Home « Forum « Author Hangout

Forum: Author Hangout

Finestories Question

Lumpy

Does finestories have much readership? Would it be worth my time to put an edited version (removing the sex essentially) on finestories? Or is there just not enough readership?

Crumbly Writer

@Lumpy

There isn't a large readership, but it's a very different audience. I know this, because I see very different behavior by the readers there than I do on SOL.

In order to boost FS's numbers, I've been using FS as a 'test platform'. I'll post a story there, where it'll get fewer reads, but I'll get some decent responses to alert me of any unanticipated issues with the story. That way, I can clean it up before posting it to the larger SOL audience.

Many of my fans frequent both sites, but clearly not all of them, and it's always nice to put a story in front of new fans.

Crumbly Writer
Updated:

Just checked my numbers. For one story, I got 6,700 downloads on FS, while on SOL I got 27,800. Many of those are false counts and chapter hits, rather than story downloads, but I'm assuming the same story would be counted the same way on the two sites. (For those math adverse, that's about a quarter of the audience.)

I post using html files, so I simply create separate (FS) files for the few chapters with anything needing editing. By and large, the rest of my stories work on both sites. The sites software will take care of curse words, but I'm sure Lazeez would appreciate if you cleaned those up yourself. But ... if your characters are cursing for affect (ex: "Oh, Shit!"), it helps having the reader know it was a curse, even if the curse isn't shown (which is how Laz handles it).

docholladay

@Lumpy

I don't think you should deliberately edit the sex out of a story. Instead you might want cross post those stories which meet FS guidelines. As CW points out its probably a different user base. Also you have to consider that in terms of being online its fairly new in comparison to the SOL site. I have no idea how long it will take for the site to build its user base.

Replies:   Lumpy
Lumpy

@docholladay

In my case, the sex, while part of the story, is never the point, and can easily be done by just referencing that the characters had sex, without the actual sex scene. I however wasn't aware it also didn't allow cursing.

Crumbly Writer

@Lumpy

I however wasn't aware it also didn't allow cursing.

It's not that it doesn't allow cursing, as it doesn't display cursing. If you have someone talking about sex, you'd want to remove it. But if you someone is genuinely surprised when something unexpected happens, the word is changed so it's easy to tell that is was a curse word, without actually showing the word.

It's actually very cleverly done.

I'm also like Lumpy. While I have sex in many of my stories, or 'discussion about sex', it's not an essential part of the story. I just make those chapters a bit shorter by 'reworking' the scenes.

Replies:   Lumpy
docholladay

@Lumpy

Okay my mistake although as a reader I haven't looked at the rules for posting stories on either site. Although common sense would tend to cause me to check if I was ever to post a story for any reason. Sadly I just don't have the talent or skills needed. I can enjoy them totally however and will do so until I die.

Lumpy

@Crumbly Writer

Could you clarify that a bit Crumbly? There can't even be a mention of sex in the story. By that, I don't mean "and then they had sex". But if you did something like, "I followed her into her room for a night of passion" (of course better written then that :) ), or used a euphemism for sex such as 'Made love', 'a roll in the hay', 'spent the night together', etc. I am curious if any reference could be used.

For instance in your Catalyst story, sex was kinda tied in when he needed to 'super-charge' the girls, did you just remove any reference to the super-charging, use a euphemism for the sex, or just re-write how it was done entirely.

docholladay
Updated:

@Lumpy

Okay there are stories posted there where the man and woman sleep together. Of course anyone with half a brain knows more probably went on, just its not mentioned or referenced. Whether the couple are married or not is beside the point. The sex probably occurs but since it has no direct effect on the story its not mentioned or implied. As in any story regardless of type or site, there are many background activities which are never mentioned.

edited to add:
You can have romance for example without having to have descriptive or implied sex acts.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Lumpy

I never posted Catalyst to FS. The only stories I posted there are "Stranded" (nosex) and "Seeding Hope" (mentions of sex, but no actual sex).

The key to remember with FS is that 1) it has some teens on it, and 2) teens generally want realistic stories. So you please the parents to keeping the sex off the page, but you keep the drama, conflicts and passions real. So you cut out the 'tab A into slut B, C and D' and retain the other aspects of the story. If you can do that with a simple edit, so much the better. Kids aren't frightened by realism, but they just aren't interested in as much sex as it's [often] just beyond their reach at that age.

Note: In "Seeding Hope Among the Ashes", David discussed whether the two girls had had sex yet (they brought it up), mentioning that it was hard to avoid in the roles they found themselves in.

Crumbly Writer

@docholladay

Okay there are stories posted there where the man and woman sleep together. Of course anyone with half a brain knows more probably went on, just its not mentioned or referenced.

It's not that bad. You can have discussions about sex, but when you do, keep in mind what ages you're after. My story had several gruesome deaths in it, so I was going after an older, more mature audiences. If your target audience (on FS) is younger, then skim over the more tantilizing parts.

Replies:   docholladay
docholladay

@Crumbly Writer

It's not that bad.

If your target audience (on FS) is younger, then skim over the more tantilizing parts.


True and its funny how much can be left for a reader to fill in with their imagination. The main thing is to fire the reader's imagination so it will fill in those empty areas if needed. The more any given story catches that imagination, the more the reader will be hooked on finishing the story.

Ernest Bywater

@Lumpy

I don't actually remove the sex to put a story on FS, but I do write a lot of No Sex stories which I post to both FS and SOL. There is a much lower membership there and it gets a lot lower download count. However, from discussions with FS readers I know a lot of them who follow me there do so for a couple of reasons:

1. They can safely access FS and read a story at work without getting into trouble for visiting a sex site from their work computer;

2. They feel happy about referring a story to their spouse or children or friends or other family to read when it's on FS;

A lot of them also have memberships at both SOL and FS and do more of their reading at SOL because it has a larger story base.

From that I see the majority of downloads at FS as being new and extra readers. Also, because FS includes under age readers you can view them as being a new demographic who will stay with you when they're old enough to sign on to SOL later.

Some of the more interesting reader responses come from the FS readers.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
richardshagrin

Probably we should get Banadin involved in this discussion. He posted his Ricky Jackson Saga, most of the time called Ninth Grade, although on Fine Stories last time I looked the Summer Vacation before Ninth Grade was a separate story. I read a lot of his 40 chapter story on Fine Stories because then it didn't count against my 16 a day on SOL. Of course it has no sex. Well, a little making out like kissing a girlfriend, both were 15 years old. In 1959 that was pretty much all they could do. Likely his parents may have done some more, since he had two brothers and a sister. The story didn't go into that kind of detail. I am pretty sure both sites have the same language. For some reason he didn't post chapter 40 the same day on FS. It was a list of books his character read in the other 39 chapters, so it wasn't a big suspense item.

I still think about getting up early on Friday morning because he would post on both sites before 7am (on SOL first, then Fine Stories.) There are other stories on FS that are also on SOL, but not enough. I'd read them on Fine Stories too, if I get the chance. Everyone gets 100 FS stories a day. Us living on social security types get 16 on SOL. If you want me to be sure to read your story, post it on Fine Stories too so I can be sure I won't run out of things to read.

Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

They can safely access FS and read a story at work without getting into trouble for visiting a sex site from their work computer;

Quick question. Lazeez and ASSTR are hurting because they can't accept membership or sponsorship payments since they're listed as 'pornographic' sites. Can FS accept payments, or would it be better for Lazeez to disassociate the two groups?

Replies:   Lumpy
Lumpy

@Crumbly Writer

Doesn't SOL accept membership payments. Curious why it can and the others can't.

Ernest Bywater

@Lumpy

Some financial organisation have recently changed their rules about who they'll do business with. PayPal has had a thing about not working with people running sex sites for some years, now Mastercard and Visa are talking about getting on the band wagon.

Crumbly Writer

@Lumpy

Doesn't SOL accept membership payments. Curious why it can and the others can't.

Ernest is correct, but the change happened a couple years ago. The PayPal founder (forgot his name) convinced the credit card companies to join his 'mission' to restrict payments to porn sites. Strange, but I haven't noticed a drop-off in porn sites!

Anyway, it's definitely impacted Lazeez and ASSTR seems like a ghost town (no Administrators managing the site). I'm not sure how Laz has weathered it, and how he's been managing since.

Ernest Bywater

@Crumbly Writer

You can pay your membership by Money Order if you want, but I think you'll find the Mastercard and Visa issue isn't as big as some people think because they weren't allowed to refuse business from companies in some countries. The problem came down to the local financial institute deciding to enter or not enter into a relationship based on the local laws and if the company has an arrangement with Visa Canada then Visa US has to honour it or not be able to operate in that country at all. But ask Lazeez if you want the full and current details of how he works it out.

Dominion's Son

@Crumbly Writer

I just renewed my membership using my Visa check card. Went through just fine.

Probably because it goes through with the company name of World Literature Company which is not obviously and adult web site. They are actually going by company name for most of those restrictions on porn site payments, they aren't actually investigating the sites to check the content.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@Dominion's Son

The best sex site in Australia is AbbyWinters.com.au and they use both Visa and Mastercard for membership payments. So Visa and Mastercard must still accept sex sites or it may be only the US companies throwing a fit.

Also, I think the finance company would have major legal troubles if they refused to do normal business with a legally registered business doing legal business in Canada for any reason not associated with a poor credit rating or the like. I doubt Canadian law will let them get away with refusing or canceling business because one part of their business is in a field of legal work someone in the financial institution's hierarchy doesn't like.

Replies:   Dominion's Son
Dominion's Son
Updated:

@Ernest Bywater

1. AbbyWinters.com.au is not an obvious porn site by name.

2. Visa and Mastercard are both US companies.

3. It wasn't US companies throwing a fit, it was the US government. And it wasn't just finance/payment processing companies that were affected.

Google "Operation Choke Point".

The US Federal Reserve Bank, the SEC, the DOJ and other US Federal agencies colluded in an effort to get banks and payment companies to stop doing business with individuals and business in perfectly legal industries that are politically disfavored by the current administration on the grounds that (without a shred of evidence) that there were wide spread fraudulent transactions coming out of those industries.

Gun shops, Porn producers and others were targeted.

Affected business had not only merchant accounts closed (so they lost the ability to take credit card payments), but their bank accounts were closed without advanced notice and they were not given any reason why by the banks. They were totally cut off from the entire banking system.

It went so far that individual porn stars had personal checking and savings accounts closed.

Pay Pal won't do business with adult sites because they are a US company and the US government threatened to shut them down.

Edited to add:

The only reason we know any of this is because the owner of one of the affected gun shops threatened to sue the bank for closing his accounts and that got him a meeting with top bank executives which he recorded.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@Dominion's Son

In response to your points above.

1. Abby Winters is registered as a sex site and even listed with a couple of the US organisation for sex site listings.

2. Like all International companies Visa and Mastercard have to have a daughter company set up and operating in Australia (also true for most countries) to be able to do business here. The accounting reports and profits are shipped back to the US after Australian taxes are taken out.

2.a. If the US companies refused to do business here under Australian law the daughter companies would be closed down and the parent companies refused any commercial interactions with Australian companies. Thus Visa US has to recognise and do business with anyone linked with Visa Australia, and ditto all other companies.

3. The US companies, and the businesses affected, may have grounds for legal action against the government agencies involved because I doubt they'd have a law that allows them to do that. Even the US RICO law requires a court to issue an order to close down bank accounts.

So what happens when the private individuals start conducting all their businesses in cash and just make deposits into their personal bank account instead of a business one? Hmm. Want to bet the amount of sales is under reported in the tax return when they're forced to operate that way!

..........

Anyway, it's not happening outside of the US borders, so Canadian porn businesses are OK since they work through Visa Canada etc.

Dominions Son

@Ernest Bywater

2. Oddly enough, the US government never went after Visa/Mastercard directly. They were getting flack second and third hand. They made some public statements about getting on board with Pay Pal, but I don't think they actually did anything about it.

Unlike Pay Pal, Visa/Mastercard doesn't actually do business with anyone other than banks. All their payment processing is bank to bank. To take credit card payments a business has to have a merchant account with a bank. Nor do they issue cards directly to card holders. That all goes through banks as well. Visa/Mastercard actually has no control over authorizing or rejecting a card payment, that is actually done by the issuing bank.

3. They definitely have grounds for legal action, but going after the government will be nearly impossible. The government agencies involved were very careful not to leave a paper trail.

So what happens when the private individuals start conducting all their businesses in cash and just make deposits into their personal bank account instead of a business one?


Did you miss the part where I said that individual porn stars had their personal bank accounts closed?

How much business do you think you could do with no access to the banking system. Sure, you can do business in cash, but then you actually have to store all that cash and you become a big target for thieves.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@Dominions Son

Did you miss the part where I said that individual porn stars had their personal bank accounts closed?


With the comment on cash business I was focusing more on the guns shops and pawn shops etc. There are many ways of safely storing cash, one is conversion to other valuables too. But the significant part is if the government wants to push legal business in to only taking cash from clients, then they can expect to see the people under reporting the income and paying less taxes.

Dominions Son

@Ernest Bywater

one is conversion to other valuables too.


Converting cash to other forms of valuables doesn't really improve the security situation significantly.

But the significant part is if the government wants to push legal business in to only taking cash from clients, then they can expect to see the people under reporting the income and paying less taxes.


True, but they can deal with that. The Feds got Al Capone on tax evasion by proving he was living beyond his reported income. You would have to be very careful to keep a low profile if you decide to go that route.

Ernest Bywater

@Dominions Son

Converting cash to other forms of valuables doesn't really improve the security situation significantly.


It's a lot easier to run off with a million bucks in one hundred dollar notes than it is to run off with a million in those little gold bars.

As to Capone, they got him because his lifestyle was about 20 times his reported income, but if you under report your income by 5% they can't prove it because it doesn't show enough. The difference between an income of $100,000 and $105,000 is not noticeable, while the difference between $20,000 and $120,000 sticks out like a sore thumb.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son
Updated:

@Ernest Bywater


It's a lot easier to run off with a million bucks in one hundred dollar notes than it is to run off with a million in those little gold bars.


That's debatable. The current price of gold is around $36 per gram. A US currency note weighs about 1 gram. So for US $1 million, you are talking around 22 pounds of $100 bills or 61 pounds of gold. And the currency is going to be bulkier.

docholladay

@Dominions Son


True, but they can deal with that. The Feds got Al Capone on tax evasion by proving he was living beyond his reported income. You would have to be very careful to keep a low profile if you decide to go that route.


You also need to take into consideration the good old fashioned trading methods. Otherwise known as bartering. The best deals are of course those where both sides think they came out a winner. Those deals would be awful hard to track or put a dollar value on.

Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

Anyway, it's not happening outside of the US borders, so Canadian porn businesses are OK since they work through Visa Canada etc.

Ernest, I wouldn't be so sure of that. It was because of those actions (closing the bank and credit card access of specific businesses) that led to the wide spread adoption of bit coin, which is now the premiere transaction method for the 'dark web' (a loose collection of a wide variety of criminal enterprises (and a wide collection of honest hackers too).

You've got to be careful what you sow, because it often grows into unexpected fruits.

Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

But the significant part is if the government wants to push legal business in to only taking cash from clients, then they can expect to see the people under reporting the income and paying less taxes.

It's very difficult to take cash payments over the internet (thus my comments about bitcoin). The idea is that, by cutting honest business out of the financial system, you encourage those business to collude with wider criminal elements, creating a system that's almost impossible to regulate.

richardshagrin

The idea that bit coin are money seems to have a life of its own, and plenty of people seem to have been infected with the meem. Personally I don't see it, but then again the US dollar used to be silver certificates and before that redeemable in gold until FDR. Now its paper, and not all that pretty. Because they take it at the grocery store and gas station it has value, but if they stopped taking it, it would be like the dots on a computer screen (bitcoin) except useful for starting fires. Even the coins don't have any silver. I suppose the copper in pennies would be worth something, to use instead of a fuse, if homes had fuse boxes any more. Ignore my rambles, I am old and crotchety. I wouldn't mind having a lot more of those useless paper things, as long as others think they have value.

Replies:   Dominions Son  tppm
Dominions Son
Updated:

@richardshagrin


The idea that bit coin are money seems to have a life of its own,


Bit coin was invented to be a money system outside of the control of any government.

Ask a economist to define money and the answer you will get is that money is anything that people use as a measure of and means of exchanging value.

It could be anything from seashells to rocks. Neither backing by or even the existence of a government is necessary.

To be perfectly honest, most monetary transactions these days are nothing more than bits in a computer system anyway.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
richardshagrin

"Most monetary transactions these days are nothing more than bits in a computer system anyway."

I admit that is true. And people agree I am a pessimist! So after the EMP from a high altitude nuclear bomb blast brings down all the (unshielded) computers what happens to the money supply and my savings in the bank? They don't give you a bank book anymore to prove you made deposits and have a balance.

Nothing can go wrong, go wrong, go wrong....

Replies:   Dominions Son
Crumbly Writer

@Dominions Son

To be perfectly honest, most monetary transactions these days are nothing more than bits in a computer system anyway.

That's true, back when I was still working in the financial system, less than .02% of the world's dollars were in paper form. All the rest (and it's much more now), is all stored on various computers inclined to crash. One thermonuclear explosion in the atmosphere (or a single sunspot at the right time) and all the money in the world disappears.

Oops! Sorry, that point has already been made.

Dominions Son

@richardshagrin

Nothing can go wrong, go wrong, go wrong....


Well, since you are a pessimist, I suppose the best that you can hope for it that nothing that bad will go wrong tomorrow. :)

richardshagrin

@Dominions Son

The highpoint of my day is coming downstairs, hanging onto the banister, reciting: "Niagara Falls, Victoria Falls, Iguassu Falls, Snoqualmie Falls, RICHARD DOESN'T!" And so far I haven't. Fallen. And then my exercise program starts, I open the door, bend over and pick up the newspaper.
Close and lock the door, and sit down at the computer and see what happened on SOL last night.

The End, a true story. So far I have lived happily ever after.

Crumbly Writer

@Dominions Son

Well, since you are a pessimist, I suppose the best that you can hope for it that nothing that bad will go wrong tomorrow. :)

The great joy of the pessimist, is that nothing that happens is ever as bad as he imagined!

Replies:   Grant
canette

I live in canada and just renewed my account and used mastercard and had no problem at all.

Grant

@Crumbly Writer

The great joy of the pessimist, is that nothing that happens is ever as bad as he imagined!

No matter how bad things are, they can always get worse.

Replies:   tppm  richardshagrin
Banadin

I post on FS so I can refer people to that site thatI don't know well or family such as grandchlidren. I get worthwhile feedback from both sites.

Replies:   docholladay
docholladay

@Banadin

I don't post to it, but I do recommend both sites. I recommend the SOL to those adults I think have an open mind. I recommend the FS site to those with children or teenagers as good site for some excellent stories. Sometimes I have even discussed both sites with people I meet or know mentioning the way each site compliments the other.

I may not be able to write, but as a reader I can at times suggest sites to people in my area.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@docholladay

I may not be able to write, but as a reader I can at times suggest sites to people in my area.

Doc, if you can personally recommend specific authors on each site, you'll probably boost your message. It's one thing to suggest a blind site, where the reader stumbles around, reading random stories, but if they start off reading excellent stories, they'll appreciate both the site and your recommendations more.

Just a thought.

Replies:   docholladay
docholladay

@Crumbly Writer

Sometimes I do recommend an author or a story. But in order to do that I have to know more about their reading habits and preferences. With just basic information I have to make the suggestion with the best chances of them finding something they will like.

tppm

@richardshagrin

There is a major fallacy in your complaint.

Why do you think metals have any intrinsic value beyond what's arbitrarily assigned to them. Gold and silver are way to soft to be useful for anything other than jewelry (even for money they have to be alloyed with something to make them hard enough to not be battered into shapeless lumps when carried around in a purse or pocket).

Admittedly copper is useful as the major ingredient in bronze, arguably the most useful material ever developed, until plastic. Copper, silver, and gold are all useful in electronics, but that's only relevant since the late 19th century.

In fact, I suspect that there are a few reasons gold is used for money, one there isn't much of it, two, it's relatively easy to get and work, if you can find any, and three, it's not much use for anything else. No one is going to miss it if it's all used up for money and decorations.

And, BTW, Richard, U.S. pennies haven't been copper since the 1980s. They're copper clad zinc.

tppm

@Grant

There's a low below the low you know.
You can't imagine how far you can go down.
--- Malvina Renolds

richardshagrin

@Grant

I think that is one of the corollaries to Murphy's Law. "If something can go wrong, it will." The less stringent version was "bread always falls butter side down."

Actually the corollary that covers most of the others is "Murphy was an optimist."

Pessimists understand Murphy was a realist.

Back to Top