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View Full Version : Erotica lengths-what the norm?



kristin724
08-08-2006, 07:38 AM
Hey gang. :hooray:

So I'm trying my hand at this little SF erotica ditty. I'm 50 typed pages in and its just over 10k. With those numbers and what I have handwritten so far, I figured on it being 25 k tops. Is this an acceptable lentgh for erotic science fiction?? :e2bummed: It's definately on the short end for mainstream sf- more like 125 k for those.

What also concerns me is it took the first 50 pages to get to the first serious naughty, and it's a dream sequence. There's a lot of sex talk and the two first nude encounters before that, but the last 10 pages are a strip poker game with nothing left to the imagination. :e2kissy:

So, am I on the right track here? Are the numbers up to snuff and is the kink worth the wait?

:whip:

Love ya!
Kristin

Lee_OC
08-08-2006, 08:59 AM
Hi Kristin, I think it depends on the publisher. With some epublishers, 20,000 words and over might be a novella. With others, it might be a stand-alone short story. You just need to figure it out what kind of market would be right for your story, and research potential publishers.

As for the kink factor...well, everyone has a different preference. Some readers want the slow build-up, and some want it down and dirty. Just write it the way you want.

Marlys
08-08-2006, 03:32 PM
Oh...from the title of the post, I thought you were talking inches.

I agree with Lee. This won't do for a book, but some e-pubs take novellas, or you could try for an anthology. And I remember EC telling someone that they don't mind a later payoff, as long as there's sexual tension early on--but yeah, that probably varies by publisher.

Good luck with it!

JanDarby
08-08-2006, 07:22 PM
Depends on what market you're aiming for. If it's a NY publisher, you'll need to have a longer book, probably in the 80K to 100K range, unless you've got several shorter works that add up to that total and can present it as an anthology.

If you're aiming for an epub, there are quite a few that accept novellas, either alone or as an anthology. Check out Veinglory's new site comparing epubs (although it's still a work in progress) for some ideas.

As to the sexual content, one good way to write a story is with a gradual build-up, as Marlys said, and there's no real rule about "you have to have the characters engaging in sex by page 25 and again on page 37." And a dream/fantasy sequence is perfectly legit as a way to edge nearer and nearer the actual sex.

But, the real key, if you haven't done it already, is to check out the potential markets, read a few of the bestselling books, and then see where your story fits. There isn't really an overall norm, but you'll probably find a norm within each publisher or across a handful of similar publishers.

JD

veinglory
08-08-2006, 08:09 PM
It sounds like a good e-pub length but tricky fror print as it is too short to stand alone and too long for most anthologies. E-pubs go for a range when it comes to sex scenes too but most do prefer early and often.

Gillhoughly
08-09-2006, 01:10 AM
(In a Captain Kirk Voice)

Must not-make...naughty comments-on...thread-TITLE! GAAAH!

:eek:

Okay, normal again. It was a near thing, though.

As said above, check the markets and write however many words they want.

It's not too hard--er, ah--difficult to master--uhhh--arrange a piece--of work to the right length--uhhh--word count! It just takes practice. Lots of practice. On your own. In a quiet place with no distractions...

kristin724
08-09-2006, 02:32 AM
Egats I must have had naughty on the brain when I wrote the title! Sorry for the tease guys, but thanks for the info.

I have a few pub websites bookmarked. I was going for e-publishing with this one. I have a two major serious storylines I pulled out from the book, because, well I wanted it to be 60/40 kinky, but hey, if it's a popular ebook, I can always go back and add those in for print perhaps.

The plot thickens!

James Buchanan
08-09-2006, 06:35 AM
As long as they're not "crass" let the puns fly.

JulesJones
08-09-2006, 09:04 AM
Lots of epubs will take that length (ooh er, missus).

As for shag early, shag often, I know Loose Id will accept books where nookie does not happen until half way in, because a couple of mine are like that. On the other hand, I was already one of their established writers by then, and the books do make up for lost time once the nookie does start. (Anyone who's got a copy of one of the Buildup books -- go and check where the nookie starts. :-)

Popeyesays
08-09-2006, 09:33 AM
(In a Captain Kirk Voice)

Must not-make...naughty comments-on...thread-TITLE! GAAAH!

:eek:

Okay, normal again. It was a near thing, though.

As said above, check the markets and write however many words they want.

It's not too hard--er, ah--difficult to master--uhhh--arrange a piece--of work to the right length--uhhh--word count! It just takes practice. Lots of practice. On your own. In a quiet place with no distractions...

Maybe it's not so much the length but how thick the story is?

Regards,
Scott

Lee_OC
08-09-2006, 10:26 AM
Maybe it's not so much the length but how thick the story is?


Great point!

*inappropriate giggle*

LilaDubois
08-09-2006, 09:20 PM
Maybe it's not so much the length but how thick the story is?

Regards,
Scott

*snicker*

brainstorm77
09-03-2006, 04:11 PM
Ellora's Cave have specific word counts posted on their submission section.

brainstorm77
09-03-2006, 04:12 PM
Maybe it's not so much the length but how thick the story is?

Regards,
Scott


Good one!!!

persiphone_hellecat
09-05-2006, 09:37 AM
It sounds like a good e-pub length but tricky fror print as it is too short to stand alone and too long for most anthologies. E-pubs go for a range when it comes to sex scenes too but most do prefer early and often.

Early and often seems to be the e pub thing. For obvious reasons I suppose. Once a reader wrote me a lengthy nasty letter telling me to cut out all the prelims and just get to the good parts. Sometimes I don't want to even envison the average e-erotica reader... and maybe it's not how thick the story is either, but the motion...

kristin724
09-06-2006, 05:56 AM
Now that I'm nearing the end of my naughty tale, I'm getting a weird feeling. If-or should I say when- it sells, I was thinking about a sequel. A hot and heavy marriage couple separated on the planets or something. However, I've also begun to think about another kinky story-this time a medievel tale. Then again I have at least 3 other projects going on so I doubt either would happen any time soon!