Old 09-11-2017, 11:29 PM   #1
Ferax
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Flaws encourage believability

A lot of talk about Believability in stories. Not everyone is all some sexcrazy double d nympho. Some are flabby out of shape aging wrinkled dysfunctional humans. And not every sex act SHOULD be mind-blowing fireworks. Sometimes consent is withdrawn after the fact, sometimes after drunken unremembered sex, pardons are given. A believable nonconsent could be two people who got drunk. It could also be a formerly lovig relationship.

Likewise, believability of something like incest or cheating wives springs out of the relationship between two people. The careful probing or inconvienient slip that tells the other partner a relationship might be possible, and the awkward fear of being wrong. If you are trying to write something that has at least some plausablity, don't do it "hungry". Don't do it thinking of the most satisfying sex for all parties in the moment. Think instead of the relationship between the characters. Of the events that lead up to them hooking up. Get into the "she had the best orgasm of her life from the 20 foot long penis after seventeen hours of sex" after those awkward first times. Let your characters be flawed, because to be flawed is to be human, and if you are trying to write humans that aren't human, well believability would be difficult, wouldn't it?

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Old 09-12-2017, 12:40 AM   #2
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Believing

The discovery of adultery is as bad as the adultery itself, but I think knowledge is always preferred. Truth is much better than the gradual realization of betrayal, or the inkling suspicion of it.
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Old 09-12-2017, 12:51 AM   #3
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I like stories to be believable, at least in terms of how people react to their situation. (I don't care if your world has dragons; I do care if your hero is stupid enough to go stick his head in a dragon's mouth for no good reason.) I enjoy "realistic" stuff like people negotiating safe-sex rules etc. etc.

But not everybody's here for that. Some people are in for sheer escapism in a world where everybody's up for it and nobody ever gets STIs or unwanted pregnancies. And that's fine too. Their pleasure doesn't detract from mine, their tastes are not inferior to mine. There's room on this site for all of us.
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Old 09-12-2017, 01:17 AM   #4
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I'm with Bramblethorn on this: 'There's room on this site for all of us.'

I tend to write short stories that are just that: short stories. They are mainly about people interacting with people. Yes, there is sex (usually), but only because sex is a normal part of many people's lives. They are either doing it, or thinking about it, or thinking about doing it. And. sometimes, it affects the way they do and think about other things.

I don't think that I have ever written a 'stroke' story - well, not intentionally anyway. But there are people here who do. And three cheers for them.
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Old 09-12-2017, 03:08 AM   #5
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Hate to tell you this, but the majority of readers are here for the stroke.

The demand is for stories populated with attractive people who have mindblowing sex that leaves them quivering lumps of jell-o. That demand translates into votes, comments, and favorites.

So long as that's what people are "paying" for, it's the product the majority of authors are going to provide.

Supply and demand.

As the number and quality of comments ( public and email ) continues to dwindle, it's likely to shift even more. Thoughtful public comments are about the only reward for writing a deeper story, and they get fewer and farther between every passing day.
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Old 09-12-2017, 04:38 AM   #6
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As the number and quality of comments ( public and email ) continues to dwindle, it's likely to shift even more. Thoughtful public comments are about the only reward for writing a deeper story, and they get fewer and farther between every passing day.
And when you do write something deep and meaningful, you're ratings get slammed coz a lot of readers do not want to think. They want stroke, and if it's not, rather than just leave it, they'll vote it down. I tried deep and meaningful (kind of) with "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow" - go look at the rating. 4.52 - and even if I say it myself, it's better than that. Just, it's not what stroke readers are looking for.

You can write realism, but don't expect high ratings and adulation. Ain't happening. You might get some good comments tho.
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Old 09-12-2017, 05:30 AM   #7
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I think the right word for what erotic stories, or any stories, need is not "realism" but "verisimilitude." It may sound pedantic, but there's an important difference between the two words. Realism suggests the story could happen in the real world. But that's not at all important to a good story. Erotic stories, in particular, often are a form of fantasy.

What a good story needs is details that give it internal plausibility and that make the drama of the story work. Even a stroke story should have more than just a bare account of two people getting it on. The erotic element is enhanced when there is tension and conflict of some kind, and when the characters are given some quasi-plausible grounds for overcoming the tension. But you don't need a lot of detail, and judging from the scores stories get here I don't think readers demand a lot.
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Old 09-12-2017, 05:30 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Bramblethorn View Post
I like stories to be believable, at least in terms of how people react to their situation. (I don't care if your world has dragons; I do care if your hero is stupid enough to go stick his head in a dragon's mouth for no good reason.) I enjoy "realistic" stuff like people negotiating safe-sex rules etc. etc.

.
There's room on this site for all of us.

I'd trust my Dragon without a seconds thought, but I'd still not stick my head in his jaws.
The gasses are just too much for a human.

And yes, there is a great deal of room for all. . . .
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Old 09-12-2017, 05:31 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by ChloeTzang View Post
And when you do write something deep and meaningful, you're ratings get slammed coz a lot of readers do not want to think. They want stroke, and if it's not, rather than just leave it, they'll vote it down. I tried deep and meaningful (kind of) with "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow" - go look at the rating. 4.52 - and even if I say it myself, it's better than that. Just, it's not what stroke readers are looking for.

You can write realism, but don't expect high ratings and adulation. Ain't happening. You might get some good comments tho.
I have heard a fair amount of this. "Your story is very good, but it's not erotic."

The first audience I have to satisfy is me. I hope people enjoy what I write and I hope they get something from it, whether it's an orgasm or a new way of looking at things. But, that's on them, my job is already done at that point.
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Old 09-12-2017, 05:58 AM   #10
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I think the right word for what erotic stories, or any stories, need is not "realism" but "verisimilitude." It may sound pedantic, but there's an important difference between the two words. Realism suggests the story could happen in the real world. But that's not at all important to a good story. Erotic stories, in particular, often are a form of fantasy.

What a good story needs is details that give it internal plausibility and that make the drama of the story work. Even a stroke story should have more than just a bare account of two people getting it on. The erotic element is enhanced when there is tension and conflict of some kind, and when the characters are given some quasi-plausible grounds for overcoming the tension. But you don't need a lot of detail, and judging from the scores stories get here I don't think readers demand a lot.
Agreed, only, I think if you give them a lot it does get recognized. I mean, if you look at some of my stories, I have a chapter of Chinese Takeout that has nothing but a kiss and readers rate it 4.58 so on the whole I think if the writing is good and it's a feel good story, you'll get the reader recognition.

It's the stuff that's not exactly feel good that doesn't do so good I'm my experience. I think readers come here for some happy feel good escapism, by whatever definition of happy feel good they fall under. If you hit those buttons......

On the other hand, I have stories I want to write and some of them aren't feel good but I'm going to write them anyhow ...
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Old 09-12-2017, 06:03 AM   #11
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Agreed, only, I think if you give them a lot it does get recognized. I mean, if you look at some of my stories, I have a chapter of Chinese Takeout that has nothing but a kiss and readers rate it 4.58 so on the whole I think if the writing is good and it's a feel good story, you'll get the reader recognition.

It's the stuff that's not exactly feel good that doesn't do so good I'm my experience. I think readers come here for some happy feel good escapism, by whatever definition of happy feel good they fall under. If you hit those buttons......

On the other hand, I have stories I want to write and some of them aren't feel good but I'm going to write them anyhow ...
Having written about drug addiction and prison, I can attest to what Chloe has to say. I have a loyal, if small, set of followers, but my subject matter turns many people away. That's the price of writing what I feel I need to write.
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Old 09-12-2017, 06:22 AM   #12
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Having written about drug addiction and prison, I can attest to what Chloe has to say. I have a loyal, if small, set of followers, but my subject matter turns many people away. That's the price of writing what I feel I need to wrote.
Yes I totally get you. My Thai batgirl story wasn't feel good at all but it was something I really wanted to write and for me, it was worth it. You do get readers that appreciate, it's just a different niche and you have to recognize there'll be some negativity coz a lot of readers don't want that. Summertime Sadness was like that for me and I've been totally surprised at how well it's been rated despite that sad factor. Aiiii my heads spinning, I better get to work
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Old 09-12-2017, 08:30 AM   #13
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For me, erotica and porn operate under the same 'rules' as 'straight' fiction: be true to the tone you initially create. If you're writing in a 'photo realistic' tone, keep it 100% logical and believable. If you're going either into otherworldly turf, like the supernatural/sci-fi etc., remember that as you go, you set your own rules, but MUST remain true to the boundaries you've established.

Throwing 'over the top' developments into an otherwise straight-laced story is ill advised, as it jars your reader out of the story into thinking about the writing itself.

You should develop and finish your story with the same tone and logical parameters with which you began, no matter what they are.
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Old 09-12-2017, 08:49 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by ChloeTzang View Post
And when you do write something deep and meaningful, you're ratings get slammed coz a lot of readers do not want to think. They want stroke, and if it's not, rather than just leave it, they'll vote it down. I tried deep and meaningful (kind of) with "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow" - go look at the rating. 4.52 - and even if I say it myself, it's better than that. Just, it's not what stroke readers are looking for.

You can write realism, but don't expect high ratings and adulation. Ain't happening. You might get some good comments tho.
This. I write well and all my stories have something to say about male/female relationships. I'm second to few here when it comes to constructing insightful stories, world building, and presenting flawed and complex characters. I write actual plot. I write about relationships; most of my stuff ends up in romantic terrotory, even if it's often a long hard road for some of my characters. There's plenty of sex along the way. Most of my characters are in their 20s, which is the sweet spot for most people's fantasies. Even when I write fantasy settings, it's consistent and coherent. So I'm a 5.0 writer, right?

Nope.

When I get a new follower or someone comments, I go look at what they've favorited. There's some selection bias in this - people who like my stuff are going to be interested in storytelling as well as sex. But even so, I can see the higher scores going to unrealistic perfect people having unlikely yet perfect sex on page 2, if not 1. I've seen stories getting 4.8s with character actions that make no sense. The defining characteristic? Females in them fuck for fucking's sake, unlike, say, any real woman I've ever known. The characters in them are essentially men with tits and a vagina.

This site is one immense shrine to masturbation. We provide orgasms. Period. This place is not about Nobel prizes for literature, or even Pulitzers. I'd be vaguely surprised if even 20% of the readers notice plot or character development, let alone want it. Quite a few aren't even here for sex per se, or put differently, it doesn't count as hot unless it also fucks with social norms. If it's not mommy-fucking or sister-fucking, or screwing with the rules of marriage, or anything else that's essentially about winners getting to fuck the losers, it's rarely going to see thousands of views or get into the 4.8s.

We are writing to the lonely, the dysfunctional, and the not especially bright, most of the time. They don't want realism. Realism is what they live every day: declining economic prospects, bad sex (if any) with ugly people, resentments over lives that have progressively made less and less sense over the years. And what they often want to read about is supermen who break rules and get to fuck who they want, even if it's mommy and sis; especially if it's mommy and sis because if you can fuck them, you can clearly fuck everyone and anyone, and that's really what it's about.

Here you pick what you write, and your audience finds you. I get decent enough scores and have a readership that likes stories that engage the mind as well as the clit. I'm content with that. I don't get contacted by many screwed up males who only slept with their cousin because they couldn't get their sister. I'm very content with that.

OP, good luck writing or finding what you like. You're in a tiny minority on a site that caters best to the majority.
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Old 09-12-2017, 09:25 AM   #15
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A lot of talk about Believability in stories. Not everyone is all some sexcrazy double d nympho. Some are flabby out of shape aging wrinkled dysfunctional humans. And not every sex act SHOULD be mind-blowing fireworks. Sometimes consent is withdrawn after the fact, sometimes after drunken unremembered sex, pardons are given. A believable nonconsent could be two people who got drunk. It could also be a formerly lovig relationship.

Likewise, believability of something like incest or cheating wives springs out of the relationship between two people. The careful probing or inconvienient slip that tells the other partner a relationship might be possible, and the awkward fear of being wrong. If you are trying to write something that has at least some plausablity, don't do it "hungry". Don't do it thinking of the most satisfying sex for all parties in the moment. Think instead of the relationship between the characters. Of the events that lead up to them hooking up. Get into the "she had the best orgasm of her life from the 20 foot long penis after seventeen hours of sex" after those awkward first times. Let your characters be flawed, because to be flawed is to be human, and if you are trying to write humans that aren't human, well believability would be difficult, wouldn't it?
Normally, there's this one particular regular who would do this, but he seems to be sleeping in today.

So... who the heck are ya, and how about you SHOW us how it's done, rather than this blathering on business?
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Old 09-12-2017, 09:59 AM   #16
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I'm pretty new here (one story published, a second submitted, and a third in progress) and I really appreciate this kind of discussion. The perspective of more established authors is useful in understanding the Literotica audience.

MelissaBaby makes a great point about writing for yourself first, and that's something I am going to struggle with. I know myself well enough to fear that I might end up giving readers what they want at the expense of what I want.

On the other hand, as RejectReality suggests, I first came here for the stroke. And I actually find the feedback from readers to be as fulfilling as the writing itself. Part of me is kinda writing just to stroke my own ego.

As for believability, well there has to be a balance, doesn't there? And that's the real challenge writers face - keeping the story real enough that the reader doesn't roll their eyes and give up, but not so real that you lose the fantasy.
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Old 09-12-2017, 10:44 AM   #17
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Hate to tell you this, but the majority of readers are here for the stroke.

The demand is for stories populated with attractive people who have mindblowing sex that leaves them quivering lumps of jell-o. That demand translates into votes, comments, and favorites.

So long as that's what people are "paying" for, it's the product the majority of authors are going to provide.

Supply and demand.

As the number and quality of comments ( public and email ) continues to dwindle, it's likely to shift even more. Thoughtful public comments are about the only reward for writing a deeper story, and they get fewer and farther between every passing day.
Hmnnnnnnnn.

Errrr.

Yep. 100% right.
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Old 09-12-2017, 10:55 AM   #18
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On the other hand I have some feeling for new writers, or 'newer' writers who really are driven by getting better and better at self-expression and more fluid in their style.

It's important to try and nurture those people too. I like readers. I like writers. I like people who try to read and I like people who try to write.

'Making your characters believable and having them be more human or more realistically human...' Yes, I know what you're saying.

We're living in a complicated world though - as someone else has pointed out in different words: what some consider 'realistic' or 'believable' is not what some others can agree with...

I liked the movie 'The Hitman's Bodyguard.'

I am sixty years old and I have done stuff in my life and I still do.

This movie was straight out fact, to me, except the shooting was a metaphor. Have I been in a major courtroom where the court was waiting for a key witness who was prolly going to 'turn up' dead? I sure have. More than once.

Critics have panned it saying it was predictable, too gratuitously violent, not very funny, and NOT CREDIBLE OR REALISTIC. Oh, and that the music was terrible.

...Which is pretty much the exact opposite of the movie that I saw.

Funny thing though - I notice this movie actually paid writers and negative cutters and continuity editors to work on it. How 'bout that.

Would you have been proud to have been one of the writers on it, OP? I am interested to hear your reply to that question.
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Old 09-12-2017, 12:15 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by ChloeTzang View Post
And when you do write something deep and meaningful, you're ratings get slammed coz a lot of readers do not want to think. They want stroke, and if it's not, rather than just leave it, they'll vote it down. I tried deep and meaningful (kind of) with "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow" - go look at the rating. 4.52 - and even if I say it myself, it's better than that. Just, it's not what stroke readers are looking for.

You can write realism, but don't expect high ratings and adulation. Ain't happening.
This hasn't been my experience. Maybe it's because we're posting in different categories, maybe it's some other thing. But whatever the reason, I've never had a problem with readers being hostile to thinky/non-stroke stories. If anything, the less stroke-y my stories are, the better the reception they get.

(Or maybe I'm just terrible at stroke? ;-)
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Old 09-12-2017, 12:22 PM   #20
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This hasn't been my experience. Maybe it's because we're posting in different categories, maybe it's some other thing. But whatever the reason, I've never had a problem with readers being hostile to thinky/non-stroke stories. If anything, the less stroke-y my stories are, the better the reception they get.

(Or maybe I'm just terrible at stroke? ;-)
It could be the category. I put "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow" in Interracial coz that seemed the best fit. But it's not a feel good IR story by any stretch. I could maybe rewrite to end with some hot sex and boost its ratings but really I wanted it to end with that downward spiral of growing hopelessness.....
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Old 09-12-2017, 12:55 PM   #21
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This conversation recurs here regularly TL;DR but it usually concludes with:

Q. How much reality do we want in our erotic fantasies?
A. However much is needed for consistency.

My reality fetish makes me get details RIGHT. My storytelling instinct say, don't overdo it. Just make the story fit together. Serious and stroker and satiric tales have different standards, and 20-inch cocks and 60-inch boobs may have their place in tragedies. (yes, they exist.)

Include as much reality as is needed for desired effects.
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Old 09-12-2017, 02:38 PM   #22
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Throwing 'over the top' developments into an otherwise straight-laced story is ill advised, as it jars your reader out of the story into thinking about the writing itself.
This is the heart of the matter for me. Too many perfect people always summitting the heights of sexual stimulation and ultimate orgasm makes me roll my eyes. And instead of thinking about the characters and the scenario, I start thinking about the author and if he or she actually takes their own story seriously at all. Sometimes less is more...believable.
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Old 09-12-2017, 02:49 PM   #23
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MelissaBaby makes a great point about writing for yourself first, and that's something I am going to struggle with. I know myself well enough to fear that I might end up giving readers what they want at the expense of what I want.

On the other hand, as RejectReality suggests, I first came here for the stroke. And I actually find the feedback from readers to be as fulfilling as the writing itself. Part of me is kinda writing just to stroke my own ego.
I appreciate any feedback, and certainly any positive response, but honestly? I'd gladly trade 12 "Your story made me cum"s for one "I really liked your insight into relationships".
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Old 09-12-2017, 03:07 PM   #24
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I'd gladly trade 12 "Your story made me cum"s for one "I really liked your insight into relationships".
I should cross-stitch that on a throw pillows as a reminder. I aspire to your level of artistic integrity, MelissaBaby. I don't know if I'll get there, but thank you for the motivation.
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Low on air. Far from aid. How do you spend your final hours?
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The rest of my prosaic little stroke stories
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Old 09-12-2017, 03:16 PM   #25
MelissaBaby
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LoquiSordidaAdMe View Post
I should cross-stitch that on a throw pillows as a reminder. I aspire to your level of artistic integrity, MelissaBaby. I don't know if I'll get there, but thank you for the motivation.
Thank you, I appreciate that very much. Of course, it's easier to have integrity when there is no money involved, isn't it?

Of course, I sometimes feel a bit jealous when I see other authors getting higher scores, but then I get messages like the email I received from one reader who told me that what I had written about drug addiction had helped him understand what his son was going through, and it all seems so worthwhile, scores be damned.
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