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Old 02-13-2019, 04:28 PM   #1
yukonnights
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Erotic to Non-Erotic Percentages

I don't recall reading anything on this, and my search didn't come up with anything useful. So, I've got a couple of stories completed...both of which are 6 to 7 Lit screens in length. One is in (Gay Male)->ETA Trans/CD's and the other in Lesbian.

My problem is; I'm sick, sick, sick of them both! The thrill is definitely gone and frankly I'm tempted to delete them both at this point. Bottom line, they seem boring to me after reading/editing/reading again, etc.

So I'm wondering if anyone has ever concocted a good balance of erotic words per non-erotic words in the story total? I know there's no magic number, each story is different, etc. But just as a rule of thumb, does anyone ever consider this ratio?

For example; The (gay male)->ETA: Trans/CD story is; approx 26,750 words non-erotic and 6600 words of sex/erotica. Or about 25% sex & 75% story. (there is a hefty percentage of the story that involves a shooting/crime/cops, etc.) (note: I've seen keithD/sr71 pull off a story w/o much erotica...but, I'm not sure I'm there yet )

Anyway, any input/conversation will be appreciated.
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Old 02-13-2019, 04:41 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by yukonnights View Post
So I'm wondering if anyone has ever concocted a good balance of erotic words per non-erotic words in the story total? I know there's no magic number, each story is different, etc. But just as a rule of thumb, does anyone ever consider this ratio?.
If you seek formulas for writing you'll get formulaic writing. Yukon, you know the answer to this question is, "There is no answer to this question."

A story needs just the right amount of sex for the story in question, no more, no less. If you're sick of writing these stories there's another reason, surely, than the erotic/clean text ratio? If it's that dreadful, put the keyboard down, go outside, look up to the sky, look at the tops of trees, see the birds fly.

Sounds to me you've got yourself a writer's funk, so the best thing is to do something else, put it away for a while. But reducing erotica to ratios ain't going to help, I wouldn't think.
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Old 02-13-2019, 05:10 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by electricblue66 View Post
If you seek formulas for writing you'll get formulaic writing. Yukon, you know the answer to this question is, "There is no answer to this question."

A story needs just the right amount of sex for the story in question, no more, no less. If you're sick of writing these stories there's another reason, surely, than the erotic/clean text ratio? If it's that dreadful, put the keyboard down, go outside, look up to the sky, look at the tops of trees, see the birds fly.

Sounds to me you've got yourself a writer's funk, so the best thing is to do something else, put it away for a while. But reducing erotica to ratios ain't going to help, I wouldn't think.
Actually, I have let them sit for quite a long time. I was more concerned about the lack of erotica and too much "story". And yeah, I know there's no set rule...but it does seem to me that more sex is probably what people come here to read. Just thought maybe someone had played around with this ratio and had some insight.

I'd try all your suggestions...but it's really nasty out today
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Old 02-13-2019, 05:14 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by yukonnights View Post
Actually, I have let them sit for quite a long time. I was more concerned about the lack of erotica and too much "story". And yeah, I know there's no set rule...but it does seem to me that more sex is probably what people come here to read. Just thought maybe someone had played around with this ratio and had some insight.

I'd try all your suggestions...but it's really nasty out today
People come here to read sex but sex well written with a good story works even better. Look at my Shanghai story where the ratio of sex to story is fairly light. Also depends on your audience- some like short and hot, some long and hot and everything in between
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Old 02-13-2019, 05:37 PM   #5
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I have joked that I probably have the highest word to wank ratio on the site. I doubt if I've ever come close to 25% of my story being descriptions of sexual activity. I don't doubt that I disappoint some readers, but I offer something relatively rare to those who appreciate relationship stories spiced with explicit sex. There's room for every gradation.
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Old 02-13-2019, 05:37 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by ChloeTzang View Post
People come here to read sex but sex well written with a good story works even better. Look at my Shanghai story where the ratio of sex to story is fairly light. Also depends on your audience- some like short and hot, some long and hot and everything in between
Thanks Chloe, those are the kind of stories I prefer too. Maybe EB hit on the problem...I just need to get away from them for awhile longer...or just push 'em out the door and let 'em sink or swim...or I could tweak 'em just a little more
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Old 02-13-2019, 05:47 PM   #7
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I have joked that I probably have the highest word to wank ratio on the site. I doubt if I've ever come close to 25% of my story being descriptions of sexual activity. I don't doubt that I disappoint some readers, but I offer something relatively rare to those who appreciate relationship stories spiced with explicit sex. There's room for every gradation.
Thank You MB. While reading your thoughts it occurred to me than I'm probably straddling the fence between really preferring to write a romance but feeling the need to include the "payola". Which raises the question: Is it romantic enough? I guess as an engineer I was hoping that numbers might offer some insight...but the writer in me knowing all along they probably wouldn't.
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Old 02-13-2019, 06:00 PM   #8
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I used to worry more about this, but after a few stories I came to the conclusion that as long as I'm enjoying writing it, somebody out there will enjoy reading it. Most of my stories have a pretty low percentage of explicit sex, several have none at all, but IMHO the context can make that "erotic" even without so much as a nipple in view. Flirtation is sexy.
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Old 02-13-2019, 06:06 PM   #9
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Thanks Chloe, those are the kind of stories I prefer too. Maybe EB hit on the problem...I just need to get away from them for awhile longer...or just push 'em out the door and let 'em sink or swim...or I could tweak 'em just a little more
Or, sit there with a coffee in your hand and look out the window at your icicles or snow or whatever it is you see (I forgot you guys are in the snows of winter - I just sat through 47C the other day and wondered why the road was melting), and ask yourself, "What am I trying to do with this story? What is it I don't like? Why am I being so critical? Who can I ask to take a look?"

There must have been a reason you wrote 27,000 words - maybe you just forgot what it was?

I've got a massive tree out my window, that in the evening glows when the lowering sun gets under the leaves, glows golden. Dozens of birds have nests, and the sky flickers black as they fly in and out. It's magnificent to look at as a tree, but when you look closely you see the leaves and the trunk and the birds. But, you can't see both at the same time - you can see the whole thing or you can see the tiny things.

Writing is like that, I find; you have to shift back and forth between the words and the story, coz I'm not sure you can always see both at the same time. So my question is, what are you looking at: the tree, or the leaves and the tiny flickering things that make it come alive?

Also, paragraph breaks. They're good, too .
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Old 02-13-2019, 06:17 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by yukonnights View Post
Thank You MB. While reading your thoughts it occurred to me than I'm probably straddling the fence between really preferring to write a romance but feeling the need to include the "payola". Which raises the question: Is it romantic enough? I guess as an engineer I was hoping that numbers might offer some insight...but the writer in me knowing all along they probably wouldn't.
I absolutely hear you on this. It seems like the dilemma common to anyone writing romance here. Too much sex, or as I learned the hard way, rushed sex, can result in more negative feedback that not enough sex. All I can say to that is, trust your instincts as to what is right for the story.
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Old 02-13-2019, 06:19 PM   #11
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I used to worry more about this, but after a few stories I came to the conclusion that as long as I'm enjoying writing it, somebody out there will enjoy reading it. Most of my stories have a pretty low percentage of explicit sex, several have none at all, but IMHO the context can make that "erotic" even without so much as a nipple in view. Flirtation is sexy.
I have had more than a few readers tell me that they find the banter between my characters sexier than the actual sex scenes, which may not be entirely a compliment, but I take it as one.
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Old 02-13-2019, 06:30 PM   #12
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You've already received the right answer to this, but I'll repeat it, in my own way: There's no right answer. It depends on what you want to do with your story, and no one can tell you that your desire is wrong.

I'll tell you what I do and how I see it. I write erotic stories on this site. An erotic story, to me, is a story where "sex", broadly defined, is the essence of the story. It could be boy-girl, mom-son, girl-girl, exhibitionism, fetish, whatever. The point is that the erotic is the essence of the story. I don't write stories that happen to have sex. In my stories, sex IS the story.

So as I see it, there's nothing in the story that's non-erotic. Everything is intended in some way or another to serve the erotic purpose of the story. If it's not sex, it's dialogue, or it's setup, or it's something. If readers see parts of my stories that wander away from the essentially sexual narrative, then I've failed in some way. Every scene and every word should in one way or another serve the story's erotic purpose.

This is just me. You may have our own ideas.
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Old 02-13-2019, 06:33 PM   #13
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Or, sit there with a coffee in your hand and look out the window at your icicles or snow or whatever it is you see (I forgot you guys are in the snows of winter... - I just sat through 47C the other day and wondered why the road was melting...There must have been a reason you wrote 27,000 words - maybe you just forgot what it was? ...Writing is like that, I find; you have to shift back and forth between the words and the story, coz I'm not sure you can always see both at the same time. So my question is, what are you looking at: the tree, or the leaves and the tiny flickering things that make it come alive?

Also, paragraph breaks. They're good, too .
Okay, I'm looking at the pieces...I quit looking at the story quite awhile ago once I entered into the edit phase. That's good input EB, thanks for taking so much time to write about that tree and all the life it holds...I'd kinda like to see that tree
PS: I think I did okay on the paragraphs


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I absolutely hear you on this. It seems like the dilemma common to anyone writing romance here. Too much sex, or as I learned the hard way, rushed sex, can result in more negative feedback that not enough sex. All I can say to that is, trust your instincts as to what is right for the story.
I'm thinking the sex parts are okay...just not sure if the rest of the two stories have the legs to hold them up???

PS: I need to edit my first post; It's not Gay Male...it's Trans/Cd's (that probably takes some of the questions out of that one.)

I really appreciate the goodwill offered. Don't worry, I've put the gun away
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Old 02-13-2019, 07:23 PM   #14
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Okay, I'm looking at the pieces...I quit looking at the story quite awhile ago once I entered into the edit phase.
I got to your point with "Love is Enough." If you haven't already, then you might give them to beta readers. The readers' perspective might give you a different outlook on the stories. If my experience with "Love is Enough" is relevant, then you also need to give some time to let your readers' input soak in. I didn't do that, and now when I look at the story I understand more about what they told me.
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Old 02-13-2019, 07:52 PM   #15
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I got to your point with "Love is Enough." If you haven't already, then you might give them to beta readers. The readers' perspective might give you a different outlook on the stories. If my experience with "Love is Enough" is relevant, then you also need to give some time to let your readers' input soak in. I didn't do that, and now when I look at the story I understand more about what they told me.
That makes sense, only problem is I don't have any beta readers. I've perused the Editor Forum from time to time but it seems a rare occurrence that anyone finds a beta reader or an editor on there I think you're right though, a fresh look would no doubt help.
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Old 02-13-2019, 07:58 PM   #16
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That makes sense, only problem is I don't have any beta readers. I've perused the Editor Forum from time to time but it seems a rare occurrence that anyone finds a beta reader or an editor on there I think you're right though, a fresh look would no doubt help.
I had a couple beta readers before I went to the Editor's Forum -- mostly people I knew through the AH. I occasionally post requests for beta readers on AH, and respond to requests on AH. I posted a request in the Editor's Forum and got no response at all for a week or so, then bumped the request and suddenly had six.

Not all beta readers are created equally.
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Old 02-13-2019, 11:46 PM   #17
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I had a couple beta readers before I went to the Editor's Forum -- mostly people I knew through the AH. I occasionally post requests for beta readers on AH, and respond to requests on AH. I posted a request in the Editor's Forum and got no response at all for a week or so, then bumped the request and suddenly had six.

Not all beta readers are created equally.
What you said has also been on my mind about getting help from an unknown source. The good news is, after logging back on awhile ago I've had a couple of offers to take a look. As I mentioned to them; the stories should be pretty clean of typos and stupid mistakes. But in reading some of the high quality work from the last contest, it made me want to see how I might improve in content, etc. The Lesbian one I'm especially unsure of in regard to writing the sex scenes in a way appropriate to the intended audience. (needless to say, I've been binging on Lesbian themed stories the past few days...I guess I should add; I like them )

Thanks for you input/help NotWise. I don't start many (any) threads so the response here has been heartwarming and appreciated.
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Old 02-14-2019, 12:15 AM   #18
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My 8-page highest-scored story has exactly one explicit sex scene, a brief blowjob. Other stories (strokers) of varied scores are almost nonstop fucking. My most-viewed and lowest-scored tale is of humans-turned-mollusk incest. Readers have many moods.

My advice: Write what you want. Stop when you're done. Submit what you can tolerate. If it doesn't turn you on, don't post it, or post under an alt so nobody blames you.
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Old 02-14-2019, 02:23 AM   #19
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My 8-page highest-scored story has exactly one explicit sex scene, a brief blowjob. Other stories (strokers) of varied scores are almost nonstop fucking. My most-viewed and lowest-scored tale is of humans-turned-mollusk incest. Readers have many moods.

My advice: Write what you want. Stop when you're done. Submit what you can tolerate. If it doesn't turn you on, don't post it, or post under an alt so nobody blames you.
That's actually good advice Hypoxia. A couple of folks are going to give me a fresh opinion. If they think the stories are lacking, I'll either scrap them of post them under someone else's name...maybe something catchy like Hypoxxia.

I'm already working on my One Night story, so my "over focus problem" has been temporarily numbed with the appropriate narcotics of distraction
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== Results from bdsmtest.org == 99% Switch / 91% Voyeur / 87% Degradee / 85% Experimentalist / 77% Non-monogamist 77% Submissive / 76% Rope bunny / 74% Degrader / 66% Dominant / 25% Vanilla / 23% Masochist / 13% Sadist

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Old 02-14-2019, 04:12 AM   #20
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That's actually good advice Hypoxia. A couple of folks are going to give me a fresh opinion. If they think the stories are lacking, I'll either scrap them of post them under someone else's name...maybe something catchy like Hypoxxia.
Readers will know it's not me unless you include a banana-slug story and flavored incest.
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Old 02-14-2019, 04:14 AM   #21
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My 8-page highest-scored story has exactly one explicit sex scene, a brief blowjob. Other stories (strokers) of varied scores are almost nonstop fucking. My most-viewed and lowest-scored tale is of humans-turned-mollusk incest. Readers have many moods.

My advice: Write what you want. Stop when you're done. Submit what you can tolerate. If it doesn't turn you on, don't post it, or post under an alt so nobody blames you.
One scene for an eight-pager is a bit little. Not to mention just a BJ.
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Old 02-14-2019, 04:26 AM   #22
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One scene for an eight-pager is a bit little. Not to mention just a BJ.
Romance can handle that.
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Old 02-14-2019, 06:37 AM   #23
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Readers will know it's not me unless you include a banana-slug story and flavored incest.
Don't forget the trepanning.
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Old 02-14-2019, 11:10 AM   #24
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I just need to get away from them for awhile longer...or just push 'em out the door and let 'em sink or swim...or I could tweak 'em just a little more
I find getting away helps too. I often shelve a story and come back to it when it calls again. But once I've edited it endlessly it gets boring, so I close my eyes and hit submit.

Sink or swim. I think you've hit the right solution.
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Old 02-14-2019, 12:06 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by Bramblethorn View Post
Don't forget the trepanning.
That too. And magic sperm.
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