stories

Censorship and Formatting Your Smut

Welcome fellow perverts, today I want to pontificate about two completely different topics, Censorship, and Formatting.

I recently wrote a blog post about what I saw as a change in Amazon’s censorship standards. You can read the post that started this brouhaha by clicking this link.

I published a story, Idle Hands, about two bored housewives who decide to take care of their problems without having to wait for their husbands to come home. Idle Hands is a HEA explicit erotic story but was written to skirt Amazon’s censor and be published with a “Safe” rating.

Previously, Amazon would rank stories as “Adult” if they violated one of their rules or often even suggested a taboo topic but properly done most porn would receive a “Safe” rating. To say that I was upset about Idle Hands being ranked Adult was an understatement.

This prompted me to get down on my knees and beg for forgiveness while Sister Amazon rapped my knuckles with her ruler. Amazon over the course of several emails told me that the story would show up in their regular searches for people who had indicated that adult material was okay.

I breathed a sigh of relief and told my Frenchie that Daddy will be able to buy your dog food and you can stop chewing up my shoes. But my tale of woe doesn’t end there.

To my knowledge, the only way to find your stories content rank is to use SalesRankExpress which will return Adult, Safe, or Unknown as the content ranking, beyond actually searching for it.

Using the program kept telling me that my story was ranked Adult and not Safe as promised. After several emails where I was promised that the story was included in searches, I started testing Amazon. I used different logons to check and see if Idle Hands showed up in searches and it did, even though ranked “Adult.”

Belinda replied that she couldn’t see the story in her searches from down under and as one of the people that I highly respect their competence in computers and the English language, I tried searching the Australia Amazon site and could find my story when she didn’t see it.

I even tried using Chrome’s incognito window and it showed up. Using my VPN, I logged into an Australian server with the same result. So now, I’m even more confused than normal.

I still think that Amazon has changed their system to rate smut as Adult yet allow the story to show up in normal searches but am still not 100% convinced.

I have no idea why she can’t find my stories and know that she certainly should as my smut doesn’t stink. LOL

Stay tuned to this bat channel for updates…!

 

Formatting Your Story

 

Continuing from my previous post On Writing, I want to delve into some of the individual parts of a typical eStory. Keep in mind that my recommendations are only that. Feel free to modify or use settings you prefer and reject anything I say. If you follow my advice, your story should meet the basic publishing requirements of the major publishers and can be a starting point for your literary masterpieces.

Many of us have a fear of the unknown, and your first story is no different, but we’ll take this one step at a time. The hard part is writing the story, getting your thoughts down on paper, and that’s where you need to focus. If you get bogged down, Google for help and you’d be surprised that other people have the same problems that you do.

First, make sure you download a copy of SmashWord’s Style Guide. You will likely have to create an account at SmashWords but do it anyway as they will be one of your best outlets for your stories. What I have found is that for the typical eStory such as Kindle or ePub, the same format works for all publishers that I use.

The typical electronic story contains only text except for the cover image. Personally, I include cover images and a blurb in the Back-Matter section of other stories that the reader may be interested in.

When reading the SmashWords Style Guide, don’t get bogged down in areas that don’t apply to your story. In truth, you could probably take the 100+ page style guide and cut it down to 10 pages or less.

If you refer to my previous post, I outlined the sections of a typical story, and if you need to refer to it, I’d suggest opening a new tab on your browser so that you can flip back and forth as needed. The link to the previous post, On Writing, is here. Below I’m going to run through the typical story and highlight any things to keep in mind.

Cover Image – I recommend 1600 pixels wide x 2400 pixels high at 300 DPI (dots per inch). Amazon recommends a slightly different size, but this one works well and can be easily resized to 200×300 for ads or insertions into blog posts.

Front Matter – The Title Page, Copyright, and Table of Contents (TOC) goes here. Use the Style Guide for an example of the text to include. Remember to never include another publishers name or link in your document, or it will be rejected. If there is any doubt, search the document for “SmashWords” if you are submitting to Amazon and vice versa. My previous post has suggestions on storing sections of the story in folders to keep everything separate. Make sure that you include a statement on the Title page that all characters are 18 years of age or older.

Body – Your story goes here. I typically use two styles, Normal and Heading 1.

Heading 1 is for chapter heads. I normally use Times New Roman, 14-point, centered, and bold. Select a page break before and 12-point spacing after the paragraph. I use a first line indent of 0.01 inches to keep Amazon from auto-indenting which will make the chapter head off center, but it’s not enough to visually show up.

Normal – Format your paragraphs of text as a Normal style. I recommend 12-point Times New Roman, first line indent 0.3 inches, 1.15 line spacing, and 6 points space after the paragraph. You can use another font but keep in mind that you have no control over what device your reader uses and if you use a font that is not available on the device, it may not display properly. For your first story, don’t get fancy and stick to the basics.

Back-Matter – This section includes “About the Author” and advertising for your other stories. You can link to your website but Do Not link to another publisher. I create a Back-Matter document for each publisher and then tack those on the body of the story as required.

In closing, read other people’s smut for ideas. Always remember that besides wanking off, reading another author’s story will provide help on how you want your finished product to look. Look at each section of the author’s story to see how he/she formats the section.

I believe in consistency, and if your story’s structure remains basically the same across your stories, then it’s easier to spot mistakes and ensure that it flows properly.

Keep reading your story as you work on it. I carry a laptop with me at all times or a tablet and use cloud storage, such as DropBox, to keep your manuscript updated on all your devices. If you have enough time, then write but if you’ve only a few minutes, pick a previous part and reread it. You’d be surprised at how often a misspelled or incorrect word will pop out.

Well, folks, that’s about it for this month and hopefully will give you some assistance in assembling your story. Check out my blog at LarryArcher.blog for more from my deranged mind. See you next month on the 24th at ERWA!

Remember this is National Masturbation Month, so remember to do your part!

Aww Gee, Do I Have To Wear A Rubber?

Rant for the day by Larry Archer!

Does Stephen King dismember his victims with a rubber knife? Did Jaws chomp up Captain Quint with plastic teeth? Did Maverick shoot down Russian fighters with a BB gun or bang Kelly McGillis with a dildo? What about Chucky and that delicious Jennifer Tilly (pant, pant, pant). No, No, No, No, and No!

So why do we have to put on a rubber when we bang out some smut story on our Underwood? This is not Randy “I can’t put my arms down” from A Christmas Story where we have to protect ourselves against our parent’s imagined fears, both seen and unseen?

I am continually amazed when someone says, “Your characters didn’t use protection in your story!” WTF?

Why is it that Dean Koontz can dismember his characters with abandon using a chainsaw, but I can’t have two people screwing unless they have a raincoat and rubber gloves on? You know, the big thick yellow ones that come up to your elbows and ensure you don’t get any of that icky “stuff” on you.

When you can get an STD from reading one of my stroke stories, then I’ll consider making my characters wear a rubber when they play hide the wiener.

In school, I had to read “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty,” which was about some guy who dreamed of being different people; fighter pilot, doctor, and probably porn star in the Hustler version. He didn’t wear a rubber and probably didn’t put on his seatbelt either!

Fictional books are often a form of escapism for the reader. We get to imagine anything our little pea brains can conjure up. Like getting to bang Stormy Daniels, why should Donald get all the fun, not to mention watching hookers pee on the bed? Personally, I would have chosen the Playboy Playmate myself, but there is no accounting for taste. I’m more of a leg man than a boob man.

When you lust after your next door neighbor, the stripper who sat on your lap, or maybe the milkman, do you think about running to the drugstore or gas station to pick up condoms? I know that I don’t! The feeling of skin on skin is far better than with a layer of plastic in between and much easier to fantasize about.

Writing an erotic story, I don’t think about safety, and I don’t want my readers to think about it either. Getting laid with a rubber is not near as much fun as bareback so why would you want your characters to put on protection before doing the nasty? Just like Dean Koontz, I don’t worry about my characters as they are all fictional and impossible to hurt unless I allow it.

Well, other than the times Wifey has on her leather bustier, thigh-high leather boots, and riding crop that she uses to correct her slaves! Then I’ll stand back an extra three feet to be sure I don’t get anything splattered on my camera!

My erotica is not designed to teach you a safe sex lesson, just the opposite. If you wanted safe sex, then you can screw your boring wife or husband on the first and third Friday (let me check my calendar). We want to have sex in the produce aisle with that hot chick from People of Walmart. Just flip her skirt up and make mad passionate love amidst the cantaloupes while hoping the guard on his electric scooter doesn’t catch us! Afterward, we’d zip up our pants and join Wifey as she tries to figure out which detergent to buy to get those stains off the front of her blouse she bought from Monica.

Like in a story I’m working on. The husband finds out his wife was in a gangbang and asked if they kissed her. Her response, “Why would they want to kiss me, they just wanted to fuck me!”

I’m not sure why reading someone’s comment that your characters needed to wear a condom puts me over the top, but it always does. Like Walter Mitty, I want readers to imagine a situation they would never normally find themselves in and especially not in their normal safe, dull environment with their pipe and slippers.

Few of us are ever in a situation where they can do things like be in a gangbang or be the gangbang’ee, so literature is the escape mechanism to let our imagination fly free. Sort of like those rock climbing crazy people on a sheer rock face without a rope.

In the real world we have to make compromises, like not smoking when we fill the lawnmower with gasoline, but in our minds, we can be King (Queen) of the World. Sort of like ZZ Top when they sing, “We could have had Miss October, but we waited until November.”

That was the rant for the day, and maybe next month I can finally post the article I wrote like two months ago, which keeps getting thrown under the bus.

Remember that reading erotica does not cause STD’s but may create friction burns, kind of like the carpet burns you got in high school. Use lubricant as necessary and remember to stop when you need glasses.

As always, check me out at LarryArcher.blog or on Twitter at @Archer_Larry.

“Erotica from the Dirty Mind of Larry Archer.”

P.S. See Lisabet I can stay under 1,000 words!

Hot Chilli Erotica

Hot Chilli Erotica

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