What is the specific policy on "large site" stories?

3 years ago | Thedude3445 (Member)

Hi, I hate to make another topic about a specific submission, but I was very curious about a sizeable number of story submissions I made and were evaluated somewhat recently. Most of my submissions were accepted, and were from the site Wattpad, but the single submission I made from the site Fictionpress was rejected specifically for being from a large site. It doesn't affect me at all because I've never even read the story involved, but it struck me as very odd. I was completely unaware this rule was still in place... because it seems to be completely unenforced these days.

This is only a rough guesstimate, but from what I've noticed about HALF of the submissions from the past year or so have been from Royal Road, a site that seems to fit every definition of a "large site" with its tens of thousands of stories and million-view stories. In fact, I made this topic not because of this story rejection, but because a different new listing, Defiance of the Fall, has reached #1 after less than a week with over 900 votes, thanks to the readership on Royal Road. Similarly, while WFG has not caught on at all there yet, Wattpad is the largest web fiction site with millions of users.

Both of these sites have plenty of listings though. The exclusion of Fictionpress is a bit weird considering that it's basically dead at this point, but my question is why these two ARE accepted. I guess both are very important as showing the bulk of web fiction popularity in the late 10s, but I can't argue against the notion that the site is very quickly changing its shape as more of these stories are listed. For reference, at the moment THIRTEEN of the top 45 stories on Top Web Fiction at this moment are from Royal Road.

So what is the exact policy about all of these story websites, and which specific ones are allowed or disallowed?

Sorry boss, but there's only two men I trust. One of them's me. The other's not you.

Read responses...


  1. Rhodeworks (Member)

    Posted 3 years ago

    Honestly, I can't tell if the admins think RoyalRoad is a small site or if they think that listing RoyalRoad stories here will draw traffic across to revitalize WFG or otherwise get RoyalRoad users interested in different types of fiction. Pick your piece of this bizarre triad--any option makes it clear that there's a severe lack of understanding going on.

    I keep typing out paragraphs and deleting them. The fact that RRL stories would end up muscling out--for lack of a better term--independent serials was obvious to anyone who was even vaguely familiar with the site the last time this topic came up. If you took the time to investigate RoyalRoad, you'd find that it caters to a particular market and allows one to gain thousands of followers if you hand that market what they want. Even Wildbow has pointed out the tension between 'Western web fiction' and 'Eastern web fiction.' Defiance of the Fall is /three months old/. Wildbow's entire career, whatever you think of Ward or not, has been /eight years in the making/, and he's been cast down in not even a week. If nothing else, that should demonstrate that even the rabid, numerous Parahumans fanbase, unprecedented in size and zeal, is outmatched.

    It was a shockingly bad idea to let RoyalRoad fictions take up real estate that could be used to get eyes on stories that actually need and benefit from the exposure. WebFictionGuide and, by extension, TopWebFiction were the only consistent place that 'independent' serials could pick up new visitors and readers reliably and, in my experience, some of those readers are editors and publishers. Frankly, RoyalRoad stories should be barred and stricken (assuming that unenforced submissions rule is kept) -- or, at the very least, relegated to a specific tab. Otherwise, you're going to end up with no reason to visit the site, and no place for so-called 'Western web fiction.'

  2. Thedude3445 (Member)

    Posted 3 years ago

    I agree with a lot of that and that so much of WFG's traffic comes from or goes to Royal Road (and Wattpad I guess) that it may be having an adverse effect. Now, the counterargument to this would be that Top Web Fiction, in any tab except fantasy, clearly shows that there is not a lot of activity except for the top 20 or so stories anyway; the Young Adult and Modern Fiction genre tabs got deleted due to lack of posts, and it almost seems that Science Fiction is on the verge of extinction too (albeit, mostly because all the "Science Fantasy" genre stories are put in the Fantasy tab). So these two sites have mostly helped to make Top Web Fiction have a more diverse selection of stories with more people actually voting, in theory. However, since the policy still has the submissions rule for some sites, I'm not sure this is actually the reason they are accepted.

    Sorry boss, but there's only two men I trust. One of them's me. The other's not you.
  3. Sharkerbob (Member)

    Posted 3 years ago

    I do think we should basically keep WFG as a linking site for those whose work is primarily hosted on their own websites. As mentioned, the juggernaut fiction hosts already have their own stuff going on terms of ranking systems, forums, etc, that flooding the entries here chokes out people who primarily want to keep their stuff contained.

    Crossposting shouldn't be an issue. WFG can link to the author's site, while if the author posts on Royal Road, that crowd can read from the comfort of their own website, and its on the author's themselves to spread the word of their work through their own efforts.

    All that said, some people prefer to host on one site specifically, rather than juggle multiple outlets, and there's been some stories I've enjoyed that were only hosted on RR (at the time) that I wouldn't have known about otherwise. I'm just not sure what the most effective thing is. It's a mildly damned if you do, damned if you don't issue. This seems like either WFG does the improbable, and accept all comers from every website out there, or it cuts out the competition. If this could be better solved by having different labels for different sites, "Royal Road", "Wattpad", "Independent Website", etc like Rhodes suggested, that could be one way to mitigate it.

  4. AdamBolander (Member)

    Posted 3 years ago

    Personally, I don't want them to ban RRL stories. But that's only because when I have to submit my stories with RRL links. When I tried using links to my personal site, they were all rejected because the guys running WFG don't like Wix websites. Still not sure why that's a thing. Just like how RRL apparently doesn't count as a "big" site, they shouldn't let personal bias keep other people's stories from being listed because they don't like the freaking editor they used.

    Author of The Gray Ranger, The Slayer and The Sphinx, Juryokine, Amber Silverblood, and more! Read for free on http://www.bolanderbooks.com
  5. theredsheep (Member)

    Posted 3 years ago

    I use Wordpress. It suits me fine, and WFG seems to have no problem.

    Re: the main point, the top 45 is pretty well divided between long-established independent writers like Wildbow or Alexander Wales, RR et al, and a mix of little people and new writers shuffling between the spaces at the bottom. If RR users start using TWF more aggressively, they could simply elbow us all out of the way. There's probably not much point in having Skyclad or Large Chests on there; whatever hits they get from TWF have to constitute a drop in the bucket compared to their RR readership. I guess my question for the admins would be whether they want the rankings to turn into an appendage to RR.

  6. Thedude3445 (Member)

    Posted 3 years ago

    I didn't know the topic here would shift so much towards Top Web Fiction lol. I will keep that my main question is still why Fictionpress (and possibly other sites that I don't know about; I've never seen a Webnovels.com story on here, or Tapas.io) are not accepted when the two biggest web fiction sties actually are.

    I kinda like the idea of adding separate tabs for the different "large fiction" sites (basically the five mentioned in this thread already) as well as an "independent" site tab, just because I like having more sorting options personally. But that might not work well at the moment because (probably due to the large site rule) other than RR, barely any of those sites ever actually use Top Web Fiction. And to be honest though, I'd be just as well off if the rule was enforced more instead of loosened; it doesn't affect me since I have my own site.

    Sorry boss, but there's only two men I trust. One of them's me. The other's not you.
  7. sunflowerofice (Member)

    Posted 3 years ago

    Well, royal road does have its own system. A vote and scoring system and relies on each other to create a sort of loop of readers because they are all connected and right there. It sort of feels like if they are able to use this one too then they will be able to use what they gained there as more community writers to try to overtake the more..... let us say, independent writers.

    The fact that some of these RR can go from not on the list to the top of it means something. Especially if, as one above said, over 900 votes in their first week? that means that there is a lot leaking over from RR into here. Maybe if they are from RR they can be listed, but not on the top guide since they already got their own score and voting system on their main community site.

  8. senorimhotep (Member)

    Posted 3 years ago

    I'm thinking it might be worthwhile to do some work on the categories as well to maybe produce more diverse results for those looking for a more diverse selection of series on Topwebfiction. Right now the vast majority of highly voted series are fantasy series (a number of which are from Royal Road which is also dominated by fantasy series) with 30 of the top 45 and sf/superheroes sharing the small remainder about equally, so that a click over to the fantasy tab shows little difference to a casual viewer between the two pages. I like the idea of independent and big writing network sections which could serve to encourage more overall diversity in what one finds there.

  9. sunflowerofice (Member)

    Posted 3 years ago

    To be fair fantasy is the only one that when you click on its tab has a top list that goes all the way to 45.

  10. senorimhotep (Member)

    Posted 3 years ago

    As its been noted in these forums a number of 'science fantasy' titles are put under 'fantasy' instead of 'science fiction' where, IMO, they may more appropriately belong. Here, say, Quod Olim Erat for example. A main character being a space battleship would be more appropriately placed in the science fiction section, based on what I've read of it.


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