You've already signed up for a new account, and you're ready to get started on adding your first story to the Ad Astra Star Trek Fanfiction Archive. Let's first get started with the Account Info section of your menu, where we can get you started on adding your story!

After you click on Account Info, you will be presented with a new screen that should have multiple options open to you. One of them should read Add New Story.

After click on that link, you will be presented with a brand new, very long page that has a lot of options. We'll go through each part of the page one by one, don't worry. Let's begin by entering in some basic information about your new story:

The top-most portion of the screen is the Title and Co-Authors section. Obviously, the title of your story should go in the Title field. If you're collaborating with one or more authors, then you can search for them by typing in their Penname in the Search field. The site will show a list of possible matches that you can click on, and then they are added to the list of co-authors.

WARNING: Co-Authors that you add to the story can add chapters and edit chapters you've already uploaded. If you add someone to your story that shouldn't have access, then do not add them.

Once you've finished with this section, scroll down to the next bit of the page, which deals with the Summary:

The Summary of your story is essentially a short paragraph that is used by readers to find out what your story is about. If you have a cover for your story, you can use some HTML magic to slide the image within your summary so that it catches the eye of the casual reader. Usually, a good three-to-four sentence summary is a good start. If this story is part of a series, perhaps make mention of it as well (ie: This is Book Two of the Untitled Series).

There's a big red arrow pointing to the Use tinyMCE option. This is important. If you're uploading nothing by plain text, then you can remove this check mark and it will upload only unformatted text. Otherwise, if you have a lot of formatted text (ie: bold, italics, or underlined text), you will want to keep this box checked or ticked. The tinyMCE editor will preserve as much formatting as it recognizes.

You will see this box show up in more sections of this page, so remember the above information when the time comes.

Now, let's continue down the page a bit more to talk about Story Notes:

The Story Notes section is used when you'd like to preface the story with information pertinent to the production or setting of the story. For example, if you were writing a story about the characters from Star Trek: The Next Generation, you might wish to impart when the story takes place within the TNG timeline so your readers are properly oriented. Additionally, if you have some acknowledgements or dedications to make, this would also be the proper area in which to do so.

This section is optional. You don't have to fill it out if you don't wish to.

Note that this area also can use the tinyMCE editor that we talked about earlier. If you wish to only use unformatted text, uncheck this box.

Now that you're done, let's move on to setting the story's Categories, Characters, and Warnings:

Now, this area might seem a little bit daunting, but don't worry; we'll get through it together!

A Category is simply asking what kind of story you're adding. Are you adding a TOS story? TNG? DS9? Voyager? Scroll through the different options, and then click the > button to move it over to the Selected Categories area. You can select more than one, should it apply. If you're not sure which category to select, click here to read about what each Category means so you can choose the best one.

Why is this important? Ad Astra has a lot of readers who watch each category for new stories. A reader might only be interested in Star Trek: Enterprise stories or Expanded Universe stories. Classifying by category is important in order to reach the best possible audience for your story.

After you select your category, the Characters section is going to change. If you have written a TNG story and added it to the TNG category, then all TNG-era characters should now show. You can select one or more by clicking. For multiple characters, use CONTROL (COMMAND on OS X) and Click to highlight more than one character. If you don't see a character you're using, please open a support ticket and request that we add it in for you.

Genre will indicate the subgenres of Trek fanfics. Again, as above with Characters, you can use CONTROL/COMMAND and Click to select multiple genres if they apply to your story. You may have written an Angsty Family Drama story, or a Romantic Comedy.

Finally, we need to set the Warning if it applies. This is usually only selected by authors who specialize in stories using coarse or profane language, graphic sexual situations, or killing a character. Our readers wish to be informed if they're about to read something offensive. When using this section, err on the side of caution.

The next section is going to deal with rating your story:

Your story's Rating will place it in a list of other stories with similar ratings. For more information on the Ad Astra rating system (we use the FictionRatings system), click here.

If your story does not contain more than one chapter, you can click on Complete. This will inform readers that there are no more sections to be added to the story at a later date.

If your story was part of a Round Robin writing exercise, check this box. If you don't know what that is, it's likely that you won't select this option. For more information on round robins, visit our forums.

Are you ready to start entering your story text? So are we! Let's continue on down the page:

Okay, you've made it this far and now it's time to get down to business. First, we need your Chapter Title. The site will automatically assume that you call your chapter by number (ie: Chapter 1), but you can delete this text and add your own. If you use chapter sub-titles, for example, you can add it here.

Right below it is a big text area for Chapter Notes. Like Story Notes up above, if there is pertinent information about this specific chapter, you can add it here. This section is entirely optional; you can leave it blank if you have no notes to add.

Now, it's time to finally enter your story's text:

You have two options for Story Text: you can either cut and paste from a document on your computer into the editor, or upload the document into the system using the button below the editor. Both are available. Again, note the tinyMCE editor checkmark at the bottom of the editor. Select this if you're using formatted text.

Now, if the text doesn't appear to match what you're looking for, don't worry! the most important thing is to ensure that all your chapter text is in the editor. We will preview it later.

We have one more section to go before you can use the Preview/Submit:

The End Notes section is primarily used for writing out any footnotes or perhaps some sources used in the creation of your story. They're displayed at the end of the last chapter of the story. This section is entirely optional; you can leave it blank or edit it later.

All that's left is to Preview or if you're satisfied with the look, you can click on Add Story now. Preview will change the screen to show you how the entire chapter will look with all formatting and site thematic additions. Scroll down past your preview text to edit your story again. Once you're finished with all your edits, click on Preview once more to check, then Add Story to publish.

You're done! Congratulations on publishing your first story on Ad Astra! Head over to the forums and announce it!