As an engineer turned author, my foray into writing has been an interesting project. As a believer in Darwin’s Theory of Evolution, I have realized that engineers as a sub-group of humanity are generally different. No, we don’t all wear bowties and highwater pants, but somethings make us unique.
Often we struggle with our native language, and spelling doesn’t come naturally to us. In school, English and literature-related classes were always a struggle for me. I felt more at home with differential equations and thermodynamics than reading about Dick and Jane and their dog Spot.
Graduating from college, I followed in the footsteps of my relatives and became an engineer. It was refreshing to realize that my fellow engineers also suffered from the inability to write coherent sentences. But, like a pig in slop, we were happy in our little world.
Growing up, I went from a horny teenager to a horny single guy to a horny married guy. Fortunately, as readers of my column have probably figured out, my wife and I are swingers. So now, in addition to being a nerdy engineer, I’ve become a pervert.
One of the cool things about the Lifestyle, beyond the obvious, is a different world that straights never realize is all around them. Normal people, or “straights,” as we call them, live in a world of rose-colored glasses. I’m sure late at night, when their spouse is asleep, they stroke their cocks and fantasize about being in orgies where you don’t have to beg for sex or to get a blowjob!
One day, while trolling the Internet, I discovered a site that published amateur erotica stories. Some of it was god awful, but some were pretty darn good. I thought to myself, I can do that! But is it hard to type with one hand?
Going on ten years ago, I hammered out my first porn story about two college kids and mom. It got halfway decent reviews, and it occurred to me that people might actually pay to read my smut.
Searching around, I quickly discovered Amazon and SmashWords would publish my drivel and allow the frustrated people of the world to relieve themselves in the privacy of their bathroom with the door locked.
Initially, I used Microsoft Word and Libre Office to write with and was happy with them, sort of like reading Playboy before you discovered Hustler. As an engineer and software programmer, I created methods to publish my erotica. While the publishing steps are not complicated, they are time-consuming and laborious.
SmashWords publishes a free getting started book of 100+ pages of instructions and will help immensely.
A published story typically includes the following sections:
- Front Matter
- Title page
- Table of Contents (ToC)
- Back Matter
- Other Stories by the Author
- About the Author
Publishing houses such as Amazon, SmashWords, Apple, Barnes, and Noble, etc., require that your Front Matter and Back Matter be related to the publishing house being used and not mention another publishing house. For example, you cannot publish a story to Amazon and include a link to SmashWords as that will block your story.
Initially, I would take the story written for Amazon and change all the references to SmashWords, for example. Then I would end up with possibly six versions of the story for the various publishers.
Then invariably, I’d discover something I needed to change in the body of the story. Of course, this would mean loading up each story in turn and correcting the body. With any process, the more steps performed means the greater chance for errors to creep in.
I ran across an article on Scrivener and thought it sounded interesting. Developed by Literature and Latte, Scrivener is promoted as a word processor for writers. Initially, in my writing career, I purchased Scrivener and quickly gave up on it as being too complicated.
Then after publishing several stories and branching out to several publishing houses, it started to sink in that Scrivener could reduce the steps in my workflow.
Programmers call it object-oriented programming or OOP when you deal with an “object” or “class.” OOP is initially difficult to wrap your arms around until the whole concept sinks in. An excellent way to explain what an object is would be thinking about a car. If you consider that an engine is an object which is part of a larger object such as the car itself. Other objects in the vehicle would be things like the transmission or stereo.
The beauty of objects is that you don’t need to understand how they work to use them. For example, to start the car doesn’t require knowledge of how the engine works. You just put the key in or push the button to start it. An engine is an object or black box that you ask to do things and do them without knowing how it works.
Scrivener does the same thing for authors. Each part of the story is saved as a separate part and not one massive document. When I write a story, it goes in the body section of the document or manuscript, as Scrivener calls it. Then I publish the novel on Amazon.
Next, I create the shell of the story for SmashWords. Then it is a simple matter to import the body of the story into the SmashWords version.
Using this methodology, I can quickly create customized versions of my erotic story for each publisher I use. Then if I discover a mistake, I can fix it quickly by correcting the body in one version and replacing the body portion in all the other versions.
This method eliminates the need to find the text needing correction in each version. Instead, I replace the entire body with the corrected body. If the changes are in one chapter, I can replace that chapter with the corrected one.
Of course, in most cases, it is simpler to replace the entire body. My goal is to correct the mistake with the fewest amount of keystrokes. Every time you perform some function with the computer is a chance to make a mistake. By automating as much of the process as possible will minimize the chances for errors.
Another plus for Scrivener is that it is only $50 for Windows or Mac. If you use both, as I do, the bundle is $80. In addition, the files created are the same for each operating system, which allows you to open the files with your Mac one time and Windows the next.
For more on Scrivener, check out Literature and Latte at https://www.literatureandlatte.com/
For what it’s worth, I’m not getting paid to push their products, and they probably don’t admit smut writers like myself use their shit.
My name is Larry Archer, and smut’s my game. If you like explicit well written dirty stories, give me a try. Many of my stories are based upon our experiences in swinging. We’ve been there and done that!
Check me out at:
About Larry Archer
I write hard-core action-filled adult erotica stories primarily on several topics, swinging, group sex, bi-sexual (girl-on-girl), lesbian, anal, oral (blowjobs), Master-Mistress/slave (BDSM), including taboo topics also. In addition, I’ve been writing adult-oriented smut since 2012. All of my stories are bareback as I believe that the reader should enjoy the descriptions of the sex scenes to the fullest.
My stories always include graphic descriptions of the sex to help you visualize the action taking place. None of this “they had sex” shit but well-written descriptions of every detail, leaving nothing to the imagination.
As one of my readers reviewed: “One word… HOT!!! Thus was actually a very well-written story. Not your typical shirt sex story. This one was long enough to keep you engaged and hot enough to make you sweat. I actually had to stop reading it a couple of times in public because I found myself getting too turned on. Do yourself a favor and either read it in private or have somebody there whom you can make love to, because you will get excited. Good work Larry!”
We have been in the Lifestyle (swinging) for a number of years and swinging has always been a lot of fun for us and has led to interesting situations that I can base stories on.
Writing adult-themed (erotica) stories using situations we’ve been in as a base was a natural for me. I have a vivid imagination and find it easy to start with a scenario and develop that into a story. We travel a lot and have met numerous couples across the country, which provides me with more fodder for my tales.
Check out my website and blog at http://LarryArcher.com.
Never thought I’d see the concepts of object oriented design applied to writing smut! But in fact, you’ve hit on a key benefit of OOP — reuse! One copy, one class, that can be used in many different environments or applications.
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OOP is a process that takes a lot of time to understand and buy into. It’s also difficult to explain conceptually to non-programmers in a few words.
It’s impossible to keep my geek side hidden! Thanks Lisabet.
If you think being an engineer is different, try having a physics degree, with a minor in math and philosophy, then working as an engineer.
I know you like Scrivener, but you can do that part of modules in Word. They’re called “Subdocuments”.
I used them quite a bit many moons ago writing proposals for our computer based non destructive testing equipment at work.
you could get it on various computer platforms, with various hardware subsystems, but all with the same software.
I made each of those a Subdocument and simply built the proposal by adding the applicable Subdocuments.
This was back when all word documents were *.doc format, so I assume you can still do that with the latest version of Word, but I haven’t tried it lately.
Also, I have no idea i the various conversion programs the web publishers use can properly handle Subdocuments.
Oh, and I’ll let you know how hard it is to type with one hand. I slipped and fell last Friday, put my arm out to brace my fall, and broke my arm close to the wrist. Left arm is essentially useless. If I try to use my fingers on that hand for anything, my wrist hurts like hell. Probably did something to it as well.
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Mark, sorry to hear about your fall. That hurts just to think about.
I’ve used that in older versions of WORD. To me, the 2003 version is still the best and you could actually find things as the menus didn’t change. I’m not sure if the new versions still support it. I’m currently on 2019 Word at home and the cloud version at work.
The problem I have with Word is that I find it hard to jump between chapters. In Scrivener, there is a list of chapters down the left side of the window. If you click on one, it takes you to the last place you were at when you left that chapter.
You don’t have to load the chapter and search for the spot. If you click on the chapter, you are there. This is handy for me as I’ll realize I made a mistake and I can stop what I’m doing, change chapters, fix it, and click I’m right back where I was.
Also, this makes it easy to add another chapter if you get a thought when you’re right in the middle of a different scene. Scrivener allows you to create notes that are attached to each chapter for reference material or just notes.
One point I didn’t cover is that Scrivener compiles your story and outputs a single DOC file that includes everything automatically. It can also export to an ePub file that is ready for distribution. Once you’ve finished your novel, one click and it’s ready to send off.
I love and use Word every day but it’s a little like my Auto Shop teacher used to preach, “The right tool for the job.” Scrivener may not work for everyone but if you are writing a novel, it’s worth the $50 to try. IMHO
Mark – Another thought. When I was getting my private pilot’s license, I cut the tendon on my right index finger with some tin stuck out in a hardware store. The plastic surgeon sewed the tendon back together. It was only nicked, thank God. Anyway, I had an aluminum bar taped to my finger to keep the finger straight as it healed. I decided to go out and try some touch-and-go’s. After landing, I shoved the throttle in and jammed my finger into the instrument panel to go around. Luckily, I was in a 172 with fixed landing gear and was screaming in pain while I went around. I didn’t fly again until my finger healed!
It’s all good. I’ll figure out how to get by with one arm.
maybe i’ll channel my inner ee cummings and forgoe using caps at all.
of course, the real challenge will not be writing with one hand but eh hem, reading with no hands 😉
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