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Progressing from one off short stories to novellas. Options · View
Guest
Posted: Wednesday, June 26, 2013 11:39:29 AM

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Joined: 12/1/2006
Posts: 535,086
Hi all,

Quick question ...

I have written quite a lot of short stories, and some have progressed to having extra 'chapters' and ended up to more like novella length.

However, although I have read some examples, I am looking for some advice on making this step.

A critical thing is that when you put together lots of short stories, there is erotic content in every chapter as they were written independently. However, as a novella, is this frequency also the case? Or should it be more strategic and less frequent.

Advice appreciated!

SDIMDM
kahiltna7200
Posted: Friday, June 28, 2013 9:16:39 PM

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Joined: 6/14/2013
Posts: 9
Location: Alaska, United States
SDIMDM

First off, let me say that I have very limited experience so take my advice with a grain of salt. My thinking is that each chapter does not have to have a heavy sex scene. Of course there should be some erotic overtones but this can be in the form of the characters fantasizing or thinking about an erotic experience. The characters worrying about a future event also adds suspense. I think it's best if a chapter ends leaving the reader wondering about what is going to happen next. For me, having a written story outline keeps me on track. The outline does not necessarily have to be in chapters. Sometimes when writing it becomes obvious when it is a good time to break for a new chapter. Hope this helps.
Kahiltna
Guest
Posted: Saturday, June 29, 2013 1:47:57 AM

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Joined: 12/1/2006
Posts: 535,086
Yes, makes perfect sense! Thank you for taking the time to respond! SDIMDM
MasterJonathan
Posted: Saturday, June 29, 2013 4:11:32 AM

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Joined: 3/6/2013
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Location: God's Deep Freezer, United States
Having just written the last chapter of my latest novel/novella I can tell you that it took four chapters before My two main characters had sex! This is the third or fourth story I have written that contained more than two chapters and it is by far the longest - 14 chapters in all (some of which have yet to be put up)!

One thing I have learned though and you may want to keep in mind, is to give each chapter a few days before publishing the next. I heard somewhere that the optimum time between parts of a story is 5-8 days. This gives your readers a chance to read the last chapter before the next one comes out and keeps them from getting too overwhelmed.

Metilda
Posted: Saturday, June 29, 2013 8:27:01 AM

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Hmm - have you read erotica novellas/novels? What did you see that's different - and did you like that difference?

When I read an erotica novella or novel I want to get more involved with the characters. I have read some that are just focused on sex, though - much less the relationship. (still good - just a lot more sex - and these are classified as 'erotica for men' at Ellora's Cave). But I really sometimes want to get to know a character - especially the men, I like to get to know my guys. It adds an extra level of appeal to the story/sex/relationship because I don't just want to *read about them having sex* - I'm rooting for them to *live happily ever after* or *solve their emotional issues* - or whatever other personal/relationship goal they have.

So - consider your sex scenes as being just a peak - an element - and if you add length, focus on the things that aren't there - give them more depth, a larger personal goal to achieve.

My favorite book, Restraint, is a novella by Charlotte Stein. A girl goes on vacation with her two closest friends - and one of them invites along a guy she can't stand to be around. This guy hates her, and he's rude to her all the time and for no reason. Well, when she tries to talk to him about his 'issues with her' in the hot tube - something happens, shenanigans ensue ;)

The sex that eventually happens for them isn't the main focus of the story - but it's incredibly sexy and hot because of the emotional junk they had to get through to arrive at that point.

Available as an ebook through All Romance, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iBooks, and others.
1ball
Posted: Saturday, June 29, 2013 11:11:21 AM

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I have written a few novellas here, even putting some in the category 'Novel'. My advice is not to put them in the category of Novel. It's a kiss of death that alienates lots of viewers, at least that's how it seems based on the numbers I see. Just tie the separate parts together by their titles. Don't even mention at the beginning of a chapter that it's linked to any previous chapter. Space the chapters out by a few days, as has already been mentioned. Don't expect to get many positive scores or comments on chapters that don't have sex. Don't expect all readers to read all chapters, because some just plain aren't interested in multi-installment stories.

If you don't put sex in the first chapter, you might lose viewers for the entire series. One way around this is to have a character masturbate. When I write a long one, I sometimes use a 'story arc' system where later chapters complete arc that start in earlier chapters and the final chapter becomes the terminus of previously started arcs. It doesn't have to be the terminus of all arcs. Some can fall sooner and others can be left unterminated, but it's good to tie the story begun in the first to the result of the last.

My latest story is too hot to publish. My most recent story before that is Even Stranger In Lust
DanielleX
Posted: Saturday, June 29, 2013 12:15:44 PM

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1ball wrote:
I have written a few novellas here, even putting some in the category 'Novel'. My advice is not to put them in the category of Novel. It's a kiss of death that alienates lots of viewers, at least that's how it seems based on the numbers I see. Just tie the separate parts together by their titles. Don't even mention at the beginning of a chapter that it's linked to any previous chapter. Space the chapters out by a few days, as has already been mentioned. Don't expect to get many positive scores or comments on chapters that don't have sex. Don't expect all readers to read all chapters, because some just plain aren't interested in multi-installment stories.

If you don't put sex in the first chapter, you might lose viewers for the entire series. One way around this is to have a character masturbate. When I write a long one, I sometimes use a 'story arc' system where later chapters complete arc that start in earlier chapters and the final chapter becomes the terminus of previously started arcs. It doesn't have to be the terminus of all arcs. Some can fall sooner and others can be left unterminated, but it's good to tie the story begun in the first to the result of the last.


Well, if a story is well-written, I would hope the reader has the patience to tolerate a non-sexual first chapter. However, there should be some hint, some carrot of naughtiness dangled to draw them in, make them WANT to read part two. That's my opinion anyway

Danielle xx

1ball
Posted: Saturday, June 29, 2013 12:50:45 PM

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DanielleX wrote:


Well, if a story is well-written, I would hope the reader has the patience to tolerate a non-sexual first chapter. However, there should be some hint, some carrot of naughtiness dangled to draw them in, make them WANT to read part two. That's my opinion anyway

Danielle xx


We would all hope that, but there is a wide variety of readers here. Some of us like well-written stories of complex relationships. Others like simple quick wanks. Most readers fall somewhere in between. I'm only sharing the benefit of my experience, but I think others have seen the same things. A completely non-sexual first chapter does not draw as many readers into the second as one that displays the author's ability to provide some satisfaction. If there is going to be a delay of several days between chapters, you risk losing the reader's interest in the characters because of the loss of tension that occurs as the reader forgets the details. Retaining the impression of having a more thorough enjoyment of the characters seems to delay the forgetting of the details. At least that's my best guess as to why it works.

Another possibility is that the reader is left disappointed and frustrated and doesn't like that. Some readers don't mind the postponement of gratification and some do. The quality of the writing influences some to accept the postponement, but some just won't.

My latest story is too hot to publish. My most recent story before that is Even Stranger In Lust
Metilda
Posted: Saturday, June 29, 2013 2:25:36 PM

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Yeah. That's the downside to lush publishing. Some people don't like a single chapter without sex even when there are sexual overtones? I'm doing more with my work than just getting people turned on - in my view.

So really. My longer and deeper pieces probably won't be published here. Those I will save for publishing houses, etc. (but that's actually not because they're a longer build. That's because that's my goal - to be published. I know I can publish short stories but that doesn't thrill me too much.)

Available as an ebook through All Romance, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iBooks, and others.
1ball
Posted: Saturday, June 29, 2013 10:41:23 PM

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I think Lush is probably a great stepping stone to commercial publishing for those who want that. I think it provides very good experience. So for that reason, writing a multi-chapter story the way you want to is worth it, even if it doesn't get the views. There are at least some people who will appreciate it.

My latest story is too hot to publish. My most recent story before that is Even Stranger In Lust
DirtyMartini
Posted: Sunday, June 30, 2013 12:44:10 AM

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Metilda wrote:
That's because that's my goal - to be published. I know I can publish short stories but that doesn't thrill me too much.)


Just curious as to how you "know" you can publish short stories...I would take this to mean that you already have short stories published...

Btw, if you don't, you might want to give it a shot for a couple of reasons...for one thing, if you want to go with a major publisher someday, and get an agent, they're more likely to take on someone who already has stuff published...

The other thing would be, if you can't get shorts published, you might not find getting your novel published quite as easy as you think...just sayin'


You know you want it, you know you need it bad...get it now on Amazon.com...
Lush Erotica, an Anthology of Award Winning Sex Stories

Metilda
Posted: Sunday, June 30, 2013 11:00:53 AM

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DirtyMartini wrote:


Just curious as to how you "know" you can publish short stories...I would take this to mean that you already have short stories published...

Btw, if you don't, you might want to give it a shot for a couple of reasons...for one thing, if you want to go with a major publisher someday, and get an agent, they're more likely to take on someone who already has stuff published...

The other thing would be, if you can't get shorts published, you might not find getting your novel published quite as easy as you think...just sayin'


Oh sorry. How vague was I :) when I started writing a novel last year I researched submission requirements and basics of editing. In the effort to understand the industry I found some that have loose guideline for short story submissions for erotica. Like anthologies and collections. I only know that the length and content of a lot of lush stories is accepted for this - I've never sent in my shorts so I don't know if I'd ever be accepted. Hehe I sounded a bit conceited, didn't I :)

You make a really good point about not bein able to get larger works published if your seen as a green thumb. Maybe I should try (as should so many good storytellers on this site.)

Available as an ebook through All Romance, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iBooks, and others.
Guest
Posted: Sunday, June 30, 2013 2:04:56 PM

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Joined: 12/1/2006
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Thanks for the many responses !
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