How To Write a Holiday Contest Story Entrybysack©
Note: With 2 weeks left to submit stories to Literotica's 2004 Winter Holiday Story Contest, there is still plenty of time to create your own precious masterpiece. As for myself, I've never won a holiday contest; some of my other stories have done very well, others have been perceived as quite mediocre. I figure I've made every mistake twice, so am trying to prevent the newcomer to Literotica from traveling the same rocky road. Notice this essay is not called "How to WIN a Holiday Story Contest." I am more interested in offering ideas to help you pen a solid, well written entry. If ultimately you are happy with your creation, then you have in a deeper sense won the competition. However, I do feel my comments may improve your chances of winning, as a well put together tale will always get a better reception from readers. When the Holiday Contest is over, many of these suggestions should be useful in submitting stories in general. Good luck!!
So, you've decided to submit a story to the 2004 Literotica Winter Holiday Contest. Great! The desire is the first thing. Unfortunately, when you are faced with all that white space in the seeming endless Literotica blank "page", Writer's Block can easily set in. Take a deep breath, relax, and let the creative thoughts flow. Here is a short list which I follow to the letter when creating any new story:
1. Come up with a Story Idea.
Many ideas are available for free on the various Literotica forums. However, the best stories generally come from your own life experiences. Here are some questions to ask yourself which may help release the creative spark within:
What was the funniest thing that has ever happened to me or a friend?
What was the best experience I've ever had?
What was the lowest point of my life? How did I get out of it?
The saddest day in my life was....
I helped someone else when....
I was surprised because....
My family had an unexpected time when...
My life changed forever after....
My favorite hobby is.....
other (fill in your own)....
In general, I would try to avoid common holiday themes such as blowing Santa while sitting on his lap and Mrs. Claus and her husband making it (eeeeewwwwww!). You want something a bit offbeat and startling; many people will only give "5"s to stories they feel are truly original without being ridiculously farfetched. It's hard to draw the line between unique and utterly ridiculous, but after you read enough stories you will get better at avoiding the two extremes.
2. Arm Yourself With a Good Thesaurus...
I prefer Roget's pocket version, but any thesaurus is invaluable to search for synonyms that can only spice up your writing. I also keep a current dictionary by my side to check for spelling. Last but not least, is a well worn copy of Turabian's A Manual For Writers. The first five chapters of this is The BIBLE for any aspiring story writer. I refer to this source constantly for punctuation and capitalization queries, quotation mark problems, and practically any structural writing issue. Give a copy to your writer friend for Christmas and you will get many "brownie points."
3. Choose a Category Carefully.
This is not as obvious as it seems. The fact of life is that some categories are read more than others. Incest/Taboo will certainly get your tale thousands of views, but the folks there are quite picky. It won't do your story much good in the contest to have 100 votes but a rating of 4.0. Other well read categories are First Time, Erotic Couplings, and Loving Wives. I would avoid Celebrities, Erotic Horror, Fetish, Non-Human, and Non-Erotic until you get more experience. Please be aware that Literotica has the right to change your suggested story category. They are doing this to give your story the best chance of getting the required votes and most appropriate exposure.
4. Outline Paragraphs.
There is a twofold reason for this. First, to keep you thinking about using paragraphs (your story will be rejected if it is just one long paragraph) as well as improving the ultimate flow and structure of your story. For example, here is a potential paragraph outline for a tale about a Christmas Strip Poker Party:
Pants/dresses come off
Foreplay through underwear
Underwear comes off
Oral sex contest
Santa arrives unexpectedly
Santa joins game and gives out sexual gifts
Santa goes back To the north pole
Granted, some stories are much more complicated than this, but the outlining paragraph technique will work for ANY SUBMISSION. Once you start doing this religiously, you will notice how much better your stories flow and how easy they are to read. Such tales tend to be voted higher at Literotica. Nothing is more frustrating then reading a perfectly good story line that is marred by poor paragraphing and illogical tense/time changes. Don't let your story fall into mediocrity, proper paragraphing will make it look better on the long Literotica "pages" and be all the more inviting to the reader.
5. Keep a Good Balance of Sex to the Other Story Elements.
Most readers will want a Holiday Contest entry to be more than just a quick "stroke story." You will want the sex to be the ample icing on the cake, and in general a good rule of thumb is for at least half the paragraphs to be sexual in nature. A reader will become frustrated if you offer good detail leading to the sex scene, then suddenly describe the characters' lovemaking like a weatherman giving a five day forecast! After all, this is Literotica.com. If your story contains no sex or merely implied nooky, consider using the Non-Erotic category. Otherwise, you are just asking for low votes.
6. Make Your Sex Scenes Very Detailed.
This dovetails with the above. A good sex scene has remarkable detail which appeals to all the senses. For example, if you have a man giving a women oral sex, think about including the following:
What does her clit FEEL like to the tongue?
What does her pussy SMELL like?
What SOUND does the tongue slithering along her pubic hairs make?
What does her love box LOOK like?
What do her love juices TASTE like?
If anything, err on too much detail to add to the hot scene you are creating. Also, be very careful to make your story appealing to BOTH sexes. Some male writers take great pains to describe a woman's panties and bra, but all the men in their stories go "commando." Remember, you are writing for the entire Literotica audience, not just yourself.
7. Come Up With an Effective Ending.
This is actually quite difficult. Nothing ruins a story faster than a predictable, commonplace conclusion. You want a neat little twist that isn't farfetched or ridiculous. I always have the ending to my story in mind before I write even one word of it. Some writers work backwards from the ending...if that approach works for you, by all means use it. Read Literotica authors you admire frequently, and note how they create fascinating endings. You want the reader to think "Wow, that was such a great last scene!", not back click in disappointment to the next contest entry.
Another approach is to write several possible endings out, then try them on your friends. Gauge their reactions, then pick the story conclusion that feels the best to you. A great deal of what goes into effective writing is instinctual. After a while, you will just know that a particular ending is effective, through your increased writing experience.
8. And While You Are Waiting...
While you are waiting for your Holiday Contest Story to appear on Literotica, consider giving fair Public Comments to other stories. A fair Public Comment necessitates explaining any negative observations. Don't just say "This story is too short." Explain how making it longer could improve the writing, giving specific examples if possible. I think it is perfectly okay to be honest, you don't want to "kiss up" to a story just to get positive votes. Other writers will respect your opinion if you can give helpful advice that is meant to improve their submissions.
Along with offering Public Comments, you may wish to explore the many Literotica forums, to get your name out there and develop a supportive circle of Literotica friends. Here, you can be freer with your opinions, but again let common sense be your guide. If you say something insulting and outrageous, expect something equally insulting and outrageous in return. On the other hand, there is no need to be a Goody Two Shoes either. Just be honest, acknowledging your own personal quirks in the process. It's fun to meet new friends on Literotica, as you can bounce writing ideas off each other and learn from the process.
9. My Story Is Posted!
Nothing is more scary than checking the ranking of your new Holiday Contest Entry for the first time. However, whatever the ranking, please be aware that "1" bombs are weeded out at the end of the contest as well as any duplicate or irregular votes. In the final analysis, anyone that has the guts to enter a Literotica Holiday Contest and subject themselves to one-bombers, assorted trolls, and potential negative Public Comments is already a winner. Learn from the winning entries, even if you disagree that they are the best. Remember, there will always be another contest down the pike, and your basic goal is to have fun while improving your writing skills!
10. Good Luck!
I sincerely hope all of you have a wonderful holiday season and that Santa brings you a new year filled with joy and wonder...and good sex!