Literwhatica?

c: | f: /

Lovers of erotic fiction should look the other way unless some serious changes are made to the current leader of the pack.

The Internet. Gotta love its randomness. While researching a potential love scene for a screenplay I stumbled upon Literotica.com. As its name suggests it’s a site for wannabe writers to showcase their talents at writing erotic fiction.

Or not, as it appears is the case.

Being a journalistic wordsmith type I felt it my duty to hang around a while, lurking, to get a feel for the place and see if there were any useful ideas I could pilfer. Well, that and one or two of the stories were pretty good :-) But that soon passed for reasons I shall divulge for the vaguely interested.

Firstly, the site is atrocious in terms of its layout and navigation. Why put contextual links in place, when you can litter good old “click heres” like digital confetti? It’s also near impossible to find stuff because the search is awful, stories are badly tagged, and new stories are very quickly buried.

Secondly, despite editors being on-hand and 100% moderation being the norm, there is a surprising quantity of badly written, poorly executed, mis-spelled, utter dross on the site. I appreciate that there are all sorts of folk out there, but just because it’s erotic doesn’t mean you can forego simple things like character motivation and plot (unless that’s your point, in which case it’s fine). Synopses like “Girl comes home to find brother sniffing her previous day’s panties, is outraged, but has anal sex with him anyway because she always thought he was hot” are common, it seems. Suspension of belief only goes so far.

Compounding this it appears that the moderators and admins who approve each and every story are an elitist bunch of artsy types. If the story is about a tortured soul trying to find love in a lonely city who meets an amputee and (eventually) has sex with them, before the hero eats their own arm off as a sign of reciprocal affection, your story gets an Editor’s Choice. But regular stories — even well written ones — don’t get the time of day and disappear quickly.

Finally, the comments. Like every site on the Internet it is inhabited by trolls and illiterate morons — although thankfully far fewer than on IMDB — who will bash a predominantly Erotic coupling story because it has an anal scene which means it should be in the Anal category. Like, who cares? Did you enjoy the story or not? If not, offer constructive criticism or shut up.

There are also people who’ll read a story, add it to their favourites, post a positive comment, and when another story by the same author crops up that isn’t to their taste (or the character does something they don’t agree with), they’ll unfavourite the original story. It’s all just petty nonsense.

The upshot is that, sadly, for such a potentially useful source of fiction to while away the winter hours, visitors to the site have to wade through a confusing interface, piles of crappily written prose, constant elitism and morose juvenility to find the odd gem. If you can put up with all that, you’re better than me.

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