Story formatting and you - A guide!

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Story formatting and you - A guide!

Postby TheVoreEngineer » Mon Jan 13, 2020 5:59 am

Vore literature! Who doesn't love reading about all the ways all the characters can ingest, digested, and whatever else falls under our umbrella? However, the words themselves are just as important as the presentation! The most immaculate stories may pitter away, locked behind a format that makes reading it a chore. So, how does one go about making a story, formatted well? Didn't ask, too bad you agreed to this when you clicked the thread! Here's a quick guide on how to format stories to make it the best for your readers, in only three easy steps!

STEP 1 - CONSIDER FILE FORMAT OPTIONS!
The most important step is to consider what file format you're going to upload to the portal. Each of the four main file formats has positive and negative consequences for using them! A quick rundown of each!

Word document (.docx) - These are generally the least preferable choice. In contrast, your document will always come out as you format it, yet it exactly copies it, meaning formatting issues can occur on bigger viewing windows. It also has trouble displaying many formatting options, such as images and line spacing. Mix this is with Microsoft words nasty habit of attaching data to document files that can be, not the best to publish to a fetish community, if you're using Microsoft word, try to use .doc files.

Word document 98 - 03 (.doc) - Many many stories on the portal are uploaded in this format, and for a good reason! 98' Word documents are generally are better treated by the Eka's formatting system, properly indented on larger displays, and widely accessible! It's important to note certain things such as line break width don't display, but for those looking to have a simple format to upload in, this is your choice!

Rich Text Format (.rtf) - My personal recommendation, Rich Text Format. RTF files have the least implicit formatting out of any of the main formats you can upload. Without any proper sculpting, it will look like a worse version of a word document. However, unlike other formats, pretty much every change made on a .rtf file will appear on the portal. With proper usage, this can make for some of the best formattings of documents on Eka's, but it will take work.

Portable Document Format (.pdf) - PDF is widely known, a format that's pretty much accessible everywhere! Eka's portal is no exception! Somewhat. For PC users, PDF is a great format, the text window loading an instance of adobe reader to view the document, formatted in the same way every time. As a file format, it's also pretty ubiquitous, meaning if you upload elsewhere as well, PDF makes keeping up multiple accounts easy! However, it's worth noting PDF is something that will not work for mobile. While the site technically doesn't support mobile devices, this might be something to keep in mind.

Each format (outside of .docx honestly) has its pros and cons, and it's up to you to choose which format you most prefer! My list is...
  1. .rtf
  2. .pdf
  3. .doc
  4. .docx
but your list may be different. Consider which format is right for you, and make your choice! Unless it's .docx, then do .doc instead.

STEP 2 - MAKE SOME FORMATTING CHANGES!
Now comes the fun part, actually formatting your story! Formatting documents can always be a bit of a mountain at first, a variety of options with little explanation on how they'll affect the final product. So, the following is a list of considerations to make. Each file format will need different things, so make sure to look out for which ones you need!

Indentation ( .doc, .rtf )
Indentation can be a huge element that is often ignored in formatting, allowing for the reading area to be reduced ever so slightly, and allowing you to keep the edges of the page clear as to not overwhelm the reader! If you want to have a small bit of white space, try setting both the left and right indent in at the same level! Just don't overdo it, as Eka's renders these changes based on the webpage size, meaning too much indent will make it unreadable on smaller windows and mobile!

Line spacing ( .rtf, .pdf)
The space between lines can also be a crucial way not to overwhelm the reader, and the premier reason I use rich text format for my stories. While other formats will compress text, spacing text out can allow the reader to have less on the screen at any given time. Don't make it too big, however, as creating unnecessary scrolling may turn readers away from your content.

Bold/Italics/Underline (All)
While as simple as it seems, using bolding, italicizing, and underlining to accentuate your story can add additional layers of readability and interest to your story. A non-intrusive way to help guide the reader to the more important content, or to symbolize a specific type of content. It can be as simple as italicizing spoken dialogue, or bolding yelling, but try not to go heavy-handed with it!

Font/Font Size (All)
Font choices can add a touch of personality to your story, giving a unique visage to your story unmatched by other users of the portal. Maybe you want to give off a more refined air and use Times New Roman, or maybe a bit more of a clean look and use Verdana. Just be mindful only to use noncustom fonts, as users need to have a font installed to see it. Otherwise, it'll just default to a standard system font! Sadly there is no catch-all for this. You will not find any font installed on all devices (Since Apple products use a different set that non-Apple products), but try to explore what suits you!

Using Images ( .doc, .rtf, .pdf)
Images can also be in your documents! Maybe you create art or have an artist who you can commission, but adding your art or even graphics to a story can liven it up! Don't steal art, though, that's just rude. ;)

Document Margins (at least .rtf?)
I'm not entirely sure of how much of an effect this has on every other document type, however at the bare minimum of rich text format; vertical margins allow for certain content to be higher up on the page than if not made high. Try experimenting for yourself and see!

STEP 3 - TEST TEST TEST!
Test. Test test test test test. You're probably not going to get what you want on your first try, and that's fine! The format I use for my written works took dozens of attempts to get just right, and while it may not take you that many, rarely will you ever get exactly what you want on your first time! And that's ok! If you want to trial types, upload a test document, make sure to make it a scrapbook piece, and set it to private and test away! If you're having trouble coming up with ideas, try this little setup! It gives you a traditional looking compact but fine-looking setup that will look good on nearly any platform! Please note this is for RTF files, make sure to check what settings are relevant to your file type!

FONT: Times New Roman
LEFT/RIGHT INDENT: 1cm
LINE SPACING: 1.5

It's not much, but it can make a world of difference!

If you've made it this far, thanks for reading this, I thought I would throw together a quick little guide on how to think about formatting uploaded word files, if some writers are having trouble with it! It may seem small, but it can bring a whole new depth to your writing, so make sure to give it a go at some point. And, don't use Docx please, I already have enough nightmares to keep me up at night...

~ V. Engineer
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Re: Story formatting and you - A guide!

Postby Stanku » Mon Jan 13, 2020 11:09 am

Thanks, this was very helpful!
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Re: Story formatting and you - A guide!

Postby sweetladyamy » Mon Jan 13, 2020 12:58 pm

Open Office, when saving .docx files, DOES NOT SAVE THAT PERSONAL DATA.
I've checked. Of course, it'll also remind you to save in its' preferred and proprietary .od# format instead due to possible changes that the other formats might make (nine hundred ninety-nine times of a thousand it won't), but that's a good reason to use Apache Open office instead, that and it costs nothing.

Arial, Calibri are two decent fonts. I also like Segoe UI.
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Re: Story formatting and you - A guide!

Postby Misasura » Mon Jan 13, 2020 2:15 pm

This forum doesn't have a like option! D:

I have to say, this is a well thought out post. Most of the time, I never worried about formatting, so I used Notepad instead of anything more robust or interesting.
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Re: Story formatting and you - A guide!

Postby Aleph-Null » Mon Jan 13, 2020 4:55 pm

Excellent post. I would say that it should be stickied, but that probably wouldn't work in general discusion.
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Re: Story formatting and you - A guide!

Postby ninth » Mon Jan 13, 2020 8:12 pm

What's wrong with .txt?

Use line breaks, tabs, spaces, and markdown format for easy export
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Re: Story formatting and you - A guide!

Postby TheVoreEngineer » Mon Jan 13, 2020 8:27 pm

ninth wrote:What's wrong with .txt?

Use line breaks, tabs, spaces, and markdown format for easy export

Hey there!

The main reason .txt files aren't really used is that unlike every other format listed, which uses a code to convert the document into a viewable piece on a browser, text files just have their contents dumped into a viewing window, meaning stuff like markdown doesn't actually work! Alongside this, pretty much every option outside of paragraph spacing and how many lines breaks you use can't really be used, making for a very flat and uninteresting presentation.

Still better than .docx though.
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Re: Story formatting and you - A guide!

Postby ninth » Mon Jan 13, 2020 8:51 pm

TheVoreEngineer wrote:
ninth wrote:What's wrong with .txt?

Use line breaks, tabs, spaces, and markdown format for easy export

Hey there!

The main reason .txt files aren't really used is that unlike every other format listed, which uses a code to convert the document into a viewable piece on a browser, text files just have their contents dumped into a viewing window, meaning stuff like markdown doesn't actually work! Alongside this, pretty much every option outside of paragraph spacing and how many lines breaks you use can't really be used, making for a very flat and uninteresting presentation.

Still better than .docx though.


You can download markdown viewer extensions for browsers. Unless you're referring to Eka's?

You can generate nicer looking documents from raw markdown, like to other rich text formats, with the added bonus of not having to deal with incompatibilities between platforms like you would with rich text formatting.

Plain text is the best way to store written information. It's the easiest to work with on multiple devices. It can actually be properly versioned. Markdown is plain text.

What kind of presentation do you expect from text? What other options do you need?
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Re: Story formatting and you - A guide!

Postby TheVoreEngineer » Mon Jan 13, 2020 9:25 pm

ninth wrote:You can download markdown viewer extensions for browsers. Unless you're referring to Eka's?

You can generate nicer looking documents from raw markdown, like to other rich text formats, with the added bonus of not having to deal with incompatibilities between platforms like you would with rich text formatting.

Plain text is the best way to store written information. It's the easiest to work with on multiple devices. It can actually be properly versioned. Markdown is plain text.

What kind of presentation do you expect from text? What other options do you need?

Yes, this guide is specifically for Eka's story formatting first and foremost. And the issue with requiring an extension is you're putting the onus of the presentation on the reader, where not all of them would want to install such programs or not have the capacity to. And while you are correct, plain text is the best way to story written information, that's not the goal. It's to present written information in an aesthetically pleasing fashion for those you want to share your work with!
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Re: Story formatting and you - A guide!

Postby ChibiToy » Sat Jan 18, 2020 2:39 pm

So, you see, the last time I'd written a document - including all three text alignments, different fonts and various font sizes - in .rtf, Eka's kinda just compressed the whole thing into an incomprehensible mass of letters so I don't see the strong point of .rtf when it comes down to decorating your story with a variety of formatting stuff... I admit I'm just a noob and haven't really concerned myself with "professional formatting" yet but merely converting the very same document into a .doc allowed me to upload a readable version of that...

Oh ye, might be worth a mention that I work with open office too. Dunno if that's where the problem came from...
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Re: Story formatting and you - A guide!

Postby sweetladyamy » Sat Jan 18, 2020 6:36 pm

sweetladyamy wrote:Open Office, when saving .docx files, DOES NOT SAVE THAT PERSONAL DATA.
I've checked. Of course, it'll also remind you to save in its' preferred and proprietary .od# format instead due to possible changes that the other formats might make (nine hundred ninety-nine times of a thousand it won't), but that's a good reason to use Apache Open office instead, that and it costs nothing.

Arial, Calibri are two decent fonts. I also like Segoe UI.
ChibiToy wrote:So, you see, the last time I'd written a document - including all three text alignments, different fonts and various font sizes - in .rtf, Eka's kinda just compressed the whole thing into an incomprehensible mass of letters so I don't see the strong point of .rtf when it comes down to decorating your story with a variety of formatting stuff... I admit I'm just a noob and haven't really concerned myself with "professional formatting" yet but merely converting the very same document into a .doc allowed me to upload a readable version of that...

Oh yeah, might be worth a mention that I work with open office too. Dunno if that's where the problem came from...


It isn't, as I mentioned.
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Re: Story formatting and you - A guide!

Postby TheVoreEngineer » Sat Jan 18, 2020 6:44 pm

Chibi, the only thing I can personally think of is you possibly uploaded while the rtf to html conversion was broken a while earlier this month. Not sure sorry :(
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Re: Story formatting and you - A guide!

Postby ChibiToy » Sat Jan 18, 2020 7:56 pm

So I've followed your advice and fooled around a little. And, yea, could've been a bit more specific here, sorry 'bout that... x3
Turns out if I write in .odt and convert it to .rtf, Eka's(?) screws the line spacing. But if I set it manually to at least 1.5, the doc turns out okay after uploading.
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Re: Story formatting and you - A guide!

Postby TheVoreEngineer » Sat Jan 18, 2020 8:23 pm

ChibiToy wrote:So I've followed your advice and fooled around a little. And, yea, could've been a bit more specific here, sorry 'bout that... x3
Turns out if I write in .odt and convert it to .rtf, Eka's(?) screws the line spacing. But if I set it manually to at least 1.5, the doc turns out okay after uploading.

Yeah, Eka's file formatting is weird in many ways, and honestly, I don't have the patience to try and figure out all the tiny quirks about it. But as long as it works, that is at least a start!
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Re: Story formatting and you - A guide!

Postby ChibiToy » Sun Jan 19, 2020 10:38 am

First of all, it's a neat guide, covering the most basic basics, alright. But I'd honestly hoped for a bit more here. Even if it's just what you like to do in your in your stories and why. I mean, the file format section was, like, good to know but I daresay that every writer who wants to do more than just a quickie has used various formatting options already. What I'd sought here was more or less a recommendation when to use what to get an idea how I fare so far since I'd never really given it any real thoughts until now. I was all like, maybe that italics, this sounds like bold, underline this and that - the heck just use everything together... xp

Also I'd like to hear your opinion on centered text vs. aligned since text alignment is something you don't even mention but I'm of the opinion that it is another valid tool to freshen up your text - if used properly at least... :3
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Re: Story formatting and you - A guide!

Postby NightRoller » Sun Jan 19, 2020 11:53 am

Replying to subscribe to this topic
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Re: Story formatting and you - A guide!

Postby sweetladyamy » Sun Jan 19, 2020 8:50 pm

I use centered text for headers, and for other various purposes, otherwise it's left-aligned.
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