I think I'm accidentally writing a web serial...Am I welcome here?

Hello everyone!

I have a rather unique problem, and I apologize in advance for the wall of text. Impatient creatures are welcome to only read the last paragraph.

I've battled with extreme shyness for most of my life, and my friends have been telling for years now that I'm a much better writer than I give myself credit for (accusations of impostor's syndrome have been thrown around). In late October, a catalyst convinced me to push myself "out of my shell", to write a few short stories and then actually let other people read them. Since I didn't think anyone would read something I'd written without extra incentive, I decided on writing erotica, and started with a sci-fi space romp in the vein of a naughty Ender's Game or Battlestar Galactica.

I absolutely loved it. Without even intending to, I built a whole world for what was supposed to be a little one-off erotic short. I got WAY more feedback than I anticipated, comments in the double digits (yes "11" counts as double digits, shut up), all of them positive, and even more surprising, a lot of them wanted to know more about the world and the backstory.

I wrote more, first adding on a sequel story, then making it a trilogy. It only made things worse, because now there was an actual plot growing, characters becoming less two-dimensional, more and more hooks for interesting things to happen. I couldn't stop writing in this world. Before I knew it I was cutting out sex scenes because I wanted to include more story and dialog...and everyone who read the series liked it even more. I started committing to an update schedule, I made a dedicated website, I began building up a backlog; before I used to read the webfictionguide forum as an amusement, now I found myself using it as a resource for advice and tips. That's when it hit me;

I'm accidentally writing a web serial. And I love the hell out of it.

So I come (finally) to my problem, and I'm starting to realize that I probably could've just asked this question upfront without the Gilgamesh-like levels of backstory: What are the best ways to interact with the community without submitting my own web serial? Am I welcome in the forums? Can I review other peoples' works? Could I talk about my writing as long as I don't post anything Not Safe For Work?

This is the place where we talk. :D


Hi, Maddi:

I don't think the actual guideline (as I understand it) is clear from the snippet you quote above. I think the meaning is that WFG doesn't list stories that are only erotica, not that they don't list stories that contain any erotica (Chris, please jump in here if I'm off base).

Before you count yourself out as far as submitting your story here, you should probably have a look at some of the stories that (off the top of my head) I know contain some erotic content, and then consider whether your story is somewhere in their neighborhood: Daron's Guitar Chronicles, Tales of MU, and An Intimate History of the Greater Kingdom. There are also many others listings with varying levels of erotic content on this site, as well. From what you say above, however, it sounds like you may well fit the criteria for listing, so check it out.

As far as I know, anyone is welcome in the forums (although being a jerk can get you banned) and anyone can review works here. Any writing talk also seems welcome here. Although I've never seen any specifically erotic-related threads (and from writing a good bit of it myself, I know there are definitely things I've discussed with other writers about it), I don't know that they're not allowed; I'd have to defer to Chris for info on that.

At any rate, welcome and feel free to make yourself at home.


Super: Sci-fi/Suspense/Adventure, with Superheroes

Hello Maddi!

"Capricious" is one listing that there was some debate over among the editors. It squeaked in. Not to be prudes, but WFG has to limit its scope somewhat given the sheer volume of web erotica (text written primarily to titilate, rather than to tell a story) and there are other sites dedicated to listing it. But there will always be borderline cases. Incidentally, Capricious's host site might be a good home for your serial.

And you're very welcome to participate on the site and write reviews :-)

Thanks everyone for the welcome!

@ubersoft: Well that's good, 'cause talking is what I'm good at! Funnily enough I just recently got into curveball, it scratches a gritty detective itch I didn't know I had :-)

@palladian: Oh neat! I had already written off being able to submit to WFG, so I'll certainly have to check out those three you mentioned to compare! I'm pretty good about not being a jerk, I think,

@fiona: I'll certainly look into Capricious! I don't think WFG is prudish at all, I definitely understand wanting to limit what y'all post, I'm just glad I can still engage and (hopefully) contribute to the discussing and reviewing!

Hello Maddirose, and welcome.

The submission guideline in question is this one: "We do not list things that are intended primarily as erotica, but we do list stories that include sexual content in the service of the story."

To reinforce what Palladian and Fiona said, the story's the thing. That's what we list. Adult content is fine, as long as it's *in* a story, not *the* story. From what you've described, it sounds like your erotica grew into something bigger (tee hee), so we might well list it. Check out the stories Palladian and Fiona mentioned to see. You can find more here: http://webfictionguide.com/sex/


Hi Chris, thanks much for the clarification!

I think that's a perfect explanation; the story *started* as erotica and then developed into something more. Something I had considered (and am leaning towards more and more) was going back and rewriting my earliest chapters. I wouldn't remove the sex entirely, but I've been wanting to add more story to the earlier ones anyways, so this is a good impetus to do so.

Since I've only only been writing for a little over a month, I'll probably be able to do that while still keeping to my weekly update schedule, and that will lead to a much more consistent experience for my readers as well.

So that's my plan; read up on the stories Palladian and Fiona suggested (and more), do a little rewriting here and there, then make a submission and see how y'all feel about it.

Whether WFG lists it or not, I'm really excited to be a part of the community!

Hi Maddi.

Gotta say, erotica isn't something I could write, and I wish I could - I'm continually surprised by how well erotica authors do. On Reddit's writing sub-channel, there's a rather large number of authors who will admit that writing the naughty stuff is what pays bills. So you may well be on the right track.

Good luck and welcome.

@ Chris - your 'tee hee' caught me off guard. I'm not usually one to laugh out loud at stuff I read online, but you got one out of me.

Hello, Maddirose. I would like to formally introduce myself: I'm alex5215927, a.k.a., WFG's favorite assholey teenager.

I think that, even if something contains eroticism, as long as it contains more plot than sex, it isn't erotica. But that's just my opinion.

@wildbow Hi there, huge Worm/Peer fan! I would say about 90% of my motivation comes from a handful of truly awesome people on the writing subreddits. I don't think I would've started writing if it weren't for those guys, and I've got my own little stalker-list of usernames that I constantly creepily follow because of how regularly they give out amazing advice.

@alex5215927 Hiya! If you're what an asshole looks like on WFG,I think I'm going to enjoy my time here :-) I agree, it can be a really subtle line sometimes between erotica and a story with adult material. I also find it kind of funny that if you'd asked me a few months ago, it would never have occurred to me to even think about the distinction.

I have to put my two cents in on this important topic. Chris, "tee hee" doesn't go with that picture. Good job on making Wildbow laugh. Too many visits to Canada's patriot room has sapped hia sense of humor.

Welcome, Maddi. I think by now you've gotten the thrust of the policy, so feel free to submit your story. If it's too had, I suppose they'll whip off a denial. You'd be surprised; it might come from behind with a penchant for getting in people's faces and blowing them away.

Don't mind me, though, I am just the resident supervillain. I must say, my own erotica, save for this one virtual world, tends to get sidetracked. Maybe it'd work better if it was out of my hands. Still, we can always use another mind around here, even ones thinking about the gutter just when someone is just saying hello.

welcome to the fold! list it list it! I know many people that started out writing fan fic that accidently spiraled out of control. My personal favorite, www.requirecookie.com started as Matrix fan fic on the viewpoint of people that liked the Agents.

Is that the origin of Require Cookie? Haha, it's come a long way! I love stuff like that