The Lost Cave Archive FAQ
- How Do I Register?
- Help! I lost my password!
- How do I change my password/other information?
- How do I add stories and chapters?
- Help! What’s html? How do I make it pretty?
- Are there any issues with chapter length?
- Characters? Eh?
- Genres? Eh?
- What rating system do you use?
- How do I mark a story as complete?
- What’s the deal with images?
- Why am I getting errors when I try to edit the story?
- Help me! I’ve still got errors!
- Anything Else
The Lost Cave Archive FAQ
To register for the first time, hit the Login link and chose Register. You will be taken to our terms of service, which I suggest you read. At the bottom, you will have a small form to fill in.
Penname:* [This is necessary]
Real name: [You do not have to fill this in, but if you do, I suggest you do not add in your surname.]
E-mail:* [Necessary—but your email addy will not be displayed on the site, it will be kept private.]
Website: [optional, make sure you keep the http:// intact otherwise the link won’t work.]
AOL IM: [optional]
MSN IM: [optional]
Yahoo IM: [optional]
Bio: [optional—but please don’t fill it with dirge such as quiz results from quizilla, or anything like that. Keep it short.]
Image: [You will need to host a picture at your own site or Photobucket and put in the url to here—I do not allow bio image uploads. Try and keep it small (100x100px is ideal, any more than that makes it slow-loading for the poor blighters on dial-up.]
Password: [put this in twice]
Contact for new reviews: [Tick this if you want to be emailed every time you get a review]
Send me an e-mail alert when one of my favorites is updated. [As above, only this alert lets you know if your favourite author or story has been updated]
I would like to volunteer to be a beta-reader for others. [Do you want to beta or not?]
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. [This will bypass the age warnings on the site—if you tick yes, the mods will take that as your confirmation that you are of age and will not be held responsible for any reaction you may have to adult stories on this site.]
I suggest you use the TheLostCave skin option, since that’s the one I made to work with this site, and the others may be subject to change or vanishing completely!
To recover a lost password, click here and enter the e-mail address with which you registered. Your password will be sent to you shortly.
Naturally you can change this after you have logged in for the first time. Go to Account Info and Choose Edit Personal Information.
Penname: This cannot be changed.
Real name: You do not have to fill this in. If you do, I suggest you don’t put in your surname.
Email: You must have a valid email address, but it is not visible to other users of this archive.
Website: Make sure you leave the http:// in there, otherwise the link won’t work.
Bio: This is optional.
Image: Enter the url to your picture of choice, if you want. Photobucket is excellent for picture hosting.
Password: To change this, type your new password in both boxes.
Contact for new reviews: Tick this if you want notification when you get a new review—the review itself isn’t emailed to you, a link to it is.
Carry Over Chapter Info: This is helpful to tick, so that you don’t have to input the same information every time you upload a new chapter to an existing story.
Skin: At the moment there are two skins: The default (TheLostCave), which matches the site and reflects the new look, or the original (lostcave) which is much the same as TheLostCave, but not quite as functional—if I were you, I’d convert to the new one.
You can e-mail us via our contact form.
Stories are classified by categories, genres, and warnings.
If you have not already done so, please register for an account. Once you’ve logged in, click on Account Information. Click Add Story. This part is kinda like ff.net, chose the category, characters, genre, etc.
I am an evil beeyatch from hell when people upload to the wrong place. That much is very true. I spent ages sorting out the sub-categories so that people could find what they want easily. So here’s how to stay on the right side of me. Let’s just say you’re uploading a romance story, with a ship of Original Character/David, with Michael, Star and Marko lurking in the background.
Fill in your title and summary, then we move on to category, which is where it gets complicated. Choose The Lost Boys from the drop-down list, but do not click “Select”. Now, click on the drop-down menu again, and it should list all the sub-categories for the category (David, Dwayne, Marko, Paul, etc). Click Original Character, now you can click Select. Click on David, click select. You see where I’m going with this.
For Michael, Star and Marko, choose their names from the characters—not the categories. The categories are for the main focal point of the story. If Star features in your story, but isn’t really a main character, just list her in the characters, not the category. Think about your story, if it’s told mostly from the pov of your original character, who is dating David (most are), then file it under Original Character and David. If it’s a general story that really doesn’t focus specifically on one person, then just file it under The Lost Boys. Simple, eh?
Now you should be able to choose your genres, warnings (if appropriate) and characters.
DO NOT file a fic under The Lost Boys if it would be more appropriate under a sub-category.
Fill in the rating, tick the box if it’s complete, and fill in all the rest of the details. Choose Preview just to make sure it looks all right, then Add Story when you’re ready.
Unless you’ve got the patience of a saint when it comes to formatting, I suggest you paste your fic into a notepad file and upload that. You can still use html in there and there’s less chance of the formatting getting screwed.
Formatting & html
To make a break I suggest you either use something like this <br><br>*** or the <hr> tag, which looks like this:
I have been told there are issues about chapters getting chopped. A friend of mine over at WWOMB (The Wonderful World of Make Believe) told me that if the file is larger than 32k (approx 5,500 words) it might get chopped. So if you write exceptionally long chapters, break them up around the 5,000 word mark—that was true of the old archive, I do believe the new script is a lot more forgiving, and therefore you can write chapters. The upper limit is now 16,000 words.
With regard to the Characters option, chose only the main characters of the story, as this serves as a search function, if Dwayne is in the story for approximately one sentence per three chapters, don’t list him as a main character. This means Dwayne fans won’t find your story, then review with “Where the heck was Dwayne?”
Genre is pretty straight-forward. I mean, everyone here’s used ff.net, right?
If you want other characters, genres, ships or even categories adding to this archive, then email me (if the subject line is not automatic, please use The Lost Cave Archive as your subject line. Just as a note, the category refers to the type of fic, I’m not catering to other fandoms.
We use the ratings system from MPAA. The ratings in this archive are as follows:
G—suitable for all
PG—suitable for everyone with a slight teenage edge to the story.
PG-13—suitable only for older teens, probably focusing on romance and love.
R—suitable for a mature audience, may have references to sex, violence… anything that mums don’t want their kids to see.
NC-17—suitable only for an adult (this age differs in each country, so if you are an adult in your country, feel free to read it)—this will contain graphic scenes of smut or violence or any other nasty.
To mark a story as completed (by default, the archive assumes the story is incomplete) Click on Edit/Delete stories, this will bring up a list of all your fics. Next to the title, it says Completed: No—click on the No and it will change to a Yes.
You may upload images that are up to 600x300px in dimensions. This are for story purposes only. This is NOT a place to host your images for your own personal use. Photobucket is excellent for such things.
Off the top of my head… I’m pretty sure it’s because of the overhaul. Both of them. When I upgraded from eFiction 1 to eFiction 2, we did lose bits and bobs. I get the distinct feeling that the email I sent to everyone warning them of the upgrade didn’t actually go, because I never got a copy of it, and most people seem quite new and tentative about the errors… either that or it was a really smooth and error-free process. Let’s hope for the latter.
The second overhaul came on 9 November 2006, when I decided to upgrade from eFiction 2 to eFiction 2.0.7, and while I was at it, decided to re-arrange the categories and set the characters sitewide, rather than specific characters for each category. This is when everyone noticed that there were problems.
We’ve established that most errors come from missing chapters. When I asked people to sort their stories into sub-categories, some people came across an “access denied” error. This is because, as far as I can tell, the archive expects there to be X amount of chapters, and instead it’s finding Y amount.
If you’re having problems changing any details on your stories, then the best thing to do is to go into your story as a reader (don’t go through Manage Stories it doesn’t really help at this point), and see if you have any blank pages. Missing chapters often have the title of the chapter in the drop-down list, but when you get to the page it turns up blank.
If you replace the chapter, this time by going to Manage stories > Chose your story, then the Edit link next to the chapter name. In theory, once the new chapter is uploaded, any issue you have should resolve itself.
However, if the archive refuses to let you edit the missing chapter, then see below for what to do.
Hope that helps, but if not…
I’m going to set out some guidelines for how to get issues on the archive resolved. It’s worth saying that trying more than once usually solves the problem—and obviously, try checking all your chapters, as set out above—but there are exceptions, so if you do have issues, please do the following:
- Email Me (if the subject line is not automatic, please use The Lost Cave Archive as your subject line.
- Tell me the name you use on the archive—signing an email “Lizzie” when on here you are “Elizabeth_1987” does not help me.
- Tell me what you were trying to do (eg: change your fic from The Lost Boys Category to a sub-category, changing the summary, etc).
- Tell me what you were hoping to achieve after the change (eg: I was moving my story “A Moonlight Tale” from The Lost Boys category to the Original Character category).
- Tell me what the problem is exactly. Saying “it won’t work” helps no-one. Tell me what error you were given (e.g. “You have missed out the following fields”, etc)—copy and paste it.
- Tell me the name of your fic in full.
- Tell me if there are missing chapters—while you are familiar with your stories, I have only probably ever read them just once, and it was probably when I validated them, so quite a long time ago.
- If you do not call your chapters “Chapter 1”, “Chapter 2”, etc, tell me the name of the chapters and what order they should be in.
- As a side note, my name is Sarah, it would be nice if you greeted me in your email. *grin*