TheForce.Net Fan Fiction Archive FAQ
1. What is the Archive?
2. Who runs this site?
3. How often do you update the main page with new stories?
4. What do the ratings mean?
5. What do the time frames mean?
6. What do all these terms and abbreviations mean?
7. Where can I find more information on the Archive? What if I have a question?
8. How do I join the staff/become a reviewer?
9. What stories are suitable for submission?
10. How do I submit a story?
11. What does the review process entail?
12. How long will it take for my story to be reviewed?
13. How long will it take for my story to get published?
14. Can I submit more than one story at a time?
15. Are there maximum and minimum lengths for the stories you accept?
16. Is there a maximum number of fics a person can have in the Archive?
17. If English isn't my first language, can I submit something in my native language?
18. Can I write about characters that aren't listed or original characters?
19. Can I submit a multipart story?
20. Can I write a crossover story featuring characters and/or places from another, non-Star Wars movie, book, or TV show? Can I set my story on Earth or include characters from Earth?
21. Can I write alternate universe stories?
22. Where can I get extra help with writing?
23. What is a beta reader?
24. Where can I find a beta reader?
25. What should a beta reader look for in a story?
26. How do I become a beta reader?
27. How do I remove myself from the beta reader list?
28. Do I need to have a cover ready when I submit my story?
29. How do I get cover art?
30. What are the cover art requirements?
31. Can my story have illustrations? What are the requirements for them?
32. How do I join the artist mailing list?
33. How do I submit an article?
34. What are reviews? How do I submit one?
TheForce.Net Fan Fiction Archive is an archive of select stories written and submitted by fans of the Star Wars movies, books, and comics. The Archive is intended to be a safe playground and library for all ages, young and old. Unlike many other fan fiction websites, stories submitted to the Archive first undergo a reviewing process to make sure they are the highest caliber possible before being placed on the site.
The Archive is staffed by a group of reviewers and editors. The reviewers are primarily responsible for reading and making decisions on stories that are submitted. While reviewing, they check each fic for technical proficiency and quality of writing. Once they reach a decision, they inform the editors in the form of a review.
The editors are responsible for keeping the Archive running. They HTML code and post accepted fics, read reviewers' notes on each fic submitted, mail out the rejection and acceptance letters, upload artwork, and edit contributor data. They also serve as tie-breakers if the two reviewers reviewing a fic disagree. They keep the site and the mailing lists free of spammers and trolls, create the polls, and keep the main page updated. To see who current reviewers are, visit the Reviewers' Page. Our current editors are Pallas-Athena, Belle Bayard, and Gabri_Jade.
We aim for an update every calender month, but this is dependent on what we have ready for publication.
TheForce.net is a family-friendly site, and stories archived here should be simliar to movies rated from G to a conservative PG13.
- G-rated stories at TFN are suitable for readers of any age. Violence may be present, but it isn't graphic. Frightening images and events may crop up, but they aren't explicit, and are usually more symbolic than realistic. There is no crass language, and sexuality is extremely limited.
Examples: Disney's Beauty and the Beast, The Secret Garden by Francis Hodgdin Burnett, or The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
- PG-rated stories may have content that parents might want to view with younger children. Violence is often present, but rarely lingered on, and not used for its own sake. There may be some mild language, but not more extreme than Han's "I'll see you in hell!" in The Empire Strikes Back. Sexuality may be more present than in a G story, but it shouldn't proceed beyond a shared kiss.
Examples: Episodes I, II, IV, V, and VI of the Star Wars series, Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
- PG13-rated stories have a higher threshold for violence than PG stories, but approximately the same threshold for sexuality. They are stories that are not appropriate for very young children, but which do not cross the line into the level of graphic description typical of an R-rating.
Examples: Revenge of the Sith, Lord of the Flies by William Golding, or Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling
- Ancient (SW) History would include stories that take place long before the movies, before any of the known characters (except maybe Yoda) were born.
- Pre-TPM stories take place in the time period leading up to the prequels, during the lives of the established characters.
- The Prequels are stories that take place in the time frame of Episodes I-III (including the ten years between The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones.
- Intertrilogy stories fill the gap between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope.
- Classic Trilogy stories take place during the original trilogy.
- Post-ANH refers to stories that take place shortly after Episode IV, and before Episode V.
- Post-RotJ stories take place after the original trilogy, but in the natural life span of the characters.
- New Jedi Order Era stories are set in the NJO era, and are dependent on that part of the EU.
- Post-NJO stories are set after the NJO series. This includes the Legacy of the Force series and the Legacy comics.
- Far (SW) Future, like Ancient History, takes place outside the life spans of the established characters. How might things develop over the next several centuries? Millennia?
Please visit our Fan Fiction Lexicon.
ophelia's "Unofficial TFN Fanfic Archive FAQ: Answers to common and unasked questions" contains much more information on the Archive in a more informal and conversational format. We also host a thread on the Jedi Council Forum, which is open for discussions and questions. Finally, you are always free to contact the editors directly.
If you're interested in becoming a reviewer, please fill out the application form, making sure to answer all of the test questions. Reviewers are chosen based upon the quality of the application and the current need for reviewers. If all reviewer positions are filled, we will save your application for future openings. Once you fill out an application, we will only contact you if we accept your application and there is an opening.
Our mandate is to archive selected Star Wars fan fiction, with the following restrictions:
No unfinished, ongoing stories will be accepted. If you desperately need feedback on a story still in progress, try posting in TheForce.Net's Jedi Council Fan Fiction Forums.
This means that your story is proofread, edited, and spellchecked by another person before you submit.
- Rating of G, PG, or PG-13.
Parents of younger children can be assured that graphic or controversial material that some may consider inappropriate is not a concern. However, there are also stories aimed at more mature readers, and we still recommend parental guidance for stories that are labeled PG or PG-13.
- Set exclusively within the Star Wars universe.
All stories must be set in the Star Wars universe only. No crossovers with other media or the real world (Earth).
You must be registered with an Archive account in order to submit.
Your story should be single spaced and have blank lines separating paragraphs instead of indenting. Save your story as a plain ascii text file (.txt), HTML file (.htm or .html) or Microsoft Word 97-2003 document (.doc) on your computer. Please do not save your story in another format, such as .docx, and merely change the extension later. This does not work; your story will be illegible and we will be forced to reject it.
Go to our submission page and follow the instructions. You will need to have a story summary, or teaser, ready. A good rule of thumb is to summarize the first third of the story in 3-5 lines. You will also need your beta reader's email address on hand. Once you have finished uploading your story, it enters the queue and the review process will begin.
First, we will contact the beta reader at the email address you supplied to confirm that they did in fact read your story. The story will also enter the reviewers' queue, where the reviewers will see that it is available for reviewing. Two separate reviewers who are interested in reading your story will claim it. For the most objectivity possible, these reviewers will be unaware of each other. Once the reviewers have read your story, they will either 'accept' or 'reject' your story and list the reasons for their decision. If both reviewers independently agree, your story will either be accepted or rejected accordingly. If they disagree, one of the three editors will step in and act as a tie-breaker. Their choice will act as the final decision on the fic.
If your story is rejected, a letter will be emailed to you thanking you for your submission and listing the reasons why we cannot accept it. Your story will then be deleted from our queue, and you will be free to submit it again after a waiting period of at least one week. We encourage resubmits, but we do ask that you take some time to consider the reasons for rejection. It may also be helpful to undergo another revision with a new beta reader.
If your story is accepted, we will send you an acceptance letter. Once your story has a piece of cover art, it will be Archived in the next month's update.
Our goal is two weeks or less, and short to mid-length stories have been turned around in about that amount of time. Stories that are near-novel-length or longer tend to take more time. Please do not email the editors or the reviewers asking about the status of your story until at least two weeks have passed.
We aim for an update every calender month. Provided that your story is accepted, coded, and has a cover, it will be archived in the next update.
While the system will allow you to submit more than one story at a time and we still will review all of the stories that you submit, we advise authors to submit one story and wait for the decision before submitting another story. This will help guarantee the largest possible pool of interested reviewers for each of your fics.
Unfortunately, we only accept submissions in English.
Yes. If the canon character you are writing about doesn't appear on our character list, please use the "other:" at the bottom of the list and type in the character's name. Stories featuring characters that the author has created - as long as they are set in the Star Wars universe - are also welcome. For these original characters, use the "_original characters" tag that appears at the top of the character list.
All stories submitted to the Archive must be complete at the time of submission. Please consider submitting long pieces singularly, even if they have distinct movements. If you have planned a trilogy or other multi-part form, and it is artistically necessary for there to be separation between sections, submit all parts simultaneously, and they will be reviewed by the same reviewers, and treated as a single entity - accepted or rejected as a whole - then archived serially if you so wish. Multipart stories should be no more than six installments.
A sequel differs from a multipart story in that, while the sequel continues a story begun elsewhere, it is not necessary to it. If you've written a story which you later decide to write a sequel for, the sequel would be submitted separately and judged on its own merits, as any other individual story.
Although crossover fan fiction is a traditional form, TheForce.Net only archives stories that take place exclusively in the Star Wars universe - no other fictional universe characters or settings should appear, nor should real-world, Earth characters, including personalities associated with Star Wars. This applies to any artifact from the real world, including songs, poetry, novels, TV shows, movies, etc.
Alternate Universe stories (AUs), in which part of canon has been deliberately changed, are welcome.
We have a number of articles and guides on fan fiction writing in our features section. The Fan Fiction Resource board on the Jedi Council Forum contains many useful threads as well. For in-universe information on Star Wars, visit Wookieepedia.
A beta reader is someone who reads your story and provides feedback, which you then use to help improve your story in subsequent drafts. A beta reader is invaluable, as someone who has a good grasp of the mechanics, like spelling, grammar, plotting, and pacing. The beta reader can be a fellow writer, or simply a thoughtful reader who provides critical feedback. The main characteristic of a good beta reader is detailed criticism. His or her feedback will tell you what specific scene doesn't work, why, and suggestions on how to fix it. Every author should have at least one beta reader.
You can contact our list of beta readers or ask for help in the Jedi Council Fan fiction Forum's beta reader thread. However, we also recommend becoming part of a Star Wars fanfic community, like that found on the Jedi Council Forums. By posting your own works-in-progress and by reading and replying to other authors' stories, you can make friends and contacts, and perhaps find a beta reader that will last you through all of your future stories.
If you do decide to use our list, please keep in mind the following rules as you make your resquest:
- The list is for Star Wars fan fiction only. No other fandoms or original fiction is allowed.
- No sexually explicit (i.e. PWP, smut, lemons, etc) fics are allowed.
- Authors are not allowed to use the list to distribute their story (i.e. send the story as an attachment or paste the whole story in the body of the email). Summaries only, please.
- Grammar and spelling errors. While a few errors are bound to make it through, too many such errors will result in a rejection.
- Plot continuity and technical errors. Your betas should let you know if there are any plot threads left unintentionally unresolved, and note places where there are internal continuity problems (eg, you had a character leave the room on page four, and she speaks again on page five without re-entering or using a comm-link).
- Character issues. Fan fiction allows much more freedom than professional fiction in terms of character interpretations, but your betas should point it out if your characters suddenly begin to behave very oddly for no appreciable reason.
- Intangible things. Ask your betas to tell you what they got out of your story before you tell him or her what you meant. "I like this!" is a nice thing to hear, but what you need from a beta reader is to hear, "I really liked the way you showed Qui-Gon's early dissent from the Jedi Council, because it resonates with the way he behaves in his early scenes with Shmi in TPM" (or whatever). If that's what you meant to convey, it tells you that you've succeeded. If it's not what you meant, it can mean two things. You may decide that you really like it, and want to leave it alone or even expand on it. You might also decide that you absolutely don't want to give that impression, and therefore you want to change the things that gave it.
Click on Become a Beta-Reader. You will automatically be put on the beta reader mailing list and receive emails from authors looking for a beta.
Click on Don't Be a Beta-Reader; this will remove you from the list of beta readers.
No. The logistics of of cover art are not addressed by the Archive staff until a story is accepted and being prepared for publication. Please do not attach a cover with your story when you submit; this may actually delay the story's reviewing. We advise authors to consider cover art only after a story is accepted, as it will be of no use if the story is rejected.
You are welcome to create your own cover art if you are able, or you can ask a friend to create one for you. We host a mailing list of artists who are interested in making cover art. When you contact the list, be sure to include important information about your fic, such as the title, the summary, and the characters involved. It is likely that, once an interested artist responds to your query, he or she will want to read your story before making the cover.
If your story is accepted, the Archive staff will make every effort to provide your story with a cover before it is published. We are always eventually able to find covers for the stories we accept. We do not, as a general rule, publish a fic without a cover, but will make an exception if the author explicitly doesn't wish to have a cover for his or her fic.
Covers have to be 260 pixels wide x 400 pixels high, 72 dpi, and in the .jpg/jpeg format (there are no exceptions). They need to contain the story's title and the author's name. Artist's name is optional. Artists are credited at the end of the fic with a hyperlink to be contacted through the Archive's system. The artist has to have an Archive account to receive any feedback.
Yes, the Archive allows for illustrations within the story page itself. These can be in any format or dimensions. However, these must be provided by the author or a willing artist. The Archive cannot guarantee illustrations for any story that is accepted in the same way that we can guarantee cover art. If you have illustrations you wish to use, contact the editors after your story is accepted to work out the details.
Click on Mailing Lists, and hit "yes" to Artists under "Edit Your Mailing List Options" at the bottom of the page. If you wish to be removed from the list, hit "no" on the same page.
Articles written by experienced fan fiction writers and readers are welcome here. Articles ranging from the mechanics of proper grammar and story plots to the ins-and-outs of readying a story for submission already grace our collection. If you have an article you would like to add, please email it to the editors. Once we receive it, the entire staff will review it to assure its usefulness and quality before it is added.
Reviews are thoughts on a particular archived story that are submitted by an interested reader. Unlike comments, which can be quickly submitted by readers right after reading the story, reviews are expected to have more substance. What a review consists of is largely left up to the reader who is writing it. It could either act as a preview for the story - hinting at parts the reader enjoyed and what a new reader should eagerly anticipate - or it could analyze the story in-depth - focusing on the story's style, themes, or meanings. If you have a review you'd like to submit or if you would like to learn more about writing a review, please email the editors. Be sure to include the story's title and the name of the story's author with your review. It will be reviewed for its appropriateness and quality before being posted.
Last update: July 17, 2010 by Pallas-Athena. Sections of this FAQ written by Pallas-Athena, Mr. P, FernWithy, and ophelia.