I've turned off the ability to create links in the hopes that that will make the spammers get bored and go away.
A reminder that all authors can delete any reviews, including spam reviews, from their stories, and to please not send us links to the reviews using the 'report this' link. It doesn't work. And definitely please do not send us multiple reports! Thank you.
Please send us a link to the spammer's account instead, which we can lock to prevent them leaving more.
What we have done is enable the option that lets authors delete named reviews (you've always been able to delete anonymous reviews). However, if you do spot an account leaving spam reviews, please mail either Temaris or myself with a link to the account's bio (i.e. the one with their user number in the address bar). That way we can lock the account to prevent it from being used again and we can delete any other reviews that they've left.
There is a rule against flaming. This rule is enforced, even if you flame anonymously. Not that you will see this message, as I've just banned your IP address.
If you do manage to log on with another IP address and try to flame again, I'll simply ban that one too.
Dear Everyone Else:
Ceiling cat is watching you.
These categories are: Ship Pairings; Slash Pairings; Threesomes and Moresomes; and Crossovers.
In other words, stories should still be added to the pairing categories. This has not changed. It's just that now you can add stories to more than one pairing category.
So, for example, if you have a story that is a slash crossover, featuring McKay/Sheppard, you can put it in McKay/Sheppard and Crossovers - Slash Pairings. You should not be putting it in the main Slash Pairings and the Main Crossover categories as well.
We realised on Monday night that the eFiction upgrade script had removed all but the first character, genre and warning attached to a story from every story on the site. This meant that if you had John Sheppard, Rodney McKay and Teyla Emmagan attached to your story, which was angst, humour and hurt comfort, and warned for adult themes and may squick, you were left with a story about John Sheppard, angst and adult themes. This does not affect stories added to the site after the upgrade.
We've spent the last couple of days reimporting that data from a previous, pre-update backup of the site's database, as well as resolving other issues from the upgrade, for example replacing category specific characters with sitewide characters (i.e. there are no longer fifty listings of the same character if you choose to browse characters).
We haven't been able to recover all of the data, but we've recovered most of it. However, the problem still affects stories added to the site between 23 March and 28 April 2007.
If you added a story between these two dates, please check and make sure that you're happy with the meta data (i.e. that it's showing all of the characters, genres and warnings you attached). If not, please edit the story to add this information again.
I've also updated the Change Documentation to reflect this issue. This document is now split into three sections:
- changes to the way the site operates
- known issues
- resolved issues.
We'll keep that updated as we identify new issues or resolve them, so please check to make sure that we don't already know about it before reporting any issues.
It's now turned back on again, so you can contact us with any issues as well as leaving comments on this post. Be aware, however, that we don't receive notifications for comments to news items, so if you comment after we stop checking back, we won't know about it.
I'd like to repeat Tem's thanks to aithine. She delved into the depths of eFiction code and fixed a lot of the bugs that were there, as well as making sure we didn't lose some of the things we thought were important in eFiction 1.1 but apparently weren't considered important by the current eFiction development team. She also made the whole upgrade process a heck of a lot easier, and considering how much I was tearing my hair out Friday and Saturday, that says a lot :)
That being said, I realise that some things are very new and a little confusing, and other things are cropping up as we move to a fully functioning site rather than the static test sites we've been using, so I've put together a little Change Document that combines both. Please refer to it if you have any questions on how you handle things now, or if you think there's a bug. We may already know about it.
The document is here, and I'll add to it as things crop up or other things occur to me.
Thank you for your patience.
Firstly, we owe a HUGE debt of thanks to Aithine who went way, way above and beyond any call of duty, and basically rewrote portions of the software so we could upgrade and not lose our hair doing it.
Alyse too, who spent huge amount of time on tweaking the code and the skins - and then spent last night and today sweating over a hot computer.
There are a number of changes -- which you are welcome to poke around and discover! Feel free to sign up, sign in, and play! (Note from Alyse: don't break it!)
FYI: a quick look at the four biggest changes.
First, there is a new and improved search facility! Yay!
Series and challenges are now handled differently. Please bear in mind that because of the new way Wraithbait handles series and chapters within stories, links to particular chapters will no longer work. Links to a story as a whole should be fine.
You can now have more than one author on a story as long as each author has an account on Wraithbait -- no more creating a new 'x-and-y' account!
Lastly, you can now submit stories in more than one category -- if your story is both Sheppard/McKay and Zelenka/Grodin you formerly had to pick one of the two and submit the story as a whole under Multiple Relationships. Now you can simply submit it under each relationship category. Additionally, the category formerly known as Cross-genre, for stories containing both slash and het relationships, is now known as Bitextual.
If you do see these options, you're one of our automatically validated authors (your stories bypass the queue). Please do not submit stories until we say that the upgrade is complete. At best, you could lose your story. At worst, you could screw up the upgrade.
Story submissions will close on Thursday, 26th April. Queue will be cleared and come Sunday, I'll have gone insane. Er.
There are still some things to work out, which need to be done while it's live, so please bear with us until we've sorted them all out. If anything does go funky, by all means mail us but remember, we'll be elbows deep in coding so please adjust your tone accordingly.
Good: Hey, guys. Not sure if you're aware of this yet, but I noticed X on this page and Y on that page.
Bad: OMG! The site is totally broken in an unspecified way and you have ruined my fannish experience!
One will get you cookies. The other will get you killed.
I'll leave you to guess which.
The biggest things that will affect most users are:
- challenges. These will now have their own module rather than the current situation, where they are treated as a story category. This means that it's going to be easier to link challenges and their responses. You will also not be able to leave 'reviews' on challenges
- the way that stories are linked in a series. Currently, sequels are submitted as additional chapters but there will be a 'series' function on the new archive, so that you can choose to link stories - both by you and by your co-authors - as series. When you create a series, you'll also be able to set it so that it's 'closed' (only you can submit stories to it) or 'open' (anyone can come and play)
- there are options in place to prevent spam reviews and accounts. I will turn anonymous reviewing back on, and you will therefore be able to leave reviews once you have verified that you are a real person and not a bot.
While we're going through this transition period, there are a few things we're going to do:
- we've turned off submissions for challenges. Any challenges that have already been submitted will have to be deleted and reposted in the right place, so now that we've decided to grasp the nettle, there's no point in creating more work for anyone :)
- if you want to post stories that are sequels, I'd suggest doing it the current way (i.e. additional chapters) or hold off for a week or so. We might not be quite so hot on enforcing that rule at the moment, but remember that it's to your benefit to link your stories so that readers can follow them easily or they might wander off and read something else instead.
- we'll announce the upgrade before it happens and shut the site down to new submissions to make sure things go right. We'll have to back up the current site in case they don't, so they'll be off for a couple of days. If you are on automatically validated status, please do not try and submit stories during this time. I'd rather not have to go through and change the settings on all validated authors' accounts to make sure that you can't submit, but if you do try and submit during the process you could mess everything up. Or lose your story.
I think that's everything, but please feel free to contact us if you have any questions, although as I said we're pretty swamped at the moment so it might take a while to respond. I'd appreciate it if people didn't contact us with routine queries until the whole thing is done and dusted. Thank you.
In the meantime, please bear with us during any teething problems.
Here's a radical idea for you. If you feel the need to leave a review containing the text in the subject line to this post, don't.
I could go on about how our site has a no flames policy and add yet more stuff about how we have a validation queue in place for the majority of the authors, so the admins decide what does and does not hit the site. I could also point out that everyone has the right to participate in fandom in a form that they are comfortable with, whether that is writing, issuing challenges or being one of those kind souls who tries to leave kind words on everything that they read, but frankly it's become perfectly obvious that I'm merely wasting my bandwidth.
So instead I'm going to turn off anonymous reviews.
Congratulations. You've just managed to screw it up for the 95% of anonymous reviewers who don't get their jollies by pissing all over someone else's fandom joy.
Thank you for your patience.
Just a thought.
ETA: Because I'm still ticked about this, I'd just like to point out that the site also has a no flame policy, so those lovely little comments slamming someone for being a bit enthusiastic at issuing challenges have been deleted. There is a validation queue in place, and we are therefore already deciding how many stories or challenges by one person to let through at a time.
To everyone that doesn't know what the hell I'm going on about - thank you for your patience ::g::
Validation might therefore be a little slow. Please bear with us until we're back and caught up on the massive amounts of sleep we are so not going to get this weekend!
Yes, I'm posting from Peg2 and, dude, Chuck Campbell is made of cute and awesome!
Unfortunately, the number of submissions, and the number of submissions containing these basic errors, have increased to the point where it is no longer feasible to expect us to contiue to explain to individuals how to punctuate dialogue. Hence this post, which I'm hoping will reduce the number of submissions containing errors and therefore reduce both the number of rejection letters we need to send and the level of detail in those letters. In future, rather than using specific examples from your stories to explain to you individually why it's a problem, we're far more likely to simply point to this post or the minimum quality guidelines.
At the risk of being mean, at the end of the day it is your responsibility, as the author, to ensure that you get the technical basics of writing right, not ours to fix it for you.
There are a number of things you can do to help with this:
i) read professionally published fiction. If you read professionally published novels, you will be able to see how dialogue should be punctuated and hopefully become aware of the issues around punctuation and your own mistakes.
ii) find and use a beta reader. This isn't a foolproof method as we frequently get replies that state that the story has been beta read - often by more than one beta reader - and that the author therefore thinks that there are no problems. A quick application of the first suggestion - reading professionally published novels - will show you that there are. However, some beta readers are worth their weight in gold, and a good one will not only keep you straight but explain exactly why it is an error and how to make sure you don't repeat this error in future. This is what we, as archivists, have been doing to date but what we cannot do in future.
iii) please do not volunteer to beta read other people's stories if your own stories have been rejected from the archive. It isn't fair to the author, it isn't fair to us as archivists and it isn't fair to readers.
iv) invest in a good quality grammar and punctuation guide. There are also some resources online, but be wary of them. We do, however, list some of the better online resources in the minimum quality guidelines and I'm repeating them here for information:
Back to Basics: Punctuating Dialogue
Dialogue Formatting Tutorial: Star Wars Version
Punctuation in Dialogue by Karen Lee Field
A google search of 'dialogue tag punctuation' will pull up many more examples.
v) finally, feel free to ask us if you have any questions or need some pointers. While it's true that we don't have time to give the level of information in rejection letters that we have given previously, all of us are willing to answer questions or provide any help needed, provided this does not involve beta reading your stories for you (unless you bribe us with a lot of chocolate ::g::)
I just wanted to remind everyone that there is a minimum word limit for the archive, which is 100 words.
That was probably the pithiest news item ever. :)
For example, common problems include filing slash stories in ship categories or vice versa, or filing stories featuring both slash and het pairings in either slash or het rather than 'Cross Genre'. This is often because the stories feature a main character and other, e.g. McKay/other where the other is a man but the story has been mistakenly filed in the McKay/other category in 'Ship'.
We've also had problems with stories being filed in 'Crossovers' rather than the correct subcategory. Just like 'Ship' and 'Slash', 'Crossovers' is a header category that doesn't contain stories. Instead they should be filed in the relevant subcategory, i.e. General; Slash; Ship; or Threesomes, Moresomes and Cross Genre, depending on the story's content.
Failing to put your story in the correct category means that at best you miss out on your intended audience and at worst you risk alienating readers when they realise that the story is mislabelled. So it's to your benefit as well as ours to double check that you've got it right before you hit that 'add story' button :)
Please Read the Rules!
Recently, we’ve had a spate—a small spate, but a spate nonetheless—of stories that have been categorized as ‘General’, despite the fact that the stories feature pairings.
Please remember that the story categories specifically refer to the pairings (or lack thereof) in your story. If, therefore, your story has one or more relationships in it, you can’t categorize it under ‘General.’ General is for stories with no pairings. If your story contains ship (het) pairings, it should be in the ‘Ship Pairings’ category, with the particular pairing (or ‘multiple relationships’) as the sub-category. The same with stories with slash (homosexual) pairings. Stories that have both het and slash should be categorized under ‘Cross Genre’.
All the categories are explained in detail in the site Rules, which is the reason for my pleading headline above. Knowing where to slot your story ahead of time will mean we don’t have to send it back to you, asking for it to be placed in the proper category. :)
And while we’re on the subject, lately almost half the stories in the validation queue have had redundant information in the text of their stories, which is contrary to Rule Nine. Such information includes (but is not limited to):
Please note that all of the above is always automatically included on every story page in the archive. In the case of feedback, the reader is invited to leave a comment at the end of every chapter or story.
Including information contrary to Rule Nine in your story ultimately is a waste of both your time and ours—yours for including it, when we’ll either remove it ourselves or ask you to, and ours for having to take the time to remove it and to inform you that we’ve done so, or to request that you do the same. As with category information, everything you shouldn’t include in your story is explained in detail in the Rules.
It has honestly gotten to the point where I’ve been considering rejecting stories on the basis that the writer has apparently not read the Rules, without actually reading the stories to see if they even fit the archive’s minimum standards. Obviously I don’t want to do that, but we’ve been spending far too much time lately on such stories, which could be better spent validating still more fic. :)
Unfortunately, failure to do so means that the site's script assumes that the link is internal to the site and anyone following the link will get a 'page not found' message.
You will, however, be able to link to any in-site links by simply providing the relevant URL. In other words, you do not need to include either http:// or www.wraithbait.com in the address, merely the name of the page.