Frequently Asked Questions
GENERAL ARCHIVE QUESTIONS
Who are the administrators of this archive and how do I contact them?
The Archive admins are:
You can contact any admin on the contact us page. If you want to speak to a specific admin only like the archive owner for instance, simply click on their profile (clicking the admin’s name above will take you to their profile page) then click the contact link next to their Penname.
Is there an age requirement to use this archive?
Yes. To comply with COPPA (Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act) all users must be at least thirteen years of age to register, review stories (even anonymously), read stories, and basically do anything on the site. Thanks for stopping by, but If you are not thirteen, please find another site to visit.
Where do I find your site rules?
You can find a list of all archive rules here. These are the rules for the entire archive like general rules, image upload rules, story submission rules, etc.
Where do I find the Terms of Service or Policies?
I can’t access your site, is it down for everyone or is it just me?
Technically if you can’t access the archive you will not be able to access the FAQ to find this answer, but, since I thought this was a neat site to check if a site is down for everyone or just you I am adding it here anyway. Clicking here will take you to a site to answer the question. If you would like to keep this site handy incase the site goes down and you want to know if it’s just you, you can bookmark it. You can also find out if other sites are down for everyone or just you here as well.
I haven’t received any emails from your site since I registered, shouldn’t I have at least received a welcome message?
Yes, all members are sent a welcome email upon registration to the archive.
Have you checked your SPAM/Junk folders for your email? It is possible that your messages have been marked as SPAM/Junk, if this is what happened then you should be able to mark it as not junk/SPAM so that you will be able to receive messages in the future. You can add email@example.com to your safe list.
If you didn’t find it in your SPAM/Junk folders, you should probably check and make sure that you did not accidentally type in an in-correct email address.
ACCOUNT RELATED QUESTIONS
I forgot my password! What do I do now?
To recover a lost password, click here and enter the e-mail address with which you registered. Your new password will be sent to you shortly. This new password will be randomly generated and it is therefore, recommended that you change the password after you log in.
How do I change my password?
Help, I can’t remember my username/penname so I can’t sign in?
You can try looking through the list of members to see if you recognize it from the list. To do this click on Authors then in the drop-down box choose All Members. You will be able to look at the list of all registered member pennames.
If you still can’t find/remember your penname, you will need to email an admin using the contact us page and let us know that you forgot your penname/username. You must give us the correct email address that you used to create the account, without the correct email address we will not be able to find your username.
If you have forgotten your password too you will have to use the lost password page to retrieve the password as mentioned above, however, the email with your new password will not list your username/penname so you will still have to contact an admin.
Can I change my Penname/Username?
Yes, it is possible to change your penname/username, however this can only be done by an admin. Simply use the contact us page and let us know that you would like to change your penname/username. Because we are very curious people, please give a brief explanation as to why you would like to change it. For instance, you created the user name years ago and at the time you thought it was a good one, but now you feel you’d like a better name; someone is harassing you on the archive and you are hoping by changing your penname you will get them to stop, etc.
**Please note if your explanation matches the second example concerning harassment; you shouldn’t need to change your username at all because harassment of another member is against the rules and if you know who your harasser is we can and will ban them from the archive. Please let us know immediately if you feel you are being harassed.**
How do I change my email address?
I no longer read or write CSI fan fiction, and I want to delete my account, can I do this?
Only an admin can delete member accounts. You will need to contact an admin. You must be logged into the account first, then go to the contact us page and request that your account be deleted with a brief explanation as to why you want it deleted. To ensure that you are the account owner and not someone who is trying to cause trouble, an admin will get back to you with specific instructions and questions that you will have to answer to prove that you are indeed the account owner.
Please make sure you truly want to delete your account, once your account is deleted all your submitted stories, reviews, comments, etc. will be deleted as well and will no longer be available for other members and visitors to see. If we delete your account we will not be able to get it back again, you will have to register again and resubmit all stories, reviews, etc.
STORY SUBMISSION QUESTIONS
What kinds of stories are allowed?
See our Archive Rules.
How do I submit stories?
If you have not already done so, please register for an account. Once you've logged in, click on Account Information and choose Add Story. The form presented there will allow you to submit your story.
What are the ratings used on the site?
This archive uses Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) ratings as we feel that most people know what these ratings mean and using this system will have less confusion over what the ratings are. If for some reason, you are not familiar with this rating system or want to refresh your memory the ratings are as follows:
G: General Audiences. The story is acceptable for all readers.
PG: Parental Guidance Suggested. This means some content may not be suitable for children.
PG-13: Parents strongly cautioned. This means some content may be inappropriate for children under the age of 13.
R: Restricted. This means the story may contain some adult material that is not suitable for children under the age of 17.
NC-17: Adults only. This means the story contains content that is not suitable for children. No one under the age of 17 should read this story.
What are the story classifications?
Stories are classified by categories, ratings, pairings, slash pairings, story type, story tags, and warnings. The classifications were created to make it easier to find the kind of story you're in the mood to read. For instance, if you are looking for a story about Nick Stokes getting kidnapped, you would choose the character Nick Stokes and the story tag kidnapped along with any other classifications you would like to search for.
I uploaded my story to the archive, but my formatting is messed up. Did I do something wrong?
1. You used Word to format the HTML. Word does the world's shoddiest job with HTML. No doubt there are bizarre line breaks, styles inserted and tags used that the script running the site does not allow. It is not necessary to use the paragraph tag, on this site. Using it will give you more grief than not. We recommend saving your files as plain text, double checking the spacing and then manually adding any HTML you feel necessary (like italics and bold). Keep in mind that if you don't fix your formatting, you're going to get a rejection email from an admin who validates it, and then you will have to resubmit and making the necessary corrections – your story won't be allowed on the site with the formatting messed up, because it makes the story harder to read and it just looks terrible.
Also, it's important to note that the script does not allow you to upload a straight Word file (.doc extension) or any kind of text format, though it does allow you to upload .html or .htm. You can paste your story in from a Word window if you use the text box, but you'll have to change the spacing in the text box, or in your word document because if you hit enter/return to add a line in word between paragraphs it will look like you hit enter/return several times. It might be a pain, but when you type your story in word if you use shift enter/return to add a line between paragraphs, or go back and change it later and then copy and paste it into the story text box it will show the spacing correctly. This is what I do when I submit my stories to the archive.
2. In adding your own HTML you've pressed enter after formatting. People who write code often hit return and put in line breaks after they are done with a section with coding. With HTML and many other Coding languages, the line breaks are ignored. However, since the script that uploads your text reads carriage returns (hitting enter after a line) formatting the coding like this puts in weird line breaks.
3. You've used the paragraph tag. As mentioned above, using the p, or paragraph tag will mess up your spacing. We recommend that you simply copy the text of your story from your text editor (Word, etc.) and paste it into the text entry field. This will help to alleviate any bizarreness that can be caused by conversion from one format to another.
4. Something happened to the line breaks when you saved the file as a txt file. Conversions from one file to another are not infallible. When you use Word, you should (or at least I do) see options to insert line breaks or preserve formatting. Deselect these, and you should solve many of your problems.
STORY REVIEW/VALIDATION QUESTIONS
I submitted a fan fiction story and I can’t see it on the site. Did I do something wrong?
All submitted stories must be approved by an administrator before they will be viewable on the archive. The admins will make sure the submitted story or chapters were listed in the correct category, and follows the archive terms of service and submission rules. Your story is most likely awaiting approval. Please be patient, an admin will review your story as soon as they can. The admins are volunteers who do not get paid to help moderate the archive and have jobs and “real life” activities that may take priority over submission validation or a lot of submissions waiting approval ahead of yours. Upon approval, your story will be viewable in the archive within 30 minutes after approval.
How long does it take for a story to be reviewed by an admin?
The validation times vary. It may take as little as 15 minutes to up to a week or more for your story to be reviewed by an admin. We will try our hardest to review all submitted stories as quick as possible, but depending on “real life” and the amount of submitted stories waiting to be reviewed. We will do everything we can to avoid the validation process taking more than a week. You will receive email notification to inform you if your submission was approved or not. If it is not approved the message will inform you of what changes need to be corrected. Once you have made the corrections you can resubmit your story. If you don’t receive a response immediately, please be patient with us.
Help! My chapter/story was rejected and I didn’t save it. How do I get it back?
Unfortunately, there is no way to retrieve a story or chapter that has been deleted from the site. Once it is gone, it is gone forever. I would recommend in the future, saving your work in a word processing program like Microsoft Word, Works, Corel Word Perfect, etc. before submitting it to the archive to avoid the loss of your submission. And since the submission rules state all story submissions should be edited prior submission and a word processing program like those mentioned above make it easier to do so.
FAN FICTION TERMS AND ABBREVIATION QUESTIONS
I’ve noticed several different abbreviations use through the archive. What do they mean?
AU stands for “Alternate Universe”. AT stands for “Alternate Timeline”.
An AU/AT story is one that makes major changes to the canonical storyline or premise, such as killing off a major character, changing characters’ motives or alliances, annulling major events or changing the setting- for example taking the adolescent characters of a series and placing them in high school, even though there is no high school setting in the series canon, would be an “AU” story.
A/N stands for author’s note. When the author wants to add notes to explain something.
Gen: General or non-romantic, used as an official subgenre category on many archives, including fanfiction.net. There is some controversy about what qualifies as a “gen fic”, but usually it denotes a story in which any sex or romance are minor, background elements of the story, while the main plot centers around non-romantic themes.
H/C stands for Hurt/Comfort, a plot framework in which one character in a particular ship experiences pain (usually emotional) and the other character offers comfort. It may qualify as darkfic depending on the origin and amount of focus on the “hurt” aspect of the story. May also qualify as a lemon or lime if the “comfort” is of a decidedly physical nature.
IC is an acronym which stands for in character, and refers to the behavior of (usually canon) characters which seems logical given what is known about them and their previous behavior in canon (see: OOC later in this section). Its usage in reference to fan fiction is thus somewhat distinct from, but similar, to its usage in acting.
OC stands for Original Character, i.e. a character created by the author of the fan fiction, as opposed to one already existing in canon. The term (especially in acronym form) is also frequently used by members of the fan fiction community to refer to their characters in original fiction (for instance: “I have an OC who learns sorcery in a short story, I wrote yesterday.”) OMC is an original male character, and OFC is an original female character, though the more general and gender-neutral OC label is more prevalent.
OC also is known to stand for other character. Used to describe a situation when a character who is not in the original story, is brought in for the purposes of the author to further manipulate his or her fanfiction as he or she sees fit. For more on this, see Original character.
OOC Stands for Out of Character. The acronym form of the term should not be confused with the version from the online role-playing community, in which the same acronym is often used to denote comments made that are made to be read outside of context of the game’s story (such as notes about when a player will next be available). Its usage in fan fiction is different, and closer to the original literary meaning of the term Out of character, referring only to the behavior of (usually canon) characters in the story itself regarding whether they seem “in-character”.
OTP Stands for One True Pairing. This means that the two characters mentioned are meant to be together. It usually goes entirely against canon, using an OC and a canon character or two canon characters that would never be together under normal circumstances. Sometimes, however, the pairing may be part of canon. An OTP also generally represents the favorite pairing of the author. By declaring their OTP, authors can meet other authors with the same pairing preference. On the downside, however, declaring an OTP can lead to debates and possible (though rare) flame wars.
POV Stands for Point of View and much like the acronym’s usage elsewhere, refers to the perspective in which the story is written or meant to be viewed. It is sometimes also spelled with a lower case 0 (i.e. PoV), though the all-caps variation is common.
PWP Stands for Porn Without Plot or more commonly now Plot? What Plot? and is used to indicate or imply that a fan fiction story contains little or no plot, but instead acts merely as a vessel for pornographic scenes.
R&R Stands for Read and Review can also be written as r&r or rr. Is meant as an encouragement for the reader to read the story and review it afterward. C&C or critique and comment is also sometimes used, though not as often. Sometimes it is also used as Rate and Review.
SI Stands for self-insert or Self-insertion. It refers to an author writing him or herself into their story. The resulting “character” is usually referred to as a self-insert or SI in the fan fiction community. The term is often closely associated with Mary Sue, but does not actually exclusively apply to the kinds of characters typically labeled a Mary Sue.
It is a common mistake to confuse the terms ‘Mary Sue’ and ‘self-insert’, especially since generally Mary Sues are seen as being the kind of person the author wishes they could be and often are a form of idealized self-insertion.
TWT Stands for Time line? What Time line? And is used when the author of a fan fiction has no particular time line in which the story takes place. This is likely a pun on the term ‘PWP’ and has been adopted in multiple fandoms.
UST Stands for Unresolved Sexual Tension and refers to the lack of full or sometimes even partial resolution of sexual tension elements within a story. May refer to the content of the fan fiction story, or to a particular interpretation of the original canon story, or to both, if the fan fiction in question is intended to address sexual or romantic subtext in the original story.
WAFF Stands for “Warm and Fuzzy Feeling” or “Warm and Fuzzy Feelings”, applied to stories which are intended to invoke those feelings in the reader, i.e. “feel good” stories. Also, referred to as “fluff”. Fluff is often a romantic short story in which the author’s favorite couple gets together.
The above abbreviations were found on Wikipedia.org.
What is a one-shot?
A one-shot is akin to a short story. The entire plot is told within one chapter. The plot is not usually very deep or full of twists and turns. The characters are developed but not to the depth they would be in a longer story.
What is a Mary Sue or Gary Stu?
Mary Sue is an uncomplimentary term used to describe a fictional character who plays a major role in the plot and is particularly characterized by overly idealized and clichéd mannerisms, lacking noteworthy flaws, and primarily functioning as wish-fulfillment fantasies for their authors. Perhaps the single underlying feature of all characters described as “Mary Sues” is that they are too ostentatious for the audience’s taste, or that the author seems to favor the character too highly. The author may seem to push how exceptional and wonderful the “Mary Sue” character is on his or her audience, sometimes leading the audience to dislike or even resent the character quickly; such a character could be described as an “author’s pet”.
“Mary Sues” can be either male or female, but male characters are often dubbed “Marty Stu”, “Gary Stu” or similar names. While the label “Mary Sue” itself originates from a parody of this type of character, most characters labeled “Mary Sues” by readers are not intended by authors as such. (This info was found on wikipedia.org).
What is slash fan fiction?
Slash fiction is, depending on one’s preferred definition, a subgenre of romance fan fiction which exclusively deals in homosexual or male homosexual relationships; a subgenre of Alternate Pairing that addresses a relationship between characters of the same gender, especially males; or the same thing as an Alternate Pairing. The expression comes from the late 1970s, when the “I” symbol began to be used to designate a romantic relationship between Star Trek characters, especially between James T. Kirk and Spock. Slash occasionally refers to any non-canon “ship” (including heterosexual ones), but most fans use it to mean specifically to same-sex pairings or even, to exclusively male same-sex pairings.
What does Canon mean?
Canon (derived from the term’s usage in the Christian religion and popularized in this context by the Baker Street Irregulars) refers to the “official” source material upon which fan fiction can be based.
It is important to note that something that is regarded as “canon” is regarded as being essentially a verifiable fact in the given fandom. Details as complex as the laws of physics in a given story universe or as minute as how a character’s name is meant to be spelled can be referred to as “canon” details, so long as they are specifically shown or otherwise directly revealed in the source material; this includes character behavior as well, though debate over what can or cannot be considered “canon behavior” is often a point of contention in fandom.
What is a fandom?
In fan fiction communities, especially online, generally fandom refers to people who enjoy a specific story, character, game, etc., and actively interact with others; that is, a group of (however scattered) such individuals who share interest in the same media. The term also sees occasional use as a synonym for the canon work.
What is a Crossover?
Another fan fiction subgenre is the crossover story, in which either characters from one story exists in (or are transported to) another pre-existing story’s world, or more commonly, characters from two or more stories interact.
While the crossover genre is extremely popular amongst fan fiction writers, it does sometimes occur in canon works – examples of this include the CSI: Crime Scene Investigation characters appeared on CSI New York or vice versa.
What are disclaimers:
Disclaimers are must-have alerts written before reading the actual fanfiction. These alerts typically inform readers to whom the canon should be credited to; this helps in avoiding issues of copyright infringement.
**If you would like to find out the definition of more fan fiction terms, check out A Fanspeak Dictionary.
If you couldn’t find the answer to your question above, please use the contact us page to email your question and we will try to get back to you as quickly as possible.