FanFiction Story Character Limit Increased: Part 1 of 2

15 Mar

For FanFiction:

The number of characters a writer can assign to each story is now 4 and up from the previous 2 limit. We have set a ceiling to emphasize the fact that writers should use this field to denote the major characters within their story allowing ease of browsing and searchability by potential readers.

A short background on how we implement the characters field to the benefit of both writers and readers. The characters field is not designed to list every single character that appears in a story but rather a tool to help readers focus in on their primary interests. If a limit is not used, a list of characters is just that, a simple list without focus as each additional minor character added devalues the importance of previous characters and rendering search/filtered results less valuable.

The limit of 4 is a middle ground value we believe should satisfy most of the writers and readers. With that said, if we discover in the future the character ceiling should be lifted, we can easily do so after this upgrade.

Please note that although this appear to be a minor update on the surface, it is part of an extremely large upgrade which we will use to piggy back on in preparation for more feature launches looming on the horizon.

Part 1: Writer admin side. Allowing writers to select, if applicable, up to 4 characters per story.

Part 2: To be released over the next few days: Reader’s ability to filter/search up to 4 characters.

In summary, we have released this feature update to writers first and the public facing side will enjoy the new changes in a few days.


Posted by on 03/15/2013 in Uncategorized


252 responses to “FanFiction Story Character Limit Increased: Part 1 of 2

  1. Victoria Navarro

    03/16/2013 at 8:07 pm

    I’m really excited for this update. Some of the stories I write have about three main characters, so it’s nice to be finally able to add the third wheel. Also, I agree with some of the previous comments. An OMC (original male character) and OFC (original female characters) character filter should be added, as some stories do include original characters.

  2. peachykeen

    03/16/2013 at 8:46 pm

    I’m very excited for this update, as I always limiting the character listing to 2 was a bit annoying if I was trying to find something particular to read.

    I also think the OC option for all fandoms, not just Harry Potter, would be a very good idea for the people that prefer to read those type of stories, like me, but have to sort through a few dozen fics before finally finding something that appeals to them. Just a thought 🙂

    Btw, the only way someone would confuse your story as a romantic pairing, is if you’ve labelled it as such, or have managed to mislead with the summary. Food for thought.

    • yemi hikari

      03/16/2013 at 10:55 pm

      Btw, the only way someone would confuse your story as a romantic pairing, is if you’ve labelled it as such, or have managed to mislead with the summary. Food for thought.

      Or the person happens to be a rabid shipper who will click on anything with the two characters without paying attention to the summary or genre and then still go ahead and complain because you don’t ship the two characters despite the fact you clearly didn’t mark your story as romance. These are shippers I might add who are in serious denial that the two characters have a brother/sister relationship in canon and will lash out if you write them in such a relationship.

      • Spyridon

        03/16/2013 at 10:58 pm

        Luckily for me, I haven’t really I haven’t really dealt with that. The closest was someone telling me that I shouldn’t have Harry going out with Ginny (same story I labelled as Harry/OC as they were main focus).

        Also, I think it’s time someone should go through the stories on the HP site and begin removing characters that don’t have stories in them. I mean seriously! They should only put characters on there who people are willing to write about.

      • yemi hikari

        03/17/2013 at 12:58 am

        Good luck figuring out which ones don’t have stories for them.

    • Esme

      03/19/2013 at 11:29 pm

      I strongly agree with your thoughts on getting more ‘OC’ options. I almost always read OC stories, and to go to the search engine to filter out only a few of these stories is a hassle.

      • Lavender Flame

        03/20/2013 at 5:42 pm

        Agreed. The Hunger Games Fandom could desperately use an “OC” option, for one example, as a great deal of stories are of the Submit-Your-Own-Tribute (Character) variety (including several of mine). It’s also annoying to see a story that’s labelled as being about a canon character, and then finding out that the story’s mostly about an OC, that happens to interact with that character (for people who don’t like OC stories or who weren’t looking for one at the time).

  3. xlilim

    03/16/2013 at 10:33 pm

    This is a great update! I always tend to have more than 2 main characters and it’ll be fun to finally include the others.

    I’m going to second the OC option!

  4. xlilim

    03/16/2013 at 10:38 pm

    This is a great update, but I agree with the rest of the comments, an OC option has to happen (in every fandom/category). It’ll make everyone’s lives easier.

  5. seila

    03/16/2013 at 11:10 pm

    Nice, nice~

    Three main characters is a pretty common number; I have a few plots myself with 3 mains. I can’t think of terribly many foursome stories, but they’re around, moreso in niches. I’d say this is a pretty good number..

    And I have to agree with the others on the original character matter. Nearly ever single fandom on this site has a healthy amount of stories with OCs.


  6. CeCe

    03/16/2013 at 11:26 pm

    Awesome! I found it annoying to only be allowed 2 characters because the people might think that those 2 are in a relationship which may not be true. It would be cool to be able to add more characters but this definitely helps!

    • yemi hikari

      03/17/2013 at 6:17 pm

      Some people still seem to think that the character list is for the romantic pairings. 😛

  7. XxRikuxX

    03/16/2013 at 11:31 pm

    I believe we need a filler for Yaoi and Yuri stories on the sites to because it’s like the rabid shipper’s. Who will lash out if you don’t pair up ‘X’ character with ‘Y’ Character. I’ve made this mistake a few times and clicked on a story because I thought it was yaoi, but I didn’t flame a writer, because of that I found some amazingly done stories that I would have overlooked had I not thought them to have same sex pairings. ^_^

    • yemi hikari

      03/17/2013 at 6:16 pm

      We need a het, yuri, yaoi, none, unspecified, yuri-yaoi, yuri-het, yaoi-het, all. Goodness knows there are the stories some people think are slash only to find one of the characters has been gender-bended.

      • Zorra Reed

        03/24/2013 at 5:27 am

        I strongly agree with this! As a reader I’d love to have the option of searching not only for more primary characters when I read, especially Harry Potter fic, but to search for Yaoi or non Yaoi stories without having to sort throught a million of them. Saves a lot of time. I’d like to see some of the options in that search selection that Yemi Hikari mentioned because as a writer, I tend to borderline some of my fics and stay more in a gray area. Not really a Yaoi but not completely innocent either. I’d also like to see the genre search expanded. I write a lot of stories that mostly fall under Angst because they are dark or abusive but not quite…tragedy or hurt/comfort. Harry Potter is filled with dark and abuse fiction that borderlines angst but doesn’t fit anywhere else. And the General section is already jammed packed with lazy writers that can’t be bothered to upload the details correctly or they turely are unsure what area their story would fall under. More options, without going crazy (like they did with the character listings in Harry Potter) would be a wonderful benieft to both reader and writer. It would give both a chance to see what sort of stories are popular for that show, what people want to read, or inspire a writer to try and do more for that catagory to help build it up. Also a song/poem fic option would be nice as well.

        Another thing I’d be interested in seeing on this site…. we have discriptions of the ratings and what sort of content they may include. I’d like to see a discription, based on’s approval of where to draw the lines with the Yaoi/Yuri/Slash fics. If we’re going to have a selection filter, I’d like to be crystal clear on where my fiction content lies.

        My friend wrote a story about a male character who had a boyfriend. The first mention of him was when he showed at the end of a chapter and was told his bf was leaving town for a while. He wished him luck, squeezed his hand, and gave him a light kiss on the lips. Besides that, the story followed cannon more or less. That was the only scene we see or hear about the boyfriend. There’s small implications that an overly concerned male friend may have been crushing on the main character but that’s entriely up to the reader to decide.

        My friend recieved a complaint saying that while the story had been a wonderful read…the person would not have read had they know the story was a Yaoi and that my friend was in the wrong for not mentioning that it was or warning about m/m pairings. My friend and I felt that the story did not fall under such labelings nor needed any warnings since the focus is not on a relationship and there is no sextual activity or implications in the story.

        My question becomes what about stories of this nature that may borderline, pressing the bondries a little further then this story but don’t quite crossover into Shoenai (I know I spelled that wrong), or may fall between Shoenai and Yaoi. Since both terms have very specific requirements to be classified as such. Where would stories such as the one my friend wrote, fall? What about non-romatantic or yaoi stories where the character is simply stated to be gay? What about same sex crushes, sextual abuse by another male character, rape, sextual orientation preferance, teenage experimentation of the same sex? Where do stories that have these characters, histories, or situations – even if these are things known but not shown – where do they belong in the labeling system? Is ever story that has a gay character instantly a slash? Is a rape story a slash or yaoi because it happened between to males instead of a male/female?

        I think a lot of writers are unsure at times, especailly new writers crossing into Yaoi. To be safe, they may list warnings of yaoi and raise the rating to Mature when in truth the story is PG besides a same sex preferance, has nothing to do with Yaoi related topics. This isolates the story in a bad way. Authors trying to cover their butts and protect their accounts by playing it safe, but risk loosing a lot of readers because people then think it’s something it is not. Take the show Friends, if you write about the gay characters is it atomaticly a slash? Even if the content of that story is G-rated?

        I’m just saying something clear cut would be helpful. We risk loosing a lot of readers in some of the smaller anime areas because you have the Yaoi only and non-Yaoi division and with a limited following already that division can really limit the audience your story reaches. If only more people read both… I write mostly non-yaoi but I read a lot of it. My stuff is maturing and starting to imply or even cross lines but in my mind, they don’t yet deserve to be Yaoi. So what are they?

        I’ll just wander off into the dark forest and get lost now. *dashes off*

      • merlinrecon

        03/24/2013 at 1:15 pm

        Hey,I didn’t read everything you put because it seemed to rant a lot, but I read most. I agree that if your story has male/male pairings of any kind you should at least mention it. While I have nothing against gay people male or female it isn’t the sort I like to read. Though, I’ll admit I read and write femme-slash.

        I’ve had a review once that was on a femme-slash fic I rated T, with a femme-slash warning in the summary saying it should be an M. I ignored the childish little moron.

        However, even if it contains min-slash you should mention it. Some people DON’T want to read about any main (especially) or sub character that’s gay. Its just as simple as that. It doesn’t mean they’re homophobic, but, i.e. just because someone isn’t homophobic does NOT mean they will watch gay porn.

        I personally like to know what the hetero pairings are.because there are many pairing’s I don’t like. I’ll admit I like to read some Twilight, but I can’t stand either the slaking vampire or the douche-abusive lykan-wannabe, so I mainly read yuri pairings in that fandom. Its the same with the Buffy-verse, I only read yuri-pairings because I’ve never really grown too attached to any of the male characters.

        In my opinion there is no borderline this or that. Its either gay or its not, or its bi, so say so. If its dark say so in the summary if you want. Genre isn’t really something that people care about too much. I’ve barely ever filtered through genre. I choose what I’m going to read because I like the summary, and the main characters, or sometimes because of the pairing mentioned.

  8. Esuslol

    03/17/2013 at 12:09 am

    What I truly want is the ability to exclude specific characters from search results.

    • Elisabeth

      03/18/2013 at 4:45 pm

      YES! I second this.

    • Bozen

      03/20/2013 at 1:04 am

      Definitely. It would be great to have an exclusion option.

      • AnikandAj

        03/20/2013 at 1:19 am

        Thank you! Then, if the OC option gets added, I can filter out annoying Oc’s.

    • merlinrecon

      03/24/2013 at 1:17 pm

      Can’t you do that by just choosing a second character? But I suppose it would be easier excluding a character.

    • Bridgett

      03/25/2013 at 1:37 pm

      ME TOO!!!!

  9. Button

    03/17/2013 at 12:41 am

    I hope a Filter Out will be included as well, for characters and genre.

    • rainlily13

      03/17/2013 at 12:44 am

      ^ Seconded. Here’s to hoping! A lot of people have been mentioning that, so maybe they will in the future.

  10. boojum

    03/17/2013 at 12:49 am

    For some stories – the Magnificent Seven in the TV listings comes most immediately to mind – an option in the character listing for ‘all Seven’, ‘whole team’, or even ‘ensemble’ would be much appreciated. It would sometimes help to be able to look for “entire team” and Judge Travis, or “All Seven” and Nettie.

    This fandom especially, and other AU-intensive ones (the Sentinel comes to mind) also would benefit from the ‘worlds’ button. The only place I’ve seen it is on the Thunderbirds, where it tries to sort out an artificial mashup of TV, Movie, and almost-unrelated cartoon.

    Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew in books is another category that should never have happened, but is probably too late to untangle, and the ‘worlds’ button might provide some help.

    • yemi hikari

      03/17/2013 at 6:14 pm

      The reason those two categories were joined is because both series occur in the same universe and there are actual books that cross the two series over.

      • Filly8

        03/20/2013 at 9:14 pm

        You say they combined those becasue they appear in the same universe yet did the opposite a few years ago. The seperated up the tamora pierce novels even though the majority of them appear in the same universe. Even when users complained and asked for it to be changed back it remained the same. It still bugs me honestly. Especailly consiidering teh canon novels cross over eachother many times and characters reapear in the different series. So currently the categories are a jumbled mess of disorganization because no one knows where to place their story.

  11. StrawberryObsession

    03/17/2013 at 1:03 am

    OMG! Soooo excited for this new feature! I adore reading love triangles and oftentimes get so frustrated while looking for them because it can be difficult to ascertain character relationships as being slashes or triangle/othergeometricshapes solely from story summaries 🙂

  12. Sandylee potts

    03/17/2013 at 3:53 am

    Super news!

    One question… Will we be able to search for extra characters if they are added to stories?

    I’ve gone through and added a pairing to my stories, but find that the search is still for the main pairing.

    • Spyridon

      03/17/2013 at 2:51 pm

      As the person below said, the character lists are actually to denote the MAJOR characters in the story. For most people, it was usually the ones in the pairing itself. That’s why Xing clarified it in the main post.

      • yemi hikari

        03/17/2013 at 6:11 pm

        Bingo. How come this goes over some people’s heads? I mean, I get it when the plot is focused around a particular pairing, but even when it comes to romance stories the main pairing is not always the main characters. More often it is then genfic, but still. The point stands that the character slots are for the main characters, and I really dislike it when people label their stories with the main pairing and one part of the pairing never shows up, or barely does.

  13. Kenocka

    03/17/2013 at 4:02 am

    “We have set a ceiling to emphasis the fact that writers should use this field to denote the major characters within their story allowing ease of browsing and searchability by potential readers.”

    I can’t get past the “to emphasis” instead of “to emphasize”. XD

  14. Raichu

    03/17/2013 at 4:41 am

    great. now you can correctly identify love triangles!

    “an extremely large upgrade”: is that what you call a cliff-hanger? can’t wait to see what you have in store.

  15. Natasha

    03/17/2013 at 2:21 pm

    I completely agree with a lot of people that OMC (original male character) and OFC (original female character) should be added to all character lists, but NOT just OC. Some people only want one.

    I also agree that Team 7, Team 8, Team 10, and Team Gai should be added to the character list for Naruto. That way if a story is centered around a specific team but there are still other characters involved. You would have 3 to 4 people listed with just one character slot, leaving the others open for more.

    • yemi hikari

      03/17/2013 at 6:07 pm

      The problem comes from the fact that fandoms like Harry Potter have a lot of stories already categorized as OC. Some of the stories are abandoned by authors who will not be coming back. If they leave the OC tag and add OFC and OMC, then they will have to deal with people continuing to use the OC tag.If the OC tag were deleted, then those older stories wouldn’t be found. That’s why they shouldn’t be separated into different character tags or a OMC/OFC tag instead. Sure, I get that people want to know what gender the OC is so they can avoid slash stories, but its never been that big of a deal when I’ve perused the OC tag over in HP.

  16. hikaripurinsujemuzu

    03/17/2013 at 3:32 pm

    Quick question, though: Will the system be changed so we can search just those 4 characters? Because, and this may seem too soon, but I went on mobile and desktop and I saw that we can still search only 2 characters. I still think this is too soon to ask, but I want to be sure.

    • yemi hikari

      03/17/2013 at 6:04 pm

      The blog post says that will come with part two of the update.

  17. Dana L. Garlick

    03/17/2013 at 4:29 pm

    I am new to this and would like to start a story blog. I have a new character that I would like to introduce as a Doctor Who character so if one of my, already written, stories has four characters/companions coming back with three already in the story how do I present it.

    • yemi hikari

      03/17/2013 at 6:03 pm

      Pick and choose. Simple as that.

  18. SailorWednesdayMercury

    03/17/2013 at 5:44 pm

    Although a nifty idea, I think the characters SHOULD STILL be listed in alphabetical order!

    • yemi hikari

      03/17/2013 at 6:03 pm

      Yes please.

  19. merlinrecon

    03/17/2013 at 7:55 pm

    First, this doesn’t seem to work right. It doesn’t mark up all four characters just the first one and the second in alphabetical order. If you’re going to do that. The first and SECOND you choose should be the main characters. Or better yet, two spaces for main characters and another 2 for pairings.

    Thanks for the attempt but it doesn’t seem to do what I expect. Does anyone else feel like this too?

    • yemi hikari

      03/17/2013 at 8:06 pm

      That’s because only the ability to add the extra two characters has been implemented. The second part will make it so all four characters show up and so that all four characters can be searched with. As for your second complaint, the character selection was never meant to indicate pairings in the first place, it was supposed to indicate the main characters. A lot of us including myself have gotten lazy at times and allowed the character selection to tell the readers what the pairing is. As I’ve said earlier on this blog post, it used to be proper etiquette for a writer to let the reader know what the pairings were going to be in their disclaimer or just let the story speak for itself.

      • merlinrecon

        03/17/2013 at 8:13 pm

        I wasn’t really saying it should mean ships. But the fact remains that people search for ships, so I don’t see why we really need two extra main characters when they could be made for ships. I normally use it for ship anyway as the main character and ship are main, but I’ll most of the time also add a ship in the summary. But my summaries could be better given a ship selection so I don’t use up summary letters, most fics do have a ship or two anyway.

      • hikaripurinsujemuzu

        03/17/2013 at 8:26 pm

        I agree. Instead of Pairings slots, just put it in the summary or even better- try and determine it from the character slots! Pairings slots do nothing but waste time. Not for us, but for the programmers. There are hundreds of categories and from those categories, millions of pairings. Many can be crackfics. People will get angry if their “ships” aren’t categorized. Give it up. It wouldn’t work out.

      • merlinrecon

        03/17/2013 at 8:29 pm

        It works fine on other sites, your reasoning make no sense, this is 2013 not 1995. They can do ANYTHING!

      • Spyridon

        03/17/2013 at 9:13 pm

        I agree with hikaripurinsujemuzu. Just because they can do it now in 2013 doesn’t mean it would be better. Having pairing slots would be too much. I seen the pairing system on AO3 and hpfanarchive and they did not impress. Especially when the authors post like every single pairing on their stories when at the end there is only one pairing. To me, it was a convoluted mess. I like FFN’s clean look and want them to keep it that way.

      • yemi hikari

        03/17/2013 at 9:31 pm

        It works fine on other sites, your reasoning make no sense, this is 2013 not 1995. They can do ANYTHING!

        Obviously you do not know how much about computer programming, otherwise you would not only know that computer programmers can’t do everything you would understand that the difference between web design of 1995 and the web design of 2013 comes from the fact the coding has become far more advanced, but in order to do so the coding is longer and takes more time to get done right. On top of this the other sites are far, far smaller then ffnet is so what works for them may not for this site.

        I think they should stick to having main character slots and not bothering with pairing slots. The added info after the summary would not only become messy, but some of the people may not be able to tell the difference between what was supposed to be main characters and pairings either do to a learning disability or because English isn’t their first language.

        As for why we need more then two character slots… first, people have mistaken the character slots to represent pairings rather then main characters. Second, some stories do in fact happen to have more then one main character. Actually, a lot have more then two main characters.

      • rainlily13

        03/17/2013 at 11:52 pm

        AO3 uses tags. Lots, and lots of category tags that aren’t quite organized (which is understandable b/c I think it’s in its beta stage). In any case, it’s a completely different search engine system, and FFN has a long, long way to go before getting to that. I believe the closest thing to tags FFN really has is of two levels of categories, Anime/Book/Shows/etc. and then the categories within them.

        While I don’t know the exact technical terms, we use search filter and sorting options when it comes to characters, genres, languages, etc. And I kinda doubt that merlinrecon is suggesting something along the lines of AO3 features, but then again I’m not her/him, so I wouldn’t know. However, I suspect they are suggesting another section with two drop-down slots for pairings.

        Is that a particularly good idea? I have no idea, but it may be going too far. It sounds like a complicated system when the four character search option will be implemented soon. But then again, they’re leaving the character limit open to increasing if need be, so if they’re planning on a five/six/etc. character search option to go along with it, it’s going to get that way in any case.

        Maybe if they can implement some sort of collapsible system so it won’t be too cluttered like some protest against, perhaps. Though, I don’t get the opposition of ‘clutter’ when there’s people suggesting additional sorting/search options. It’ll get ‘cluttered’ either way when they keep adding stuff. It probably would take some work, but isn’t that what they’re already doing with the updates in any case?

        Please, stop getting into the “it’s too much work for the programmers” unless you’re actually one of the programmers on this site, though. Seriously, how would you know? If they can do it, then they can and great. If they can’t, then they can’t and oh welp. There’s no harm in suggesting something.

        I do agree with merlinrecon on the fact that people search for ships; the increased character selection messes with that, and will probably upset those that use it as such. I also get the protest of using characters of a pairing in the main character slots when one part of said pairing isn’t actually a main character. But, hey, what if they are? My main pairing characters are always my main characters. It’s that way for a lot of the fics I’ve read. It seems the problem lies with the non-romance writers, which I honestly do get. So why can’t we try for a middle ground or something?

        Honestly, I would just like a way to just discern pairings (if there are any) for when you look at stories in an archive, so I don’t have to click on and search through the chapters of a story only to find that it has a pairing I’d hate to read about. I’m not talking about an extra search feature–if an author chooses to include the characters of the main ship in the list of the four main char., then the story will show up anyways when you search for a particular two(or three).

        A small box/extra line or something to put JUST a main pairing or two underneath a summary shouldn’t be too much to ask, right? I have summaries that are filled up to the limit, so it’s not like I can just list them in the summaries of all my stories. I’ve also suggested an optional feature to manipulate the order of the character listing as it appears in the story info below the summary before. (Char. 1 & Char. 2; Char. 3; Char 4 for example). An ‘&’ symbol could indicate paired. It’ll be used purely as pairing indication–IF there are any. That way, you can easily determine a pairing from the available character slots, and there’ll be no ‘tagging’ and no need for an extra search feature specifically for pairings.

        As FFN is already upgrading and adding extra information with each feature that they implement, I’m sure there’re already going to be difficulties due to language, learning disabilities, and etc regardless. I don’t think it’ll just be restricted specifically to pairing slots, should they be added, so I’m a little lost on why that particular reasoning was used.

      • Spyridon

        03/18/2013 at 12:15 am

        On, the Harry Potter is splintered into further categories such as Harry/Ginny, Ron/Hermione, Harry/Luna, Harry/Hermione, etc. But then again, it would come down to too much clicking.

        I still think that advanced search engine was the best way to go about this.

        Maybe we should add the pairing selection in the author story manager which can then be used in the search engine but keep those slots silent in the main story pages?

      • rainlily13

        03/18/2013 at 12:45 am

        @Spyridon: If FFN does ever choose to have separate pairing slots apart from the four character ones, I like the idea of it being kept in the search engine section rather than the main pages. Keep it simple on the main pages, and more detailed on the search page.

        To be honest, I don’t really care about the searching for particular pairings part. If I’m looking for a romance, there’s a good chance the characters of the pairing will be w/i the main ones anyways when I sort it out. I’d just appreciate an indication of a pairing, if there is one, on the main pages within the story summary section, so I know what I’m reading before I’m clicking on it. And for gen writers, the lack of an indicator lets the shippers know whether the main characters are in a pairing or not.

        I just think it would make it easier to skim through the stories now that the char. limit was upped.

      • favonilla

        03/18/2013 at 1:05 am

        @merlinrecon – You say “most fics do have a ship or two anyway.” – that’s something of a generalisation, you know. Mine certainly don’t, and nor do most of the writers I read regularly.

  20. Jordanna

    03/17/2013 at 10:30 pm

    As a writer of primarily gen fiction, I applaud this. The two-character limit put far too much emphasis on pairings. Being able to add a couple more leading roles will help indicate what stories are more ensemble-cast focused (and thereby far more likely to have, you know, *actual plots*).

    I agree PROFUSELY with the suggestion of having filters for gen, het, and slash/yaoi. I can tell you right now, I would be so incredibly happy if I could enable a filter and make that third category just go away from my FFN experience…

    • Spyridon

      03/18/2013 at 12:06 am

      Then what about when a story contains het plus slash plus three+? You would have to pick one category even though your story main contain all romance variants.

      • rainlily13

        03/18/2013 at 12:50 am

        ^ Agreed, that’s what I was wondering too when others were suggesting that. Maybe if they can work out a feature where an author can click all that applies to their story when posting, and then set up an exclusion filter for those who want to use it?

      • yemi hikari

        03/18/2013 at 3:14 am

        There are I think ways to indicate this depending on how the tag was worded. However, the way people would avoid it best wouldn’t be a filtering out system, but by noting that the tag was there in the first place. This would be because there wouldn’t just be gen, het and slash tags… it would be a bit more complected. There would be a het-yaoi tag for the stories that contain het and yaoi for example, and there might be a way to include the whether it was a singular pairing, double dipper or love triangle.

  21. splicedupangel

    03/18/2013 at 6:44 am

    I agree with the OC option, but there should also be an option to block out OC stories. Especially for the fandoms I read, people enjoy creating consistant and repetative OC fics that would be amazing to skip through.

    • yemi hikari

      03/18/2013 at 1:52 pm

      People have been suggesting a filter out option.

  22. Miss Kisharoo

    03/18/2013 at 9:17 am

    Thanks! This will surely make things a lot easier.

    I only have one suggestion: You should add one for OC! Nothing spiffy, just an OC filter.

  23. Shinigami-Zelda-sama

    03/18/2013 at 11:13 am

    Ah, this sounds nice ^ ^ And as it’s been mentioned, YES let there be an OC option. It would just make things a tad easier so people will know that there will be OC’s before hand without having to find it out themselves (also saves room in the summary for informing people of that).

    Not to mention, four is a nice number. It’s more than two if you happen to have, say, three or four major characters, but it’s not //too// high that you would end up with writers listing so many characters that they’re not even major anymore; they’re minor.

    Jolly well good FF.Net = w=

    ~ Shinigami-Zelda-sama

    • yemi hikari

      03/18/2013 at 1:51 pm

      Which is what would happen if the site admins do lift the ceiling cap, so despite the fact the site admins are thinking about making it higher, I suggest not doing so for the very reasons they said.

  24. Tommy Phillips (@CrazyPackersFan)

    03/18/2013 at 2:12 pm

    Great update! I really like this! 4 is a perfect number, keep it at 4!

  25. cindella204

    03/18/2013 at 2:45 pm

    Awesome, thanks! I had stories with three main characters where I had to choose which two were the most important, which was difficult. I also support Original Male Character and Original Female Character as options in all fandoms. That way, those who write OC only stories can say so, instead of picking a canon character that appears for two seconds in Chapter 33 and misleading everyone.

    • favonilla

      03/18/2013 at 3:19 pm

      Does it have to be OMC and OFC? Seems to be that readers will see OFC and assume the character is either a romantic interest or a Sue. I write a lot of OCs – both male and female – but only in very exceptional plot-driven circumstances would I pair them off with anyone. A straight-up OC option would suit me much better; and even then I’d hardly have to use it. My OCs are almost all supporting characters, after all.

      I have to say, all these suggestions are exciting, but it’s starting to sound terribly complicated. I’d hate for ffnet to get as messy and headache-inducing as AO3, simply because there’s too much fiddle-faddle going on. I think it’s to do with the whole “tag” system, which seems like such a good idea, but is generally used so badly. You have to keep those things under control, or they breed like rodents, and suddenly you’ve got too many of them to deal with.

      Keeping it simple keeps it functional. Just my opinion.

      • yemi hikari

        03/18/2013 at 3:53 pm

        I actually agree with you on this. There is no point in having separate tags for OMC and OMF, particularly if the site admins implement a pairing type filter that would help people to tell whether they are getting into a slash or het pairing with the OC. Plus… HP’s got so many stories tagged with the OC tag that it would just become a complete mess, and they should keep all the fandoms uniform if they add the OC tag. Another “mess” issue.

      • favonilla

        03/18/2013 at 4:08 pm

        I like it when you agree with me – it usually means I’ve said something rational 😀

      • Guest

        03/18/2013 at 6:57 pm

        “Keeping it simple keeps it functional.”

        Nicely put. 🙂

        From many of the suggestions here, I can’t help but wonder if users want to turn FFN into AO3. There is a reason I read and post on FFN — the site is clean, organized and easy to navigate.

        On the rare occasions I browse AO3, I always leave shaking my head. The site is also a mess in my eyes. I don’t want all those ‘tags’ where every single character in a story is listed or every little detail about the plot is revealed. It ruins the reading experience for me.

        I’m all for new features and upgrades, but I sure don’t want FFN and FP to transform into something they’re not. There’s a reason Xing’s sites are the best on the web with a large fanbase. 😉

      • Spyridon

        03/18/2013 at 9:05 pm

        @favonilla: thanks the laugh. lol

        @yemi hikari: didn’t even think of that regarding Harry Potter. One of my friends suggested creating an old tag with OC where new authors can’t add new stories and are forced to choose the new tags but I think that would make coding more complicated than what it needs to be.

      • yemi hikari

        03/18/2013 at 10:53 pm

        Not only would the coding be problematic, but there is also the fact people would question the reason behind having OC in the first place and people may end up ignoring the tag and thus ignoring older stories that may very well be good.

  26. akina

    03/18/2013 at 3:51 pm

    Great update! I think everyone’s been waiting for the option to put more than 2 main characters in the description as it’s often 3-4. But I agree with the others as well: An “OC” option would be nice to have. Another idea for future updates I had would be to add something like a more detailed description for the romance section. Right now only the summary tells you whether it’s a story about homo-, hetero- or bisexual pairings. I think that option would be great to have!

  27. number 1

    03/18/2013 at 5:51 pm

    Only three for this. I CAN’T WAIT!!! XD

  28. Mia Vaan

    03/18/2013 at 5:59 pm

    This is a great update, as I have a few stories which focuses on more than two characters. I am curious, though; will all four of the characters’ names show up under the summery of the story, like they are now with the original two?

    And just a thought; could you maybe have it so we can put characters in order of importance? ‘Cause at the moment, they’re in alphabetical order (or in some cases, the most important character of the fandom gets placed first), and the main character of the story isn’t always the first alphabetically.

    • favonilla

      03/18/2013 at 8:36 pm

      @Mia Vaan – I just added two characters to one of my stories which previously didn’t have any, and it listed them in the order I attached them – the dropdown menu is alphabetical, but the first one I added stayed at the top of the list and appears first, followed by the second one. In this case, if it had sorted them alphabetically, it would have reversed them. So I don’t think it’s a problem – just “add” them in the order that’s appropriate for your story.

      • merlinrecon

        03/18/2013 at 8:59 pm

        Add a 3rd that is a letter before your first character, and then it will rearrange so the first character is top no matter the letter, and the second, third and fourth are in alphabetical order. So your second character might not be one you would like to be second.

      • favonilla

        03/18/2013 at 9:16 pm, just tried it, with 4 characters, and it still left them in the order I added them. The starting letter of the names, in the order they appear, is E, I, T, and M, which is just how I placed them.

      • merlinrecon

        03/18/2013 at 9:27 pm

        Maybe they fixed it because yesterday/day before (lol, my day/night patterns are out of whack). I put down the tags for Buffy. Buffy, Willow, Faith, Tara, and It put up Buffy and Faith when I wanted Buffy & Willow as the main main characters lol. I’ll have to check now, hopefully it is working as I would expect.

      • favonilla

        03/18/2013 at 9:18 pm

        Edit – actually, it’s I, E, T and M, which is even more unalphabetical, but is perfect for each character’s prominence in the story.

      • merlinrecon

        03/18/2013 at 9:32 pm

        I just tried it again, and those four names keep alphabeticalised themselves. But when I put in Buffy, Willow and (A name) Adam out of curiosity it worked. I don’t know what that’s all about.

      • favonilla

        03/18/2013 at 9:37 pm

        That’s kind of odd. Maybe there was something fixed overnight, like you said. In that case, if you delete all the character names, then start again from scratch, perhaps it’ll sort itself out. I hope so, anyway.

      • yemi hikari

        03/18/2013 at 10:52 pm

        I think the way they are sorted is neither alphabetical order or the manner in which one adds them. I think they are sorted via their id-code, which would be assigned based on when they were added in. The reason it looks like it is being sorted alphabetically is because the admins added whole groups of names at one time and when they did this the names were in alphabetical order when they did so. The more prominent a character is, the more likely they are to be added first as well as be the more prominent character in the story as well.

  29. Khgirl08

    03/18/2013 at 7:25 pm

    Oh, this is one of the greatest updates I can imagine! I have a terrible habit of having multiple perspectives in one story, and I’ve been pining for the ability to have three characters. Yay!

  30. TolkienGirl

    03/19/2013 at 11:42 am

    Very glad about this change…so much more versatility!!!

  31. GleekMom

    03/19/2013 at 11:46 am

    This is a great update! Though when I added a third character it still only listed two in the profile and not the top two I had put. I am hoping that as this rollout progresses, all three will be seen in the order chosen by the writer.

  32. merlinrecon

    03/19/2013 at 9:44 pm

    Try cross overs. I wanted 4 characters, the main two from 2 different worlds. However, the lower lettered worlds characters went first leaving the lower lettered words characters. So I’ve just had to leave it at 2 characters anyway, so I’m starting to think this update is just a load of crap.. .

    • yemi hikari

      03/19/2013 at 11:59 pm

      I believe I told you before that this is only the first part of the update and they’re allowing he writers to change the characters before they implement the second update. Its rather similar to the cover art when it was added. The writers got to add the cover art first and if I remember correctly add the images, but it didn’t show up on the site until a later update. This is rather similar.

  33. hellseries

    03/19/2013 at 10:37 pm

    I added characters to several stories yesterday, and the new characters show up on my story properties screen, but not on the descriptions in the “my stories” list. (In other words, only I can see them, not my potential readers. ???

    • Pix

      03/20/2013 at 3:35 am

      Same problem here.

      • Natasha

        03/20/2013 at 8:01 am

        Do you guys not read the whole post? Readers won’t be able to see them until they roll out the rest of the update. Pay attention.

    • yemi hikari

      03/20/2013 at 4:33 pm

      As someone has pointed out this update is coming in parts. The search engine right now is the only part that recognizes the stories as having four characters and that didn’t exist when they posted this update.

  34. Tina

    03/20/2013 at 6:39 am

    I’m getting odd orders as well when I assign four characters. I assume this will be fixed later, so all four characters will show up, and not just my first character and the whatever the first of the 2nd/3rd/4th characters in alphabetical is 🙂

  35. ladydiskette

    03/20/2013 at 3:38 pm

    I have about three OCs for my TGWTG fic, so I should be okay. Thank you.

  36. Quill and Ink

    03/21/2013 at 5:46 am

    The OC option would be good all around I think. It would make it easier to find OC fics for people that like them and easier to avoid them (assuming people tag properly) for people that don’t. Granted most people write that it’s Character Whoever/OC or contains an OC in the summary, but for people that don’t want OC fics, it means they have to sort through pages and pages of fics about OCs because there is no way of filtering them out.

    Also, I’m very pleased that we can now tag stories with four characters instead of two.

  37. Quill and Ink

    03/21/2013 at 5:56 am

    *double commenting*

    I’ve been reading up thread regarding pairings tags. I think it would be a good idea, but it would have to be kept fairly simple otherwise FFN would just become AO3. At the very least just an option to state whether the fic contains a pairing or not at all would be nice. Though “No pairings” “heterosexual pairings” “homosexual (slash or whatever you choose to call it – personally I hate the term “yaoi”) pairings” or “mixed pairings” would be good options.

    I also fully support the “filter out” option so many people have suggested.

    • merlinrecon

      03/21/2013 at 3:12 pm

      The pairing bit, I agree. It could be just how the character bit is now, just one pairing, nothing more. And I think the “no pairing” “hetero pairing” would be good but for “gay pairing”, it HAS to be separated into “gay = male/male” and “lesbian = female/female” separately because some people like slash and hate fem-slash, and some people like fem-slash while hating slash.

      The OC thing they already have for some fandoms under pairings. Both Harry Potter and Naruto have OC tags. You just have to email them to tell them of characters you would like in any given fandom and they should add them if they read care, OC included.

      The filter out option does sound good, but for that you either need extra tags for things you want to, or don’t want to read. Or you hope that everyone starts putting these things in their summaries so you can type in the “no’s”.. I don’t think the second bit is likely. I’ve seen hundreds of ridiculously small and uninformative summaries. My most hated summary is “I SUCK AT SUMMARIES, BUT MY STORIES GOOD!!” I look at that and I’m like ‘well, if you can’t even use a few hundred letters to tell us a short synopsis of what your story has going on, so how can I trust it isn’t going to be a load of badly written drivel?’

    • yemi hikari

      04/20/2013 at 10:17 pm

      While all yaoi stories are slash stories, not all slash stories are yaoi. Yaoi is a term that is used for slash stories that are boy/boy and yuri is the term for stories for girl/girl. The reason both terms have gravitated from the Anime fandoms is because it contains four letters and isn’t shortened to something like b/b.

  38. Luis

    03/28/2013 at 2:09 pm


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