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Old 01-11-2018, 07:04 AM   #1
Freakyshygirl
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Guidance on story length?

Hi!

I'm new. Apologies if this has been asked before. I can see in the guidelines that the minimum story length is 750 words, but I was wondering if there was a maximum? I'm approaching the 15000 word mark in a story I'm working on and I feel like I've only just set the scene. Is there a maximum length that is suitable for literotica, or am I better off submitting my final draft (likely to be maybe a 25 page word document) elsewhere?

Thanks for your help!
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Old 01-11-2018, 07:38 AM   #2
electricblue66
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However long you want it to be.

A Lit page is approx 3,750 words. Your story is therefore about four Lit pages, which is quite typical for a chapter length in a multi part story.

The largest single story I have seen here is around 70 Lit pages - over 250,000 words. You've got a way to go to catch that one.

Some people won't read anything over 3 - 4 pages (so you've lost them, if you're just getting the heart of your story underway). Some people won't read long multiple chapter things unless you tell them up front it's all written and will publish regularly. A really really big reader dislike is the number of multi-part stories that just stop, unfinished. Understandably, that drives people nuts.

So, on the basis that you will never please everybody, every time this comes up (which it does, often), the consensus is:

1) a story can be as long as you like,
2) start publishing multi-part stories before you have finished writing the whole thing at your peril,

And, oh by the way:
3) make sure you cover the basic competencies of grammar and spelling (if you are not American you do NOT need to write anything other than your native country's form of English eg: English English, Australian English, etc...
4) if you are not sure of the basics, find an editor (there are editors and there are editors - I often see work where a writer thanks an editor, and I think, really? Perhaps a better one, next time... To find an editor, use this forum: http://forum.literotica.com/forumdisplay.php?f=9
5) Don't panic about the scoring system (you'll figure it out eventually).
6) Expect roughly one vote per every hundred views (an approx rule of thumb, each category is different).
7) Don't expect more than roughly one comment every 1-2,000 views unless your story is exceptionally good or cataclysmically bad - readers will reward and punish both.

And:
8) write. Then write some more. Don't sweat the one you've just written - the next one will be better, and then the one after that.
9) welcome to the nut house. You'll be fine.
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Old 01-11-2018, 07:38 AM   #3
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15,000 words isn't that long by Literotica standards.

A Lit page works out around 3,500 words. 15,000 words is less than 5 Lit pages. Some stories are more than 10 Lit pages - 35,000 words. A few go on and on to 20, 30 or more Lit pages.

The right length is the one that is best for the story.
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Old 01-11-2018, 07:38 AM   #4
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There are individual submissions that are over 70 Lit pages, ( x approximately 3750 words each ) so you don't have to worry too much about any upper limit, if such even exists
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Old 01-11-2018, 07:39 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Freakyshygirl View Post
Hi!

I'm new. Apologies if this has been asked before. I can see in the guidelines that the minimum story length is 750 words, but I was wondering if there was a maximum? I'm approaching the 15000 word mark in a story I'm working on and I feel like I've only just set the scene. Is there a maximum length that is suitable for literotica, or am I better off submitting my final draft (likely to be maybe a 25 page word document) elsewhere?

Thanks for your help!
There is no upper limit.

A Lit page runs 3,767 words +/- 400 words or so. 3,500 words is an easy figure to estimate the number of Lit pages you'll wind up with, but (in testing) I success submitted a 4 Gigaword text file through C&P into the submission form.

If your story is running over 4 or five lit pages (1400 to 1800 words or so) you might want to break it into chapters, but that is NOT necessary.

As long as you're over 750 words, your story should be exactly as long as necessary to tell the story and not one word more or less.
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Old 01-11-2018, 07:58 AM   #6
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Hi FreakyShyGirl.

And way to pick a nom de plume guaranteed to prick quivering male attention, by the way. (Or is that just mine?)

It's pretty well been covered, but I'll reiterate;

Choose the story length that the story needs to be fully and well told.

As a point of interest, you might like to know my "Heatstroked" was 25 lit screens (about 250 pages) and did moderately well in the summer contest. "Thankful" was... uh... 16 lit screens (I think) (about 160 pages) and did okay in the winter contest just past considering I wasn't in a good headspace to be writing it. So, there is a market for novella and novel length. "Valentine Vengeance" a couple of years ago for the VD contest was around 13 lit screens (roughly 130 pages).

As several have mentioned, it's fairly common to divvy up longer works into 3-5 screen bites (roughly 30-50 pages). In fact, I'm probably one of the last fools submitting to the novel and novellas category that doesn't do that.

But, either way, you'll find a readership.

My personal preference as a reader is for big thick juicy novella and novel length stories I can really sink my teeth into (and sit up all night reading). And that's what I tend to write. Mostly. (If you stumble into any of my short shit as Acktion, I am soooo sorry. It was an experiment that went horribly awry.)

Any road, the very best of luck with your effort. And I, for one, am looking forward to checking it out (and seeing what I can learn from you).
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Old 01-11-2018, 08:02 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Freakyshygirl View Post
Hi!

I'm new. Apologies if this has been asked before. I can see in the guidelines that the minimum story length is 750 words, but I was wondering if there was a maximum? I'm approaching the 15000 word mark in a story I'm working on and I feel like I've only just set the scene. Is there a maximum length that is suitable for literotica, or am I better off submitting my final draft (likely to be maybe a 25 page word document) elsewhere?

Thanks for your help!
My longest single story on lit is 70k words if that's any help.
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Old 01-11-2018, 12:21 PM   #8
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My thoughts:

1. Finish your story before making a decision. It's impossible to answer your question until the story is done.

2. Long stories often do quite well here. People who are willing to gut it out and finish a long story usually do because they like it, and long stories can get very high scores. The vote counts for long stories can be surprisingly high as well.

3. So my recommendation would be to submit it as one story unless you have a good reason not to.

4. The best scenario for submitting a story in chapters is one where the chapters are in a serial form, and where each chapter clearly fits into the overall category for the story, and provides the reader with what the reader is looking for in a story in that category. That's because Lit readers are picky about their categories and whether stories provide what they want from that category. If you put your story in the "anal" category and have three preliminary chapters with no anal, you'll lose readers by the time the chapter that delivers the goods shows up. This is not a hard and fast rule! There are plenty of stories that violate this rule and do fine. But it's a good thing to keep in mind if the choice is between submitting the story as a whole and submitting it in chapters.

5. I agree with others who say finish your story before submitting any chapters -- if you can. I've violated that rule twice and have seen a huge drop off in readers who've had to wait a long time for the new chapter.
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Old 01-11-2018, 01:10 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Freakyshygirl View Post
Hi!

I'm new. Apologies if this has been asked before. I can see in the guidelines that the minimum story length is 750 words, but I was wondering if there was a maximum? I'm approaching the 15000 word mark in a story I'm working on and I feel like I've only just set the scene. Is there a maximum length that is suitable for literotica, or am I better off submitting my final draft (likely to be maybe a 25 page word document) elsewhere?

Thanks for your help!
I don't know if there is an upper limit, but 15K words isn't even close to it.

The longest story I've seen on Lit.
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Old 01-11-2018, 01:46 PM   #10
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IIRC someone did a test posting a few years back, pasting many megabytes into the text window without choking it. Don't post an encyclopedia and you'll be okay.

The 750-word minimum is for a submission, not a story. Ogg writes 50-word pieces and bundles 15 of them into a submission. You could write 10-word vignettes -- throw 75 of those into your anthology and voila!

Multi-submission stories (like discrete chapters) are not eligible for contests, which tend to grab eyeballs. One winning tale a couple years back was 20 LIT pages, over 70k words, divided internally into 2-LIT-page 'chapters', but still one text file.

As said, a story should be as long as needs be. Write it and SOMEONE will read it!
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Old 01-11-2018, 01:55 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hypoxia View Post
...

The 750-word minimum is for a submission, not a story. Ogg writes 50-word pieces and bundles 15 of them into a submission. You could write 10-word vignettes -- throw 75 of those into your anthology and voila!

...
The 750 word minimum does not apply to POETRY. That can be as short as you like...

Or as long.

My first sets of 50-word stories were posted as poetry.
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electricblue66:
It's like [oggbashan] is writing for the third puffin over there by the sixth rock, when everyone else is an emperor penguin in the Antarctic, where there's tens of thousands of the bastards.

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Old 01-11-2018, 02:09 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LaRascasse View Post
I don't know if there is an upper limit, but 15K words isn't even close to it.

The longest story I've seen on Lit.
Holy crap. That's in the ballpark of 400,000 words.

The length doesn't seem to have put off readers. It has over 1 million views and has 150 comments and has been selected as a favorite by 78 readers.
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Old 01-11-2018, 02:25 PM   #13
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The longer the story the better your rating will be also. With some exceptions only the people who like it will read to the end, and you can only vote on the last page of the story.

Someone really has to be mad to bother to click to the end to vote if they donít like it.
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Old 01-11-2018, 02:27 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Soma99 View Post
...

Someone really has to be mad to bother to click to the end to vote if they donít like it.
Or angry. I have had several comments such as 'Too long and boring. Didn't read it. Voted 1."
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electricblue66:
It's like [oggbashan] is writing for the third puffin over there by the sixth rock, when everyone else is an emperor penguin in the Antarctic, where there's tens of thousands of the bastards.

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Old 01-12-2018, 04:06 AM   #15
Freakyshygirl
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Thank you everyone, this is very helpful. And exactly the kind of guidance I was hoping to get
I never intended to submit anything until it's all finished, but that's good to know in any case!

Thank you everyone

Last edited by Freakyshygirl : 01-12-2018 at 04:08 AM. Reason: Getting used to mobile
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Old 01-13-2018, 09:19 PM   #16
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A little note on reviews and comments: My stories consistently get ratings in the 4.5 range, but most often with fewer than a couple of hundred voters. Most stories are only read by a few thousand people. Most stories get no comments at all. Most comments are about satisfaction with the sexual content of the story rather than its literary qualities.

Stories by and for women seem to spend a lot of time on the relationships and the details of the characters' lives. If this is the way you write you might want to signal to women readers and those that like the long slow tease that you enjoy writing in this manner.

Best wishes. Please yourself. ; )
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Old 01-15-2018, 08:14 AM   #17
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Thank you for the advice. I'll keep that in mind when I submit the final product
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Old 01-15-2018, 05:51 PM   #18
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If it's as long as your arm it'll do you no harm.

Oh.... Wait....

That only applies to eating barracuda.

But I can fit at least one lit page on my arm. Go for it.
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