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Old 12-31-2012, 05:58 PM   #1
armistead
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Floundering in the Dark

I'm trying to write erotic fiction rather than pornography and failing miserably!
Although getting what I think are a good number of views those who vote don't seem particularly impressed.

I'm trying as much as possible to keep it real, all stories are based on real events, some combining several happenings into one and obviously all a little decorated (but where is for me to know and the reader to guess).

Ultimately I would rather write something that I liked and am not too concerned with public perception, but having said that, it is a bit demoralising scoring only 3s for my life

I would really appreciate comments from positive to negative, to give it up and go back to writing about history or something.

http://www.literotica.com/s/just-good-friends-9

http://www.literotica.com/s/one-sunny-afternoon-2

http://www.literotica.com/s/the-nigh...t-my-virginity

Please be gentle with me - I've never done it before
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Old 12-31-2012, 06:03 PM   #2
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I haven't read any of your stories yet, but let me say this -- do not let the scores or comments, or lack thereof, weigh on you too much. This is a huge site with a big readership. A small percentage of people who view/read actually vote, and an even smaller percentage leave comments. Some categories seem to be graded on a curve so to speak, and others are tougher. This isn't peer review, either.

Enjoy the positive comments, investigate the criticisms, and ignore the trolls.
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Old 12-31-2012, 06:14 PM   #3
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Thanks PennLady, I'm just feeling very insecure at the moment.
I wouldn't mind one positive comment.
I take on board that only a minute proportion of readers bother to vote.
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Old 12-31-2012, 08:59 PM   #4
PennLady
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Well, I read them over. Your grammar and mechanics are good, although you switch tenses from past to present in "Just Good Friends." The stories seem a little thin to me, even just for stroke stories. They are all "telling," no "showing," no character development or anything like that.

I found that all the "telling" kind of put me at a distance from all of the stories, even though they were all written in first person. All the description was too much, I guess. It was like watching through a window -- interesting, but when it's over it's over and you just walk away.
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Old 12-31-2012, 11:03 PM   #5
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“One Sunny Afternoon”

As PL mentioned, there isn’t any character development. I didn’t read anything that gave me a sense of who they were or what drew them together. Calling her “She”—at least in my opinion—stripped her of an identity. You begin with the description of the day, comparing it to a woman, but that wasn’t sexy.


I also found the duplicate wording annoying. This and that . . . nothing in particular . . . are pretty much the same thing.

Quote:
We talked of this and that, nothing in particular and sometimes we said nothing as she worked and I watched, watched her body dressed in short shorts and a thin top with nothing on under it.
Quote:
I could see that she had nothing under it because every time she leant forward I could see right down the front of it, could see her firm breasts, naked and unrestrained.

I tried to picture the husband carrying his wife as you described. Maybe I’m missing something but it sounds strange.

Quote:
I opened my eyes to see Tony there carrying She in his arms. When he saw me looking he smiled and holding She only by the legs, let her torso drop and with that the bottom of her dress fell down over her head revealing all that I had imagined to my gaze.

When they are together, you tell us they talked, but you don’t use dialogue. Maybe you had characters speaking in the other stories, I don't know, but I think it helps a great deal. For a stroke piece, it lacked heat. If they were like animals, then show us two people wild for each other. You don’t need a new paragraph for every sentence. Combine them for a better flow. A few sentences are too long—close to fifty words. Eliminate the repetition so they'll be shorter and read better.

Keep working at it.
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Old 12-31-2012, 11:10 PM   #6
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I forgot to mention the whole "She" thing. That just made no sense to me. If it was supposed to be pronounced "Shay," then it should have been spelled differently, or specified.
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Old 12-31-2012, 11:32 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PennLady View Post
I forgot to mention the whole "She" thing. That just made no sense to me. If it was supposed to be pronounced "Shay," then it should have been spelled differently, or specified.
Yeah, I thought the female MC didn't have a name at first.
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Old 01-01-2013, 07:07 AM   #8
armistead
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OK. Thanks very much for constructive comments.

I take it from this that my idea to keep bodies as bodies and not as faces doesn't work.
More character definition needed in other words.

The repetition was just slovenly and distracting, though "watched, watched" was deliberate, others weren't.

I couldn't repeat dialogue because they were in another room, maybe that should be clearer or just omitted. But generally dialogue is needed?

"She" did start off from a poor recovery of use of the third person indefinite and was meant as an abbreviation of Sheila, a name I take it not in common use in the US?

I was feeling a bit down last night but with your help I feel eager again. I've got a couple more stories in the pipeline, I suspect those will go in the bin apart from the ideas behind them.
I'm not sure if I should revise/rewrite the existing stories or leave them as reminders of what not to do.

I also think that now the "new toy syndrome" has worn off, more putting stories away until forgotten and then reread and revised is called for.
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Old 01-01-2013, 11:01 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by armistead View Post
OK. Thanks very much for constructive comments.

I take it from this that my idea to keep bodies as bodies and not as faces doesn't work.
More character definition needed in other words.
Some people will not mind the "blank slates," and you can't please everyone. I have noticed a lot of writers say they try to keep things vague so that the readers can imagine themselves as the character, but not every reader wants to do that. I don't. That may not have been your intention, I'm just throwing that out there.

I think even in stroke stories, that yes, some character development or background helps. It might help you identify with the character, or sympathize with them, but something like that is useful b/c then it makes the character more real to you. If you care about what happens, then you care about when they are happy, or sad, or horny. Otherwise it's just very dry.

Quote:
Originally Posted by armistead View Post
I couldn't repeat dialogue because they were in another room, maybe that should be clearer or just omitted. But generally dialogue is needed?
Dialogue can be useful. I wouldn't say it's always "needed," but I would say it's a great device for getting feelings and ideas across from and about your characters. In first person, you obviously can't relate dialogue the narrator doesn't hear, but you can have dialogue involving the narrator and people in the same area or room. And someone else could tell the narrator anything they might have missed. In your "Just Good Friends," for example, it came across as all of these people in a room but never talking.

Quote:
Originally Posted by armistead View Post
"She" did start off from a poor recovery of use of the third person indefinite and was meant as an abbreviation of Sheila, a name I take it not in common use in the US?
Sheila might not be common, but it's not unusual. But when you use something like "She," with no other explanation, people may not leap to the conclusion that it's short for Sheila. I didn't, and I gather neither did Mistress Lynn. I think you said something like: "And She, for that was her name..."

Quote:
Originally Posted by armistead View Post
I was feeling a bit down last night but with your help I feel eager again. I've got a couple more stories in the pipeline, I suspect those will go in the bin apart from the ideas behind them.
I'm not sure if I should revise/rewrite the existing stories or leave them as reminders of what not to do.

I also think that now the "new toy syndrome" has worn off, more putting stories away until forgotten and then reread and revised is called for.
Just keep writing and practicing. You'll keep some things, toss others, and adjust still more, but it's all a process.
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Old 01-01-2013, 11:14 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PennLady View Post
Dialogue can be useful. I wouldn't say it's always "needed," but I would say it's a great device for getting feelings and ideas across from and about your characters. In first person, you obviously can't relate dialogue the narrator doesn't hear, but you can have dialogue involving the narrator and people in the same area or room. And someone else could tell the narrator anything they might have missed. In your "Just Good Friends," for example, it came across as all of these people in a room but never talking.
Perhaps I need to realise that my readers aren't mind readers There was not actually that much conversation at all in Just Good Friends, it was one of those blistering hot days when even talking is too much activity. But I take your point, sometimes characters must talk even when in life they wouldn't.

Quote:
"And She, for that was her name..."
There you rumbled the point where I realised that the poor woman had no name and did something devious to avoid trawling through the whole piece replacing!


Thanks again for all your comments which I really do appreciate.
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Old 01-01-2013, 11:45 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by armistead View Post
Perhaps I need to realise that my readers aren't mind readers There was not actually that much conversation at all in Just Good Friends, it was one of those blistering hot days when even talking is too much activity. But I take your point, sometimes characters must talk even when in life they wouldn't.
LOL No, readers are definitely not mind-readers. So you need to give them information, be it through dialogue, description, or whatever. And I know you said you've based these on real life experiences, but you know what? No one really cares if it's real or not.

Whether it's real or inspired by real events or whatever at this point, you're telling a story and you want the reader to be interested. I mean, it's not like someone can check on it and call you out on anything you got wrong..

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Originally Posted by armistead View Post
There you rumbled the point where I realised that the poor woman had no name and did something devious to avoid trawling through the whole piece replacing!
Your story isn't that long. Would it really have been that difficult to give her a name like "Lisa"? I know you were probably anxious to get the story written and posted, but that's a little on the lazy side.

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Originally Posted by armistead View Post
Thanks again for all your comments which I really do appreciate.
Quite welcome.
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Old 01-01-2013, 11:52 AM   #12
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Lazy! Blast rumbled!
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Old 01-01-2013, 01:47 PM   #13
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Hello! I have a couple of suggestions. Maybe these are more like exercises than actual stories. Before you start, try to get into the mind of the character telling the story. What are they thinking and feeling at that exact moment? When the girl takes of her clothes, how does he react? What part of her body is he looking at? Try writing lots of descriptions and emotions to help your reader get into his mind. Sometimes I'll just write a sentence for each of the five senses. You can edit them out later if it is too much. Your One Sunny Afternoon story has a lot of good description.

Right now your writing is very technical, just describing exactly what happens. You could try putting in what your character is thinking. Maybe he thinks, Wow, she has big tits! That is another way to get into the mind of the character and convey his personality. I would ask the others, but I think readers prefer pet names for the genitals.
Vagina and penis sound very technical.

One other thing you can do is try to cut up your sentences. Whenever you feel like putting an and, just put a period. It will help you see when your sentences are getting long, and short sentences can change the tone and pace.

Finally, I think, you could add some more exposition.I like staying in the middle of the story, but people like to know who the characters are and how they got there. Just a brief paragraph or flashback would help.
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Old 01-01-2013, 02:25 PM   #14
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Thanks Chocolatecookie,

I think the problem is the other way round,rather than try and get into my characters minds, I need to get them out of mine

I take on board your point about the naming of parts! I had a girlfriend who referred to her vagina as her winky woo! She had to have an awful lot going for her for me to be able to keep a straight face. My favourite term for a vagina is fanny, but I realise that as the audience is largely US based feel that this might cause some confusion.
I feel very restrained about using the word cunt except in very specific circumstances. So all in all, I fall back on technical names.

I am aware of sentence length changing the pace and perhaps need to consider the pace that I am trying to set a little more carefully. I am writing a piece that includes frantic sex and has one paragraph of several hundred words, punctuated at first with the punctuation missing as the pace builds up and then coming back in toward the end. I don't know if it works but the scene did not work properly punctuated! Read more like a bus timetable.

Anyway, enough rambling, thanks again for your comments.
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Old 01-01-2013, 04:36 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by armistead View Post
Thanks Chocolatecookie,

I think the problem is the other way round,rather than try and get into my characters minds, I need to get them out of mine

I take on board your point about the naming of parts! I had a girlfriend who referred to her vagina as her winky woo! She had to have an awful lot going for her for me to be able to keep a straight face. My favourite term for a vagina is fanny, but I realise that as the audience is largely US based feel that this might cause some confusion.
I feel very restrained about using the word cunt except in very specific circumstances. So all in all, I fall back on technical names.

I am aware of sentence length changing the pace and perhaps need to consider the pace that I am trying to set a little more carefully. I am writing a piece that includes frantic sex and has one paragraph of several hundred words, punctuated at first with the punctuation missing as the pace builds up and then coming back in toward the end. I don't know if it works but the scene did not work properly punctuated! Read more like a bus timetable.

Anyway, enough rambling, thanks again for your comments.
Read your sentences aloud. They should have a natural flow to them. You shouldn't have to gasp for air at the halfway mark. Rearrange the words into shorter sentences if that happens. As for the paragraphs, I don't know about word count, but keeping them around eight lines makes them easier to read on screens.
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Old 01-01-2013, 05:04 PM   #16
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Good advice but after an illness a couple of years ago left me a bit breathless I can manage speaking about four or five words without a breath!

I was trying to keep my paras short but then got the comment that there was too much space!

I've decided to revise/rewrite "Just Good Friends" as it is perhaps my favourite story, and perhaps the easiest with which to take on board all the helpful suggestions that I've had off here.
As for the other two, I'll probably just forget them.
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Old 01-02-2013, 02:20 AM   #17
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I just read "Just Good Friends". I'll comment bearing in mind what others have already said.

Here is how i would punctuate your first paragraph:
Quote:
I suppose it is the nature of hot sunny weather to inflame the libido of both men and women. Whether or not that is the case, there were certainly some inflamed libidos on that day, when several of us sat in Pete and Hannah's flat, hardly moving and perspiring gently.
I can't decide if there should be a new sentence at "when several..." but it would be "Several of us sat...".

There are lots of places when you could have used dialogue instead of the telling and i think it would have added a lot to the story. You said these were, at least partly, based on events you experienced and can't remember some dialogue. Make it up. It gives you the chance to say something way cooler than you catually said. hehe.

I think you could have used the part of the scene where the characters all stripped to describe what the girls figures and looks were like, assuming you didn't also want to describe the other guy too. Describing how the guys were appreciating the view and what they were thinking would have helped make it seem that there would have even been obvious boners.

It also seemed like no time had passed between the MC and his girl getting off and the second girl coming into the room, apparantly after bathing first.

I think making the last sex scene and full blown threeway wouldn't have hurt either. Or a partner swap, so Pete wasn't left out.

I probably would have rounded down from a 3.5 if i rated it.

Looking forward to seeing a rewrite.
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Old 01-02-2013, 04:45 PM   #18
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Hi Pornocles, thanks for your additional comments. Now that I've stepped back a bit from it I'm quite embarrassed by how badly written it is. I jump tenses like a fox jumps fences!

I rather like your idea of turning it into a threesome at the end, I can get rid of Pete for the duration by turning him into a stoner, or an urgent call out from work or something. Actually, the urgent call out has attractions, leaving Hannah unsated etc.

I'm a bit surprised, the vote score has actually crept up slightly!
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