- 1 General
- 1.1 What if my question is not listed here?
- 1.2 So, what's this 'Interactive Story'?
- 1.3 And, what's a 'wiki'?
- 1.4 And what's so great about wikis?
- 1.5 Everyone can edit pages? Isn't that unsafe?
- 1.6 Why do you use MediaWiki? I liked the old system better / I've seen an Interactive Story elsewhere that uses a system that I like better / I've written a system that I like better.
- 2 Reading
- 2.1 How do I find new chapters?
- 2.2 Can I receive a notice every time a chapter is added?
- 2.3 With the old system there was a button to go to the previous chapter at the bottom of each page. How do I go to the previous chapter now?
- 2.4 How do I find all the chapters of one author?
- 2.5 How do I search for one specific page?
- 2.6 Help! All pages look funny.. shifted.. strange..
- 3 Contributing
- 3.1 Can anybody join in?
- 3.2 How do I comment on a page?
- 3.3 How do I add a chapter? Do I need to be a member?
- 3.4 How do I know someone else won't post the chapter while I'm working on it?
- 3.5 Where do I find a beta reader for my chapter?
- 3.6 Can I edit my chapter after I've posted it?
- 3.7 Can anyone edit my chapter?
- 3.8 Why isn't my chapter on the Overview page / Chapter list?
- 3.9 Why isn't my new chapter in the 'Latest News' block on the home page?
- 3.10 What if I have a great idea but don't want to enter a chapter myself? Can I enter a plot bunny or challenge?
- 3.11 Can I add images?
- 3.12 Where do I go when I want to raise a new issue? Is there any place for general discussion?
- 4 Membership
- 5 Related Links
What if my question is not listed here?
At the bottom of this page, you will find a list of links with pages that provide more information. Internal links to the other help pages on this site, and external links to sites that run on the same system. Maybe you will find your answer on one of those pages.
If you have a question about something specific, for example if you need further clarification of any rules we have set, please pose your question at the discussion tab of the relevant page. That way your question might also benefit other users.
If you can't find a relevant page to attach your question to, you can ask it on this page's discussion tab.
If it's a question you'd rather pose in private, you can email the administrators at firstname.lastname@example.org.
So, what's this 'Interactive Story'?
The Faramir Fanfiction Archive started it's life at Angelfire, a provider of free webspace. However, life at a free web account is very restricted. So when we finally bought faramirfiction.com, with all the freedom that gave, we wanted to make good use of all those new possibilities and offer our visitors something more than plain, 'flat' pages. This interactive story is one of the things we came up with.
An interactive story is written by its readers, and everyone is welcome to join in. As you read the story, each page tells part of the story, and each page ends with two choices for what to do next. Click on one of the two links to read what happens next. When you reach the end of the part that the readers before you have written, you have the possibility to write the next chapter. You land right on a page where you can enter your text - no fuss with registering (though there is that option, mainly for receiving email notification of updates).
There are lots more interactive stories out there, covering all sorts of fandoms, and using a variety of different scripts and formats. This one is about Faramir, and it's a wiki.
And, what's a 'wiki'?
A Wiki is a type of content management system that allows all users to easily and quickly add and edit content, create links and new pages. The term "wiki" comes from the Hawaiian "wiki wiki", which means "quick" or "informal" - and that a wiki system certainly is: all you have to do to create a new page or link to an existing one, is put a word (or several words) in [[double square brackets]].
And what's so great about wikis?
They're great for collaborative projects. You're not dependent on a webmaster: everyone can create new pages, edit them, and make links. All you have to do to make a page, is link to it. Every time you link to a page that does not exist yet (making it a 'wanted' page), the link appears in red. Click on a red link and you land right on a page where you are invited to enter text for this brand new page.
All pages have their own discussion page (the 'talk' pages) where you can comment on the page's content; see the tabs at the top of your screen. There you'll also see a tab to edit the page. This is an essential part of the wiki way: all users can edit (almost) all pages; no one 'owns' a page.
Everyone can edit pages? Isn't that unsafe?
We trust you are all mature adults who respect one another's work, but even if we should be visited by a vandal, pages can be restored to their original state. That is what the history tab is for. You can look at all previous versions of a page there, and save the last undamaged version should some sad, bored, immature, disturbed person destroy a page.
Again, this restoring is something everyone can do - you don't have to wait for an administrator to spot the problem. So if we should ever be hit by vandalism, only one person ever needs to see the vandal's work, because she or he can fix it right away and return the page back to normal.
We hope however, that being able to edit and link will create a whole new level of interactivity. You might want to give just one option at the end of your chapter, and leave the other one to be filled in by whoever gets there first. Or maybe you want to enter a very long chapter without having to breaking it up into parts, and leave it to other users to edit in an option somewhere in the middle, in a place that best suits their needs. Perhaps you'd even like to create pages to provide background information on (original) characters or locations, all easily linked to from your chapter and those of others.
Why do you use MediaWiki? I liked the old system better / I've seen an Interactive Story elsewhere that uses a system that I like better / I've written a system that I like better.
Before we switched to this wiki, we briefly used another system for managing this Interactive Story, which worked fine for the initial testing, but in the end needed replacing.
This is what we were looking for in an Interactive Story system:
- Authors must be able to edit their work
- Readers must be able to comment - in the same system, without having to go some place else first
- Writing chapters and comments must be open to anyone, including anonymous authors, without need to register first
- The system must be free to use for this purpose
The system we've used previously only met one of these criteria (writing chapters and comments must be open to anyone), while MediaWiki meets all. But if you have written, or know of, another system that ticks all four boxes, and that you think is better, please do share your thoughts.
How do I find new chapters?
All newly created pages show up on the New Pages list you'll find the link in the navigation menu. There you'll also find Recent Changes which does not only list brand new pages, but also changes made on existing pages.
The Interactive Home page always lists the four newest chapters in the 'Latest News' block, and there's a list of all new additions, including new interactive chapters, at the Archive's Recent Additions page. Note that this last list is not automatically generated: it needs human intervention. We try to update as quickly as possible, but of course it will never be instantaneous.
If you have lost track of all the twists and turns, you can see a list of all chapters on the Overview page. If you're a regular visitor, the chapter you have recently read will show up in a different colour than the the new ones.
Can I receive a notice every time a chapter is added?
Yes, there are several ways to receive update notifications.
If you register with an email address, you can choose to receive an email either every time a new page is created, every time any change is made, or every time a change is made to your 'watchlist': a list of pages you have selected to watch for change.
There are also RSS feeds available of Recent Changes and New Pages. You need an RSS reader to read RSS feeds. This function may be built in to your email program. You can also add a RSS feed to your LiveJournal friends page. Read more on RSS.
If you scroll down to the end of the chapter, below the options, you'll see the line 'From here you can also:' -- in this block you'll find a link to the previous chapter.
There you'll also find another link: 'View the path that leads to this chapter'. This path is the complete list of all the chapters that went before the one you're looking at: the path to follow to get to this one.
If you want to look at the path of a chapter that does not yet exist (maybe while you're writing it) just change the URL in your browsers address bar to include 'Path:' in front of the chapter's title. So from http://wiki.faramirfiction.com/index.php/Title_of_your_chapter to http://wiki.faramirfiction.com/index.php/Path:Title_of_your_chapter
Should the chapter your looking at not have a path page yet, you can always find the previous chapter ('one up the chain' from the one you're at now), by clicking on 'What links here' in the toolbox (the toolbox is the lowest part of the menu, its contents varies per page type).
The 'What links here' page produces a list of all the pages that link to that page.
Click on Userlist in the menu for a list of all registered users. Click on any of the names for that user's userpage. Clicking on the user's name anywhere else on the site (for example on a chapter page, or in the Recent Changes list) will land you on the same page. There, click on 'What links here' in the toolbox for a list of all their chapters, and any other places that link to this user's userpage.
Ideally, you should also be able to use 'User Contributions' in the toolbox, but because when we migrated from the old system all the existing chapters were moved in by the administrators, those will not show up in 'User Contributions'.
Amongst the Userlist you will also find one called Unregistered Users - click here if the user you are looking for is not on the list. This will land you on a list of authors who are not registered. Again, click on 'What links here' in the toolbox for a list of all the chapters.
Do not be intimidated if you land on a page that is still empty (and thus with a edit box). These pages also have a toolbox and a 'What links here' page.
How do I search for one specific page?
There is a search box in the menu on your left. Enter your search terms, and notice there are two buttons: 'Go' and 'Search'.
'Go' will land you on the page with the title you entered. If you enter 'Imrahil' and hit 'Go' (or enter) you will go straight to the Imrahil page. 'Search' will search for all pages containing the word 'Imrahil'.
If you click 'Go', but the term you used does not have a corresponding page, you will still be presented with search results.
Help! All pages look funny.. shifted.. strange..
If in your browser, these pages looks strange (the menu and tabs tend to shift up and down), it is because of the way your browser deals with the skin.
We have tried to match up the outlook of the Interactive pages with the rest of the site, but unfortunately, because of the complexity of these pages, some browsers render them differently, so special files to patch these differences have to be made for these browsers.
Firefox/Mozilla/Netscape and Safari should work fine without such patches (though we have only tested the most recent versions), and we have made patches for Internet Explorer 5.0, 5.5 and 6.0 (IE, strangely enough, shows great differences in the way it displays sites from one version to the next).
If you're running another browser, it would be great if you could email a screenshot so that can be fixed.
Can anybody join in?
Yes, everybody can comment on chapters or add a chapter of her/his own. Please do! You do not have to be a registered user or even signed in to do so.
Of course you are very welcome to sign up.
How do I comment on a page?
First of all: please do! Writers love feedback, it lets them know their work is appreciated and encourages them to write more. We all want that, right?
You don't have to be registered or logged in to comment. Just enter your name and comment (and if you want, a location where we can find you on the web, such as your site or blog) in the form at the bottom of chapter pages.
If you want to review other people's comments first, click on the discussion tab (second of the row of tabs at the top) of the page you want to comment on. If there are no comments yet, you will land straight on a page with a text box where you can type in your remarks. If there are previous comments, you'll first see those. Click on the + tab (next to edit) or hit alt-+ (hold down alt and press +) to add your own.
Note that also pages that are still empty (the pages in red) have a talk page: the perfect place to, for instance, speculate about how a thread may develop, enter your wishes, and hope the future author uses your advise to her advantage.
You can sign your comment using the signature button ( http://wiki.faramirfiction.com/skins/common/images/button_sig.png ). This will produce your username plus the current time and date.
For a complete editing manual, see Editing Help. When you are editing a page or adding a comment, you will always find a link to this page right below the editing window, on the same line as the 'Save page' an 'Show preview' buttons.
How do I add a chapter? Do I need to be a member?
No, you don't have to be a registered user - everyone can join in. Just follow the story choosing either one option or the other until you come to the end of what the people before you have written. Once you come to the end, you will automatically land on a page with a box where you can enter your chapter text.
We have some rules for entering chapters which you can find here. These rules are guidelines aimed at making this Interactive Story as interactive as possible. If you see room for improvement, do add your comments to the discussion page.
There is also a page with practical help for entering chapters. How to enter options at the end of your chapter, do the layout, headings, and so on. You will always find a link to this page just below the box where you edit the chapter, all the way to the right of the 'Save Page' button.
How do I know someone else won't post the chapter while I'm working on it?
To give you some peace of mind someone else won't enter 'your' chapter while you are working on it so all your work will be for naught, you can claim a chapter as your own.
That means you get five days to work on it, and no one else is allowed to post this specific chapter during this reservation period.
Read more on Claiming.
Where do I find a beta reader for my chapter?
We have a special page where you can post a beta request: Beta readers.
Can I edit my chapter after I've posted it?
Yes, you can. Simply go to your chapter and click on the edit tab, or hit alt-e.
If you do come back to edit something small, say a typo or a small layout change, please tick the "This is a minor edit" box below the main editing window. Some people filter the Recent Changes list, or the email notifications they receive, to exclude minor edits (i.e. to only include major edits: edits with new text).
If you come back to edit something bigger, do remember that other users may already have posted / started working on a continuation of the story, using the information you have provided. Changing something, even if it seems insignificant to you, can have implications for later chapters.
Can anyone edit my chapter?
Yes, in theory, everyone could. But hopefully, all of us here understand you cannot ruthlessly revise a text someone else has worked on very hard. Someone else's Chapter pages are certainly off-limits. On the Wikiquette page some of these conventions are outlined.
If anyone edits your chapter without your permission it's called vandalism and any changes can always be undone. Read the vandalism page to learn how.
If you still feel very uncomfortable with others being able to meddle with your work, you can ask the administrators to protect your page so it can only be edited by admins. This means you cannot edit your own work anymore either! Read more on Protected.
If you spot any mistakes in someone else's chapter that think need to be corrected, please don't dive right in and correct the mistakes, but post your suggestions on the chapter's talk page. Always be tactful - not everyone appreciates unsolicited betas!
Why isn't my chapter on the Overview page / Chapter list?
The Chapter list is not drawn up automatically. Whenever a new chapter is written, its two options have to be added to this list manually.
You can do this yourself (see the discussion page for instructions), or else Admin will do it for you as soon as possible. If you think Admin has missed or forgotten a chapter, please put a note on Overview's discussion page.
Why isn't my new chapter in the 'Latest News' block on the home page?
To be included in the 'Latest News' block, your chapter needs to be in the Chapters Category.
If you've used the options button (http://wiki.faramirfiction.com/skins/common/images/button_option.png) to add your options, and you can see the light box with 'Categories: Chapters' at the bottom of your chapter, your chapter is in this category and will show up on the home page. However, the home page may be stored in your browser's cache which means you're in fact looking at an outdated version of the home page. Clear your cache and reload the page.
What if I have a great idea but don't want to enter a chapter myself? Can I enter a plot bunny or challenge?
Of course you can. The best place for such suggestions is the Talk page of the chapter you have ideas for. Also pages that do not yet contain any data themselves (links in red) have a talk page. Don't be intimidated if you land on a page with a edit window first - just click on the discussion tab and enter your ideas there. Please add the link [[Category:Plot Bunnies]] to your page so it is added to the Plot Bunnies Category.
Do bear in mind that whoever ends up writing the chapter might have other plans entirely.
Can I add images?
Yes, you can. We'd love it if you've for example made an illustration of a chapter!
Read Images for more information.
Where do I go when I want to raise a new issue? Is there any place for general discussion?
Yes, there is Merethrond, the great hall of feasts.
Basically, it's just an empty page we've reserved for general chat, new suggestions, and anything else that doesn't fit on any of the existing talk pages. On many wikis such a page is called The Village Pump, but why hang out around the watercooler when you can have a seat and a proper drink?
How do I sign up?
Click on Create an account or log in (under 'Personal Tools', fill in a username and password, retype that password and click on 'Create new account'.
An e-mail address is optional. However, giving your e-mail address allows other users to send you mail without knowing your address, email notifications of updates, and enables password reminders to be requested. We won't reveal your address to anyone.
Why should I sign up?
You can read eveything, post chapters and comments just as easily whether you are signed up or not. However, if you're a regular reader or writer, there are some perks to signing up.
If you are a registered user and signed in, there'll be one more tab: 'watch'. Clicking here will add the page to your 'watchlist', a list of pages you monitor for changes - your favourites. It is like a personalized Recent Changes, customised to only include changes to pages you find interesting. By default, every page you edit is automatically added to your watchlist. Pages on your watchlist also show up in bold on Recent Changes.
If you have provided an email address, you can choose to receive email notifications of changes on your watchlist, of new pages, or even of all changes. This might be reason enough to sign up even if you do not plan on writing chapters yourself.
As a member, you will also receive a user page at which you can write a little about yourself, provide a link to your homepage, your blog or whatever you want. All changes you make, all comments you add, will be contributed to you, with a link to this userpage with the listings of these changes on pages like Recent Changes or the history tabs.
If you want, other members can email you from your userpage without your email address becoming public knowledge. You can also decide to switch this function off.
What information do you need about me, and what about privacy?
If you sign up, all we need from you is a username and password.
If you want, you can also provide an email address. This email address will in no way be made public.
Providing an email address will enable you to receive email notifications and emails from other users. However, whether or not you turn these options on is your choice. If you choose to receive emails from other users they will not be given your email address, but presented with a form from which they can send you an email. If you decide to reply to this email (from your regular email programme), the other user will see your address.
If you are not signed in and change a page, your IP address will be logged instead of your username. This is for security reasons, since wikis are prone to vandalism. It gives us some way to identify otherwise anonymous offenders and ban them from further use, but most websites track IP addresses to create statistics on the site's performance.
An IP address can give away information on your location and internet provider.
What if I forget my password?
If you have provided an email address, simply go to the sign in page, fill in your username, and click on 'Email new password', and a new password will be emailed to you.
If you have never provided an email address, it's a little less simple. Please contact the administrators at email@example.com.