Author Topic: Story length. What is your opinion?  (Read 390 times)

Offline Tigerstretch

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Story length. What is your opinion?
« on: March 15, 2021, 11:44:48 PM »
It is not a secret. The attention span of the regular human being is getting short and shorter. The books are smaller and smaller, replaced by even shorter eBooks. We binge our TV shows over a day or two, if we don't we lose interest. People tweet their life inside a few words, and our opinions are constructed based on short news articles or Facebook posts.

Faster pussy cat! Everything must be faster, or else the human being will disengage and go hunt for the next novelty.

What about readers? I'm posting stories on different platforms which allows me to see what other authors are doing, and since I like my own work, I am sometimes puzzled by what other writers are doing. I'm ignorant, and I'd like to learn.

Generally, my stories are over 7000 words, and I like writing some 20k+ chapters (that I learned to cut in different parts if I wanted people to read them) ... but yes, 7k to 10k is what I like the most. I learned to appreciate 4k stories like Animal Café because it cuts my work by half, but I consider those very short.

That said, I see many other writers that seem to be very popular, and they write 1k to 2k stories, and even micro ones of 500 words. This is not a contest between me and them, but it got me curious. So my real questions would be...

What story size do you prefer and why? Do you find stories are getting shorter? Do you find that very short stories are less good due to the lack of room to insert the necessary elements to construct a storyline?
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Offline Eido

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Re: Story length. What is your opinion?
« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2021, 03:04:23 AM »
I don't read enough to gauge the trends in story length. At the minimum, stories need to be long enough to be engaging and arousing, I think. That metric is probably not very helpful since I'm sure that's a different time for everyone , but I believe some buildup is necessary.

Personally, I like 4000 words or more, or chapters of around that length. I like long multi-chapter stories, once I get into a good one. On the other hand, I find it difficult to commit to a reading project.

I routinely go much longer in my own writing. Word counts around 7000 seem to be the short end of my writing spectrum.


Offline dpgsm

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Re: Story length. What is your opinion?
« Reply #2 on: March 16, 2021, 05:47:03 AM »
I like shorter,
Get right to the chase stories
Most of the ones I wrote, were less than 3000 words.

My only one was my first 4100 words
By the time it came to end it
I was running out of ideas.
I like the shorter one!!
After all how many times can you write the same theme over and over again ??
« Last Edit: March 16, 2021, 05:53:27 AM by dpgsm »

Offline icy

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Re: Story length. What is your opinion?
« Reply #3 on: March 16, 2021, 08:20:12 AM »
I like the longer, more detailed stories. If a story is less than 5 pages (in a standard text editor with standard font size) I normally don't bother to read it, because it's over before you even can project your thoughts into it. But of course sometimes there are exeptions to that - as in every rule. :D

Offline John Galt

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Re: Story length. What is your opinion?
« Reply #4 on: March 16, 2021, 01:30:55 PM »
This is a good question worthy of a reply.

As time progress and the brainwashing of America settles in the attention span of the public grows shorter.

So I went back to my archived list of my favorite stories by others dealing with metal bodies and chastity attire. (collected over 15 years) Most of the stories I've archived are between 27 to 35 kilobytes in MS Word. If in a text format -best for a uploading- they would be about 25% less .

I do read a lot. I have read about 40% of the stories in this forum (some of topic heading hold no interest for me) so the subject matter also plays part in the length. Simple stories about chastity and sex all have a sameness to them so I loose interest very quickly.

I guess I should do something about being so verbose when I write.

I do like longer stories if they rich in description with sub or coexisting plots without getting entangled in complexity. What are the ARBG (All Round Bad Guy/Gals doing and why while the ARGG (All Round Good Guys/Gals) are going about their exemplary lives? I like action and well written.

John R Starvele (I use John Galt usually for political commentary)
« Last Edit: March 16, 2021, 08:16:42 PM by John Galt »

Offline jakbird

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Re: Story length. What is your opinion?
« Reply #5 on: March 18, 2021, 01:59:06 AM »
Story length is one of those "how high is up?" type questions.  I link the quality of the content to preferred size.  If the plot catches my attention, if there IS a plot, and it's well-written then novel length gives me all the more time to enjoy and appreciate the author's work.  Short stories don't have the space to develop characters or advance a plot beyond an introduction, so either there has to be a clever theme or the reliance on stereotypes to save the word count is handled in some unique way.

I prefer novelette or novel length because it gives the author time to fill in the background, the equivalent of "art direction" in movies.  Think of a classic movie, the Depression era bank robber pull up to the bank in the dusty Midwest town...and gets out of his brand new 2021 Porsche.  The car is incidental to the plot, but essential to the movie as a whole.  Same for writing, the characters and the setting are painted in the mind's eye first, before the plot is advanced by what happens in that painting.

I draw my inspiration from old time radio dramas.  Like stories the media is limited.  When a character has to open a door the sound effects man inserts the actual sound.  Perception becomes reality.  The mind of the listener hears the familiar creak and draws a mental picture of an old wooden door.  Everyone sees a different door but that's just background, incidental to what comes next.  Same for words, those extra paragraphs add in the creaky door to give the reader the hints needed to visualize what's happening, to be an active participant right there beside the characters.

So yeah, give me 50K words instead of 500 any day.  Would the original John Galt be anywhere near as memorable if Atlas had Shrugged in a handful of pages instead of a thousand?
  Jack Peacock

Offline Rubberh

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Re: Story length. What is your opinion?
« Reply #6 on: March 18, 2021, 11:53:02 AM »
I remember my 8th grade English class where we were assigned to write a 500 word essay connected to a Herman Melville short story. I wrote what I considered a pretty good paper. However it was short 20 words. Would those additional 20 words have made the story better of worse? In the end if I had done like several in my class and carefully counted the words, I would have had reached my goal but would have added nothing essential to what I was trying to tell the reader. I have written stories of various lengths. My style is what I feel conveys the essential parts of the story. Going back on some, I could have added more and taken out a few things. The questions you should ask are: Am I happy with the work and do I believe the readers will understand what I am writing? 

Offline dpgsm

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Re: Story length. What is your opinion?
« Reply #7 on: April 03, 2021, 03:42:52 AM »
here to prove a point
a short story

Ashley wakes up
what's that odor I smell ??
I feel so drowsy,
Oh well time to get up
She tries to move but realizes she can't.
What the hell, what is this,
I'm naked and tied up so tight.
Ashley could see ropes around her chest above and below. her wrists were tied behind her back her ankles, knees ( above and below), and thighs were wrapped with several bands of rope.
What happened?
How did I get his way?
Where's is Wanda? Is she tied up too?
Ashley calls out for help, Wanda?
Wanda enters the room.
Ashley what are you screaming about.
Wanda, help me. I have been tied up.
I know, I tied you up.
What, Why. because you wanted to see what it would feel like.
It is one of your fantasies.
How did you know about it?
Silly girl, we had a bit too much wine last night.
That's when you asked me to tie you up.
OK funny. so let me lose?
No. now that I have you I'm going to show you how much fun we can have.
No!! You cant, I'm not a lesbian
That doesn't matter.
That's why I went to get more rope.
I didn't think you would wake up before the chloroform wore off and  I finished tying you up.
So that's what I smelled.
Now I'm going to finish the job.
Wanda grabs a long piece of rope.
Ashley, I hope you are flexible.
Wanda wraps the rope around Ashley's elbows 4 times pulling it tighter with each turn until her elbows touched.
Ashley screams that too tight let me lose.
I'm not done yet, next I will put you in a tight hogtie.
Wanda wraps the rope from Ashley's ankles to her wrists, pulling all the slack out.
When she was done Poor Ashley was in a wrist to ankle no gap bowed hogtie,
Please!! Wanda stop, I don't want this.
Nonsense this exactly what you wanted
How did you learn to do this?
My older sisters did this to me all the time.
When my parents went out, to keep me out of their way, so they can have their boyfriends over to play.
Wanda please it is so tight !!
I know, that how my sisters left me too.
Now things to do.
But first, you are making too much noise.
Wanda takes two long silk scarfs and balls them up.
OK, Open your mouth.
No, I won't as Ashley clamps her mouth shut.
Silly girl, you can't stop me.
Wanda pinches her nipple until she screams then she stuffs the scarfs into her mouth.
Now let us see another scarf or tape
Wanda chose tape and wraps the tape around her mouth and head four times
There that should keep you quiet until I get back from shopping.
Ashley, I'm off to the adult store, there are a lot of toys to buy.
We will have a lot of fun when I get back
Poor Ashley tightly Bound and Gagged in a tight hogtie waiting for Wanda to get back
What more could a girl ask for.
A fantasy come true

Short, fun and to the point.

Offline Tigerstretch

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Re: Story length. What is your opinion?
« Reply #8 on: April 03, 2021, 05:58:25 AM »
here to prove a point
a short story

Short, fun and to the point.

There  is all kind of readers out there I suppose. I would never be able to read a story crafted like this. When I read something, the text needs to convey emotions, which is absent when you have a text only using tell instead of show. "I cry." Is uninteresting. "A tear rolled down my cheek as a ball of emotion grew inside my chest." Is already much more palatable. I would personally not give a chance to a 500 words story unless it's related to a bigger story and I already possess the background context.
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Offline dpgsm

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Re: Story length. What is your opinion?
« Reply #9 on: April 04, 2021, 01:04:58 AM »
 But what's the point of endless chapters of the same thing,
 a story starts,  the premise to it, brief character intro. a set up to the peril
what happens to her. conclusion of the story. wrap up.

so Ashley wakes up groggy
Ashley can't believe what happened to her
Wanda tells her why
Wanda torments her more
Ashley enjoys it and she wants more
a Happy ending
short, fun to read, and to the point
Of course, you could add many chapters to it,
But readers tend to lose track with so many chapters I do.
So to each his/her own
Just keep writing, more !!

Offline taurired

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Re: Story length. What is your opinion?
« Reply #10 on: April 04, 2021, 08:38:57 AM »
maximum possible size if there's story in it
(not PWP).
Yes, this usually means that story will be published in parts here or on Patreon (or else).

Offline teanndaorsa

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Re: Story length. What is your opinion?
« Reply #11 on: April 04, 2021, 09:20:46 AM »
To build on a discussion I had with an author concerned about pacing...

A typical arc I'd say might consist of :
  • Opener: setting the scene, introducing characters, motivations, hinting at what's to come
  • Committing: protagonist discovers something they can't ignore, but steps over the metaphorical threshold, commits to exploring / interacting with the main theme
  • Core: all of the setup is out of the way, they're in the thick of the action, and it's all about their thoughts, feelings, and what's happening to them
  • Deeper: immediate follow up to the core of the story, but more intense; they're no longer just playing, the protagonist isn't sure that they can make it through this intact
  • Conclusion: they faced the full intensity of the action, and now have a chance to breathe again. Time to wrap up, or setup for the follow-up story

Sometimes really long multi-chapter stories get stuck in a place where they've delivered the core section of the story, but want to continue, chapter after chapter, with either more of the same, or enter into arms-race territory, where it's more intense, more complicated, more people, chapter after chapter, with no rest. But to tell a good story you've got to feel the cadence of your writing and know when to pile on, and when to ease off. You can carry on for a quite a while if you go through cycles of open/commit/core/deeper/conclude/core/deeper/conclude/etc. as long as it doesn't repeat itself and moves somewhere different with each core section. It's a real skill to know when to stop, that you've mined out the characters and setting, or teased on the plot for as long as is credible, and to write another chapter would make the story as a whole worse.

This might all seem like I'm in favour of longer stories, and I suppose broadly I am, if written well. But written well is the key part, not the length. It's perfectly possible to deliver all of the above sections in a 500-1000 word story. Less, if you're artful and good at the craft. You have to play on the readers' common understanding with you, imply a lot, and choose only those words that convey the maximum amount of understanding, but it's possible. What it is not, is a perfunctory description of personal attributes, and then to launch straight into the action.

Bella was a 26 year old girl, and her 44-26-44 body had massive tits. She was into bondage and went to a party.

At the party was a domme, all dressed in rubber with a whip. She grabbed Bella and strapped her to the cross. Then they...

<snip 20 paragraphs of wank material that describe in graphic detail all the bodily fluids, bondage and whipping, but somehow never describes how Bella feels about what's happening beyond "she was so wet from all this lesbian stuff">

...and then she sold her off as a slave!

That's not really a story. It's a description of some stuff that happened. It might be kinky, but it's not a story. It has characters and a setting, just, but no real conflict or resolution, and only the thinnest of plots. There's a tonne of material and opinions out there on what constitutes a story, but even at its most basic, it requires more than the above, or most readers will simply skim over it and then leave, disappointed.

Offline dpgsm

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Re: Story length. What is your opinion?
« Reply #12 on: April 04, 2021, 08:34:56 PM »
Hello T,
 I disagree with that premise
 Anything can be considered a story
 An idea, event in one's life. A situation or even gossip
 Once it is repeated back or printed it becomes a story.
 The length does not matter nor does it need to be filled with a lot of info in it
 I really like short and to the point stories and less than 3000 words or less
 Also, I guess that most readers of bondage and Damsel in distress stories
 Have built-in knowledge of what's to come
 This may be wrong on my part ??
 I really like leaving that part to the individual's imagination to interpret.
 I never had any trouble understanding what the writer is saying.
 So no matter what short or long, vague or crystal clear 
 Just keep writing for the enjoyment of others and yourself.
 In your own style that makes you comfortable to write.
 Most of the readers will figure it out
 Good topic !!

« Last Edit: April 04, 2021, 08:37:27 PM by dpgsm »


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