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Yiff or non-Yiff??? what does better?

shadowsfox

New Member
What to write about
I'm curious and I'm asking this seriously... Just trying to get inspired to write. I can write both but I want to post something furs will enjoy

When I was at AC there was a ton of art and writings. Everyone had their favorite style, artist, or prefs whatever. But the one thing I want to know is.... Would a typical but furry action adventure type story be as appreciated as a yiffy story? I mean of course the first option would have a yiff scene or two.... It just seemed like for every 1 non-yiff centered story there were 10 yiff centered stories there. But everyone there seemed to like the yiffy ones more....

Here it is... Which does better and liked better?

--Yiff story (mostly yiffy but small plot to give the characters life)

--Common story. It can have a yiff scene or two but focusses MUCH more on the adventure.
 

sunandshadow

Impractical Fantasy Animal
It's easier to get an appreciative audience for erotic fiction because people evaluate erotic fiction differently than they evaluate non-erotic fiction. In the case of non-erotic fiction, in people's minds you are competing with all the published author's they've read. Some readers give bonus points to any story just because it has furry characters, but even they can think of some good published novels they've read which had furry characters. But in the case of erotic fiction, most people haven't read much published erotic fiction because there isn't that much. And some people who read erotic fiction don't read much other fiction at all, so they don't even have any memories of great books to compare to. Even more importantly, because there are so many niche interests within the field of erotica, a lot of people are happy to read any halfway well-written story which features one of their fetishes.

So if your goal is simply getting praised on FA, erotic is the way to go. But on the other hand, if you want to become a published writer, you would probably be better off writing adventures and getting good at that.
 

Willow

FAF's #1 Terrorist
Amateur erotic fiction from what I've read on various sites in any genre, is never good really good and follows a really simple chain of events. Meeting-conversation stuff-sex for a page of a few pages + climax-falling action-end. There have been some exceptions to this of course and I don't read too many fiction stories, but that's from the stuff I've seen.

IMO, I'd rather read a clean story with the occasional short scene to two as opposed to a story that relies on the sex to drive it.
 

Charrio

Artistic Mouse
I find erotic fiction does better but both do well in small doses online.

Ive downloaded hundreds of stories Yiff and non to read in my leisure time and find the short ones easier to read through and not overwhelmed by someones massive e-book.

Usually 6-10 pages is the size i aim for, anything bigger and usually people wont read it as avidly.
I just write stuff in small parts or short stories.

Well this is what i have noticed works for me.
 

M. LeRenard

Is not French
Conventional wisdom says that porn always does better. But if you're looking for appreciation, it's more about working hard to produce a quality piece of writing. Because a badly written piece of smut may get a lot of views, but the people who read it aren't exactly reading it because they appreciate good literature. But if it's really well-written smut, or a really well-written piece from a different genre, then people will appreciate it more. Capiche?
So in the end, write what you want to write, and if you want people to appreciate it, do a good job. But if you're just trying to get more views, then go with porn. Those fetish tags seem to do wonders for your numbers.
 

Lucien Pyrus

Fire and Ice
If you write it, they will come. If you write erotic pieces, you will attract perverts. If you write fiction, then fiction-aficionados will come.
Unfortuantly, the perverts far outnumber the fiction-aficionados
 

Altamont

The Bard of the Beasts
If you write it, they will come. If you write erotic pieces, you will attract perverts. If you write fiction, then fiction-aficionados will come.
Unfortuantly, the perverts far outnumber the fiction-aficionados

Aint dat da troof.

But seriously, write what you want to write. I'm not gonna explain how you should write for yourself and not for others because, frankly, a lot of people do write for appraisal, and there's nothing wrong with that.

That being said, you certainly can get that appraisal for non-erotic pieces, but you just have to work a little harder for it, perhaps by posting in it the critique section here on FA.
 

ScottyDM

Bites when Provoked
"Yiff" is such a furry term. Who else uses that term?

First, don't write what you think the masses want. Write what you want. You'll be much happier in the end.

Second, we've had several similar discussions over at the Furry Writers Guild. Some there feel the fandom is full of people who write porn, and equally full of people who read it. That has not been my personal experience, but then I haven't gone looking for porn. And when I've stumbled across it I usually slowly back away after reading a few paragraphs. Usually because lots of people who fancy themselves writers aren't very good, and good porn requires great skill at writing description and action. Plus, in many cases I got the distinct impression the writer was a virgin. What I tend to gravitate toward are stories about... well... just about anything. As long as they were about something and not merely the painful musings of a wannabe skunk-boi with a cock the size of a braunschweiger and the hots for a randy vixen.

My experience reading in this fandom started with authors like James Bruner and his Zig Zag the Story (highly recommended). Despite the fact that Zig Zag is a semi-retired porn star, there are no explicit love scenes in his story. Do his main characters make love? Of course! Does James need to write about it? Nope. What he does is take the reader up to the Gates of Heaven, then cut to the next scene. The beauty of this technique is it lets the reader imagine what his characters do, and so the imagined scene is perfect--no clumsiness, bad descriptions, impossible actions, or anything that the reader might find hilarious or off-putting.

A contemporary of James is Chris Yost (a.k.a. Chris Foxx). His method of writing love scenes is similar to James' and his site has over 580,000 hits.

If you hang out only at sites like Furs After Dark, you'll see what you see and get the impression that what you see is the majority of the fandom, or is popular.

S~
 

sunandshadow

Impractical Fantasy Animal
Do his main characters make love? Of course! Does James need to write about it? Nope. What he does is take the reader up to the Gates of Heaven, then cut to the next scene. The beauty of this technique is it lets the reader imagine what his characters do, and so the imagined scene is perfect--no clumsiness, bad descriptions, impossible actions, or anything that the reader might find hilarious or off-putting.
Nothing surprising or that gives insight into the characters' psychology or relationship either. Sex scenes can make real literary contributions to a story, aside from their value to readers who want to experience arousal. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with choosing not to have explicit sex scenes. Sometimes sex is irrelevant to the story you want to tell. But I do want to object to holding up "fade to black" and "back away of you find yourself reading erotica" as examples of how one ought to write and read. If you never read sex scenes it's only logical that you aren't going to understand what their value within a story can be.
 

ScottyDM

Bites when Provoked
I started to post about the different approaches to writing a sex scene: porn, erotica, and non-explicit. But I felt my post was long enough. I decided to limit that first post to the perception that furry fiction which isn't porn, isn't popular. I don't believe you need to write porn to be popular in this fandom.

I'd also like to point out that Neither James nor Chris thought their love scenes needed to be explicit in order to further the story or give insight to their characters.


An example of non-explicit (or at least not quite erotica and certainly not porn) how about a story by Bernard Doove. I feel some of his love scene details are necessary to advance the plot and some are not.

In his Tales of the Foxtaur Clans #6: Unexpected Attractions, he does some of each. A foxtaur named Pandora has a chance meeting in the forest with a man named Carl. The detail shown in their first intimate scene together is necessary. Pandora and Carl are unique people with unique needs and that scene speaks directly to those needs. I feel the second and third love scenes have more detail than necessary. The pace is okay, but to maintain that pace (level of detail) from foreplay through afterglow, will either push the story into erotica, or porn (depending on how the detail is handled).

That's the real problem. You start the scene with two characters who dance closer and closer to intimacy. The scene has a certain level of detail. A certain pace. Then they reach the point where the reader knows they will make love. It's a done deal. There are three reasons to continue the scene: 1) Something will happen so that it's not a done deal after all. 2) You're writing erotica. 3) Or you're writing porn. If you pull back on the level of detail and skim through the scene it's far less satisfying than if you'd simply set up the inevitability of their union then end the scene on a high note.


Poetigress mentioned the novel Willow by Julia Hoban. PT said it had a good love scene between two teenage virgins. There was clumsiness, although a bit smoother than I remember from 1975 (or maybe it was '74). And because of who Willow (the female lead) was, the author needed to show the penetration and her reaction to it. beyond that it was as if the author suddenly grew shy. She ended the scene much too quickly. A couple more sentences of narrative summary and it was over. We got this beautiful detail leading up to and through Willow's deflowering. Then bam! Done. IMO a sentence or two to settle the characters into each others' intimate embrace followed by a scene break would have worked far better.

Or the author could have turned the book into erotica. Except it was Y.A. (young adult). And it was one of those books that a school teacher might want to assign to a class reading list. Full blown erotica might have been the publishing kiss of death.


A few weeks ago I gave feedback on a piece that was labeled erotica. Unfortunately it was rather poorly done porn. The chapter was painful to read. It was endless and relentless. Some of the action descriptions were a joke. And some actions seemed painful or awkward. A sad example of Ikea sex. The heart of the problem was the author's desire to produce some 3000 words of this stuff. A hot sex scene is easier in 600 words, but multiply it out by 5x and the thesaurus runs out of gas. Even a porn video is far too long if one particular position lasts over 10 minutes.

For that crit, and in the spirit of trying to be helpful, I came up with definitions of erotica and porn. Right away you'll note two issues: 1) These are my opinions. 2) These are ideals, or goals for the writer; in reality many works will fall between these extremes.

Porn has only a minimal story, just enough to get the two characters together. More importantly, it's about bodily functions and physical sensations. The goal of porn is to lead the reader to some kind of physical response to the story.

Erotica has a larger story and all the rules of storytelling apply to erotica just as they do most other types of fiction. The focus of the erotic scenes is on the emotional response of the characters while they experience bodily functions. The goal of erotica is to lead the reader to some kind of emotional response to the story.


There you have it. What I didn't write in my other post.

S~
 
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Altamont

The Bard of the Beasts
What I tend to gravitate toward are stories about... well... just about anything. As long as they were about something and not merely the painful musings of a wannabe skunk-boi with a cock the size of a braunschweiger and the hots for a randy vixen.

S~

I'm for this to be made the official motto of the Writer's Guild, and perhaps the world as a whole.
 

sunandshadow

Impractical Fantasy Animal
ScottyDM - I like that post a lot better, it's a much more well-balanced description of the "writing landscape" ranging from non sex to all sex.

I agree that writing does not have to be porn to be popular. If someone wrote an anthro book about an underdog suddenly able to attend wizard or ninja or monster-tamer school, that kind of thing could become immensely popular. So could a comedy about superheroes and supervillains. While not the kind of thing I read, epic war fantasy seems to be another type of fiction which tends to gather many loyal readers. And I'm sure there are other kinds of non-sexual writing that could be very popular.

I also agree that there are some really terrible examples of sex scene around. But, I don't think a bad sex scene is more awful than a bad any other kind of scene. My main disagreement with
What he does is take the reader up to the Gates of Heaven, then cut to the next scene. The beauty of this technique is it lets the reader imagine what his characters do, and so the imagined scene is perfect--no clumsiness, bad descriptions, impossible actions, or anything that the reader might find hilarious or off-putting.
is the idea that not writing something is better than doing it badly. That's really the same as saying, "If you can't write a good story, don't write at all." which is a horrifying thing to say. No one's going to be particularly good when they're learning to write, and people who avoid writing a particular type of scene are never going to get good at it.

As a separate issue, I think that since you personally don't seem to like sex scenes, you don't understand the beauty, power, and literary value they can have. You say,
I'd also like to point out that Neither James nor Chris thought their love scenes needed to be explicit in order to further the story or give insight to their characters.
On the face of that statement there's nothing wrong with it. I agree that some stories do not need explicit sex scenes to further the story or give insight into the characters. But other stories do need explicit sex scenes to further the story and give insight into the characters. You say
Erotica has a larger story and all the rules of storytelling apply to erotica just as they do most other types of fiction. The focus of the erotic scenes is on the emotional response of the characters while they experience bodily functions. The goal of erotica is to lead the reader to some kind of emotional response to the story.
Again there's nothing factually incorrect about that, but it really misses the heart of what erotica is. It's not just about emotions and body functions. The biggest human sexual organ is the brain, and sex is deeply intertwined with thought. As an erotica writer myself, I find sex scenes are a wonderful tool for getting at what's inside a character's head. The intensity of a sexual situation can work like alcohol to push a character's normal shields out of the way and reveal their innermost self, their deepest fears about not being good enough, their deepest longings to take some social role normally unavailable to them. Sex can push a person's boundaries in the same way climbing a mountain or some other dangerous and arduous journey can; and pushing a character past their boundaries is the essence of literature. (Well, maybe an essence of literature, since literature does a few other things that are equally important and interesting.)

Anyway, I just want to say that a well-written explicit sex scene is a work of art with literary merit, and that any writer should be proud if they can write a scene like that. An this note is to Lucien - just as writers of erotica deserve to be respected as much as any other writer, readers of erotica deserve to be respected and not referred to as perverts.

Finally, any writer who is afraid of writing something bad is handicapping themselves, fear and perfectionism are one of the most prevalent reasons people don't write, and thus don't improve at writing because they aren't getting any practice, or don't enjoy writing any more because they don't think anything they write is good enough.
 

south syde dobe

4th Elite General
non yiff
 

sunandshadow

Impractical Fantasy Animal
Erotica, especially the steamy romance novel type, is publishable, but the market's definitely smaller than for a more mainstream fantasy novel or juvie.
 

ADF

Member
I'm not a writer, but I tried my hand at it for fun. I wrote two short stories, one yiff and one none yiff.

The yiff one got 250+ views, four comments and 13 favourites. The none yiff one got 60 views, one comment and 1 favourite.

Says it all really :p
 

Jankin

Member
Psh. You can have your cake and eat it too. Do a story and have multiple chapters. That way you can dedicate an entire chapter to the smex. Also, some could read solely that chapter for the smex, so you can satisfy the smutty urges as well using the other chapters to satisfy the adventure.
 

Sinaqui

Mediocre Raccoon
What I'd suggest, if your goal is "inspiration to write," then you should try subtly letting others know that you're a writer, and that you'd be willing to write a story for them or their character if they wanted. If they want smut, let them have it. The bonus here is that, when you're done writing, you have a guaranteed audience. If they are a furry and have an FA account, let them know you'd be fine with them posting it also. (I don't remember that being wrong in any way, though I'd suggest going over the submission rules again if you have doubts.) That way, not only do you and those who know you get a chance to read it, the one who requested it gets to read it, and those who watch them may read it as well.
I feel that another bonus is that taking the control of the content out of your hands will help to develop your writing skills more than simply writing things you want to write. In NO way, however, should this deter you from writing what you want. Write what you want to write in addition to what you write for others.
Of course, it probably can't be avoided, most of the requests will probably be for smut, so take that how you will, I suppose...
 

Commiecomrade

Maximum Awesome.
I think a great strategy to get yourself known is to write short. People will look at a book, and be frightened that they may not like it after a hundred pages. People see a page or two, and think, "Eh, it's only like 5 minutes."

Ray Bradbury was amazing at short stories like this, and was praised for being able to fit so much into so little. So if you feel like short stories, read some of his to find what makes them interesting.
 

jinxtigr

Feline Miscreant
Oooo. I'm in such trouble, then ;) (in that 300 thousand words might be seen as too long)

I don't draw a line of 'shows explicit sex' or 'doesn't show explicit sex, cuts away or fades to black' as my litmus test for whether something is porn or literature.

My litmus test is 'do they break character to have sex, or do you go deeper into the character through the provocation of the sexual experience?'

I had a scene in Tally Road (the novel) where a reptilian woman with venomous fangs had oral sex with a lupine woman she was in love with. Snake lady knew she'd tend to secrete venom- in fact she had to wear a sort of gimp mask to control her instinctive tendency to do coital love-bites (not fatal to her kind, but very dangerous to the wolfie). Turns out she got so into it that she allowed too much venom to leak, and got way too busy with her tongue- which really drove home the alienness of the exercise, and also gave snake lady a life-changing shock as she thought she had killed her lover for a minute there, and swore to herself in tears and shaking that she'd never take it that close to the danger point again. This taking of personal responsibility was new to her for she'd tended to be nihilistic and assume everything would go wrong, and suddenly there she was actually needing something NOT to go too wrong.

I just wrote a scene (more recent book, underway) in which a pirate kitten, on a moral downward spiral, who is supposed to distract a pilot flying an airship, has sex with him while he flies it, and then kills him at the climax just to see what that does to his orgasm. Instead of taking her POV for that, I do the key part from within his POV and break off the last word which clearly would be 'dead', just to drive home the disturbing quality of what she has done. It's really explicit in every sense, but it's there to underscore the fact that kitty has gone to places inside her head that are flat-out psychotic and sociopathic, and I can't make the ending truly upsetting if the setup is 'they made love'. The whole point is that she's there with all the trappings of erotic love, but then twists the ending in a horrifying way, showing how evil she's getting.

If you can make people experience your events rather than just reading reports about them, you 'do better' no matter whether it's sex or non-sex... so in a way you're asking the wrong question...
 

Lapso

A simple literary fennec
Much of it will depend on quality. Lots of furs like porn because they can get off to it, even if it isn't all that deep or meaningful. However, fewer furs I've noticed will read a sex-less plot line unless the story can keep their attention and immerse them into the story.

So basically it is a matter of the effort you want to put into it.
 

Wolf Fairy

I'm Hungry
A story with well thought characters and deep plot is very good; but if you somehow manage to add a couple of yiffy chapters in there, it would be the best story ever.

that way the yiff can be much more meaningful if it's between known and loved characters =)
 
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