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Use of tag in stories

Ernest Bywater

The tags an author attaches to a story is an interesting subject, especially in how some authors apply them. The site author guidelines make it clear you should tag for what goes on in the story, and not what happens off the screen.

What is also important is some of the tags only relate to sexual activity, while some relate to general activity. For example: the tags on Level of Consent clearly relate to consent to sexual activity and only relate to stories with sexual activity on the screen, while the tags on Story Type clearly have no sexual connotation of activity in their names, although they may be applied to stories with sexual activity or no sexual activity.

Now, what is not so clear is if the tags on Age / Gender are meant to relate only to sexual activity or in general to apply to all stories. Thus some authors apply them to no sex stories and some don't.

Linked in with that are the choices of the amount of sex described on screen in the story. There appears to be many interpretations of what qualifies for each of the levels of sexual activity from Minimal Sex to Much Sex.

Anyway, I started this thread to cause authors to think on their tags and how they use them, because I found a story today that is marked as Minimal Sex has 366 kb (approx 60,000 to 65,000 words) with the tags: mt/ft, Ma/ft, mt/Fa, Mult, Consensual, Reluctant, Magic, Slavery, BiSexual, Heterosexual, Science Fiction, Time Travel, Historical, Humor, Cheating, Incest, Brother, Sister, MaleDom, Spanking, Light Bond, Orgy, Polygamy/Polyamory, Interracial, White Couple, Black Female, White Male, Oriental Male, Hispanic Male, Hispanic Female, First, Safe Sex, Oral Sex, Anal Sex, Squirting, Flatulence, School - which is a damn lot of different types of action for a minimal sex story.

BTW I was searching for No sex or minimal sex stories in a particular story type. Almost all the other stories listed had only 4 to 8 tags, and most had an age and story type tag. Thus this one really stood out.

Anyway, as I said, authors, please think about the tags and tag appropriately for what happens on screen in your stories.

Dominions Son

@Ernest Bywater

I found a story today that is marked as Minimal Sex has 366 kb (approx 60,000 to 65,000 words) with the tags: mt/ft, Ma/ft, mt/Fa, Mult, Consensual, Reluctant, Magic, Slavery, BiSexual, Heterosexual, Science Fiction, Time Travel, Historical, Humor, Cheating, Incest, Brother, Sister, MaleDom, Spanking, Light Bond, Orgy, Polygamy/Polyamory, Interracial, White Couple, Black Female, White Male, Oriental Male, Hispanic Male, Hispanic Female, First, Safe Sex, Oral Sex, Anal Sex, Squirting, Flatulence, School - which is a damn lot of different types of action for a minimal sex story.


Was the story complete, in progress, or incomplete and inactive?

I ask because the story is shorter than a typical dead tree science fiction novel (average is 90K words).

It's tagged as science fiction, time travel and historical. That's a lot of scene setting for a story that's only 2/3rds typical novel length for it's genre.

Then even without considering sex, the tags describe a principle case of at least 6 people. That's a big cast for a story that size when you think about how much scene setting has to go on.

If that story is complete and actually hits all the listed tags that imply sexual activity, it should be at least much sex, if not stroke.

I will second Earnest. Think before you tag.

Ernest Bywater
Updated:

@Dominions Son


Was the story complete, in progress, or incomplete and inactive?


another post truncated - wonder why it happens. edit and try again.

it's complete and finished. I chose not to read it because I couldn't see how they got so many sex acts in and still have a worthwhile amount of plot development, and I also wondered about the claim of being minimal sex with all that action.

Switch Blayde

@Ernest Bywater

I said it before — the tags were established for sex stories. To force them into no-sex stories will only cause problems. My previous example of a no-sex story about the relationship between a troubled boy and his coach would be Ma/mt. That would mistakenly be a squick to many. There needs to be a separate set of codes for no-sex stories.

As to how much sex, that's subjective. I used to like the old definitions better between stroke and much sex. Much sex has a plot. Well, if you have a plot you'll most likely have plenty of no-sex scenes. To some, that automatically rules out much sex.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
StarFleet Carl

@Ernest Bywater

Linked in with that are the choices of the amount of sex described on screen in the story. There appears to be many interpretations of what qualifies for each of the levels of sexual activity from Minimal Sex to Much Sex.


That's a valid point. I probably need to change the main tag for my story to Some Sex. I think one of the reasons we put those tags out there is that when we're writing them, is sex the main focus of the story? In my case, no, it's not.

At the same time, I have the following tags:
Ma/Fa, Fa/Fa, Fa/ft, Consensual, Rape, Romantic, Lesbian, BiSexual, Heterosexual, Fan Fiction, High Fantasy, War, Paranormal, Vampires, Were animal, Zombies, Incest, Mother, Daughter, Group Sex, Orgy, Masturbation, Sex Toys, Nudism, Politics, Royalty, Violent

First four tags, yep, assorted people boinking. They have sex, it's fully descriptive of what they're doing, just not the main focus (thus, not a stroke story). Rape - I inlcude that it's not show, but it's there because of how Molag Bal made the Daughters of Coldharbour in the first place.

Next four, just the kinds of love there are. The rest of the codes that aren't related to sex, it's a Skyrim fan fiction, so ... those things all apply.

And then the other stuff, it's just descriptive of some of the things that HAVE happened. As the main character matures through the story, she quits being the slut and becomes quite committed to her wives only. I was more concerned with making sure the descriptors of the actions that have happened or would happen were in there than in the amount of sex actually in the story.

I know it's a long read at this point, but I'd like your honest opinion. Based upon what you've said in this, I think I probably ought to make it Some Sex, though.

Replies:   REP  Ernest Bywater
REP

When I first started posting stories here, I coded a story as No Sex because there was no sexual activity between my story's characters. However, I did mention an offscreen sex encounter a character had with an unnamed party and only provided a few details. I couldn't find any sexual activity codes appropriate for the offscreen sex. I asked Lazeez about that and learned that:

1. When you select No Sex, the tags for sexual activity are not displayed.

2. In the Author Agreement it says - "Anything that happens offscreen shouldn't be coded for." I missed the significance of that comment the first time I read the Agreement.

I agree with all of you about the excessive number of tags in a story. We went that route in another thread, but it's worth repeating. Note: One observation to those who caution against this practice is that most of the Authors who are guilty of excessive tags probably do not participate in the Forum. So for the most part, we are preaching to the choir.

REP

@StarFleet Carl

That's a valid point. I probably need to change the main tag for my story to Some Sex.


I agree that it is difficult to determine the best Sex Content rating to apply.

My opinion of The Tag and Sex Content Definitions document's definitions is the definitions use terms that are highly subjective; an observation not a complaint. I have tried to come up with a less subjective way to quantify the level of sexual content and it is difficult to do. The only thing I could think of is to determine a ratio or percentage of sexual activity versus non-sexual activity. The two main problems with doing that are: 1) How to do it in a relatively simple manner, and 2) the method will only work on stories that are completed before the Author starts posting. Which basically puts me back to where we are. So unless someone has a good idea of how to quantify the amount of sex in a story, we will have to rely on our best guess as to the proper level of sexual content.

Dominions Son

@REP

I agree with all of you about the excessive number of tags in a story.


One should not set a specific limit as to what constitutes an excessive number of tags.

Rather the number of tags on a story should be judged in light of several factors.

1. Some tags are complementary of each other while some are not. A significant number of complementary tags could apply to a single relatively short scene.

2. overall length of the story. A longer story will support more non-complementary tags than a shorter story. I am particularly wary of multiple level of consent tags on short stories.

3. Multiple genre/story type tags. Fusions are possible but some combinations would be very difficult to pull off, particularly in a short story.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Ernest Bywater

@Switch Blayde

the tags were established for sex stories. To force them into no-sex stories will only cause problems.


Switch, what you say is true for the initial set of tags, but the system has evolved a hell of a lot since then, and now includes many tags and other identifiers which have nothing to do with sex. Now there are 3 types of identifies which includes 14 groups of tags of 179 tags, with over 50 tags that have nothing to do with sexual activity, and a few that can go either way. 5 levels of sexual content from no sex to stroke. 25 genres of which only 4 require sexual activity. Thus there's plenty of scope for no sex stories with a lot more detail available for the sex stories.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Ernest Bywater

@StarFleet Carl

I think I probably ought to make it Some Sex, though.


I think of it as a sliding scale of percentages based on the number of words in sex scenes as a percentage of the whole story. A rough idea would be (mind you it's not fixed as I keep forgetting the numbers)

75% plus -Stroke
50 to 75% - Much Sex
25 to 50% - Some Sex
1 to 25% - Minimal Sex
0% - No Sex

So a 100,000 word story with 20,000 words in sex scenes would be Minimal sex - that's the total amount of words used in the scenes; i.e. what would be lost if all the sex scenes were removed from the story.

Replies:   Lumpy  REP  StarFleet Carl
Ernest Bywater

@REP

One observation to those who caution against this practice is that most of the Authors who are guilty of excessive tags probably do not participate in the Forum. So for the most part, we are preaching to the choir.


True, but there are many authors who don't participate in the forum threads, while they do read them.

Replies:   REP
Lumpy

@Ernest Bywater

Those numbers do seem really far off.

That seems like a lot for "minimal". I'd call anything more than 10% not minimal...

And if half of a 100k word story was sex scenes, I'd call it a stroke story.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@Lumpy

Those numbers do seem really far off.


I'm prepared to give others some leeway. Mind you, most of mys stories are no sex with the bulk of the rest being in the much sex category, because I seem to have either none or a lot in the stories.

sunkuwan

"Six times a day" only has a "much sex" rating and it has sex scenes in practically every paragraph. While other stories also have the much sex rating and have only one sex scene in a chapter.

The sex amount rating is subjective from the Author.
personally I would classify it with the amount of sex scenes in a chapter and not the word count.
Someone who writes a story with 10.000 words and only has 500 words of those in regards to sex, could theoretically tag it as "much sex" if the Author does not describe the sex and just writes "they had sex" several times over the course of the story.

Replies:   Lumpy
Lumpy

@sunkuwan

I think the amount of sex to qualify has to actually describe sex. If a story only said "they had sex", I think it might even qualify as no sex.

I have a story coming up where characters have sex, but the scene "fades to black" just before the action starts and picks up just after, so, like with prime time television, you don't 'see' anything. I'm going to label it no sex.

Replies:   sunkuwan  Ernest Bywater
sunkuwan

@Lumpy

How do you tag the story, though? Some Authors tag sex scenes that are only spoken of and never "shown". That is probably no problem if there are other more described sex scenes (other than the readers who expect situations that are described in the tags but only get a memory or fade to black.)

Replies:   Lumpy  Ernest Bywater
Lumpy

@sunkuwan

In that stories case, I'm going to tag:

No Sex
Crime, Mystery, Violent

Replies:   sunkuwan
sunkuwan

@Lumpy

That's fine. With knowing nothing about it and those tags, I would concur that the story doesn't revolve around sex and is just fluff or character interaction to deepen the story and the world.

Ernest Bywater

@Lumpy

I think the amount of sex to qualify has to actually describe sex. If a story only said "they had sex", I think it might even qualify as no sex.


I agree, it has to be a graphic sex scene. Fine Stories has a no sex rule, but you can usually get away with saying someone had sex as long as you don't describe it.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Ernest Bywater

@sunkuwan

How do you tag the story, though? Some Authors tag sex scenes that are only spoken of and never "shown".


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

Precise coding is also important. Excessive coding is bad. If something is mentioned in the story but not described, then it shouldn't coded for. Anything that happens offscreen shouldn't be coded for. For example, if a woman gets raped, and the story doesn't contain the rape scene, only a mention that the woman was raped, then the story doesn't need the 'Rape' code.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
REP

@Ernest Bywater

while they do read them.

I classify reading posts as participation

REP

@Ernest Bywater

I think of it as a sliding scale of percentages based on the number of words in sex scenes as a percentage of the whole story.


That seems like a good scale, but difficult to use.

You select the sex content value when you start posting the story. If you start posting before you finish the story, you don't have good numbers to use in the calculation to determine percentage.

Furthermore, I may just be lazy but there is no way that I am going through my story and count the words in the sex scenes especially if it has extensive sexual content but less than a stroke story. Estimating the percentage is no better than just picking the most likely rating based on your gut feel.

StarFleet Carl

@Ernest Bywater

1 to 25% - Minimal Sex


Well, then I'll just leave it alone. Went through the first 97,918 words and ended up with just over 4,200. So that's a whopping 4%. Since right now my story is just under 400,000 words, I guess it really was minimal sex.

Also - man, those first dozen or so chapters. What's the usual thing on doing a re-write? I know I'm going to do that - in going through it again, I'm amazed anyone read it in the first place. I also noticed something I did - part way through, I changed tense, and didn't even realize it. I was writing in present tense early on (I open the door) and somewhere in the middle, I switched. (I opened the door.)

Yeah, oops.

That's DEFINITELY a re-write. The question is - stop where it is, re-write and re-post, then finish it, or finish it, let it sit while I'm re-writing it, THEN re-post. I'm thinking finish it, but again, I'm curious as to your thoughts.

AmigaClone
Updated:

@StarFleet Carl


That's DEFINITELY a re-write. The question is - stop where it is, re-write and re-post, then finish it, or finish it, let it sit while I'm re-writing it, THEN re-post. I'm thinking finish it, but again, I'm curious as to your thoughts.


I would say that if the story itself is not going to change then finish prior to starting the rewrite. On the other hand if you think you might be making major changes to the story itself and not in just how you tell it (I open the door) vs (Bart pushed Leroy into the door breaking it open) for instance, then it might be good to do the re write first.

Replies:   StarFleet Carl
Crumbly Writer

@Dominions Son

I will second Earnest. Think before you tag.

In a case of that many tags, I immediately think: 'tag, then release'! 'D

Crumbly Writer

@Dominions Son

One should not set a specific limit as to what constitutes an excessive number of tags.

Rather the number of tags on a story should be judged in light of several factors.

Rather, readers need to rate authors by their tags, as well as their stories. If authors with dozens of tags get low ratings, maybe they'll get the message and simplify the story to something relatively believable?

Tags are similar to story descriptions in that matter. If an author's story description contains multiple typos, you know not to read the story. If the story contains dozens of contradictory tags (romantic war?, romantic lesbian rape?), I'd also reject the story as an unfocused mess.

Many new authors write in a stream of consciousness method, where they try to include everything they can in a story.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

I agree, it has to be a graphic sex scene. Fine Stories has a no sex rule, but you can usually get away with saying someone had sex as long as you don't describe it.

I included a story on Fine Stories with a major theme of a romantic incest element between a brother and sister. Rather than focus on sex, I instead focused on the build-ups and after-effects.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
StarFleet Carl

@AmigaClone

I would say that if the story itself is not going to change then finish prior to starting the rewrite.


There's going to be some changes to the first few chapters. But I think I'm leaning towards what you talk about, simply because the most re-working is in the first, oh, 50,000 words or so. And with the most recent chapter that I'll post this Thursday, I'm at 400,000 words.

Yeah, I think finish it first. :)

Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

Anything that happens offscreen shouldn't be coded for. For example, if a woman gets raped, and the story doesn't contain the rape scene, only a mention that the woman was raped, then the story doesn't need the 'Rape' code.

As Ernest mentioned earlier, most tags are specifically for sex scenes. You don't include the "Oriental" tag if you have someone who's Chinese in the story, only if you're describing a particular sexual kink. The same is true for violence and rape. If it happens, but isn't described in the story, then the codes DON'T apply. Otherwise, those looking to feed their rape fetish are going to be pissed! 'D

Crumbly Writer
Updated:

@StarFleet Carl


I also noticed something I did - part way through, I changed tense, and didn't even realize it. I was writing in present tense early on (I open the door) and somewhere in the middle, I switched. (I opened the door.)

Yeah, oops.


That's not at all uncommon, especially for newbies who haven't yet identified their particular writing style. They only settle in to what suits them mid-way through a story, often 15 or 20 chapters in.

That's DEFINITELY a re-write. The question is - stop where it is, re-write and re-post, then finish it, or finish it, let it sit while I'm re-writing it, THEN re-post. I'm thinking finish it, but again, I'm curious as to your thoughts.


Just like I prefer writing the entire story out before I start revising (and then post), I'd complete the story, revise it and then rerelease it so readers know it's changed. (Just a word of warning, though, don't announce a rewrite unless the plot changes, as few readers will even noticed things like tense or style changes.)

The key is, you write while the muse is whispering in your ear. You don't stop and edit midstream, or else you'll miss your muses musings, and she'll get bored and head on to the next clown the next story over.

Dominions Son

@Ernest Bywater

Now there are 3 types of identifies which includes 14 groups of tags of


and 10 of those 14 groups are all specific to sex stories.

Sex story specific groupings
Age/Gender
Level of Consent
Sexual Orientation
Couples
Incest
BDSM Elements
Groups
Interracial Elements
Sexual Activities
Fetishes.

Groups with tags appropriate to any story:
Story Type
Science Fiction
Paranormal
Other

Dominions Son
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer


Rather, readers need to rate authors by their tags, as well as their stories.


I don't disagree with this.

If authors with dozens of tags get low ratings, maybe they'll get the message and simplify the story to something relatively believable?


An epic saga (200+K words) with with dozens of tags doesn't necessarily deserve a low score.


If the story contains dozens of contradictory tags (romantic war?, romantic lesbian rape?), I'd also reject the story as an unfocused mess.


Contradictory tags definitely indicate a problem in story design.

That said, I have to quibble with one of your examples. What's contradictory about romance and war?

Lots of romances out there set in the middle of a war.

US Army Sargent fall in love with female French Resistance fighter during WWII.

Soldier injured during a war falls in love with nurse at the military hospital.

I could go on.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Dominions Son

That said, I have to quibble with one of your examples. What's contradictory about romance and war?

There's no problem is the story premise clearly explains it, but otherwise, the tags just reveal a lack of focus by the author, where the author is just trying to check off every single sexual kink he can think of, rather than sticking to an underlying plot which unifies the various story elements.

Tags are like a story description, they reveal both what's in the story, and how well written the story is.

Ernest Bywater

@REP

You select the sex content value when you start posting the story. If you start posting before you finish the story, you don't have good numbers to use in the calculation to determine percentage.

Furthermore, I may just be lazy but there is no way that I am going through my story and count the words in the sex scenes especially if it has extensive sexual content but less than a stroke story. Estimating the percentage is no better than just picking the most likely rating based on your gut feel.


you don't have to count the words, and it doesn't have to be exact. However, when you read a story right through you can get a good idea of how much the sex scenes make up the story to be close enough to make a decision.

The thing is to either finish the story before you post, or to decide how much sex will be in the story before you start writing it.

Ernest Bywater

@StarFleet Carl

That's DEFINITELY a re-write. The question is - stop where it is, re-write and re-post, then finish it, or finish it, let it sit while I'm re-writing it, THEN re-post. I'm thinking finish it, but again, I'm curious as to your thoughts.


Only once have I done a rewrite on a story in mid-post, and that was because I took over a story at the other author's request. I rewrote what was there, and then continued the story from that point.

My preference is to finish a story before I post it, so i can be sure of what to say in the story description.

Replies:   StarFleet Carl
Ernest Bywater

@Crumbly Writer

Rather than focus on sex, I instead focused on the build-ups and after-effects.


Which is a romance without the graphic sex scenes, and thus no sex. Well, that's my view if there are no graphic sex scenes.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
StarFleet Carl

@Ernest Bywater

My preference is to finish a story before I post it, so i can be sure of what to say in the story description.


Yep, we've had this discussion over in the author's forum. Probably (almost certainly) for the second story I write to post on here, I'll end up doing that. I truly had no idea what I was letting myself in for when I started this thing.

Replies:   Lumpy  Crumbly Writer
Lumpy

@StarFleet Carl

I made the same mistake on my first story, writing before finishing and not having my story even outlined fully. I think it's the classic first time writers mistake.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
docholladay

@REP

You select the sex content value when you start posting the story.


I would hope there would be a method for the writer to change that setting at least after finishing the story.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@docholladay

I would hope there would be a method for the writer to change that setting at least after finishing the story.


at any time the author can change any of the codes and other identifiers related to the story, the capability is part of the author stats page.

Replies:   docholladay
docholladay

@Ernest Bywater

at any time the author can change any of the codes and other identifiers related to the story, the capability is part of the author stats page.


Well a possible solution for writers who post as they write instead of after a story is complete. Would be to make those adjustments a part of uploading new chapters. Of course that would require a little more work during the upload process. With a final adjustment being made upon completion of the story.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@docholladay

Well a possible solution for writers who post as they write instead of after a story is complete. Would be to make those adjustments a part of uploading new chapters.


Doc, That has one downfall - if they don't give an indication at the start something is coming down the pipeline and then they include something that squicks someone, then all hell breaks loose.

The lowest score I've ever given was for a story that did not code for torture and extreme bdsm, so when it turned up after 20 plus chapters I dumped the story, scored it low, and marked that author as to never read again. If he'd coded right in the first place I would never have started the story, but his choice of not coding those items means I have no trust in what he writes. Last I checked that story wasn't properly coded yet, but that was several months ago.

Replies:   docholladay
docholladay

@Ernest Bywater

Doc, That has one downfall - if they don't give an indication at the start something is coming down the pipeline and then they include something that squicks someone, then all hell breaks loose.


That is true when the writer knows those things will be included or at least plans on their inclusion. But I have noticed from both the forums but also some stories that are posted as written. That sometimes those planned plot items change because of the characters and the story itself.

Yes include any major squicks that are planned for, but be ready to change those tags if the story takes a different path. A little note in the description saying codes are subject to change. Should cover most of the potential changes. Heck one or more of the planned squicks for example could potentially become one of those off screen (background) events instead.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@docholladay

A little note in the description saying codes are subject to change. Should cover most of the potential changes.


Some authors do that, but it simply shows they don't want to tell you up front or they don't really know what's going to happen - either means a bad situation for a reader.

robberhands

I wasn't sure how to tag the amount of sex in my story, and I'm still not. According to Ernest's percent list my story is probably low within the "Some Sex", much closer to "Minimal Sex", than to "Much Sex". I tagged it "Much sex" and never got any complaints. I even asked in my blog if should change to "Some Sex". Guess what, no one answered my question. So, as I said, I am not sure how to tag correctly, but don't care about it anymore.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater  REP
Ernest Bywater

@robberhands

Ernest's percent list


Those are just my rough estimates I recommend as a guide - there is no exact figure or measure I can find on SoL.

The thing is, many readers don't bother reading stories they think will be overloaded with sex scenes, so you need to get as close as you can to encourage readers.

robberhands

@Ernest Bywater

I'll definitely avoid the "Overloaded With Sex Scenes" tag, that would be bad advertisement. On the other hand I try to avoid puritan readers as well and they should avoid my story, they would not enjoy it.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
REP

@robberhands

I wasn't sure how to tag the amount of sex in my story, and I'm still not.


Ernest's approach using percentages is good, but personally, I tend to have difficulty implementing that in a non-subjective manner.

I am considering a different and less subjective method that can be used by those who complete their story before posting and by those who do a detailed outline of the story if they start posting before they complete the writing.

I am thinking of counting the number of sexual encounters during the sex scenes in a story and dividing that by the number of chapters to determine level of sexual content. That should be relatively easy to do. By sexual encounter I mean two people engaged in sexual intercourse from start to finish of a specific scene. If the scene involves more than two people, then I would consider sexual activity between each pair of people during the period to be a separate encounter even if they are all together in one bed.

For example, a threesome where each person engages in sexual activity with the other two parties would count as 3 encounters. For a foursome, that could be up to 6 encounters.

Each of us can assign a value for Average Encounters per Chapter. The story length (i.e., word count) would also enter into the value used but I haven't addressed that yet. I'm thinking of something like the following based on a short to medium story length:

Average Encounters per Chapter:
1. Stroke Story – 5 or more
2. Much Sex – 3 or more and less than 5
3. Some Sex – 1 or more and less than 3
4. Minimal Sex – greater than 0 and less than 1
5. No Sex – 0

robberhands

@REP

I have a different problem with those tags. There is no tag to indicate in which style a story displays sex. It has to be descriptive to warrant sex tags, but that doesn't mean a lot. Descriptions of sex scenes can vary from hazy romantic to obscenely detailed. When I read "Minimal" or "Some Sex" I expect the former, and when I read "Much sex" or "Stroke" I rather expect the latter.

Ernest Bywater

@REP

Average Encounters per Chapter:


That would depend on how long you set for a chapter. My chapters, as posted on SoL, average between 8,000 to 12,000 words while most of what I see by other authors varies anywhere from about 500 words to 5,000 words per chapter. 5 sex encounters in 10,000 words isn't that high, while 1 per 500 words is is.

Replies:   REP
richardshagrin

Tag: The Game — A Universe from the Mind of Rachael Ross.

There are a dozen stories with the word "tag" in the title. Ten of them have "much sex". One has no sex and one is a "stroke story".

Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

Which is a romance without the graphic sex scenes, and thus no sex. Well, that's my view if there are no graphic sex scenes.

Granted, but given the limitations of FineStories, that's how you incorporate sex into the story, you deal openly with the sexual relationship, but hide the actual sex acts. There's no reason adult stories can't be posted to FS, it just takes a little more finesse.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Crumbly Writer

@StarFleet Carl

Yep, we've had this discussion over in the author's forum. Probably (almost certainly) for the second story I write to post on here, I'll end up doing that. I truly had no idea what I was letting myself in for when I started this thing.

Those of us who finish before we post are definitely in the minority here. Most, especially newbie authors, want to start posting immediately to see what the public perception of the story is.

Crumbly Writer

@Lumpy

I made the same mistake on my first story, writing before finishing and not having my story even outlined fully. I think it's the classic first time writers mistake.

You don't need a story fully outlined, but you should have the story arc set in your mind, otherwise the story is likely to wander, drifting without a final destination in mind. Stories need a steady movement from beginning to end. Knowing where you're heading is what keeps the story on track. Knowing how the story ends also allows you to cut the useless crap in the story.

Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

The thing is, many readers don't bother reading stories they think will be overloaded with sex scenes, so you need to get as close as you can to encourage readers.

Not to mention, those expecting "much sex" will bail quickly if there isn't sex in virtually every single chapter. Accurate coding is essential, though I'd be cautious about Ernest's word count index. I'd instead base it on chapter count, how many chapters include sex and how many don't.

Crumbly Writer

@robberhands

I'll definitely avoid the "Overloaded With Sex Scenes" tag, that would be bad advertisement. On the other hand I try to avoid puritan readers as well and they should avoid my story, they would not enjoy it.

I you have a basic plot (other than 'MC fucks everyone he meets') then "Some Sex" may be your best (safest) option.

Replies:   robberhands
Crumbly Writer

@REP

For example, a threesome where each person engages in sexual activity with the other two parties would count as 3 encounters. For a foursome, that could be up to 6 encounters.

You're overthinking it. A sexual encounter is a sexual encounter, regardless of the number of participants.

I'd go with the number of chapters with any sexual encounter.
1. Stroke Story - 80 to 90%
2. Much Sex - 60 to 80%
3. Some Sex - 25 to 60%
4. Minimal Sex - Somewhere between one and three sex scenes in the entire story.

Dominions Son

@Crumbly Writer

There's no reason adult stories can't be posted to FS, it just takes a little more finesse.


A PG-13 romance is not an adult story.

Replies:   Lumpy  Crumbly Writer
REP

@Ernest Bywater

That would depend on how long you set for a chapter.


Yes that would be a way to work in the word count I mentioned.

Lumpy

@Dominions Son

romance is not an adult story


You however can turn an adult story (well, some adult stories) into PG-13 stories, if there is enough non-sex plot available to work with.

robberhands

@Crumbly Writer

It might be a report or it might be porn, but if you read something without a plot, it's not a story. The tags attached to a story generate expectations beyond word counts or the number of sex scenes. When I see the "Much sex" tag I expect the sex is plenty but more than that. I expect the sex to be a driving force behind the motivation of the characters acting in the story, not just a pleasurable secondary effect because people are in love, get payed for it or for whatever reason there is. If you skip the sex scenes of such a story it is useless to read it, because the story ceases to make any sense without them. In most of the story I have read with the "Minimal Sex" or "Some Sex" tags you can skip the sex scenes and read on without a problem. That's the main reason why I kept the "Much Sex" tag. That and because no one complaint about it.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Dominions Son

A PG-13 romance is not an adult story.

Adult stories don't require explicit sex acts. What they do require are adult themes, addressed somewhat believably. That's what I was getting at. You can address issues like rape, abuse and violence without showing it happening on the page. Instead, you focus on the build-up and the aftermath.

It won't be the same story you post on SOL, but it can still stand on it's own legs. It just takes a bit more planning than most are willing to expend.

Crumbly Writer

@robberhands

It might be a report or it might be porn, but if you read something without a plot, it's not a story. The tags attached to a story generate expectations beyond word counts or the number of sex scenes. When I see the "Much sex" tag I expect the sex is plenty but more than that. I expect the sex to be a driving force behind the motivation of the characters acting in the story, not just a pleasurable secondary effect because people are in love, get payed for it or for whatever reason there is. If you skip the sex scenes of such a story it is useless to read it, because the story ceases to make any sense without them. In most of the story I have read with the "Minimal Sex" or "Some Sex" tags you can skip the sex scenes and read on without a problem. That's the main reason why I kept the "Much Sex" tag. That and because no one complaint about it.

Whoa, whoa! Where is this coming from? Are you still talking about tags, or my comments about dealing with adult situations in stories posted to FineStories?

Obviously, no one is going to post a Much Sex story on FineStories. My only comment about the tags is that I wouldn't follow Ernest's strict word-count guideline, instead focusing on how much explicit sex is in each chapter. Even if the characters are doing other things (plot related) if they're engaging in sex with all new partners every single chapter, then that's still likely to be a "Much Sex" story.

Replies:   robberhands
docholladay

Tags should be used wisely. If a lot of the level plus the sub-level tags are used. Wouldn't it be simpler to just use the main tag instead of the majority if not all of the rest of that sub-grouping. The main tag includes all the sub-levels I would think.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@docholladay

Tags should be used wisely. If a lot of the level plus the sub-level tags are used. Wouldn't it be simpler to just use the main tag instead of the majority if not all of the rest of that sub-grouping. The main tag includes all the sub-levels I would think.

How about adding a new tag 'everything imaginable', that way, rather than listing 30 separate tags, you could simply list one that announces that 'anything goes' and the story is a race to include every squick they can identify?

I feel that happens in many incest stories. When I read those stories, I want to feel the uniqueness, about how the people are outside of the social norm, but often the stories degrade into 'everyone is doing it with everyone in their families and we're only now catching on to what was obvious to everyone else all this time'. It takes away the entire appeal of the genre for me. If something isn't forbidden, then why dwell on it?

Replies:   docholladay
docholladay

@Crumbly Writer

How about adding a new tag 'everything imaginable', that way, rather than listing 30 separate tags, you could simply list one that announces that 'anything goes' and the story is a race to include every squick they can identify?


The point is to use the minimum number of tags possible. Taking the incest group for one example. If its just brother and sister for example the incest tag isn't really needed since that is definitely implied using the brother and sister tags. Use the incest tag when the number of relationships take up almost the entire sub group for the category, instead of listing each individual relationship.

I am sure there are other groupings where it might be worth listing both the major tag and the squirk tags in that sub group which have a history of bad reactions.

Like I said use the tags wisely, too many hurt just as much as using the wrong tags at times. So to some extent its a judgement call on the writer's part.

robberhands

@Crumbly Writer

Whoa, whoa! Where is this coming from? Are you still talking about tags, or my comments about dealing with adult situations in stories posted to FineStories?


Whoa, whoa?
Not exactly sure what you were trying to express. Did I scare you? That wasn't my intention. I also don't know anything about your comments on FineStories. I simply replied to your last statement. Obviously I failed to pass my view on the 'sex amount' tags. Never mind, it's really not important.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@robberhands

Not exactly sure what you were trying to express. Did I scare you? That wasn't my intention. I also don't know anything about your comments on FineStories.

I was just caught off guard, as you seemed to be coming after me for making the same point you were.

I wasn't trying to shut you up, just hoping to get additional information.

awnlee jawking

@docholladay

If its just brother and sister for example the incest tag isn't really needed since that is definitely implied using the brother and sister tags. Use the incest tag when the number of relationships take up almost the entire sub group for the category, instead of listing each individual relationship.


Wouldn't that compromise searches using the 'incest' tag?

AJ

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@awnlee jawking

Wouldn't that compromise searches using the 'incest' tag?

As an alternative (related to my earlier suggestion) we could start a new "family" tag, which designates stories featuring 'family incest', so authors wouldn't have to list each individual act of incest.

It would be similar to the 'harem' tag, signally a serial incestuous relationship where the MC targets one family member after another in a seemingly endless progression.

Replies:   REP
REP

@Crumbly Writer

we could start a new "family" tag


Doesn't incest mean with "family" members? The additional tags only define the relationship of the people involved in the incestuous relationship to aid the reader in determining if the incestuous relationship is what they are interested in. Example: a reader could by interested in brother-sister sex, but find mother-son relationships objectionable.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@REP

Doesn't incest mean with "family" members?

Duh! Of course, but that wasn't the objective. I was suggesting it as an alternative to listing twelve separate "incest" codes to stipulate "every conceivable incest code in a single story".

The entire discussion here isn't what defines incest, but rather how to control the inaccurate overuse of inappropriate tags. Listing six or eight tags to flag the same type of story seems excessive, when a single tag doing the same seems to make sense.

If you want to be proper then make the tag "family incest", which means the protagonist has sex with everyone in the family, rather than listing each individual variation, one after another. That's like listing each individual sex act in a 100 chapter story. If there's that much sex, then simply list it as "Much Sex" or "Stroke" instead of telling us what's found in every single chapter.

Replies:   REP
REP
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer


. I was suggesting it as an alternative to listing twelve separate "incest" codes to stipulate "every conceivable incest code in a single story


If you missed it, "incest" is one of the selections.

@Lazeez

In the suggestions I sent you, ignore deleting the options like 'incest' that I mentioned.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@REP

If you missed it, "incest" is one of the selections.

I don't know what's up, but today you seem to keep coming in late to the conversation and stating the obvious without regard to what's already been posted.

I was responding to a post suggesting that authors use the tag "Incest" rather than listing each individual incest offense, but someone objected that someone searching for "incest" stories might miss stories which didn't use that tag. Thus I suggested an alternate catch-all tag, rather than the already used "incest".

But like most of my posts you've jumped on today, it wasn't a serious post, as I never believed any of these offerings would be accepted by most readers. Instead, I was simply posting them as alternatives to determine whether there's any pressing need which needs addressing. After all, if no one is going to use the existing tags correctly, then why post more to only confuse the already overwhelmed posters?

Sidebar, my old Angie Dickenson/Rachael Welch were definitely overwhelmed posters, as I used to stare at them all the time! 'D

Replies:   REP
Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)

@docholladay

If its just brother and sister for example the incest tag isn't really needed since that is definitely implied using the brother and sister tags.


Catch all tags like 'incest' and 'interracial' might seem redundant, but they are very useful in excluding whole categories of stuff easily.

Some people are interested only in bro/sis incest while others only want father/daughter incest, in this case the incest tag isn't exactly useful. But for those who want any incest, it's better than using the individual tags and use the 'OR' operator instead of the default 'AND'.

And anybody who objects to any kind of incest can exclude one tag and be done with it.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)

And anybody who objects to any kind of incest can exclude one tag and be done with it.

Is that automatic, meaning, if the author doesn't include the generic incest tag (as has been suggested here) that wouldn't work, right (meaning the "incest" tag is required as long as any incest takes place in the story.

Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)

@Crumbly Writer

Is that automatic, meaning, if the author doesn't include the generic incest tag (as has been suggested here) that wouldn't work, right (meaning the "incest" tag is required as long as any incest takes place in the story.


For now, no. If the author doesn't include the 'incest' tag along with any of the incest sub-genres, then blanket exclusion doesn't work. I may change something to enforce the 'incest' tag whenever an author adds any of the other incest tags.

REP

@Crumbly Writer

but today you seem to keep coming in late to the conversation and stating the obvious without regard to what's already been posted.


Like you, I'm not on the Form constantly. I have other things to do. Like you, I respond to the posts as I read them. If subsequent posts address the issues then I'm not aware of it until I get to the post, and lately there have been a large number of posts in some threads.

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