Help Desk

So, we heard you've got some questions? That's fine, we've got some answers.

Listed below are some Frequently Asked Questions compiled and conveniently placed here to keep us all on the same page, and to help with those pesky questions. Formatted to be very easy to navigate and pinpoint the question you're after, all you need to do is read the questions listed directly below, click whichever one you need clarification on, and you'll be taken to that particular section. To return to the top of the page simply click, "Top of Page", and you'll be brought back here.

It's advisable that you read through this list before utilizing the Q&A Board on the Forum, to make sure you're not asking something that has already been answered here. This will be updated as needed and without notification of it being updated. You'll just have to check the "As of," date every once in a while to make sure you stay just as updated!

For all your FAQ's about the forum, please refer to this page here.

[ .As of November 7th, 2013. ]
The Golden Rule: Treat others as you would like to be treated.
The Platinum Rule: When in doubt, ask.

 


[.Rules and Guidelines.]


What are the “Submission Rules”?
What is a validated author?
What’s the “blacklist”? How do I know if I’m on it?
I don’t understand the new story rating system. What happened to the G through NC-17?
What is RPF? What does it stand for?
I’ve been flamed; what should I do?


[.Archive-Related.]


Why the name change to the Archive? What was wrong with “Freedom of Speech”? What does “Ghosts of the Vanguard” even mean?
How do I become an affiliate with this site? What does being an affiliate mean?
I don’t understand how contests work on the Archive.
How do I qualify for the Random Story on the front page?
How does editing my bio work?
There are so many skins for the Archive! How do I know which to use?
How does a series of stories work?


[.Forum-Related.]


Why can’t I access the Forum?
I’d like my account deleted.
How do I change my penname?
I have a suggestion! What should I do with it?
I don’t see the category I need to submit my story. What do I do?
Where can I ask a question about the site?
I don’t want to register on the Forum. Can’t you do something about the Newsletters that are posted there to make them available everywhere?


[.General.]


How do I know who is a Staff member?
How do I become a member of Staff?
Where or how do I report an error I encountered with the site?


 

[.Rules and Guidelines.]

 



What are the “Submission Rules”?
The Submission rules are what we on Staff expect you to follow when submitting to our Archive. Technically, the entire "Rules“ section on our Archive counts as the Submission rules, but along with that is what people seem to struggle with the most—our Submission procedures, which detail what is acceptable when it comes to submitting your work to our submission queue. If you’re not a validated author, your work will need to be looked over by a member of Staff to ensure it passes all of our standards. But before it can be looked over, you need to ensure that you submit properly first. Our procedures go as follows:

“We will allow each author to submit ONE chapter to ONE story. Any more than ONE chapter to a story will have all of your submitted chapters deleted and you WILL get a rejection notice stating as such. However, if you post ONE chapter to MULTIPLE stories, this will be acceptable. We just do not allow more than one chapter to a single story in our submission queue simply because if we have to reject that one chapter, we will have to reject all the following chapters right after. This is to make it easier for our staff to validate your guys' stories a lot faster. Failure to comply to this rule after THREE warnings will earn you a black point.”

Per instruction, our queue should only ever look like this:
CHAPTER A, STORY ONE by Author1
CHAPTER A, STORY TWO by Author1
CHAPTER A, STORY THREE by Author1
OR
CHAPTER A, STORY ONE by Author1

That’s it. You may not do both, it’s either/or, and you may never submit more than three stories for any reason. Please be sure you pay attention to this and make sure you understand it entirely because if you don’t, you can very quickly rack up punishments and blacklist points.

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What is a validated author?
A validated author is a member of our Community who has proven they will continuously uphold the standards we have set forth. They’ve had to prove themselves through repeated validations through our Submission queue. With this status, authors bypass the normal Submission and Validation process, and are allowed to post and upload to the main Archive as much as they like, immediately, without needing to have their work validated by a member of Staff.

It’s important that you understand our Validated Author status is a privilege, not a right, and can be revoked at any time if standards slip. If you’re interested in becoming a validated author, you may visit our Forum and request at the Request to be Validated Thread.

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What’s the “blacklist”? How do I know if I’m on it?
The blacklist is a collection of members who have grievously broken one or multiple site rules and have earned themselves a negative mark on our “three strikes, you’re banned” policy. You’ll never wind up on the blacklist without being notified that you’ve accumulated a blacklist point, but we do not post the list publicly so unless you’ve been contacted by an Executive member of Staff (either Felina Frenzy or Dot Dreadful) then you are not on this list and you have no reason to be concerned. Keep yourself brushed up and current on the rules and you’ll never need to worry about this list, either.

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I don’t understand the new story rating system. What happened to the G through NC-17?
A few years ago the MPAA put a stop to fanfiction sites utilizing the same ratings for writing that are used for movies, and so the rating system has been switched over to the one you now see on the site. It’s very simple to follow and understand, and if you’re looking for a very quick way to grasp the concept? See below:

G = K
PG = K+
PG-13 = T
R = M
NC-17 = MA

It’s a very simple formula that will help you adjust to the different labels, but that’s really all they are. It’s just like taking the label off a jar and putting on another one; it doesn’t change the contents, only what the jar is called. For a full explanation of what the ratings entail, please read our Rules.

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What is RPF? What does it stand for?
RPF is “Real Person Fanfiction”, which should be pretty self-explanatory but it’s fanfiction about people (usually celebrities) same as you would write fanfiction about fictional characters. We on Staff are very strict and walk a clear, black and white line when it comes to what we expect from RPF fanfiction, and you need to ensure that if this is something you wish you write that you follow the rules detailed in our submissions in regard to how to keep your fiction within our boundaries.

Remember, RPF fiction is not a free-for-all, and any stories found to be outside of our rules will be deleted without notice or warning.

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I’ve been flamed; what should I do?
We do not allow flames on our Archive, it’s a violation of our rules. As a member of our Community (or a visiting guest) it is your responsibility to uphold our rules or suffer the consequences. And to those of you who think posting a flame on anonymous (whether you call yourself that or whether you simply don’t log in) we on Staff can see you. Don’t get yourself banned by being a bully; follow the Golden Rule and keep your mouth shut if you have nothing nice to say about a story or the author of said story.

As an author, in the unfortunate instance of you receiving a flame, please contact us on Staff at gotvg_staff@live.com and include the link to your profile so that we can handle the situation ourselves. We ask that you do no engage the person flaming you, as in the majority of instances nothing you say can or will improve the situation, and will only upset or frustrate you further.

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[.Archive-Related.]

 



Why the name change to the Archive? What was wrong with “Freedom of Speech”? What does “Ghosts of the Vanguard” even mean?
To start, the name change was inspired and carried through because of Felina Frenzy and Dot Dreadful (Madame Dreadful) taking over ownership of the Archive. There’s nothing wrong with the original name of “Freedom of Speech” and is actually very vast in its implications as a writing site; but Felina and Dot wanted to distance themselves from what that site was and used to be. Felina and Dot had nothing to do with the management and ownership of the Freedom of Speech days other than being active Administrators and when they retained ownership of the Archive, a lot of changes were made. It was a decision on their part, to stride forward and forge a new path from the errors of old and past management. It was their way of owning the Archive and making it their own, with a new array of Staff and the way they wanted things done. If you didn’t participate in the Re-launch, then some of this might be confusing to you; all you need to know is that Ghosts of the Vanguard is the brainchild and product of Felina Frenzy and Dot Dreadful’s reimagining of an Archive and Community that has been around for over half a decade.

Ghosts of the Vanguard is a combination title that was among two other choices compiled by the active Staff during the time of the Re-launch. It was put to a vote amongst the Community, and it was the name that garnered the most amount of votes. Vanguard means, “the leaders of any intellectual movement,” and the term Ghost is a title sometimes affixed to an author, as it is speculated that countless things are brought to life at the talented hands and minds of authors. Combining those terms to embody who we are was as natural as breathing and it is the legacy we intend to leave behind long after the ink in our pens run dry.

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How do I become an affiliate with this site? What does being an affiliate mean?
Being an affiliate means that we enter into a “sister-site” partnership, and you are allotted a 5x5 pixel space in our affiliate box to advertise your website as you like to all of our members and guests. As for the requirements for your site and what we allow in terms of our affiliates; that will be discussed privately when you contact us with your request.

If you’re interested in becoming an affiliate, please send us an email at gotvg_staff@live.com with your request. Thank you for your interest!

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I don’t understand how contests work on the Archive.
There’s a lot to cover when it comes to contests, as there are new features and policies we on Staff have implemented to make the contests more involved and fun. The first thing to understand about our contests is that they are entirely optional and should only be entered if you are fine to have your work looked over and judged, and alternatively displayed if you place in the contest. The next thing to understand is that we are planning to organize several contests over the course of each year, but not all of them will have the same prizes.

For an explanation of writing competitions that will feature prize packages, please view the Writing Competitions Thread on the Forum.

As that is something we on Staff are going to begin doing; we are going to send prize packages to those who place in specific-themed contests. Other contests will feature profile buttons and featured stories, and it will be up to you to make sure you read and understand the rules about each contests that you wish to enter.

Some of these things are still in the works and the majority of these are still in infantile stages and we are considering them in a “trial run” period for now. We ask for patience and understanding as we implement these new procedures.

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How do I qualify for the Random Story on the front page?
There was some confusion about this back on the old Archive, which is why the name has been changed from “Story of the Moment” to “Random Story” because that’s exactly what it is—a story chosen at random. Everyone’s work will be up there at some point at time! Just the luck of the draw, like a wild card should be.

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How does editing my bio work?
Utilizing HTML formatting, you have a wide variety of options allotted to you when it comes to editing your bio. You can even utilize other layouts if you know and understand how to manipulate the code! While there is no preview module as of right now, we do advise that you double check your bio after making changes to ensure they’re what you want and turned out the way you expected. Tinker, try new and different things (remember, we limit pictures in bios down to ten (10) as it sucks up bandwidth, so please watch out for that!) and see what you can do to personalize your space within our Community.

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There are so many skins for the Archive! How do I know which to use?
This is something strictly based on your personal preference and taste. We encourage you to try several on for size, test them out based on your preferences and it’s something you need to remember you have control over. Yes, you can suggest things for different skins but remember, bare bones, it comes down to you to pick a skin that suits you. There’s quite a selection for that purpose.

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How does a series of stories work?
Much like how published authors will write a series of books, here on our site we allow you to set up your own series so that any and all stories that belong to said series can all be featured in the same place. Picture it like a series of books lining a bookshelf; they’re all kept in the same place for ease of access and that’s the idea behind the series on our Archive. Per example, SERIES A features STORY I, STORY II, STORY III, and STORY IV; if it’s an on-going collection of stories and you want to showcase it that way, you should think about a series.

There is also the added option of allowing others to submit to a series; if you and someone else (or a group) are all planning to write within a specific series universe, this is a way to keep all of those story collections together.

There are lots of possibilities with this, and we encourage you to take advantage of them if this interests you!

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[.Forum-Related.]

 



Why can’t I access the Forum?
You need to register to see boards and posts on the Forum.

[ .Top of Page. ]

 



I’d like my account deleted.
Please visit the Account Deletion Requests thread to request your account deleted.

[ .Top of Page. ]

 



How do I change my penname?
Please visit the Name Change Requests thread to request your penname changed.

[ .Top of Page. ]

 



I have a suggestion! What should I do with it?
Head over to the Forum and check out our Suggestion Board and let us hear it! We’re happy to try and accommodate any and every suggestion we can.

[ .Top of Page. ]

 



I don’t see the category I need to submit my story. What do I do?
You need to head over to the Forum and access our Requests board.

Submitting without a category will get your story deleted without any other factors involved, so it’s important you check to make sure your category is there before attempting to add your story. Don’t assume someone else has or will do it for you!

[ .Top of Page. ]

 



Where can I ask a question about the site?
We have a Q&A Board on our Forum for exactly that purpose! It’s also where you can privately PM a specific member of Staff if you would prefer to ask your question in private.

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I don’t want to register on the Forum. Can’t you do something about the Newsletters that are posted there to make them available everywhere?
Off and on, lengthy or important newsletters will be posted to the main Archive, but we strongly encourage you to register for the Forum. It’s a place to converse more freely with fellow authors and members, as well as to interact more proactively with Staff; because we cannot guarantee every newsletter or posting will be made available here on the Archive. There is no obligation outside of registering that you give out any personal information or post pictures or even interact outside of what you’re comfortable doing; but it’s a site that goes hand in hand with the Archive and you will be missing out on some things if you choose not to participate. It isn’t mandatory or required but so long as you understand you are responsible for what you miss out on by not registering, then we won’t pressure you.

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[.General.]

 



How do I know who is a Staff member?
Excellent question! Eventually we will have a Staff page operational for quick and easy access to all of our profiles and contact information, but until then, you can tell by accessing profiles and checking for the “Administrator” titles and rank, or you can go to the Forum and check that way. We understand that is a bit tedious and that is why we are constructing a Staff page for ease of access. It will be done and linked soon.

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How do I become a member of Staff?
We currently do not have any Staff positions open, but if we make an announcement in regard to that, we will include a link to where we accept applications. If you’re truly starving to become a member of Staff, you may send us an email at gotvg_staff@live.com with your request.

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Where or how do I report an error I encountered with the site?
One of two ways; either by emailing us at gotvg_staff@live.com, or by visiting the Forum and PM’ing a Staff member. Either way, please ensure that you detail exactly what the error was, how you came about encountering the error (what you were doing or what you attempted to do) and you gain bonus points if you include a screenshot of the error itself.

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