• About FicWad (#)

    • Our Philosophy

      We feel that two things are very important in fiction: the freedom of an author to write what they want, and the freedom of a reader to read what they want.

      The purpose of this archive is not to police stories. Fiction can take any form, so we don't want to put limitations on authors' creativity. We won't stand for plagiarism or harrassment, but beyond that, just about anything goes! Nobody enjoys having their stories deleted.

      At the same time, readers should be able to find what they're looking for. The reader should have the tools available to filter out what they don't want to see.

      Above all, we feel that fiction should be fun, and that an archive is nothing without its users.
    • Terms of Service (TOS)

      By using this site, you agree that you have read and understand our Terms of Service (TOS).

      They're a bit legalistic, we know. We suggest just asking yourself "am I being a jerk?" before doing anything; if the answer is no, you're probably fine.
    • How does rating work?

      After you read a story, you'll see a link at the bottom of the page that will let you rate the story. That link will take you to a page with several different adjectives to choose from, some good and some bad. You can then choose an adjective that you think describes that story. Each good adjective will add one point to the story's score, and each bad adjective will subtract one. You can only rate each story once, and it costs one rating point to rate each story. You cannot rate if you have no rating points remaining.
    • How can I get more rating points?

      Rating points are refilled every week. Every user starts off receiving 5 points each week, but the number you receive is affected by your karma--a hidden number that reflects how fair and helpful you have been in your ratings and reviews. When other users meta-rate your ratings as Fair, you'll gain a tiny amount of karma, and likewise, if they meta-rate your ratings as Unfair, you'll lose a tiny amount. If your ratings are consistently fair or unfair, you'll start to see a difference in the number of points you receive. Your karma will also increase when an author rates one of your reviews as Helpful. However, there's no karma loss for an Unhelpful review, so if you don't have any advice to offer and just want to say you liked the story, you won't be penalized.
    • What's meta-rating all about?

      If other users have rated a story, then after you read it, you will be able to see anonymously what another user had to say about that story. You can decide whether you think the rating was fair or unfair by clicking on the respective link. Users who are consistently rated as fair will get more rating points, and those rated as unfair will get fewer. You cannot meta-rate ratings on your own stories, or ratings that you yourself have left.
    • Didn't you steal all this from Slashdot?

    • I think you're really cool--where can I send fanmail?

      Please address any and all inquiries to
  • Registration and User Accounts (#)

    • How can I permanently change my filter setting?

      The filter setting adjuster that you see on most pages will only affect your current session; if you log out, it'll return to your default. To change your default filter setting, go to "Your Account" and "Edit Profile."
    • Why do I have to be 13 or older to sign up?

      It is, I'm sad to say, entirely a legal thing. FicWad is based in the USA (the servers and we, the owners, are both in California). Because we're in the USA we have to comply with a few requirements -- specifically, a law called the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA for short). That law says that if we collect any information from people under the age of 13 then we need to fulfill a lot of extra requirements.

      So, since we're a tiny website and want to avoid legal hassle, we just tell people they have to be at least 13.

      (There's also an argument stemming from parents being potentially angry if they find their children have been reading stories from our NC-17 category. But really we care more about the legal issues.)
    • How can I change my username?

      Send me an email at

      Let me know your current username and the new username you'd like. Send this email from the email address you registered with.

      (Yes, this is awkward. It's deliberately awkward, though. We'd like to encourage a sense of community, and think that's hard if people can change their names at whim.)
  • Uploading and Editing Stories (#)

    • What can I post as a story?

      Anything that might be loosely considered "creative writing". Stories, poetry, scripts, and so forth.

      Discussion, shout-outs, notices to your readers, and so forth should either go on the forums or take up one chapter of a multi-part story. (We think of this sort of content as "noise" -- it's probably of interest to people who are already fans of your work, but just gets in the way of new readers.)
    • How can I create a new category or character for my story?

      If the category or character you need doesn't exist, please use our Suggest a Category form. The admins should review your suggestion and add it to the site within 24 hours.
    • What do all these warnings mean?

      Warnings are an easy way to let your reader know there might be something in your story they don't want to see. Please be courteous and use them when appropriate!

      Letter Warning Description
      ! Mild Spoilers This story reveals something you might not have known about the plot or characters of the original source. Nothing of earth-shattering importance, but it could spoil a surprise for someone who hasn't finished the plot of the source.
      !! Medium Spoilers Something is revealed about the original source that significantly affects the plot or perception of the characters.
      !!! Severe (or Extra-Spicy) Spoilers Something monumentally huge is revealed about the source. If you've revealed that any main characters have died, or that the hero's best friend actually turned out to be the villian, or the answer to that 27-episode-long murder mystery...this would be the warning for your story.
      ? Alternate Universe What if all the characters were ordinary high school students? What if X actually hooked up with Y instead of Z? This story does not adhere to canon--but that's okay, we love it anyway.
      X Sex The story contains graphic sexual content.
      V Violence This covers excessive violence and gore--anything involving blood, guts, and bones breaking should probably have this warning.
      R Rape/Sexual Violence Not just a mix of "X" and "V", this warning covers non-consensual sex, extreme bondage or powerplays, and any other sexual abuse or violence.
      Y Child/Underage Sex This warning means that the story contains sexual acts in which at least one character is not of legal/consenting age in their particular universe.
    • Invalid upload? WTF?

      An 'invalid upload' error typically means that whatever was uploaded wasn't HTML or plain text. The most common situation where people see this error is when they accidentally try to upload a .doc version of their story.

      If you've written your story in Microsoft Word, and want to transport it into FicWad while preserving your formatting, simply use Word's "Save as Web Page" option. This will produce an absolutely awful HTML file which FicWad will be happy to rip to pieces to extract your story with its formatting intact.
  • Feeds (#)

    • What is a feed?

      A feed is a machine-readable document that describes a sequence of data in a controlled manner.

      This means that other applications can look at a feed and so long as they understand the particular flavor of XML being used to write it, they can display the data in a sensible way.

      It sounds dry, but this is very useful. It lets the latest information from many websites be displayed almost anywhere easily.
    • How can I use a feed?

      How you use a feed depends entirely on which application you want to use to view it. Applications that display feeds are called aggregators, and are normally used to gather feeds of information from a variety of places and display them in one convenient location.

      Probably the most popular aggregator in use today is LiveJournal, although most people don't think of it as such. LiveJournal allows you to specify other users whose entries they want to read ("friends"), then aggregates feeds of entries by those users into one handy "friends page" for you to read conveniently.

      As it happens, LiveJournal can also read the feeds that FicWad (and a lot of other people) produce. If you have a paid LiveJournal account you can add a custom feed to LiveJournal by visiting their syndication page. If you don't have a paid account, you have to wait until someone else has added a particular feed to LiveJournal before you can watch it.

      The last 15 stories posted to FicWad can be seen at ficwad_recent on LiveJournal.

      If you're using FireFox, you can use its Live Bookmarks feature to watch a feed in your bookmarks.

      If you're using Opera, you can use the "M2 mail client's feed reader": to watch the feed.

      If you're using Safari in Mac OS X 10.4 or above you can use Safari RSS to read feeds. (We haven't tried this one yet, but it's a Mac, so we're sure it'll be easy.)

      If you're using IE... we really do recommend Firefox. Seriously, though, there are a lot of other aggregator programs out there.
    • Can I do something more complicated than the default feeds?


      (Note, however, that everything past this point will assume a certain comfort-level with technical matters.)

      Base URL:

      This base URL gives one an RSS feed of the last 15 stories uploaded to FicWad, minus those that are NC-17. We're trying to restrict NC-17 listings in feeds to people who've indicated that they want to see them.

      There are several parameters you can add to this URL:

      * If you want to see NC-17 stories in the feed, add 'nc=1'
      * If you want to see only NC-17 stories, add 'nc=2'
      * If you want to see only stories by a certain author, add 'uid=[their uid]' (you can see an author's uid in the url of their profile page)
      * If you want to see only stories in a certain category, add 'catid=[category id]' (seen in the url of the category display page).
      * If you want to see stories by this user's favorite authors, add 'fav=a' (note that this modifies the meaning of "uid=", such that the uid given is the user whose favorites you want to see)
      * If you want to see on stories that this user lists as their favorites, add 'fav=s' (same warning as above)

      An example:">

      This generates a feed of the last 15 stories user 2 (SunTyger, as it happens) has posted to FicWad for category 2 (Trigun), which are NC-17. There's only one at the time of writing, but I'm sure she'll try harder in the future.

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