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Old 05-11-2013, 12:33 AM   #1
Jizaz_Jester
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Advice on almost-true stories?

I not so recently posted two stories - http://www.literotica.com/s/just-this-once-8 & http://www.literotica.com/s/trading-up - which, as the first few lines say, start out as a true story, but diverge into a fantasy of what I wish would've happened. When the fantasy ends, I reveal the truth, which in both cases is an unhappy ending.

These are two of my lowest rated submissions, but they are also two that I'm particularly proud of. The only feedback I've gotten from them is either criticizing my taste in women, or stating that the true ending "Ruined all likability."

There's several more "What should've happened" stories I want to tell, with both the fantasized and real conclusion, but the lukewarm reception of these two have given me second thoughts.

Should I cut the real endings out and just give the fantasy?
Or should I tell the whole story, not just how I wanted things to turn out?
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Old 05-11-2013, 12:46 AM   #2
sr71plt
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Saying a story is true here is almost always an invitation to "Oh, yeah?" negative response in reading it, IMO. So, I wouldn't suggest saying that. You'll get e-mails assuming it's true and you can get into that directly then with those who see that claim as a plus in their arousal (if you must establish the claim for reasons of your own).
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Old 05-11-2013, 06:39 AM   #3
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I think you may get readers that like a true story to stay true - the kick out of reading such a tale is that it really happened, and the reader can live vicariously through the author's narrative.

Readers who prefer fiction will be put off by the upfront assertion that it's a true story, and you might even have attracted them to read your fantasy story.

I like reading true stories when I'm in the mood, if it has an exciting premise, but usually I prefer fiction. I find if I'm in the mood for a little reportage, I get disappointed when it starts losing credibility and is clearly either entirely fiction or descending into fiction, as for me a major reason for reading true-life narrative is to see how people really think and act in such situations.

I think if you're intending to write a fantasy, make the whole thing a fantasy or just don't tell people it's a true story. Perhaps at the end, a note to say parts of the story were based on a true story might provide some interesting trivia for readers, if you feel like being candid.
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Old 05-11-2013, 09:39 AM   #4
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The "true" assertion doesn't do anything for me, if only because to me it just doesn't matter. I have no proof it happened, and many books and movies start with the "true story" conceit even if it isn't. I don't mark a story up or down because of it, though.
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Old 05-11-2013, 10:40 AM   #5
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IMO, there is no such thing as a "true" story. Stories are what we tell ourselves to make sense of our lives. We include some details, leave out others, embellish certain things, edit things down so the story "works". This is true in fiction, non-fiction, memoirs, etc... In an erotic story based on something that happened to us, our romantic or sexual partner will tell a different story than we will. Plus, he or she will lie to us whether those lies are "white" (you're the most fantastic lover I've ever had) or major (I'm divorced).

A memoir is a different genre than a novel. Since the success of Tobias Wolff's This Boy's Life in 1989 publishers have been hot for the novelized memoir, which is a memoir that is structured like a novel. However, there are differences such as the narrative voice being conscious of the ending and the fact that the writer is relating events that formed him or her as a person.

My advice? Tell the best story you possibly can the best way you possibly can. If the story works best in the structure of a memoir write it that way. If it works better as a piece of fiction, go for it.
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Old 05-11-2013, 10:54 AM   #6
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I think it's a let down to be given a nice fantasy and then at the end say but this is what really happened. Write one or the other, the reader probably doesn't want to know both.
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Old 05-11-2013, 11:08 AM   #7
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The story is well written, so fuck all the pissy opinions above this post.
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Old 05-11-2013, 11:22 AM   #8
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You should do whatever YOU want to do.

If the ending you want is the unpopular one, who cares? We don't get paid by vote/comment/score. In fact we don't get paid at all.

Tell your story and sooner or later you will find the audience for it-well, more accurately they will find you.

If you worry too much about how people will take it, it will affect your writing. Your story is your baby, raise it your way.

As to the true story, personally I don't let it affect how I see the story as I read it, but for what its worth my initial reaction-fair or not- is to roll my eyes and go "Yeah okay" but seeing you go into how you wished it went its a little different.

Unhappy endings are okay for me, but in general people here like light and fluffy with hot sex over any type of real life shit.
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Old 05-11-2013, 11:38 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lovecraft68 View Post
You should do whatever YOU want to do.

If the ending you want is the unpopular one, who cares? We don't get paid by vote/comment/score. In fact we don't get paid at all.

Tell your story and sooner or later you will find the audience for it-well, more accurately they will find you.

If you worry too much about how people will take it, it will affect your writing. Your story is your baby, raise it your way.

As to the true story, personally I don't let it affect how I see the story as I read it, but for what its worth my initial reaction-fair or not- is to roll my eyes and go "Yeah okay" but seeing you go into how you wished it went its a little different.

Unhappy endings are okay for me, but in general people here like light and fluffy with hot sex over any type of real life shit.

agreed!
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Byron's Wake and Super Cool Threads.

I did feel like Icarus-Byron in Exile

"You gave him a gift that so many people can only dream of experiencing, and he gave you one, too. You invigorated and soothed him; you helped him find his music again. You deserved more time, but I am so happy that the time you spent together was so joyful and special and full of laughter. You gave him bwankets and I could see his tail wag. He felt you, and he took you with him everywhere. I think he took part of you with him to wherever he is now. That's part of why it hurts so much." Phelia on Byron to me.
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Old 05-11-2013, 01:30 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jizaz_Jester View Post
I not so recently posted two stories - http://www.literotica.com/s/just-this-once-8 & http://www.literotica.com/s/trading-up - which, as the first few lines say, start out as a true story, but diverge into a fantasy of what I wish would've happened. When the fantasy ends, I reveal the truth, which in both cases is an unhappy ending.

These are two of my lowest rated submissions, but they are also two that I'm particularly proud of. The only feedback I've gotten from them is either criticizing my taste in women, or stating that the true ending "Ruined all likability."

There's several more "What should've happened" stories I want to tell, with both the fantasized and real conclusion, but the lukewarm reception of these two have given me second thoughts.

Should I cut the real endings out and just give the fantasy?
Or should I tell the whole story, not just how I wanted things to turn out?
"Should" is up to you, but I personally don't see much appeal in a bait-and-switch unhappy ending. I suspect half the stories on Lit are "this is what I wish had happened" stories and there is nothing wrong with that.
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Old 05-11-2013, 01:43 PM   #11
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Now that I read the stories:

IMO, "Trading Up" got the Loving Wives treatment. Don't worry about the score. People wanted to see CiCi punished, not the narrator who ended up in his parents' basement.

"Just This Once" is a different animal. It is a much better story. The characterization is first rate, especially Chrissie. However, it wasn't until the tenth paragraph that I realized that the narrator was male. This is the first sentence that communicates that clearly. Chrissie laughed and threw her head back; slinging her head towel to the floor and rocking her body towards mine, grinding her bare crotch up across my pants-trapped erection and to my stomach.

My guess is that the reason for the low score is that readers got into this story expecting hot lesbian college student action but ten paragraphs into it got an erection. It is not unusual for hetero men who favor girl on girl porn to get turned off by straight action. Those readers who were stroking along until paragraph ten, when they came across a serious boner killer in the form of a boner, took their frustrations out on the score.

I don't think the structure of the story -- fantasy versus "what really happened" is the reason the stories didn't break a four. That is incidental. One was a Loving Wives type tale where the cheating woman didn't get hurt for her cheating. The other was set up to be lesbian college girls gone wild in an off campus dorm where, ten paragraphs into it, the narrator was revealed to be a dude.

I do have a suggestion for the fantasy vs. reality. Why not tell a story from three points of view or maybe even four. Character 1's fantasy, Character 1's version of reality, Character 2's fantasy, Character 2's version of reality. Maybe even have the first three or four paragraphs and the closing three or four paragraphs told from a truly omniscient point of view (not a limited third). You could probably explore a sexual encounter from several points of view. Very post modern or meta.
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Old 05-11-2013, 01:48 PM   #12
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The story is well written, so fuck all the pissy opinions above this post.
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Old 05-11-2013, 02:08 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jizaz_Jester View Post
I not so recently posted two stories - http://www.literotica.com/s/just-this-once-8 & http://www.literotica.com/s/trading-up - which, as the first few lines say, start out as a true story, but diverge into a fantasy of what I wish would've happened. When the fantasy ends, I reveal the truth, which in both cases is an unhappy ending.

These are two of my lowest rated submissions, but they are also two that I'm particularly proud of. The only feedback I've gotten from them is either criticizing my taste in women, or stating that the true ending "Ruined all likability."

There's several more "What should've happened" stories I want to tell, with both the fantasized and real conclusion, but the lukewarm reception of these two have given me second thoughts.

Should I cut the real endings out and just give the fantasy?
Or should I tell the whole story, not just how I wanted things to turn out?
I haven't read your stories, so the comments that follow are based entirely upon your post. First, I do get the reason why you like to read and write partially subjectively true stories. My first stories were mostly true, and even one I wrote much later was a fictionalized account of true events. For me, writing true stories is a form of exhibitionism, and reading those written by others is a form of voyeurism. Sharing experiences through Lit. gives a similar--but milder--thrill as performing in front of an audience. People who don't have that particular kink aren't going to react in the same way as people who do.

The problem with your approach is that your introductory note immediately sets your readers up for a let-down, and then you come through in the end and deliver what you promised. In general, readers don't care for unhappy endings. They also don't like to be disappointed by the old "Psyche!" You are giving them two levels of disappointment.

Your stories are fiction, perhaps inspired to some degree by true events. They aren't objectively true, and they really can't be considered subjectively true, either. Present them as works of fiction--no more, no less. You can say in your author's biography that to some extent they are based on real events, but don't go into detail explaining where true life fell short of fiction. Let the reader imagine as much as he likes as true. Practice writing good stories where the characters and plot--and passion--capture the readers and don't worry about gimicky coulda shoulda woulda explanations.

Good luck!
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Old 05-11-2013, 02:18 PM   #14
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Do what you want, but I question why you feel the need to include the truth. I don't feel that it really adds to the story or aids the reader in any way. Rather, it seems more for your benefit, almost like a confession of sorts. Which is fine. Whatever gives buoyancy to your water-faring vessel, as they say. Still, truth is a kind of currency in writing, you need to spend enough to make the tale believable but not so much that it is boring or less readable. To me, this appears to be an unnecessary transaction.

Your prose is solid and your narrative engaging, however. Those are the real building blocks. The rest is just circumstantial. Regardless of what you decide, you will still produce stuff of a higher quality than most.
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