The Naked Story
Part 5 in a six part series
- Part 1: How to Be a Top Author on Literotica
- Part 2: Luring in the Reader - Titles and Descriptions
- Part 3: Your Most Important Decision - Categories
- Part 4: Formatting Your Story on Literotica
- Part 5: Using Tags on Literotica - The Naked Story
Literotica provides only a few methods of letting the reader know a little about the contents of your story.
- The Title
- A Description
- The Category
Literotica requires you to select a category, and to provide a title and description. Admittedly, the category can be incorrect, as they often are, and the title and description may be worthless, but you still have to provide one.
The Tags are optional.
You've spent untold hours writing your story, editing it to your best ability, and preparing it for posting. You've selected a title you hope will capture the reader's attention, and a description that will be the added incentive to get them to give it a read. I'm assuming you want people to read your story, or you never would have published it.
Why would you leave your story naked?
The one optional way of drawing in readers, the secret so few understand, the lure of the faithful, is to provide proper tags. And you haven't.
You've released your story into the wild, naked and basically abandoned.
Shame on you.
Why use Tags?
Tags aren't about informing the new reader about what they're about to take a chance on. For the uninformed, the tags appear at the end of the story, after your reader has already invested their time.
No, any information you want to give the reader about the story has to be provided up front, in the author's notes, before the story.
The Tags are about searching.
If you don't provide tags, your story is almost invisible to the searcher, unless the keywords they are looking for are in the title.
Tags are used far too little. And when they are used, I'd estimate 90% are used poorly at best. Some of the worst tags on Literotica are on old stories, written before the tags were introduced. Literotica automatically adds 'best guess' tags. These are the tags from an all-time classic Literotica story, a hall-of-famer.
When police ask for a description of a subject, they want details. Height, sex, and build are useful, (like a title for your story), as is eye-color, facial hair, hair style (like a description for you story). But the meat lies in the rest. Hat, glasses, shoes, pants, shirt, jacket, watch, tattoos, jewelry, all the added detail. These are your tags.
Don't leave your story naked, or it will never be found.
It's a shame. Once your story has been written, and its short-lived days on the New-List have passed, there are very few ways people will ever see your story again, buried among a quarter-million others.
Searching for a story on Literotica, is difficult. There are a lot of stories to compete with. So when your potential reader starts his search, I want you to put yourself in their shoes.
What are they searching for? Why? How will they know when they find it?
Most searchers are doing one of two things:
- Searching for a story they've read before
- Looking for stories to satisfy their particular kink
That's it. So what does that tell you?
- You need to include the kink in your tags
- Your story has to be identifiable by your tags
There. That wasn't so hard was it?
Let's talk about how to fill in those tags.
You have 10 tags to use. Don't waste any of them. None. Use all 10. I would suggest using two of them to identify the participants, four to define the kink, and four to make it identifiable. You can change that up, but at a minimum, I'd suggest (2) participant, (3) kink, and (3) identification.
The tags I list below aren't just made up. They are the most commonly used tags and search terms. Take heed, and consider their use. A slash separates similar tags. A bar | separates alternate choices (mother|father-in-law = mother-in-law, father-in-law)
Tags 1 & 2 - The Participants
Hot wife? Cheating Spouse? College Co-Ed? Next-door neighbor? What is it about the participants that might interest your reader? Alpha Werewolf? Billionaire? Biker? What is it?
I would suggest that you use a couple of your tags to identify the key participants. There's a lot of room for experimentation here, and a lot of ways you can to about it. If there are more than two sex participants, you may want to go with the classic MFM codes. You might use as many as three tags to identify the participants, if its central to the story. e.g. My Boss, My Brother, My Alpha WereBear
There are lots of the M/F/W+ Codes. We won't go into all of them, just the most searched for, and most useful
Threesomes, Foursome and More
- MMF - Two men and a woman - Popular Search / Tag
- MFM - Two men, one woman, the men are for the woman only
- FFM - Two women, one man, women interaction
- FMF - Two women, one man, women
- MM+ - Three or more males
- FF+ - Three or more females
Four or more
- MM+F - 3 or more men, one female - train or gangbang typically
- FF+M - 3 or more women, one males
- M+F+ - Orgy
Other ways of depicting group action:
Occupational Kink Tags
If the characters occupation is a kink, rather than a background, include it as a tag:
There are two occupational tags that are searched for a lot. Not tagging your story as such, if it's occurring, is criminal.
The Big Two
- boss - If it's a boss in a position of power - TAG IT
- coed / Co-Ed (Coed is the more common search/Tag)
Others to Note:
Relationship / Non-Family
Relational Tags are useful, providing some type of information about the relationship between different protagonists, that are not blood-related:
The Big Five
- older woman
If the characters are non-human this is a good place to say so.
Incest is interesting in that the participant tags are all important. In the case of incest, it's best to allow at least three tags to cover the participants. Tag the pairing, and the individual participants separately, since the readers search both ways.
The Big Three
- mother son
- brother sister
- daddy daughter
Others to Note:
Exception - semi-incest:
- sisters - this is often not an incestual search. FFM with sisters
- brothers - same. It's about often about MFM with brothers
- step son|daughter - not strictly incest, it's too close for comfort
- step mother|daughter - pseudo incest
Tags 3-6 - Searchable Kink
After the first couple of tags, I would suggest the next four delve into the sexual kink. Even if the 'kink' is plain vanilla sex. The Literotica official word on Tags is not to include the Category in the tag. It's common sense if your story is properly categorized, but if it crosses categories, you may want to add that.
First, if there is a non-hetero sexual orientation, it may be worth tagging. Notice that is not an attempt to let the reader know what's going on as a warning if this is not their interest, it's particularly about letting a reader find their interest. As such, general tags like LGBT are not useful.
After Sexual Orientation, the most likely searched for elements would be Sexual Situations and Sexual Activities. It's worth noting that certain words are not permitted by Literotica to be used as tags. These include Rape, Murder, Baby, Child or any combination with these words (babysitter, child molester). You may want to use two or even three sexual element tags, since they are common searches but very broad and in-concise.
Capitalization in some sexual terms is important. Literotica ignores capitalization of tags. Capitalize or don't, it doesn't matter.
Think of this as an overall theme for the story.
These are activities that occur within the overall theme
Sexual fetishes that occur within the overall theme
Tags 7-10 - Identification
The most useful identification elements are location, occasion, and the unusual. These may not be common tags, and that can be good. These are the things a reader may remember about a story, and use to find it.
Location is a great identifier. It's often one of the most memorable parts of the story. Always include a location tag if possible.
You don't always have an occasion that's central to the activity, but when you do, it's an excellent tag and should be used. Again, very memorable.
Other Identification Tags
There are countless other tags you could use to identify your story. Here are some popular ones to consider if appropriate.
Choosing your Tags
I've given you a lot to think about, and a lot to choose from. Obviously the lists aren't complete. One additional thing to think about is that tags and their popularity vary by category.
When you're ready to tag your story, start with the concept of participants/kinks/identification. Or you might prefer a more memorable mnemonic, like people/pleasures/places. Something that will stick with you. Then I suggest you pay a visit to the Literotica Tags Portal.
There you can see a visual 'cloud' of the most popular tags, and you can filter them by category. Examine the tags for the category you are going to submit your story to, or any other appropriate categories. Each category has a 'most used tags' listing, so you can see what the most common tars are for each category.
Once you have your tags in mind, write them down. Then think about your story from an outsider's point-of-view, and ask yourself if the reader could find your story using those tags. And if they did, would they be happy with it.
To give you an idea of how to use tags, let's look at some of the most popular (favorited) stories on Literotica.
* * *
Words on Skin - by PacoFear
A little sister can't say some things out loud.
The most popular story on Literotica, with nearly 4,000,000 views 1300+ comments, and favorited 3000 times.
A simple story about a brother sister romance. Scooter thinks his little sister is the most beautiful woman he's ever seen. Lizzie is in love with her older brother.
Summer break has them sharing a beach house before the parents arrive. She's engaged, and he finds it difficult to accept. She wakes him every morning writing on his back with her finger, as she has since she was 10 years old. The letters "ImU".
A slow seduction occurs, as she wins over her brother. She's drunk, he fingers her, and gets her off. He plays with her sleeping body. She asks him to be her first anal sex. We find out she lied about the engagement; there's no fiance. They are almost caught having sex for the first time.
On the beach he learns the meaning of the letters. I m U. The m is actually a heart. I Heart You. I love you. She always has. He loves her, and they are a couple. Her long chase and seduction of her brother has succeeded.
PacoFear understood the use of title, description and the author introduction perfectly. Even his tags are appropriate, but incomplete.
The tags for Words On Skin:
brother sister incest
brother sister sex
Only four of the tags were used, and although it tells what the story is about, if someone were to search for this story, using the tags, they'd be swamped. Search the incest category, you wouldn't need the word incest in our tags. The following tags would cover the most used incest 'relationship' terms:
Keeping his three tags, the remaining seven could tell the story:
- masturbation (or fingering)
- fake fiance
- letters on back
- beach house
Searching for this story using the regular search, it's almost impossible to find, unless you remember the 'imu'. It's unusual enough that a Title and Text search reveals it as the only story with that search term.
* * *
Accidents Happen! by stewartlinda
A brother and sister make a discovery
The #3 favorited story on Literotica.
A wealthy sister who's been divorced three times invites her married brother to a costume party at her house. Brother and his wife are going as a sexy nurse and a Beverly Hills doctor. At the last moment the wife can't go.
The party is hopping, with a lot of sexy outfits. The sister has a problem. She has a costume for two, and her friend didn't show up. The costume is a giant dragon. He reluctantly agrees to wear it with her. The costume is hot, so she wears a bikini, and he wears boxers.
After wearing it awhile, he's rubbing up against her constantly, and he gets excited. They are hot and sweaty. Her bikini bottom becomes untied and falls off. They try to return to the room, and he accidentally enters her. They have sex. They make it back to the room, and after another accident, they have anal sex.
The title and description barely hint at the action, although the brother/sister in the description help. Fortunately the tags are good.
stewartlinda used 9 of 10 tags:
- brother sister incest
- brother sister sex
- sister sex
- mistaken identity
- incest anal
- brother sex
- sibling sex
- accidental incest
Of the nine used, one is wrong (there was no mistaken identity) and the brother/sister tags took up five. Searching for the story with the most likely tags, would possibly find it:
brother sister / costume / party / accidental sex
would all be likely search terms to find the story. People looking for accidental sex between brother and sister, involving a costume, might look for:
brother sister / accidental / costume / party
Memorable additions might be the dragon costume, having sex in front of everyone while in their costume, the missing wife, the aftermath confession and the invitation to another costume party.
Possible useful tags would be:
- brother sister
- brother sex
- sister sex
- accidental sex
- costume for two
- public sex
Using the advanced search system at http://search.literotica.com, searching the incest category for brother, sister, costume, by Titles, Text yields hundreds of stories. Accidents Happen! is the 35th to show up. Searching by Tags reveals 11 stories. Accidents Happen is number two.
That's it for Tags. Use them, all 10. Identify the personalities involved, the situation and activities, the location, and anything memorable. Your readers will thank you for it, and you will most likely encourage more people to read your work.
Part 6: Beyond the story