Got a question? Well, your answer might be right here. Take a look at the following FAQ and see if it helps.
Password & username
Q: I don't remember my username. Can you email it to me?
A: Yes, Lyndsie can. When you email her make sure to do it from the email address you used at signup, or she won't be able to help you.
Q: I don't remember my password. Can I get a new password?
A: Yes. In the login area, click on "lost password" and a new one will be sent to the email account in your account information. If that doesn't work, see below. Last resort, contact Lyndsie or Rainpuddle.
Q: Why didn't I receive my password-generation email when I signed up or requested a new one?
A: Mostly likely because you entered an invalid address. Do not sign up for an additional account. This is a violation of the TOS and the additional accounts will be deleted. Instead, contact Lyndsie.
Q: How do I change my password?
A: Click on 'Account Info' and then 'Edit Bio'. The last two boxes are what you're after.
Q: Can I change my username?
A: It can be changed, but an administrator with level 2 or higher access has to do it. You should probably have a good reason for wanting to do so when you contact us.
Ratings, categories, classifications & characters
Q: What do the ratings mean?
Not Naughty = anyone can read - milder than some Disney movies. Examples: Dumbo, Thomas the Tank Engine, Kiki's Delivery Service, The Princess Diaries
Kinda Naughty = Not for young children - there may be implications of adult situations or violence, and/or pottymouth. Examples: Ice Age, Galaxy Quest, Ever After, the HP movies
Definintely Naughty = Teens and up. Not suitable for kids, as the implications are now quite strong. Pottymouth is almost a given. Examples: Underworld, V for Vendetta, The Green Mile, Saving Private Ryan
Extremely Naughty = Adults only. The implications are now statements. Don't click these if you're underage, because the instant that I get any trouble, the whole site goes on lockdown and people will start having to mail me a copy of their driver's license or some other harsh form of age verification. I will trust you all until you give me reason to do otherwise. Examples: Clockwork Orange, Debbie Does Dallas, Dawn of the Dead, Henry and June
Q: Why can't I view fics rated Extremely Naughty?
A: You have to be a registered user to view them. Once you're logged in, go to "Account Info" then "Edit Personal Information" and make sure that you have selected "Yes" to the question "I am of the age of consent in my locale to view materials with adult content. I realize that by agreeing, the normal warnings for stories with adult content will be by-passed."
Please note that answering yes to this question when you are not of age is against the rules.
Please explain categories to me.
I'd love to. The first rule is that only one category should be selected for your fic. See how important that is? It's bolded. In some cases, your fic will not be validated if you violate this rule.
Essays are for essays only; poetry is for poems. Works in Progress is for fiction that is not yet complete. If you have a completed fiction work, it goes into Completed Fiction. The full descriptions can be found here.
Q: I finished my story! How do I change it from the Works in Progress category to the proper Completed Fiction category?
A: Congratulations on finishing! What you need to do is go into the 'Account Info' page and click on 'Manage Stories'. Find the appropriate story and click on the edit button next to the story title, then use category selection tools to move it to Completed Fiction. There is also a "Complete" checkbox. Make sure that this is selected.
Q: What are classifications?
A: The current classifications are genre, warnings, story type, and canon compliancy. Genre is optional; warnings are not. If there's a genre or warning that doesn't appear on the lists, but that you think should, contact us to discuss it.
The story type classification is straightforward: all human, real people fic, or vampires (or standard canon).
Canon compliancy starts with Twilight. You can choose which book at which your fic begins to deviate from canon. The tags are:
New Moon and below
Eclipse and below
All but Renesmee
'All but Renesmee' includes all of Breaking Dawn except for Renesmee, and 'Fully compliant' includes all four books.
Q: Can you tell me about characters?
A: Of course. Firstly, you don't want to go sticking on every character in your story, as this will make it harder to search for it. Select only the principle characters. All stories must contain significant Cullen OTPs interaction, or first be approved through consultation with Rainpuddle.
Q: Why does the livejournal link in my profile look so messed up?
A: Because you've entered the full URL instead of just your username. The script fills in everything but your username for you, so if you put the full URL, it will end up being doubled, like this: http://http://[ljusername].livejournal.com.livejournal.com. Edit it and replace it with only your lj username, and it will be correct.
Q: Why can't I add favorites?
A: You can. There's an extra step than archives running on earlier versions of eFiction. The option to add a reason why something is your favorite is now available. After you click "add to favorites" or select it from a dropdown, you will be directed to a page that shows the story info with a box underneath titled "Comments". If you have something to say about the fic or author, then you can type in the box; leave it blank if you have nothing to say. Then, hit "submit" underneath. You should then be directed to a page that says, "This action was successful."
Q: Help! I uploaded my story, but my formatting is all mucked up!
A: Well, this can be caused by several things.
- You used Word to format the HTML. Word does the world's shoddiest job with HTML. No doubt there are bizarre line breaks, styles inserted and tags used that the script running the site does not allow. It is not necessary to use the paragraph <p> tag, on this site. Actually, using it will give you more grief than not. We recommend saving your files as plain text, double checking the spacing and then manually adding any HTML you feel necessary (like italics and bold). Keep in mind that if you don't fix your formatting, you're going to get a note from the Cabal member who sees your fic about it, and then you will have to resubmit - it won't be allowed on the site with the formatting in a mess.
Also, it's important to note that the script does not allow you to upload a straight Word file (.doc extension) or any kind of text format, though it does allow you to upload .html or .htm. You can paste your story in from a Word window if you use the text box, but you'll still need to add HTML manually for things like italics and any other special characters.
- In adding your own HTML you've pressed enter after formatting. People who write code often hit return and put in line breaks after they are done with a section with coding. With HTML and many other coding languages, the line breaks are ignored. However, since the script that uploads your text reads carriage returns (hitting enter after a line) formatting the coding like this puts in weird line breaks.
- You've used the <p> tag. As mentioned above, using the p, or paragraph tag will mess up your spacing. We recommend that you simply copy the text of your story from your text editor (Word, etc) and paste it into the text entry field. This will help to alleviate any bizarreness that can be caused by conversion from one format to another.
- Something happened to the line breaks when you saved the file as a txt file. Conversions from one file to another are not infallible. When you use Word you should (or at least I do) see options to insert line breaks or preserve formatting. Deselect these, and you should solve many of your problems.
Q: Okay, so I shouldn't use Word to save as html; but I want to use bold, italics, strike through, underlines and blockquotes. What do I do?
A: Simple. You can surround the text you want formatted with the codes for the formatting you want. In writing this I've used bolds to highlight any areas that I really want to emphasize, by surround thing the text I want with <b> and </b> - like so: <b>bold</b>. For more help on this, poke around http://www.htmlgoodies.com/primers/html/article.php/3478151. They've got some great tips and hints about basic HTML coding. Also if you're still confused, and you've got a client for Livejournal (like Semagic) you can use that. Livejournal's clients and website read their text entries the same way that ours does.
For those with a bit more knowledge, the allowed tags are (appearing here without the brackets): strong, em, br, blockquote, strike, font, b, i, u, center, a, hr, p, ul, li, ol.
Q: Hey, some of my text is missing when I upload -- why?
A: This generally happens when you leave an angle bracket < in the text somewhere. Angle brackets, ( which look like this < or this > ), are used in coding. When you leave these marks in your text, the code that runs the site interprets everything following after it as code: code that is not allowed on the site. Once it checks the 'code' to see if it is permitted and finds that it isn't, it deletes it. So, if your text isn't showing up when you go to the preview, check for errant angle brackets. They are most likely the cause of your problem. If that isn't the case, contact Rainpuddle or Lyndsie.
Q: What's with all the question marks instead of punctuation? How do I fix it so people with Firefox can read my story?
A: The problem arises because of Word's insistence on replacing punctuation with special characters. The fic thus displays fine when using Internet Explorer, but as soon as you step away from the great umbrella of Microsoft products, you run into trouble. Specifically, all the special characters display as question marks for users of Mozilla, of which your friendly neighborhood site mummy is one.
Since you want your superkeen story to be read and enjoyed by all, you want to fix it, right? The best way to fix it is to turn it off inside Word. To do this, you would go to the Tools menu, then Autocorrect. In the first tab, which is for replacing text as you type, find the entry for ellipses (...) and delete it. Then go over to the tabs marked "Autoformat" and "Autoformat as you type" and de-select the options for replacing quotes with smart quotes, and replacing symbol characters with symbols. This won't fix your older entries, but it will mean the ones you type in the future shouldn't have problems. Fixing the existing ones involves going through, either in Word after you've made the changes or in another program, and replacing each and every one of the mangled punctuation marks, so it's probably the less desirable option.
Validation process: where's my story?
Q: I just uploaded, why can't I see my fic on the recently added list, or find it in the search engine?
A: If you're an author who has been approved for posting without waiting then there's something wrong and you need to contact Rainpuddle. Unless you got a letter from a Rainpuddle saying you were approved, you're not, and so should read this entire section. If you contact Rainpuddle to find out something that's covered in this section, she will become very irritated.
All new authors uploading fic to Cullenated are subject to a review process. Once you upload, your fic goes to our submissions queue. It waits there until a member of the Cabal has the time to go through and read it to check whether it complies with our rules. If it does, you'll get an email saying so, and then you'll see it on the archive. If it doesn't, then you'll get an email saying so, and why.
We try to have a turnaround time of less than a day, but we are all real people with lives, which can include jobs, school, children, and even our own writing. Sending snippy emails asking where your fic is will almost certainly guarantee your fic will get rejected.
Also, if your story contains links to questionable sites, such as "enhance my search", it will be deleted with no further ado or notification.
Q: What are the submission rules?
A: The submissions guide can be found here.
Q: What languages are accepted?
A: Currently, English is the only language accepted. Other languages can make guest appearances, if it fits a character, but huge chunks of dialogue in another language won't make sense to most of your readers.
Q: My story was rejected. Can I resubmit?
A: You can resubmit after the errors are fixed, but if there are new errors, or errors the first Cabal reviewer missed, it is entirely possible for it to be rejected again. We are not out to get you - we are simply trying to ensure the archive doesn't fall below a certain standard. If you think someone is being unfair, you can contact Rainpuddle, who is pretty much the court of last appeal.
Q: Um, I think my story looks a bit different - could it have been changed?
A: It's possible. If a member of the Cabal sees you've made some mistakes in grammar and spelling, they can make changes at their discretion. Sometimes it's something negligible like replacing the feminine "blonde" with the more appropriate "blond" to refer to Carlisle. Sometimes it has been the case that a Cabal member likes a story enough to do a full spelling-and-grammar beta. If this offends you, you can feel free to complain, but considering that it's a benefit to you done out of the goodness of someone's heart, it might be considered a bit silly.
Q: Who can I contact about my completed submission?
A: If you have a question about anything in your acceptance or rejection letter, you can reply to the Cabal member that sent it. We always appreciate polite and thoughtful questions; trolly rudeness will likely be ignored and/or returned in kind. It's not uncommon for a Cabal member to receive questions to clarify points, so don't be afraid to ask. We're here to help you be the best writer you can be. Again, if you think someone is being unfair, you can contact Rainpuddle through her profile or by using the site contact in the header bar.
Q: I think my story was rejected, but I never heard from you guys. What happened?
A: You need to read the first question under "Miscellaneous".
Beta reading and you
I've heard the term, but what is a beta reader?
A: A beta reader is someone who reads over your fic and makes comments before you submit it. (It comes from Greek letters and coding: a 'beta' version is pre-release version.) Different beta readers have different styles; some are very good with punctuation and grammar, and others prefer to help with plot. Some do both.
Q: That sounds wicked awesome! Where can I find a beta reader?
A: There are lots of communities for beta readers, but the premiere site is Perfect Imagination, because they require their betas to pass a minimum competency test. In the past, Perfect Imagination did accreditation as well, so you might see betas on other forums with that.
Q: I'm supposed to receive emails from the site when I get reviews or my favorites are updated. Why aren't they coming? This also includes people who might wonder why their fics never make it past the validation queue.
A: Your email service is blocking out our email addresses. In the case of the automatically generated emails, you should add admin at cullenated.com (formatted like an email address - if I do it here it will get spam-attacked) to your contacts or safe list. I cannot stress this enough. If you do not have a valid email address in your profile, or one that is open to mail from anybody, we can't contact you. Every fic that goes through the validation process gets an email one way or the other. If you're not receiving them, it could be your account is not accepting them.
Q: How come my story got rejected for spelling and grammar issues but this other story is there and its spelling and grammar stink?
A: Because, despite the temptation of various readers and fangirls to dub some of us as goddesses, we're only human. It could be that the other story was only skimmed and looked okay on first glance, or that the person reading it thought the content outweighed the errors, or that someone who had already received permission to skip the queue has gotten lazy. If the other story is really an affront to the English language, contact your friendly neighborhood Cabal member to complain. We may not yank it, but it'll get looked at. Regardless, it does not affect your story; the email telling you that you were rejected should have given a reason why, and suggested changes. You're always welcome to resubmit once you've made the corrections, and then it's likely you'll get archived.
Q: What's a round robin?
A: A round robin is a fic that one writer starts, but that any registered writer can add chapters to.
Q: Can I archive my story here if one of the Cullen OTPs isn't the main pairing?
A: Yes, if one or more of the Cullen OTPs is featured. If you're not sure if there's enough of it in there to qualify, contact Rainpuddle to discuss it.
This rule does not apply to Real People Fic, of course.
Q: Okay, so you accept Real People Fic. Are there any special rule I should know about?
A: Yes, just one simple one. The pairs must remain between any of the actors. So no original characters can featured as a love interest.
Q: What makes a "featured story"?
A: At the moment, featured stories are being chosen by Rainpuddle. She takes recommendations into consideration, so if you have one, you can contact her through her profile.
Q: Are all of the fics on this site guaranteed to be good and/or personally recommended by the Cabal?
A: No. The reviewing process does not usually include any judgments at all in terms of content. Check out the summary and judge for yourself; whether the story sucks or not is simply a matter of caveat lector.
Q: I have a question, or I would like to contact you guys. Who do I contact?
A: That depends on what type of question. If it's about a submission, then you can reply to the Cabal member who emailed you or contact them through the list below. If it's a technical question, then send it to Lyndsie. Anything else should be sent to Rainpuddle.
Please remember to be as polite as possible, even if you are frustrated. Coming to any member of the Cabal with an attitude already in tow will not bode well for a quick or happy resolution for your problem.
When emailing about a Technical Issue: Please include a working email address, your username, what type of browser you are using, and what skin your account is set to use. If you do not give all of the information asked for, Lyndsie will be unable to diagnose/solve the problem.
Who is the Cabal?
Rainpuddle* - the main contact person for the archive and Head Vampire In Charge
Lyndsie - Current technical issues contact
*Denotes a Cabal member on active duty (someone who currently reviews fic).