Help with story formatting
My story is completed but it says it's not. How do I change that?
Pasting and formatting a story
If you are pasting from a writing program or a copying your story text from a website you should use TinyMCE. There are three ways to paste: right click with your cursor in the box and then click Paste, click into the box and then do Ctrl + V, or go to the Edit menu on your browser and click Paste.
If you used Microsoft Word at all, even if you are just copying and pasting from a website, make sure that you have plain <p> tags. If you don't, or aren't sure, then use the little clipboard with the "W" to paste your text in.
It should screen out the style tags in paragraphs by changing all the <p> tags to <br /><br />. <br /> tags DO NOT use the paragraph formatting, so your story won't be indented or justified. That's okay. We are working to automatically change the <br /><br /> to be </p><p>. The next Find and Replace Admin Edit for all story text on the archive will change <br /><br /> to </p><p> somewhere down the road. The most important thing now is that the story is readable.
See Why Can't I Use Style Tags? for more info.
You are able to switch between TinyMCE and a plain text box by means of the check box beneath it. The plain text box will show html tags and will also understand carrier breaks.
If you are pasting actual html code to format your story, it is better to paste it into the text box. If you copy and paste actual bolded text like this into the text box, it will not stay bolded, but if you paste <b>bolded text like this</b> it will stay bolded.
The Goal: What the text should look like:
(Above: The TinyMCE checkbox is unchecked to see the code. Only uncheck ONE text box per page per load. The second box will spawn and duplicate otherwise.)
This is what the same text looks like with TinyMCE:
Why Can't I use Style Tags? Why Shouldn't I Indent?
This site uses skins that set the way things look, like backgrounds and paragraphs for instance. When using a program like Microsoft Word, style tags are automatically inserted into the paragraph tags, even if you don't do anything other than just write. Those codes often get saved if you upload the text, or copy and paste it. This is true even if it's been copied and pasted from a different site. Since it orginated from the program, it carries its tags.
This is a problem because the style tags that go along with your text might overwrite the style tags of the skin. You might not think that is so bad, but what if the tags said not to have any space between paragraphs? You might end up with a big block of text. Or the opposite, you might have the perfect double space set, but end up with triple or more spaces because it will show the style tag formatting as well as any other formatting the TinyMCE textbox adds on automatically. If the text has to have a certain amount of padding on either side to be readable because of a skin's background, your story might not be readable at the edges.
On the other hand, if you just had the <p></p> tags around paragraphs, and nothing else within the <p> tag setting the style (or extra tags creating more lines), the block of text would use the styles set by the skin of the site, and would have the perfect spaces inbetween them. It would automatically set the width of your story text correctly for each skin.
Several skins automatically justify and indent paragraphs. You should not indent your own paragraphs because then you would have double indentation and that would look really bad. On smaller resolutions, your paragraphs might start half way across the screen, or even farther. Do not indent your paragraphs.
What do style tags look like?
The goal is to start every paragraph like this in code (meaning you should see this is you are looking at it with the plain text box, not the TinyMCE box with all the buttons):
A paragraph with style tags will look like this:
You do not want that (or anything longer or shorter like it). There should be nothing after the p in <p>, except for if you have centered text. Then it should be <p align="center">.
Text box behaviour
Here are some hints that may help you with the plain text box:
If you have italics, bold font, underlined things or horizonal rules then you are going to want to use html. You can hand place the proper html codes in the right places but that will take forever if you have a long story. I upload my stories by taking the html code from fanfiction.net or from my geocities account or wherever it exists. It's easy to do, you just View... Source and then chop off of the top and bottom extra code that FFN or the server puts on it. Or you can just put the raw code through the text box, click on preview and it should screen out some of it, making it easier for you to find where the chapter starts and ends.
Italics or Bold text not showing up? Make sure that you are using the right html codes, <em> and <i> can mean the same thing, as can <b> and <strong>, but the script only keeps the <em> and <strong> tags and converts the others.
Spacing. This is something that I usually always have to fix myself. Since the text box reads both html and carrier breaks, you will often have double or triple line breaks if you don't get your code from the right place. Or, you may not have any breaks at all if you were using indentations and not skipping lines between paragraphs, or if you copied the text off of a writing program that automatically does double spacing without leaving the actual space. You can usually tell by going to the end of a sentence and pressing down; if you end up in the empty space between paragraphs then it's probably alright but if it skips to the begining of the next paragraph you may have a problem and may not want to just copy and paste the text straight from the program. Be resourceful and try to find a way to get the html.
Here are some examples of what the code of the text in the box above can look like to have it show up correctly: (basically all you need to do is make sure that there are two line breaks, no more and no less)
HTML paragraphs automatically skip space between them and the next ones.
Two HTML breaks make two lines.
Hitting the Enter key twice makes two line carriers. Notice that you can click on the white space between them and get the text cursor on a word processor.
One HTML line break and one Enter key line carrier = 2 line breaks.
Still having problems? Make sure that you don't have:
For example, something like these would be bad:
These ones would be okay:
If you find yourself with a large file that needs to be fixed, use a program with a find and replace feature such as Macromedia Dreamweaver, or some of the newer writing programs. Find the one phrase of code that has too many breaks and replace it with one that doesn't using "Replace All". You may have to practice and try it out a couple of times before you get it right. If you are having too much difficulty, contact the submissions administrator.
Adding a division line (Horizontal rule)
Uploading a story
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