A Guide to Writing Interactive Erotica
For the sake of improving everyone’s writing performance, and possibly getting a few people out of the wood work who have stories in mind but are just not confident enough, I thought I would write this little guide on how to make a good erotic story using the interactive story interface of this site. For the most part, what makes you a good writer in an interactive story are the same things that will make you a good writer in a normal story. However, there are a few key points that are different using the interactive format witch I will detail here.
It all starts with the concept
One of the BIGGEST differences between this writing format and normal writing, especially due to the fact that this is a crowd-source effort in witch anyone can contribute to any story so long as the editing permissions are "open," is that the concept behind the story is the single most important thing, more important even than the OP's writing skills. If you can come up with a good enough concept and manage to explain it so that readers can understand then it doesn't matter if you have sub-par writing skills. Such a good concept will attract other writers.
In the case of erotica specifically, the staple product of this site, the concept refers to the thing that facilitates the sexual encounters in your story. Whatever it is that makes sex easier for the characters in your story to get Vs. how it would be in real life is your concept.
The most frequent concepts used are "character exists in a sexually loose society or social circle," or "character has bizarre luck resulting in chance encounters with a lot of sexually loose people, sexual predators, or easy rape/manipulation victims." These two themes are so incredibly frequent that even if there is another primary concept at work, such as the story I am currently working on, one or both concepts will also exist as sub-concepts of the story. If you were to look for it, you will probably find that these exist in 100% of the stories here.
These simple concepts have their advantages in that they are easy to work with, but they also have disadvantages in the form of encouraging lazy writing and the abandonment of basic writing principals, and also the fact that their frequency makes them boring. If the other stories with more interesting concepts are using these two as sub-concepts anyway, then having these two as your primary concept is the same as having no interesting concept at all.
(A good example of a story on this site that manages to function without relying heavily on those two concepts would be Elerneron's story Fairly Oddparents: Timmy's Awakening, witch uses Timmy's sexual wishes as the facilitator to the point that what exists of the 2 basic concepts is dissmissable)
Basic writing principals
I wrote a guide like this one a while back focused on the standard format of writing back on the parent site for this one in the "writing tips" section. (link below.) https://allthefallen.ninja/index.php?/topic/223-writing-tips/#entry121500
Please read the tips on the page linked there, not only by me but also by the other members who contributed to the discussion. It is all good. There are a few particular principals though that are especially important in this interactive format. In particular is establishing things that are constants in the multi-path universe of your interactive story.
Since plot is more or less out the window for an interactive story, that just makes it all the more important to have strong and well defined characters to push your story forward. It is often useful to include a guide in your story that includes character bios on every significant figure in your story, especially if there are going to be other people writing for the same story. The phrase "Characters are key" is even more true in the interactive story format.
Something that can add a particular amount of intrigue is when the other characters do something to make it so things are not quite as easy for the focus character the reader is making decisions for. A re-direct where the reader may want to move things in one direction but some other character winds up presenting a challenge to this goal makes the story more exciting.
Be descriptive of the environment
You want to include as many details as possible (without throwing the scene off) in regards to the objects and activity in the environment where your characters are. Things that are at hand or going on close by are the things that will create options for your characters later as a decision point comes up. Options that relate to something that just happens to be in the area (and make sense to be there) but couldn't have been easily predicted the scene before are a lot more interesting for the reader than options that just have to do with the urge to carry out whatever was on their mind 2 or 3 scenes ago. It is always more fun to be forced to adapt the plan due to unexpected things coming up, and those things are more likely to come up if the writer is constantly thinking about what is in their character's environment.
Dealing with problems and finding solutions
This has already been touched on in the previous two sub-headings, but ultimately it does come down to the basic story principal that things are more exciting for the reader when they are presented with the requirement to deal with a problem. Interactive stories are, in effect, part story and part game. As such, the reader needs to feel a little challenged. The challenge should never be frustrating and seem unfair, but at the same time it shouldn't be too easy to just nail every girl in the MC's harem either. The reader needs to feel like they are having to maneuver about and deal with social situations to gain this end.
The above two sub-categories are both excellent sources for challenges to your character, but they are far from the only sources. Likewise, presenting your character's environment can also hold the solutions to the problems the character is dealing with.
Options during sex
Inserting options for the reader to choose from during a sex scene can help to engage them more, and if the options relate to overcoming some form of challenge that is hindering the MC from having sex with their partner then it can also be used to add tension to the scene making the climax that much more satisfying.
Another advantage of inserting options into the middle of a sex scene is that it, by necessity, makes the sex scene longer and causes the writer to include more detail. Longer sex scenes also tend to build up more passion, witch is just all around better. (I personally try to have around 5 option splits between the point at witch it becomes clear this is leading to a sexual encounter to the point where an orgasm occurs. That is a minimum in my mind.)
Tips from other contributors
Thank you for reading this guide. If you had something in mind that you think people should know but did not see here, you may add it in this section. You may do this either by adding a link under this section where you can go into your own page to suggest multiple things, or if you only have one or two tips then you can add your name as a sub-heading under this one by surrounding your name with 3 equals signs (===) on both sides of your name and write your tip(s) under that. Also, you can suggest something in the "Discussion" section and I may update this page to include your tip.