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Old 04-26-2013, 01:37 PM   #1
AMoveableBeast
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Too long for feedback?

I've recently posted the second half of a two-part NC story. While the first chapter was received fairly well--if score is any indication--and generated a good bit of feedback, most of it of the private message variety, the final installment seems to have sputtered, failing to even garner ten votes or attract minimal commentary.

I'm not sure why this has been the case. It might be because the last chapter is so long (it yarns out at nine Lit pages), but the first part was lengthy, as well (six Lit pages), and that didn't seem to be too much of a problem.

Whatever the case may be, if anyone has time, I would greatly appreciate feedback of any kind, as I am kind of just lost in the ether at the moment. I will post a link to both the first and second chapters.

As a general warning, the story is NonConsent (containing strong elements of femdom, bondage, power play, semi-forced copulation) and, even by the standards of that often morally bleak category, a bit on the dark side. It's mainly a tale about a man's sexual self-discovery, where he learns who he really is, only to realize that the truth contains as much pain as joy.

Thanks in advance for anyone who takes the time to read. I hope you like what you find.

http://www.literotica.com/s/a-lesson-in-scarlett-ch-01
http://www.literotica.com/s/a-study-in-scarlett-ch-02
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Old 04-26-2013, 01:55 PM   #2
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I haven't had a chance to read your story yet, but several things are immediately apparent. First, views per chapter almost always go down with each successive chapter. Most people don't start at chapter 2, and not everyone who reads chapter one is interested in the continuation or will find it. Second, when there is a considerable gap between chapters, the number of views goes down even more. The people who were interested become less so.

Less views means fewer comments and votes.

Over two months elapsed between the posting of chapter one and chapter two. That publication schedule led to a decrease in views.

Also, the length of the second chapter (9 pages) contributes to people clicking on the story, but not finishing.

I'll give your story a read when I get a chance, but those factors jumped out at me without even reading a word of your text. I will add any additional thoughts when I have finished the story.
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Old 04-26-2013, 02:13 PM   #3
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Yeah, reading normally drops off as the series goes on (but I've found that a particularly interesting/enticing slug can gather more readers for a subsequent chapter than those who are reading from the beginning--and a bumped-up rating too), and, beyond that, many won't hang on waiting more than a few days for the next installment to post--and when they get to one that's nine Lit. pages, yeah, and think a lot of the remaining readers will walk away from that.
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Old 04-26-2013, 02:41 PM   #4
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Thanks for the thoughts.

In retrospect, I may have been better served posting it as a novella. I considered that at first, but ultimately decided to keep it in nonconsent, where the average reader would be more comfortable with the subject matter.
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Old 04-26-2013, 02:56 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AMoveableBeast View Post
Thanks for the thoughts.

In retrospect, I may have been better served posting it as a novella. I considered that at first, but ultimately decided to keep it in nonconsent, where the average reader would be more comfortable with the subject matter.
You already have 15 Lit. pages and apparently have more to come. That's already well beyond novella in e-publishing terms.
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Old 04-26-2013, 03:09 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AMoveableBeast View Post
I've recently posted the second half of a two-part NC story. While the first chapter was received fairly well--if score is any indication--and generated a good bit of feedback, most of it of the private message variety, the final installment seems to have sputtered, failing to even garner ten votes or attract minimal commentary.

I'm not sure why this has been the case. It might be because the last chapter is so long (it yarns out at nine Lit pages), but the first part was lengthy, as well (six Lit pages), and that didn't seem to be too much of a problem.

Whatever the case may be, if anyone has time, I would greatly appreciate feedback of any kind, as I am kind of just lost in the ether at the moment. I will post a link to both the first and second chapters.

As a general warning, the story is NonConsent (containing strong elements of femdom, bondage, power play, semi-forced copulation) and, even by the standards of that often morally bleak category, a bit on the dark side. It's mainly a tale about a man's sexual self-discovery, where he learns who he really is, only to realize that the truth contains as much pain as joy.

Thanks in advance for anyone who takes the time to read. I hope you like what you find.

http://www.literotica.com/s/a-lesson-in-scarlett-ch-01
http://www.literotica.com/s/a-study-in-scarlett-ch-02
The content of #2 turned me off immediately, and hardly anything offends me. The writing is good, and your dialogue is clever, but I wont suffer Scarlett.
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Old 04-26-2013, 11:55 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sr71plt View Post
You already have 15 Lit. pages and apparently have more to come. That's already well beyond novella in e-publishing terms.
To be honest, I know very little about e-publishing. Shameful really, considering that I made my living writing for some time, if in a far more traditional, boring way. I toyed with the idea of trying to publish this story, but it seems too vulgar and dark for any market I know of.

I lurk enough to know that you are more well-versed in this area. Any advice or help on the matter would be most welcome.
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Old 04-27-2013, 12:05 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by JAMESBJOHNSON View Post
The content of #2 turned me off immediately, and hardly anything offends me. The writing is good, and your dialogue is clever, but I wont suffer Scarlett.
To each his own, JBJ. Thank you for your compliment on the dialogue. I've read some of your stuff. You excel at turning a phrase, so your praise is appreciated.

As to Scarlett, I'm not sure that I want her--or any character in the story, really--to be truly likeable. Desirable, yes, but not likeable. I would offer, that there is somewhat of, if not an evolution, a revelation of character when it comes to her. I am not saying that this would ease your discomfort/revulsion/abject distaste for the character, but it might make it worth further pursuit, though I, of course, promise nothing. I know how difficult it can be to read a story about a character whom you dislike.

I thank you for your time, nevertheless.
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Old 04-27-2013, 12:50 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AMoveableBeast View Post
To be honest, I know very little about e-publishing. Shameful really, considering that I made my living writing for some time, if in a far more traditional, boring way. I toyed with the idea of trying to publish this story, but it seems too vulgar and dark for any market I know of.

I lurk enough to know that you are more well-versed in this area. Any advice or help on the matter would be most welcome.
If you're thinking of publishing this to the marketplace, length really isn't an issue. There are folks slapping a cover on a 1,000-word story and peddling it as an e-book (and selling them). Anything over 40,000 words is generally thought of as a novel in the e-publishing world, though. (It needs to get to 60,000 to be considered that in the print world.)
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Old 04-27-2013, 02:21 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AMoveableBeast View Post
To each his own, JBJ. Thank you for your compliment on the dialogue. I've read some of your stuff. You excel at turning a phrase, so your praise is appreciated.

As to Scarlett, I'm not sure that I want her--or any character in the story, really--to be truly likeable. Desirable, yes, but not likeable. I would offer, that there is somewhat of, if not an evolution, a revelation of character when it comes to her. I am not saying that this would ease your discomfort/revulsion/abject distaste for the character, but it might make it worth further pursuit, though I, of course, promise nothing. I know how difficult it can be to read a story about a character whom you dislike.

I thank you for your time, nevertheless.
Readers bring their worlds to the story. Youre writing is fine, I simply don't like the character, and appreciate that the fault is mine not yours. Others may love her. I'd read the story to the end if I were editing it. I'm thinking of Clive Barker and Poppy Z. Brite, Gay sex does nuthin for me, it ranks right up there with collecting stamps and old issues of Watchtower. But I like the stories apart from the sex. So I read them.
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Old 04-27-2013, 10:31 AM   #11
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Another thing to keep in mind about feedback of any sort -- the percentage of readers who vote is tiny, and the percentage of those who leave comments is even smaller.

I also agree that as series go on, especially with lags between chapters, your initial views will go down per chapter. People may also leave a comment every few chapters instead of for each one.
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Old 04-27-2013, 10:50 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sr71plt View Post
If you're thinking of publishing this to the marketplace, length really isn't an issue. There are folks slapping a cover on a 1,000-word story and peddling it as an e-book (and selling them). Anything over 40,000 words is generally thought of as a novel in the e-publishing world, though. (It needs to get to 60,000 to be considered that in the print world.)
It isn't the length but rather the content that makes me uncertain of how to proceed. The story (I am unsure if you have read it) is unapologetic in its vulgarity and morally bleak, most of the opportunities I have seen lean toward the more romantic aspects of erotica, or, barring that, safer, less offensive stories. Perhaps this impression only serves to highlight my ignorance of the e-process.
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Old 04-27-2013, 11:07 AM   #13
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Another thing to keep in mind about feedback of any sort -- the percentage of readers who vote is tiny, and the percentage of those who leave comments is even smaller.

I also agree that as series go on, especially with lags between chapters, your initial views will go down per chapter. People may also leave a comment every few chapters instead of for each one.
That makes sense. Unfortunately, the voting and feedback on the second half still seems pitifully low even with that in mind, as, up to this point, with over 5k views it has only six votes and one comment. I suppose that is why I'm concerned. With such low numbers, I'm worried that there is something about the story that makes people "turn off". It seems like length might be a likely culprit. A shame, really, because I feel like the piece is entertaining if nothing else.

I will write shorter stuff or break things into smaller chapters in the future.
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Old 04-27-2013, 04:43 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by AMoveableBeast View Post
It isn't the length but rather the content that makes me uncertain of how to proceed. The story (I am unsure if you have read it) is unapologetic in its vulgarity and morally bleak, most of the opportunities I have seen lean toward the more romantic aspects of erotica, or, barring that, safer, less offensive stories. Perhaps this impression only serves to highlight my ignorance of the e-process.
No, I haven't looked at yours. Most of my best-selling erotica, though, is in the rough and fetish vein. The top sellers at the moment are on sounding. My short stories aren't notable for happy endings, but I don't use vulgarity to any great degree. You might just put it out there and see how it does. What are the other options?
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Old 04-27-2013, 09:41 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by AMoveableBeast View Post
That makes sense. Unfortunately, the voting and feedback on the second half still seems pitifully low even with that in mind, as, up to this point, with over 5k views it has only six votes and one comment. I suppose that is why I'm concerned. With such low numbers, I'm worried that there is something about the story that makes people "turn off". It seems like length might be a likely culprit. A shame, really, because I feel like the piece is entertaining if nothing else.

I will write shorter stuff or break things into smaller chapters in the future.
FWIW, I usually get about one vote per 50-100 views and one comment per 500-1000 views. That may vary with genre and other things, but 6 votes out of 5k views does sound as if people aren't making it to the end.
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Old 04-28-2013, 09:19 AM   #16
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FWIW, I usually get about one vote per 50-100 views and one comment per 500-1000 views. That may vary with genre and other things, but 6 votes out of 5k views does sound as if people aren't making it to the end.
This. Votes/views is a good metric on how many people are reading to the end. My worst story measured this way featured an unlikeable main character. I wrote it as a comeuppance story, but a lot of readers didn't seem to like getting in her head. Write what you want, but unlikeable main characters will turn off readers.
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Old 04-28-2013, 11:34 AM   #17
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This. Votes/views is a good metric on how many people are reading to the end. My worst story measured this way featured an unlikeable main character. I wrote it as a comeuppance story, but a lot of readers didn't seem to like getting in her head. Write what you want, but unlikeable main characters will turn off readers.
This may be true. As I said previously, no character in the story is exactly admirable. Still, if such was the case, I would expect more unfavorable votes. I mean, the tale is definitely dividing but, so far, most seem to come down on the positive side of the fence. It could be, however, that many who dislike the story are so repulsed that they simply walk away unable to even manage negative feedback. Perhaps that can be a new strategy, in which I fill my critics with such dislike that they can't offer criticism.
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Old 04-28-2013, 05:45 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by AMoveableBeast View Post
This may be true. As I said previously, no character in the story is exactly admirable. Still, if such was the case, I would expect more unfavorable votes. I mean, the tale is definitely dividing but, so far, most seem to come down on the positive side of the fence. It could be, however, that many who dislike the story are so repulsed that they simply walk away unable to even manage negative feedback. Perhaps that can be a new strategy, in which I fill my critics with such dislike that they can't offer criticism.
The longer the story is, the more likely it is that people who dislike it will drop out before they get to the voting. You'd have to really piss them off to get them skipping ahead to vote on something they hadn't finished.

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Old 04-28-2013, 06:03 PM   #19
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The longer the story is, the more likely it is that people who dislike it will drop out before they get to the voting. You'd have to <i>really</i> piss them off to get them skipping ahead to vote on something they hadn't finished.
Hmmm. Curiouser and curiouser. This post has been quite informative, though I cannot say it served its intended function as I haven't received any real feedback on the actual story.
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Old 05-10-2013, 11:38 AM   #20
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That whims of erratic feedback have mystified me as well, in other venues. I dabble in posting some artwork in a couple of "Rule 34" sites. One piece will fetch a goodly number of comments and encouragement and requests. I work up a new piece featuring some of those requests and comments. I post it up, figuring the people will cheer and sing songs with my name for tailoring some art to their desires.

Nothing. Essentially the cartoon cricket chirp.

I can only guess they're happily wanking, or whatever, and feel no need to comment with boring "thank yous". Their needs have been met and they grunt, they groan, they smile and they go have a nap. A certain flavour of being "taken for granted".

The psychology is as fascinating as it is mysterious.
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Old 05-10-2013, 11:43 AM   #21
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I would think that random, unpatterned feedback on a reading site that has no feedback requirements (but enables it) and that has a huge readership would be the normal expectation. (And apparently it is the norm here. Writers may post here with the expectation of receiving discernible response--but no such requirement/expectation is levied by the system on the readers here.)
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