I’ve printed out “My Cousin Shows Me Around Campus” and reading through it on paper as a final edit. I’m changing stuff left and right. 37 changes in the first four pages. And I’ve done multiple editing passes on this story.
Don’t expect a lot of help on improving your writing from Literotica. Before I started publishing there, I had thought that the site would have lots of authors that were working together to improving their writing. A large number of authors go to Literotica to publish their stories every year and there really isn’t other place to discuss your erotic story. It’s not like you can discuss your latest LitE story with your co-workers before the start of your next departmental meeting. To my surprise when I did start writing, there wasn’t a lot of help from my fellow LitE authors.
There are three main places to turn to on LitE for help. The first is the storyfeedback forum. Go there to create a thread asking for feedback on your story. Sadly, not many people will provide you feedback. If your story is about a less-popular topic, no one may bother read it and give you feedback. I hang out there quite a bit.
The second is the Author’s Hangout. Before I started hanging out there, I would have thought there would have been a lot of deep discussions about writing. Writers would bring up an issue that they are having in their current story and other writers would offer their insights. There aren’t too many threads like that and most of them get just superficial responses. Too many of the responses are sniping or snark.
The last place is Adult How To story category. There are a number of writing articles posted there, but I find them shallow and full of platitudes. That category is really better if you want to find out how to perform some kind of sex that you have don’t before like anal. Lots of articles on how to give head and eat pussy.
Lastly, the last source of assistance to improving your writing on LitE is the comments and Private Messages you get. I find those not very helpful for improvement. People leaving comments rarely take the time to provide enough detail to be helpful. For example, I’ve seen lots of comments like “get an editor” and “re-read your story before posting it”, which aren’t helpful when I re-read the story many times before sending it to an editor.
My biggest advice is to have low expectations, but I’ll save discussing that for another time.
My next biggest is to start small. I see so many first time authors start with a multi-chapter story. And their first chapter sucks. Then they are committed to a major project that’s going to have a small and shrinking audience. I was going to do that and fortunately decided to start small before publishing the first chapter of my magnus opus (turns out the first chapter of my magnus opus sucked). Your first story is not going to be very good. Write something small (2-4 pages) and get your feet wet.
“My Cousin Shows Me Around Campus” is out to beta-readers. I got some feedback for an earlier version and have incorporated that. I thought of a couple little changes after I sent it out. I’m not expecting to make too many more changes. So now it’s time to worry about how it’s going to be received. Ever since “My Daughter Interrupts My Work” got a sub-4 initial rating, I’ve decided I’m a poor judge of how my stories are going to do. So much work and it’s a crap shoot as to how people are going to like it.
I like giving readers feedback on their stories when they ask for it in Literotica’s Story Feedback forum. Of late, two other people have been giving feedback on stories that I give feedback on. We have different very different critiques of those stories. At times, the other two are like “Ignore that loon, 8letters.”
A lot of the contention is because I feel that an author should clearly define the context for his story and the other two critiquers don’t. For example, we all reviewed a story set in Feudal England where the main male character is a Norman noble. He basically parachutes into the story all alone with no description or backstory. We don’t even know his age. My feedback was that the story would have been better if the author had told us more about the main male character. The other two critiquers disagreed.
Coincidentally, I’m writing a Dad-Daughter story where we know almost nothing about the Dad. I don’t describe how he likes, what he does for a living, where he grew up, etc. I’m doing for him what the other author did for his Norman noble. And I’ve been thinking why I feel it is appropriate for my story and not for his.
What I’ve come up with is being intentional about the details. We authors need our readers to fill in the details and we should be intentional about the details we ask them to fill in. In my story, the main male character is the father of three children. How he interacts with his kids defines his character. The attraction that builds between him and his daughter comes out of those interactions. Where he lives, what he does for a living, where he grew up, etc aren’t germane to the story. By leaving them out, I’m making the character more universal and hopefully more people can put themselves in his shoes. On the other hand, we should know more about the Norman noble so that we can understand why the female main character falls in love with him.
Similar to that, I think it’s good for there to be unanswered questions in a story. In “My European Summer Vacation”, why did Sinead walk up to Noel and start talking to him? Eventually, I answered that question. But an author should be intentional about what questions are unanswered.
Thinking about to the feedback I gave the author, what I was trying to get across was that he was repeatedly unintentional about the details. It was like he had a great punch line but he wasn’t telling us enough details to set up the punch line.
If I were to boil my advice on writing down for Literotica.com to three points, they’d be:
1. Have an interesting premise
2. Have two likeable characters who have an obvious attraction for each other
3. Get into telling us about #1 and #2 quickly
I just can’t imagine someone joking about their spouse having sex with someone else. It’s pretty common in the stories on LitE. I read a couple of examples recently:
“Ok, it happened after a work party. One of Levi’s co-workers was a woman who Levi always had the hots for. I’d always rib him on how much he wanted to have sex with her but it was always more in jest.”
“So, let me get this straight?” I heard as the shower door opened and my naked wife slipped in behind me. “A petite redhead, soaking wet, her nipples flashing you, was stuck on the side of the road. And all you do is fix her flat? No reward for the chivalry? No gift for saving her from the the dangers of being out in the rain?”
I know when she is digging deep and when she is being coy… This was definitely the latter.
“Yep, poor me, defender of the helpless, a savior of the people” I kind of stuttered that last part as one of her hands circled my cock and the other cupped my testicles. Stroking me her hand moved from my balls to my ass, slowly circling my rear.
“You know, I just might have to give you a one-time pass the next time you rescue a damsel in distress.” Her breath under my chin, her breasts leaning against my side. “Especially if that damsel just happens to be bearing a couple million in gifts.” On that last point her fingers massaged my prostate and I exploded.” Three hard blasts hitting the wall, and a few more dribbling down her hand.
In the second case, it would be a stay-at-home wife joking about her husband having sex with a new co-worker. If the husband ran off with the new co-worker and divorced the wife, it would be economically devastating to her. The thought of that wouldn’t put me in a knee-slapping mood.