As the archive is about to hit the 2,000th story mark, after a little more than two years of existence, I thought I would try to explain how I archive. Hopefully, this will help correct some erroneous beliefs out there, and (crossing fingers) end up with more submissions being properly formatted.
Why Do I Archive -
- I archive because I like Highlander and I love to read.
- I believe the written word needs to be preserved, for the person that will want to read the story weeks, months, or years after you write it.
- I like having things organized and easy to find.
- I want people new to Highlander to be able to find the stories easily and quickly.
- I want to read new Highlander fanfic.
- Because I think I've been doing a decent job so far...
When Do I Archive -
- When I have a paper due for a course, and it isn't flowing right...
- When it's been two weeks and I really don't feel like it but have bought some sorbet to get me through...
- When a awestrikingly wonderful story arrives in my "to archive" box and its formatted perfectly with all the archive information...
- When a story that I know people have been eagerly awaiting arrives in my "to archive" box...
- When I've talked to the writer a lot about getting their first story archived, they've had it beta-ed and sent it to me to present to the world.
- When my "to archive" box gets over a reasonable size. Used to be 20 letters, then 50, now 100. (For why the size is so large now, finish reading this page through.)
- When I have gone through the folders for the various lists I'm on, and someone has put
Archive: 7th Dimensionin their headers for a story, and the archive info is complete.
- When someone icq or IM's me to talk about a story they've submitted to the archive.
- When I'm nearing a hundred stories mark - when I'm at 870 I can't wait to get to 900 - for example.
When Do I Stop Archiving for the Day -
- When I get to a story that doesn't have the author's name or e-mail address specified, especially when there might be a pen name in use.
- When I get to a note that has flamish qualities while I am archiving...
- When I get to a story that is mangled - formatting wise and don't want to devote an hour of my night to it...
- When I get to a story that is a jumble of misspellings, is formatted horribly, has incomplete archive info, boasts that the writer didn't have a beta, and has an air to writer's notes to me that I should be so very honored to archive the piece of dreck they produced in less than an hour, and didn't even read over themselves...
- When the toothpicks holding up my eyelids break, after I hit the goal for the evening.
Do I Read All the Stories?
- No, but I read most, and I glance through every story to ensure it is formatted correctly, and to see if authors have lowered the rating from what it should have been or neglected to label it as slash or a crossover.
Do I Have a Thing Against (Insert Subgenre Here)?
- I have no preference as to archiving gen, het, slash. I tend to get squicked at extreme violence and so it might take me a little longer to get your story up, but I will get it up. I do believe that some stories need the benefit of a beta reader, and might suggest it to you.
Is _____ the Best Story I've Ever Read?
- No, probably not. I've been reading online fanfic for over 5 years, and my library card has serious mileage on it. What is the best depends on what's going on in the reader's life, and favorites change over time. I can honestly say I do not have a favorite Highlander story. I have a bunch of favorites, that I go back and read when I am in the mood. Also, I tend not to give feedback on Highlander stories - my opinion has been taken too seriously in the past, if I do send feedback it tends to be brief and glowing. I do send lots of feedback for other fandoms I read. And I believe every reader should send positive feedback for stories they like.
Do I Have to Like Your Story to Archive It?
- No. It needs to have Highlander characters or the Highlander concept of immortality in it, and to have the archive information. It would be best if you had it betaed, spell-checked, and properly formatted...
Do Stories Have to be Betaed?
- Not so far. Though if your native language is not English, I beg you to get a beta reader, especially if you are writing a story with Richie in it. Slang just is hard to use properly if you are not a native speaker. (Heck, when I was in Germany, after 6 years of the language, I still had difficulty getting my point across without the extensive use of gestures.) Betas are good things, your story will be much better for the outside opinion!!! Also, betas tend to help point out formatting difficulties, making my job easier when I get the finished story. So although betas are not required, please consider using one.
When Will Your Story Go Up?
- The same day I e-mail you saying it is going up.
- I try to archive older stories first, but inevitably while archiving I end up archiving a bunch of well-formatted stories despite their newness. If it's taking me a while to get your story up (that is more than a month) e-mail me. Ten to one, the story is badly formatted, whether originally or because it got mangled when you sent it. Also, I try to balance the amount of slash posted with an equal amount of gen, so that adds in another variable. To help your story get posted faster, include complete archive info, making absolutely sure to include the "Title by Author who can be reached at e-mail addy" lines above the story that way I am sure as to what name/pen name you are using and what e--mail address.
- Also, if you posted a story to a list that I am subbed to (hlfic-l, hlx, d_m, richfic, rog-l, richiemethos, CoryRaines, Kronos, and some others I am probably forgetting) and want it posted include the Archive: 7th Dim, or e-mail me directly with any additional archive info that you didn't include in your posting. Also if you posted to alt.tv.highlander.creative, e-mail me with the archive info and I'll be happy to retrieve your story from there.
How Long Will Your Story be on the New to the Archive page? Aka do the dates on the archive page matter?
- Your story will go up for two weeks, regardless of the dates on the top of the New to the Archive page when you submit your story. The dates on that page are changed in the macro by hand, and I make sure stories get their full time there. The reason the dates are longer than two weeks on the top of the New page is to allow me time for real life to interfere.
So why do I feel okay with having 100 messages in my "to archive" box?
- My "to archive" box is my inbox. All of my other mail gets automatically filed by my e-mail filters. So anything that is from a list or from my family gets sent to the proper folder automatically. This means any e-mails asking about how to get stories archived, things to add to the links or mailing lists pages, are also in the folder until they are dealt with.
- However, there have been lately a disturbing number of stories that are without title or author name, that when I request them, I never hear back from the author. Also, there are more people writing me or giving me stories to archive, that I cannot get a hold of via e-mail - that is the e-mail addresses given bounce. I can't do anything with these stories or e-mails until the author contacts me again... And that's why, after two years, I'm ok with 100 e-mails in my "to archive" box.
Any further questions or points you think could use clarifying? E-Mail Me. :) AnnF
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