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Old 01-06-2013, 02:00 AM   #1
KillerWithWords
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I haven't gotten good criticism...

I am looking for real critics... Not just folks who voice how much my story made them feel....
BDSM story; http://www.literotica.com/s/an-unplanned-revenge-ch-01

Anal Story: http://www.literotica.com/s/directed-affection

Help me better my writing and be as harsh as the cold winter outside my New York apartment...
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Old 01-06-2013, 06:02 AM   #2
CWatson
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I only read "Directed Affection" because I don't like BDSM. Hypnotism isn't really my thing either. So I won't talk much about the sex itself. Fortunately, your technicals are in very good shape.

First off, be careful of your capitalization. You have a fair bit of stuff that's unnecessarily capitalized. Part of that is the fussy rules of attribution riders.
Quote:
"Jake!" She exclaimed.
Technically, that should be lower-case. I know that looks weird--having an exclam followed by a lowercase--but when you have an attribution rider, you have to treat the closing punctuation mark as though it's a comma, even though it isn't. The reason for that is simple: if you capitalize it, The Reader thinks it's a completely new sentence. And it's not, it's an attribution rider. Plus, "She said." is a fragment. So leave it lower-case and the whole thing will read more smoothly, even if it does (technically) break a capitalization rule.

The set-up is very perfunctory: he just arrives and they get to it. No explanation of who these two people are to each other or anything like that. This cuts you off from an entire side of storytelling. In erotic fiction, there are two ways you can get The Reader involved. One is to create interesting characters that The Reader likes and wants to know about. The other is the kinks--what, precisely, kind of sex the characters are going to be doing. Right now your story relies solely on the kinks... and speaking only for myself, this kind of stuff isn't appealing. The revenge one to me is even worse; it reeks of misogyny. Now, one man's squick is another man's fetish, but that's kind of the point: there is no such thing as a universal kink. There are readers who will like your story's sexual content, readers who will be indifferent to it and readers who will be actively repelled by it. If you also have strong characterization, you can win over some people from the second and third categories and keep them reading.

Nutella uses hazelnuts, and is primarily marketed as a hazelnut spread due to Italian food laws: it doesn't contain enough "chocolate" to be called chocolate. So, while referring to it as "chocolate" is not factually incorrect, a lot of people will think it is... and where fiction is concerned, truth is in the mind of the beholder.

Finally, watch your sentence structure. Almost every sentence for the first five or six paragraphs is all "I [this]", "I [that]", "She [this]", "She [that]". It gets very repetitive, which drags The Reader out of the story and breaks the suspension of disbelief you're trying to weave. Repetition can be used deliberately, but this is too unvaried to be deliberate. Try mixing it up a bit.

Hopefully that'll help some. Good luck!
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Old 01-06-2013, 08:37 AM   #3
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I didn't like the set up for the revenge one because it just seems so mean! So if you hadn't asked, I wouldn't have kept reading. For me, bdsm is about consensual fun! That said, the man is very well characterized. I could see his anger and desire through the dialogue and his actions. Actually, I didn't see anything about him being turned on until the middle. Usually all caps seen extraneous, but it worked. It flowed well and was kind of sexy (if I pretended they had agreed to it), so I say overall it was good.

The other one had more grammatical errors, and I agree it would have been useful to know a little more about the people. How did they meet? What do they look like? I think it would be sexier to use words other than penis and vagina. Otherwise your word choice is excellent. Gets the point across without being too flowery.

I would appreciate feedback on my stories if you care to give it.
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Old 01-08-2013, 03:20 PM   #4
Concerto_in_A
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[Not sure where to put this comment]

On the "Jake!" She exclaimed, how about this:

"Jake," she exclaimed. Now the reader isn't confused by the exclamation mark and the capitals. The reader also gets the point because you use a word which is the same as the punctuation mark.

What do you think?
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Old 01-08-2013, 04:39 PM   #5
PennLady
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Concerto_in_A View Post
[Not sure where to put this comment]

On the "Jake!" She exclaimed, how about this:

"Jake," she exclaimed. Now the reader isn't confused by the exclamation mark and the capitals. The reader also gets the point because you use a word which is the same as the punctuation mark.

What do you think?
What you've written here is correct but not quite right. If someone is exclaiming, then they are excited in some way, which warrants an exclamation point. Otherwise you'd want to go with "said."

Also, look at it like this. What about a question mark? That works the same way: "What did you say?" she said. That is the proper way to write it. You wouldn't write "What did you say," she asked. You wouldn't write it that way because a comma does not go with a question as a question mark does.

This is just one of those rules -- a dialogue tag, or attribution writer or whatever, takes a lower case pronoun.

Last edited by PennLady : 01-08-2013 at 04:43 PM.
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Old 01-08-2013, 04:44 PM   #6
sr71plt
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Not disagreeing with PennLady here, and this is great guidance for writing on Literotica, but I don't think that Concerto_in_A is wrong, either. Publishers hate exclamation marks, holding that they show the inability of the writer to reflect the emotion in the writing. And they'd go with Concerto_in_A's version.
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Old 01-08-2013, 05:50 PM   #7
PennLady
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sr71plt View Post
Not disagreeing with PennLady here, and this is great guidance for writing on Literotica, but I don't think that Concerto_in_A is wrong, either. Publishers hate exclamation marks, holding that they show the inability of the writer to reflect the emotion in the writing. And they'd go with Concerto_in_A's version.
I'm sure you're right, but I think that's stupid. Why do publishers seem so intent on stripping all that kind of stuff out of text? An exclamation point has never bothered me. I've never thought of it as any kind of weakness on the part of the writer. It's just a punctuation mark, one I was taught to use to get across the emotion.

I wouldn't argue if I had a pro editor and all that -- but I still think it's stupid.
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Old 01-08-2013, 05:56 PM   #8
soflabbwlvr
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PennLady View Post
I'm sure you're right, but I think that's stupid. Why do publishers seem so intent on stripping all that kind of stuff out of text? An exclamation point has never bothered me. I've never thought of it as any kind of weakness on the part of the writer. It's just a punctuation mark, one I was taught to use to get across the emotion.

I wouldn't argue if I had a pro editor and all that -- but I still think it's stupid.
I agree. Which example tells you more, and does so more economically?

"Stop," she shouted.

"Stop!"

I use exclamation points sparingly to indicate volume. It may not be popular, but it works.
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Old 01-08-2013, 06:08 PM   #9
sr71plt
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PennLady View Post
I'm sure you're right, but I think that's stupid. Why do publishers seem so intent on stripping all that kind of stuff out of text? An exclamation point has never bothered me. I've never thought of it as any kind of weakness on the part of the writer. It's just a punctuation mark, one I was taught to use to get across the emotion.

I wouldn't argue if I had a pro editor and all that -- but I still think it's stupid.
The publishers say they are thinking of the reader (who is the paying customer) more than the author. The conventional wisdom is that exclamation points are a sign of weakness. And publishers minimize italics, saying big sections of it are hard to read, and they ban bolding altogether as just too distracting. It's just the conventional wisdom.

I don't mind occasional uses of exclamation points, but I just finished a private book edit of 168,000 words that, I swear, had to have used twenty exclamation marks to every Word page and just sent me up the wall. (It even used double exclamation points). This comes across as "oh my god I'm really writing" breathy amateurism. And it disrupted my attempts to keep up with the flow of the read significantly.

Conventional publishing wisdom wants you to get across emotion with the quality of the writing in creating mood. I would agree that sometimes exclamation marks are the best way to do this effectively. And publishing doesn't ban them; just like some editors with adverbs, it wants you to use them as tightly as you can.

But in the example given, publishing editors would invariably say the Concerto_in_A's solution was the most efficient and best.
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Old 01-08-2013, 07:11 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sr71plt View Post
The publishers say they are thinking of the reader (who is the paying customer) more than the author. The conventional wisdom is that exclamation points are a sign of weakness. And publishers minimize italics, saying big sections of it are hard to read, and they ban bolding altogether as just too distracting. It's just the conventional wisdom.

I don't mind occasional uses of exclamation points, but I just finished a private book edit of 168,000 words that, I swear, had to have used twenty exclamation marks to every Word page and just sent me up the wall. (It even used double exclamation points). This comes across as "oh my god I'm really writing" breathy amateurism. And it disrupted my attempts to keep up with the flow of the read significantly.

Conventional publishing wisdom wants you to get across emotion with the quality of the writing in creating mood. I would agree that sometimes exclamation marks are the best way to do this effectively. And publishing doesn't ban them; just like some editors with adverbs, it wants you to use them as tightly as you can.

But in the example given, publishing editors would invariably say the Concerto_in_A's solution was the most efficient and best.
I wonder how much this is the publishers being concerned about the reader and how much is it really the publisher being pretentious and needing to justify editing and editing expenses.

I have always been an avid reader and before I started writing would kill 3 to 4 books a week. I never had an issue with exclamation points and really can't see it as "weakness" on the writers part.

The way I see it is, if I go with the publishers take, then why were exclamation points created in the first place?

What is their purpose? Basically to emphasize a statement so if that is what its being used for what is the problem?

And should I not be using question marks either? should someone just read the prior sentence and know that it is a question?

here's a publisher's nightmare "What the fuck?!?"
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