Frequently Asked Questions


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  • Features and Tools
  • Features and Tools

     How do page bookmarks work?
    By using the bookmarks you can create shortcuts to the pages you use most frequently. You access the bookmarks from the top bar bookmark icon,

    If you put your cursor there a menu will open up that allows you to edit your page bookmarks, go to a page bookmark you have already saved or bookmark the current page.

    When you start out you already have a few bookmarks added. You can then add frequently viewed pages yourself.

    These page bookmarks are different from the bookmarks you can add to stories.

    You can have up to 10 page bookmarks if you are a regular member, 20 if you have a premium subscription and 40 if you have a premium gold subscription.

     How can I see who is logged in?
    This can be found by clicking into that little "flag" icon (also known as the 'Notification Center') located in the upper-right portion of the page - just above the menu bar.

    Once you prompt that drop-down menu you'll find that the last list item shows the number of members currently online.

    From there, if you're curious to know exactly who those people are, you can select the button for 'view members' and you'll be provided with a list of names.

    If you see a list of members, they can also see your name. If all you see is "Sign in to view list", nobody can see your name - though you can change this instantly by clicking that sign-in link and then clicking the 'submit changes' button at the bottom of the settings page (which you will be automatically redirected to). The system should already have checked the "Allow others to see when I'm logged-in" option for you.

    If you wish to remain anonymous while logged in you will need to select 'change settings' from the drop-down menu spawned under you user name, navigate into the 'account settings' tab, and uncheck the box that says, "Allow others to see when I'm logged-in".

    The status for online members is updated every 10 minutes. A member may therefore appear online although they left during the last nine minutes. It's also possible for someone to have been using the same page for ten minutes and thus appear to be offline. To that extent, this is not always a completely reliable list.

     The Notebook
    Here is some general information on how to use the notebook. If you have a problem, or if you think this FAQ is incomplete, please drop us a note and we will try to improve it.

    The basic interface:

    Dragging and dropping: To move notes around, simply point to the header of the note (the part in a different color) and hold down your left mouse button and move the note to where you want to put it. You can also resize each note by dragging it by its sides or the bottom right corner, just like a window on your desktop!

    Dragging between folders: To put a note in a folder, drag the note over that folder, until you see the folder icon change. Then release the note.

    Changing note colours: You can change the colour of the note by clicking one of the many colored rectangles at the bottom of the editing box.

    Adding and removing folders: To add a new folder, click "Add Folder" in the main Notebook menu.
    To delete a folder, open that folder (by clicking on it) and then click "Delete Folder". Note that your folder must be empty before you can delete it.

    Autoarrange : If you click "autoarrange" your notes will line up in an alphabetical order.

    Changing the size of your storyboard: You can use the browser's zoom functions to make the storyboard bigger or smaller. You can press control and - to make the storyboard bigger and room for more notes on your screen, and control and + to make the storyboard smaller. Control+0 will return you to the standard size. You can also use control and the mousewheel.

    Number of notes: Regular members can write up to six notes, premium members have unlimited number of notes.

    Html: You can use html in all your notes.

    Length of notes: Notes can be up to 10.000 characters. That's about 2000 words.

     Using the notebook for plotting
    You can use the notebook for plotting, or story-boarding.

    You could, for example, write a note for each chapter or for each scene. Then you can play around with the notes on your screen, dragging them back and forth as you organize and re-organize your story, adding scenes here, and taking them away there, until your story line looks the way you want it to.

    Story-boarding often helps you get a better overview of your story.

    Please let us know if you think of ways we can improve this tool.

     How do I use Personal Info?
    You can use Personal Info to tell other members about yourself and tell them what you're up to, what books you are reading, what progress you are making on your manuscript or anything else you'd like.

    This is easy to do. You start by going to your own member page by clicking on your username in the top-right corner of the screen.

    Then you can click Add in whichever category you want to add something to. This will add a form onto the page where you can add your information. Click 'Submit Changes' to add the information to your page.

    If you want to keep this information to yourself, you can click 'This is a hidden entry'. That way only you can see it.

    Premium members can also create your own categories. You click Add category and fill out the form. There are several options you can experiment with.

    You can change your entries at any time by clicking edit, delete them by clicking delete and move them by dragging on the little icon on the far right.

    Have fun!

     How do I claim authorship for a book I've written?
    Navigate to the 'Bookshelf' under the 'Community' dropdown menu. From there, type in keywords such as the book's title and the name you published it under. Unless your title is outrageously unique it'll save you time to include both the full title and author of the book into the search field.

    The bookshelf is linked to Amazon, which means a) You won't have to worry about adding your book to the bookshelf. If it can be found on Amazon you'll be able to find it here. b) Whatever Amazon shows as the information for 'Title' and 'Author' is the same information you'll want to use in your keyword search.

    Once you've located your book via the library search you'll need to click on the hyperlink for the book title so you are taken to the physical page for your book (if you see '=search' up in the address bar you are not on the physical page for the book). At the bottom of your book's permanent home on CC you will find a 'click here' link following the question, "Are you the author of this book?" Clicking this link will position your book in the "Books written by CC members" category on the Bookshelf's main page and link you as the author.

     How do I use Manuscript Progress?
    First, hit 'new manuscript' to start your chart.

    Type in the info you need—title, description, and charting by WC, keystrokes, etc. Hit send.

    This brings you to progress graph, and you'll see the name of your work and the chart.

    Go to progress goals. Set a goal, hit 'add point.'

    Go to numeric table. Write in what you accomplished each day (keystrokes, WC, etc). Hit add point.

    This will take you back to Progress Graph and you should see a red line for your goal, and a blue line for your progress.

    You can now add more daily WC on Numeric table (it will automatically fill in the acumulated amounts in the second box for added entries) and hit 'add point', or you can add another goal in addition to the first one under Goals (make sure you change the date for the second goal).

    **Please note that non premium members can only have one manuscript tracked for progress at once. To have full access to this feature with multiple novels tracked, please consider Premium or Premium Gold membership.

     How to arrange your queues
    If you're a premium member, you can arrange your Queues however you want to. This is done here.

    You will see your queues listed in a seemingly random order with a 'section' called (Automatically Arranged) at the top. This means that all the Queues under that bar are managed by the system into the following categories: Public Queues, Private Queues, My Queues and Closed Queues. You must drag any queues you wish to reorder so that they are above the Automatically Arranged bar.

    You might want to have names for your own sections. Try inserting a new section by clicking Add Section. You can give your section a name and click 'ok'. Your new section appears on top of the default section. You can now drag your Queues out from the default section and into your new section.

    Note that everything beneath the (Automatically Arranged) section will not be ordered and any new sections under it will be deleted once you click "Save" so make sure you place any new section headers above the (Automatically Arranged) bar.

    You can always reset your arrangement by dragging the (Automatically Arranged) section to the top. Dragging your Queues around under the (Automatically Arranged) section will have no effect.

    You can drag Queues to the top without any section above them. This will just put them onto the top of your Queue page. You can even just drag the (Automatically Arranged) section to the bottom and leave it at that to have all your Queues lined up the way you want to.

    Quick questions:
    Q: How do I delete a section I created?
    A: Drag it below the (Automatically Arranged) section and it will be deleted when you click Save

    Q: I arranged my Queues and it doesn't work when I click Save
    A: You were probably arranging Queues underneath the (Automatically Arranged) section. Those Queues cannot be arranged. Try dragging them above the (Automatically Arranged) section.

    Q: My new section vanished when I clicked Save.
    A: Your section was beneath the (Automatically Arranged) section and was deleted.

    Q: Can I arrange Queues in the (Automatically Arranged) section?
    A: No, you must create a new section above the (Automatically Arranged) section and drag your Queues into it in order to arrange them.

    Note: If you don't understand something, ask the moderators and we'll explain it and include in the FAQ.

     Is there any way to make the font size bigger?
    Yes. Click on the little paintbrush at the top to the right of the "Critique Circle" logo. It gives you many options to customize the look of the site, including font size.

     If my exercise is accepted, how long until it comes up?
    We have quite a lot of exercises coming in, so it could be several weeks or even months.

     How does the Spell Checker work?
    CCSpell is the name of Critique Circle's spell checker. It is very simple to use and available for all large (multi-row) text boxes on the site.

    To use it, first write your text into the box (critique, forum message, note, etc) and then click the spellcheck link on your textbox toolbar.

    The textbox will now become yellow and after a few seconds (after the "Working") box has disappeared from the upper left corner) found spelling errors are highlighted in red.

    To change a misspelled word click on it. You are presented with a drop-down menu where you can edit the word directly by clicking on it in the topmost row and writing it in, or you can select a word suggested by CCSpell.

    Each word has a icon next to it. Clicking on these will bring up a new page with the dictionary and thesaurus definitions for the word (from answers.com).

    You can also ignore all instances of a word in your text (just this once) or you can add the word to your personal dictionary. Don't worry about adding names or special-purpose words, you can always edit your dictionary later by clicking on "CCSpell" in the bottom of this drop-down menu.

    CCSpell is not available for story submissions. You should spell-check your stories in your word editor of choice before submitting to CC. There is also a limitation of 3000 words per text area. This is because spell checking adds an extra load on the server and we want to minimize that.

    Please notify the admins of any errors you find with CCSpell so we can continue to make it better and more usable.

     How does the Outlining Workshop work?
    The Outlining Workshop in the Toolchest can be an extremely powerful tool for helping you to create characters for your stories.

    It can be a daunting task to build characters and maintain consistency throughout the story. The Outlining Workshop can help you in both areas.
    Each character is set forth as a series of facts such as "height", "hair length", "religion", etc. and after going through the workshop with your character it is inevitable that you have gotten to know him or her better.
    The data is kept here on Critique Circle for you to look up and edit at any time. You can also print it out for quick reference.

    To Add a new character (any any type of outline) to the Workshop Click "Add Outline" From the toolbar. You are now presented with the "Outline Creation" screen. If this is a character then you can insert a name for your character, specify which story he is in and add a short comment for you to better identify him later.
    You do not have to fill out the fields and this information can be changed at any time.

    What you will have to do, however, is specify a template upon which to base this outline on. There are several public templates available, both from the Administrators and Premium Members. You can click on the associated "view" link to view details regarding each template.
    Once you click "Create Outline" your character is created and you can start to add information about him.

    Premium Members are able to add an unlimited number of outlines while normal users have a maximum of two concurrent characters (if you delete an outline you will be able to start a new one).
    Premium Members can also create their own templates and adopt existing templates to their needs through the "Outline Templates" page. To better understand how that works we recommend that you try to create a template from scratch and follow the simple instructions outlined at the bottom of the page.

    Have fun with the Outlining Workshop and don't hesitate to contact us if you have any questions!

     How do story bookmarks work?
    When reading a story, you will notice a little bookmark icon on the left margin text.

    This icon will show you how far you've progressed in the text in percentage and if you click it a story bookmark will be added in this spot.

    The next time you go into this story it will automatically scroll there for you to continue.

    This works across sessions and devices so you can start to read a story on your ipad and then easily continue on your desktop.

    These story bookmarks show up on a special Bookmarked Stories box on the front page giving you easy access to the story.

    You can also bookmark a story for later reading by clicking on the Bookmark story or Add bookmark links in the story pages or in the popup that appears when you hover over a story title. These links will typically have this icon:



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