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Old 11-07-2012, 11:02 AM   #1
ArthurG77
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How do I write stories more appealing to female audiences?

Help. I want to write stories that appeal to female readers. Most of the feedback I have is from male readers, and just 2 or 3 feedbacks from female readers. I suppose if the majority of readers on here are male then that is fair enough. However, I have seen some stories where around 50% or even more of the positive feedback in the comments section are from female readers. So obviously the writer is doing something that's appealing to them female readers. Does anyone have any advise on if there is some kind of formula needed to stimulate female readers more than male. I really thought the first story I wrote was one that really appealed to females. I suppose the title of my story doesn't help. 'My friend's 43 y/o kinky mother' would more likely draw the attention of male readers than female. Although the content I believe appeals more to women. or maybe I'm wrong.

Any advice would be much appreciated. Thanks.
Arthur.
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Old 11-07-2012, 11:13 AM   #2
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Old 11-07-2012, 11:18 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by ArthurG77 View Post
Help. I want to write stories that appeal to female readers...

Any advice would be much appreciated. Thanks.
Arthur.
1. Add a link to your stories in your signature.

Here is a link to the start of your first one: http://www.literotica.com/s/my-frien...o-kinky-mother

2. Don't use so many numbers. 43 year old is irrelevant. Bra size is irrelevant.

3. Have a plot that includes some conflict and resolution.

4. Write more. Experiment perhaps with a woman's point of view.

If you do all four above, your stories might appeal to more readers, male or female. But your current two are too obviously male fantasies.
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Old 11-07-2012, 11:23 AM   #4
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Yes, your title doesn't help. To write from any perspective you need to be able to put yourself into that perspective. It's hard (but not impossible) to do. If you have to acquire it (and feel the need to do so), I suggest that you read a lot of stories written from the perspective you're trying to achieve (which can be hard to identify on a reading site where it's hit and miss on identifying the actual gender/perspective of the author separate from the context of the story). This only works, of course, if you have the talent/training to pick out the elements you're looking for.

It also would help for you to ask some women authors of stories you think are working the way you want yours to work to read your stories and comment on what is working/not working and why.
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Old 11-07-2012, 12:00 PM   #5
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As a woman, but only one specific woman, I can offer my perspective. And when I'm branching out, I'm speaking in generalities, which I know are only that and do not apply to everyone.

I, personally, prefer stories where there is chemistry between the leads, some mutual respect, and both parties wanting to have sex. I don't care for non-con, reluctance, incest, or a few other genres, but let me stress that's just me. I do think you'll find the romance genre, and nonhuman, are probably female-heavy in terms of readership.

Following basic grammar and punctuation rules help, too. I was looking at your story linked above and just a few paragraphs in, I was annoyed at a few things. "Mikes mom," for example, is incorrect. It should be "Mike's mom," with an apostrophe, because it's possessive. A lot of people won't care about that, and that's fine, but enough of that will make me stop reading.

I also don't think you need to explain a lot of the British stuff. We know "mum" as opposed to "mom" and things like that. We know that people are "in hospital" instead of "in the hospital," or "on holiday" as opposed to "on vacation." A lot of us even know jumpers, trainers, etc. We've had decades of Masterpiece Theater, Mystery! and things like Harry Potter. Some people won't know, of course, but you can pick it up in context.

This story does read as a male fantasy. And that's fine, but it probably won't appeal to a big female audience.

Mostly I think you just need to tell a good story. I will enjoy a story outside of my usual zones IF it is written and told well. However, that said, I do think women prefer a bit more emotional description in their stories. I like to know how the characters are feeling, how they react to different situations, and how they feel when they're having sex. The description of the act can be arousing, sure, but it appeals to me more when I know how the characters feel about what's going on.

Just a few random notes.

ETA: My stories link is is my sig. I write for me, and I'm a woman, so this might give you an idea of what some women like, at least. Other popular female authors (popular with female readers, I mean) are MugsyB, JazCullen, Elianna (if her stuff is still here), and Daniellekitten. I can also recommend LettersfromTatyana and Annanova (friends of mine, but hey, why not?). For male writers, I can think of DGHear and woodmanone and JakeRivers, but I would say also that while many like their stories, they're usually from a man's POV and may not be quite what you want. (These are romance and nonhuman writers.)

Last edited by PennLady : 11-07-2012 at 12:04 PM.
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Old 11-07-2012, 12:59 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PennLady View Post
As a woman, but only one specific woman, I can offer my perspective. And when I'm branching out, I'm speaking in generalities, which I know are only that and do not apply to everyone.

I, personally, prefer stories where there is chemistry between the leads, some mutual respect, and both parties wanting to have sex. I don't care for non-con, reluctance, incest, or a few other genres, but let me stress that's just me. I do think you'll find the romance genre, and nonhuman, are probably female-heavy in terms of readership.

Following basic grammar and punctuation rules help, too. I was looking at your story linked above and just a few paragraphs in, I was annoyed at a few things. "Mikes mom," for example, is incorrect. It should be "Mike's mom," with an apostrophe, because it's possessive. A lot of people won't care about that, and that's fine, but enough of that will make me stop reading.

I also don't think you need to explain a lot of the British stuff. We know "mum" as opposed to "mom" and things like that. We know that people are "in hospital" instead of "in the hospital," or "on holiday" as opposed to "on vacation." A lot of us even know jumpers, trainers, etc. We've had decades of Masterpiece Theater, Mystery! and things like Harry Potter. Some people won't know, of course, but you can pick it up in context.

This story does read as a male fantasy. And that's fine, but it probably won't appeal to a big female audience.

Mostly I think you just need to tell a good story. I will enjoy a story outside of my usual zones IF it is written and told well. However, that said, I do think women prefer a bit more emotional description in their stories. I like to know how the characters are feeling, how they react to different situations, and how they feel when they're having sex. The description of the act can be arousing, sure, but it appeals to me more when I know how the characters feel about what's going on.

Just a few random notes.

ETA: My stories link is is my sig. I write for me, and I'm a woman, so this might give you an idea of what some women like, at least. Other popular female authors (popular with female readers, I mean) are MugsyB, JazCullen, Elianna (if her stuff is still here), and Daniellekitten. I can also recommend LettersfromTatyana and Annanova (friends of mine, but hey, why not?). For male writers, I can think of DGHear and woodmanone and JakeRivers, but I would say also that while many like their stories, they're usually from a man's POV and may not be quite what you want. (These are romance and nonhuman writers.)


Thank you for all your advice PennLady. I shall take it on board. I am new to writing so I have much to learn. Apologies about the missing apostaphe, I should have edited the story properly. And I see that giving the American translation in brackets was also a mistake. Because they interupt the flow of the story.

I'm not sure how far into my story you got, but I tried hard with the characterisation of Liz to show a chemistry between her and me(Arthur). Also I thought that, rather than just another male fantasy I would have the female lead describe to the male her feelings of him passionately during the beginning of the sex scene. It was romantic, not just another lust fueled loveless fuckfest. Having them kissing and talking passionately to each other i thought may have appealed to females. Actually in part 3 of the story that I am working on, Liz and Arthur overcome obstacles, conflict and inner turmoil before declaring their love to each other. But yes, ultimately it is a male fantasy.

The writing to my first story I admit is not as good as I could have done. However, I am very proud of the story telling. The way I set up the scenario for an erotic encounter exceeded my expectations in my own ability to tell a story.

Thank you again for your comment. It is very useful to me, and I shall learn from it.

Arthur

Last edited by ArthurG77 : 11-07-2012 at 01:03 PM.
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Old 11-07-2012, 01:07 PM   #7
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It's not only love. Women-- and more and more men too-- want context. And then, context for the context. And the context does not have to be luuurve.

The best essay that I know of on the subject is this one, by the slash writer cupidsbow. Her examples are male/male, so if your homophobic you won't get much information from it, sorry! But if you can tolerate that, you might find it very useful.
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Old 11-07-2012, 02:52 PM   #8
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One piece of advice I might offer it to get into the head of the characters more. What they think, what and how they feel. It's JMHO but sex is more in the head than the body for women. Men are visual, women are more mental.
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Old 11-07-2012, 03:09 PM   #9
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Arthur, I have some further thoughts on your story. I could send them via a private message (PM) if you like, but you'll have to turn them on. Go to "User CP" at the top left of the page, then choose from your options on the left of that screen. I can also write them here if you prefer.
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Old 11-07-2012, 03:30 PM   #10
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Arthur, I have some further thoughts on your story. I could send them via a private message (PM) if you like, but you'll have to turn them on. Go to "User CP" at the top left of the page, then choose from your options on the left of that screen. I can also write them here if you prefer.
I have allowed private massages. Please PM me your further thoughts.

Thanks. Arthur.
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Old 11-07-2012, 04:18 PM   #11
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Think of a man... Then take away reason and accountability...
"As Good As It Gets" (1997). Line spoken by a guy, written by two other guys, directed by one of those guys, in an industry so well-known for emphasising the male perspective that it has to have a special name for movies likely to be of interest to women.

Yeah, maybe not :-)

OP: I don't have time for a long response, but some quick advice: as a rule, women are interested in stuff that presents women as people with their own interests, desires, and motivations.

Skimming the start of your story, you're not presenting Liz as a fully-fledged person. Despite the "never thought of her in a sexual way" bit, you're ONLY describing her on her merits as a potential fuck for Arthur: physical appearance, single status, sexual interest in Arthur, kinky tastes, etc etc. Her whole world seems to revolve around fucking Arthur.

If you want to write stroke for a predominantly-male audience, that's fine. But if you want to write something that will draw more female interest, your female characters need to be three-dimensional people. This can be hard for a male writer because you're probably used to watching and reading stories which don't bother to do that - you might find it interesting to look up the "Bechdel test" for some background on this.
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Old 11-07-2012, 04:27 PM   #12
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Use lots of pink. LOL, no use a lot of details overall, but specifically in the development of male characters.
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Old 11-07-2012, 04:40 PM   #13
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"As Good As It Gets" (1997). Line spoken by a guy, written by two other guys, directed by one of those guys, in an industry so well-known for emphasising the male perspective that it has to have a special name for movies likely to be of interest to women.

Yeah, maybe not :-)

OP: I don't have time for a long response, but some quick advice: as a rule, women are interested in stuff that presents women as people with their own interests, desires, and motivations.

Skimming the start of your story, you're not presenting Liz as a fully-fledged person. Despite the "never thought of her in a sexual way" bit, you're ONLY describing her on her merits as a potential fuck for Arthur: physical appearance, single status, sexual interest in Arthur, kinky tastes, etc etc. Her whole world seems to revolve around fucking Arthur.

If you want to write stroke for a predominantly-male audience, that's fine. But if you want to write something that will draw more female interest, your female characters need to be three-dimensional people. This can be hard for a male writer because you're probably used to watching and reading stories which don't bother to do that - you might find it interesting to look up the "Bechdel test" for some background on this.
Sorry I disagree. I worked very hard on Liz's characterization. here are some quotes on the story that describe the kind of person she is: "Nope. We had a heart to heart discussion last night, she never usually discusses anything like that with me. To be honest mate, I thought she only told me because she secretly wants me to tell you, you know how shy and proper my mum is. She would never tell you how she truly felt" and "There's no way a plain lady like Liz who shows very little interest in sex or men, and was so sweet and mild mannered would ever own such a thing. Surely not." and "Liz had surprised me like hell that night. Nobody who knew her would ever think Liz was sexually active or harboured such desires so strongly." and "She was more like a mother figure, she treated me like I was Mikes brother, cooked for me and let me sleep over most every weekend."
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Old 11-07-2012, 04:57 PM   #14
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Sorry I disagree. I worked very hard on Liz's characterization. here are some quotes on the story that describe the kind of person she is: "Nope. We had a heart to heart discussion last night, she never usually discusses anything like that with me. To be honest mate, I thought she only told me because she secretly wants me to tell you, you know how shy and proper my mum is. She would never tell you how she truly felt" and "There's no way a plain lady like Liz who shows very little interest in sex or men, and was so sweet and mild mannered would ever own such a thing. Surely not." and "Liz had surprised me like hell that night. Nobody who knew her would ever think Liz was sexually active or harboured such desires so strongly." and "She was more like a mother figure, she treated me like I was Mikes brother, cooked for me and let me sleep over most every weekend."
It's difficult to develop characters in a short story, or it can be. However, Liz is really less a developed character than she is something of a stereotype. She's essentially the mild-mannered librarian with glasses who becomes a sexy wild cat when she takes off her glasses and lets her hair down.

Liz is not developed -- she's described. Which is one way to develop a character, but not the only way. We need to see Liz in her own right to get a sense of what she's like and we see very little of her. She's really in the background until he walks in on her in the bathroom, and then she surprises him in his bedroom.

If Liz was more fully developed, we'd know why she does what she does, and it would make some logical sense.
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Old 11-07-2012, 04:57 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by ArthurG77 View Post
Sorry I disagree. I worked very hard on Liz's characterization. here are some quotes on the story that describe the kind of person she is: "Nope. We had a heart to heart discussion last night, she never usually discusses anything like that with me. To be honest mate, I thought she only told me because she secretly wants me to tell you, you know how shy and proper my mum is. She would never tell you how she truly felt"
"Hey, it turns out Liz wants to fuck you."

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and "There's no way a plain lady like Liz who shows very little interest in sex or men, and was so sweet and mild mannered would ever own such a thing. Surely not."
"Wow, Liz is more interested in fucking than I thought."

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"Liz had surprised me like hell that night. Nobody who knew her would ever think Liz was sexually active or harboured such desires so strongly." and "She was more like a mother figure, she treated me like I was Mikes brother, cooked for me and let me sleep over most every weekend."
"I didn't think we were going to fuck, but it turned out otherwise!"

I'm sorry to be harsh, but you did ask why you're not getting interest from female readers, and IMHO this is why: Liz is only described in terms of how she relates to a man, and in particular on whether Arthur's likely to get laid. That's not what I'd consider characterisation.

FWIW, if I can believe the user names in my comments, my stories do quite well with female readers, and part of it seems to be that they spend a LOT of time doing stuff that doesn't directly lead to "am I getting laid tonight?" My highest-rating chapter so far is one where the protag and her girlfriend spend most of the first page talking about musical instruments. My second-highest spends more time on gardening and making soup than on the sex. It's not the One True Path to drawing female interest, but it's not the worst.
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Old 11-07-2012, 05:20 PM   #16
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"Hey, it turns out Liz wants to fuck you."



"Wow, Liz is more interested in fucking than I thought."



"I didn't think we were going to fuck, but it turned out otherwise!"

I'm sorry to be harsh, but you did ask why you're not getting interest from female readers, and IMHO this is why: Liz is only described in terms of how she relates to a man, and in particular on whether Arthur's likely to get laid. That's not what I'd consider characterisation.

FWIW, if I can believe the user names in my comments, my stories do quite well with female readers, and part of it seems to be that they spend a LOT of time doing stuff that doesn't directly lead to "am I getting laid tonight?" My highest-rating chapter so far is one where the protag and her girlfriend spend most of the first page talking about musical instruments. My second-highest spends more time on gardening and making soup than on the sex. It's not the One True Path to drawing female interest, but it's not the worst.


Ok, thanks. I think I could have developed Liz's character more also if I wrote in third person. Writing as the male in first person is all about his perspective. I will try that in future. PennLady also gave me some truly good advice that I will take on board.

I DO understand the huge importance in characterisation. And I see now that my first story (the first I have ever written) does lack the characterisation I need to build, in order for female readers to relate.

You'll notice I also described Liz as having 'big teeth' 'E-cup breasts' 'light wrinkles around the mouth' 'greying hair'. You'll notice these are not your stereo typical cliche georgeous blond with perfect dd tits and ass. I was hoping a normal every woman could be more believable and related to more.

I'm just finishing chapter 3. I hope this will have sufficient character in the females to attract female readers.

Thanks for the critism.
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Old 11-07-2012, 05:31 PM   #17
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The best way to appeal to female readers is being a female Author. Unfortunatley I don't have that luxury lol.
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Old 11-07-2012, 05:34 PM   #18
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The best way to appeal to female readers is being a female Author. Unfortunatley I don't have that luxury lol.
Then you will have to learn a different mindset.
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Old 11-07-2012, 05:38 PM   #19
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Maybe there's no burning need for you to write like a female author. Might that be a possibility? You could establish your own writing perspective/voice that works and be happy with that.
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Old 11-07-2012, 05:42 PM   #20
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Ok, thanks. I think I could have developed Liz's character more also if I wrote in third person. Writing as the male in first person is all about his perspective. I will try that in future. PennLady also gave me some truly good advice that I will take on board.
You can write from a guy's POV and still develop a female character. I at least tried this in King's Bay, my most recent story. In any story, regardless of the POV, you need to show about the character as well as "tell." It's a balance that's different for everyone. You can also write a story from a female POV and develop a male character.

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You'll notice I also described Liz as having 'big teeth' 'E-cup breasts' 'light wrinkles around the mouth' 'greying hair'. You'll notice these are not your stereo typical cliche georgeous blond with perfect dd tits and ass. I was hoping a normal every woman could be more believable and related to more.
I don't know how common E-cup breasts are -- do you? A "normal" woman would probably have much smaller breasts than that. I appreciate that you tried to make Liz not the usual Playboy-type, but you could probably do less with more. The description you've given does not bring up even a pretty woman in my mind, and although I know I'm no model, I can't relate to that description. Something more general might work better.

It's come up a lot, and many authors and readers seem to agree, that less is more. People seem to like a general description, such as height, hair color, eye color, maybe a general body shape, and then they prefer to fill in the detail themselves.

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The best way to appeal to female readers is being a female Author. Unfortunatley I don't have that luxury lol.
Untrue. The best way to appeal to any group of readers is to write a good story.
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Old 11-07-2012, 05:46 PM   #21
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Maybe there's no burning need for you to write like a female author. Might that be a possibility? You could establish your own writing perspective/voice that works and be happy with that.
To be honest I was quite happy with my stories and the responses I got even though they were from a mostly male audience. Then After i started this thread I'm having second thoughts, Lol. I guess my style and the stories I want to tell are just characteristic of the male condition. Because they come from the depths of my fantasies as a red blooded hetero sexual. Anybody enjoying my stories makes me feel proud. I was just a little disappointed with the lack of female feedback compared to what I saw in some other stories. It sounds egotistic I know. But those other stories made me so jealous that females flocked to the comments section saying how horny and wet they made them. Oh well. Lol
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Old 11-07-2012, 05:50 PM   #22
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To be honest I was quite happy with my stories and the responses I got even though they were from a mostly male audience. Then After i started this thread I'm having second thoughts, Lol. I guess my style and the stories I want to tell are just characteristic of the male condition. Because they come from the depths of my fantasies as a red blooded hetero sexual. Anybody enjoying my stories makes me feel proud. I was just a little disappointed with the lack of female feedback compared to what I saw in some other stories. It sounds egotistic I know. But those other stories made me so jealous that females flocked to the comments section saying how horny and wet they made them. Oh well. Lol
From data that some people have posted about the website, the readership is predominately male and older male at that.
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Old 11-07-2012, 05:53 PM   #23
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One thing to consider about readers and feedback is that few readers vote, and even fewer leave comments or send feedback. So you could have a lot of female readers and not know it.

Another thing I forgot to say, and nearly always recommend to new (and other) writers is to read more stories. See how other authors handle the issues you're looking at. You may find inspiration, if only in what not to do.
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Old 11-07-2012, 05:59 PM   #24
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You can write from a guy's POV and still develop a female character. I at least tried this in King's Bay, my most recent story. In any story, regardless of the POV, you need to show about the character as well as "tell." It's a balance that's different for everyone. You can also write a story from a female POV and develop a male character.

Untrue. The best way to appeal to any group of readers is to write a good story.
Despite obvious lack of experience in writing. A story full of plot holes and little characterisation. I still feel the story telling and the structure were quite good. Even if not to your taate. Sorry.

Yeh, to be honest she wasn't to attractive (in real life people called her fredrica mercury). But why should a female be attractive in order for them to become the object of affection? Although I do realise that may put readers off. Yeh, as regards to descriptions, less is more sometimes. I agree.
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Old 11-07-2012, 06:06 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by ArthurG77 View Post
To be honest I was quite happy with my stories and the responses I got even though they were from a mostly male audience. Then After i started this thread I'm having second thoughts, Lol. I guess my style and the stories I want to tell are just characteristic of the male condition. Because they come from the depths of my fantasies as a red blooded hetero sexual. Anybody enjoying my stories makes me feel proud. I was just a little disappointed with the lack of female feedback compared to what I saw in some other stories. It sounds egotistic I know. But those other stories made me so jealous that females flocked to the comments section saying how horny and wet they made them. Oh well. Lol
Well, I'll trade you. Most of my feedback on the GM stories I write under this account name come from claimed, or apparent, females. And, although I won't turn away any readers/commenters, my chosen target audience is real gay males. They just don't seem to be commenters much.
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