• Blog News: New Story Submission Guidelines



    If you read nothing else, please follow the format of this submission template. It makes our lives so much easier!

    Here’s what you put into your submission email:
    Email subject line: Fanfic: [your title here]

    1.) Tags: Grimdark/Normal/Crossover/Random/Shipping/Sad/Comedy/Sci-fi/Slice-of-Life
    2.) Title
    3.) A Description of the Story
    4.) Link (Docs/DA/Fanfiction.net/fimfiction)
    5.) MAIN Characters in the story
    6.) Incomplete or Complete
    7.) 5 Words you would use to describe your story
    8.) Author Name

    Also to include: Your story’s cover image.

    If you’re feeling a little lost, go ahead and scroll down for some explanations on what each section is, as well as an example!



    Let’s go ahead and walk you through, one step at a time. You’ve got this on lockdown.

    Subject Line

    — Title of your fic, and nothing else. Easy mode! Let’s move on.

    Tags

    1. Always tag your story as correctly and truthfully as possible. That said, try not to pair opposing tags. A story tagged as [Grimdark] [Normal] does not work; the two genres represent opposing narrative goals (hopeless struggles against the universe versus the nifty stuff you’d see in a FiM episode).

    If you are writing a multi-part [Normal] fic that will eventually dip into [Shipping], go ahead and include all of your story’s relevant tags up front so the reader knows what he or she should expect in the future. This is good manners. [Grimdark] aliens arriving to disembowel our favorite cartoon ponies in the middle of a [Comedy] birthday party will suffer a poor reception unless you alert the reader in advance.

    If you are writing a [Crossover] story, we have a special request for you in Section 7: 5 Words.

    Title

    2. This should be the same as what you put in your subject line. Still, you should think hard about what you put here—does your story gain anything with a title like “My Little ___”?

    Description

    3. Perhaps the most important of them all, this one section hamstrings more fanfictions than we’d care to admit. A good, error-free description is the difference between someone looking at your story, and that someone actually clicking through to read it. Take a deep breath, and don’t feel bad if you’re nervous. Every writer struggles with this part! Keep it brief, and use it to highlight the “irritations” or “conflicts” that set your story into motion.

    Links

    4. Don’t post the text of your story in the email itself! How will a reader get to it that way? Post it online instead. Google Docs, FimFiction, deviantArt, wherever — just ensure that an average reader can access your story. Fics requiring mature warnings should probably go up on Google Docs: not everyone is a member of dA or FimF, and may not be interested in creating an account solely for accessing your story.


    Characters

    5. List major characters here, and nopony else. If somepony mentions Princess Celestia in passing in just a single chapter, it’s a safe bet to leave her out even if her words set your story in motion. It is a good idea to include the protagonists and antagonists here.

    If your story contains OC ponies, credit them as “OC Ponies”. The only person who knows who Strawberry Kaboodles is without reading your story is you and you alone. Readers will have plenty of time to get to know your character once they’re reading your fic.

    If you wish to introduce a character later in your story, you are free to leave that character out of this section until your story reaches the appropriate point to incorporate them into the action.


    Incomplete or Complete

    6. Be forewarned: many readers will not touch a multi-part story until it has achieved Update: Complete!, as the author attrition rate is quite staggering — especially if a fledgling writer is at the helm. If you are submitting an Incomplete story, we highly recommend you send at least the first two or three chapters for this reason. We also suggest you give us an estimate of how many chapters you think your story will cover.


    Five Words You Would Use to Describe Your Story

    7. This is just as hard to measure as your story’s description. Instead of repeating the tags, however, give the reader some indication of what he or she is getting into. Is the story Short, Medium, or Long? Are you pairing Flutterdash or Appleshy? Should the reader expect History or an Alternate Universe? Use these words to answer the questions your description does not.

    [Crossover] authors: this is a good place to let readers know what you’re crossing over. More than a few crossovers have languished in our queue for a week or more because we had no idea what to expect from your description and title alone.


    Author Name

    8. Pick one that won’t get you laughed at. Other than that, pretty simple.

    Cover Image

    — We understand that cover images can be hard to come by, but the effort you put into securing one goes a long way with the blogponies. Custom, commissioned / requested images from a famous artist are but one way of several to get what you need. PM an artist for permission to use a piece of theirs if it suits your story; if it’s a commissioned piece, ensure you have the permission of the commissioner to use it, too. If that fails, screencaps from episodes work better than you might expect! If that doesn’t fly — no matter what you’ve told yourself before: try to draw it yourself. If Twilight Sparkle enjoys learning new things, you can, too!

    A word of caution: Novice writers tend to use generators to design characters/images with “flashy”, “unique”, or “powerful” appearances, but often lapse in developing their personalities in-story. As a result, the pre-readers have come to equate pony generator images with fics of lesser quality. We know — this sounds unfair to us, too, but we crave your indulgence on this one point. Look somewhere else for your cover image.



    Still with us? We’ll bet that pretty piece took a while to put together! But hold on for a moment. We’re not quite done. If you so wish, you may relay a few comments to the pre-readers along with the material above. Do, however, pay due diligence to how you present yourself in these comments. Respect and humility are always appreciated; arrogance, rage, and despondency are not.

    Also, leave off any references to how high your story’s been rated elsewhere, or how many positive comments you’ve received on it. It’s to your advantage to realize that a good score on FimFiction — nothing more than an airy number upon reflection — does not affect your chances of publication whatsoever. The quality of your writing alone determines that.

    We’re almost done! Now is the time when you go back and proofread your email for typos and other silly errors. We’re quite serious here — your submission email is the first contact a pre-reader will have with your story. If your email is all mangled up with mistakes, fair or not, the pre-reader will expect those mistakes to show up in your story as well. You do not want this to happen. We mean it when we want to see nothing but the very best from you, and that means seeing it in your email, too.

    It’s been a long and strange trip, without a doubt. But, if you’ve kept with us so far, and have given your story your utmost effort to perfect, your chances of getting published are better than you might think. Send that email, and go off and relax for a bit while we take care of the rest. You’ve earned it, soldier.

    Examples Below:



    Subject: Stable Wars, Midnight Strikes Back
    [Your initial comments go here]

    1.) [Crossover][Random]
    2.) Title: Stable Wars, Midnight Strikes Back
    3.) Description: The evil Sith Lord, Darth Moon, has returned... can Jedi Master Obi-Clop-Celesti, and her apprentice Pink Cakewalker save the rebellion before it is too late? 
    4.) Link: docs.google.com/document/randomletterhadsjh94852sadfja.authkey=derp
    5.) Characters: Pinkie Pie, Celestia,
    6.) Incomplete (Chapter 1 of 300)
    7.) Long, Star Wars, Jedi, Battle, Sci-fi
    8.) Author:The Great and Powerful TRIXIE!


    Here is an example of what this post will look like...

    [Crossover][Random]


    Author: The Great and Powerful Trixie!
    Description:  The evil Sith Lord, Darth Moon, has returned... can Jedi Master Obi-Clop-Celesti, and her apprentice Pink Cakewalker save the rebellion before it is too late?
    Stable Wars, Midnight Strikes Back

    Additional Tags: Long, Star Wars, Jedi, Battle, Sci-fi

    Anyway I am always open to more suggestions.  A lot of what I do here now is just stuff people recommend in emails, so send your feedback, good or bad. 

    As always, email everything to Submit@equestriadaily.com.


    104 comments:

    1. nice¡¡¡ now everything will be more clear

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    2. perhaps cut down the 5 words to 3... might risk the deadly SPOILERS being in there otherwise

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    3. @Epona

      The author sends the words, so it's up to them if they want to spoil it :p

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    4. Five tags to describe the story is not the same thing as five words to describe the story.

      You might want to make that a little clearer in the rules.

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    5. So does the most relevent picture unless otherwise told end up as the header for the story?

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    6. Handy! Thanks Sethisto! ... Man, I gotta sit down and freaking WRITE at some point...

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    7. This. is. a. pony. story.

      There!. Five :3

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    8. Relevant^ derp.

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    9. ...Dangit. I've been wanting a Star Wars/MLP fusion story for a while. I got excited. :(

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    10. @Anonymous

      Pretty much.

      I prefer to borrow from drawfriend stuff.

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    11. Can we use more than five words if it's needed?

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    12. Also, how far in are you with writing that pony wars fic? It sounds pretty awesoem

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    13. Why not just have a submission form.

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    14. Can somepony post a guide on how to publicly share things on GoogleDocs?

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    15. @Homfrog
      Uhh if someone knows this guy pass this along.
      When you are about to upload the file, directly to the left of the button it should say
      private.
      click that button, pick either anyone with link or public on the web, then you are done.

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    16. Thanks for the guide, and with this my first story is away...

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    17. Scribbles AKA ErindorMay 3, 2011 at 8:05 PM

      @FasterThenRainbows

      I'm submitting a story that involves just that.

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    18. Question, for updates, do we just email you the updated story?

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    19. How do we know if our story has gotten past the pre-readers? Will we be emailed if we are rejected?

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    20. So it isn't our responsibility to provide a preview image?

      Could we include the link to a preview image if we wanted to? (cuz I have a friend making a picture for the story I'm working on right now.)

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    21. I can't seem to get Google Docs to display a pseudonym as the document owner instead of my email address. Does anyone know how to fix this? I don't want to submit anything if it means every brony on the internet is gonna see my personal email.

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    22. rainbowdashrocksMay 31, 2011 at 7:56 PM

      sethiso im rainbowdashrocks its my first cool right got to eat bye

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    23. rainbowdashrocksJune 3, 2011 at 8:06 PM

      i have waited 2 days whats uppp

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    24. Never mind about that Google Docs thing...it worked itself out eventually.

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    25. I hope people will forgive me for making a half-life crossover....

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    26. I submitted one. Hope its not too dark to get approved. Thanks for the info and hope that "Shhh" (my fanfic) gets approved! ^.^

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    27. Fabulous~ Thanks for uploading this o3o

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    28. This is great and all, What if we don't know how many chapters our stories are going to be?

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    29. I really hope you can post my crossover, Seth. Wild Kratts and MLP are two of my favorite TV shows, and I really really really really REALLY like them.

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    30. Hello, I am new here and never made a fanfiction, Can you please tell me how I can write a Google Doc? Thanks.

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    31. i just set this up as an account, i hope it works

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    32. cant we link out story to sethisto

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    33. I was just wondering if a multi-chapter was grimdark if the first chapter only had traces of it.

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    34. multi-chapter story*

      Sorry for that derp.

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    35. Woot, now to actually get to work on the story idea I've had flitting about my head for the last month...

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    36. I wonder if I sent mine in the right way or not...

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    37. would we put OC character names into number 5?
      D4SHTH3R4INB0W

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    38. Hm, is it okay to send a picture along with the story if you already have a good idea of what would fit?

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    39. Sorry for wasting your time on me, but may I ask you two questions:
      1)How'd I proove my authority for a story by be being absolutely anonymous?
      2)If I don't know into how many parts will I divide my story into, what should I do? Sit and set up a full plan of episodes or just don't write anything?

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    40. How do you submit more chapters if they are made after the submission of the first chapter? Do you just send them in separate emails to pester the owner, or is there a way to edit the story's page to add the links yourself? I'm writing a story that will be a few chapters long.

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    41. Coming Soon!
      A FanFiction which will break the very mold of how you thought a story is suppose to be written

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    42. Do we put our real name? Or do we just make up a "Stage name"?

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    43. Helpful. I've just made a FF.net account, and in two hours I'll be uploading and then sending you my story.
      Also, Uuugh, do I need to include a title? I can't think of one! I've never been good with titles. *sigh* alright...

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    44. 9:53 here again, I just realized I can put it up on DeviantArt.
      This will go much faster then.

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    45. I just noticed that it says use five words, but the example description is definitely more than five words, nor can I remember a fanfic description that is that short.

      Will I fall into the lava if I just try to copy the length in the example?

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    46. Sherlock Holmes crossover submitted. I only hope it gets past the prereviewers

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    47. No pony wars?! I am disapoint. ;:,

      But thanks I will start to write stuff! 8D

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    48. @Sethisto
      so...

      Spoiler alert Snape kills Dumbledore would be acceptable?

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    49. Do we send extra chapters as emails?

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    50. I dont get the WHOLE link thing,
      I wrote it in my computer trying to post it HERE i hadnt sent it to FANFICTION.net
      HELP HELP HELP HELP HELP HELP!~!!!!!!~!!!!

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    51. Where do the pre-readers come in? I occasionally see comments on what the pre-readers said about a story--is that part of the process automatic once we send the story in?

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    52. I am writing an AppleShy series on DA, and would like to submit what I have so far. It is incomplete, but there are five stories with the fifth being a multi-part story still in progress. I would like to know if I can send the links via one e-mail or send an e-mail per story.

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    53. Does the story have to be by the person submitting it to you?

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    54. Does the story have to be by the person submitting it to you?

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    55. Here's the link to a story of mine on FanFiction.net that I'd like to submit,

      http://www.fanfiction.net/s/7116547/1/bGriffy_bs_bJourney_b

      It's about a Pygmy Griffin named Griffy who decides to live in Ponyville after being through rough times searching for a place to live outside of his old home, the EverFree Forest.

      Here's an image to go with the story:
      http://wesdaaman.deviantart.com/gallery/#/d426503

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    56. how do you sent fanfics to pre-readers!

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    57. There's a part of the instructions missing! What does an e-mail with a story update (new chapters) look like?

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    58. I've got 2 questions:
      1. Is that a crossover if my fanfic is based on a music album?
      2. What should I do if I don't know how many chapters there will be yet?

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    59. You say everything to me
      I send you something
      You say send it to the pre readers or don?t even reply anymore

      what now ? :P

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    60. Hey! Dunthyon here. I added my own tag. Not sure if that's against any 'rules' or whatnot. Plus, there's an OC pony, but I think you might like this story, nonetheless.

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    61. Just to ask - does the fic HAVE to be hosted on one of the three aforementioned sites, or can we use places that don't charge us/force us to wait two days before posting anything?

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    62. I'm sending mine in. I just hope I'm doing this right. 6 chapters at one time is a little confusing to link. -_-

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    63. LOL Maximum Ride crossover IN DEH WORKZ :D

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    64. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    65. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    66. WoW! 300 Chapters is rather...generous!

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    67. I accidentally more than five words for description. I'm sorry - I got carried away (Rocking out too hard)

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    68. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    69. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    70. I do plan on using this guideline in the future. Thank you for assisting.

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    71. er.. what do the tags mean. Things like Comedy are pretty obvious but how dark must it be to be grimdark? how do you know which one your story falls into?

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    72. My art skills are nil, and my story skills not much better.

      My story might be too short, almost more suitable for a 5 panel sequential art.

      Now what?

      I'll post to Googledocs anyway.
      Tell me what you think.

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    73. I just submitted my first fic and I really hope it gets posted! Can't wait to see!

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    74. I'm kind of new around here, but I did write a story that's almost 20 pages long JUST to test my ability in portraying the ponies, I've long wanted to be a writer of a tv series and I hope my submission will work out. This description is great! Keep an eye out for my first submission "Harmony Meets Vanity" which I should be submitting tonight :)

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    75. Very helpful page.
      *Save as draft...*

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    76. Hows the guy gonna nOw if it takes 300 chaps? Or is it an example?

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    77. Once we send it in... we get a note saying it has been sent to the pre-readers... do they tell us if its good enough to get on or not? How long does a response take from the pre-readers

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    78. Was just wondering. Me and my bro are working on getting a story up here and I was curious, if we both contributed substantial content in the development, is it possible to have 2 authors given credit or will only one be shown

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    79. Does anyone know the time frame from submission to publication here? How long can I expect to wait for some kind of response, even if it's to tell me to fly to the moon.

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    80. I just wrote a star wars fan fic and turns out its already done. Le Sigh

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    81. Thank Celestia we don't need our own picture i can't draw for horse apples

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    82. Hey, trying to submit my fic but when i click on the link, it says the Email client wasn't installed. Any way around this?

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    83. I'll take all this in consideration to put mine in the following weeks.

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    84. What do I do if some of the main charaters are made up? Do I put their names as well.

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    85. It may be a stupid, half wit question. But if it contains Luna and Celestia, do they count as background characters? If they don't, what if you were introducing in an unwritten chapter?

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    86. Submitted a story... Now comes the waiting i suppose

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    87. So this is very clear but I wonder, how flexible is the 3000 word minimum?

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    88. "So this is very clear but I wonder, how flexible is the 3000 word minimum?"
      That was me, just trying to figure out how to know if I get an answer...

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    89. @Whatever you want it to be
      If there will be more chapters that will include future characters, then yes you include those into the "every character in the story" you intend to have in it.

      I know at least a few authors who've done just that and some never even hinted of appearing for a few chapters. So go ahead and add them so long as you aren't claiming the story to be 'COMPLETE' and none of those extras show up.

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    90. @Ponyman345 Please take the time to read a little. Not being snippy.

      Any 'MADE UP' characters are labeled ORIGINAL CHARACTERS and are referred to shortly as an OC.

      If you made up the character and no one but YOU know what it looks like or acts like, it is an OC and should be put in your list of "Ponies that will be in the story" as OC.


      TL;DR: Just put OC

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    91. Tried to submit my story, but I haven't heard anything for about a week. Should I resubmit, or assume that it was shot down?

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    92. @Deaths Black Echo

      If I had to guess, It's flexible. The entire point of the minimum is to keep stories the god awful stories off the site. If you're 100 or so off, I'd say you can submit. Just so long as it isn't something like 500 or 1000

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