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Doc Swap: An Explanation to the Forum

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Welcome to Doc Swap, a forum unique to The BBS! Need help developing your ideas? Want someone to beta your work? You’ve come to the right place!

In this forum, the threads are all yours. You can have one thread for all your works or individual threads for your novels-in-progress. Each thread is custom-tailored to you. Use it to advertise your docs for proofreading, to share concepts for later on in your work, to develop characters, or to do whatever you'd like in order to get your thoughts shaped.

How It Works
To start off, every thread should have links to your docs. As in, upload your story to Google Drive (see below) and post the public link in the first post of your thread. If you’re writing chapters in separate, individual docs, make sure that the first post always contains a link to your most recent document. This is because, before anything else, Doc Swap is a beta-reading service.

What sets it apart from traditional beta-reading services is pretty simple. Rather than send out requests for beta readers and wait for a response, Doc Swap allows betas to come to you by making everything open. Anyone can be a beta reader.

But wait! Why would you, a random reader, want to beta read for free? Good question! Beta reading works a lot like reviewing in that it’s a give-and-take scenario. The more you review someone’s work-in-progress, the more likely they’ll want to review yours. On top of that, unlike reviewing, Google Docs have the option of interacting in real time with authors, so you can ask questions, discuss points, or simply socialize right on other people’s docs. So the more you interact on someone’s doc, the more you build bridges between yourself and the rest of the writing community, and the more you do that, the more likely you’ll have someone give your doc the same treatment. It’s completely win-win!

So what about the rest of your docs thread? You can use the rest of the thread to ask questions about your works in progress—any kinds of questions. Think of it like a fic idea-sharing thread, only specifically for your story and within individual threads.


Google Docs: What is it, and can I eat it?
Google Docs is a function of Google Drive, a free file storing service produced by Google. To put it in short, Docs is an online word processor that works exactly like other programs you might be used to (such as Microsoft Word or OpenOffice). The difference is that Google Docs is 100% online, meaning you don’t have to be on the same computer to access your files, and all of your files are saved off your hard drive and kept out-of-reach of any nasty computer malfunctions. Docs also comes with all the tools you need to write, including an auto-save feature, which makes the whole writing process extremely user-friendly.

Setting up your account is a snap, and getting your doc online is even easier. If you already have a Google account (thanks to YouTube, Gmail, or any one of Google’s other features), then you already have an account with Google Drive/Docs. If you don’t, the entire registration process only takes a few minutes, with the hardest part being coming up with a username.


Google Docs: Aaaaaand how do I use it?
For the sake of simplicity, check this guide on creating files via Google Docs and this guide on how to share the docs you create. You'll need the link you generate from the second process in order to set up your thread here on Doc Swap. Make sure that your sharing permissions are set to Anyone can comment, and you're good to go!


A short note on advertising
While you’re certainly free to talk at length about your story, please do not use this space as an advertising forum. This is not an advertising forum. Your story thread should be doing all the “hey I updated”/“hey updates will be delayed” talk. If you create a thread solely to advertise your fic, it will be closed. So don’t do it.


Other than that, have fun!
Holmes: Punch me in the face.
Watson: Punch you?
Holmes: Yes! Punch me! In the face! Didn't you hear me?
Watson: I always hear "punch me in the face" when you're speaking, but it's usually subtext.
- Sherlock, "The Scandal in Belgravia"

The girl responsible for this atrocity to mankind. And this one. And these
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