Pairing Mode Part One

13 Oct

We are introducing true pairing mode for characters within stories on FanFiction. In this first update, the author/admin feature of the pairing mode has been activated. Authors can now login and edit their existing stories to check/toggle the new “Paring Mode” option.

Major Changes

  • (New) Pairing Mode: With pairing mode enabled, the ordering of the characters selected by authors is important. Up to two pairs are possible: (Character 1 + 2 and Character 3 + 4). Pairing mode is disabled by default and when disabled the ordering of the characters are not important.

Upcoming changes in Pairing Mode Part two

  • Pairing filters will be introduced on the public browsing side.
  • All existing stories with only two characters active will have pairing mode automatically enabled. This is a one-time deal as older stories and their readers assumed pairing status.
  • Single Pairing Mode: 4 characters but only 1 pair mode will be added.

Posted by on 10/13/2013 in Uncategorized


302 responses to “Pairing Mode Part One

  1. xraiderv1

    10/14/2013 at 1:12 am

    theres a formatting error on the popup for adding favorites and following stories, the check boxes are elevated by 5 pixels higher than the text that describes the options.

    • Tanya

      10/18/2013 at 1:53 pm

      I’m posting this here because your post is right at the top; maximum visibility, y’know?


      I got rid of it, and if you go there, then you too can get rid of it!

  2. xraiderv1

    10/14/2013 at 1:15 am

    Xing.. if you and the others running FFn even care for us, the user base, please. listen. some of these features do not help us, and in many cases make more work for us to later go in and undo something we didnt want to begin with.

    I have been a loyal patron of the site since 2008.. and I regularly sang the site’s praises.. but these recent changes have me questioning if my faith wasnt perhaps misplaced.

    I urge you to do the right thing. listen to the users.

    • Birdymain

      10/14/2013 at 1:54 am

      Through three updates there have been mostly negative complaints you’d think someone would be listening. I would very much enjoy if they listened to our very reasonable demands that even put their ideas into action.

      I would love to see an actual acknowledgement of our problems and the solutions for them instead of this update crap.

    • David Amaya

      10/14/2013 at 3:03 am

      as with any Fan authored fiction it is all about the READERS. otherwise why post your stories in public? Romance stories are popular and the fans enjoy these search features, if you are NOT writing a romance then DO NOTHING EXTRA. but you are NOT the only writer here, and this from someone who was here since the 90s!!!

      • yemi hikari

        10/14/2013 at 3:05 pm

        If you read the comments you would realize that people aren’t having problems with the pairing feature being added, they’re having problems with how it is being implemented. When the next update goes through any story that has two characters will automatically be placed as a pairing which means “if you are NOT writing a romance story then THEY HAVE TO DO SOMETHING EXTRA BY DISABLING IT”.

        My personal gripe though is this particular pairing system favors stories that are primarily romance and ignores the ones that have romance on the side plot wise. I have quite a few stories that I can’t mark the pairings for for those who want to read about those pairings. It’s a two way street really.

  3. tiquatue

    10/14/2013 at 1:57 am

    I have a small solution to the pairing problem: for pairings, use / instead of &, and for characters which are not paired, use a comma. It might visually help differentiate one or the other. Still, it needs to be an “opt-in” instead of an “opt-out” feature. Doing anything else is second-guessing the authors.

    • Birdymain

      10/14/2013 at 2:08 am

      I think that would work if they implemented a new pairing filter instead of messing with the one they have. Because if you are looking for certain characters and it is placed on the cureent filter, won’t most people still be looking for pairings? It’s confusing.

      • HeroR

        10/14/2013 at 2:26 am

        It is only confusion right now because they filter on the site does not filter between pairing and gen. I checked and there is nothing to click that says ‘pairing’. I assume this will be added as the update is completed, much like the four character system that took about three months to fully implement.

        I see nothing wrong with gen and romance filter being the same. The system they have can work if they simple put a button the main filter that says ‘pairing’. It is only the combination of gen pairing and romance pairing that I see a real issue coming up. Since things are not fully implemented yet, it is hard to say what will or will not happen.

        I personally been happy with the changes to the site so far, except for the nocopy thing which I hope will be address soon once they see it does not work. The four character filter is something I wanted for years since almost all my stories deal with a group and I tend to have three or more people who share importance. They are always going to be people who abused and misused the filters, but overall for people like me I enjoyed the new filter system. Now what I want is more categories for genres.

      • Birdymain

        10/14/2013 at 2:31 am

        They need separate filters between the two. There are quite a few fics that have more then two people pairings.

      • Birdymain

        10/14/2013 at 2:56 am

        I’m not suggesting it be an unlimited feature. Two separate pairings with the ability of more than two partners for a pairing.

        The reason it should be separate is because of half the fics on are not romance pairings.

      • cathy massey

        10/14/2013 at 3:24 am

        I’ve been begging/lobbying for a new category in the genres dropdown on the filters for many months now, with no response whatever.

        The new filters are of little use to me, since I don’t read slash and among the filter options, usually only use the ‘M’ rating button to check now & then for anything new on those pages.

      • tiquatue

        10/14/2013 at 1:37 pm

        This is one way I think AO3 gets it right; the pairings are highlighted but the regular characters are not. So you can put in characters beyond the pairing.

      • yemi hikari

        10/14/2013 at 1:48 pm

        Or you can use characters for the pairings which aren’t the main characters.

    • Erica

      10/14/2013 at 2:29 am

      Actually, I’ve looked and seen that they’re using this weird dot thing to separate characters in the listings in the actual story at the top in the summary and on the pages of each fandom. On profiles though, they’re still using & in the character listings.

      Honestly, I prefer your suggestion. It’s sounds much more understandable.

      • HeroR

        10/14/2013 at 2:40 am

        Most of the time those pairings are on the side and do not important to the actually plot. It would be easier to put another categories call multi/pairing then to have people list every single couple in the story like they do on AO3.

        I still do not see the need to use separate feature. Romance people should only be putting down the main pairing, not every pairing that exist in the story.

      • Birdymain

        10/14/2013 at 2:56 am

        I’m not suggesting it be an unlimited feature. Two separate pairings with the ability of more than two partners for a pairing.

        The reason it should be separate is because of half the fics on are not romance pairings.

      • yemi hikari

        10/14/2013 at 3:48 am

        Not to mention the fact some of these stories that romantic pairings do show up enough for those who like the ship to want and read said stories. As I’ve said many times, Romance is a genre and a plot device that can help to move the plot along but not an actual plot.

    • seila

      10/14/2013 at 2:38 am

      Not a /
      That symbol’s already widely used when a single character has more than one name and if their name was translated differently. Most characters listed in the anime/manga categories have multiple versions of the same name.

      A visual differentiation would be much welcomed. Just not a slash mark.

      • fems

        10/14/2013 at 4:17 am

        Personally, I much prefer they use a vertical bar (|) to separate aliases/multiple personalities and use a slash (/) for pairings, simply because slashes have been used for years (hence the term slash fic for same sex relationships). I never really understood why they started using the interpunct (·) or even the ampersand (&) upon the expansion of character slots and then not even be consistent in its use.

        However, I can see how a mere symbol wouldn’t be enough to indicate the difference between a list of characters and a (romantic) pairing, so I wouldn’t mind if they either used a different color for pairings (like they do now in the account when you pair up two characters), a block around it or some other kind of way to mark them/single them out depending on which is the better option for the majority of users (keeping in mind colorblind and visually impaired folks etc).

      • tiquatue

        10/14/2013 at 1:33 pm

        You bring up an interesting point. Perhaps using the ampersand for the pairings, or a “x”, which is also a pair identifier: Character AxCharacter B. But there does need to be some kind of differentiation and it needs to be “opt-in” instead of a limited time “opt-out”.

  4. Birdymain

    10/14/2013 at 2:17 am

    I just found a new/old annoyance. Please remove the automatic spelling and grammar check. I just spent the last few minutes fighting the profile over underlining a word and it created a new paragraph after the word every time I saved it. Then I wanted a * to start a paragraph and it kept deleting it. This isn’t the first time. I’ve had it autocorrect me after I posted a review too a couple times.

    • seila

      10/14/2013 at 2:42 am

      Hm? Are you certain this autocorrect isn’t your browser’s fault?

      I’ve never had the ff net autocorrect me before; even within the past 5 minutes it doesn’t.

      • Birdymain

        10/14/2013 at 3:00 am

        Positive it’s not my browser, just checked to make sure on two different browsers. IE, Firefox, Chrome.

      • Birdymain

        10/14/2013 at 3:00 am

        It’s usually small things, but it does happen.

      • cathy massey

        10/14/2013 at 3:32 am

        It might be the site. I’ve been blaming this dad-blame Apple and Safari,but I do have more problems with an obsessively diligent autocorrect here than on some other sites. It keeps changing ‘gen’ to ‘ten’,and ‘fandoms’ to ‘fantoms’, and, once, ‘slash’ to ‘smash’.

      • Birdymain

        10/14/2013 at 3:37 am

        Glad I’m not the only one who’s noticed. Here’s one I remember try to put a 🙂 it’ll delete and come up :

        It’s completely random and when it does show up it’s just a big annoyance.

      • Rogue Mudblood (@RogueMudblood)

        10/14/2013 at 4:07 am

        Possibly code stripping. ) is a common code agent. Managed to get a 404 on reporting a story by having )) in the report.

        One thing that Xing does have to consider when adding how things will look is whether the code will attempt to read what follows it as a function to be performed instead of just text.

        Not sure which language he’s compiling code in, but would be something he would take into consideration. Would be why ‘+’ wasn’t chosen as a relationship identifier. Is also why that’s stripped out in forum posts.

        Would have to know what symbols function as operators in his coding language in order to offer suggestions that don’t conflict with existing formats.

      • Birdymain

        10/14/2013 at 4:10 am

        Okay, how does that explain the changing words? I’ve gotten that too.

      • Rogue Mudblood (@RogueMudblood)

        10/14/2013 at 5:00 am

        Would have to know what the words are. No access to code to be able to tell you why it would do that. Can tell you why symbols might be affected, but unless the word you used in conjunction with something else would be considered an operator, no reason for it to remove that I can conceive.

      • Birdymain

        10/14/2013 at 12:49 pm

        cathy massey posted some the words. I’m afraid I don’t remember any of my word changes in reviews that has happened to me.

      • Vicky (@Andromakhe)

        10/19/2013 at 8:28 am

        I haven’t noticed autocorrection by FF. But I usually type things up in a word processor and then paste into the site, rather than using the site’s editor.

        Cathy, are you sure it’s the site? Because as a Mac user myself, Safari does have the native autocorrect. Personally, I disable that cursed feature first thing. Have seen too many cases where it thinks it’s smarter than the author.

  5. cathrl

    10/14/2013 at 3:29 am

    “All existing stories with only two characters active will have pairing mode automatically enabled. This is a one-time deal as older stories and their readers assumed pairing status.”

    Or not.

    No matter, I can go edit it out of my story headers – and will be doing so right now. But, for goodness sake, why would anyone EVER make such an assumption outside the romance genre? Action-adventure with two main characters is assumed to be a shipfic? Seriously?

    • cathrl

      10/14/2013 at 3:38 am


      So, when you activate mode 2, all my stories with two characters will be assumed to be in “pairing mode.”

      And the best bit of it is? Right now, they’re not in pairing mode. So I can’t even turn it off in advance except by removing the characters.

      How lovely. I’m about to have K+ rated stories which the site labels as father-son incest.

      • yemi hikari

        10/14/2013 at 3:50 am

        Myself as well. I’m guess I’m lucky in the fact them being father and son is neither canon or non-canon as the canon is still unfolding. Still, it means certain people are going to overlook some of my stories when they see that and the people who ship the two… well, they certainly won’t be pleased will they.

      • Birdymain

        10/14/2013 at 3:55 am

        Lol. Sorry it’s wrong but it sounds so funny.. XD

      • yemi hikari

        10/14/2013 at 1:44 pm

        Well… in my particular case the theorized child gets paired with both theorized parents a lot. One of the people who likes reading stories where the theorized child is paired with his theorized mother that has it so the theorized child is no longer a minor actually is interested to see the theory becoming canon even though it would mess up their preferred ship they’ve read so many of my stories. Aka they feel its a win-win situation for them either way.

      • seila

        10/14/2013 at 5:14 pm

        Lol, yes it does sound so very wrong and so very amusing at the same time.

        Fortunately, I won’t personally have any implied incest to amend. But I do have a story where the two mains happen to be a 30+ woman and a 17 year-old boy, and they are most certainly not an item. Oya.

        Excuse me while I go laugh for a bit.

      • Vicky (@Andromakhe)

        10/19/2013 at 8:32 am

        @Cathrl: LOL! That is my fear, too. But I loved the way you put it.

  6. Spyder Z

    10/14/2013 at 4:18 am

    So, I ‘just’ discovered AO3 thanks to a few comments here, and I think I see what’s happening. While I encourage sites to learn from their ‘opponents’, I don’t think that adopting any and every strategy is the way to go. I like their interface, I appreciate their skinning, and yes, they are doing ‘some’ things right… but to be honest, I still (Currently) prefer’s setup. Please, don’t ruin that by introducing a half baked ‘Pairing System’ and foisting it upon the masses without their consent…

    Take the time to either implement it in a way that doesn’t conflict with’s current set-up (Such as what you’re indicating is ‘coming’, an option for pairing per ‘combo’ that doesn’t need to be used, but can if one is interested… though I’d recommend using the ‘second’ set for that), or don’t do it. Otherwise you’re in danger of losing the people who already love you to the competition, while not attracting new users… which I imagine is not what you’re going for.

    • Birdymain

      10/14/2013 at 4:40 am

      I think not introducing a lot of things other sites have is the only reason has stayed the top for fanfictions.

    • Nippy

      10/14/2013 at 8:49 am

      The pairing thing has been coming for awhile, I’m glad this is being implemented because it eliminates (not all) but some confusion about who are the main characters or the most important characters in a story. Not long ago four characters were allowed for every story. The four characters thing is sort of an annoyance because some people put up four characters just because. And they don’t even use all four characters, they just do it because they think they’ll attract more readers (in my fandom anyways). Then when you read it you find out the character you were looking for isn’t even in the story. The author doesn’t put it in their summary either.

      The pairing system doesn’t have to be strictly romance either like everyone is saying. It could be just to show what two characters or four are the most important characters in the story your writing.The ordering of the characters is important because four characters were added not long ago. This stops confusion (hopefully) when the author puts up a character they dont even use much in a story.

      Plus for multiple reason is the best FF site on the net, I think they’re doing a great job.

      • yemi hikari

        10/14/2013 at 1:37 pm

        I’ve said this before. If you’re having such a problem in your fandom then take it up with the writers who are abusing the system. The majority of writers are actually using it correctly.

        The four characters thing is sort of an annoyance because some people put up four characters just because. And they don’t even use all four characters, they just do it because they think they’ll attract more readers (in my fandom anyways).

        Something else that I’ve said before is that this use of the term pairing is not the common use in fanfiction and this would likely cause certain people to find themselves flamed by writers. Unless of course the site admins were to actually make a separate pairing filter that allows not only the selection of pairing choice but also pairing type. Family, friends, het, f/f slash, m/m slash, threesome ect. The option they’re using is horribly limiting.

    • Bob

      10/17/2013 at 2:56 am

      This. I completely agree.

  7. Sladin

    10/14/2013 at 5:45 am

    I, for one, am very happy with this new update (bugs and reports I would still like to see dealt with of course) since I’m more of a pairing author than anything else, heh. One thing I would like to see with the pairing mode update though is to allow one of the same characters be listed. For example, Character A and B are together, but character A is also with a character C (the pairings are separate, not a love triangle just for clarification) Right now, I can’t have character A listed in the same story. So if that can be implemented, that would be greatly appreciated

    • Sladin

      10/14/2013 at 5:46 am

      That should be “character A listed TWICE in the same story”. I accidentally left out a word

      • fems

        10/14/2013 at 6:18 am

        Yeah, I’ve heard people comment about not being able to include an OC/OC relationship because they can’t list “one” character twice, too.

      • yemi hikari

        10/14/2013 at 1:32 pm

        Which is why the pairing system should be separate. I’m more then willing to go through my many stories and add the pairings in to a new filter but going through and tweaking all of them so that the character tags work with the new system because I have to change the order? Not liking that.

  8. Ha

    10/14/2013 at 6:18 am

    I personally have nothing against the pairing-thing, but something has been bugging me for a while, that the order of the character doesn’t come up like how I input it. Character A which I select first is the main character, character B is the supportive character, and when I save the changes it swaps the order to “Character B · Character A” for no reason. I would like to have the main character mentioned first and I take this seriously. This never happened before the implementation of the 4 characters option.

    Not to mention that I think putting 4 characters isn’t exactly necessary. Earlier fics, let’s say, have 3 or 4 or more characters that are equally important, then they left the character selection empty and wrote the characters in the summary instead. There was no problem, everyone seemed fine with that.

    • yemi hikari

      10/14/2013 at 1:28 pm

      The site admins stated in an early blog that the order doesn’t matter.

      Earlier fics, let’s say, have 3 or 4 or more characters that are equally important, then they left the character selection empty and wrote the characters in the summary instead. There was no problem, everyone seemed fine with that.

      A lot of people actually have a problem with the fact people clutter up their summaries with notes like that as that is not what the summary is for. The problem with leaving the character selection blank is this honestly causes said stories to be overlooked when people do character searches by tags so people were having to pick and choose which ones they selected.

      • fems

        10/14/2013 at 2:13 pm

        It entirely depends on how the summary is written. I hate it when people add [name], [pairing] or [genre], [category] at the end of their summary as some sort of tag. However, I, naturally, name the (main) characters of my story in my summary since the story is about them and what kind of role they play. So, as long as it’s a regular summary there shouldn’t be any objections to using character names in it (it would be odd if there weren’t) but using them as tags is just awful and lazy. It makes me want to grab the author’s shoulders and shake them, while asking them if they’ve ever picked up a book and read the summary on the cover.

      • yemi hikari

        10/14/2013 at 3:00 pm

        I know that, you know that, it still goes over some people’s heads that notes/tags should be avoided in the summary when possible. For example my stories that are in the misc. categories have the title of the fandom in the summary. In these cases its supposed to be proper ettiqquite. When said stories get a fandom tag these get edited out.

  9. Zero Slash One

    10/14/2013 at 6:27 am

    Pairing Mode? This might really come in handy. Thanks, Xing. But one question: One of my stories are tagged Characters A/B as a pairing, with C on the sideline, but whenever I save it, it switches to A/C as the pairing. Is it supposed to do that?

    • yemi hikari

      10/14/2013 at 1:25 pm


    • Valex

      10/17/2013 at 2:32 pm

      I have this same exact problem. I also tried it with four characters: A/B and C/D paired with pairing mode on, and once I saved it, they switched to A/C and B/D as pairs. So annoying.

  10. Applejack-loves-apples

    10/14/2013 at 9:18 am

    It says in the update that Pairing mode is disabled by default so I don’t see why people are complaining. They’re not really forcing it on us.

    • Rogue Mudblood (@RogueMudblood)

      10/14/2013 at 11:20 am

      This is why:
      All existing stories with only two characters active will have pairing mode automatically enabled. This is a one-time deal as older stories and their readers assumed pairing status.

      So all the older stories on site that aren’t romance are about to be marked that way. Which, if you had read the prior comments, you would be aware of what the largest part of the complaint is.

  11. Arumi

    10/14/2013 at 9:58 am

    I’m very stroked about the pairing features, but there’re a few things I’d like to point out. Sorry if it’s been said before.
    1. Not all my stories are paired. If I turned pairing mode on, the system will automatically pair the first two characters I listed? That doesn’t make sense.
    2. I’m very sure someone has mentioned this, what do you do with threesome/moresome?

    • Xing

      10/14/2013 at 10:14 am

      All will be fixed in a the coming update.

      • Birdymain

        10/14/2013 at 12:47 pm

        Right, so you are able to comment. Actual dialogue would be nice. I’m not the only one who’d like an actual conversation instead of that cryptic bull. Or even an acknowledgement of the problems and fixes. Damn, I think I’d even be happy with you be an a**hole and say no to our ideas.

      • cathrl

        10/14/2013 at 1:31 pm

        You need to rethink this.

        I mean “incest”, just as a word, is considered unsuitable for teens here. It’s asterisked out in forums with the profanity filter on.

        And yet you are about to be saying publicly that thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands, maybe millions, of K-rated stories have incestuous relationships in them – in fact this will be the default assumption for any story with two listed characters.

        Which is it? Either incest as a concept is unsuitable for 13 year olds or incest as a concept is fine for 5 year olds. They can’t both be true.

      • yemi hikari

        10/14/2013 at 2:56 pm

        @ cathrl ~ lol!

      • konarciq

        10/14/2013 at 3:23 pm

        Cathrl: now *that* is making a point! Well put!

      • hpstar202

        10/15/2013 at 1:14 am

        The new pairings sound nice because sometimes I like romantic stories and sometimes no romantic stories sometimes with the same people. example is in Harry Potter there are a lot of father and son, Snape and Harry stories and a lot with them as lovers. The problem is the automatic thing. I thing that the best way to fix it would be use & in all old stories but have it so people can go in and change it if they want the new pairing thing. Then use / or x for pairing and then use – or something for all non pairing or other important character. That way people will know if it just old and not had the pairing updated or if the author want it to be pairing or non paring. I think the different symbols is better than color for people with vision problems. All so the idea of changing the multiple names symbol from / to | is a good idea.

        The nocopy is still a problem I have to be able to select text to read the stories. One because I use a reading soft wear that cannot understand the text if it cannot select it. Two when I am not using the software highlighting helps me to focus on the words I am reading. I have dyslexia and a common problem with dyslexia is not being able to follow test in a straight line. A lot of dyslexics even if there reading is on the same leave as the story have problems not skipping words or lines while reading. A common method to help people with dyslexia to read in books is to use a special card that has a colored transparent line down the middle to select that line of text so that the child stays on the correct line and dose not skip lines. highlighting on the computer is use much the same way as the card to help the person not skip lines.

  12. R.g.

    10/14/2013 at 12:25 pm

    So just to confirm, we _will_ get the option to list four characters, but only one romantic pairing, right? Because just now, I tried to indicate that characters A & B were in a romantic relationship, and that C & D had significant roles in the story but were not romantically involved, but it made it look like C & D were a couple. :/

    Also, please don’t automatically enable Pairing Mode for older stories. Although a lot of writers/readers did assume that the listed characters were in a relationship, not all of them did, and it would be doing those stories, of which there are a significant number, a disservice, especially since of lot of authors have abandoned the site.

    • yemi hikari

      10/14/2013 at 1:24 pm

      This is one of the reasons I feel the main character section and the pairing section should be separate, that and it is possible to have important pairings outside of the main characters.

  13. R.g.

    10/14/2013 at 12:27 pm

    Also, what about love triangles, or other non-traditional romantic relationships?

  14. GOP

    10/14/2013 at 12:59 pm

    On fanfics tagged with four characters, I have noticed that only the first two characters’ names are shown when looking at a story’s details on its author’s profile page. Additionally, only the first two names are included in emails sent to those who are watching an author or a particular story. I do like the change to include up to four characters, but I think that all character names that an author selects should be included in all places.

    I like the idea of the new “pairing” feature, but I do not like that older stories with only two characters will automatically have that feature turned on. While, yes, many people just assumed that two tagged characters meant there was going to be a pairing, this is not always going to be the case. For example, I have read a number of stories in which two male characters’ names were tagged but there was absolutely no pairing—they were just the two main characters in the story. Automatically turning on a pairing feature for such a story would suggest a slash pairing, which is a type of story that many readers (like me) have no interest in. While I’m sure authors could later turn an incorrectly identified pairing off, what about the stories written years ago from authors who have since abandoned their accounts? They will remain incorrectly identified as containing a pairing.

    • yemi hikari

      10/14/2013 at 1:22 pm

      Honestly I think changing it so that all four characters show should have come first. I wonder if the site admins thought it would be all right for the older stories to be marked as pairing because certain people commented that pairing doesn’t always mean romantic feelings but can also mean friendship. Thing is the pairing system isn’t wanted for the non-romantic pairings and the use of pairing in such manner is rarely used.

      • fems

        10/14/2013 at 2:09 pm

        Except there’s no reason to make them into a pairing if there’s not a romantic relationship between them since there are only two characters listed! So, in the literal sense of the word (not the term as used in fanfiction) they’re already a pair(ing)! That’s like saying all four characters will now be automatically listed as quartets and for three characters it’s gonna be trios regardless of any romantic relationships between the character because there are only four resp. three characters!
        Then why even bother with the “true pairing system” they oh so proudly announced months ago and which this is supposed to be (half of it, at least).

        It’s idiotic, to say the least.

      • yemi hikari

        10/14/2013 at 2:55 pm

        Bingo… and yet I’ve already seen someone on this blog entry arguing that the pairing feature can represent non-romantic pairings as well as romantic pairings. So there are people who think along those lines of logic.

      • konarciq

        10/14/2013 at 3:28 pm

        To be honest, I didn’t really see the need for it.
        If you search for the genre romance, and the two (or more) characters you want to read about as a pair/trio/whatever in the search boxes – shouldn’t that be enough?

        Okay, I’m not exactly experienced in searching for this kind of stuff, but…

      • yemi hikari

        10/14/2013 at 8:50 pm

        It doesn’t work if what you’re looking for is non-romance stories with certain main pairings.

  15. Efffulgent

    10/14/2013 at 3:03 pm

    I actually like the idea of Pairing Mode, but I was wondering what could be done when it comest to stories in which the pairings are a little more complex, like character A/Character B & Character A/Character C in the same story. Or other things like CharacterA/CharacterB/ CharacterC Will there be a way to show pairings like that?
    Either way, I look forward to being able to search for my favourite pairings

  16. Alex

    10/14/2013 at 5:52 pm

    Just to throw in my two cents: what about all the wonderful authors who have left the site, but whose works we still enjoy? I don’t think it’s fair at all to change their works without their permission. If everybody wanted it done AO3-style, then AO3 would be leading the field in fanfiction. But it’s not – and IS – for a reason. Please do not make these changes.

  17. seila

    10/14/2013 at 6:06 pm

    Hmm. . . I’ve put a bit more thought into this, and I think the staff does have something nice up their sleeve. So long as the only stories forced into the pairing mode to begin with were tagged as romance, since the “two characters = pairing” trend did not overflow into other genres. Certainly there are pairings in genfics too, but those really should be left to the authors to sort out.

    From the bits and pieces of what he’s said, the little complaints we have should be resolved with the move. Like the issue with only two characters visibly listing in profiles and within opened story. If he’s going to reformat this shortly anyways, it makes his putting things off slightly more justifiable. Also, Xing posted a promise in a reply that options for threesomes and such would come in time.

    Second, it sounds like the love item business will eventually be moved to something completely divorced from the current character selection. Right now, he’s just laying down the groundwork. And if all goes well, old stories with couples will be able to be found with ease, too. He’s. . . collecting the data so to speak before moving it. If my supposition is correct.

    Third, having a pairing system separate from romance might do fluff writers a favor in the long run.

    Really, though, we’ll see.

    I just hope Xing listens to the one big complaint. And. . . I think he listens a whole lot more than we give him credit. I’ve had several questions answered through his next blog post on more than one occasion, and I appreciate that.

  18. user

    10/14/2013 at 11:34 pm

    I would not mind if older stories would not automatically be assumed to have a pairing. That could pose a problem for older “OC” stories in particular. I’ve already updated my older stories, anyway.

    (My gripe is authors failing to take advantage of features that are provided going forward, such as the “OC” character.)

  19. bloodsong

    10/15/2013 at 9:50 am

    Clarification Please:

    i just went into my stories and activated pairing mode for stories with pairings. and not for stories without.

    the next update will automatically turn on pairing mode for stories with only two characters… does that mean i’ll then have to go back and turn those all off?

    • yemi hikari

      10/15/2013 at 4:39 pm


      • bloodsong

        10/15/2013 at 7:48 pm

        why… did i bother? ah well.

  20. bloodsong

    10/15/2013 at 10:00 am

    PS: i just realized… since back in the ‘old days,’ there were only two character slots… EVERY old story “has only two characters listed.” (except those with only one, of course.) seriously, might want to rethink automatically changing all of them over.

  21. knotothedrk

    10/15/2013 at 10:49 pm

    It’s time that we fans work together to build a task force, one that strives to help each other, and the website by discussing current issues, polling the proper information, and helping to provide a solution to the issues at hand… if the community sounds like one for you, please give some thought into joining…

    Our Mission:

    To gather together as a community, united by the hope to better the website we so love. With the goal of gathering concise data, in which to present to the admins of this site, we will strive to have our voices heard in a clear, and appropriate manner. This is a community founded by fans, for fans to speak freely of their concerns. As such, we will try to maintain as respectful of an environment possible, to ensure all of the topics brought up will be dealt with to the best of our abilities as fans.

    We’ve no doubts that this will not be an easy task, and we don’t declare to move mountains. Regardless, It would be nice, to have clear and concise emails sent with proper stats to back up the claims…I know it won’t speak for the entire site…but if the admins know that the users have a truly valid concern, backed up with evidence, then we may be more likely to see a positive outcome.

    So, while it’s true we may not make huge, or drastic changes, we have no idea what can be accomplished until we give it an honest try…

  22. Fortune Maiden

    10/15/2013 at 11:57 pm

    Is it just me, or can we no longer highlight on Was that addressed at an earlier update or is this new?

    • cathy massey

      10/16/2013 at 1:08 am

      It’s been causing a great deal of consternation.

      Best suggestion I can give is to go back and read all the blog posts and comments from Oct 7th thru the most recent. It’ll bring you up to speed on the situation, as well as several different workarounds to try.

      Besides, it makes for lively, entertaining reading.

      • Fortune maiden

        10/16/2013 at 10:39 am

        I see. Thanks for the update ^^ (it’s definitely lively…can’t believe I just noticed it though o.o)

        As for you…why?

  23. Nikki

    10/16/2013 at 1:25 pm

    So the problem with this is that the characters get listed alphabetically. If I’m pairing A with D and B with F, it shows up as A with B and D with F. Not what I want. Can we fix that, please? Also, it would be nice not to have the characters listed alphabetically anyway because I would like to list most important character first. Thanks.

  24. saudade do coracao

    10/17/2013 at 1:22 am

    I personally am THRILLED with the pairing mode. Thank you, FFN! I’ve been wanting that for ten years. It will make my life so much easier as I search for both romantic and platonic relationship stories. However, changing over all the old stories with two characters into pairing mode will be problematic, as there were only two character slots for the longest time, and not all stories were romance. Think of all the family-genre stories that are going to be labeled incest and so on. Maybe an e-mail to each user would help the problem, as not everyone is checking the blog for updates. At least that way more authors would be aware of the new feature and be able to preserve their stories as they prefer.

  25. Jess

    10/17/2013 at 2:19 am

    I really resent the imposition of pairing mode on existing stories. Leave them how they are. Authors and fans did not always presume a pairing. You will now have many stories where it looks as if minors are paired with adults, children with parents ect. This is going to cause a lot of confusion and serves no purpose. Be more in touch with your users.

  26. latecomer

    10/17/2013 at 5:39 pm

    I’m sure that this has been mentioned before (and someone will ding me for not going back and reading every single comment …), but here goes. Having looked at the pairing interface and marked existing stories and thought about it, what about those stories that pairs the same character with more than one other character; that is, where a love triangle (or even quadrangle) is featured, or even the most important aspect of the plot? Doesn’t the two/two method makes indicating both pairs (when the same character is in both) make that a bit difficult?
    But on the whole, thanks so much for your efforts and I’m thrilled that it’s available. It will definitely help me as both a reader and author.

  27. rachysue23

    10/17/2013 at 9:10 pm

    I was wondering if it was possible to have a type of pairing filter as well, for example: slash pairing or het pairing or Canon pairing. This would be very useful and save readers a lot of time searching. Thanks

  28. J Bucci

    10/18/2013 at 12:31 pm

    I am not a writer, but love this site to read stories. For a long time I have questioned why it isn’t set up to filter slash v. non-slash. The problem now is that I may overlook stories I would normally read because the automatic pairing mode will imply that a story is slash, when, in fact it isn’t based on the two character pairing. It seems easier to opt into things rather than out of them.

  29. Tanya

    10/18/2013 at 1:52 pm

    Here is a way to rid of nocopy:


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