Although there are a number of places that discuss the 13-line rule, it seemed like it might be easier to just stick a synopsis here rather than link to one, since such discussions tend to be buried among critiques.
* How long is 13 lines?
This is measured by how it looks, not in your browser, but on a printed page (or in your word processor) in manuscript format. This means 1" margins, and a 12-point non-proportional font, like Courier (not Times Roman, or Arial, or even AmericanTypewriter, all of which are proportional, meaning that different letters take different amounts of space). If your story is already in manuscript format, you can just copy the first 13 lines and paste them into your post. If it isn't, convert it first. (It's all right--encouraged, even--to add an extra blank line between paragraphs when posting, since paragraph indents won't show up. These extra lines do not count toward the 13 line limit.)
* Why only 13 lines?
Two reasons: 1) On a properly formatted manuscript, with your address and wordcount at the top, and the title and author a third of the way down the page, the first line of text should start in the middle of the page. That means that 13 lines will bring you to the end of the first page. Many editors use the "first page" rule to decide whether to read on, or to reject the manuscript. So that's how long you have to convince a reader that he wants to turn the page. 2) Posting too much of your story on any publicly accessible internet site (like this one) counts as publication. Since most magazines only buy First NA Serial rights, that means that if you post too much of your story here, it will be ineligible for publication anywhere else (except in one of the rare, and generally low-paying, markets that accept reprints). Therefore, the 13-line limit protects your rights.
Is there a way to look at the posts in a topic while I am replying to that topic?
Answer: if you will scroll down below the reply box, you will see a box that contains the page showing the topic you are replying to. You can use the scroll bar on that box to allow you to see any part of the topic you wish.
Question: How do I fix it so that I don't have to type my username and password in every time I want to post?
You can have the Hatrack web software save your username and password for a year at a time by selecting "preferences" (the middle choice between "register" and "faq") under Hatrack River Writers Workshop near the upper right hand corner of each page.
Near the bottom of the preferences page is quote:Store Username & Password in browser memory for 1 year (otherwise you will have to type your username and password once per browser session) with a "radio" button to the side that lets you choose Yes or No
Question: Is there anyway to find all my old posts?
If you will click on the search link (under the words Hatrack River Writers Workshop near the upper right hand corner of each page), you can specify that you want the website software to find all the posts with your username (it's one of the choices near the bottom of the list of search options).
The software will give you a list of the topics in which you have posted.
Not frequently asked questions, but similar types of things that I wish I had noticed early on.
How do I see all of today's posts in all groups?
Go to the main page (here), and look under the Ultimate Bulletin Board logo. Click where it says, "Click Here To View Today's Active Topics (all public forums)".
I like the way you embedded that link around the word "here" in the bullet above. How did you do that?
To see how anyone did anything, you can click the "edit post" button (the paper and pencil) as if you were editing your own post. You'll see everything the poster did. You won't be able to change it, because you won't have the password, but you'll be able to see what she did, copy and paste, etc.
How do I get back to the main page quickly?
Click on the Ultimate Bulletin Board logo on any page.
[This message has been edited by oliverhouse (edited January 20, 2007).]
With regards to the 13 lines. I have a prolog that kind of sets up the world, giving background that i feel is helpful, I personally like books that take time to do this, might be a mistake I'm not sure. Then I have chapter 1 where the story takes off. Can I post 13 lines of the prolog to see what people think and then 13 lines of chapter 1 where the character is actually introduced? I'd like feedback on both but don't want to go bending rules. thanks
Posts: 11 | Registered: Feb 2007
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Why do topics disappear and have to be "bumped"?
Because of something you set in your preferences.
Near the bottom of your preferences page, there is something called the Default Topic View. It's a drop-down menu that lets you choose how long a topic shows on your screen. You can select anything from "show topics from last day" all the way to "show all topics." Mine is set at "show topics from last 45 days" and when I can't see important topics any more, I "bump" them.
If you want to see older topics without changing your preferences, you can go into the topic list for an area and look under the "Post New Topic" button. The same drop-down menu is there, and you can use it to see all of the topics or just those from a given number of days ago, up to 100 days, or up to the last year.