Story Butter

Flash Fiction
Writing Prompts

typewriter

Posting A Story

Welcome to Story Butter's Story Starters blog, where writers and readers come together over stories and the writing prompts that inspire them.

On this page we explain: how to draft and publish a story, why stories have word count limits, and how you can use this site to promote your book(s).

Let's get started.

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How To Post A Story

Here's a step-by-step guide of how to post a story and a brief introduction to Muut, the commenting system we use:

  1. Muut

    Muut is a commenting system.

    In their own words, Muut is “a complete re-imagining of what online discussion should be,” and we just love that tagline because we’re essentially trying to do the same thing, except that we’re more focused on re-imagining online storytelling itself, not just the conversations that stories inspire.

    We believe that the team behind Muut has created a fantastic discussion platform and we’ve customized it so that writers can post stories to prompts and readers can post comments to stories.

  2. Log In

    Do this before you type.

    Unless you want to lose content, log in before you begin typing or pasting your story. There’s a glitch with Muut that sometimes punishes people who type their story first and then try to log in to the system to publish. Specifically, the system completely erases everything you’ve typed and starts over again with a blank comment box.

    Not cool. Still, you can easily avoid this by logging into the system before you add ANY text.

    You’ve been warned.

  3. Write

    Now that you’ve logged in, you can type or paste your story into the comment box by clicking inside the box. Notice the question mark in the upper right corner of the comment box. Click on it to open a window that displays your formatting options (how to italicize text, provide links, etc.).

    When you type or paste text into the comment box, a preview box will appear below the main comment box. The preview box displays formatted text so that you can see exactly how the story will appear when it’s published. It also includes a word counter that keeps track of how many words are in your story; remember: published stories must be under 1,000 words.

    We ask that you keep stories to a max of 1,000 words because our posting system has certain functionality limitations and because 1,000 words is the upper limit for flash fiction (most flash stories are actually less than 500 words). Also, a reasonable word limit prevents writers from overwhelming readers, and the commenting system, with really long stories.

    That said, we encourage writers to use these prompts to craft longer stories, so if you’re not willing to commit to flash fiction writing, post the first 1,000 words of your story to a prompt and then provide a link that leads to the full story. If you do this, include a disclaimer at the very beginning of your post that notifies readers that to read the full story they’ll be directed to another site. Keeping readers informed is always the right thing to do.

  4. Edit

    We advise that you proofread your story several times before you hit the “publish” button because Muut only gives you a 2.7 minute window to make changes to a published post. Once that time limit has expired, your published story or post can never be changed or deleted except by us (we can delete offensive posts, but we cannot edit ANY material).

    Here’s what Muut has to say about why they make posts permanent:

    “Discussion must have credibility. In real conversation, you can‘t take back what you said. You can elaborate, or correct yourself later. Similarly, Muut preserves the state of a conversation – with all it‘s warts – so people that come late have the same experience as those who were there when it happened.

    Seeing someone’s evolving argument and changed positions helps outsiders to become integrated into a community, thereby raising the overall truthfulness and creativity of that community, regardless of all the grammatical errors and redundancies.

    The more honest bloggers do exactly the same. They take care to make corrections on the bottom of their blog, leaving the original post with all its errors in place.

    For the sake of integrity of the users’ posts, anything attributed to them should have come from them. An administrator editing their posts would change their words. With Muut, users can trust that anything attributed to them was truly said by them. Users don’t have to evaluate how evil a given moderator is on any forum powered by Muut; they can trust that we take care to protect users from bad moderators as much as we do the other way around.

    Not being able to edit your post will also make you think harder about what you write, which increases the quality of the content. We firmly believe that this is crucial for compelling communities. There must be integrity and accountability in order to build a successful community.”

    We agree.

  5. Publish

    All done!

    Congratulations! You’ve just shared your very own story with the world. We hope that you stick around and share many more.

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Promote Your Book

Writers, we encourage you to use this site for promoting books.

Simply craft a flash fiction story by combining the characters or plot of your book with a writing prompt, and share the story with us. Be sure to provide a link to your book, blog or other website so that fans can find you.

Have fun with it!

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Keep It Clean

You cannot use this site to post any material which is vulgar, defamatory, inaccurate, harassing, hateful, threatening, invading of others privacy, sexually oriented, or illegal. Also, you cannot post any copyrighted material that is not owned by yourself. You remain solely responsible for the content of your comments/stories. We reserve the right to delete any story that does not abide by these rules.

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Copyright

As a writer posting a story to Story Butter, you retain the full rights to your story. We cannot change or sell your work. And anyone who shares your story, must attribute the work to you. We consider stories published here to be licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs CC BY-NC-ND License, which is the most restrictive Creative Commons license.