News Archive

  • Monday
    Recent Changelog

    We've done various unannounced changes of the past few weeks so I thought I'd group up the things we've done so you guys know what's changed.

    • Added account linking page for Patreon / Twitter
    • Added ability to cross post stories, blogs and bookshelf additions to Twitter
    • Added twitter userpage module
    • Added account deletion page
    • Reorganised user toolbar dropdown to better fit more items
    • Added session management page to see logins and active sessions on your account
    • Added new articles system and moved some existing ones into it
    • Redesigned PM page a bit to be cleaner
    • Increased font size in major places across the site to improve readability
    • New cookie consent controls for EU users and updated privacy policy
    • Recommended groups list on groups page - WIP
    • Tooltips in many locations around the site with helpful tips

    Read More

    112 comments · 3,011 views
  • 29 weeks
    Night Mode

    I've been working on it for ages but only really got the impetus to finish all of it off over the last few days. In the "settings" dropdown at the top on desktop, or the bottom of the slide out bar on mobile you'll find a toggle for night mode. Enjoy!

    Oh, and although I've tried to cover everything there is a 100% chance I've missed styling some things so apologies in advance for any funky pages.

    245 comments · 4,351 views
  • 30 weeks
    Additional Search Update

    Hey folks,

    Over the last few days I've added a few things to the new search system. A lot of people were unhappy with not being able to filter various things as quickly as they used to be able to. To that end, I've added a little filter dropdown to the right of the search box which effectively contains everything the old sidebar used to. It even has some niceties like quick word count filters and a highly rated filter.

    Read More

    132 comments · 3,324 views
  • 30 weeks
    December 2017 Update

    Hey guys, got a whole bunch of updates for you today.

    Tags

    This is a small but important step on our way to the tagging system I envision. The existing way we handled things like characters and genres has all been merged into a single tagging system. That won't result in much difference for you viewing and using the site but it makes it a lot easier to add new tags especially.

    We now have a couple of new tag types: series and warnings.

    The series tag is for identifying what series (franchise) your fanfiction contains. I've added a whole ton of various TV shows, movies, comics, books and games but clearly we will have to add a ton more in the coming future. Stories must also contain one of the four MLP tags which are FIM, EqG, Movie and Comic, as this is a pony fanfic site after all. Feel free to bug me on Discord if you have a requirement for a series to be added.

    Read More

    630 comments · 12,133 views
  • 30 weeks
    Math BBCode tag

    I've added [math] and [mathblock] BBCode tags, which can be used to display formatted math. We've had a few requests for this, particularly for group forum threads and blog posts. Most math-related TeX syntax is supported. (We are currently using MathJax to handle the layout.)

    The documentation from the BBCode guide is repeated below for your convenience.

    Read More

    83 comments · 2,892 views
  • 53 weeks
    Fimfiction API

    If you're not a developer you can probably ignore this post.

    It's been like 6 years, but hey, things take time. The API is currently very WIP still but it's ready for people to get working on in our development chat room.

    API documentation can be found at https://www.fimfiction.net/developers/api/v2/docs and you should join the Discord Chat and PM me to add you to the private API channel and I can help you get started. The functionality is very limited right now but I'm dedicating all my time to it at the moment and would love to have people add their input to the process.

    60 comments · 5,685 views
  • 58 weeks
    New BBCode Tags

    Hey guys,

    One of the features in this new update was reader-side paragraph formatting. This helps improve consistency for readers across the site, especially for those of us who can’t stand reading indented text on a computer screen.

    However, one thing that wasn’t accounted for was the legitimate need for specific indenting of passages and for certain blocks of text to have no paragraph formatting. Some examples would be lyrics and poetry.

    Taking this into account, we have come up with a couple of new tags that remedy this situation which are documented below (copied directly from the bbcode guide)


    [indent] Indent

    The indent tag can be used to, unsurprisingly, indent portions of your text.

    [indent]The indent tag can be used to, unsurprisingly, indent portions of your text.[/indent]

    It also support levels of indenting

    Read More

    168 comments · 5,277 views
  • 58 weeks
    Fimfiction 4.0

    It’s been a very very long time coming, but we’ve finally updated the site again. this is by far the biggest update we have ever done. There is a cavalcade of new features but the biggest changes are under the hood and affect how easy it is to extend the site and performance. A change log of everything I can remember can be found below.

    There are bound to be unforeseen bugs. If you come across anything major please let us know in the comments (or preferably in the #site-help-and-dev discord channel).

    Miscellaneous / Site Wide

    • Dropped support entirely for pre-IE11
    • Updated inline searching across the site to order much better. Eg. Typing "Ra" into the tag selector actually shows Rainbow Dash first. On shorter lists like bookshelves, we use a different algorithm that lets you type things like "ril" and it’ll prioritise a shelf called "read it Later".

    Read More

    1,363 comments · 19,604 views
  • 59 weeks
    💩

    So, emojis are now supported all over the site. Go have fun and stuff.

    oh god what have we done

    192 comments · 4,565 views
  • 69 weeks
    TLS for all users

    We have implemented TLS site-wide as an unconditional redirect. (http -> https) This improves security site-wide for all users, and shouldn't have any negative effects, performance or otherwise.

    90 comments · 3,704 views
Jul
11th
2018

Site Update » Help Articles · 11:17am July 11th

Something I've worked on the last couple of days is adding the ability for us to add arbitrary "articles" to the site which we can use for various things. Sort of an extension on the manual articles we've added in the past like the bbcode page, writing guide, etc.

So far I've added 3 guides:

I'd love to know if you guys have any idea for articles that would have helped you out when starting out or anything else that comes to mind.

Report knighty · 2,745 views ·
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Comments ( 65 )

I actually learned something from this stuff I hope others find it helpful.

Ooooo, nice.

PresentPerfect
Author Interviewer

oh, this is a good :3

This looks great! :pinkiehappy:

Maybe some advice on dealing with criticism? Something about how feedback is the most useful tool for improvement. Ideally I guess that would be connected to the option to turn off comments, too?

Oh, nifty.

Perhaps a guide on proper character/genre/series tag usage? I can see newer users/ writers having trouble with that.

4899177
And to add to this, "How to give constructive comments"

What sort of thing would one typically use coloured text for?

I like this idea!

For me, though, it was Ezn’s writing guide that was, by far, the thing I referenced and needed the most when I was starting out here, and that’s already there. Proper tag/genre/character usage is something I’d be in favor of, though, since that’s often a little more subjective.

Seconded for broader explanations of tags, maybe with examples. Some are pretty self-explanatory, others feel more like a judgement call. How far away from the show is AU, for example?

Clarify a bit on your titles. That is, How Paragraphs Work had me thinking you meant actual English syntax when what you really meant was "Formatting Paragraphs and How FiMFiction Treats Them" (and inside you say "simple" when you mean "simply").

Similarly, Making a New Story should be Creating and Posting a Story.

Otherwise, an excellent idea! I would have loved to have these when I started writing here.

Carry On and Write More!

knighty
Site Owner

4899194
I agree the titles needed a bit of work. Changed them to your suggestions.

Wanderer D
Moderator

4899180 4899177
I mean, there's some old blogs dealing with the topic, but I think it would be useful

The New Story post has this mistake near the bottom:

Bugging staff won't make your story get seen to quicker.

4899185
In his story Cosmic Lotus, Goldfur used colored text to represent two different languages being spoken during a First Contact scene. As the races were slowly learning each other’s languages, it would have been repetitive and cumbersome to write “in language X” and “in language Y” throughout the chapter as different characters spoken in one of the two tongues to members of their own and the other civilization.

4899185
I've seen it used well very rarely, the two most well known ones are probably "White Box" and "Background Pony". They were used to indicate something thematically important. In the first, the character being able to see color again. In the second, my name is Lyra Heartstrings, and you will not remember me.

4899200
Do Terry Pratchett footnotes count as needing to stay in the author notes?

This is probably going to come across the wrong way, but where do we actually view the articles? I can see the links here and I can follow the links from this blog post, but there is no front page link to the articles, no link under the Help or the Browse dropdown menus. It just seems that if they are not easily found then they won't really help all that much.

knighty
Site Owner

4899278
They will be added to relevant places soon

4899204 Totally, there are some great blogs on the subject. But there are also plenty of great blogs on technical writing advice, and it's the 'officialness' of the writing guide being included in the drop-down menu which makes it so much more accessible, I think, and more likely to be looked at.

As a blog, it's like, 'I could look at this if I wanted to get better.'

Whereas as an official help resource, it says more, 'Why wouldn't I look at this?'

Ideally there'd be something in a guide somewhere to prompt readers into liking/disliking stories, since the ratio of read-to-vote is always less than half. But I'd hazard a guess that most of those people won't be reading the writing advice anyway :twilightoops:

The help articles offer more help with hiding feedback than they do with proper genre tag usage (or other tips for starting writers, for that matter). 👌

Overall, I wholeheartedly approve of these additions and the idea of other site basics being explained in a similarly simple/straightforward manner. For all the time I've lurked here, I still learned something from these (like the existence of a button that would have saved me from manually correcting some 1,500+ quotation marks for a story I edited).

It's very important that you make sure to designate your paragraphs with either method above otherwise your site will be a giant wall of text and be failed for being unreadable.

At the end of the paragraphs article – I think this is supposed to refer to one's story being unreadable.

With the formatting article, I question two points: First, I have run into at least one case where I needed author's notes in multiple places; that is, the beginning and ending of the chapter. Being part of an anthology, it was hardly a wordcount shortcut, but I can't actually create more than one box for notes. Second, restricting footnotes to the Author's notes seems less appropriate for long chapters. We don't have pages to put them under, and the best solution would be to open a new tab or to scroll/jump down and back. I have also seen at least one case where these such notes were used in a thematically appropriate way requiring that they be "littered throughout the chapter" at the end of relevant paragraphs.

Anyway, that's a bunch of the feedback that you didn't ask for. Consider it how you will. As for new articles, I might appreciate something explaining the basics (well, visibility) of likes and comments and bookshelves and views and what they do and don't do for a given story. It makes me just a little sad to get a notification that someone added a story to their "super-duper awesomest fics of all time 5000" shelf but not even give it an upvote, let alone leave a comment. So far as I know, the only way that helps is if someone happens across their shelf and bothers looking at the 2000+ stories in some of them or if the author just likes getting notifications like that. Likewise for "these stories are horrible and nobody should ever read them", though somehow I suspect the people who have the latter shelf don't forget to leave a vote when they add a story to it.

4899208
It's not a mistake, it's using the phrasal verb "see to".

It means the same thing as "Bugging staff won't get your story dealt with faster."

Like 4899232, I'm very concerned about this footnote policy. I would have no problem following a footnote rule if it enhanced the reader experience, but banishing footnotes to the author's notes box means that readers are unable to see them without losing their place in the chapter to scroll down — and they can't even go to the bottom, they have to find where the text stops and the comments start! Then they have to scroll back up to where they lost their place.

By "Pratchett-style footnotes" I think Appletank is referring to those in stories such as Watch! Watch!, where the footnotes are parenthetical bonus digressions from the text, and the extra effort of breaking your reading experience for 15 seconds to look it up kills the joke. Note that the footnotes in that story use a convoluted right_insert scheme to keep them immediately accessible without disrupting the text flow. It's a kludge, but Author's Note footnotes are an objectively worse solution.

If you supported a [footnote] tag that produced XKCD-style click-to-pop-out inline notes (or even automatic sidebarring!), the small minority of users who footnote stories would be THRILLED to update to that system. But please don't slap down the only workarounds we've got without giving us a real system in their place.

You could even have users include the footnote within the tag, e.g. [footnote=Here's the footnote text], if you didn't want them to count toward a story's word count, since your parser should strip out the tags before counting.

4899185
Ever heard of a red letter Bible? That's really the only published work I've ever seen it used.

These look good! I think articles with writing tips would be helpful, but there are plenty of places for people to go to get writing tips--and plenty of authors who already blog tips.

knighty
Site Owner

4899328
We've considered adding proper footnote support before so maybe we'll get around to it now.

4899346
I appreciate that! Thanks as always for your hard work.

It would also be great if there was some flex in the rules until that support was in place. :unsuresweetie: I've had stories fail moderation because of footnotes before, and like I said, authors are struggling to find ways to make relevant footnotes work.

Seeing how authors now get an option that prevents readers from leaving comments under a new story gives me headaches. This comes with all sorts of problems that will make FIMFiction.net much more unattractive, but the probably biggest issue is how readers can not write down their thoughts on a story or new chapter anymore if an author decides they shouldn't.
Which is bad, because this is a big part of the reading experience here.
It's one of those dumb things Deviantart is infamous for. FIMFiction.net shouldn't go there. As an author, you should always allow your readers to speak about your story, under your story. It's the only right thing to do.

4899177 4899180

And to add to this even more, "Why you should never censor your entire (potential) readership of a story by preventing them from voicing their thoughts and from discussing your story just because a few rude idiots believe they are entitled to trashtalk your story for not being to their taste and how you can already remove hurtful comments by said idiots".
Not saying it should be used, because of the aforementioned problems using it would create, but doesn't sound like a feature that makes any practical sense to use to begin with.

4899328

I don't think this is considered a hard rule for publishing a story. And believe in good faith (will I regret that, though?), that this is more to ensure that authors don't write a huge chunk of stuff that isn't part of the story into the same space as the story itself, like some insight why you wrote a specific part of the chapter like that which would be too short to warrant a whole blog entry dedicated to it or just important info your readers should become aware of right before reading a chapter, but not actually meant for banning footnotes.
Which would be a questionable thing to do, as footnotes are very common in writing, so if FIMFiction.net wants to appear as a good writing site, footnotes should never be banned.
Not to mention that the most famous and best story of all MLP: FiM fanfictions prominently uses footnotes, which are a very memorable and important part of that story. Requiring KKat to relocate them into the Author's Notes would be a horrible move by the staff.

With that said, the article shouldn't use the term "footnotes". It's confusing and gives the reader of the article a wrong idea what the article is talking about. It would be better to refer to that as "purely informational texts" or something similar. Alongside of explaining that small footnotes that are part of the story like they are used in "Fallout: Equestria" (where the footnotes have been approved by staff, as it was published to the site before auto-approval existed) are allowed and can go outside the Author's Notes.

4899356
Any author who chooses to turn off comments is basically putting up a big sign that says "I do not listen to feedback". Personally I prefer knowing in advance not to waste my time. There are plenty of other authors who do welcome feedback, I'll just give them my eyeballs instead.

4899369

Any author who chooses to turn off comments is basically putting up a big sign that says "I do not listen to feedback".

Pretty much this. That's one of the reasons why I despise Deviantart for even offering such an option. That some don't listen to feedback, even if it is helpful and constructive, might be, but there's no reason to support that mindset with an official feature and to make it worse that way.

The other reason, is because readers don't leave just feedback under a story. They also like to simply talk about a story directly under it, especially under the big and great stories, because there isn't much feedback that can be given any more, so readers focus on discussing the story's plot and development.
Or they simply leave a comment saying how much a new chapter thrilled them. Not to mention that it is very motivational for an author to see how readers actively discuss their story's plot with a burning passion.
Which is all a big part of FIMFiction's culture and it would be terrible to see that die, even if just partially.
Disabling the comments of a story would neither benefit the author nor their readers.

So this is to help us with are writing right?

The 3 writing guides that is.

knighty
Site Owner
knighty #35 · 1 week ago · · 1 ·

4899373
Well done for entirely ignoring his point.

Might I suggest a few other articles?

A short explanation of the story stats and what they mean would be nice. For example, in my story it says I have 1,9K viewers. When I look on the Stats page (via the drop down like) it says on Sunday I had 713 viewers. On Monday I had 1.8K viewers (I published a chapter), Tuesdays I had 2.2K viewers (I published a chapter). How did the system come up with the 1.9K listed on the story page?

Also, the last chart which shows views by chapter has some really odd information. How can chap. 6 have 1,400 views, chap. 7 have 1,700 views, chap. 8 have 1,295 views, chap. 9 have 1,341 views, and chap. 10 have 1,400 views? Do people really only read selected chapters from a story? I could understand a decrease as the chapter numbers go up as people decide to stop reading, but going increasing views?

Finally, in the FAQ it gives a brief explanation of how stories get on the Featured Stories list. That’s great. However, what are the conditions for getting on the Popular Stories list?

More writing guides is definitely a good thing. When I first showed up, I had quite a bit of perfectionist/new story posting anxiety and compulsively looked through the existing site articles, so I'd say the most important thing with these would just be to put them somewhere highly visible and easy to find. And while this does apply more to readers than writers so might not be the best for these kinds of guides, I second/third/fiftieth/whatever the comments that lots of readers don't seem to understand the difference between leaving a Favorite and an upvote. It would be wonderful if this was clearer, favorites/tracks affected heat and rating, favorites counted as an automatic upvote... something like that.

4899363 Fallout: Equestria's footnotes are all only a few lines long and at the end of the chapter anyway, so moving them to the Author's Notes box would change basically nothing. This is about notes that need to appear mid-chapter instead of being forced to the bottom to work.

4899362
So are you going to send rants at authors who already delete anyone who comments on their stories anyways?

4899185
For highly toyetic sci-fi devices that announce their own name before a superhero uses them to gain a new power-up…is how I typically use colored text.

4899461

I have never seen anyone doing that across all the fics I read or looked at. If you saw someone who did, then they are part of a very tiny minority.
But my concern is that the creation of this function could motivate authors to make commenting on their stories impossible.

4899416
Yeah, the Favorites mechanic could be clearer. The problem with Favorites is that, as of when I last checked, "Favorites" lost their priority bookshelf status ages ago, and are now literally nothing more than a generic bookshelf that the user has named "Favorites" or the like, the only special part being that a pre-made one is given as a default to new users for convenience. As "Favorites" is no longer a capital letter term, there's nothing for the Heat or Upvote functions to keep track of, unless they were told to watch every "ttlyFavs" or "Favoris"-named bookshelf.

4899471
Indeed, authors who reflexively delete anything that isn't abject praise is rare. The same rarity as the people who would want to disable comments on their fics. I wouldn't be surprised if they make readers send PMs so they could block anyone they don't like permanently.

The reaction to a slew of deletions or seeing comments turned off will reveal the same to a newcomer regardless. If they want to shut themselves off so badly, let them stew in their corner.

Besides, if one wants to they can manually delete everything anyways if they see no value in leaving it open. Knighty apparently got enough requests from people who wanted it, and probably do so already manually.

You should add more Pony Emojis. We still only have the same 20 or so from season 1. There is SO much more material for new ones now with all sorts of other characters in addition to new ones for the characters we already have.

4899373
Personally, I'd prefer it if gay marriage was legal since it seems to make them happy and it doesn't really affect me in any way.

Wait, what were we talking about?

The [br] thing is going to be useful for sure now that I know about it.

I think rather than attempting to educate potential writers on how to write (we have had Ezn's guide for as long as I can remember, and several groups seeking to fill this role, like the School For New Writers) I think I'd like to see more of a "user manual of the site and its functionality" approach.

I think other guidelines for story creation would be good too. Like the rule that stories must be about pony to be appropriate for the site. A more detailed description of how much is enough or too little.

Another useful article would be how to interact with the site moderation team. I often see people point to stories which break the rules and cite them as evidence that the rules are not what they are. My response to them is usually, "you should report that to the mods." I feel like there is a disconnect between users, the rules, and how those rules are enforced. I understand mods can't see everything and they rely on reports to see stuff that falls through the cracks. An article explaining that, and to read the rules and report things which clearly violate those rules is how a healthy community acts and behaves.

4899178
4899190
4899191
https://www.fimfiction.net/tag-information
Under the same "help" button you use to see Ezn's guide, the rules, and so on.

4899356
As long as the author can't remove their story from my bookshelf, I'm cool. That's the real tragedy: DeviantArt has a level of banning where another person can remove all of their works from your favorites and prevent you from adding them back in. That's just disgusting. If they just don't want to talk to me, then I don't want to talk to them, so I'm fine with it; but preventing me from following their work, even silently? That doesn't even effect them; it's just pettiness facilitated by the site.

…Although there are definitely bad ways to implement the ‘don't talk to me’ rule, too. I found out a while ago that DeviantArt's user-based banning allows for the scenario where someone else can comment on one of your own pages… but then you aren't allowed to reply. On your own page. So you are partially right in that DeviantArt is a great example of how not to set up a banning feature.

4899803
I can see why they offer that, though. One could make a "favorites" category that is populated with items you think suck, with a category name that indicates that. Also, since dArt can include photography, stalkers might also be a reason for it. If you're a cosplayer, for example, well, that chump that made inappropriate comments deserves to lose all access.

4899803

That's something I criticize left and right on Deviantart, just did so recently. And it's something I just recently warned about here, when we heard about the ambigiously-sounding "author blacklisting".
Which is, according to knighty when he got asked by users what this means, a feature that allows readers to block certain authors whose stories they don't wanna see.
But authors preventing you from seeing their stories might still come one day. Nopony expected the removal of pony banners or character tag icons (especially after a bunch of new ones were introduced just a few months prior to that) either, so we might be in for more surprises here.
And giving the ability to turn off comments to authors already brings FIMFiction.net a step closer to Deviantart, so I don't have much faith for the future right now. :twilightoops:

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