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Old 05-16-2018, 10:15 PM   #1
rae121452
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do you have any idea what people will like?

in two recent instances i thought my completed story wouldn't appeal to anyone at all. i write for myself, so that explains why i posted them. anyway, the one that i posted first was long and involved and basically me just enjoying myself. it got a very good reception. more recently, i lost interest half way through and had to force myself to finish the story...it seemed repetitive and boring to me. again, good response. which leads me to believe that i'm totally clueless as to what the market likes. i know that there is supposed to be some "formula" for popularity, but when i'm concocting a story it's usually to get it out of my head. am i the only one who gets surprised by the reception?
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Old 05-16-2018, 10:28 PM   #2
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am i the only one who gets surprised by the reception?
No, but my problem is different from your "problem" (which others might like to have).

I don't post stories unless I think they'll get a good reception. Sometimes I'm right, sometimes I'm wrong, and I don't usually know why things work out the way they do. A lot of variables go into making a story more or less successful, and it's hard for the author to know them all, much less control them all.
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Old 05-16-2018, 10:38 PM   #3
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The basic "popularity" formula is mom/son incest, sibcest, non-con, unloving wives, probably in that order.

If you start chasing formulas and popularity, your writing will be craved and adored, sure, but it will also (probably) be formulaic. And there's nothing wrong with that, if it's a good formula and you do it well. It doesn't surprise me that readers raved about something you thought was terrible - there's always someone who'll like something.

I think all writers here go through the questioning phase, why am I writing? We all have completely different reasons, you'll just have to figure out what yours are, yourself.

I, for example, write because I enjoy discovering what the hell my subconscious is up to. The fact that others like how I describe that mess is a bonus, but I don't set out with readers in mind - they come along afterwards.
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Old 05-17-2018, 07:49 AM   #4
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I submit what I like. The one story that I wrote for the masses was well received. My personal favourite, not so much. But not surprising when one of the hall of fame stories is sappy crap about a child reminiscing about her dead veteran of a father with multiple spelling mistakes and I write about meth addicted whores (one sp. mistake next time I won't search The Bleekers when using bleak in a sentence. Autocorrect hates me, lol). Idgaf what people think, I don't like to pander and I never will. If I didn't publish stories here I would prolly never write so it works in my favour, not so much the readers. Could be low scores cuz I'm not so well liked on a couple of boards or maybe I'm a bad author but, meh,
being popular and writing formulaic stories to please others is not my style. I don't play well with others and I write for myself. If you're writing to please yourself and not others AND are receiving good scores more power to you.
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Old 05-17-2018, 08:17 AM   #5
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No, but my problem is different from your "problem" (which others might like to have).
Too much money? I feel ya. Had that problem last week when I got 5 quarters for $1.
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Old 05-17-2018, 08:48 AM   #6
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Why limit yourself by writing what you think people will like?

I write what comes outta my head and if people like it, that's great. If they don't... Oh well.

The only thing that really bothers me is the trolls hitting a really good story. But that's gonna happen. Some people are just juvenile asswipes.

"Write what you like. There are no other rules." - O. Henry
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Old 05-17-2018, 09:49 AM   #7
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The Literotica readership is often characterized as shallow and stroke- and mom-obsessed, and there are many readers who fall into those categories, but there also is a large audience of people who like a good story, period. I agree you should write what you like, not write what you think will be popular, but one can make almost any story better, without compromising one's principles, by making one's characters better. Make them interesting. Give them motivation. Put them in a conflict of some kind -- external, internal, whatever. If readers get drawn into your characters your story will be more popular and, probably, better.
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Old 05-17-2018, 09:49 AM   #8
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There doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason to reactions to stories, at least not those I write. My most popular story (at least in terms of favourites and views) has something that attracted people, but damned if I know what. Write what you want and then it's a crap shoot. Maybe it'll hit a nerve, and maybe not, but I can't predict which, not about my own stories, anyway.
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Old 05-17-2018, 10:32 AM   #9
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A story about popularity

In The Devil's Candy there is a description of how Hollywood studios audience-test movies before release.

In the case of Brian De Palma's Bonfire of the Vanities he had to re-edit the movie because of audience response surveys. Scenes were cut that had been very costly to film.

The movie still failed at the box office. At least we don't have millions of dollars on the line here.

https://www.amazon.com/Devils-Candy-.../dp/0385308248
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Old 05-17-2018, 10:37 AM   #10
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Iíll just echo the above sentitments: write what you want. Itís better that way. Easier as well. This is already hard enough. If you make a reader hard as well, thatís just bonus.
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Old 05-17-2018, 10:47 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by SimonDoom View Post
The Literotica readership is often characterized as shallow and stroke- and mom-obsessed, and there are many readers who fall into those categories, but there also is a large audience of people who like a good story, period.
I couldn't agree more. Literotica has a wide and varied readership and I'm continually amazed by the backgrounds of readers here. And Authors. It's fascinating.

Me, I write what I enjoy and as I get better at it I find my writing horizons expanding. I'd love to write best-sellers but on the other hand I need to enjoy my writing. If I don't, I find it almost impossible to stay focused- I've tried writing a couple of commissioned pieces and that just doesn't work for me. It has to be something I'm interested in writing. If readers like it, that's totally a bonus. That said, they usually seem to - and I'll be honest and say I don't pay to much attention to what readers want so much as what I enjoy. I'm quite happy writing something that's out of the box, like Nockatunga Station, just to see if I can do it.and now, back to my Geek story!!!!!!
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Old 05-17-2018, 04:54 PM   #12
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I don't know whether it is just my experience, but I have found that political stories don't tend to rate too well.

I have written two Erotic Couplings stories with political themes. One was about the fed up wife of a powerful (fictional) philandering Senator having an affair with a 19-year-old college student; the other was set in England in 1984 about a young striking coalminer meeting a stuck and opinionated 19-year-old member of the Young Conservatives, who is not shy about expressing her opinions.

While neither story got bad scores and drew some positive comments, neither story proved as popular as I thought they would be when I posted them.
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Old 05-17-2018, 05:11 PM   #13
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I don't know whether it is just my experience, but I have found that political stories don't tend to rate too well.

I have written two Erotic Couplings stories with political themes. One was about the fed up wife of a powerful (fictional) philandering Senator having an affair with a 19-year-old college student; the other was set in England in 1984 about a young striking coalminer meeting a stuck and opinionated 19-year-old member of the Young Conservatives, who is not shy about expressing her opinions.

While neither story got bad scores and drew some positive comments, neither story proved as popular as I thought they would be when I posted them.
Could be more the historical aspects.
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Old 05-17-2018, 05:57 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by rae121452 View Post
in two recent instances i thought my completed story wouldn't appeal to anyone at all. i write for myself, so that explains why i posted them. anyway, the one that i posted first was long and involved and basically me just enjoying myself. it got a very good reception. more recently, i lost interest half way through and had to force myself to finish the story...it seemed repetitive and boring to me. again, good response. which leads me to believe that i'm totally clueless as to what the market likes. i know that there is supposed to be some "formula" for popularity, but when i'm concocting a story it's usually to get it out of my head. am i the only one who gets surprised by the reception?
My opinion is that the premise for the large part determines your score. If you've got an appealing premise, your story will do well regardless of how poorly it's written, how shallow your characters are, etc. If your premise isn't appealing, you could write it as well as Hemingway and you'll still get a low rating.
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Old 05-18-2018, 01:09 PM   #15
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Write stories tailored to a specific audience.
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Old 05-18-2018, 02:23 PM   #16
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Write stories tailored to a specific audience.
OOOOOOOOOOOO


An audience is difficult to know but a person is easier. I just write for one or two. One is always me. Two is me and you. Too many is intimidating and when intimidated people often try to control/ contain emotion. One thing that makes good writing great is emotion. I find it very difficult to do. Most often what I try to do turns out to be lead but just sometimes it is gold and wonderful. I look to read emotion. It is difficult to find. Humour often involves emotion and it is rare to find good humour. I don't mean satire. I don't know exactly what the relationship of emotion and humour is but in their creation I feel there are similarities- when they bust they crash, when they succeed they soar and are so wonderful. In my experience their origins are small and they are slowly built. People intrude into the creative process and often destroy it. One person can be so helpful. The thing is, people usually want to be lead into things that are different and often new. That makes them unpredictable.

That's how I think of it. I feel there is something I missed and that is probably what you're seeking too.
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Old 05-18-2018, 03:08 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by KarissaTsevi View Post
Write stories tailored to a specific audience.
I think this is an unsatisfying way to write, most of the time. I've done some of this with incest/taboo stories, because I think of them as genre stories and not overly serious, but I haven't done it with non-incest stories, and I think I'd feel dissatisfied if I did.

My take is you should write your story being true to yourself, without worrying too much about the audience, but it's OK to be mindful of your audience in choosing things like the category, title, and tag line.
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Old 05-18-2018, 04:07 PM   #18
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I write bisexual and gay male erotica, and I find that lots of other girls enjoy reading such stories.
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Old 05-18-2018, 04:30 PM   #19
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I have no clue what "my" readership expects, except "more". My stories do well (most of my portfolio has a Red H), I get very little in the way of aggro troll comments, even if I sneak some Gay Male, Bi or futanari stuff into my fantasy stories... either the world-building and characters are so good that most readers don't mind the nichť sex or I happen to have very open-minded readers. They simply don't tell me.
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Old 05-18-2018, 04:34 PM   #20
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No matter what you write there will be those who love it, and those who hate it.

There are categories and scenarios that are more popular, but you do have to write them convincingly. One handed readers may not be too fussy, but people who like some story in their smut can sense someone faking it.

As someone else said its also way to easy to fall into writing the same thing over and over again if all you're doing is pandering to ratings.

Now if your only goal is ratings? I guess its fine. You can all but write the same story 50 times with only slight changes and the same readers will keep acting like they've never seen anything so good!

But...as a writer? Well its like a muscle. You want it to get bigger, you work it out. Never do anything with it and it atrophies. So if you care about learning to be a better writer just go with what YOU want to write. The readers will find you and they'll like you for your style, not mimicking others.
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Old 05-18-2018, 05:09 PM   #21
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Could be more the historical aspects.

I write most of my works set in the past, and have stories set in the 1920s, 1940s, 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s and 1990s. I've never had any negative comments about the historical aspects of my works, although it is possible that some readers may not like stories because they are set in the past. For example, a group of 18-year-old guys might go onto this site to look for cougar stories, find my story 'Mandy Makes A Man of Mark' which is about a 36-year-old woman having sex with an 18-year-old young man, and when finding out it is set in 1964 would say things like 'It's set in 1964, that's like so long ago', 'It's like reading about your grandpa having sex for the first time when he was young' or 'He'd be 72, and she'd be dead by now,' and find something else to read.

While my experience with political stories is limited to two works, I have read other comments from Lit authors saying that their political-themed stories either received negative scores and comments, or slipped quietly away into obscurity.
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Old 05-18-2018, 06:37 PM   #22
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My take is you should write your story being true to yourself, without worrying too much about the audience, but it's OK to be mindful of your audience in choosing things like the category, title, and tag line.
Yes, this.

I write because I want to write my material, my way. Readers will either like it or not, I don't mind. I think the only change I've made on behalf of readers, and only recently and because my betas rightfully pointed it out, has been to ramp back my language in some gentler scenes. Ironic, on a porn site, that they're suggesting I use softer language, but there you go. I still get away with cruditie, but it has to be in the right place. Otherwise, my characters eat apples.
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Old 05-18-2018, 07:27 PM   #23
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You never know who might be looking when your story gets posted or who might stumble upon it so no real way of predicting popularity. I check on who adds one of my stories to a favorite list. I get a little less flattered when I check and a person has added several thousand stories to his list. Not exactly like finding a real fan
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Old 05-18-2018, 09:28 PM   #24
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There's no telling what will tickle the reader's fancy. I've tried to read some highly rated stories, but had to give up because they were complete dreck. A few others, that I liked, seemed to get low ratings. It all depends on who is willing to take the time to give a rating and provide feedback.
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Old 05-18-2018, 11:15 PM   #25
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There's no telling what will tickle the reader's fancy. I've tried to read some highly rated stories, but had to give up because they were complete dreck. A few others, that I liked, seemed to get low ratings. It all depends on who is willing to take the time to give a rating and provide feedback.

i've had that experience, too. high rated stories that i didn't even finish and low rated stories that i really enjoyed.
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