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A couple more random fellow author queries - unfinished stories and "targeting" story codes

wandrer

A couple of other questions for all of you helpful folks as I moves stuff here from ASSTR:

1. I have (for years) had a bunch of unfinished stories on ASSTR - some of which I keep intending to get back to eventually, but some that realistically I'm unlikely to finish. What is the feeling about posting those vs not posting those here? Some of them have been pretty popular with my fans though I haven't gotten around to continuing them. Is it considered bad form over here to have longtime unfinished stories?

Speaking of fans...

2. My stuff tends to be in a weird little niche - and I've generally found that while they aren't a lot of peoples' cups of tea, for a certain subset of readers they seem to hit a sweet spot that is generally hard to find (so I have some very loyal readers - yay and thanks loyal readers!). This is borne out by my votes so far which tend to skew to the ends - I'll get a couple 1s/2s and then a bunch of 8/9/10s. Any tips on how to warn people "this stuff is a little weird, you may not like it unless you really like it"? I've tried doing categories and some stuff in the notes, but am curious if there are better tricks...

Joe Long

@wandrer

Yes, I'm speaking of someone who has one current story that's been three years in the making and have yet to see the end...

If you have a catalog, I would prioritize them as such
1) finished stories
2) stories you honestly believe you might finish
3) stories you doubt you'll finish

Start posting them here in that general order. Release a new chapter every week to grow a fan base. The lower down the list a story is, especially those you honestly don't think you'll finish, I'd only recommend posting if they had proven to be quite popular.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
Ernest Bywater

We already have a lot of incomplete and inactive stories, so go ahead and post them. I do recommend you consider converting them to HTML prior to posting, and within the guidelines in the links below, while the last is an attempt to bring the actual allowed HTML coding together in one spot.

http://storiesonline.net/author/posting_guidelines.php

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

http://storiesonline.net/doc/Text_Formatting_Information_Guide

http://storiesonline.net/article/Text-formatting-guide-for-WLPC-Sites

Replies:   red61544
Joe Long
Updated:

@wandrer


2. My stuff tends to be in a weird little niche...Any tips on how to warn people "this stuff is a little weird, you may not like it unless you really like it"?


I'd just say 'be honest.' Write a blog telling what your style and niche is. Put a content advisory at the beginning of the story. We can then dive in or move on based on our own tastes without being misinformed.

awnlee jawking

@Joe Long

For the unfinished stories, consider also the content when prioritising their posting. IMO it's not so urgent to complete episodic and stroke stories, whereas unfinished stories with a strong story arc will annoy readers.

AJ

red61544

@Ernest Bywater

so go ahead and post them

I have to disagree with you, Ernest. When a new story is posted, many readers check to see if the author normally completes his stories. If there are too many stories marked "incomplete and inactive", most readers are reluctant to start reading a new story until the entire thing is completed. I'd suggest you keep your stories that have not been completed separate from your story site and post them if you complete them.

Ross at Play

@wandrer

I'll get a couple 1s/2s and then a bunch of 8/9/10s.

I have an unfinished story with my weird sense of humour. I have actually thought if I ever finish and post it my wish would be to break the site's record for the highest standard deviation of its scores: meaning I would consider both high and low scores successes, but anything in the middle a failure for not generating a strong reaction either way. Your stories may set a tough target for it to beat. :-)

If a story is unlikely to ever be finished then warn readers in ALLCAPS in both the story description and again before the start of Chapter 1. Your loyal readers will appreciate a bit more you, but they must be warned.

The trolls are a sad fact for some writers here. Only about 3% of all scores are between 1 and 3, but they are concentrated among stories with particular codes. You can only trust that readers who find your codes appealing will know your scores reflect a higher quality story than those with comparable scores but mainstream codes.

Ross at Play

@red61544

I'd suggest you keep your stories that have not been completed separate from your story site and post them if you complete them.

Alternatively, he could create a second pen name, and SCREAM at readers these stories are unlikely to ever be finished.

Ernest Bywater

@red61544

I have to disagree with you, Ernest.


Which is your right, as it's the right of an author to post and incomplete story. Mind you, if they have an incomplete story they have no intention of posting, I'd expect them to say that in the story description - but I can't make them.

Replies:   robberhands
robberhands

@Ernest Bywater

it's the right of an author to post an incomplete story

Since my all time favorite story on SoL is an incomplete story, I have to strongly agree with you. I think it's a tragedy it probably will never be completed, but it would be a far greater tragedy for me if I never could have read what's there of it.

Replies:   Joe Long
Joe Long

@robberhands

Since my all time favorite story on SoL is an incomplete story, I have to strongly agree with you. I think it's a tragedy it probably will never be completed, but it would be a far greater tragedy for me if I never could have read what's there of it.


That's fine and I'm sure many feel the same way.

I'd only ask that if that story is being moved to a new site but nothing else has changed, simply say up front, "This story is incomplete and may never be completed, but many have enjoyed it so far."

Replies:   robberhands
robberhands

@Joe Long

I'd only ask that if that story is being moved to a new site but nothing else has changed, simply say up front, "This story is incomplete and may never be completed, but many have enjoyed it so far."

Agreed.

Crumbly Writer

The main point is to not surprise readers with content they have no desire to read. Thus I'd clearly label any "squick" content (watersports, mm, etc.), and always be sure to label your codes adaquately (difficult to do on Sci-fi and FS where there aren't as many codes). Many get in trouble when they decide to 'surprise' readers by not realizing squicks for fear of providing spoilers. Readers tend to score those stories VERY low!

As others have noted, incomplete stories often haunt authors, as readers will typically avoid you altogether if you've got a large collection of incomplete stories.

If you post both complete and incomplete stories, then clearly post and completed stories and being "finished" in the story description. Otherwise, you may want to decide on a case by case basis with the others. As many have noted, if they're straight porn/stroke stories, readers may not care. The same is true with short stories. You can get away with a lot in a short story without 'ending' it, simply closing it at a decisive point.

wandrer

First - you guys rock. The author community in just the first few days here has been so amazing, thoughtful, and helpful I am just blown away. Thank you for all your comments.

The division on yes/no on incomplete is interesting - I like the suggestion of maybe a separate pen name for incomplete stuff from @rossatplay. My stuff I tend to file under "much sex" because I have a *little* more story than what I would consider a "stroke story"...but probably not much. :) @jplong - that is a great suggestion, and basically the approach I've been following. Also - I did do this as my first blog post so I sort of hope that fits the bill? https://storiesonline.net/ablog/wandrer

@crumblywriter - yeah, I'm trying REALLY hard to nail every weird thing in the categories, and put stuff in the description (though there's always that fine line between spoilers and warning...), so I guess I'm doing all I can.

Thanks again for all the thoughts everyone.

Joe Long

@wandrer

I'm trying REALLY hard to nail every weird thing in the categories, and put stuff in the description (though there's always that fine line between spoilers and warning...), so I guess I'm doing all I can.


Yes, your descriptions look a little off the beaten path. I'll give one a try.

For myself - I'm a ephebophile with a soft spot for incest who tries to write stories that are as natural and plausible as possible.

Ernest Bywater

@wandrer

I'm trying REALLY hard to nail every weird thing in the categories, and put stuff in the description (though there's always that fine line between spoilers and warning...), so I guess I'm doing all I can.


keep in mind a lot of the categories only relate to sex stories when you get around to writing a no sex story. Also, all the codes only relate to what happens on stage - what you describe in detail. If the only mention of rape is a character saying they were raped as a teen, then it doesn't need the rape code, but if they go on to have a flashback with the event happening, then it needs the rape code.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@Ernest Bywater

all the codes only relate to what happens on stage

A good point to clarify for an author coming here from elsewhere.
The same on-stage requirement applies to the restriction that all characters involved in sexual activities - including salacious conduct - must be 14 or more years old.
However, for the latter there are potential legal ramifications for the site manager if you get something wrong. If you are in any doubts about that then always ask the webmaster, Lazeez.
If you think us authors are really helpful, you're going to love Lazeez when realise how much he does to make this site a pleasure for authors and readers to use.

Replies:   Joe Long
Joe Long

@Ross at Play

The same on-stage requirement applies to the restriction that all characters involved in sexual activities - including salacious conduct - must be 14 or more years old.


In a later part of my book that I have not yet written, a mother discovers that her new husband has been having relations with (sexually abusing) her under-14 daughter.

There's no description of this activity more detailed than the distraught mother being quoted as saying something like, "I found them with his cock in her mouth" or "I walked in to find him between her legs." Does this pass muster?

robberhands

@Joe Long

Does this pass muster?

At least I hope it does, otherwise 'non-descriptive' would be a very slippery slope through a very narrow canyon, leading to a very steep cliff.

Replies:   Joe Long
Ross at Play

@Joe Long

Does this pass muster?

I am virtually sure it does, but Lazeez will never object to being asked, and it will be some part on his anatomy on the line.

Joe Long

@robberhands

a very slippery slope


If we slip on that slope why is it said to be slippery instead of slippy?

Replies:   robberhands
robberhands

@Joe Long

If we slip on that slope why is it said to be slippery instead of slippy?

Don't ask me, I plead innocent, it's an English phrase, that's your native language, not mine. Well, I guess it is, if not, I still don't feel responsible for it.

Replies:   Joe Long  Crumbly Writer
Joe Long

@robberhands

People from these parts get mocked by the rest for saying 'slippy.'

Replies:   robberhands
robberhands

@Joe Long

People from these parts get mocked by the rest for saying 'slippy.'

I see, so in your parts the slope is slippy, rather than slippery. I learn something new every day. Now I only need to know, where those parts are located.

Replies:   Joe Long
Joe Long

@robberhands

I'm in western Pennsylvania, near Pittsburgh, where our dialect is a strange blend of German, Scottish and eastern European heritages.

Crumbly Writer

@wandrer

I like the suggestion of maybe a separate pen name for incomplete stuff from @rossatplay. My stuff I tend to file under "much sex" because I have a *little* more story than what I would consider a "stroke story"...but probably not much.

That's the great thing about alternate pen names. If you later write a 'serious' piece, it won't leave your loyal porn followers scratching their heads, and the more serious readers will likely take it more seriously. By the same train of thought, if I were to write a stroke story (like one I'd once planned to write about a forced-incestuous rape), I could post under a pseudonym so no one would be 'disappointed' it wasn't a 'serious' piece of fiction.

This is actually becoming popular in publishing as well. Several of us (not naming names) have published under multiple names (say when Switch decided to write a romance story, and used a female pseudonym because no romance publisher would even consider a piece submitted by a man). In fact, many authors will create an entirely new website to promote an entry into a few field (genre) so it won't impact their current fans but build an entirely new following. Then, once they have a comfortable following in both fields, they'll 'leak' the news that the two pseudonyms are the same person, so the two groups will rush to buy their other books as well (known, affectionately, as 'double-dipping' among your fans).

crumblywriter - yeah, I'm trying REALLY hard to nail every weird thing in the categories, and put stuff in the description (though there's always that fine line between spoilers and warning...), so I guess I'm doing all I can.

The important thing to remember, is a major use of tags are squicks, things that certain readers will avoid at ALL costs. Thus things like "mm", "watersports", "humiliation" and "incest" will keep the wrong people from accidentally reading your stories, while also making them easy to find for those who enjoy them.

Crumbly Writer

@Joe Long

There's no description of this activity more detailed than the distraught mother being quoted as saying something like, "I found them with his cock in her mouth" or "I walked in to find him between her legs." Does this pass muster?

It should, but again, much of the distinction is not including anything that will generate protests. But the law specifically references 'descriptions of physical actions'. Thus providing specific descriptions that someone (anyone) might take a perverse pleasure in is taboo.

Replies:   Joe Long
Crumbly Writer

@robberhands

If we slip on that slope why is it said to be slippery instead of slippy?

Don't ask me, I plead innocent, it's an English phrase, that's your native language, not mine.

I don't believe that "slippy" is an actual word, while "slippery" is. 'D

Joe Long

@Crumbly Writer

I don't believe that "slippy" is an actual word


A pox on you, I say!

Joe Long
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer


Thus providing specific descriptions that someone (anyone) might take a perverse pleasure in is taboo.


"I found him...they were..." She broke down and cried. "How could that bastard to that to me and her?"

richardshagrin

There are a number of on-line definitions of slippy. It is a word, and means "slippery".

awnlee jawking

@Joe Long

A pox on you, I say!


Belongs in the 'Curses' thread! :)

AJ

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
robberhands
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer


I don't believe that "slippy" is an actual word, while "slippery" is. 'D


Slippy is listed as an adjective in my online dictionary (i.e the dictionary I use the most).

Adjective: slippy

Meaning: flink, flott, schnell

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@robberhands

Slippy is listed as an adjective in my online dictionary

dictionary.com says this about the origins of 'slippery':

1525-35; alteration of slipper; compare Low German slipperig

I guess we're all going the blame the Germans, again.

awnlee jawking

@Crumbly Writer

I don't believe that "slippy" is an actual word


I believe it's a pottery term meaning 'covered in slip' :)

AJ

robberhands

@Ross at Play

I guess we're all going to blame the Germans, again.

Sounds fair.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@robberhands

'Slippy' is Volkswagen's low-emission cheat-mode version of 'slippery'. :)

AJ

Crumbly Writer

@Joe Long

I don't believe that "slippy" is an actual word

A pox on you, I say!

When I hear "slippy", I immediately check to see whether I dropped my sippy cup. 'D

Crumbly Writer

@awnlee jawking

A pox on you, I say!

Belongs in the 'Curses' thread! :)

And a pox on your Curses thread too! 'D

Crumbly Writer

@Ross at Play

I guess we're all going the blame the Germans, again.

Slippy's a damn Nazi plot! 'D (I guess the entire discussion can end now that someone's dumped the dreaded "N" word.)

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