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Old 02-18-2015, 09:30 PM   #1
DivineDestiny
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Question What do YOU look for in a story? *Discussion Thread*

We talk a lot about our writing here, for obvious reasons, but inquiring minds want to know: what do you look for when you're browsing Lit for a read?

Do you look for a quick, wham-bam-thankyou-Ma'am story, or a long sensual tale of romance? What categories do you frequent, and why? What makes a story extraordinary in your book? What makes you want to read that story to begin with?
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Old 02-18-2015, 09:41 PM   #2
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I only occasionally read stories on Lit., and don't browse here. I'm writing stories.

There probably plenty of writers here who are also readers.
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Old 02-18-2015, 09:54 PM   #3
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things to look for

I like long drawn out very details that are sensuous and romantic not slam bam thankyou mam
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Old 02-18-2015, 10:32 PM   #4
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I like to feel like I know the characters at least a little bit. Before the sex starts, I want to know what led these two people into bed in the first place.
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Old 02-18-2015, 10:33 PM   #5
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Depends on my mood. Like my own wide variety of submissions here, I run the gamut of "strokers to chokers" (my phrase for stand-alone, one shot shorties to lengthy, multiple chapter series) for my own pleasure reading. I don't believe you can be a successful author here without knowing what else is out there and what the readers are most interested in; so I do read other author's contributions several times a week. I primarily stay in GM when perusing the options, but do enjoy hitting all the categories during a contest and seeing how the other half lives it up.

Romance is a definite preference; followed closely by first-time, high school and college coming of age and coming out stories; and then anything with a historical or location specific plot to it that does a good job of blending other places and/or other times with hot lovemaking. Thanks to robcub32's fantastic series, Timber Pack Chronicles, I also will occasionally get an obsession for storylines that revolve around werewolves, vampires, aliens, and otherworldy creatures.

What makes a story extraordinary for me is when the author successfully gets me to put myself *IN* the story with his characters...even if it is just the unnamed guy at the next table in a restaurant or the mouse in the corner of their bedroom. Any author that manages to get my emotions invested in his characters wins five stars without any thought needed at all. The best sex occurs between our ears, and that is even more true when it comes to reading stories here.

A catchy title and description line gets me interested at first. So does scoring and red H's...but neither are guarantees the story will live up to expectations. Comments and fav's say a lot to me also to get my attention. And then there are times I will simply start down the "new" listings and wait for something to grab me and scream: "Me! Read me!"

Interesting set of questions you poised to us with the thread. Should be a good discussion.
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Old 02-18-2015, 10:39 PM   #6
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I like for the characters to be turned on. Sounds obvious, but often stories are mechanical. Characters shout "I'm commmmmmminnnnng" and you have to take their word for it.
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Old 02-18-2015, 10:58 PM   #7
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Old 02-18-2015, 11:03 PM   #8
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I look for a degree of craft in the first three or four paragraphs – good writing and the promise of interesting characters. If I don’t find these two things (and I seldom do), then I stop reading and move on.

This is not to say that people who haven’t mastered their craft shouldn’t publish here. I’ve seen more than a few really badly written stories with red Hs. So, somebody is reading them – and pressing the five stars button. But not me.

I also skip about half of the categories – Celebrities, Erotic Horror, Loving Wives, Non Con, Sci Fi, and probably a couple of others. But then everybody’s tastes are slightly different.
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Old 02-19-2015, 12:00 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SamScribble View Post
I look for a degree of craft in the first three or four paragraphs – good writing and the promise of interesting characters.
This! An interesting and unique story is my next criterion. Creativity is a huge plus, but can sometimes be replaced by passion.
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Old 02-19-2015, 03:31 PM   #10
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Creativity. Atmosphere. Surprises. Characters with a fairly well-realized degree of plausible motivation. Humor, or at least as sense of playfulness. Sensuality. Maturity, not necessarily of content or tone but of the author's potential as a writer. And a sense that the person at the keyboard knew what they wanted to do and put some thought into the best way to do it.
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Old 02-19-2015, 03:48 PM   #11
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I want characters I can relate to, either through traits I personally identify with or those I see in others. A sense of familiarity makes me more comfortable with the characters and then their motivations. I like some amount of detail but not a running list of stats. Leave a little to the imagination.
I struggle to embrace things that are completely impossible. If the story is too far-fetched to have actually happened to at least one lucky bastard, I can't follow it. If the first 4-6 paragraphs haven't sparked some sort of interest, I rarely keep reading.
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Old 02-19-2015, 03:54 PM   #12
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I read for two reasons. One to hit my sweet spots, the other to read outside my particular genre. Each have different things I'm looking for. I like D/d, GM, and all flavors of Gay Incest to get turned on, and that's it. There is no criteria, really, just looking for the magic sexual formula. It's idiosyncratic and specific and unique to me and the writer. Some will be well written but they just don't "do it" for me. others can be very poor writing, but they work.
Only after having met a few writers did I ever start reading for the sake of it, for something good, not necessarily in my zone. In that case it's a question of discovering a writer's style. It's reading for a totally different reason. When I find someone I like I will read everything, even BDSM. Which is a feat. I look at their favorites, and search around for other writers to discover.
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Old 02-19-2015, 04:02 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TamLin01 View Post
Creativity. Atmosphere. Surprises. Characters with a fairly well-realized degree of plausible motivation. Humor, or at least as sense of playfulness. Sensuality. Maturity, not necessarily of content or tone but of the author's potential as a writer. And a sense that the person at the keyboard knew what they wanted to do and put some thought into the best way to do it.
I like that list--from the angle of what to strive for as an author.
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Old 02-19-2015, 07:44 PM   #14
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I write much more than I read. I rarely have the time to read, and when I do, I often end up rewriting what I'm reading in my head, which is a good learning exercise but takes some of the fun out. Usually I want a short story that makes me believe the characters are hot for it or each other, or something wicked and reluctant and will spark a fast orgasm and/or a story idea. More than once, a story idea has trumped an otherwise promising orgasm.
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Old 02-20-2015, 04:18 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SamScribble View Post
I look for a degree of craft in the first three or four paragraphs – good writing and the promise of interesting characters. If I don’t find these two things (and I seldom do), then I stop reading and move on.
Quote:
Originally Posted by TamLin01 View Post
Creativity. Atmosphere. Surprises. Characters with a fairly well-realized degree of plausible motivation. Humor, or at least as sense of playfulness. Sensuality. Maturity, not necessarily of content or tone but of the author's potential as a writer. And a sense that the person at the keyboard knew what they wanted to do and put some thought into the best way to do it.

Exactly, folks.
I particularly like humour.
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Old 02-20-2015, 04:42 AM   #16
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I almost never read LIT fare as too few McStories are worth the candle. I cant recall any LIT writer ever expressing a desire to write better, all want better scores and comments....period. So I anticipate little here and seek satisfaction elsewhere.
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Old 02-23-2015, 07:39 PM   #17
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I like a story where the author has really paid attention to plot and character development. I love stories that are erotic rather than the "wham, bam, thank you ma'am" that some authors think makes the story good. I dislike stories where they are one run-on sentence after another, plus where the author uses the wrong word. Other problems that kill a story for me is when the author changes a characters name then switches back later and lastly adding a second word two or three words later so the meaning of the sentence is lost.
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Old 02-23-2015, 07:46 PM   #18
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Quote:
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I almost never read LIT fare as too few McStories are worth the candle. I cant recall any LIT writer ever expressing a desire to write better, all want better scores and comments....period. So I anticipate little here and seek satisfaction elsewhere.
Not true, if I didn't want to get better I would have never endured all the abuse you threw at me before you decided to actually dole out some advice.
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Old 02-23-2015, 08:06 PM   #19
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Actually, JBJ's statement isn't true, because he's turned off most of the ratings on his stories--probably has the comments turned off too.
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Old 02-23-2015, 11:59 PM   #20
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To me, the purpose of erotica is to give the reader a hot scenario which pushes their buttons.

In other words, two people meeting and having sex isn't enough. A long winded sex scene for no reason isn't enough.

There's gotta be a fun reason. That's what makes good erotica.

Length doesn't matter. It's all about pushing those buttons for whatever category it's aimed towards.

I also like writing that gets straight to the point. No long winded descriptions, and nothing to fancy. Just tell me what's going on, enough so that I can visualize it & feel what the characters are feeling while reading at a casual pace.

To me, those are the things which make great erotica.
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Old 02-24-2015, 03:59 AM   #21
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Not true, if I didn't want to get better I would have never endured all the abuse you threw at me before you decided to actually dole out some advice.
Bull

The only advice I ever gave you was recognition of your improvement. When is the truth abuse? You sucked and you got much better. Poor delicate thang.
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Old 02-24-2015, 04:04 AM   #22
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Actually, JBJ's statement isn't true, because he's turned off most of the ratings on his stories--probably has the comments turned off too.
Partial credit. A very few of my wares remain live. Maybe 2?
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Old 02-24-2015, 04:16 AM   #23
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What I notice are misspelled words, incorrect homonyms, that-which confusion, connecting independent clauses with THAT, confusing specific with particular and general, using unnecessary passive verbs, and the million other errors bad writers make.
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Old 02-24-2015, 06:21 AM   #24
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I like to feel like I know the characters at least a little bit. Before the sex starts, I want to know what led these two people into bed in the first place.
Totally agree, except for the limitation to TWO people
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