How Long Should Erotica Stories Be?

How Long Should Erotica Stories Be?

This is a good question as it brings to the table, for writers in particular, mixed feelings.
Is it 3k – 8k words or 10k – 20k words?

Some writers may feel that longer stories are always the way to go, while others find shorter works can be just as sufficient. However, having said that brings to light an obvious schism within the writing community about word count and value. I’ve come across threads, articles, blog posts, etc. where some writers have a tendency, even subtly, to frown upon shorter works as if shorter works are lacking in creativity and effort. In my opinion, such writers carry these perceptions for two key reasons.

  1. If I’m correct about the timing, somewhere in the 1970s and 1980s, shorter works became less profitable for major publishers as they found more and more ways to gain from the longer literary material. This made longer works more of a lucrative business for authors/writers, which has lasted for years. Now, there are ebooks and self-publishing. It’s actually more of a feasibility to profit from shorter works again, but the mindset of there being no substance in it still lingers.
  1. The KU1 catastrophe (for writers and readers who are familiar with Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited Program), where certain individuals and/or groups utilized shorter works to not only manipulate a payment system, but add to the lack of confidence in shorter works.

Personally, I tend to take a stance in defense of those who pride themselves in the succinctness of shorter works. Why? Just because something is short doesn’t mean it’s lacking in substance. I’m sure there are many who know this, but it is a good point to make in the midst of all who speak to the contrary. To construct a shorter work that makes sense, is consistent and holds the reader’s attention takes talent. It’s a skillset all its own that as writers (of the modern world) is easy to forget.

It’s also relevant to mention that what’s ideal for one isn’t necessarily ideal for all with regards to what erotica should be. Let me ask you this: Is the person who likes their experience to gradually build up to their release any more valid than the person who likes theirs straight to the point? No, nor vice versa. We all like it how we like it, but I understand the varying views and dispositions.

I do feel that erotica itself is more than a word count and grouping of keywords. Hence, my favor upon a good story and not just writing to market as many may be tempted to do. But, that doesn’t change the fact that there are those who do not always want long drawn out stories when they’re looking to get off – to be sexually aroused. Yet, there are also those who’d prefer a slower and gradual build to such excitement and release. There’s no one way to do it as we all know.

In closing this point, erotica is a culture that has many ways of expressing itself. Those of us who write it and read it should feel free enough to welcome the solace of its embrace however we see fit, whether we like it straight to the point, or more of a smooth and gradual build, we’re not confusing our readers with either as we all know what we want and how we like it. Peace & Love

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