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. Lurker

    03/16/2013 at 12:15 am

    I have no comment for this. I just am not sure how this will go, tbh. :/

    • AccidentallyTheFanfic

      03/16/2013 at 6:32 pm

      Honestly, I think it could be a good change. The only issue I can really foresee is making it look aesthetically pleasing. Really, while there are a lot of two-character-focus stories, some stories would ultimately benefit from being able to be tagged with at least four, because there’s certainly a way to make four characters a main focus, but the previous problem would be which characters you had to pick to advertise this.

      • yemi hikari

        03/16/2013 at 7:20 pm

        The aesthetically pleasing part is an issue, though I can see it being done. This is particularly helpful to genfic writers.

  2. M.Uchman

    03/16/2013 at 12:16 am

    Awesome! I like it!!!

  3. Lurker

    03/16/2013 at 12:20 am

    I think the update had messed up the format of the author’s profile in the editing stage. I was going to update my profile when I saw the html had went without italic/bold/center…I don’t want to fix the format if I didn’t have to.

    Please take some time to have a fix for this! Thank you!

    • Unyielding Wish

      03/16/2013 at 7:08 pm

      Yeah, I was about to complain about that too.

      I’m not that keen on four characters per story either… :\ It’s always been only 2 characters, and 4 characters can make it pretty confusing. What about just three characters?

      • yemi hikari

        03/19/2013 at 2:50 pm

        I think one of the reasons would be that people would think they added the third character specifically so you could indicate that you had a threesome in your stories. Another is that the number of main character in a story tends to be anywhere from one to four characters, not one to two. Rarely does it go over that.

  4. Spyridon

    03/16/2013 at 12:25 am

    I’ve always had problems because a couple of my stories focused on two or more characters. Also, I think another piece that should ride along on this is to have Original Male Character ( OMC )and Original Female Character ( OFC ) be added to every single character list in all Fandoms. But that’s just me.

    Looking forward to tweaking my stories to fit with the new update. I only hope it isn’t like LiveJournal with glitches appearing that make the site worse. *shudders* Make me appreciate that you guys actually listen to us and take up our suggestions rather than ignoring us. Thanks for the hardwork!

    • Spyridon

      03/16/2013 at 12:47 am

      Oh, I just tried to update my profile but it seems that I can’t still can’t center. When I do and update it, the center disappears, taking the bolding and the italicizing with it. Is the bug the only thing that’s affecting me?

      • Lurker

        03/16/2013 at 12:15 pm

        Same here. 😦

    • Sayuri_Hayashi

      03/16/2013 at 12:47 pm

      I agree with you on the OMC and OFC for every fandom. I love stories that have good OC’s in them. I also put OC’s in my stories and it would be easier for people to filter stories they want to read that has OMC/OMF in them if we had this filter.

  5. MyNameIsJeffNImLost

    03/16/2013 at 12:36 am

    I like this a lot. Too many stories are about just the primary couple. It’ll be nice to find stories that features the often forgotten characters. It’s also useful for crossovers because the categorization almost looked like a romantic pairing between the characters from the two shows, even when that wasn’t the case.

    I saw one possible problem. Since this isn’t exposed for readers yet, the first two characters are displayed. If story is a crossover, they both will be from the first show in the crossover. It looks like ranking of first, second, third, and fourth is not preserved. It would be nice if the ranking order is preserved, even across shows. This might be fixed as part of the roll-out, but if not, it would be a nice change to see.

    • Moretti

      03/16/2013 at 12:43 am

      I am definitely on board with the OC idea! That is sooo badly needed! People either love OC or hate OC. I think it would benefit everyone. 🙂

      • True Blackout

        03/16/2013 at 12:56 am

        I agree wholeheartedly — all too often I think I’m getting a story focusing on a single character, when in reality, the story is about a couple consisting of a canon character and an original character . . . and then Mary Sue or Gary Stu often ensues. It doesn’t always; I’ve read some great Original Character fanfiction, but it would be nice to know beforehand. =)

        This is one thing I have often thought would be beneficial for readers.

      • yemi hikari

        03/16/2013 at 6:43 am

        Not to mention this will help people find some of the better OC stories out there by having them clearly labeled.

    • yemi hikari

      03/16/2013 at 6:42 am

      Which to be honest made some of the writers believe that the character selection was for main pairings, so hopefully that will put a stop to that thought process.

  6. Moretti

    03/16/2013 at 12:42 am

    This is not a minor update. This is major! I’m really excited about this! The two character limit made everything appear like a romance story. It was like all the fanfics were dependent on a certain pairing. This is great for those of us who write adventure or other stories because we can pinpoint exactly which characters are central to the story. I would have been happy with 3, but 4 is perfect! Thank you so much! I can’t wait to see what else you have planned!

    • yemi hikari

      03/16/2013 at 1:31 pm

      In every fandom there seems to be a particular ship that always attracts the more rabid fanbase. I remember one of them trying to tell me that the character tags were pairing indicators when I wrote a story featuring the two characters as having a sibling like relationship.

      • Spyridon

        03/16/2013 at 4:54 pm

        I feel you on that. One of the fandoms I write in features a Harry/Ginny pairing but the two main characters was Harry and an OMC (his twin brother). They actually thought that pairing was Harry and his sibling. I shuddered at the thought though I clarified it to the reader that the pairings were canon so far.

  7. True Blackout

    03/16/2013 at 12:53 am

    I like this option, for many readers see the two primary characters and assume automatically that the characters are going to be a couple. Very often, this isn’t the case and the past system could be a little misleading at times. Hopefully, this won’t be misused and shall help readers understand what they’re getting when they click on a story.

    One thing that would be a nice addition to the current system would be an “Original Character” option. Because of the lack of this option, oftentimes I’ve found myself thinking I was getting a story focusing on only one character, when in reality, the story was focusing on two characters or even a couple.

    • yemi hikari

      03/16/2013 at 6:43 am

      This sadly has included some of the writers or some of the rabid shippers.

    • Mademise

      03/16/2013 at 7:50 am

      I’m pretty sure there are fandoms that already have the OC-option as a character listed. I’m specifically thinking of Harry Potter but I’m sure others do too.

      • yemi hikari

        03/16/2013 at 1:35 pm

        Harry Potter’s the only big one I can think of. I believe one of the gaming fandoms has it because there are no real canon characters, only various monsters and they need the OC label big time. But suprisingly the Pokemon fandom as well as many of the ones that have over a hundred thousand fanfics do not have the tag.

      • air007

        03/16/2013 at 3:21 pm

        From the fandoms I have stories in, ATLA is the only one with an OC option as a character. It would be pretty awesome if we could have that in all the fandoms/categories.

      • Spyridon

        03/16/2013 at 4:57 pm

        I was recommending that OMC and OFC should automatically be added to the character lists when a new fandom is created. As of right now, they are only added by request a number, most I think, do not have them added.

  8. MJR

    03/16/2013 at 12:53 am

    It would be great if there’s an ‘OC’ option for the characters.

  9. Ashleigh

    03/16/2013 at 1:08 am

    Not sure how I feel about this… but I’ll be happy to give it a go.
    But, yes, as the above poster as said, some update has messed up the profile formatting, which is rather irritating

    • Guest

      03/16/2013 at 1:36 am

      I’m not sure how I feel about this either. In the fandoms I frequent that have the sorting by character option, I never select more than one at a time. Since I’m not likely to use it, I suppose I’ll just ignore it, but I’m afraid this is going to make the top of the page more crowded. 😦 I like the clean interface.

      • Lurker

        03/16/2013 at 12:16 pm

        ^^^ This. :/ How will Xing will make it stay that way, I wouldn’t have a clue. 😦

      • Spyridon

        03/16/2013 at 4:58 pm

        Maybe they should have it as a collapsible thing if they keep expanding it.

      • yemi hikari

        03/16/2013 at 5:38 pm

        Think of it this way. If the four main characters include that one character you are looking for before, but the person had decided on two of the other characters it will now show up.

      • Guest

        03/16/2013 at 9:30 pm

        @ Spyridon: I like the idea of collapsing it. If we choose ‘Character A’ then a new menu would appear for ‘Character B’ and so forth. It will keep the interface clean at the top.

  10. metsfan101

    03/16/2013 at 1:27 am

    this is an upgrade that will help my story tremendously. Since my story has three main characters, I love the fact I no longer have to choose between two of them. Thank you so much for this update

  11. Ana

    03/16/2013 at 1:28 am

    Will there be any way to exclude characters from search results? My fear is that increasing the limit from 2 to 4 will make it harder to find stories featuring less popular characters. For instance, if A/B is the most popular ship in a fandom, and C/D is a minor ship that’s often in the background, a person looking for stories featuring C/D is likely to be overwhelmed with A/B-focused stories where C/D is little more than an afterthought added so that the story shows up in more searches.

    I suppose another way to avoid that sort of thing is to designate which characters are primary and which are secondary and to be able to search only for primaries, but that seems like it would be more complex than adding a “not this character” option to the already existing filters.

    • yemi hikari

      03/16/2013 at 6:44 am

      I hope so. I tend to write genfic though.

  12. Moonmist18

    03/16/2013 at 1:29 am

    You know what I would greatly enjoy? The ability to make text white on profiles. This way I could put spoilers in quizzes and such, without worrying about ruining the reading experience for those who haven’t reached that point in the books yet. I’ve resorted to just saying that all my quizzes could potentially have spoilers throughout the entire series that they’re on, but it’s kinda annoying.

    • yemi hikari

      03/16/2013 at 6:46 am

      No… I get headaches bad enough as it is.

    • Lurker

      03/16/2013 at 12:18 pm

      No thanks. Have a link for that to elsewhere where that is allowed, just a suggestion.

    • Spyridon

      03/16/2013 at 5:01 pm

      I don’t know. A lot of people abuse the profile page as it is with those stupid little poems such as “if you’re this or like this, post this in your profile’, antibullying poems that say ‘I’m the little boy that was abused, . . . ‘ etc. I’m sure people would find ways to abuse that too.

      • Guest

        03/16/2013 at 9:26 pm

        When I come across those profile pages that go on and on, I hit my browser’s back button ASAP. I don’t even bother to hide it (though I am grateful the option is there). The cut-n-paste stuff, the poems, etc. turn me off wanting to see what else the author has written. I’ll probably ruffle a lot of feathers here, but I’d be thrilled if a word limit was placed on profiles as someone mentioned below.

      • seila

        03/16/2013 at 11:42 pm

        Hmm. Yeah, it seems like 9 out of 10 profiles are cluttered with nothing special, but I don’t think a word limit is the right way to tackle this.

        ‘Cause every now and then, I open a profile, and find myself delightfully treated.

        Some prolific writers use their profiles as a table of contents to loosely connect their stories in a rough timeline (one-shot writers esp use this). Then there’s my favorite profile: filled with snippets of upcoming scenes and bits that don’t fit in anymore ’cause something changed in the process. Those can take up an enormous amount of words, but well used.

  13. Nicole Prower

    03/16/2013 at 1:32 am

    I would say… isn’t this a bit risky? In my country, we say: “Dos son compañía, tres son multitud.” At any rate, let’s try it out.

    • yemi hikari

      03/16/2013 at 1:38 pm

      “Two’s company, three’s a crowd.”

      This can be a positive and a negative thing really.

    • AccidentallyTheFanfic

      03/16/2013 at 6:39 pm

      You realize you’re not the only place in the world with the saying? Besides, just because something’s a well-known saying doesn’t mean it’s ultimately, irrevocably true in every possible situation.


    03/16/2013 at 1:35 am

    Interesting…This is really major and I hope that it doesn’t destroy my current story which actually has like 5~7 main characters and sometimes minor also have but not so often.

  15. Snowy

    03/16/2013 at 2:06 am

    You should have an other tab… Just giving an idea because some people make new charcters

    • yemi hikari

      03/16/2013 at 6:45 am

      Not other, OC… which is short for original character

  16. shyfoxling

    03/16/2013 at 2:07 am

    Is it still described as “pairing” in the RSS feed? There are many stories where one may wish to say “these are the primary characters in the story” without it being a pairing fic, which has been heretofore assumed in the RSS feed.

  17. Casey Wolfe

    03/16/2013 at 2:54 am

    Excellent! So glad. When dealing with threesome stories, or multi-pairings, it’s so hard to search for. And also hard as a writer to decide just between two of the characters to list. Can’t wait for part 2 of the update to go live.

  18. MMC

    03/16/2013 at 3:20 am

    I just turned off my laptop, so I’ll have to experiment with this feature in the morning. Either way, this could be very helpful since I’ve been writing tories focusing on three characters recently instead of just two. And this might be extremely helpful when I’m writing stories focusing on love triangles. XD

  19. elementarykisses

    03/16/2013 at 3:48 am

    I think it’s a great feature to add, but I’m skeptical of how it works with searches. Let’s say I listed three main characters, but if my reader only chose two of them, will my story come up in their search too?

    With that in mind, I think it has its pros and cons. What I prefer FFnet over other services is that the platform helps me search for paring(s) I want to read easily (and helps readers find my story, in that sense), but with increased fields in the search, how can you ensure users that they will find what they are truly looking for?

    • Peace

      03/16/2013 at 1:16 pm

      When I search for stories, I only select one character. All the stories with that character, even the ones listed with two characters, show up. So, you shouldn’t have a problem with searches.

      I think this makes the search better because not only is it easier to find stories for your favorite character, but it lets you see which other characters are central to the story. I may like Ross from Friends, but I don’t want to read any more stories about him playing fireball with Chandler and Joey. You get exactly what you searched for, only with a little more information.

      • yemi hikari

        03/16/2013 at 1:39 pm

        Not to mention the fact you can write a story where two of the mains are better known characters and two of the others are lesser known and less used.

    • yemi hikari

      03/16/2013 at 10:37 pm

      Yes, they would still come up.

  20. favonilla

    03/16/2013 at 4:21 am

    Just a suggestion – most of my stories are “ensemble” pieces, in which all the regular characters (about half a dozen) take a more or less equal part. Usually I leave the Character fields blank. I also prefer reading stories of this type, and I’m sure I can’t be the only one.

    If it’s not too difficult, would it be possible to either offer this as a search option, or make it possible to search for stories with no characters attached?

    • yemi hikari

      03/16/2013 at 6:50 am

      I agree with this as much as I agree with adding an OC tag.

    • ficka

      03/16/2013 at 8:43 am

      Yeah, this is a valid concern in many fandoms. I wonder if it might be possible to add “Team units” as concrete characters in the character fields in more fandoms? For example, in Naruto fandom, “Team Three” and “Team Seven” etc are valid character entries. Maybe it might be possible to have that kind of option in more fandoms, as well as a general “Ensemble” option added for all the fandoms, to make tagging and searching easier for writers and readers of ensemble fic.

      • yemi hikari

        03/16/2013 at 1:41 pm

        Go ahead and send them the same way you do any other character as I’ve actually seen those added to fandoms more then I’ve seen the OC tag added.

      • Spyridon

        03/16/2013 at 5:04 pm

        They should since they added anthropormorphic hats and inanimate objects to the character list in the Harry Potter Fandom. How the Mirror of Erised is a character I don’t know. The Sorting Hat I get. At least it talks back to you.

      • yemi hikari

        03/16/2013 at 5:42 pm

        @ Spyridon – We’re talking the fandom that has writers who make apples and Nutella the romantic interest of certain characters. So it shouldn’t surprise anyone that someone had that added to the character list despite the fact it is an eye roller.

    • Guest

      03/16/2013 at 2:33 pm

      Excellent suggestion. Most of the stories I read in small and mid-size TV fandoms focus on the entire cast. I prefer when the story feels like an episode of the series, so an “ensemble” option in the drop down menu is very appealing. It might even help me avoid the many OC romance fics out there I’m not particularly fond of.

  21. Bubba

    03/16/2013 at 4:44 am

    While I like it on a whole, I think it makes it necessary with the option to filter characters as [None]/[Blank] and perhaps [Any] as well (I often look for stories with only character A specified.).

    • Natasha

      03/17/2013 at 2:10 pm

      It doesn’t matter if you only specify character A. For example, if you’re searching for stories with Harry Potter, all stories with Harry Potter as a listed character show up, whether it’s slot A or slot B.
      If you chose Harry Potter for A and Ginny Weasley for B, all stories with Harry Potter and Ginny Weasley as the listed characters will show up as well as Ginny Weasley and Harry Potter. The order doesn’t matter, so I doubt that’ll change.

  22. Elle

    03/16/2013 at 5:06 am

    Yes! We can now search for love triangles! *evil smile*

  23. Blue-Inked Frost

    03/16/2013 at 5:39 am

    This is good – it’ll be great for fandoms with character listings to have options to select one to four characters for ensemble stories. Less limited than only two, but not giving people a chance to list every single character whose name is mentioned in just one line of the story.

  24. While

    03/16/2013 at 7:47 am

    You know, it would be nice if on your profile you could have both centered words and non-centered words. I know it’s a lot to tweek but it would make profiles look more professional in the long-run.

    • Peace

      03/16/2013 at 1:22 pm

      People do looooove their profiles! It’s a way for members to express who they are. Any updates to the profiles will be greatly appreciated.

    • yemi hikari

      03/16/2013 at 1:42 pm

      I actually agree with this one.

    • Spyridon

      03/16/2013 at 5:08 pm

      They seriously need to monitor the profiles though. I seriously get irked when I go to the authors’ profile pages and it turns out to have those poems regarding antibullying, suicide, sexual discrimination, copy and paste this in your profile, etc.

      Really? You think just by posting those poems on your profile page is going to make you a better human. Why don’t you actually go do it in real life? At least that way it helps someone else. I think I seen a few profiles that had at least 5 pages of those poems. If you must say it however, then you can summarize all that into a small paragraph.

      • bienfait

        03/16/2013 at 5:19 pm

        Spyridon, I actually click straight back out of any author profile like that. If their list of “copy and past this if…” is longer than their list of stories, then they seriously need to get off the net and go out and get some fresh air.

      • yemi hikari

        03/16/2013 at 5:45 pm

        @bienfait – That’s why I cut out my lists of stories… they made my profile to long and painful to read.

      • Spyridon

        03/16/2013 at 6:07 pm

        The only thing I have on my profile are the quick links to my livejournal account which contains my stories sorted by fandom, my writing journal where I post my updates on my stories, and my full author biography.

      • Moretti

        03/16/2013 at 6:12 pm

        I don’t know how they could monitor it, but I completely agree. Maybe they can set a word limit. Some people think their profile is a manuscript.

      • Spyridon

        03/16/2013 at 6:18 pm

        I think the only way to set up an abuse system for profiles. The punishment instead of banning would be to completely erase the profile and send a PM to the individual. I see no reason to ban over profiles.

      • yemi hikari

        03/16/2013 at 10:35 pm

        I wouldn’t mind a word count cut off for profiles. It would sure make many people think twice about what they post. Some of the people though have really good information in their profiles that may get cut off. I’m not sure how they would go about writing rules for the profiles either.

    • Lynn Hollander

      03/16/2013 at 8:49 pm

      2 While: Until this morning F/P did offer members both centered and left aligned text. Today, everything is screwy. Now, this has happened before, and was straightened out –twice at least–, so I remain hopeful that F/P profiles will regain this helpful design function.

  25. ShahbanouScheherazade

    03/16/2013 at 8:41 am

    VERY pleased about the new character listing option! I have not tested it yet, but in theory I think it will provide more accuracy for the searches and free up some space in the story summary (which is sometimes my last resort in listing a third or fourth character). Thank you!

    • yemi hikari

      03/16/2013 at 1:43 pm

      Or in some cases make it so that the writer doesn’t have to list the main characters in an author’s note.

    • seila

      03/16/2013 at 11:59 pm

      Heh, I’ve done a lot of story hunting by typing character names in the search engine. This update should definitely help out there.

  26. WrittenWithPencils

    03/16/2013 at 9:20 am

    Thank goodness. This will really come in handy for me.

  27. Mackenna Potter

    03/16/2013 at 10:05 am

    I think an OC tag would be adequate, but maybe another tag for “ensemble” or something? And maybe a branching of the genres, too? Like instead of two tags, maybe an optional 3 or 4? Just a suggestion because it’s difficult to categorize my hurt/comfort/romance/angst fics, because it’s all three…

    Oh, and maybe more options for the profile?

    • yemi hikari

      03/16/2013 at 1:46 pm

      While I like the idea, I wonder if it will head into dangerous territory for some writers who think they have to list all four genre. I can imagine the complaints now… “But I had a hard enough time figuring out what genre my story goes into!” Sometimes only one is enough. But, for those of us that need more then two genre for some of those stories, all the power to it.

      • rainlily13

        03/16/2013 at 3:33 pm

        Well, a little note saying “pick up to x number” ought to let writers know it’s not required to fill up the spots, so if they don’t know, they do have to, right? Four might be one to many though, but that’s just me. I’d actually like to be able to search for two genres simultaneously though; that might be nice.

      • yemi hikari

        03/16/2013 at 5:48 pm

        I’m not sure if that would stop the more rabid writers though. They happen to… how to put it, not seem to understand that less is more in the first place. It will be interesting to see how it turns out and how it changes certain dynamics.

      • rainlily13

        03/16/2013 at 6:00 pm

        Hah, maybe you’re right. I can see where you’re coming from. It would be interesting see, I agree.

    • bienfait

      03/16/2013 at 5:44 pm

      That might actually be helpful – I have a strong aversion to both “hurt/comfort” and “angst”, and have occasionally been caught out by something labelled, say, “supernatural/drama” which turned out to be hurt/comfort as well, at which point I get very cross, and usually abandon the story, with a sense of grievance at having wasted my time on it.

      I wouldn’t mind seeing a tag for “canon character death” so I could avoid that, too, but I think a lot of writers wouldn’t use it, in case it spoiled the surprise ending.

      • yemi hikari

        03/16/2013 at 5:51 pm

        A lot of people have strong aversions to those two genre and I think it comes from the fact the writers go overboard more then anything.

      • Spyridon

        03/16/2013 at 6:16 pm

        I don’t think that they understand what hurt/comfort is. Angst is where characters suffer through fear or anxiety and cause readers to wonder or become anxious over what happens next. Stories where. Kind of those feelings you feel when a story ends on a cliffhanger every single bloody chapter.

        Some of those in the category turn out where the character has been so bashed/tortured/debauched/etc that they become suicidal, highly depressive individuals that have to comforted like an infant. I think those stories are in a category of their own but do not fall under angst/hurt/comfort. Usually, in the HP fandom at least, it is followed by the characters having sex. Maybe FFN should have a list somewhere near the TOS that defines each genre.

      • bienfait

        03/16/2013 at 6:31 pm

        That’s it exactly! Some of them are well written, but hardly any manage not to stray into purple prose and unabashed wallowing. I think I’ve seen maybe three or four “angst” stories I’d consider to have completely avoided slushiness, and never, ever a hurt/comfort one that didn’t make me feel as if I was drowning in it. Yet there must be some out there who can do it.

        Maybe I’m just too cynical, but in my experience – and like most people I’ve had my share – real people don’t act like that.

      • yemi hikari

        03/16/2013 at 10:32 pm

        How about Dark Fic, Psychological or Torture Fic, though depending on the writer the first two can easily overlap with Angst/Hurt/Comfort. I think its what bienfait said, ”real people don’t act like that”. That is what the real turn off ends up being. That also said, something defining the genre would be a major help as the mystery genre tends to get stories about characters with mysterious pasts but no real mystery.

      • seila

        03/17/2013 at 12:06 am

        I would absolutely love a psychological genre.

        And I do see a fair number of dark fics and torture fics that a genre promotion would be a good thing. Not my cup of tea, but it would help clean up some incorrect use of the horror category too.

      • yemi hikari

        03/17/2013 at 6:25 pm

        @ seila – I would love to have that genre as well as slice-of-life, historical fiction, vampire, satire, romantic comedy, romantic slice-of-life, school stories, steam punk, historical romance, detective fiction, paranormal romance… emphasis on the addition of romantic sub-genre due to the fact I’ve noticed around two thirds of all stories are in fact located in the romance genre, so that would allow some of the romance stories to stand out from others and lessen the number hopefully

      • seila

        03/18/2013 at 1:17 am

        An impressive list, and I’d add time travel and fluff to it.

        I don’t read romance, but sub genres for them seems like a good thing. I filtered the genre in a few different categories out of curiosity, and what I saw seemed pretty sad. How do new romance writers compete with that? They’re a dime a dozen.

        Implementing it though. . . Hmm. Well I can see a couple different ways of going about that. Sub-genres aren’t really something we have at the moment. Are you thinking an additional feature that narrows an existing search, or simply adding to the genre list alongside plain old romance? There could be other ways of going about that too.

        Then there’s the matter that we can kind of search those types already with the second genre. (Historical + romance works fine. Supernatural + romance seems to cover paranormal romance fairly well too.)

        On a side note, some days it feels like inserts have grown into their own genre as well. I’m not sure what to think about that, though. I mean, there’s all types. OC-inserts and self-inserts are the most common, but people have done stranger things with it too. Like having the main character be an ordinary modern earth-born citizen sprung into Middle Earth or wherever like one would typically do with a self-insert.

      • yemi hikari

        03/18/2013 at 3:24 am

        I’m actually thinking more along the lines of listing the sub genre in with the actual genre kind of like how crime is a sub-genre of mystery but is still listed in there. The writer then could pick the romance tag that fits better for them, rather then simply the romance tag, and they wouldn’t have to worry about other tags as well.

        For example, romance-historical would cover both romance and historical fiction, leaving the writer with the option of another genre that they select from… if it just doesn’t go over their head of course. On top of this, they wouldn’t be clogging up the other genre with romance stories, stuff that other people don’t necisarily want to read. People could pick whether they wanted to read a historical fic without romance, or one that had it rather easy with this method.

        Now that I think of it, psychological horror and vampire romance would also be good double tags as well. While the second isn’t recognized as a sub genre persay, psychological horror is.

  28. Quiet Librarian

    03/16/2013 at 10:24 am

    Thank you! At least the Monster March is starting. By the way, about the Profile Bug, it is happening when I edit my profile; the bold, italic, and underline are gone. But it is not happening in my profile page. Just when I edit it.

    Anyway, I hope no one didn’t use this feature for attention; or worse, to fulfill their…um…nevermind.

    I hope you will succeed on improving this site even better. Good luck!

  29. Misscar

    03/16/2013 at 11:25 am

    I’m very happy about this because I write a lot of stories were my main characters and my major couple are very different. Many of my stories have three or four major characters and I’ve always felt bad when I left one out. I also hope that it will break people out of assuming that the major characters in the story are also the major relationship in the story. I’ve received many not so nice reviews when I tagged a story by major characters instead of relationship. However, that being said I’m worried if this new arrangement will increase this type of nasty review. Other sites allow you to tag for specific relationships in the story and characters. I think it would be helpful if you had a separate feature to tag major relationships (romantic or otherwise) in the story. Again, it would save me and others a lot of nasty anonymous reviews and would make searching by relationships a lot easier.

    • rainlily13

      03/16/2013 at 12:28 pm

      I really, really like the idea of a separate tag or filter to search for particular relationships. Especially with the story character increased and you want tag a couple or something, but you don’t want the four characters you have up there to be confused for a foursome or something (when in actuality it’s the main characters/couple with two additional characters, or two major pairings, or just four main characters, etc.), when the 2nd part of this update is uploaded.
      Something along these lines would be kinda nice.

      • yemi hikari

        03/16/2013 at 2:02 pm

        Yeah… but their is a problem with adding a pairing tag that directly identifies specific pairings. It would be fine and dandy mind you for fandoms that have only a few characters. Any fandom that has fifteen or more characters would have around a hundred or more options for pairings. Fandoms with over a hundred characters would have around five thousand or more options for pairings. And Harry Potter, which has over six-hundred characters would have over a hundred thousand possible pairings. With the way people like to add crack pairings, this would honestly become problematic in the long run.

      • rainlily13

        03/16/2013 at 3:20 pm

        Would it be such a problem? I honestly wouldn’t know, I’m not familiar with web development. And in any case, I don’t think that’s what I’m actually talking about, specifically tagging a particular pairing. I was thinking, maybe they could add an option when you create a story and are choosing your characters. Like something along the lines of “Couple/Pairing?” and a yes or no option. Click the yes if there’s a main pairing, then add your characters. If it’s a gen fic, then click no.
        Then, on the story info, it could say something like Main: character 1 & character two; character 3, character 4. So you have your main pairing, which are your main characters in any case, plus two others. For three/moresomes, maybe they can expand it. I don’t really know, lol.
        The problem would be in searching for a particular pairing though, I would think. But that’s messed up either way when they implement the search up to four characters upgrade. But this way, when you look at the search results, you know what the pairing is before you click on it.
        So, basically not a filter. But just an indication of the main pairing should there be one.

      • Spyridon

        03/16/2013 at 5:12 pm

        I would oppose that plan. Have you seen AO3 where they list the pairings? Their tagging system is chaotic. I knew from the beginning that the character lists were for main characters, not pairings. However, the main characters tend to be the pairing which is it became synonymous. Not only that, but I know some people see Harry/Ginny as being different as to Ginny/Harry (signifies who is dominant, I believe). And that’s only if you have the pairing consist of two people. Once you start getting into the threesome/moresomes, then it goes bloody crazy. The pairing list would be so long it won’t even be funny.

      • rainlily13

        03/16/2013 at 5:25 pm

        That’s not the kind of system I meant. I have seen AO3’s tags, I agree, it is a rather confusing mess. I’m also not talking about listing every pairing in the book. Authors can do that in an AN of their story if they want to. I’m talking about the utilizing the four characters given us to choose, and stating whether and which are pairings. If you scroll down, you can read exactly what I meant in my reply to someone else who had a similar concern.

      • Spyridon

        03/16/2013 at 5:34 pm

        The coding on that could happen as you suggested but then the story summaries would not be similar. I think that’s what makes the pages so simple and easy to skim through. You automatically know that they’re all main characters. Now you will have to stop and go through them carefully to understand which are in pairings and which aren’t. I just hope that the tagging system doesn’t degrade into the one at AO3.

      • rainlily13

        03/16/2013 at 5:54 pm

        Hmm, well I figured something along those lines will quicker and easier than clicking on the story itself and figuring out as you read, and then realize it’s not the pairing you’re hoping for, you know? Or a pairing you’d hate to read, despite liking the characters.
        Just something as simple as the word “main” to indicate just one main pairing, if there is one.
        And I agree, it would likely be akin to chaos if FF gives as many ‘tagging’ options as AO3. (I don’t even know why there’s a need for that many, seriously.) I like the idea of FF actually having a ‘limit’ with the characters though. Something almost like AO3, but not nearly as extreme or to that extent. Uploading a story would just be a pain otherwise.

      • yemi hikari

        03/16/2013 at 6:07 pm

        @rainlily – I get why you would want such a system, but I honestly would not want to be the person to try to work out the coding on that system, let alone figure out how it would represent when people used the search engines. As Spyridon said, the character lists are not for listing the pairings in a story, it is for listing the main characters.

        A long time ago it was actually considered proper etiquette for a writer to list the main characters as the main characters and list what pairings they were going to be using in their disclaimer, unless they hadn’t planned on what pairings they were going to use or the pairings were meant to be a surprise. It wouldn’t hurt writers to go back to this method. Particularly when the main pairing may only have one character who is a main character in the first place.

      • rainlily13

        03/17/2013 at 12:37 am

        @ yemi hikari: No, lol, I don’t think you get what I’m saying. It would just be like a kind of clarification if the main characters chosen are in a romantic relationship. Not necessarily messing with the search engines or anything, just manipulating the order of the characters and grouping underneath the story summary. And it can be optional to cater to those who write romantic and/or gen fics, or want to keep a specific pairing a surprise. I know that the character lists are for listing main characters, I’m just pointing out what if the characters in a pairing are also the main characters.

        Seriously, I don’t care about the searching part. If the characters I’m looking for are chosen, they’d show up anyways. But really, the admins would just be adding the word ‘main’ or something right before listing the characters. If that’s too troublesome to do, oh well then, nvm.

        But like what you said, that was considered proper etiquette a long time ago. Yeah, it wouldn’t hurt for writers to go back to that method, but that’s their personal choice and honestly, good luck in convincing them to do that. As for main pairings that only have one characters that is main in the first place, again, as I was suggesting, it would be optional.

    • yemi hikari

      03/16/2013 at 1:48 pm

      I also hope that it will break people out of assuming that the major characters in the story are also the major relationship in the story. I’ve received many not so nice reviews when I tagged a story by major characters instead of relationship.

      So far I’ve only gotten one of these reviews, but I so know what you’re talking about. The story wasn’t even marked romance either.

      • bienfait

        03/16/2013 at 5:21 pm

        That doesn’t happen in my fandom – maybe because there are no *accepted* pairings. So if a story lists two characters, it just means those two characters are the ones who are most prominent. I have to say, I like it better that way.

      • yemi hikari

        03/16/2013 at 6:08 pm

        I’m pretty much a genfic writer who tends to work pairings in on the side if the plot calls for it, so I wish it was that way. I’ve actually had the luck of working in such fandoms in the past, so I know how nice that feels.

  30. Zarosian Chaos

    03/16/2013 at 11:27 am

    Honestly, I’m glad that you’re making changes to the system to allow better search options. Now, I could start asking that you add an MA filter, but I think that we both know that won’t happen, seeing how you guys at Fanfiction have ignored the petitions for nearly a year. Anyways, the only thing that I can ask for, is really a filter for the characters sexuality. I have nothing against homosexuality, or seeing it IRL, but I am getting rather sick and tired of Harry/Draco pairings everywhere I go, and that filter would be rather nice.

    • RainLily13

      03/16/2013 at 12:13 pm

      Lol, an MA filter seems like a long-lost dream. In any case, I can relate to your request about gender specific filter or whatever you want to call it. I’m of the same mind of Naruto/Sasuke pairings. Sometimes I feel like reading one, but sometimes I feel like reading one that’s focused on their friendship rather than a romantic relationship between the two.
      Have you ever tried filtering the genre? It may work by filtering with friendship or something if you’re looking for a Harry/Draco friendship fic?
      Another comment by Misscar included a great idea of a separate tag or feature for major relationships, in my opinion. That would make it easy to clear the confusion and filter out romantic pairings you’d rather not read.

      • Peace

        03/16/2013 at 1:26 pm

        That’s great advice. So many people read a romance story with a m/m pairing and they’re upset that it was slash. Looking for friendship-tagged stories would really save them a lot of trouble.

      • yemi hikari

        03/16/2013 at 2:26 pm

        Sadly, it doesn’t work anymore then using the family tag does. At least it doesn’t for the ones I try looking for. And while I like Misscar’s idea for a separate tag for the major pairings, it would only work for fandoms with a small amount of characters. That’s why I think a pairing filter that was more specific to the type of pairing would be more helpful.

      • rainlily13

        03/16/2013 at 3:04 pm

        Really? It works for me, usually. Helps weeding at least some of the romantic pairings out at the very least. A genre exclusion filter may help that out though.
        As for a tag for a specific type of pairing, that could run into some problems of its own since now there’re four character that can be involved. So, when you choose a pairing type a reader would be left to wonder which of the characters listed are in that particular type of relationship? All of them? Two of them? Three?
        I agree that kind of filter may have been helpful, but probably just before this new update lol.

      • yemi hikari

        03/16/2013 at 6:11 pm

        Or the writers can go back to what they did before and actually list the pairings in their disclaimers or let the story speak for itself.

      • rainlily13

        03/16/2013 at 6:24 pm

        Lol, or writers can do that, if they want. I just figured something along the lines of giving an option to give a distinction between gen and romance and if certain major characters chosen would be beneficial to both sides when it came to picking a story to read. It was merely a suggestion. Those that create the codes and do the updates can do with it as they wish.

    • yemi hikari

      03/16/2013 at 2:11 pm

      It is more apt to say that the site admins have ignored petitions regarding adding the MA rating back to the site for years as there have been plenty of petitions created long before the sweep this last summer.

      I’ve actually asked for such a pairing selection before, so I add my vote to that one.

  31. krista:)

    03/16/2013 at 12:01 pm


  32. Helios-Rufus

    03/16/2013 at 12:36 pm

    Nice, now I can add the other two main characters of my story, I’m actually quite excited about this update, this one ‘is’ actually considered a pretty big update, nice going.

  33. Savannah

    03/16/2013 at 12:44 pm

    Yay! I love this.

  34. Sam

    03/16/2013 at 12:45 pm

    You should add OC to every character list… That’s the only reason I come to this website and its hard to find /Oc fanfictions.

  35. holmes4ever

    03/16/2013 at 1:04 pm

    No, thanks. it will just mess up the summary of the stories, but if you want to introduce this feature, that’s your business.

    • yemi hikari

      03/16/2013 at 2:27 pm

      How will it mess up the summary of the stories? All it does is add two more character options to the list of main characters.

    • ShikiKira

      03/16/2013 at 7:45 pm

      What you just said makes no sense. How is that going to mess up the summary?

  36. Lucy Labrador

    03/16/2013 at 1:19 pm

    Yes! The OC feature should be added, so I know which stories to avoid! Seriously, OC stories in the Sonic section are dire in most situations.

  37. gategirl7

    03/16/2013 at 1:27 pm

    Interesting update. I appreciate your words about using this wisely, but I feel like some/most people will go crazy and this will turn into a hot mess. Hopefully, I’m wrong.

    I’m also wondering if there’s any thought going into an exception filter. For example I want to read stories featuring Bob with all characters except Sue.

    • yemi hikari

      03/16/2013 at 2:31 pm

      I can see where people would go crazy just to fill in all four character slots, but the thing is… they’re more likely to be called out for doing so with this option.

  38. Mackenna Potter

    03/16/2013 at 1:32 pm

    I updated my profile today, and when I saved it, it came without the bold, italic, etc formatting and I cannot seem to go back to my old format, even after I relentlessly tried all forms of C/P.

    :/ Anyone else experiencing this issue?

  39. ShikiKira

    03/16/2013 at 1:38 pm

    Interesting update, and I’m guessing it’ll be helpful for some people. Adding an OC in the character listing would be nice too.

    Though with the update I’m getting a formatting problem when I go edit my profile. All the bold, italics, and alignments that I had placed are gone when I open the editor. Please fix the problem soon.

  40. Aria Breuer

    03/16/2013 at 1:39 pm

    This update works for me, since I have a couple of stories that are ensemble, with one only three or four (I can’t add the fourth, because there are no characters listed). I hope it doesn’t turn into a mess either, since the secondary characters, the way I’ve seen it, have fought for the second spot when they aren’t in a pairing, but rather a friendship story.

    I wondered if there would be a filter for original animal characters. I have stories where the animals are also the main characters, but there isn’t any spot for them, which sorely lacks for the stories that have them (not just mine). This would be much appreciated, not just me, but others who write stories with original animal characters, or appreviated OAC. Of course, the filter would probably have the name of the particular animal. (e.g. cat, dog, bird, reptile…)

    • Moretti

      03/16/2013 at 6:23 pm

      I never heard of OAC. Is that common enough to be added? If they added the OC option, I imagined that would be enough for animal characters. I like to read Puppet Master fanfic, but I wouldn’t suggest an Original Puppet Character to be added to the list.

      • yemi hikari

        03/16/2013 at 8:41 pm

        Considering I’ve seen people use it for random inanimate objects over in the HP fandom… yeah… the OC option should be good enough. Of course, some people want it broken up into OFC and OMC, but I would rather it didn’t get broken up like that.

    • Blue-Inked Frost

      03/16/2013 at 7:06 pm

      @Aria –

      Over on, they implemented an Original Male Dog tag.

      It was exactly as terrible as one might expect. 😀 (Link is not safe for sanity.)

      (Disclaimer: I like AO3 & post there but the only original male dog character I have written was in a platonic relationship with his owner.)

  41. Aria Breuer

    03/16/2013 at 1:40 pm

    Also, as I was trying out this, I noticed my worlds messed up. This needs to be fixed, since now I can’t let readers know if the story’s plotline ties close to the events of the books, movies, alternate. It’s bugging me.

  42. Miz-KTakase

    03/16/2013 at 2:32 pm

    I like it. But I only see two names, after I placed four. Hopefully it’ll show, once it is done. Now I can add the extra characters from each of my story, without mistaking it as a pairing.

    • yemi hikari

      03/16/2013 at 6:13 pm

      I think that will show up after the second update. Right now we’ve got the administrative ability on our stories that allows us to make the needed changes before the update goes into effect rather then having to take care of it afterwords.

  43. hikaripurinsujemuzu

    03/16/2013 at 3:03 pm

    Awesome! Us writers have to take advantage of this. By take advantage, I mean use this as a way similar to a search engine’s advanced search!

  44. triavalon

    03/16/2013 at 3:05 pm

    Any chance we can get a feature to filter out characters we don’t want to read? I have plenty of times where, as a reader, I want to read something without caring about who is in it, as long as it isn’t one particular character I hate. Adding onto that, having an OC character selector in every section would be helpful, to block OCs I don’t want to read, or find them should I be in the mood.

    • yemi hikari

      03/16/2013 at 6:14 pm

      Don’t worry… with the number of people asking for the tag to be added, I’m quite sure it will be.

  45. Tsukumiyomi

    03/16/2013 at 3:11 pm

    Thanks! This will help me for my threesome story.

  46. Spyridon

    03/16/2013 at 5:21 pm

    Also, I think they should at least begin considering on adding how many crossovers you can add to a single story. I know some people cross like 3 or more story together into a single fandom. Would it be hard in implementing a section to the crossover upload where you can click on a plus sign in the category section so you can add a third or even fourth fandom?

    Thinking about all of this, maybe an advanced search engine for the site can also be considered? The following link is just an example but to those who are iffy, the example is coming from a slash website that include NC-17 material (just so you know):

    You can just look over it and see the filters, you don’t have to particularly search.

    That search engine contains filters for characters, genres, pairings, and ratings. You can pick multiple times in each section. They also have filters to exclude certain ratings and warnings. And instead of the search engine for season/episode, you can have it search in a particular fandom including crossovers.

    It would be cool to have an advanced search engine.

    • bienfait

      03/16/2013 at 5:26 pm

      While I don’t read or write crossovers, I know a lot of members really like them, so additional options would be a good thing.

    • yemi hikari

      03/16/2013 at 6:19 pm

      I get the whole adding an extra fandom for crossovers thing, but… I think the rest of it went over my head of what you’re trying to get at.

      • Spyridon

        03/16/2013 at 6:42 pm

        it’s an upgrade to the current search engine we have. Instead of having the exclusion factors on every single fandom at the bottom and cluttering it up there, the advanced search engine could be used in any fandom from one spot.

      • yemi hikari

        03/16/2013 at 8:39 pm

        Can’t we already use the search engine we already have in place from one spot though? Or are you talking about being able to switch from one fandom to another using the actual search engine?

      • Spyridon

        03/16/2013 at 9:37 pm

        The current search engine would be upgraded to incorporate the exclusion filters that everyone wants. Just as you said, the first filter would be limiting the search engine to a particular fandom. From there, the other filters would be applied to that filter, searching within the fandom you want.

        1st Filter would be: Book, Manga, TV Show, etc
        2nd Filter would pop up, with the fandoms in that category,
        Filters following would be the exclusion and inclusion filters for characters, rating, language, etc.
        Click search and the results would appear

        Of course, I’ve seen other sites that just keep a simple search engine like the one FFN employs, to search by words in a title, summary, etc, as well as the advanced. I think the current searches at the bottom of each page are simple. If we start adding the filters everyone wants, that bottom page would get hectic very soon, especially with the 2-4 characters one can choose.

      • yemi hikari

        03/16/2013 at 10:46 pm

        I get what you’re saying now actually. I don’t think the site admins would have the fandoms as part of the filter if they did implement it and it would take a bit of coding, but I can see how it would actually make things look cleaner.

  47. Savor_Each_Sensation

    03/16/2013 at 6:01 pm

    I really like this idea! Thanks for implementing it. 🙂

  48. LightningStrucktower27

    03/16/2013 at 6:20 pm

    I believe that some people have already mentioned the whole OC category thing. There’s some in Doctor Who and Harry Potter, but I’m hoping that we could have this filter where specific characters are omitted. For example, I don’t like Rose Tyler in fan fictions including the Eleventh Doctor. It would be very useful to have that filter.

    • Rosabell

      03/16/2013 at 6:49 pm

      I’m with you; personally I don’t really care about how many main characters there are in a story. Having 4 main characters would usually be a red flag; it hints at a poorly integrated plot, and can make the combinatorics more convoluted. I also have pairings I don’t care about but they always show up in lists because other people like them, and it’s so annoying to have to see whole pages filled with Snape/Hermione romances. People! He’s old enough to be her father, and pedophilia is NOT okay! I’m fine with one character or the other but the two of them together is just nasty!

      • yemi hikari

        03/16/2013 at 8:33 pm

        How did you come to the conclusion that “having 4 main characters would usually be a red flag; it hints at a poorly integrated plot”? I mean, the system hasn’t been put into place yet and I know of a lot of stories where there are in reality three to four main characters. There are a lot of fandoms out there that have more then two main characters as well.

      • Spyridon

        03/16/2013 at 9:41 pm

        I’ve seen stories that had 10+ characters from varying points of view and not once did the plot suffer for it. Maybe it’s just the fandom itself but it doesn’t speak for the whole.

  49. jensstufflikencisandcriminalminds

    03/16/2013 at 6:26 pm

    Wow this sounds like a good and interesting update.

  50. TissToss

    03/16/2013 at 6:36 pm

    I’d hate to mention this because it sounds very mean of me, but it’s something I really want. I would greatly appreciate it if the members that we blocked did NOT get a story alert from us. I only ever had problems with 1 member, but it was a really horrific experience. I think it makes more sense that when we block someone, it also blocks them from subscribing to our story/author alerts, etc. I remember someone once requested the ability for authors to remove themselves from someone’s fav authors list. I also think that should happen when we “block” someone.

    • Spyridon

      03/16/2013 at 7:12 pm

      So you’re asking for a total break? Basically where the author goes ghost?

      • yemi hikari

        03/16/2013 at 7:23 pm

        I actually get the reason why they want people they have blocked from reviewing their stories to not be alerted to the fact they’ve updated. I’ve heard of cases where certain writers have harassed other writers. However, this won’t stop these people from knowing that you’ve updated. If they really want to harass a person they just have to add them to their favorites and check back. \


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