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Forum: Bug Report and Feature Requests

Searching for Series or Universes

Crumbly Writer

This has always bugged me, but I never formerly complained, however, whenever I mention a series in a forum post, when I try to provide a link, it often takes me 4 to 6 pages before I can find the correct link.

Why can't the "Find a Story" box on the main page locate a series or universe by it's name? Wouldn't that make sense, rather than requiring the reader to know the name of the first book in the series (which still won't take them to the series page)?

Ernest Bywater
Updated:

It may possibly be because on the home page the banner menu has the link Universes and when you click that you have a page that gives you to options Universes and Series. Select the one you want, then select the letter of the name, and then scroll the list.

Also, there has to be 2 stories in the series / universe before it will show on the list.

Edit due to truncated post.

Replies:   REP
REP
Updated:

@Ernest Bywater


then select the letter of the name


That can be a problem. You have to know the correct name of the Universe.

Take Thinking Horndog's Swarm Cycle Universe as an example, which I was looking for the other day.

On the New Stories listing, I've seen the new stories being called A Swarm Cycle Universe Story, A Swarm Cycle Story, and other variations. That leads the reader to believe the Universe's name is A Swarm Cycle or just Swarm Cycle - neither is correct. I vaguely recall seeing other variations of the name.

I had to go to Thinking Horndog's page to find out the actual name of the universe - The Swarm Cycle.

Edit to add: Names are sorted by the first letter of the first word. A, An, The, etc are not ignored.

Ernest Bywater

@REP

Edit to add: Names are sorted by the first letter of the first word. A, An, The, etc are not ignored.


Two aspects of this are under the total control of the creator of the universe:

1. The name of the universe is decided by the universe creator, and they have the ability to change it later, if they wish to.

2. The statement showing the story is part of the universe is also decided by the universe creator, and can be changed by them. Although the system will offer a suggestion which is along the lines of a A story in the xxxxxx Universe.

So the creator makes these decisions, and can even change them.

What is important to remember, is the maximum number of pages to check on the Universe page is 27 pages as a universe and 27 as a series if you aren't sure which it is. A page for each letter and one for numbers in each group.

Replies:   REP
REP
Updated:

@Ernest Bywater


Two aspects of this are under the total control of the creator of the universe:


True, but that doesn't help a reader find the Universe, which was my point.

Thinking Horndog named his universe The Swarm Cycle, then he and other writers started using the phrase A Story in the Swarm Cycle Universein the story listings with a lower-case 'the', readers will look for the universe under S, not T.

While it is not relevant to the issue, I haven't written a story and posted it in someone else's Universe. So I don't know how that Universe reference is created or assigned to the stories of an Author who is approved to post in someone else's Universe. From what you said, it sounds like the Universe's creator writes the phrase and invited Authors just select if from the list of universes they are authorized to post to while posting.

Perhaps Universe owners should use the Universe name they assigned the universe. I hadn't thought of the issue until now, so I think I will mention the matter to him. What he does with my feedback is his decision.

Ernest Bywater

@REP


Thinking Horndog named his universe The Swarm Cycle, then he and other writers started using the phrase A Story in the Swarm Cycle Universein the story listings with a lower-case 'the', readers will look for the universe under S, not T.


as I said, he can change the 'the' to be 'The' in seconds. However, I found Swarm Cycle stories when I did a search with the term 'swarm cycle' in both the title and the description part of the Advanced Search page. Also it doesn't take long to use the 'Universes' page to check under S and T.

Ernest Bywater

@REP

Perhaps Universe owners should use the Universe name they assigned the universe.


That's a good idea for the first story or another early story, but I wouldn't recommend it for all the stories, due to the limitations on story title length.

Replies:   REP
REP
Updated:

@Ernest Bywater


due to the limitations on story title length


My intent was using the correct Universe name in the title of the link to the Universe, which appears at the top of the description box.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@REP

My intent was using the correct Universe name in the title of the link to the Universe, which appears at the top of the description box.


I thought you meant the story title. The other is easily fixed by the universe creator changing what is said in that box. having created a few universes I know how this is done.

Replies:   REP
Crumbly Writer

@REP

Names are sorted by the first letter of the first word. A, An, The, etc are not ignored.

That's why I named my first series "Catalyst", since I didn't want to require the reader to recall "The" before it. Having a 'sort order' field is a big plus on most book sites.

REP

@Ernest Bywater

The other is easily fixed by the universe creator


True. The difficulty is in presenting the situation to an Author you don't know in a manner that will be acceptable. I sent my observation off to Thinking Horndog yesterday using a neutral tone. Today is probably too soon for a response.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@REP

The Swarm Cycle is a universe which transcends SOL - contributors post to other websites. Naked in School is another example.

An alternative to consider might be for SOL to enable searching for a known string within Universe names eg 'swarm'. Of course, once implemented, readers would immediately want the same facility for story titles!

AJ

Replies:   AmigaClone
AmigaClone

@awnlee jawking

Of course, once implemented, readers would immediately want the same facility for story titles!


That is already in place - at least for those who have paid accounts. Using the "Advanced Search" you can chose a string in the title and all titles that include that string will appear.

Replies:   REP  Capt. Zapp  Centaur
REP

@AmigaClone

you can chose a string in the title and all titles


It would be best if you put Swarm in the Description block not the Title block, but I know what you mean.

Capt. Zapp

@AmigaClone

searching for a known string...


That is already in place - at least for those who have paid accounts.


Actually, the search box on the home page allows the same thing.

Replies:   REP
REP

@Capt. Zapp

Only if the string you are searching for is in the story's Title.

I put Swarm in the Home page search box and got 5 stories. I put it in the Description box of the Advance Search function and got 87 stories

Replies:   AmigaClone  Capt. Zapp
AmigaClone

@REP

I put Swarm in the Home page search box and got 5 stories. I put it in the Description box of the Advance Search function and got 87 stories


Four of the five stories using the home page search box are in the longer list. Seven of the 87 stories are not in The Swarm Cycle universe. One is inspired by that universe but not in it, three are independent stories by coincidence have the string "swarm" in their description, and the remaining three likely should be included in the Swarm Universe (two are on the Swarm page on asstr).

Replies:   REP
Capt. Zapp

@REP

Only if the string you are searching for is in the story's Title.


You're right it was my mistake. I used the main search box to find stories with my keyword and clicked the universe or series link from there.

REP

@AmigaClone

My basic point in this thread is that if you don't know the universe's name is The Swarm Cycle, you will have problems locating a list of the universe's stories using the Universe selection on the Main page if the only thing you have to use is the phrase - A Swarm Cycle Story.

9999999ah

awnlee jawking


What other sites have Swarm Cycle posts? Are they new stories or just reposts?

9999999ah

I have a question. What is the difference in a Series and a Universe?

Dominions Son

@REP

On the New Stories listing, I've seen the new stories being called A Swarm Cycle Universe Story, A Swarm Cycle Story, and other variations. That leads the reader to believe the Universe's name is A Swarm Cycle or just Swarm Cycle - neither is correct. I vaguely recall seeing other variations of the name.


On any of the story lists, if a story is officially part of a series or universe, you should see, directly above the story description/blurb something like:

A Zane's World - The High School Years Story (3)


This will appear in either green or red text, highlighted in yellow and underlined, it will also be slightly larger size text than the regular story description. This is the official universe/series descriptor, which can be different from the name it appears under in the universe/series lists. This is also a link to the page for that universe/series.

What you should see for Swarm Cycle stories is "A Swarm Cycle Story"

If you just see A Swarm Cycle Universe Story, A Swarm Cycle Story,or other variations in the same font as the rest of the story description, that story may be set in the named universe, but it is not officially in the universe and will not be in the story list on the universe's page.

Centaur

@AmigaClone

That is already in place - at least for those who have paid accounts. Using the "Advanced Search" you can chose a string in the title and all titles that include that string will appear.


Thats in Free also.

Ernest Bywater

@9999999ah

I have a question. What is the difference in a Series and a Universe?


Very little, however, you can nestle a series within a universe. An example is my Chaos Calls series is part of the Damsels in Distress universe. Similarly my Reach series is part of my Life in the Suburbs universe.

Crumbly Writer

Bottom line: A series is a collection of stories written by the same author continuing the story in numerous sequels (a numbered series), or a variety of random pieces featuring the same characters (an unnumbered series).

A universe is a set of stories by either one or multiple authors that all deal with the same fictional universe (hence the name). The stories are all stand-alone and refer to certain key elements, but the characters in one generally don't interact with the others who are not part of the key-characters.

Ernest Bywater

@9999999ah

I have a question. What is the difference in a Series and a Universe?


Here's where the official answer is:

https://storiesonline.net/h/28/what-are-the-building-blocks-available-to-authors

https://storiesonline.net/h/31/what-is-a-universe

Vlad_Inhaler

If I want to look for a Series or a Universe, I normally know an/the author who posts there.
Select the Author, check his stories and then click on the universe/series once I find something which fits.

Ideally there would be a Search Universe/Series where you could supply keywords, but I'm not sure I really care. Going there via an author works.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Vlad_Inhaler

If I want to look for a Series or a Universe, I normally know an/the author who posts there.
Select the Author, check his stories and then click on the universe/series once I find something which fits.

The problem is, it's simply not possible to search for a Series or Universe by name. I frequently try to access my own stories by series name, and am frustrated each time I do (guess I'm a slow learner, but honestly, I don't do it terribly often).

I would LOVE if Lazeez could add 'Search by Series/Universe' to the main search bar on the title page, so that if you type in a series instead of a title it doesn't choke on it.

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