It has come to my attention that we have some lingering issues concerning the character list from which authors choose characters when posting a story. In a nutshell, the character list includes sitewide characters--those who might feasibly appear in stories belonging to multiple categories--and characters that are assigned to a particular category. When you select a category for your story, the sitewide character list should expand to include characters specific to that category as well. For example, if you select The Silmarillion as a category, the character Elf: Fëanor becomes available to you. If you select The Hobbit as a category, Other: Beorn becomes available, but Elf: Fëanor is not. This helps to keep the character list manageable, given the sheer number of characters that appear in JRR Tolkien's many different works.
It should work that way. But it hasn't been. Authors who use Internet Explorer have found that, when they select a category, the characters assigned to that category are not being added to the list.
The developers of our software supposedly created a fix for this problem; however, as many of you have learned the hard way, the problem persists. Unfortunately for IE users, this means that we are stuck waiting for a better solution. Luckily, we have discovered a work-around for this problem until it is fixed.
IE users should fill out the entire form, including what characters are available to them on the sitewide list. Then click the "Preview" button at the bottom of the story form. The character list available on the preview page will include sitewide characters and any characters assigned specifically to the categories you have chosen. You are free to add the remainder of the characters then and post the story.
If you still do not see the character(s) that you need, please select "ADMIN: New Character Needed." One of us will be in touch with you to see who you need added to the list and will gladly do so. I generally check at least once per day to see if any characters are needed and the other mods are keeping an eye on this as well, so you should hear from one of us within a day. If you do not, as always, you are welcome to contact me at email@example.com or the rest of the site admins at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If we do not hear back from you within a week or so, we may removed the "ADMIN: New Character Needed" flag from your story in order to keep ourselves organized and prevent multiple admins from contacting the same person about the same request. Of course, we are still willing to add the characters you need, even if we remove the flag; just get in touch with us at your convenience at either of the site email addresses, and we'll be happy to help you.
I know that there have been some bumps in the road as we get the site off the ground. I thank all of you for your patience and support as we try to figure out and solve problems. Please keep the questions and suggestions coming! :)
All the best,