Eight Reasons to Cherish Feedback

feedback

Seven reasons to cherish feedback was originally written in Dutch by Liza Daen and was adjusted for this site by Marie Rebelle.

A very good method to develop and improve yourself as writer of erotic stories is to give and receive feedback. Getting feedback from readers and fellow writers makes you vulnerable. It’s scary. Somewhere in your mind you hear that little voice: “What if they don’t like it?” or “What if I had a wrong understanding of the assignment?”

Please be assured that constructive criticism that is shared with respect will make you better as an author.

Below you will find seven reasons why you should cherish feedback.
(An eighth reason was added by Marie.)

Reason 1: What happens in your mind, might not be the ‘movie’ the reader will see

You are writing with enthusiasm and translating the images you see in your mind to the written word. In doing so, you consciously or unconsciously dig into your own experiences, your own fantasies, your own frameworks, freedoms and limitations. That produces a beautiful ‘movie’. But, did you know that the associations you make, are very unique? And maybe they are so unique that your reader doesn’t understand you.

Feedback from a reader allows you to see where you need to be clearer, where you need to inform some more or where you need to leave things out. By hearing your ‘script’ back from another perspective, you learn exactly where you can make it even better.

Reason 2: Are the sexy scenes you have in mind practically feasible?

A good erotic story stimulates the reader. He or she almost ‘sees’ what happens. You will totally lose your reader (and the stimulation) when your sexy intermezzos are practically impossible. You might want to try the positions, but of course that’s not always possible. Also, when you write about characters with a different gender than yours, you don’t always know the actual feelings or ‘mechanics’ of sex.

Feedback from readers is valuable: what is possible, what is not? Do they see the characters in the position you meant them to be in or are they in a hopeless tangle? Do other genders recognize themselves in your description of an orgasm? Are the physical sensations and/or the sexual positions correct? Feedback helps you to understand this!

Reason 3: The logic of your characters is not always the logic of your reader

While porn is mainly focused on the physical stimulation of the reader or viewer, erotica (also) focuses on stimulating the mind and fantasy. The story-line and motives of the characters are very important: readers are going to identify with it or contribute ideas. As an author, when building your characters, you used archetypes that you know in reality. In your head that image is often clear. The danger here is that what you see as logical decisions or motives, might be completely missed by you reader. This means the reading enthusiasm quickly dries up.

Here too, the following applies: feedback is a check if everything is clear enough, whether your characters are sufficiently developed and if you know how to pull the reader into your world.

Reason 4: Editing erotica is a profession of its own and not available everywhere

A story, where the beautiful word ‘cunt’ is used about 40 times on one page, can irritate so much that your reader totally loses interest in reading the rest of your story. Editing erotica is definitely a profession of its own. What are good synonyms? How do you describe a physical sensation? How do you show excitement other than using the boring words: he is excited; she is horny?

Other words and descriptions give your story an unexpected boost. There are lots of people out there who can edit stories, but unfortunately not all those people can edit erotica. Dare to ask you fellow erotica writers for feedback, or ask experienced readers. The tips you receive will surprise you!

Reason 5: Get new perspectives to make your story more exciting

No matter how active you are between the sheets (or on the table, in the car, on the couch, or anywhere you fancy), you do not know all the positions, all the techniques, all the emotions. With suggestions from others on how to make a scene even juicier, stronger or more exciting by using new perspectives that you have never thought of yourself, your story will be stronger. Feedback ensures that you broaden your horizons.

Reason 6: Hearing that you are doing well, lifts you up

Feedback is not only about mentioning what you can do better. This is if you have good givers of feedback. You don’t hear only the tips, but also the tops. Hearing what you have done well gives you a boost, makes you want to write more. It lifts you up.

Reason 7: Giving feedback also teaches you something

Reading the stories of other authors and preparing feedback for those stories is an inspiring act. It brings you new ideas, makes you think why you like something or not and it gives you a starting point for a good conversation.

Giving feedback is a gift to yourself and your fellow writers.

Reason 8: Reading (listening to) feedback others received, will help you too

You don’t learn more about your own writing only from receiving or giving feedback. Read the story of another erotica writer and then read or listen to the feedback they get. Once you have read the story, you already know what you like or don’t like about the story. Reading/Hearing the feedback someone has gotten on that story, will help you to improve your own writing, as consciously or unconsciously you will think about how you do your own writing.

Feedback is priceless!

Source image

One Reply to “Eight Reasons to Cherish Feedback”

  1. This is great! I completely agree and it also gives me an idea of what I can include in my feedback to make it most helpful. The feedback is one of my favourite parts of the Smut Marathon, as there is no way I can think it is personal since they have no idea who wrote the entry. It has been extremely valuable for me.
    Aurora x

Comments are closed.