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Old 06-16-2018, 12:21 AM   #26
electric1
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The ideal length is as short as you can possibly make it without losing one iota of eroticism.

If every paragraph has sexual tension, your story can take up volumes and still be great. If you have a lot of boring content, however, it's too long no matter what the word-count.
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Old 06-16-2018, 12:26 AM   #27
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novelette is best
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Old 06-16-2018, 01:14 AM   #28
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novelette is best
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Old 06-24-2018, 06:45 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by electricblue66 View Post
Three Lit pages (roughly 10k words) seems to be a pretty good norm, either for a stand-alone story or a chapter length, especially starting out.

That's about how long my stories end up being. I will confess that, when reading other people's stories, I look at the page count, and very often won't reading anything more than five or six pages long. I don't want to invest the time. I'm sure some other readers feel the same way.
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Old 06-24-2018, 07:02 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by electricblue66 View Post
Three Lit pages (roughly 10k words) seems to be a pretty good norm, either for a stand-alone story or a chapter length, especially starting out.
I think this is really good advice.

The idea of there being a particular length that's ideal for an erotic story is sort of silly, because, of course, it depends on the creative requirements of the particular story.

But for a new Literotica author, this is a good guideline, in terms of connecting with the Literotica readership.

3 pages is enough to do the two things that a lot of Literotica readers want: 1) build up adequately to the sex scene, with sufficient attention to character, plot, dramatic tension, etc., and 2) write a good sex scene, which a lot of readers here like to be somewhat drawn out.
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Old 06-24-2018, 07:48 PM   #31
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Most of my chapters seem to naturally come out between 7,000-10,000 words.
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Old 06-24-2018, 08:08 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by schttrj View Post
No, I understand that it's totally on the author's wish and also on the story.

But what if I asked you the ideal length that sells more for you - novella, novel, short story? What would you say? Please also include the price point.

Let's say, would you write 1 novel of 120,000 words or 24 short stories of 5,000 words?
The original confusion here (which continues to have responses going on different tracks) is that it wasn't made clear until this cited post that the OP was talking about best lengths in the marketplace, not on Literotica. For an e-book, the one who gave "novelette" (in e-booking, circa 12,000 to 25,000 words) as a response is better, in my experience (nearly 200 e-books of various lengths), than either single short story or novel. Novella (circa 25,000 words to 40,000) would also be better than a short story (under 12,000 words) or novel (over circa 40,000 words). I don't know why anyone buys single short stories in the marketplace. There's an overabundance of that length for free on the Internet.

My most successful standalone plots lengths for e-books has been $2.99 for 25,000 to 30,000 words and $3.99 for 30,000 to 36,000 words. Both of these lengths can also be put out in a cost-effective paperback, which broadens the reader support.

As for the choice between anthologies of short stories and standalone novels, my anthologies (which run from 35,000 to 350,000 words) have far outsold any novel-length standalones. Most of my titles and profit are in short story anthologies.

The best outcome in writing for the marketplace isn't the length or price point of a given work, though, it's the "keeping them coming" aspect. Putting a single work or just a couple of works over a long time in the marketplace doesn't often attract very many buyers. It's the previously satisfied return buyers that produce profits.
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Old 06-25-2018, 06:32 AM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schttrj View Post
I have heard from many that it should be around 3000 words.

I am just starting out. In need of serious advice.
Just write the story; Don't aim at a particular 'length'.


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The answer is 42.
Would that value be for words, pages or chapters, please ?
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Old 06-25-2018, 08:18 AM   #34
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Just write the story; Don't aim at a particular 'length'.




Would that value be for words, pages or chapters, please ?
HP is right about length. On the other hand, I'd have expected recognition that 42 is the answer to the meaning of life. Don't Panic!
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Old 06-30-2018, 06:29 PM   #35
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The right length depends on how often and long you want the reader to masturbate (or laugh, gasp, retch, etc) as they read.
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Old 06-30-2018, 06:52 PM   #36
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I've read plenty of traditional, geared towards women, erotica in my time and it's mainly 3-5k words, and no detailed descriptions of body parts.

Literotica doesn't much resemble 'written for women, print erotica' so I disregard the normal rules and write what want. I'm wordy; few of my stories are under 14k words. I've also read novel-length pieces here that I've greatly enjoyed, but I'm willing to invest time in a good story/series. As long as the story is going somewhere, and the ride is interesting, I'm happy to buckle up.
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Old 06-30-2018, 08:58 PM   #37
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It varies, so a writer should write at whatever length best serves the piece.

In practice, I usually like between 15k and 22k to serve the slow build I enjoy writing. But then, I like READING longer erotica pieces as well.

Itís important for a writer to establish their comfort zone, regardless of genre.
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Old 07-15-2018, 06:42 PM   #38
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Question Related question - multipart series

I'm inclined to agree that around 3-4 Literotica pages feels right. Most of my stories up to now have been longer (around 6 pages) and that works OK, but seems a bit too much for one title.
So I have a related technical rather than artistic question - I'm working on a new story which has grown too long, and seems naturally to break into sections. I'd like to submit it as a multipart series, but I can't for the life of me see how to do this on the 'submit' page. How does one specify a multipart series? Where does the series title go? What if I've submitted some parts, and want to add more - does Literotica keep track of the number of subsections, or do I have to edit that, and if so, where?
Maybe the answers are staring me in the face on the submit form, but if they are, they're not jumping out to bite!
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Old 07-15-2018, 06:49 PM   #39
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I go sort of by page number.

I write in chapters for the most part and I try to make my page numbers in the teens (according to Microsoft Word). I have a couple of chapters that are only eight pages, but I said what I wanted to say. And I have one or two that were like 20 pages, but I wanted to get a lot of information in.

Really, the only time you should be concerned with word count is if you're directly asked, like on a competition, or a submission page.

Write what you feel. It was hard for me at first too, because I worried about things like margins and font size. Don't let the little things catch you up and prevent you from writing. If it feels too long, cut the fluff. If it feels too short, expand on your scenes. How does it FEEL?
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Old 07-15-2018, 06:54 PM   #40
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How does one specify a multipart series? Where does the series title go? What if I've submitted some parts, and want to add more - does Literotica keep track of the number of subsections, or do I have to edit that, and if so, where?
It's all in how you title the story.

Submit each part separately. Title each part My Big Story: Ch xx, where xx is 01, 02, and so on. The site will group them together and order the parts alphabetically, so the leading zero's are significant. You can also use Part rather than Ch.

I've always waited a little between posting chapters, but I've read here that you can send all the pieces to Laurel at the same time and she will publish them (assuming she doesn't send them back) on successive days. I figure that the less work I dump on Laurel the more easily things will go, so I haven't tried that.
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Old 07-15-2018, 10:58 PM   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NotWise View Post
It's all in how you title the story.

Submit each part separately. Title each part My Big Story: Ch xx, where xx is 01, 02, and so on. The site will group them together and order the parts alphabetically, so the leading zero's are significant. You can also use Part rather than Ch.

I've always waited a little between posting chapters, but I've read here that you can send all the pieces to Laurel at the same time and she will publish them (assuming she doesn't send them back) on successive days. I figure that the less work I dump on Laurel the more easily things will go, so I haven't tried that.
I'm working on a multi chapter story now. It's at eight chapters now. My problem is that seven of the eight are in the 7000-9000 word range. One chapter, describing the lead character masturbating, was at about 850 words when I left it a couple of days ago. (Up from about 700, which I know is too short for Lit). I wonder where does expanding the idea become blatant padding or worse, verbal diarrhea?
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Old 07-15-2018, 11:08 PM   #42
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I wonder where does expanding the idea become blatant padding or worse, verbal diarrhea?
Eew! I'm pretty sure that you need to answer that question yourself.
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Old 07-16-2018, 12:46 AM   #43
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I usually write short scenes and vignettes. And I say, just tell the story you want to tell, no more no less. Once the story is complete, stop writing.

Short pieces tend to read like letters to Penthouse, but if that's what you or I choose to write, then so be it.

I was just finishing up something I've had on my mind and saw that it was just under 1200 words. I decided to keep going, and now it's close to 2000 words, but I don't know where it's going!

I have another story I wrote years ago that's about 800 words, and at one point I started to write more, but again, it just kind of went nowhere. I was writing only to increase the word count.

I struggle to write longer pieces, but I do have several in the works which may never be done.
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Old 07-16-2018, 02:06 AM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schttrj View Post
I have heard from many that it should be around 3000 words.

I am just starting out. In need of serious advice.
Way back in the day when you could sell erotic stories to magazines like Penthouse Forum and all the other digest-sized magazines, they preferred 3000 words. That's what most of the writer's guidelines wanted. I'm afraid those days have long since passed.

Around here? I think the advice of trying to fill around 3 lit pages (around 10,000 words) is a good place to start unless you write tight and concise.

I came to Lit as a way to practice writing longer format stories. Once you start getting about 30-40,000 words, the arc of a story becomes very different than just describing a single, hot scene.

Good luck with your writing!
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Old 07-16-2018, 09:00 AM   #45
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Originally Posted by Athalia View Post
That's about how long my stories end up being. I will confess that, when reading other people's stories, I look at the page count, and very often won't reading anything more than five or six pages long. I don't want to invest the time. I'm sure some other readers feel the same way.
I quite agree.
The first couple of pages have to really grab me to go on a long one


Quote:
Originally Posted by TANSTAAFL58 View Post
I'm working on a multi chapter story now. It's at eight chapters now. My problem is that seven of the eight are in the 7000-9000 word range. One chapter, describing the lead character masturbating, was at about 850 words when I left it a couple of days ago. (Up from about 700, which I know is too short for Lit). I wonder where does expanding the idea become blatant padding or worse, verbal diarrhoea?
At 3700 odd words per lit page, you do not have a problem for many readers.
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Old 07-16-2018, 10:16 AM   #46
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The length should not matter, it is the substance of what is in the story that matters.
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