Why I Won't Read Your StorybySailor_Witch©
Dear Literotica authors,
Thank you for writing and sharing your hard work. I think too few people realize what it takes to develop a story and bring it to a point that it is ready for the reading audience. I have read many, many fine stories here on Literotica and I am amazed that there are so many talented people out there who are willing to share their hard work with us for free.
I am writing to tell you how to get me to not read your story. I hope you'll read my words in the spirit that they are offered. That is the spirit of helpfulness. It is not my intention to be critical or unkind.
(Now, after writing this, I have looked back over this letter and found its tone to be somewhat negative sounding. Please believe me when I say that that was not my intention.)
I am not a writer and I do not carry a degree in English journalism or any other such credential that might increase the credibility of what I am going to say. I am simply going to give you my perspective as a reader. If you don't agree with my words, please simply ignore them. Better yet, do what I would do and just stop reading this. That having been said, I hope you will read this and that you find at least some part of it helpful.
I'd like to discuss the categorization of your story, the title and description, the length of the story and the believability of what you write. As I compose this I will add other thoughts as they occur to me. Some of the numbers I will use in talking to you are purposely exaggerated in order to better illustrate the point
Categorization. As a reader, when I go looking for a story to read I first select the category. If your story is a hot story of group sex, I may not find it if it's in the incest category due to having a brother-sister scene during the drunken college party. I realize that some stories span several categories and that probably presents the author a dilemma regarding which category to select when submitting the story. Perhaps Literotica will consider a special category for these stories that "bleed" across several categories.
The length of your story. This is a hard one. Each reader has their own taste and each author has their own style. Some like the short stroker stories while others prefer the slower buildup of a long story. Then there is the middle ground where it isn't really a stroker, but it isn't really long either. I like to think that most stories fit this model. Maybe that is because those are the type of stories that I like. (3-7 pages is optimal for my taste) Personally, I never look at the novels and novellas category. I don't want to read a 700 page story even if it has plenty of hot sex interspersed throughout it. On the opposite side of that coin are the one page stories. They usually leave me feeling cheated and left hanging. It's almost like when your DVD movie has an error in the middle and won't continue playing. Now I'm not saying that your story (either short or long) doesn't have merit. If I don't read them, I'm sure that others will.
Speaking of length, (and this is a pet peeve of mine) many authors break their stories into parts and submit them as separate stories. I have no problem with this. I would like to remind you though to think of it like a series of movies. (Sequels and prequels) Nobody is interested in watching the movie "Rocky 71, the great, great grandson of Rocky has a fight in the schoolyard." Likewise, if you are writing chapter 54 of your story, give it a rest already!
Television series are another good example. You know the ones I'm talking about. I'm thinking of the shows like "House of Cards" where each episode builds on the previous ones. These show series' usually do fairly well for the first two seasons and marginally well the third season. By the fourth season, the script writers are stretching a bit and the whole story/series suffers. It's the same with your chapter stories on Literotica. Let one story end and then start a new one. Don't try to milk twenty chapters out of a five chapter story. That just gets too far from the origins of the story and frankly, it's boring.
If you really feel a need to write that many chapters, please put them in the novels and novellas category. When I look at the list of stories and see a chapter number greater than six, it's pretty unlikely that I'll give it a first glance and nearly impossible that I'm going to give it a second. Remember the movies thing? How anxious would you be to go see the sixth movie in a series? I'm betting it would have to be an exceptionally well written, acted and directed movie along with the five that came before it. Few movies measure up to that standard. Does your story? Yes, I'll admit that I have read some seriously long sets of chapter stories, but that is the exception rather than the rule.
Now let me talk a bit about the title and description of your story. I see on the site that Literotica staff may sometimes change the title of your submission. I have no idea how often this actually happens. But for the purpose of this letter, let's assume that you have the control. Your title is the first hook. If I see an interesting title, I look closer to see if I want to read the story. I would remind you that a title starting with certain words causes them to be one of many in the list that all start the same.
For example, a story title that starts with "A' or "The" or "One" will be one of several dozen on the page listing stories that one can read. I'm sure that you can find other words that would be good to avoid having as the first word of your title as well. When I get to these sections in the list, (three pages of titles starting with the word "The") I just skip right over them. Surely I must miss some good stories that way, but it is what I do and I suspect that I'm not alone in doing that.
Your description (or sub-title if you prefer) is the real hook though. This is what usually sways my decision to read or not to read a given story. Think hard about what you write for the description. As a special note for authors of multi-chapter stories, if your description is the exact same for each and every chapter of the story, it's likely that I'll skip the series entirely.
Believability. If you are going to make your characters be endowed with gigantic proportions and equipment, please let us know in the introduction. Of course that isn't necessary in categories such as sci-fi and non human, but for less abstract categories, please at least try to make it somewhat believable. Your story about the guy who has sex with his 80 year old granny may be packed with hot action, but if you introduce granny as having 54HH tits and the grandson as having a 36 inch cock, I'm going to stop reading right there. I am not asking you to not give your characters enticing and exciting equipment, just exercise a bit of good common sense, please.
In addition, please try to make your story line somewhat believable too. (Except in certain categories, of course) If the premise of your story is that an 18 year old guy falls off his bicycle and gets rewarded by getting to screw the First Lady of the United States in front of the President and both houses of congress with national TV coverage as well...Well, I certainly hope you write that as a dream sequence. If not, I won't be reading your story.
PLEASE, don't bore me to death on the first page of your story. If you do, I'll quit reading it. Introducing your characters is a necessary thing for any story. Please though, do not write eight paragraphs describing each character unless it is ABSOLUTELY critical to your story. A short paragraph on each will suffice. If there are more that three or four characters, you should introduce the additional ones at the point where they first enter the story.
How many times have you heard someone say that they tried to read a book but couldn't get past the first chapter or two? Get the story moving so that you get and keep your readers interested. The reader's imagination will fill in most of the blanks anyway.
I like it when the author places a short to medium length note at the top of the story introducing the story. It makes me feel that I have a certain connection with the author as silly as that may sound. I am more likely to read through and accept some of the things that I have talked about if the author has done this. For example, you can be a bit wordy in introducing your characters and I'll likely keep reading.
Thank you for taking time to read this and consider my opinion. That is what these things are, after all. They are simply my opinion. Nonetheless, I hope that you found something helpful and received it in the pleasant helping spirit that it was offered.
Above all, thank you for writing. I hope you enjoy the writing as much as I enjoy the reading!