Month: March 2015

My experience of using Scribophile

I’ve not been using it for very long but as some of my facebook network have joined up I thought I’d write about how I see it working.

At first, when I joined I found it hard work. Difficult to navigate around and understand. It seemed that I had to spend hours on other people’s work before I could post my own and I wasn’t sure that the return would be worth it.

I now feel quite positive about it, though I’m still relatively new and finding my way around.

Writing Crits on Scribophile.

You need to write certain number of words in a critique to get any Karma points at all, but the more you write the more you get. At first I read a few pieces of work and they were so good that my constructive comments couldn’t earn me anything. So obviously I needed to find writer who weren’t so good at writing!

Fortunately that doesn’t mean awful. I’ve found at least one writer who writes gripping stories with great characters and loads of humour. It is a joy to read his work and I’m looking forward to the next installment. This writer for the most part is technically accurate, however, gives me loads of scope for suggestions. I’m fairly certain he is finding my feedback useful.

I have just read about 10,000 words by another writer who is, I think, far better at writing than I am. I spotted a few things I didn’t like, annoying repetitive words. I just pointed them out to him as I know he will know how to correct them without me suggesting how I might rewrite those sentences, there was nothing wrong with the sentences and perhaps he wants to keep the repetition, it’s his story after all. So, just when I thought I’s be sending him fan mail rather than constructive criticism I found something else, something more important, perhaps. The character remembered an event, clearly, and described the event. Jack obviously knows what this event means to the character but as a reader I wasn’t clear on two points:

First, from memory did the character like the event at the time? Second, it it still a good memory or not? Almost ten thousand words in the really good writer had forgotten to make it clear to the reader just what this memory was all about.

A third aspect of the critique process that I have found surprisingly useful but I didn’t think of it at first was positive feedback. If I’ve read a sentence or paragraph that is amazing, or funny or just stands out as the best I now comment on that and I find it useful to get that sort of feedback. We all have doubts about our work so it is good to know the bits that unknown readers pick out as the best bits.

Practice. When you get into being really constructive, read examples of others critiques and get crits on your own work, you will become better at it. Write more words in a crit and earn more Karma points.

How Much Work Is Required on Scribophile?

I do find it is quite time consuming. I haven’t timed myself but in order to earn the 5 karma points I guess I might have to critique 3 pieces of work and it might take about 4 hours in total. But I am sure some people could do this in half the time and on just two crits.

The time commitment put me off, at first. Now I’m committed to finding something I would enjoy reading, then it doesn’t seem like a burden. If someone is putting their book on there I can look forward to the next installment.

Is It Worth the time commitment?

I don’t know, yet. I’m still giving it a try. But this is my experience.

The feedback I’ve got back is very mixed. I’d say I can probably dismiss half the comments out of hand, for example they want to know details that are yet to be revealed as I have only put a fragment of my story up for crit.. Also fragments. Perhaps someone points out I’ve written in fragments, not sentences. I know that already, it was deliberate, but fair comment as some writers might not realise. And many suggestions would make my story worse rather than better!

HOWEVER, they are all suggestions. And I would say I’ve had some useful comments, pointers, tips, proof reading from EVERY single person who has looked at my work. A few people have made comments that were incredibly useful to me, beyond that single piece.

For me the time commitment to look at other people’s work means I am not likely to place a whole novel in 3k word chunks on there but I can post parts of my work on there. With the beginning being so important to hook readers it seems a good idea to get feedback on the beginning of any story.

OTHER Benefits

The personal benefit of critiques of your own work is not the only aspect. Don’t forget the networking, collaborating opportunities.

I am still relatively new to scrib so I still see myself as testing it but my experience so far has been positive enough for me to pay up with real money.

The Bisexual Oral Appreciation Society – is it real?

I don’t think it is but I’m having such fun writing about it…

here is an excerpt, it might not remain quite like this in the final version.

“To achieve full membership of the group, Heather had to demonstrate her commitment to oral sex with many people at the monthly meetings of the Bisexual Oral Appreciation Society. Oral sex with people of both genders and both receiving and giving. Perhaps the best thing about joining a secret society, however, must be undergoing the ritualistic initiation ceremony…” by HJP March 2015

The final short story will be a little over 10,000 words and first draft /edits finished this week. Edits might go on next week too.

Then the ultimate question: to self publish or not to self publish?

My Review of An Intimate Education charity anthology. 

An ebook of erotica shorts sold in aid of Sex Education charity Brook

Should you buy the book? Yes it is a good book, the money goes to charity and you get 21 stories from loads of different authors.

But it here

or here:

I wanted to write about the charity anthology but have found it exceptionally tough to do so. I’m not good at writing book reviews at the best of times, it is one of the many skills I do not have. With that in mind, I usually take the approach of just listing my top favourite stores in any anthology but it was tough here because there are so many stories and they are so diverse.

For one thing, some are mostly sex, with the story told with through the sex scene but in others the story is the lead up to sex with very little detail on the page. There are all combinations of M and F pairings and lots with BDSM themes.

Obviously, reading is subjective so my favourites won’t be everyone. I do like humour and I like things that mess with gender expectations or behaviour hence my top two stories, revealled below.

But before that my confession. I really don’t generally go for stories involving submissive women or spanking. There are exceptions, of course, but generally I don’t seek out such stories so those will not be among my personal favourites no matter how much other people like them.

So. There are spanking and stories with BDSM themes in the collection, which might be more your cup of tea but do not figure the list of stories that stayed with me for days after reading them for the first time.

Here goes.

Leaving aside the brilliant story co-written by Adria Kane and myself 🙂 then easily my two favourites were:

It’s Simple by Madeline Moore A heart-warming story about gender identity.

The Perfect Crime by Oleander Plumbe a very funny office sex in the photocopying room that I can certainly relate to.

I can’t offer you a top three because there were too many good contenders for third place. Such as

The Letter By Kay Jaybee

An F/M story from the man’s point of view written in a letter to his wife. The story was simple but something extra special about the way it was written conveyed great love and emotion behind the words.

And then there are these delights that offer so much straight hard cock action:

  • In the Frame by Lucy Felthouse
  • The Augury of Her Innocence by Charlotte Howard
  • Ditto by A M Hartnett

And more with an F/F theme to make you sit up and concentrate:

  • Sarah Isn’t fitting In by Vanessa de Sade
  • Learning Curves by Emily Dubberley

Inevitably, I haven’t even commented on most of the stories in the book. It would be difficult for me to do them all justice but I feel I can say they are all well written and there is something for everyone.

intimate education png

Finally I may as well tell you about the story I co-wrote with Adria Kane. What might it be like at some point in the future when budget sexual services are sold to women. Women might go for a quickie, “an orgasm in a box” for the same price as lunch. We had some debate as to who (what gender) would be providing the service and if you like the concept I would encourage you to image your own scenario with who ever you want being the orgasm giver.

Women’s sexuality in futuristic societies are something that both of us are very interested in and write about often. I know Adria is working on an exciting story right now that may appeal to those interested in these SF themes.

The Highlights of the Erotic World Book Day Party … & it’s not over!

I laughed so much, there were tears rolling down my face and my whole body was shaking on my seat. I thought I might wake up my sleeping family.

I was attending an online party for Erotic World Book Day #ewbd when Anna Sky shared a link to what must be the strangest post coital ritual ever and a highly hilarious discussion about it.

Do you (or the man/men) in your life dunk your penis in a penis beaker when all the action is over? Have you got a penis beaker?

I could never summarize and do justice to the 1000+ comments on mumsnet, See them here:

Sit down for a long read and prepare to laugh until it hurts!

After that.

Go and Buy the charity anthology or read it for FREE if you are into Kindle Unlimited

read it then write a review for Amazon or/and your blog.

jpg Intimate Education book cover HJP

Post a link to your review on the Facebook Erotic World book day Party Event Page here

or tweet it with the hash tag #EWBD

In order to be entered into a competition for a load of amazing prizes, delivered discreetly to your home.

If you visit the Facebook Party page you can read the many funny and interesting comments from the party too. Well worth scrolling down. There were links and recommendations for great erotic books and special offers.

Finally the whole #EWBD 2015 event was focused on sex education, awareness and fund raising. The fundraising hasn’t stopped.

Brook Donate

An Intimate Education new book

22 writers have contributed to this charity anthology of short stories.

Stories that are an ideal length for reading out loud to your partner in bed for 15-20  minutes as a prelude to something that isn’t sleeping, perhaps.

The ebook will be available from Amazon by 5th March, Erotic World Book Day, and possibly other retailers.

Authors are (in no particular order): Anna Sansom, Lucy Felthouse, Charlotte Howard, Rebecca Black, Kay Jaybee, Madeline Moore, Cara Sutra, Helen J Perry & Adria Kane, Tabitha Rayne, A.M. Hartnett, Oleander Plume, Kayla Lords, Vanessa de Sade, James Gent, Anna Sky, Lily Harlem, Rhyll Biest, Neil Davis, Lexie Bay, Paris Orsini, Emily Dubberley

Here is the cover for An Intimate Education.

jpg Intimate Education book cover HJP

And a reminder that we’re having a party on Facebook at 7pm on 5th March

EWBD party


And we urge people to not just come to the party and buy the book but to donete:

Brook Donate