How To Win the Survivor ContestbyBOSTONFICTIONWRITER©
It's easy and it's fun!
"Easy! Well, kind of, not really, not at all. But, it's fun! Well, kind of, not really, not at all."
This being my second year competing in Literotica's year long Survivor Contest, I have learned a few things about the Survivor's Contest necessary to win or, at the very least, place in the money.
I like the Survivor Contest for two reasons, it makes me write every day and it is the only contest that I have some control over winning, being that it is a contest of quantity and not quality.
There are those writers and readers who hate the Survivor Contest because they feel that too many inferior stories are dumped on the board for the sake of the contest and not for the sake of the art of writing. If it was up to them, they'd have Literotica offer no contests. Yet, I have a feeling they'd be the first to complain if there weren't any contests offered. You just can't please all the people all of the time.
What I like about Survivor is that if you are a hack like me, you don't have to be a good writer or even have a bunch of friends voting for you to win the survivor contest or to finish in the money. All that it takes are dozens and dozens of 750 word stories. Notwithstanding, it is not an easy feat to write the volume of stories necessary to win or place in the contest. Towards the end of the contest, it gets more difficult to think of stories to write. After a while if feels like you are running up Heartbreak Hill at the Boston Marathon.
First and foremost is to read the rules. Last year, I skimmed the rules and then referred back to then whenever I had a question. My advice to you is not only must you read the rules but also you should memorize them and keep a copy posted by your computer, as they will be recited back to you chapter and verse by not only the moderators catching a violation of rules but also by the participants.
So, unless you want to be flagged as a cheater for the remainder of your existence on Literotica, instead of someone who just didn't memorize the rules, you should know the rules of the Survivor Contest verbatim. You need to know the rules of the Survivor Contest as well as you know the Pledge Allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America or that Britney Spears or Michael Jackson song that you sing in your bathroom, while holding the hairbrush up to your mouth, that you don't want anyone to know.
The second thing is probably the most important thing. You must write every day. Now, that doesn't mean that you should submit a story every day. Some days, some people can write multiple stories. Sometimes some people are lucky to write a story in a week or two. Yet, if you write every day, even if you leave the story unfinished to begin another and leave that story to begin yet another only to revisit all of them later, by this time next month, you may find that you have half a dozen stories that are now finished and ready to submit.
Unless you want to be unmercifully bashed, you should seek the editing skills of the many professional editors who help writers edit their work. I hear many of them are talented writers, as well. I don't use an editor. I'm an Accountant and work in a high stressed job as a Controller for a large company. I chose not to use an editor because it would take the fun out of my writing and make it too much like work.
If I used an editor, besides having to audit numbers at work, I have to edit my words at home. Writing helps me to relax and decompress. Besides, I'd rather write from the seat of my pants than to have someone else meddle with my work. Unlike many of the American Idol participants and some of the writers who write here, I have no pretentious thoughts of ever becoming a serious writer.
Basically, to win this contest you need to write 310 stories and 40 poems in 35 categories, which would earn you 655 points. Still, all that does not guarantee a win, as writers are allowed to write more than 310 stories but not more than 40 poems. In my case, I could have 100 stories in the Non-Erotic category, which I probably will, and have only one story in all the other categories. That's okay to do, too.
The categories are: Anal, BDSM, Celebrities, Chain Stories, Erotic Couplings, Erotic Horror, Exhibitionism & Voyeur, Fetish, First Time, Gay Male, Group Sex, How To, Humor & Satire, Illustrated, Incest/Taboo, Interfacial Love, Lesbian Sex, Letters & Transcripts, Loving Wives, Mature, Mind Control, Non-Erotic, NonCensent/Reluctance, NonHuman, Novels and Novellas, Reviews & Essays, Romance, Sci-Fi & Fantasy, Text With Audio, Toys & Masturbation, Transsexuals & Crossdressers, Erotic Poetry, Illustrated Poetry, Non-Erotic Poetry, and Poetry With Audio.
Now, if it was up to me, I'd only submit stories in the incest categories, stories about my mother-in-law and sisters-in-law. I have dozens of those stories. Did I ever tell you the story of my sister-in-law when my mother-in-law walked in...never mind. I'll write that story later.
My favorite category by default is the Non-Erotic category, since much of what I write is devoid of graphic sex and dumped there in that collector of a category. Definitely, though, many of my Non-Erotic deemed stories, to me at least, are Erotic stories. Unfortunately, even though this an erotic story site, Literotica does not have an erotic story category. Go figure. My two other favorite categories are the Humor and Review & Essay Categories. I tend to write a bunch of stories in those categories.
Yet, that's the good thing about the Survivor Contest. Without the contest, I never would have written stories in Lesbian Sex, Mind Control, and Toys & Masturbation, to only name a few. The Survivor makes me write stories for these categories and I'm a better writer for that. Definitely, since I don't do anal, I never would have written an anal sex story had it not been for the Survivor Contest.
In the perfect Survivor Contest participant scenario, not only should you write every day but you should write at least, one story every day, which is, of course, 365 stories in the year. Now, instead of writing 365 stories, which is a daunting task, you still can win by only writing 300 stories, unless that is, you have a competitor who is driven to win, doesn't have a job, and his or her only goal is to win the Survivor Contest. Then, you'll probably finish in second place.
Allow me to explain. There are 35 categories that require 10 stories in each category to earn the needed 5 bonus points to win the contest. Now, of those 35 categories, 4 categories are poetry, Poetry With Audio, Non-Erotic Poetry, Erotic Poetry, and Illustrated Poetry, and one category is Novels & Novellas. That means you only need 30 categories and 300 stories.
I wouldn't waste my time posting anything to the Novels and Novellas category. You're better off breaking your 7,500 word story that you would have posted as one story for six points in the Novels and & Novella category and post it as 8 stories of a little more than 900 words each to fill up other categories. By doing it that way, you will earn two extra points. Besides, it gets worse, when you submit your second story to the Novel and Novella category, that 7,500 word story is now only worth two points. You'd be better off to break that long 7,500 story into chapters and earn 6 or more points instead of only 2 points.
There are some categories that may not attract your interest. Those are the categories that you save to use your immunity points. The chances are, in the course of a year, you'll earn 6 immunities that you can use to close off a category, which translates into 12 immunity points. Some contestants earn less immunities and some contestants more immunities with the luck of the draw, but you have a good chance of earning 6 immunities in the year, if you have any luck at all.
For me, the four categories that I'll never write anything in are Poetry With Audio, Illustrated Poetry, Illustrated, and Text With Audio. None of those categories appeal to me enough to take the time and effort to post anything there. Those are easy categories for some, but not for me. I just hope to win enough immunities in the course of the year to fill them.
By winning immunities and not having to write in those 5 or 6 categories, lessens the number of stories that you must write to win the contest. Yet, by not writing in all categories, of course, will lessen the number of points you will earn, as an immunity is only worth two points, instead of the 17 points you would have earned had you written the ten stories in that category earning three points for the first story, one point for each subsequent story, and a 5 point bonus for writing your tenth story in one category.
Basically, if you won 6 immunities during the course of a year and used two of those immunities for two poetry categories and 4 immunities for story categories, instead of having to write 310, you'd only have to write 270 stories. A daunting feat but it is easier to write 270 stories than it is to write 310 stories. Plus, you will need to write in at least two of the poetry categories, such as in the erotic and non-erotic as well, earning you some easy points. Only, for me, at least, it is much easier to write a story than it is to write a poem.
If you wrote 270 stories filling up 27 categories and won 6 immunities earning you twelve points and filled up two of the poetry categories, erotic and non-erotic with you 60 bonus points earned for writing in 35 categories, you'd have 531 points, which may win you the contest. Definitely, without a doubt, it will finish you in the top three. Who knows, you may even win the Survivor Contest.
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