due to this lack of tracking, chapter counters are incremented all the time. So if a reader accesses a chapter and then clicks the reload button on their browser, the chapter's counter gets incremented again while the story's counter doesn't.
This difference between the way downloads are counted for stories and for chapters makes the correlation between story download counts and chapter download counts impossible.
The site has five building blocks that can exist: Author, Universe, Series, Story and Part/Chapter.
An author can:
A part or chapter can belong to only one story and it cannot exist on its own on the site.
Story (single part/chapter)
-------- Story ------- | | | Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter n
--------- Series -------- | | Story -------- Story ------- | | | Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter n
------------ Universe ------------------------- | | | Story -------- Story ------- ----- Series ----- | | | | | Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter n Story -------- Story ------- | | | Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter n
What is a Series?
A series is an organizational structure that allows you to organize a group of stories with a common theme or common main character.
For example two separate stories that have the same main character who is a detective. Two different cases, that makes two different stories, but it's one series of stories about the detective's exploits.
How to create a series:
Through the series management page, you can create a new series, add a description for it, and add existing stories to it. You can also delete existing empty series.
Once a series is created, it will appear in the submission wizard when you're submitting a new story. You can select to link or not to link the submitted story to a series. If you choose to link it, then the story will appear on the site with a link to the series in its description.
You can always add stories to a series or remove stories from it.
Each story in the series can have an optional little blurb, separate from the story's description, that describes how the story fits within the series.
Do not confuse 'Series' with 'Serials'. If you have a story that you want to post in installments on the site, then don't create a series for that. Series are comprised of whole stories or serials. A serial can belong to a series, but a serial does not make a series.
Do NOT create a series for just one story.
What is a Universe?
A universe is an organizational structure that allows you to organize stories and series that exist in a certain alternate reality that is in common between them.
For example two separate stories that have a common backdrop of a certain disaster, or set on a certain planet. The background is common, but the characters don't have to be in common at all.
How to create a Universe:
Through the universe management page, you can create a new universe, add a description for it, and add existing stories or series to it. You can also delete existing empty universes.
Once a universe is created, it will appear in the submission wizard when you're submitting a new story. You can select to link or not to link the submitted story to a universe. If you choose to link it, then the story will appear on the site with a link to the universe in its description.
You can always add stories or series to a universe or remove them from it.
Each item in the universe, whether a story or a series, can have an optional little blurb, separate from the item's own description, that describes how the item fits within the universe.
Do NOT create a universe for just one story. When you start with a second story in the universe, then you create the universe and add the initial story and the new one once it's posted.
Universe: an organizational structure that allows you to organize stories and series that exist in a certain alternate reality that is in common between them.
Series: an organizational structure that allows you to organize a group of stories with a common theme or common main character.
Serial: a multi-part story that gets posted in installments over time.
Plagiarism: Unauthorized use of somebody else's material, partial or complete.