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Old 10-30-2017, 03:59 PM   #1
Uggg
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Red face Be gentle its my first time.

Hiya all,

I've just had my first story published. Its also my first attempt at first person writing outside of role play.

I would love some feedback. I can handle criticism as long as its constructive but as the title says this is my first time so be gentle.

Here it is:

Reflections on a painful past

This is the first installment of three that I plan for these characters.



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Old 10-30-2017, 06:51 PM   #2
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The story was interesting (hard to judge on just the first chapter) but I'd suggest finding an editor or beta reader. There were quite a few cases where you used the wrong word, as if you'd run a spellchecker and just accepted all its results without checking that the word you were using means what you intended. For example:

isle/aisle
too/two
draws/drawers (this one came up a LOT)
core/corps

There were enough of these to distract me from the story.
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Old 10-30-2017, 07:01 PM   #3
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Good solid writing, the word I find myself using is "muscular" - not sure why, can't give you any specific examples why I feel this - probably because of Claire's character. The pacing is perhaps a bit TOO solid, I'd like to see more ups and downs in the mood - although the "slog" of reading perhaps evokes the training slog. If that was deliberate, fine, but if it's actually your style, then it's not the easiest read. It's a subtle, borderline thing. It might be as simple as shorter paragraphs, maybe that's it. It's a bit "wall of text".

If it's a three part story, and each part is much the length (two Lit pages), I personally would prefer to read the whole story in one go. See, it's OK, it would likely hold me for six pages, but not if I have to wait for the next part.

It's a classic dilemma here on Lit. Multiple part stories only work for me if each part is self-contained and has an internal resolution for that chapter, even if it's a sub-set of a longer plot. This Part 1 doesn't do that; you've set up two, possibly three threads, but resolved none of them. It leaves me hanging, but not interested enough to bookmark and read in another week, fortnight, however long it takes you to publish the rest of it.

Minor editorials and typos, nothing I worry about except it's "we're" not "where" in a couple of places, noticeably. Possibly a few "were" not "where" also.

But keep writing, this is a pretty good. But bloody annoying that if I want to find out what happens I have to hang around and wait. The thing is - and maybe it's the issue here - I probably won't. So you almost won me over, but lost me too. Aarrggh, you'll say. Me too.

Write more, just finish the bloody thing first!
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Old 10-30-2017, 07:28 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bramblethorn View Post
The story was interesting (hard to judge on just the first chapter) but I'd suggest finding an editor or beta reader. There were quite a few cases where you used the wrong word, as if you'd run a spellchecker and just accepted all its results without checking that the word you were using means what you intended. For example:

isle/aisle
too/two
draws/drawers (this one came up a LOT)
core/corps

There were enough of these to distract me from the story.
Hiya Bramblethorn,

Thanks for the feedback. Yup, using the correct words is an issue for me. I am dyslexic and rely heavily on the spell checker. If it gives me an incorrect word that can cause me issues. (In saying that there is absolutely no excuse for two/ too, I'm gonna give myself a spanking for that.) The other examples you have listed are perfect examples of the type of words that cause me issues.

So... a beta reader? How do I go about persuading someone to do that? I can bake?


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Old 10-30-2017, 07:41 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by electricblue66 View Post
Good solid writing, the word I find myself using is "muscular" - not sure why, can't give you any specific examples why I feel this - probably because of Claire's character. The pacing is perhaps a bit TOO solid, I'd like to see more ups and downs in the mood - although the "slog" of reading perhaps evokes the training slog. If that was deliberate, fine, but if it's actually your style, then it's not the easiest read. It's a subtle, borderline thing. It might be as simple as shorter paragraphs, maybe that's it. It's a bit "wall of text".

If it's a three part story, and each part is much the length (two Lit pages), I personally would prefer to read the whole story in one go. See, it's OK, it would likely hold me for six pages, but not if I have to wait for the next part.

It's a classic dilemma here on Lit. Multiple part stories only work for me if each part is self-contained and has an internal resolution for that chapter, even if it's a sub-set of a longer plot. This Part 1 doesn't do that; you've set up two, possibly three threads, but resolved none of them. It leaves me hanging, but not interested enough to bookmark and read in another week, fortnight, however long it takes you to publish the rest of it.

Minor editorials and typos, nothing I worry about except it's "we're" not "where" in a couple of places, noticeably. Possibly a few "were" not "where" also.

But keep writing, this is a pretty good. But bloody annoying that if I want to find out what happens I have to hang around and wait. The thing is - and maybe it's the issue here - I probably won't. So you almost won me over, but lost me too. Aarrggh, you'll say. Me too.

Write more, just finish the bloody thing first!
Hiya Electricblue,

Thanks for taking the time to read my story and give me feedback. I am inclined to agree with you regarding my story length. As this was my first submission I didn't really know how long to make it. Off the top of my head I think it came in at about 8000 words. I'm thinking I will aim at closer to 15 k words per part in the future.

I didn't intend to do this story in parts but wanted to get something out there so I could get some feedback. I haven't tried first person before. I have actually already written the second part and will submit that as soon as I've had a chance to go over it a couple of times. It is about the same length as the first and written in the same style (long paragraphs etc) but the third part will be longer and as I haven't started it yet I will take on your advise regarding paragraph length etc for that one.

Over all your feedback was very encouraging. Thank you.

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Old 10-30-2017, 10:02 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by electricblue66 View Post
Good solid writing, the word I find myself using is "muscular" - not sure why, can't give you any specific examples why I feel this - probably because of Claire's character. The pacing is perhaps a bit TOO solid, I'd like to see more ups and downs in the mood - although the "slog" of reading perhaps evokes the training slog. If that was deliberate, fine, but if it's actually your style, then it's not the easiest read. It's a subtle, borderline thing. It might be as simple as shorter paragraphs, maybe that's it. It's a bit "wall of text".

If it's a three part story, and each part is much the length (two Lit pages), I personally would prefer to read the whole story in one go. See, it's OK, it would likely hold me for six pages, but not if I have to wait for the next part.

It's a classic dilemma here on Lit. Multiple part stories only work for me if each part is self-contained and has an internal resolution for that chapter, even if it's a sub-set of a longer plot. This Part 1 doesn't do that; you've set up two, possibly three threads, but resolved none of them. It leaves me hanging, but not interested enough to bookmark and read in another week, fortnight, however long it takes you to publish the rest of it.

Minor editorials and typos, nothing I worry about except it's "we're" not "where" in a couple of places, noticeably. Possibly a few "were" not "where" also.

But keep writing, this is a pretty good. But bloody annoying that if I want to find out what happens I have to hang around and wait. The thing is - and maybe it's the issue here - I probably won't. So you almost won me over, but lost me too. Aarrggh, you'll say. Me too.

Write more, just finish the bloody thing first!
Reading through your comments electricblue, I think I may have fallen into the same hole with a new (first) submission (Part 2 isn't yet completed - sigh) The pitfall is getting excited about having the first part ready and can't wait to finish it, but also the challenge of getting it past the moderators.

Perhaps experience will improve me - I'm also very new to this
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Old 10-30-2017, 10:50 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uggg View Post
Hiya Electricblue,

Thanks for taking the time to read my story and give me feedback. I am inclined to agree with you regarding my story length. As this was my first submission I didn't really know how long to make it. Off the top of my head I think it came in at about 8000 words. I'm thinking I will aim at closer to 15 k words per part in the future.

I didn't intend to do this story in parts but wanted to get something out there so I could get some feedback. I haven't tried first person before. I have actually already written the second part and will submit that as soon as I've had a chance to go over it a couple of times. It is about the same length as the first and written in the same style (long paragraphs etc) but the third part will be longer and as I haven't started it yet I will take on your advise regarding paragraph length etc for that one.

Over all your feedback was very encouraging. Thank you.

Uggg
For reference purposes, a Lit page is around 3750 words, give or take, so yes, your first chapter is around the 7500 mark.

Breaking up long paras is easy. There's always somewhere internally you can find a break. After not very long, you'll find yourself breaking paras automatically. For me, it's become a visual thing, roughly the same amount of white on a page (this post, for example). Dialogue then gives the reader a further break from the wall of text, because dialogue is usually shorter sentences anyway.

With dialogue, keep an eye on "he said, she said" - with shorter sequences you can keep it obvious who's speaking, and you don't need the tags every line. With longer blocks, every now and then it's wise to drop in a reminder who's speaking. It's also OK to repeat "he said, she said" - the eye just sees the words as a beat mark.

That way, you can use "whispered... moaned... cried out..." etc... to give emphasis to the speech. And I reckon avoid the trap of thinking you need to find a different speech indicator every time - in natural speech, people don't "declare... state... explain... question... continue' - they just say stuff, you know?
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Old 10-30-2017, 11:07 PM   #8
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For a first story, I thought you did a good job.

That said, I was puzzled by a few things:

1) PC bashing of the military:

Quote:
The system that militaries use to train new recruits is tried and true. While warfare has changed over the years, the process for turning bright inquisitive young people into killers who shoot first and ask questions later has not changed. It is the same now as it was in ancient Rome, China or Greece. It is the same process that is used to brainwash people in religious cults and tyrannical nation states.

First they take away your sense of identity, they shave your head, put you in a uniform and take away your name, replace it with a number.
Is this relevant to the story? Why include it? In what country are female recruits required to shave their heads and be referred to as a number, not a name?

Furthermore, what country was this supposed to be set in?

2) She volunteered, right? Not a conscript? How many enlisted men and women bash their country this way? Not anyone I ever knew did this (including my father and my best friend). It doesn't ring true to me.

3) Why was the MC pained by the admission that she had a sexual relation with another woman when she was her daughter's age? Why should she? What day and age was the story set in?

A lot of mixed messages here that distract from the erotic aspect of the story, at least for me.
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Old 10-30-2017, 11:15 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Wkd_Macey View Post
Reading through your comments electricblue, I think I may have fallen into the same hole with a new (first) submission (Part 2 isn't yet completed - sigh) The pitfall is getting excited about having the first part ready and can't wait to finish it, but also the challenge of getting it past the moderators.

Perhaps experience will improve me - I'm also very new to this
A premature submission is the same as premature ejaculation. Exciting at the time, but ultimately, not such a good look. It leaves you frustrated and your partner wiping cum from their belly.

Also, if you write as you go along and do it well, and get yourself a fan base going, you put yourself under unbelievable pressure to keep ahead of your readers, and of course you can't. You then run the risk of quality dropping off because you've just stolen your own time, or pissed off readers because the story is left high and dry.

You'll see it's a regular thing in these forums where folk say they won't even start a multi-part story (a new one) for fear it won't be completed. That's probably the worst sin a writer can commit.

It requires discipline, I think, to write a very good multi-chapter story that stays well constructed. If you look at my story file, you'll see a 23 chapter thing - if you look at the release dates you'll see I was churning it out - damn near killed me!

I won't do that again. I'm working on a stupid long multi-chapter thing where I've vowed to get the whole thing written before I submit the first part. That way I can guarantee its overall coherence, and will give readers a new chapter once or twice a week. And it will be complete.

Also on the subject of chapters - number them 01, 02, 03 etc... Do that on the first submission and then Laurel will see the second chapter and link them together for you; and the 01, 02, 03 will make sure chapter 11 stays in the correct sequence on your story page.
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Old 10-31-2017, 12:32 PM   #10
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Everyone has their own reasons for writing. I'm going to give you advice for how to get more views and comments. This is not commenting on the quality of your writing.

First off, let's discuss your title. If you are looking to for a lesbian sex story to get you off and a story entitled "Reflections on a Painful Past" is in the list, how likely are you to click on it? I'm not a Lesbian reader, so I don't know what people look for in that category, but I'd guess that your title would put most readers off.

The start of your story. I found the first six paragraphs to be throat clearing. The letter-to-my-daughter concept flops for me. I felt my time was wasted as I read your opening and because I had my time wasted, I wasn't in a good mood to read the rest of your story. Your story really starts with "I joined when I finished high school just after I turned 18." From that point on, your story pops and grabs my interest.

Once your story started, I liked it. I'm not a Lesbian reader so it didn't hold my attention. But I liked how you told your little vignettes and so flushed out the narrator's character.

On chapters - it's a very common mistake (I made it too!) to start with a multi-chapter story. Really, you want your first story to be a stand-alone story. You're going to screw up, so get the whole thing out there and learn your lessons from it. With a multi-chapter story, your newbie mistakes limit the size of your audience for all your other chapters. The only people who are going to read Ch 02 are the people who read Ch 01 and liked it. Also, I don't know how things are in the Lesbian category, but in the Incest category chapter stories get a lower readership compared to comparable complete stories as people don't want to risk starting a story that may never be finished. My suggestion is to finish your whole story, delete this chapter, submit the complete story under a more enticing title with a note that the beginning had been submitted under another name.
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Old 10-31-2017, 05:25 PM   #11
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My suggestion is to finish your whole story, delete this chapter, submit the complete story under a more enticing title with a note that the beginning had been submitted under another name.
That's a good suggestion - 8letters has noted the common issue with multi-part stories, and in this case, a single story might be a good solution for the OP. A complete story of 5-7 Lit pages would probably get a better reception than three 2-3 page chapters a couple of weeks apart.
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Old 10-31-2017, 05:34 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dream_Operator View Post
For a first story, I thought you did a good job.

That said, I was puzzled by a few things:

1) PC bashing of the military:



Is this relevant to the story? Why include it? In what country are female recruits required to shave their heads and be referred to as a number, not a name?

Furthermore, what country was this supposed to be set in?

2) She volunteered, right? Not a conscript? How many enlisted men and women bash their country this way? Not anyone I ever knew did this (including my father and my best friend). It doesn't ring true to me.

3) Why was the MC pained by the admission that she had a sexual relation with another woman when she was her daughter's age? Why should she? What day and age was the story set in?

A lot of mixed messages here that distract from the erotic aspect of the story, at least for me.
Hiya Dream Operator,

Thank you for the positive feedback regarding my first story. I will now address your questions:

1. PC bashing of the military:
Is this relevant to the story? Why include it? In what country are female recruits required to shave their heads and be referred to as a number, not a name?
Furthermore, what country was this supposed to be set in?


This is actually several questions.
PC bashing of the military:
Is this relevant to the story? Why include it?

The paragraph you are asking about is the paragraph where I describe the psychological purpose of military basic training. You seem to have interpreted this as a criticism of the military. Read it again, its not criticism it is just acknowledgement. I'm describing a process as old as civilization itself. It is an important part of making civilians into soldiers. IRL I have been through it.

It is relevant to the story because it explains Jesse's emotional vulnerability. This will become more clear in the second part of the story. Claire gets her hooks into Jesse in a moment when Jesse is broken down. At a point when she is supposed to be latching onto the programming, teamwork and discipline of the military as her crutch but instead she latches onto Claire. That's why I have included it.
In what country are female recruits required to shave their heads and be referred to as a number, not a name?
Furthermore, what country was this supposed to be set in?

I deliberately avoided naming any particular country in my story as I wanted it to be relatively universal. Yes I took a little bit of artistic licence with the head shaving. In most armed forces women will only have their heads shaved if they join a special forces unit. Every military organisation I know of uses a regimental number system.

2) She volunteered, right? Not a conscript? How many enlisted men and women bash their country this way? Not anyone I ever knew did this (including my father and my best friend). It doesn't ring true to me.

I'm really not sure what you are referring to here? As mentioned above I deliberately left any mention of a specific country out of this story. In fact the only mention that country gets is at the start when Jesse is talking about how proud she is of her daughter for following in the family tradition of service to the country.

3) Why was the MC pained by the admission that she had a sexual relation with another woman when she was her daughter's age? Why should she? What day and age was the story set in?

Good question! I'm glad someone asked this. Attitudes have changed a lot in the past 20 years. Thank God!

The story is set in two times. The present and approx twenty years ago. The present Jesse is not at all ashamed of the fact that she had a relationship with a woman but she is ashamed of some of the things she did in that time because of the abusive nature of the relationship. That will become more clear as the story progresses.

The past Jesse is not ashamed of her love for a woman either but she is aware that in the military environment of her basic training it needs to be kept secret or she will be targeted. anything that makes you stand out in that environment paints a target on your back.

A lot of mixed messages here that distract from the erotic aspect of the story, at least for me.

I would love to talk to you more about what you have read from my story but I would need to talk to you about my own experiences and I'm not comfortable doing that in an open thread. Your questions, particularly question 2 suggest to me that you come from some kind of highly militarized, ultra nationalistic country? Probably USA?

I come from a country with quite different values so it was really interesting to get your take on my story.

I would like to chat please feel free to PM me. I'm not one of those people that gets offended by people having different opinions to me.

FYI I have submitted the second part of the story and it is still pending. I have started writing the third part.

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Old 10-31-2017, 05:53 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by electricblue66 View Post
That's a good suggestion - 8letters has noted the common issue with multi-part stories, and in this case, a single story might be a good solution for the OP. A complete story of 5-7 Lit pages would probably get a better reception than three 2-3 page chapters a couple of weeks apart.
Hiya Electricblue and 8letters.

I appreciate the advice you have both given me regarding how to attract more readers etc. In future stories I will certainly take your pointers on board. In fact Electricblue I am already taking your pointers regarding paragraph length on board as I write the third and final part of this story. And I will write future stories either as one complete story or much longer parts.

I'm writing here to develop my abilities. I'm not really that fussed with getting six million readers on my first few stories. What I am interested in is doing a much better job of my second story than I do of my first. which is why the only readers I care about at this stage are the ones like yourselves who have given me advice and feed back.

8Letters I chose the title of my story not so much to attract readers but to warn away the ones who won't like where this story is going. The story submission form only allowed me to nominate one category for my story so I chose lesbian sex which was the most relevant but its not a a happy story. I used the title to warn off anyone who is looking for lovey dovey.

Later if I start caring about getting millions of readers I might be a bit more careful with my story names.

In saying that I have actually had a lot more veiws on my story than I was expecting. About 2500 after the first 24 hrs if I'm reading the page info correctly? I wasn't expecting that. What's normal?

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Old 10-31-2017, 07:00 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uggg View Post

In saying that I have actually had a lot more veiws on my story than I was expecting. About 2500 after the first 24 hrs if I'm reading the page info correctly? I wasn't expecting that. What's normal?

Uggg
What's normal? A setting on your dryer.

It's difficult to establish a norm, since so much of it has to do with category, and specifically how many other stories were published under that category along with yours. In general, the longer you stay on the 'New' list, the more views you'll receive.

Note that a 'view' doesn't necessarily mean a 'read'. Those views could be hits from search spiders crawling the site for new content, people who meant to click on the story below yours and hit yours by accident, people who started reading and didn't like what they saw so hit the back button, a troll making their weekly pass through the category so they can downvote everything, etc...

Ignore 'views', because they don't tell you much of anything. It's much better to look at comments and favorites as an indicator of how much your story's being read and enjoyed. Also, ignore your story's score until it's accumulated a few dozen votes. Prior to that, it's far too easy for a lone downvote to drag your average into the mud. Scores tend to be erratic for a period of time before they normalize and wild swings become less likely. I hope this helps. Congrats on your first publication here!
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Old 10-31-2017, 07:28 PM   #15
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In saying that I have actually had a lot more veiws on my story than I was expecting. About 2500 after the first 24 hrs if I'm reading the page info correctly? I wasn't expecting that. What's normal?

Uggg
Nothing's 'normal' - every Lit category has its own unique dynamic, and a high number of views in one can be low in another.

Incest, for example - an established writer can get thousands of views an hour, a newbie, a fraction of that.

The best way to get an idea for each category is to go look at the New Story page for each one, look at a random selection of stories and take some stats.

FYI, a Red H story is one with at least 10 scores, with the average score > 4.5. Whether you use that as a popularity indicator or a quality indicator is up to you. It can be both, if the writer is lucky, but popularity and quality are not always the same thing.

You'll figure it out.
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Old 11-01-2017, 05:03 PM   #16
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In saying that I have actually had a lot more veiws on my story than I was expecting. About 2500 after the first 24 hrs if I'm reading the page info correctly? I wasn't expecting that. What's normal?
It varies with category and other things, but 2500 in the first day is pretty consistent with what I've seen on my stories in Lesbian. You can expect that to roughly double in the first week and then slow down a lot when it drops out of the "New Stories" list.
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