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Novels




Using the Novel System




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The Critique Circle Novel System allows you to string together your submissions into a single cohesive whole, giving your readers a very intuitive way to critique your entire novel.


The Novel System is only available for our Premium Members.


You can submit chapters or parts of chapters into whatever Queue you wish without risking a loss-of-continuity for your readers. They will be able to follow the novel wherever it goes, because the Novel System transcends Queues. You might for example put 2-3 chapters in the public Queues and the rest in your private Queue and people will be able to follow it seamlessly (providing they have access to your Queue).



If people follow your novel submissions to a Queue they don't have access to they can request access to the Queue in question with a single click. Irresistible! 


Or the boring short version: People can browse directly to the previous and next chapters of the submission they are currently viewing. 


There are also a lot of bells and whistles with this system:

* You are able to connect your novel to the Outlining Workshop to give your readers insight into your characters.

* You can write up a per-chapter synopsis to get people quickly up to speed who are jumping in late.

* You can combine all discussion on the different novel submissions into a single thread.

* You can have novel-wide author's notes so that you're not always writing the same stuff over and over

* Readers are 'dragged along' to view subsequent chapters when they are critting, even between Queues. Also, if the next chapter is 'upcoming' they are invited to get a notification.

* You can add all sorts of different types of information about your novel for your readers.

* You can add revisions and submit the same chapter part into multiple queues


The interface for creating and maintaining your novel might seem a little daunting at first but once you've mastered using this system we're convinced it will provide you with a more consistent stream of high-quality crits and dedicated readers who are tuned into your every word. 

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Open Up Stories->My Novels. Click "Add New Novel".


Here you can write your novel title and a short description of it. You must select a Type and Genre.


Writing the author's notes is optional but it is highly recommended that you give your readers information on what you're expecting from crits and fill in gaps they might be having. These notes appear before and after all submissions in the novel.


The advantage of using these 'novel-global' author's notes is that you can change them here at any time and all your chapters are updated immediately.


Having author's notes here does not preclude having submission-specific author's notes as well. In fact, the two work very well together.


Once you're done click "Send".


Hide Novel

When you put your submissions into a novel, they become inherently more visible than they would be otherwise. For example, if you have a chapter in a public queue and then chapters in a private queue, readers are able to see that you have submitted the chapters in your private queue (even if they can't access it). Sometimes you might not want the novel to be visible at all. For example, if you are done and don't want any more crits.


You can then choose this option which will make the novel hidden to everyone but you. No one will be able to see the novel navigation on the submissions or the novel information bar.


Keep all discussion in a single thread in your forum

This can be a very powerful tool to help you consolidate discussion about your novel.


When people discuss your submissions a thread is created for each submission. If you are submitting a novel consisting of 10-20 submissions that can potentially mean a lot of threads and each submission typically only has a couple of replies. Therefore, it can be beneficial to collect all those messages in a single thread.


You can select this option at any time, whether you are creating your novel or editing it. However, once you select it the discussion threads for all your submissions in the novel will be moved to the novel thread and the process is not reversible. You should make sure this is really what you want before proceeding.


If you add new submissions to a novel where this is selected they will always allow discussion and that cannot be changed. If you add an existing submission to such a novel the discussion thread (if any) will be moved under the novel as well.


Optional Information for your readers


These are a set of fields which you can fill out if you want to give your readers some additional information about your novel. It is totally optional to add information here.

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Once your novel is created you are presented with a rather bleak looking screen which has your novel name and notes but not much else.



What you should do now is add the chapters into the novel skeleton. This is not the same as adding submissions, which we will do later. For now we add the chapters which are placeholders where you will add your submissions (what are usually called 'stories').

The hierarchy of the novel is the following: Novel -> Chapter -> Submission


Click 'Add Chapter' to insert your first chapter.


Here you can (optionally) enter a chapter name, but you must enter a number for your chapter that has not been used before in this novel. Since this is your first chapter you can leave the '1' there.


Some novels have short chapters so you might want to submit two chapters into the queue at once to conserve credits etc. If you plan to add submissions which contain more than one chapter you can pick the number of chapters here as well. That will inform the system that submissions into this chapter entry are actually meant for the chapter number that you put in and the next chapters as well.


Chapter Synopsis is optional but a very good idea to fill in. Here you should write a short description of the chapter and explain (briefly) what happens, who is involved etc.

When people are reading your novel they will have the option of viewing the combined synopsis of all chapters preceding the one they are currently reading. This will give you a great way to get more readers. If you are submitting chapter 5 in a public queue you are much more likely to get people critting it if they don't have to read your other 4 chapters in order to crit this one. By then they'll love your novel so much you can't keep them away 


So we recommend putting in a chapter synopsis. Not only are you making your novel more accessible to people but you're making yourself write up text that you will have to write when you're submitting your novel to a publisher. A win-win situation.


If this chapter is a prologue or an epilogue that you are going to add submissions to (if you want these to be critted) check that option. There can be only one of those special-purpose prologue and epilogue chapters per novel.


Everything about the chapter can be changed later, so you can fill in what you want when you want it.


You can add all your chapters now, or the first ten or whatever, using the same method as above. You can also do that later, or just when you add your submissions.


Now your novel skeleton is set up. Let's add some meat. There are two ways to add submissions to a novel: You can either arrange stories you have already submitted into the novel or you can submit directly into the novel.

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You can delete your novel, individual chapters from the novel or individual submissions from each chapter.

What this does is it disconnects each contained submission from the novel, but you never actually delete the submission itself from the novel page.


Here is an example:

I have a novel with three chapters, each one with two submissions (part 1 and part 2).

I have rewritten part 2 of chapter 3 and decide to switch the old submission out for the new one, so that people reading the novel will get the newest version.

I click the 'x' next to the submission in the novel detail page.

The old submission is now 'disconnected' from the novel. It still has the same name as it did before, but if you go into the submission you will see that it has none of the novel features and is no longer present on the novel page.


I now rename this old submission to something like My novel name ch 3 (old draft) and submit my new draft into a Queue of my choosing.

When I submit the story I select the novel and the chapter as the place I want to submit to. The submission now becomes Part 2 of the Chapter 3.


You can delete whole chapters or even the entire novel in the same way. This will disconnect all the submissions so they'll become just regular submissions without any of the bells and whistles of the novel system. You can disconnect and reconnect submissions from your novel at will.


Please note: Deleting stories is not the same as deleting submissions in a novel. If you delete your story (so that all its text is gone) it is not disconnected from the novel.

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If you have already submitted some chapters of your novel without using the novel system and you then want to start using it, click 'Link an existing submission to this chapter' in the empty chapter.


You can now select any one of your submissions to Critique Circle, no matter into what Queue it was posted. However, you cannot select deleted submissions or submissions to a deleted Queue. Other than that, select at will and click 'Add to chapter' to continue.


You should take special note of the warning message on this page. The Title, Type, Genre and Sub Genre of the submission will be automatically changed to match the novel. If you pick the wrong story you can always disconnect it from the novel though.


Once you click 'Add to chapter' you find yourself back on the novel details page with the submission visible in the list of submissions for your first chapter.


You can add more submissions to your first chapter if you want by clicking "Submit part XXX" or "Attach existing story as Part XXX". This is especially useful if your chapters are long and in several parts. Typically you will have a single submission per chapter but if your chapters are too long to be critted at once you might want to split them up.

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Once your novel is up and running you will most likely be posting directly into the novel. This is done through the Submit Story page.


In step 2 (Story), you can now either select 'Individual Submission' or 'Chapter in a novel'. If you select the latter you will not be able to put in a title, type or genre, but you can select either to submit to an existing chapter of your novel or create a new chapter. Select either and finish submitting your story as normal.


You are free to enter author's notes for this submission if you wish, but once again it's a good idea to use novel-global author's notes instead.


Note the story title on the confirmation step. It should reflect the novel name and the chapter that you are submitting to.


Once you submit the story you can view it and see that it has the title of the novel with the chapter number, name and part as a subtitle.

If you have submitted other parts into the chapter or other chapters you will see the navigation links to the previous or next submissions.

You can click 'View all chapters' to go to the novel page.


Note that submitting into a novel costs the same as normal submissions. If you submit into a private queue however, each submission will always cost 3 credits, regardless of how many submissions you have in the queue.

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You can add characters, places or whatever structured information you wish to the novel from the Novel detail page. Click 'Add Outline' to start.


Here you can either add an existing entry from The Workshop, create a new Workshop entry or simply just write a name and a description for a quick-and-dirty entry.

You can also optionally add a chapter number which introduces the character so that this entry will not be shown for chapters preceding that one.


Let's select 'Create new workshop entry' from the drop-down to create our protagonist. Now click 'Send' to be taken to the Workshop where you can edit this entry.


You should not check 'Hide this entry' as it will then be useless to your novel. Just enter a name and choose a template.


Once you finish putting in some details (you should especially put some text into the entry's description because that will always be directly visible to your readers), you can go back to your novel and see the entry connected to the novel. You can always edit the entry in the workshop later.


It can also be a great idea not to only put your characters in here, but places, planets, cities or whatever you want to flesh out. You can create your own templates in the workshop to put your data in.


If you open up one of the submissions in your novel you will now see ' Outlines (Characters/Places)' link at the top of the story. If you click this you will see some information about the character that you just put in. This is always accessible to your readers along with the chapter synopsis from before.

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On the 'Story Queue' page you can see at a glance which submissions are a part of a novel by the blue book icon next to the story name. You can also see that even if the story name is clipped because it is too long, the chapter and part are always shown.


When you read a submission that is a part of a novel you will see a few differences from other types of submissions:



1) You are able to navigate between submissions by clicking on the gray links pointing back and forward next to the novel title. The name of the novel and the name of the chapter are also separated.


2) You can view the novel by clicking 'view all chapters' below the story title.


3) A 'Novel Information' box is right above the Author's notes. This box will contain Synopsis for previous chapters, synopsis for the current chapter and information about characters and places that the author has filled in. Clicking the links will expand the requested information in the Novel Info box.

If the information is not available the box does not contain the links.



4) Author's notes is novel-global, that is it is identical for all the submissions in the novel except for the information below "Submission notes".


You can freely navigate between the chapters of the novel as long as you are a member of the Queue in which the submission lies. If you are not a member of a Queue you will be instructed on how to become a member. This might be the case when you're reading a novel in the public Queues and the author continues the novel in his private Queue.


If the next submission is still in the 'upcoming' list you can request to be notified when it comes up for review.


You can see all the chapters a member has submitted in his novel from looking at the "Stories" page accessible from his member profile. If you select "Novel Chapters" you will see a list of all submissions that are a part of a novel, whether you are subscribed to the relevant Queue or not (providing the novel itself is not hidden).

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