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I'm not going to mince words: FA's support for stories/literature is atrocious.

Nazoc

Member
The only way to upload a story and actually have it show up on the site is by uploaded a .txt file. A text file. You know, a file with terribly limited options for formatting and which cannot display anything like different fonts, different font sizes, indents, centered text, colored text, or anything. This is absolutely absurd--even Deviantart is better than this. The fact that the majority of authors on this site simply copy-paste the story into the description of the work is proof of how bad it is.

Look, I get that FA is an art site mainly, but please do not let us upload stories at all if it's this barebones. I pray fervently for the day I can simply upload a PDF and it displays in a scrollable box with the proper formatting, or at the very least have a way to paste the story directly into FA and edit it to the correct formatting such as on Deviantart. There is better support for music on this site than stories.
 

Lutro

Writer
+1. Even something as simple as "embed uploaded PDF document" would do wonders since PDF could contain any and all formatting, and the site would just have to plop it on the page.

If I may soapbox a moment, in order to post a newly-written story to the galleries I post to, I have to convert it to a different format for each site (FA is painful in particular because it's a manual conversation process for its formatting for txt files), then upload each one singly. Every gallery site has its own rules for writing, and it's ultra lame. I've ended up writing a tool to automate most of this process because of how insane it is.

I would love if there were some semblance of a standard, but I would at least like to be able to embed story text onto the page itself without having to use *.txt formatting.
 

quoting_mungo

Well-Known Member
While expansion of the available options for stories would be nice, I frankly don’t trust the majority of people with the ability to specify font and color of text (or, to a lesser degree, full control over text size; I’ve seen one too many people on forums who decide to set themselves apart by reducing the font size of their posts and it’s just making things inconvenient for everyone), so embedding PDFs wholesale isn’t something I would consider a good solution.

Personally I don’t mind the .txt solution much (for myself); I tend to write in Notepad++ or other plain-text editors anyway. What would be really nice would be the ability to specify a separate file for the “download” link, so that the BBCode tags aren’t standing out like a sore thumb in the downloaded document.

What I in some ways consider a greater sin is allowing people to upload “story” submissions with an image file type with those submissions getting larger thumbnails. Increasing story (text file uploads) custom thumbnails to match the size of art thumbnails would prevent people from abusing this functionality to get a significantly larger footprint in the front page story section.
 

Lutro

Writer
While expansion of the available options for stories would be nice, I frankly don’t trust the majority of people with the ability to specify font and color of text (or, to a lesser degree, full control over text size; I’ve seen one too many people on forums who decide to set themselves apart by reducing the font size of their posts and it’s just making things inconvenient for everyone), so embedding PDFs wholesale isn’t something I would consider a good solution.

"Some people may use the feature poorly" is not an excuse to not have the feature, IMO. If people want to make their text unreadable, and refuse to listen to any feedback, that impacts their works, and their works alone.

Personally I don’t mind the .txt solution much (for myself); I tend to write in Notepad++ or other plain-text editors anyway. What would be really nice would be the ability to specify a separate file for the “download” link, so that the BBCode tags aren’t standing out like a sore thumb in the downloaded document.

InkBunny actually has a completely separate field to paste in embedded story text, which reminds me of your suggestion here. I honestly don't like it, because it just adds more hassle to every upload (now I have to create two files for every story). I agree that something should change with the current FA solution though, since as you say, the BBCode raw is dumb to see in a downloaded document.

What I in some ways consider a greater sin is allowing people to upload “story” submissions with an image file type with those submissions getting larger thumbnails. Increasing story (text file uploads) custom thumbnails to match the size of art thumbnails would prevent people from abusing this functionality to get a significantly larger footprint in the front page story section.

I agree. I don't browse stories often, but having them all just dumped into the description shouldn't be an allowable thing. A "quick fix" to this would be simply limiting the size of the description field, to something that's not unreasonable for 99% of actual descriptions, but enough to prevent folks from dumping 1000s of words into them.
 

quoting_mungo

Well-Known Member
"Some people may use the feature poorly" is not an excuse to not have the feature, IMO. If people want to make their text unreadable, and refuse to listen to any feedback, that impacts their works, and their works alone.
It’s partly an accessibility issue, as well as a UI/site design concern. I don’t like excessive profile customization options, either, for similar reasons.

But yes, this is definitely a matter where opinions will differ. (Another argument against wholesale embedding of PDFs might honestly be how bloated people who don’t know what they’re doing can make them. Loading up a large PDF file on page load reflects badly on the site and not just the individual poster.)
 

Lutro

Writer
It’s partly an accessibility issue, as well as a UI/site design concern. I don’t like excessive profile customization options, either, for similar reasons.

But yes, this is definitely a matter where opinions will differ. (Another argument against wholesale embedding of PDFs might honestly be how bloated people who don’t know what they’re doing can make them. Loading up a large PDF file on page load reflects badly on the site and not just the individual poster.)
I agree, actually. It's a definite balance issue.

Hopefully FA can eventually address the issues at hand though. I'm not dead-set on the solution being PDF. It's just by far and away the simplest for me, a writer, to publish something.
 

Yakamaru

I put the fun in dysfunctional
Uploading only .txt files is, well, weird. PDF or word files are better for formatting as you can bolden, use italic, etc. Makes it kinda easier for storytelling and the like.
 

ConorHyena

nazi hunter
While expansion of the available options for stories would be nice, I frankly don’t trust the majority of people with the ability to specify font and color of text (or, to a lesser degree, full control over text size; I’ve seen one too many people on forums who decide to set themselves apart by reducing the font size of their posts and it’s just making things inconvenient for everyone), so embedding PDFs wholesale isn’t something I would consider a good solution.

Imo aside from a size limitation (to obviously not overwhelm the servers - analogous to the size limits for visual artwork) I think it's a bit icky to impose limitations on people's ways to express written art - it's like saying 'I don't trust people to not draw pictures too colourful, so all visual artwork on FA gets the monochrome filter before uploading'

Formatting is an important part of telling a story, and we're not even talking about written artwork inspired by futurismo and dada - which rely on excessive use of formatting alone.

I for one uploaded all my written stuff (until I stopped in I think early 2020) in .pdf - it's not ideal, but at the end, it's a better compromise than .txt - my writing doesn't work in .txt - and this wasn't the greatest, so I'd welcome expanded functionality
 

Frank Gulotta

Send us your floppy
And very often you have to download the file just to read the stuff. Very bad, especially with such an unsafe site.
 

Parabellum3

I'm not a furry if I have feathers.
That’s cause the fandom doesn’t give a fuck about writers to begin with. So priorities ya know? I didn’t bother to put up my work either.
 

Simo

Professional Watermelon Farmer
That’s cause the fandom doesn’t give a fuck about writers to begin with. So priorities ya know? I didn’t bother to put up my work either.
Sadly, this is more or less true..and it seems to be more and more true, just in regard to the general population.
 

TyraWadman

The Silent Observer
Writing can take a lot of time to make just as it can take a long time to digest as a reader. Art can take a long time to make, but can be viewed or interpreted almost instantly. I personally don't read much because, despite my artistic abilities, I can't quite imagine what a writer is describing to me. I'll usually misinterpret or their 'voice' just isn't something I'm familiar with, so I miss all of the inflections.

Not a lot of people feel they have time and energy to invest in reading. I know I don't. Every time I try, I usually end up being disappointed and waste time, sort of like trying a new show on Netflix. I get through the boring/agonizing introductions just to be let down.

Not saying the writing section couldn't use an overhaul of some kind, but I don't think it's entirely 'no one gives a shit about writers'.

I lost track of time I'm going to bed now k bye.
 
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Frank Gulotta

Send us your floppy
What you can do is draw an illustration or have someone else do it and submit it as a picture instead with the text in the description. I think that makes the size limit a lot tighter but then you can submit it in several installments, and it's not like many people would read a long text in one sitting, most people have the patience of a fly
 

Lutro

Writer
What you can do is draw an illustration or have someone else do it and submit it as a picture instead with the text in the description. I think that makes the size limit a lot tighter but then you can submit it in several installments, and it's not like many people would read a long text in one sitting, most people have the patience of a fly
Please don't do this. Stories in descriptions is terrible, and FA should put limitations in the descriptions to stop it. Further, it pollutes the art gallery with "actually this is a story" (because most of the time authors don't commission or draw something -- they use stock / cropped artwork of others; sometimes without permission), and the "view written works" category is all the emptier for it.

It'd be nice to have more equitable thumbnail sizes between stories and art, but don't do this workaround.
 

Frank Gulotta

Send us your floppy
Please don't do this. Stories in descriptions is terrible, and FA should put limitations in the descriptions to stop it. Further, it pollutes the art gallery with "actually this is a story" (because most of the time authors don't commission or draw something -- they use stock / cropped artwork of others; sometimes without permission), and the "view written works" category is all the emptier for it.

It'd be nice to have more equitable thumbnail sizes between stories and art, but don't do this workaround.
Everything is terrible if you do it terribly, doesn't mean the idea is bad. I do that and it works wonderfully, so long as the picture also has taken effort
 

Lutro

Writer
Everything is terrible if you do it terribly, doesn't mean the idea is bad. I do that and it works wonderfully, so long as the picture also has taken effort
It's innately terrible, as no matter how "well" you do it:

- It's still lying (it's not an Artwork submission, it's a Story submission)
- It hides your story from those looking for it (users searching for Story submissions won't see it)
- It misleads users searching for Artwork submissions, getting a story instead (does not matter how creative your thumbnail is)
- It still abuses the Description field (txt submissions are way more readable, and it pollutes description-based searches something awful)

Please don't do it, and file your submissions properly. FA has enough issues as-is (its tagging system for example) without users deliberately filing in data incorrectly.

I digress though! You do you.
 

Frank Gulotta

Send us your floppy
It's innately terrible, as no matter how "well" you do it:

- It's still lying (it's not an Artwork submission, it's a Story submission)
- It hides your story from those looking for it (users searching for Story submissions won't see it)
- It misleads users searching for Artwork submissions, getting a story instead (does not matter how creative your thumbnail is)
- It still abuses the Description field (txt submissions are way more readable, and it pollutes description-based searches something awful)

Please don't do it, and file your submissions properly. FA has enough issues as-is (its tagging system for example) without users deliberately filing in data incorrectly.

I digress though! You do you.
-It's an artwork with a story
-I don't think very many people search specifically for stories and even less people browse by medium category
-I don't think you get what I say, it's not just a thumbnail, it's two submissions in one
-Pollutes what...? that escalated quickly. All I want to do is provide something to read on top of something to look at

FA is so terrible, even a mildly harmful behavior actually makes it better
 

Stratelier

Well-Known Member
Uploading only .txt files is, well, weird. PDF or word files are better for formatting as you can bolden, use italic, etc. Makes it kinda easier for storytelling and the like.

Part of the problem with PDFs is it's literally using the wrong file format for the wrong job. It would be like trying to submit a vector image as .png....
 

Lutro

Writer
Part of the problem with PDFs is it's literally using the wrong file format for the wrong job. It would be like trying to submit a vector image as .png....
Not sure how you came to that conclusion. PDFs are a common means of transferring written content, with the assurance that the producer and consumer(s) all see it in the same format. It's why it's so effective when submitting resumes etc.
 

ben909

vaporeon with Axolotl gill array as neck fin
Pdf uploads would be nice over haveing to save everything as a txt in the right format
 
D

Deleted member 134556

Guest
It is unfortunate how the site is sort of constructed, in the sense that it puts visual creations like art and media in the highlights, while you have to put effort into searching for literature, that the site doesn't present well. 90% of the content I see is art, and quite a bit of that is just advertisements, leaving peoples well thought and worked stories in between the large art images.

The same can be said for music and poetry, as well.
 
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Stratelier

Well-Known Member
Not sure how you came to that conclusion. PDFs are a common means of transferring written content, with the assurance that the producer and consumer(s) all see it in the same format. It's why it's so effective when submitting resumes etc.
That, ironically, IS the problem -- PDFs are a presentation format. Now I agree, there are a lot of practical applications for a standardized (device-independent) presentation format, but Web pages (especially with layouts specialized for high/low screen resolutions, e.g. desktop vs. mobile) are not one of them.
 

Lutro

Writer
That, ironically, IS the problem -- PDFs are a presentation format. Now I agree, there are a lot of practical applications for a standardized (device-independent) presentation format, but Web pages (especially with layouts specialized for high/low screen resolutions, e.g. desktop vs. mobile) are not one of them.
Why not? PDFs, among other things, can be downloaded and presented in whatever format the user chooses, as far as accessibility is concerned.

And in any event, is a step up than downloading raw, BBCode-infested plain text documents. I welcome ultimate solutions that solve the problems you present, but I'm happy to take something that's convenient for writers to generate and readers to consume.
 

Stratelier

Well-Known Member
Heh, and I'll agree the whole issue would be moot anyway if FA would just embed the PDFs inline and not require a separate download at all. Or for the opposite issue, downloading a .txt file would at least download it as rendered in some basic HTML...
 
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