I Spy Fanfic Archive


Technical Help

Everything looks really strange, like it's all shoved over to the left. What gives?

The archive should look fine on most browsers. IE 7 is the exception - from all reports, this archive looks really wonky on it. If you don't have another browser you can use instead, try installing this utility from Microsoft - it's supposed to open a window that lets you read pages as though you're using IE 6. (Disclaimer: I've never used either IE 7 or this utility, and can't vouch for anything about either of them. The link goes directly to the Microsoft page for the utility.)

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Do I need to register or join to upload stories?

No, you don't need to register or join. True True is an open archive that anyone can use to upload their own stories.

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How do I get a story into the archive?

True True is an automated archive. Just click the Upload Story link in the nav bar, and it will take you to a form to fill out, including a button that will let you browse to the file on your harddrive to upload.

The archive can only accept text files, so make sure you've read the Upload Help page to get the specifics on formatting your file properly. When you're given the option to Preview your file, take it, and please check it carefully, making any necessary corrections before finally archiving it.

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What if I find a mistake in my story after it's uploaded?

If you find a mistake after it's archived, DO NOT simply re-upload the corrected version. You won't overwrite the old file, you'll just create a brand-new one with the same title. Contact the archivist for help in deleting the original file so you can upload the new version. You need to send the exact author name and title on the existing archived version so it can be deleted; once it's gone, you may upload the new, correct version.

Note: When a story is deleted, any comments attached to it are also deleted.

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How do I get a story deleted out of the archive?

Email the archivist with the exact title of your story and the author name you used on it (making sure all spellings and capitalizations match the archived version) and request that it be removed.

When the story is deleted, any comments that went with it will also be deleted automatically, so please be absolutely sure before you ask for a story to be removed. Once the story is gone, the archivist will not be able to retrieve it - you'll have to reupload it yourself if you want it back.

If your reason for wanting to remove your story is because you need to distance yourself from your fanfic to keep from being discovered, please consider simply changing the contact info that goes with it. The archivist understands the need for anonymity and is more than happy to help out by changing author names or any other contact info.

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How do I change my name/email/website/livejournal contact info?

Email the archivist with the old information you want changed, and the new information you want it changed to. Make sure all of the original words are spelled and capitalized exactly as they are on the archive, and that all of the new words are spelled/capitalized exactly as you want them to look on the archive. The contact info attached to each story will be changed.

Please also add a list of all your stories, again spelled exactly as they are in the archive, so that each file can be amended with the correct information, if need be.

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How do I change the title on a story?

Email the archivist with the current author name and title, spelled and capitalized exactly as they appear on the story in the archive, along with the new title (spelled/capitalized exactly how you want it).

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Search and Upload Help

What kinds of stories can I upload?

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Optional vs. required fields during story uploads.

Optional fields are: email address, website, LJ/blog, summary, author notes, and sequel. It's entirely up to the author whether or not to put information in those fields.

Required fields are: title, author, genre, pairing, rating, category. Authors must include that information, or the upload won't work.

Within those restrictions, the archive tries to balance the needs of authors and readers, giving authors control over how much information they provide about their story while giving readers a reasonably good chance of being able to find the kinds of stories they like.

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How does 'select all' work?

For upload: Simply choose as many of the options as apply to your story. This will list the story under each option separately in the database, so it can be found by people searching on that (e.g., if you mark a story as both First Time and Hurt/Comfort, people will find it by searching on either one of those terms).

For search: Choose as many of the options as you want to see in any story. The search will return any result that matches any of your choices. (e.g., if you search for both First Time and Hurt/Comfort, you'll see every story marked as First Time, and every story marked as Hurt/Comfort, regardless of whether a given story is marked as both First Time and Hurt/Comfort).

The exceptions to this are the Summary and Author's Notes fields. In those two cases, the archive searches for stories that exactly match every term you list, so the more terms you list, the narrower the search becomes. (e.g., searching notes for 'challenge' and 'holiday' would return only stories whose notes included both those words.)

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What is the Quicksearch?

Quicksearch is a collection of pre-determined searches, so you don't have to go through the search engine each time.

Quicksearches available include:

date (last 7 days, last 30 days, last 3 months, last 6 months, last year)
author range (names beginning with 0-9, A-C, etc.)
title range (likewise)
genre (gen, het, slash)
rating (work safe, not work safe)

Genre: Why 'select all'? Shouldn't there be just one?

For upload: Most stories are either gen, het, or slash, but some are less easy to pin down - threesomes, or stories where a one type of relationship is important early in the story but another kind becomes important later in the story, or one that goes back and forth between each character's different kind of relationship with an OC, or whatever. So if more than one genre applies, it's helpful to list that so that people searching for that sort of story don't miss out on yours.

Please remember, though, that this is to make searching easier, not to warn about minor content. If you have a gen or het story where the only homoerotic content is Kelly mentioning a brief college affair with another boy, do not mark the story as slash or as Kelly/m. Someone searching for a slash story is going to be disappointed and possibly angry to find that they've been misled by your labels. Likewise, a Kelly/Scotty story where Kelly flirts with a woman and kisses her goodnight before going home to Scotty is not a het story, and will disappoint/anger readers looking for het.

Warnings about content can go in the author's notes, which will appear in the search results.

For search: Selecting multiple options here widens the number of stories that will appear in your results - if you choose both het and slash, you'll see every story in the database that has either of those labels attached to it, as well as those that have both listed.

If you want to see all three genres, you don't have to select anything - leaving a search field blank automatically returns all results for that field.

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Ratings: What are 'work safe' and 'non work safe'? Where's G through NC-17?

The G through NC-17 ratings are sort of a pain, honestly. It's extremely hard to judge where any of the shades of difference come in, and every author has her own opinion about it so there's no real consistency in any case.

So True True has instituted a new two-tiered ratings system: 'work safe' and 'not work safe'. The very rough correlation with the traditional ratings would put G, PG, and PG-13 (or K, K+, and T for ff.net) as work safe, with R and NC-17 (M, MA) as not work safe, but this allows for a little more flexibility.

The final decision on any story's rating is in the author's hands, but as a rough guide, anything up to sexual nudity is work safe, as is anything up to deliberate bloodletting or breaking of bones on the violence end of things. 

  • Peeing against a wall in an alley: work safe. Getting a blowjob against a wall in an alley: not work safe.
  • A character breaking his hand in a skiing accident: work safe. A character refusing to give up information while his fingers are broken one by one: not work safe.

Note: If it's considered work-safe if a man and woman are doing it, this archive considers it work-safe if two men (or two women) are doing it.

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Categories: What are they, and how do I use them?

Go to terminology if all you want are explanations of the various terms.

For upload: Pick as many categories as apply to your story, but please don't over-categorize. These are meant to be helpful for people searching for particular kinds of stories to read, not detailed content warnings. Someone looking for a death story isn't going to be happy with a light-hearted first time that mentions the death of an OC as an aside.

If your story is in a category not listed - for instance, 'holiday' - and you want readers to be aware of it, check 'other' and put the category in your author notes.

If you don't want to categorize your story, choose 'none' and leave all the other boxes empty. This will let the reader know that caveat lector applies in this case.

For search: You have two options with Categories - choose to include, and choose to exclude.

If you leave both fields empty, the search will return all categories. Selecting only one category to include will bring up only those stories that list that category. Selecting only one category to exclude will bring up all stories except those listing that category.

You can fine-tune this by choosing some categories to include and others to exclude - the search results will return all stories with all categories you've included except those that also list categories you've excluded. For example, if you include AU and Hurt/Comfort and exclude First Time, you'll see all AU stories and all Hurt/Comfort stories, except for those AU or H/C stories that are also First Times.


AU: Alternate Universe (also known as Alternate Reality, or AR). Any story that puts the characters in a different setting than the I Spy universe - e.g., a 'university' AU where Scotty is a professor and Kelly is a sports coach, or a 'western' AU where they're marshalls in a frontier territory, etc.

BDSM: Catch-all term for bondage/domination, sado-masochism, Dom/sub, etc. This doesn't mean torture as seen on the show (unless one of the participants is enjoying it in a sexual way).

Case: Catch-all term for an action/adventure story, since in I Spy those are liable to revolve around a case/mission. Case stories that aren't actiony are also appropriate here.

Crossover: A story that includes characters from another show, such as one where Napoleon Solo and Illya Kuryakin from The Man From U.N.C.L.E. work together with Kelly and Scotty on a mission. (Authors: Please list the crossover fandom in the summary section.)

Death: A story that involves the death of either Kelly or Scotty.

Ep-Related: A story based in or around a particular episode (or set of episodes), either by continuing the storyline out in an epilogue or 'tag', filling in 'missing scenes', creating backstory to explain particular events in the episode, etc.

First Time: A story that includes the first time two characters have sex, if the story is about their relationship. (e.g., a case story with a passing reference to Kelly sleeping with a cantina singer he just met doesn't really qualify. A case story where Kelly falls in love with a cantina singer and eventually sleeps with her as a primary part of the story's plot, otoh, would be considered a First Time.)

Humor: If I have to explain this one to you, you'll never get it.

Hurt/Comfort: One character gets hurt, either physically or emotionally, and the other one comforts him, as a primary part of the plot. The hurt needs to be fairly substantial - a bad injury or illness, or emotional devastation of some sort - and the comfort should be appropriate to the hurt. "Ow, dammit, I got a paper cut!" "So run it under some cold water." does not count as Hurt/Comfort.

Non-con: Non-consensual, forced sexual contact. This can include any degree of sexual contact, and may or may not include violence. Some people see this as identical to rape, others see a difference.

PWP: 'Plot, What Plot?' Traditional term for a story that has no real plot beyond the characters having sex.

Rape: Non-consensual, forced sexual contact. This can include any degree of sexual contact, although some people apply this only to more egregious acts such as forced oral, vaginal, or anal sex. It may or may not include violence. Some people see this as identical to non-con, others see a difference.

other: If the author feels that the categories offered are insufficient for her story, she can check 'other' and put more category keywords in her author notes.

none: If the author prefers not to categorize her story in any way, she can check 'none', which will let the reader know that in this case, caveat lector applies.

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Summary: What can I put/find there?

For upload: The summary field is completely optional, but if you choose to write one, there are a few limitations. It's best to keep it short, just a few lines at most, and no HTML is allowed at all. Also, please make sure that this is strictly a summary, something that gives the reader a hint about the story. Don't use this field for personal notes or content warnings - use the Author's Notes section for that.

For search: The search is set up to return only stories that contain every keyword you list. I.E., if you include both 'Jo' and 'Christmas', it will return only stories whose summaries mention both Jo and Christmas, not stories that mention only one or the other in their summaries. Search for different terms separately if you want to find all the stories about individual terms.

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Author's notes: What can I put/find there?

For upload: The author's notes field is completely optional, but if you choose to include something, there are a few limitations. Please keep it short, no more than a few lines, and no HTML is allowed at all. If you want to point to an external page, just put in the URL without making it a link.

You can use this field for whatever you want, including content warnings if you feel they're necessary (and if the categories weren't sufficient).

The author's notes will show up in the search results, and will be appended to the end of your story.

For search: The search is set up to return only stories that contain every keyword you list. I.E., if you include both 'Christmas' and 'holiday', it will return only stories that authors have noted as being both Christmas and holiday stories. Search for different terms separately if you want to find all the Christmas stories, or all the holiday stories, etc.

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Warnings: Where are the warnings?

The archive is effectively warnings-optional. Some of the more major warnings are included as categories, and most authors will likely use those if they're appropriate to the story, but no author is obligated to do so.

However, authors can choose to include warnings if they wish by putting keywords in their Author's Notes. This is the place to add not only separate major warnings (e.g., 'graphic torture'), but also warnings for things like minor het or slash content, death (of a minor character), etc. But again, any such warnings are totally optional.

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Comments Help

Do I need to put my email address on my comment?

No, you can leave the email address field blank if you prefer. In addition to posting the comment publicly on a comments page, the archive also sends a copy to the author by email, using your email address as the From line if you've provided it, and using the archive's address if not, so it will get to the author regardless. But if you choose not to include your address, the author will have no way to respond to you.

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Will my email address show up on the web? I don't want to get spam.

No, your address won't be put anywhere public if you include it in your comment. Only the author will see it, when the comment is emailed to her, giving her the chance to respond to you.

The only public information about you attached to your public comment is your name.

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How does the author know I've posted a comment?

If the author included an email address when she uploaded her story, she'll receive a copy of your comment in email. Otherwise, she can see it when she goes to check the archive to see if any comments have been posted on her story.

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How does the author respond to a comment?

The only way for an author to respond directly to a comment is by email. If for some reason she's not getting emails, or if she deletes them accidentally, she can go and leave a comment on her own story responding to what's there, but the original commenter will not be notified of this.

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Do I get a copy of my comment?

Yes - if you include your email address when you leave a comment, the archive will mail you a copy of it.

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Other Help

I have a question not covered here. What do I do?

If you have a question not covered by the FAQ, by all means contact the archivist at truetrue@trickster.org. Please do check the FAQ carefully first, though!