Excellent points you made. I've been a long-time reader of Lit, but I've never had the courage to post any of my own stories that Lit inspired me to write.
I do have to disagree on one point, though: Not all Lit is "smut." True, there certainly are stories that are about sex and nothing but sex. However, many stories on this site are entertaining in their own right, and, if you remove the smutty parts of them, are certainly as well-written and thought provoking as many other stories I find in the library. Sometimes I wish there was another rating instead of "H" I could use to rate the rest of the story. Perhaps the "H" could apply to the sex parts, and a "G" rating (for
"Good Writing") could be used to rate the writing, plot, characters, etc? After all, there is an entire section on Lit for Non-Erotic Stories that the "H" has become the de facto measure of those same qualities above. And frankly, anyone who has never read a few of the Top Rated Non-Erotic Stories is missing some of the best literature that Lit has to offer.
But I always say, ignore the trolls, forget the scores and write what strikes you.
thanks for the essay. I always wondered why so many stories here on Lit. don't have the H mark next to the title although they are sometimes very good. I try to vote for every story I read. I hope that people will do the same.
In the forums I think I have seen this discussion, and it's right on: a way to distinguish Hawt from Great read would be sweet. There are many ways in which (IMHO) Literotica is a bastion of freedom of speech, even in the context of the 'net, and having this type of rating available would surely kick things up a notch. Thanks for your comment!
I have found gems in Literotica. Bless those authors who take the time to flesh out those characters, create an interesting plot that draws the reader in by sharing the human experience. Some of those stories are witty and funny, some have a sense of justice or not, and some make us feel a whole gammut of feelings, including teaching something to the reader because they make you think. I adore those stories no matter the genre.
Thank you, authors, for the entertainment! I'm one of those annonymous posters who votes and makes comments.
You have written a very useful essay here. I have been working on my first story submission for the past 4 days. I would guess it will take me twice the time I have already spent to complete the first draft. Your essay has given me some idea of what to expect for the effort.
Great essay, thank you.
And what you say about the feedback is so true. It really does make all those hours pounding at a keyboard so worthwhile. But the funniest thing about it all is that there are very few people you can tell about your success.
The first time I got positive feedback on something I'd written I went to work on such a high, I couldn't stop smiling. But I couldn't tell anyone why. Couldn't bring myself to say, "Oh yeah, I posted some erotic fiction on Literotica--you should go read it and tell me what you think."!
I wish... :)
The scoring system on Lit is not intended to provide a "true measure" of a story's worth. It is intended to be fun and interactive, and to this extent it works well. Many talented authors here have a loyal following and will easily generate the H rating even when their work isn't to par...and many new authors will struggle to obtain high votes even for superb stories. It's all good, though, just a part of taking risks and writing what you feel and being a part of this larger community. Be true to yourself and persevere!
I do think you gave some good advice. Yes, it is fun to write, and getting that feedback is a huge thrill. It is also true that there are not that many people (none actually, except for some on-line only friends) that I can tell about my writing.
I also know that the reason I often don't vote on stories is that I download them to read off-line, and often don't read them right away, so going back to find the story to vote on it is often a lot of work.
Also the voting system makes it so that any vote other than a 5 is a vote against the story as even a 4 drags it down from the magic 4.5. Having to give every story I like even a little bit a 5 or nothing makes the voting pretty meaningless. It is a quandry.
The voting on Literotica is extremely strange for many reasons. Not only is there the question of why so few people vote and what the votes may or may not mean, but then there is the strange phenomenon of votes being taken away by the moderators for wierd unknown and unstated reasons so that in the end, the moderators can give a story any score they want. There is the 1-bomb thing, where some people just like to dis everything. That means that often, the score is simply a matter of the ratio of legitimate votes to 1-bombs. And of course, the masses are asses, so who cares what the asses think.
So, write for the fun of writing.
Also, after a while, I can go back and get aroused by my own stories. :)
I wasn't aware that this was an ongoing discussion in the forums, but apparently I'm not the only one who thinks that way. I always read every "E" story I see, and they are definitely worthwhile. Unfortunately, they are few and far between, leaving me to sort through the "H" stories for the gems. Other than us just complaining about it, how can we, the readers, try to get a second rating implemented?
...My best guess would be to email the Immortals who run the site, Laurel and Manu. Perhaps they haven't done so yet because it would be next-to-impossible to sort out existing H's, or at least it would make a "sticky mess." :D
I agree regarding the E's. I'm still trying to earn one!
It's five or nothing and I don't give many fives. DGHear is about the closest to an automatic five from me. It's the waterworks he provokes, ya know. I don't feel that I want to downgrade someone's work just because it didn't strike a chord with me. It may be great to many others. GaryAPB would get all zeros from me but others like his stuff. He's a good writer but the gazillion chapter thing he loves is such a turn-off that I won't read any of his stuff. I just move on without comment or vote. I don't usually comment if I don't care for something. I do object when commenters attack the writer or fellow commenters. I've taken to complaining to the site owners about that. I think some commenters are on a mission to drive reasonable people away and shut the site down. Phil
To add to your excellent reasons for writing into Lit: it's a great place to develop characters. The sex itself (the H vote) is never as interesting as the characters involved in it. The real challenge on this site is to be original by creating interesting characters who do interesting things in interesting ways. In other words, Lit is a great place to post short stories and get (occasionally) some useful comments. BTW, I see no point in voting for something I didn't like; I would only vote a 5, and there are precious few of them.
I am unfortunately one of the many who never leave a comment, which I should have been doing since I've been reading stories from this site for more than a year. I'll remember for the future, and may even go back to my favorites and leave a "loved it!". :) Anyway, I'm glad I read this submission as it opened my eyes to what I was not doing.
Well, I agree with what you're saying, and definitely more people should at least give a vote as to what they thought. Comments, well, I personally leave comments only on stories that I think are worth commenting on, another words, the good ones. No, not the good ones, the great ones. I try to vote on them all though, even if they're bad. Of course, if its that bad, I probably didn't finish it, and I can't honestly vote on something I didn't read in its entirety.
As far as getting your story noticed, I offer these two pieces of advice, that I see many completely fail at. #1, pick a catchy title. It doesn't have to have words that catch the eye so much, like "sex" or "xxx" (not that that hurts really, hehe), but something that says a little something about the story. That said, the 2nd thing to get your story read is a quick, to the point, honest description. I've seen too many that fail to describe the story in any way relevantly, accurately, or at all.
I can't say as I've read anything by you in the past l8bloom, but I may now, having read this ;)
Oh, and kudos to you for having the courage to put something up you've written, I wish I did.
line which invites a comment--Some writers think tha only positive comments should be written---Personally I sign some--I don't sign some--I sign some with my MALE ID-I sign some with my FEMALE ID--In other words to a large extent Signatures are worthless as are the ID's of the authors--I write as a Male-I write as a FEMALE-- About 80% of what I write under either name end up with an H after their entry---
I do agree that writing is hard work--I sometimes work on a story on and off for weeks and constantly review it--Still mistakes slip by for the Nit Pickers out there to prounce on like avenging angles-
Had to vote and make a public comment to make you feel better. I vote lots, and happily give anything from 5 to zero.
I comment less, and usually anonymously. Reasoning? I don't want to appear preachy, I'm not the the best here by a long stretch, so think that some comments, however constructive, are best made that way. If I think a story is weak I'll say so, and why, though. Usually it's the poor English that gets my goat.
I try to remember to vote on every story I complete. I do begin stories I don't finish. Whether is because two or three paragraphs into it I find I do not like the writing, or the author has spent them all describing how the woman dressed. Pulling hot red satin mini thong up her perfect legs and across her wonderfully rounded ass. I click away and don't vote. I also do not piss, moan and whine to the author about his writing style.
Sometimes the writer will kinda switch the direction of the story. Perhaps an inclusion of gay male into the story. I am not saying there is anything wrong with gay male, I just do not find it erotic. I click away and don't vote.
Last night I found story and I begin to read. It seemed to take a long time to develop. I checked and it was nine pages long. If you are going to write something that long break it into chapters. (just my opinion) As before I did not vote.
I hope you see that there are a variety of reasons some do not vote. Not all non voters and lazy or uncaring.
I respect all of the authors here. I do not like some of them but, they can at least string words together in a fashion I am unable to do. For that they get my respect but, not always my vote.
Wow! I was intrigued by your thoughts abouts how a writer thinks and I fit right into most of what you said. I do wait for feedback on my work and then you get a BAD HIT and it SUCKS but you suck it up and drive on but definately think weather that person just want to make you look bad for his gratification or so you lose if your in one of the contests.
Then you just say ok, what did I do right and what did I do wrong to make this person feel like that and start the next story or...
You write what you think is your best work, you proof read it at least 10 times and then it gets REJECTED?
I loved your last comment best which is where I'm at, Im very proud of my work on this site but, I dont think my famiy would approve sooooo, I get my approval from the comments I get that are positive.
Thanks for your insite.
some of the readers and they would still keep complaining that the stories are crap. You can't please everyone, so you gotta please yourself
and never commented. I only started to write because I felt that if I was going to make comments on your story, that you should be able to make comments on what I wrote.
There are a few trolls here that never want to make a good comment, KARHMA IS A BITCH.
I love it, you put onto paper a lot of why I'm here. And a few of the comments here about voting are spot on. Especially the one about '5 or nothing'. Today I submitted an essay on voting and comments. I had been wanting to do it for a while, and the feedback and comments on a story of mine that got approved a few days ago inspired me to get it done. I'm not nearly so eloquent as you though. Hopefully it will be approved this week sometime.
Your essay makes me feel a lot better. A lot. And I love the bit about not being able to tell people. I finally admitted to my wife that I write, but won't tell her what my Lit ID is. And writing does make me feel better. Sure, I'll never get a Pulitzer, or a Nobel prize, but I am having fun. Not getting senile would be good too.
Thanks for posting this essay, it is great!!!!
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