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Story classifications

Lostlady

I asked for help here before and got some good answers, so I thought I'd try again. This time about classifying stories. My stories tend to have graphic sexual content, so I've been listing them as stroke. I've received a couple of comments suggesting that at least two of them should be listed as erotica. Anybody have any ideas on a rule of thumb as to where the line between the two is? Any does it really matter? I realize there is no definitive answer: One person's trash is another's treasure, etc. But I would be interested in hearing any opinions or input on this. Thank you.

Dominions Son

@Lostlady

For me, a stroke story would be something that is almost entirely sex with little to no plot or character development. If it has a plot that serves as more than just a back drop to the sex it's erotica.

Ernest Bywater

@Lostlady

I realize there is no definitive answer:


Wrong, bookmark this link as it's very important:

http://storiesonline.net/docs/code_faq.php

from that page, which also resolves a lot of issues for authors:

Sex Contents Definitions:

Stroke Story: No plot or minimal plot used to set up the sex scenes.

Much Sex: Story with a plot containing significant amount of described sex.

Some Sex: Story with a plot and few minor scenes of described sex.

Minimal Sex: Story with a plot where sex is mentioned, and maybe discussed, but not described in details.

No Sex: No sex ever described or discussed. Could be mentioned in passing.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer
Updated:

@Ernest Bywater


Minimal Sex: Story with a plot where sex is mentioned, and maybe discussed, but not described in details.


That means that one of my entries to FS is considered "Minimal Sex". The majority of my SOL stories would be considered "Some Sex" while I've been labeling them as "Minimal Sex".

KinkyWinks

I have been reading stories, and been a member here, for over 10 years. I have read some, but very few good stories that are rated as "Much Sex". If that is the whole point of the story then there should be a list of real sexy paragraphs that are numbered. Then the writer could just copy and paste because there is no story, and there is no way to perform sex that has not been written a gazillion times. Maybe the writer could just call out numbers like 24, 14, 82, and the reader could just read that paragraph. It would all be the same anyway.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@KinkyWinks

Maybe the writer could just call out numbers like 24, 14, 82, and the reader could just read that paragraph. It would all be the same anyway.

It reminds me of those old books from the '80s where you "created your own stories". You'd read a page, something happens, and then you choose what action to take, taking you to the next chapter in the tale.

That's one way of offloading the burdensome sex! (rolls eyes)

Lostlady

@Lostlady

First, thanks everybody for the input. The reason I asked was because I was ready to post a story and wasn't sure how to classify it. I foolishly deluded myself into thinking this one had a enough of a story to it to move out of the stroke category. I listed it as much sex and erotica. I received an unprecedented number of low votes (ones, twos, threes). Now I'n not discounting the possibility that the story just wasn't that good to begin with, pure and simple. But I have to wonder if by leaving the stroke genre I didn't inadvertently lure in readers who just don't like the type of stories I tend to write. There's a lesson to be learned from every failure.

richardshagrin

Low scores are not a failure. Scores are not for authors. Perhaps your story did not reach the right audience because your pen name with its history of stroke stories attracted the wrong audience for the story. Lots of authors have multiple pen names for different kinds of stories. I just learned Mr. Lime uses a different pen name for lesbian stories or ones written from a female viewpoint. If you decide you have non-stroke stories to tell, set up a different pen name. I am pretty sure Lazeez will help if you ask for it.

Repeat after me, everybody, scores are for readers. Downloads are what matters. If you are happy with the story, it is a good story. Written the best you know how. At least spell checked.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@richardshagrin

Repeat after me, everybody, scores are for readers. Downloads are what matters. If you are happy with the story, it is a good story. Written the best you know how. At least spell checked.

That's what I look for in the reviews: "At least spell checked".

Replies:   richardshagrin
richardshagrin
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer

Under Technical I often report interesting spelling errors or homonym choices I wouldn't make (I hope). Sometimes its hard to tell if something is a homonym choice or a spelling error. My latest review points out the only two spell check errors I found. Buy when by was likely the choice wanted, and in the story description was instead of ways.

Have I mentioned Spell check is not necessarily your friend? Proofreaders wouldn't get the big bucks they make (this is intended to be amusing), if their function wasn't so necessary. On SOL they get the same as an editor, and usually as much as the author.

Free is a good price. On the other hand, if it costs you nothing it may be worth the price.

This pessimistic comment is brought to you free.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@richardshagrin

Under Technical I often report interesting spelling errors or homonym choices I wouldn't make.

Eh ...

If it's a straightforward score, that's not a bad tactic, but in a review, I wouldn't list typos (I'm sure you don't). Instead, I'd do like everyone else and send the author the more obvious. If they respond, then you send more (many authors don't respond to corrections). Typos aren't a part of the story, and the author may clean up the story when they get a new editor.

Replies:   Grant
richardshagrin

If your tab a into slot b descriptions are getting repetitive and all reasonable slot b options have been used there are at least two options. Add at least one participant to the couple to increase your coupling options or add BDSM

How the submissive is tied where and with what add lots of options. What implements are used can vary. Quoting the traffic signs in the mountains around here in the winter, Chains required, Whips optional.

There is a fairly wide variety of sex toys. Their dimensions and how they are used vary. Various machines are available to authors at minimal expense to add variety to the BDSM experience.

I nearly typed BS experience. Most of this is very hypothetical and fictitious. I have read where real BDSM participants laugh about our scenes. However that is not a large readership and their opinions do not affect your choices to make your stories include sexual variety.

Other choices include changing viewpoints. I know head hopping is looked down on, but do you want sex scenes to have variety or not? From my viewpoint, despite its tradition, adding capital letters or repeating letters to the female exclamation at orgasm do not help. They may make the scene longer in type, but usually not in experience to the reader.

Nothing is impossible to the person (a reviewer) who doesn't have to do it. Take all advice with at least a pinch of salt. Unless you are on a low sodium diet.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Ernest Bywater

@Lostlady

Apart from the hate voters, the main reasons for a large number of low votes are:

1. You didn't code everything and had something in they didn't like;

2. Very badly written.

Crumbly Writer

@richardshagrin

I realize that jealousy is unheard of in porn, but conflict is a famous literary device. Introducing a girl the main character likes, but everyone else hates can make things interesting (and then you can have her prove herself by doing something heroic, like diving on a live dildo). When you develop your plot, also create a list of characters and give each a list of conflicts they have with the other characters. Then, whenever things slow down, the intercharacter conflicts will carry much of the story.

richardshagrin

@Ernest Bywater

In this case item 2 badly written is almost certainly not the reason. And I disagree with offering it as a reason to this author. This author has multiple well received stories on SOL. What possible reason could there be the author's skill deserted her in this story? I continue to maintain the author's regular audience expected something they didn't get, stroke, stroke, stroke. Sounds like a crew race or maybe an ancient galley.

You disappoint your fans at your score's peril. The suggestion I made is to get new fans by changing your pen name. If they don't expect anything, they won't get mad if they don't get it. I certainly understand why you might want to try a new genre or type of story. (cliché warning:) Variety is the spice of life.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Dominions Son

@Ernest Bywater

I have got a comment from a reader who complained that something I coded for was too on stage for him.

You don't necessarily have to miss coding for something to get someone to down vote you because you wrote something that squicked them.

Replies:   richardshagrin
Ernest Bywater

@richardshagrin

I never said, or meant, option 2 applied to this author, what I was saying is those two reasons cover over 95% of the causes of low votes once you step away from the hate votes. That applies to every author and story. If the story is reasonably well written, then I'd be looking to see if there are other codes that should be on the story and use the Story Management options to add them.

On that note - and a minor bit of drift: There have been a number of codes added to the list in recent years and recently I found it a good idea to revisit and review the codes listed for my stories. One big reason for that is it will get more hits by readers searching by categories if you have that category listed, another is people won't get upset you missed a code.

richardshagrin

@Dominions Son

In the unlikely event I read a story about vampires and vote on it, likely my vote will be lower than people who like those kinds of stories. I admit when there are fortyseven eleven different tags and vampires are not mentioned in the story description sometimes I miss the vampire tag. Usually I cut my losses by going back to the main menu--SOL home page and don't vote. Often when I see an abundance of tags I say, to myself as I am too sane to talk to myself out loud, what, no needles?

TMI, I will stop keyboarding now.

Replies:   Grant
Joe_Bondi_Beach

@Lostlady

I read your top-rated story and the one you talk about here-quickly, I admit, almost skimming-and didn't see a big difference between them. In other words, I thought "stroke" and "much sex" could have applied to either one.

That said, for what it's worth, I like to see more dialogue in stories-these tended to long stretches of exposition. Also, in the latest one, the whole "screw the boss so hubby gets promoted" thing is a trope here, but I liked the little twist you threw in.

Losgud and scouries do sibling incest, including a family reunion hook, very well-to mention a couple of other examples.

Good luck!

bb

Grant

@Crumbly Writer

Typos aren't a part of the story

But they can make a good story un-readable.

There have been a few stories over the years that I have started, and persevered with because they had potential, but gave up on as the spelling/typos/formatting made it impossible to read.

Grant
Updated:

@richardshagrin


In the unlikely event I read a story about vampires and vote on it, likely my vote will be lower than people who like those kinds of stories.


Spoiler alert- I too don't have any interest in the vampire/werewolf genre. It just doesn't interest me at all. However Al Steiners "A Correct Destiny" was one I read (as the tag wasn't there in order not to give away some of the plot), and the fact is I enjoyed it. Like many of his stories it was well written and he did a different take on the whole vampire thing.

Another one I read was Gina Marie Wylies "Kennedy". Vampires aren't mentioned in the tags, but the story description says it is set in the Buffy universe so you know they're going to be there.

Once again, a well written story with a perspective.

Then you get stories such as Mike Cropos' "Time of Eden and Elves". It claims Science Fiction, but I would consider it more Fantasy, once again no mention of vampires & the like to not give away the plot.

And while I thought the story was OK (the revised version is better than the first one posted, and I've read the first 3 books) i have to admit I don't understand the scoring for the stories.

The author has developed a huge story universe, with multiple stories & story arcs and overall it's been well done.

But, and I don't think it's just due to my personal lack of interest in the vampire genre, I don't see why the stories have scored as well as they have- their scores place them amongst the all time great list. While they are good, I would consider them more a 7 or so than the 9+ they have received.

I admit when there are fortyseven eleven different tags and vampires are not mentioned in the story description sometimes I miss the vampire tag.


For me, when there are more than a line or 2 in the tag list, no matter how high the scores are for the story I just don't bother with them. It makes it look like the author is trying to do everything possible, and the plot is secondary, which just doesn't appeal to me.

richardshagrin
Updated:

Long stories, especially long stories in long series tend to filter out those who aren't already interested and keep those who like what the author writes. If you were interested in spending an hour, or maybe less in a story you hadn't read, would you pick one of Cropo's epics? Those who make it through to the last page and vote tend to be the converted, and the one-bombers, if there are any, are massively outnumbered. To some extent the same filtering effect works in favor of some of the other high rated authors. People are somewhat familiar with the author's style and to some extent plots and characters (if a series) and some of the voters want to reward the author for continuing what they liked before.

I seem to recall Lazeez tried to adjust scoring for this effect and was shouted down by authors and readers when favorite stories were adjusted. Repeat after me, Scores are for readers, authors don't care, downloads are what counts. Not everybody believes it, maybe not me, I cruise the high rated stories looking for ones to review, so I can give an acceptable review. I don't want to review a story I don't like and want to give a D minus to. 6 is a C, that would make a 5 a D and 4 point something a D minus. I don't want to stop anyone from writing, even about vampires. Different people like different things. Somebody likes all the pedo trash on ASSTR, or there wouldn't be so much of it.

If we don't support free speech (and writing) pretty soon there won't be much of it left. Franklin said something like that, when asked what political system the Constitution offered. "A Democracy Sir, if you can keep it."

Lostlady

@Lostlady

Thanks everybody. That was a lot of responses, and a lot of food for thought. I hope I didn't give the impression that I was in some deep depression over this. Frankly, my scores were never really over the top, just entrenched somewhere in the middle, and i was OK with that. What was different here was when I checked the voting breakdown and saw the number of low votes. I knew something had changed and was curious as to what. I'm thinking I may simply gone to the well one to many times with the same formula. As was pointed out, there's only so many ways to describe part A going into part B. After that it gets boringly repetitious. Kind of like a literary McDonalds, not the best hamburger in town, but always the same. Once again, thanks, I appreciated your input.

Crumbly Writer

Despite those who disagree, squick votes have chased entire genres from the site. The classic is gay stories. Besides being clearly labeled for a specific market, every homophobe opens the story only to give it a 1 vote. The scores fall so far, the authors leave for other sites.

That's always been my biggest objection to the scoring system, that it penalizes minority votes (what was the last black writer you read on SOL?).

Replies:   Chase Shivers
ustourist

How would anyone know for certain the color, gender or ethnicity of any author unless the author stated the fact? A quality writer crosses all boundaries and without a dustjacket biography, any assertion has to be an uninformed guess. Certainly, if someone shows racial bias in their writing it will give an indication, and some do give that impression, but then they will cease to be mainstream writing and start to be minority interest. As an example. Aussie Ernest Bywater doesn't define in his stories whether he is colonial or aboriginal descent even though he writes about both cultures, which indicates a good storyteller who doesn't have a chip on his shoulder. Any guess as to color or ethnicity is based on perception, not knowledge, in most cases.

Chase Shivers
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer

I don't know enough about the scoring stories over time to comment on the penalty, but I know of at least one African-American female author from a story I found earlier this week: http://storiesonline.net/a/blackrandl1958, and she was still active as of July.

Bondi Beach

@ustourist

Oh, he's definitely a Pom. No question.

Switch Blayde
Updated:

@Lostlady

I ran into that dilemma too.

I once asked people in my Yahoo group about "much sex" vs "some sex." I think the story was "Matilda and the Assassin." The majority said the story should be "some sex."

But there's a lot of sex in that story. A lot. In every chapter. So I ultimately changed it from "some" to "much." In my most recent story, I also classified it as "much" even though there are complete chapters with no sex. In fact, I don't believe the sex starts until Chapter 3 or 4 (that's why I coded it "slow").

In my opinion, many readers believe "much sex" is what SOL defines as "stroke." They don't understand what plot means. And I'm sure that triggers low scores. So it's another reason for the author not to put any credence in the score.

ustourist

@Bondi Beach

Poms cover pretty much every color, gender and ethnicity, as the Brits weren't fussy about who they 'exported' there when it was a penal colony.
I imagine him to be from Anglo Saxon stock, but the point I was making is that you can't actually tell from his writing, so it is a perception I have, not a factually based opinion.
Personally I see writing as one of the few areas where color, gender, race or creed can be totally ignored unless the author wishes to promote the fact for political reasons, so I can't see why Crumbly brought up the minorities subject at all.
I may be wrong, but I believe one of the most productive and contentious writers here was actually Filipino, but it didn't effect her scores, and I doubt anyone cared what ethnicity rache was since she was a good author.

Bondi Beach

@ustourist

I imagine him to be from Anglo Saxon stock,


I was making a joke. I admit, it wasn't a very good one. It's a good thing I'm here and he's there, because I have it on good authority that calling an Aussie a Pom is fighting words.

In general, I agree with you. The story is either strong, or it isn't, and strength doesn't depend on the author's background or ethnicity.

bb

Ernest Bywater

@ustourist

Aussie Ernest Bywater doesn't define in his stories


I'm a Heinz variety person. My father was born in Huddersfield, Yorkshire, England (4 y/o when he came to Australia) but the main family is descended from Welsh centuries early, while others in his family are of Scots and Irish ancestry. On my mother's side we again have Scots, Welsh, Irish, English, and some French way back, with a suggestion of Italian in there as well. One ancestor is Henry 'Hal' Kable/Cable (spelling often varied in those days) who came out on the first fleet. Some of my ancestors have lived all over the colony of New South Wales since it was founded. We've not looked to confirm or deny it, but there is circumstantial evidence one or more ancestors on my mother's side may have had local native wives. Also, many of mother side relatives have always gotten on well with the native population. The area of Sydney I grew up in was mostly Caucasian but I played sport in the next district over and it had a much more cosmopolitan mix, as did the the schools I went to. I grew up playing with people of all shades of skin, religious upbringings, cultural backgrounds, and ethnic backgrounds. My mother was born with sight and went blind due to a rare disease, 90% blind before I could walk. She always treated everyone the same, so I did as well, and still do - with the exception of self-made arse-holes.

About the only group of people I've not spent time with in sport, school, or work are the Inuit people.

richardshagrin

@ustourist

This is one of those useless and irritating corrections inserted by a busybody for no known reason. Female residents/citizens of the Philippines are a Filipina. The males are Filipino. Perhaps the male gender covers both sexes in many cases (all men are created equal includes women). But a particular female would get the a not the o. Irritating message ends.

I may have some future as an editor, however.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@richardshagrin

Female residents/citizens of the Philippines are a Filipina. The males are Filipino.


I could be wrong here, but I thought to be a Filipina or Filipino you had to born there and descended from the original natives to some extent. It was also my understanding that rache was born in the USA and moved there. Thus she'd be a resident and not Filipina.

richardshagrin

I think we agree she is not a Filipino. I agree if she is not currently living in the Country, and was not born there, she is not a Filipina. She lived in Seattle, but she is not a Seattleite now. She may be spinning in her grave. If she were spinning around the Earth, she would be a satellite.

I think its wonderful she is still writing, or at least posting stories. Anything she wrote was worth reading, especially her blogs. Thank the internet, we will have her stories, under all the pen names, to enjoy.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@richardshagrin

I think its wonderful she is still writing


Sadly, rache has passed on, but left a wealth of material and a posting schedule with her brother who's posting her work as per her instructions.

Crumbly Writer

@ustourist

How would anyone know for certain the color, gender or ethnicity of any author unless the author stated the fact?

Sorry, been away for most of the day and missed the discussion.

Excuse me, substitute "story about black characters" for "black writer". I would assume that most newbie writers would write about something they're familiar with. I've seen a couple, but it's WAY below their national/international average.

Chase, thank's for that link. I'll have to look it up. I appreciate differences in viewpoint, and like seeing new, unexpected takes on subject matter.

I'll also clarify, many foreign authors feel obliged to write about Americans simply because they underestimate the audience here. Ernest doesn't fit in that category, because he chose to write about American subject matter after he'd been writing awhile. But I'd guess, if we have any Indian writers, that they're writing about the U.S. rather than life in India.

Lostlady, I know that Laz classifies the sexual categories based on plot, but I don't think readers or authors do. In most cases, we all classify stories (some sex, much sex, stroke) based on how much actual sex there is, rather than if there's plot attached or not.

USTourist, I brought the point (about author's ethnicity) up, to emphasize a central problem with the scoring system. I have no problem with how Laz handles scoring, or with the scores I get, but I dislike how uniform the stories are as a result of it. Virtually any minority at all (except lesbians of course, because every straight male writes about lesbians frolicking in the bedroom) are under represented.

Richard, from what I understand, Rache's stories are being posted by her brother.

Replies:   anim8ed
anim8ed

@Crumbly Writer

CW
It is a shame if an author feels they need to locate their story in the USofA just to get a following. I have read any number of authors that write stories located in their native locations. Mostly Australia and United Kingdom but also Canada (confused me all to hell until I realized there is also a Thames River running through London, Ontario) and a few others including India.

The larger point that scoring chases away certain segments of the erotica market is valid though shameful. My kink is not your kink and I should have enough respect for you not to let my squicks ruin your reading enjoyment. Unfortunately there are those people out there who feel obligated to police the rest of us and obstruct our enjoyment of our particular kinks. Using shame and guilt to force people from writing what they enjoy is just another form of bullying and censorship.

Crumbly Writer

@anim8ed

It is a shame if an author feels they need to locate their story in the USofA just to get a following.

The 'trying to sound American' seems to be more common on SOL. ASSTR offers several stories in foreign languages, and often reference other races in other less well-known countries.

Most literary publications frequently feature authors from a variety of sites around the globe. But, by and large, the vast majority of stories on SOL are 'white guys' writing about how unfair life is for them (Sorry, but that's my perception).

When I say that, there seems to be a core group of English speaking countries, so they can be American, English or Australian. But, when I look at ALL the nationalities which view my stories in a given week, and compare it to the characters in any given story during the same week, the odds are off.

True, most visits are from America (about 90%) with about 4 to 5% from England and Australia. But the others are scattered across the glove, from India to China to Saudi Arabia to Africa and South America.

As a result, I worry about SOL being a bit of an echo chamber, where most stories repeat the same values and experiences, told in a variety of styles, instead of exposing authors to a variety of experiences. I like reading about different worlds, and I'd rather they're NOT all sci-fi, fantasy and incest! I'd like to read about different cultures, different expectations, different challenges and experiences.

But then, I expect a LOT, and reality doesn't always operate according to my dictates.

Replies:   anim8ed
Ernest Bywater

@anim8ed

It is a shame if an author feels they need to locate their story in the USofA just to get a following.


Some of my stories are located in the USA simply because the culture there makes it easier for me to do some of the things I want done in the story. It also helps in that it makes it easier for the bulk of the readers to relate to. However, I've noticed that the popularity of my US based stories is the same as my Australia based stories - so I don't think the location of the story makes much difference. Also, in many stories it's not clear where it's based, and that was deliberate to avoid having a specific cultural bias from the start.

Replies:   Grant
anim8ed

@Crumbly Writer

Yes, but then again I think there is a higher percentage of stories here at SOL outside the US than at my local bookstore.

Scores and comments can discourage those folks writing outside the North American continent due to some readers not understanding the cultural differences and making allowances for them. I am sure some of our authors get quite a few complaints on word usage and spelling that is not American English even when the author is not American.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Grant

@Ernest Bywater

However, I've noticed that the popularity of my US based stories is the same as my Australia based stories - so I don't think the location of the story makes much difference.

What makes the difference (IMHO) is how plausible the story is; and if you write about what you know & where you know, then you should be able to make it very plausible.

Crumbly Writer

@anim8ed

I am sure some of our authors get quite a few complaints on word usage and spelling that is not American English even when the author is not American.

We've had a lot or comments on it here, on the SOL forum, which hasn't been up for very long. But I'm not sure that's the major discouragement, since you see more foreign stories (in foreign languages) on ASSTR. I suspect foreign authors notice the heavy U.S. influence and simply assume that stories won't be well-received unless they're about Americans. Then again, there are also a LOT more stories about black, Hispanic and gay characters on ASSTR than there is on SOL.

Who knows, maybe it's the login/membership requirement?

Grant, that was my point all along. I'd personally prefer if writers set their fantasy stories into their own cultural contexts, as it gives them a different feel and uniqueness, than trying to write the same story everyone else is.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@Crumbly Writer

But I'm not sure that's the major discouragement, since you see more foreign stories (in foreign languages) on ASSTR.


Given that SOL is Canadian based and the vast bulk of the audience is in the US, Canada, the UK and Australia I am pretty sure non-English stories wouldn't get much audience here.

Combine an author who is ESL (English as second language) and not a fluent writer with all the negative grammar, spelling, and typo comments native English speaking authors get and that is a bigger discouragement than you think.

"Then again, there are also a LOT more stories about black, Hispanic and gay characters on ASSTR than there is on SOL."

On the complex category search form I removed all of the racial codes and the result was 32524 stories with no racial coding at all. Are you sure that aren't more stories involve minority characters than you think?

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Dominions Son

On the complex category search form I removed all of the racial codes and the result was 32524 stories with no racial coding at all. Are you sure that aren't more stories involve minority characters than you think?

Stories coded as racial refer to interracial kinks, not the ethnicity of the characters or the author. There are also a few (very few) authors writing in foreign languages on ASSTR (I've only counted two, but there may be more). I've also read a few black, Hispanic and Asian authors (judging by content and perspective, not by names, though there are a few photos on some stories). Again, not many, but the site just seems more receptive to 'outsiders' (probably because there's no scoring on the site to dissuade newbies). They also publish more 'squick' (unpopular) stories.

But the main reason why they'd receive more alternate stories, is that the submissions aren't vetted or edited. A story written by a Pakistani might only be read by the author's friends, so he'd feel freer to post it.

Replies:   tppm
tppm

@Crumbly Writer

There's at least one foreign language site hosted by ASSTR (Histories_Fr) (French stories). And I think there are also Spanish, German, and Dutch stories, that I've noticed.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@tppm

There's at least one foreign language site hosted by ASSTR (Histories_Fr) (French stories). And I think there are also Spanish, German, and Dutch stories, that I've noticed.

Thanks for the update. I believe we should encourage story creation, whether in English or any other language.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@Crumbly Writer

I believe we should encourage story creation, whether in English or any other language.


I agree, but to really do that you need to attract readers that can read those other languages.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@Dominions Son

I agree, but to really do that you need to attract readers that can read those other languages.


Well, being Canadian, maybe Lazeez should consider a French Language corner to woo the people in Quebec and France and other French language countries. French is the official language of 29 countries and also the main or second language of a bunch more without being the official language. Best estimates are at over half a billion people who speak French as their native or first language, that's a hell of a potential client pool.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer
Updated:

@Ernest Bywater

Best estimates are at over half a billion people who speak French as their native or first language, that's a hell of a potential client pool.


The problem is, without volunteer authors, it's all for naught. ASSTR got lucky. They didn't seek foreign authors, someone just started posting in other languages. Their setup, where someone can post whatever they want in html, allowed it. The same could happen here, but with a smaller base, it's less likely to.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@Crumbly Writer

I know of a couple of English as a Second Language authors who post at SOL have French as their first language and a few English speakers who have French as their second language. Lazeez has a clear statement he wants English only at this point. I suspect that's due to legal ramifications if he can't moderate the stories. But it may be worth his time to consider adding a French Corner, get a French speaking moderator, and changing the warning to only English and French for the stories. There could be other issue in having to duplicate the site in French so they can understand the site pages, or just leave them in English and include a warning about that. His call as to how much work he wants to put into it.

Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)

@Ernest Bywater

To support other languages, the site's engine must be able to display everything in that language. I'm working on making the site's engine multi-lingual.

With SOL's engine code base size, this is a huge endeavour.

But at some point, other languages will become very possible.

Once a french version is available, other languages will be possible too. I speak and read french, so handling french submission will be simple for me.

But other languages pose a challenge as I don't speak anything else (with latin characters).

I would be very simple for me to allow other languages on the site, but the experience for the potential readers of those languages would be sub-optimal and I don't like to do a half assed job usually.

Ernest Bywater

@Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)

Thanks for the information. I knew it had to be a technical problem, but not wasn't sure what or how big. I hope you can sort it out without too much trouble and pick up another million or so paying subscribers.

Even if all you end up with is the site in multiple languages but the stories are left in the language the author submits them in, with a notation as to the language, would be a huge advance. I also think that would be the best way to go - over the years I've seen automated translation systems make some major goofs.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@Ernest Bywater

I also think that would be the best way to go - over the years I've seen automated translation systems make some major goofs.


It can be quite amusing to drop something on a translation engine like Babble-fish or Google translate and then translate it several times back and forth between two languages.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@Dominions Son

It can be quite amusing to drop something on a translation engine like Babble-fish or Google translate and then translate it several times back and forth between two languages.


No, that's just evil.

Switch Blayde

@Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)

But at some point, other languages will become very possible.


Lazeez, be aware, if you don't understand the language you won't know what the author is saying. For example, the story could violate your age restriction and you wouldn't even know it if the age is spelled out.

Crumbly Writer

@Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)

I don't like to do a half assed job usually.

Ha-ha! You save those for special occasions!

But seriously, I think it makes sense. Even if there's not a large French market, it helps establish that the site is open to anyone, and that it's accessible by ALL authors & readers.

I would also echo Ernest's sentiment, that you should NOT attempt to translate foreign language stories. Many authors are now struggling to do just that, themselves. But if you can add the foreign languages, I'd let them stand--possible with a warning that they haven't been vetted and asking for readers to report rule violations.

Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer


I would also echo Ernest's sentiment, that you should NOT attempt to translate foreign language stories.


My wife is a professional translator and I'm fully aware of the folly of using automated tools to translate anything unless you're looking to create comedy bits.

No, I won't attempt any works translation. When it's ready, I'll just open the site for submissions in other languages.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)

When it's ready, I'll just open the site for submissions in other languages.

Given the few number of foreign language stories on ASSTR, I wouldn't expect a lot of stories, but I like the idea of opening the site up to a world-side market. I know, based on Google Analytics, that we get readers from all over the globe. I've love to see those readers start to utilize and use the site more.

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