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I have removed a comment which was misinterpreted. I am sorry. In the posting, I was defending Nifty against what I thought was a rude remark made about them. I should have been more specific. I think the Nifty Archive is a valuable resourse and I was commenting that merely because we dislike a particular story, we should not write dismissive things such as "Well, its on Nifty." Yes, there are sometimes stories on Nifty that may not meet our standards, and there are stories there that I dislike, but to just dismiss Nifty, I thought was rude. I've not read the story in question and probably won't because of the way it has apparently evolved, but I thought it was intemperate to simply dismiss it as "another Nifty story."

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What I said was the writer took a good story and turned it into something Nifty seemed to be known for. With luck, the writer will bring the story back on track and return the story to it's glory. Sex in stories is fine but when it's explicit and has no meaning to the story other than filling a page or two, it's not warranted. I have found good stories there but I had to wade thru countless others that were nothing but wank material. If someone posts a link to a good story there, I'll check it out and usually it is good. I hear Nifty is trying to change what they post. If a writer is good, they will find other places to host their work and polish their style. Some need no polish, just to be known.

I started reading there many years ago and that led to me finding other places that had the cream of the crop. This and a dare got me writing. Years of reading helped me define my style, that and a bit of help from friends.

This is my opinion, take it or leave it.

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I read your comment before it was removed and have to say that in a lot of peoples minds Nifty is, unfortunately, synonymous with bad writing and 'stroke' stories. It's a shame, but a truth. It's also true that a lot of really good authors have started off there. It's like a publisher's slush pile: in which you can find diamonds in the rough.

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Most first-time and first-few-times writers don't have much self-confidence, don't know how or whether their writing will be accepted and are worried about negative comments about their wiriting and their person. Nifty accepts just about everything, so it gives these writers a place to show what they can do, and for that it's a valuable service. I started there, and I woudn't be surprised if a lot of us here did.

After a few stories and very positive feedback, I gained a little confidence in my writing. But without Nifty, I may not have tried at all.


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Guest Dabeagle

Although I stopped posting at Nifty some time ago (and recently began putting some older things there) I have mixed feelings about it. Yes, I think the vast majority of the stories posted are cringe inducing - and I say this realizing that just because it's there doesn't mean that and that some of my own things might make someone cringe - but Nifty has developed that reputation of having to dig through a lot of mud to find something decent to read. That's why the rise of more individualized or 'boutique' sites exist.

I rarely troll Nifty anymore (I don't have time for anything anyway) but when I do I am normally disappointed with what I find. I'd much rather come here, for instance, where the level of writing is more to my taste. But I freely admit I am much more likely to take a story 'seriously' if it is somewhere other than Nifty. What Cole said is entirely true and Nifty serves a purpose - a valuable one - not to mention the high traffic. In fact the traffic is why I started posting some stories there again, for the feedback. Still, I'm not a big fan of Nifty in terms of finding something I'm going to enjoy reading.

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I think we miss the point behind Nifty.

When I was twelve years old, our neighbor's trash can fell over and on my way home from school, I found several Penthouses and Penthouse Forums lying in the grass. Being twelve and curious (and horny) I naturally grabbed them and took them home. Of course, they were discovered by my mother and was I forced to endure all kinds of humiliations, but the point is, I was less excited by the pictures of naked ladies as I was by the reader submitted stories. Those I found titillating, so to speak. I think when Nifty was founded, it was seen as the gay online version of of the reader-submitted stories sections of these pre-Internet magazines. I went to Nifty then, and often still do, looking for good erotic stories.

What I find unattractive about the way people write about Nifty is the snobbery implicit in their comments. David performs an invaluable service. He provides a place for anyone to post a story, whether they have a PhD in English or are a high school drop out. And, he has minimal restrictions beyond those egregious examples of just horrifying abuse and perversion. I look upon Nifty as a general purpose library and the other sites, Awesome Dude leading among them, as a more specialized library. I know, I'm sure David knows, and most readers know that many of the stories are poorly written and they aren't intended to be literary masterpieces. But, remember the title of the site-- Nifty EROTIC Stories Archive.

I think there is a tendency to be snobby here about erotic stories and we should remember that most people writing a sexual story are not trying to reach the New Yorker audience, although even a writer at the New Yorker sometimes entertains an impure thought. Wank stories serve their purpose for some people and I find it distasteful to be so rude about the writers of such stories. Its as if people should feel ashamed of having sexual feelings and reading sexual stories. I have experienced myself what happens here when one recommends a story that violates the high moral standards of some members and so I may be more sensitive about literary freedom. I think if a writer has the balls (forgive my rude and intemperate language) to offer up his work to the world, we should be happy. That doesn't mean that it can't be criticized, but lets not be arrogant about it and just paint with broad strokes (no pun intended) of condemnation particular genres or venues.

I'm fifty-five years old and I remember America before Stonewall, before the disco era, before HIV, when a man or boy could be arrested and beaten by police with no regard to the law, when gay people could be fired from their jobs or denied an apartment with no legal recourse, when gay men and boys were murdered simply for being gay. I remember when gay people fled to New York or San Francisco where they found the freedom to be themselves. I remember the liberating freedom I felt as a young, gay man in the American South the first time I set foot in a gay bar and I didn't have to hide who I was. And, I remember the shock I felt when I found that some of my own people were worse snobs than those I suffered from in the outside world.

Sometimes, I get that same feeling when I read some of the put-downs here. I don't mean to cause controversy or be a disruptive element and I apologize if I seem intemperate, but I simply want to urge us not to be so judgmental and quick to condemn. I know Dude has high standards for the authors and stories he hosts here, as well he should. I know, however, how respectful and appreciative he is of authors, as well. I think we would all do well to follow his example and try to be a little kinder to and less disrespectful of writers whose work we may not necessarily like. Taste is not an absolute. Let us not be so quick to dismiss something as merely a wank story or "just a Nifty story." I would be willing to bet that someone who uses that kind of terminology has probably masturbated at least once in his life.

By the way, Oscar Wilde wrote a pornographic book, a wank story, if you will, entitled Teleny. Even the best writers occasionally have impure thoughts.

I know it may seem I am rambling and going on, but there is one additional comment I wish to add that I had removed from my original comment in this thread: Seven years ago, when I was a member of another board, I made a comment about one of the finest writers I have ever read on Nifty, an author whose work, had it been in another genre, could easily have been published. It was a rude and insulting comment that I deeply regretted the next day. I am ashamed of what I wrote and if there were same way to apologize to him, I would. However, because of what I wrote and the comments of others who agreed with my misguided and insulting remark, he stopped posting. My shame and embarrassment over that incident was the primary reason FreeThinker disappeared from the Internet in 2006 and why it has taken me this long to come back. If I could undo what I did, I would, but I can't. I can't help but wonder what this fine writer must have felt after working years on his stories, only to have some drunken asshole make the comment I made. I would hope that I have learned from that experience and that I would be more respectful of other writers and the effort they put out. That is why I seem so sensitive on this subject. I don't want to be a hypocrite.

I also once use the term "Morlocks on Nifty," in a posting, but that was intended, as the context might show, to be more self-mocking and self-deprecating.

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I'd agree with a lot of what Freethinker said above. Nifty has its place, as do its stories. Like for many of us, it was one of the first, if not the first, gay story site I found on the web a number of years ago. True, most of the stories are poor from a literary standpoint, and years ago I remember skimming over the first few paragraphs of many a story and dismissing them quickly. But there were the exceptions. Hard to find, true, and scattered thin, but they're there. And there's nothing wrong with a quick wank story if that's what someone is looking for, if that's what they came (ahem) to the site to find, then they'll find plenty of it.

And it provided and continues to provide a place for budding writers to submit stories. New writers that don't have any idea if what they're writing is any good at all. Many of our favorite writers on the net, on this and other websites, can trace their first stories to a tentative nifty posting back in the mists of time. Nifty is easy to slam, easy to laugh at, but it doesn't pretend to be anything other than what it is, and it does that job just fine.

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There is certainly room in this world for all sorts of websites. Nifty has a huge following. Other sites do as well. It seems to me if one doesn't like or appreciate Nifty, he shouldn't go there. If he does like it, he should. Where's the problem?

Criticizing it for the quality of the writing seems a bit jejune. It is what it is, and only first-time users aren't aware of what they're getting. It's like going to a restaurant that serves fresh venison, ordering it, and then complaining it tastes gamey.

I myself rarely visit there. That's personal choice. But I did start my 'career' there, and can be thankful the site existed then. How then could I rue that it exists still?


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I agree with the other comments above that Nifty does provide a useful service, particularly for budding authors. But I've been dismayed by the terrible writing that's often on there, stuff that just defies any normal rules of drama and story-telling. Over the last ten years, we've debated many times the awful cliches that people throw in -- like the first scene with an alarm clock, or teenagers meeting by literally running into each other in the hallway, or longtime best friends who figure out that they lust after each other (a stereotype which I've certainly used) -- plus incomplete sentences, bad grammar, bad spelling, the works.

I don't mind sex in stories at all, but I do kind of roll my eyes at the shenanigans some people fantasize about young characters. I can suspend disbelief to a point, but way too many Nifty stories go off the cliff for me.

And yet... there are still gems to be found there, and I haven't given up on it yet. The site was one of several factors that inspired me to write, and to eventually correspond with The Dude, and meet all you kind folks here. So I'm grateful to Nifty if only for that, and I'm glad they're still around.

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I have avoided commenting here for most of the week because I agree that Nifty provides a certain kind of story site aimed at a particular kind of reader. It doesn't have to be a classic story, just something stimulating.

Like many who post here, I read and then posted on Nifty. Swapping comments with some of the other authors I found writing the same kinds of stories as I was wont to do in those days. Stories with sex don't bother me, they serve the needs of the readers on Nifty, but they are also quite boring after a time. Writing a Nifty story is like cooking with the same five ingredients meal after meal. And then came the day.

FreeThinker posts the following comment: "David performs an invaluable service. He provides a place for anyone to post a story, whether they have a PhD in English or are a high school drop out. And, he has minimal restrictions beyond those egregious examples of just horrifying abuse and perversion."

Let's talk about those minimal restrictions. When you are an author posting to a site it behooves you to read the other works being posted to see what company you are keeping. I think the very nature of the volume at Nifty keeps David from reviewing everything and so it seems things got past him.

The reason I left Nifty is two-fold. First, I read a serial story that meandered until about Chapter 9 where the author depicted a child rape in graphic terms with blood, bondage and screaming in agony galore...I almost threw up. Second, I commented to David that this was totally innapropriate for the site and violated his rules. I got told to mind my own business. I did, I left the site and have not been back.

Perhaps David now has help in screening what authors send him, but I would not be a part of any site that allowed such disgusting material to be posted. The Dude is not alone in managing this site, he has eyes in the back of his head, other eyes to read what comes through the door. I would have removed all of my stories from Nifty after that occurance but I am not allowed to do so.

I just hope the FBI is kind when they knock on my door. In this day and age everything on the Net is filtered and possibly examined. We have a fairly liberal climate on censorship at the moment, but there may come the day when this is no longer true. This is not paranoia, just a hard look at what other people see with my name on it.

I want FreeThinker to know that he is perfectly entitled to his opinion and I respect that. I had a bad experience, some laughs and met some interesting authors on Nifty. The "Morlocks on Nifty" comment brings to mind one author's opinion that he was writing his stories for "one-handed readers." You get the picture. I like to think that I write for a better class of people these days, ones who read with both hands.

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I understand what Chris James is saying and I don't want to come off as strident or defending rape stories or some of the stuff that I admit horrifies me there. Most of what I read online is here at Awesome Dude. This is my home and when I read an Awesome Dude story, I know I will find something of quality. I am embarrassed that my stories are hosted here and feel out of place because of the caliber of the writing here. You are all amazing and highly talented and skilled writers.

I started off in January 2002 writing what I hoped would be a wank story that was better written than most and over the years, I evolved, particularly after I made friends with other writers and some readers of my stories who became writers, and my stories began to have less sex and more story. Then and Now had no sex and the story I am writing now has only a few scenes and those are in the story to show specific changes in the characters' personalities as the story evolves.

What I was trying to say is that we shouldn't tar and feather all Nifty stories. Just because a story is on Nifty doesn't automatically make it bad. I feel like I'm beating a dead horse now and just repeating myself. Would you condemn Barnes and Noble because they sell Horny Bitches Like it Rough or Vomit on Me, Baby? Well, maybe, but you would pass by them and go to something else. Treat Nifty the same way. I've never visited the Bestiality or Urination sections on Nifty, but I accept there are people who might want that. I'm not holier than they are. I prefer the High School and Young Friends Section, (although I'm almost afraid to admit even that here anymore). I assume it's still safe to admit here that I'm gay. Sometimes, there are good writers there. We've just added three new writers here who are wonderful and who were on Nifty. JJ Janicki's new story Learning to Fly is one of my favorites,but <gasp>, It's a Nifty story.

Just everyone quit being so damned uptight. Criticize, make suggestions for improvement, discuss strengths and weaknesses. That's the purpose of a writers' board. Find a story that needs improvement and discuss how and why. Fine. Good. That's what you're supposed to do. But, enough of the "Oh, it's just another Nifty story." If that simple request is offensive, then oh well...

All right. Enough. I'm off to find more dead horses to beat.

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When I started writing (at Gay Authors) I posted my first two stories to Nifty. Then I found out that you can't have your stories removed from Nifty. Ever. And later, without a by-your-leave, they appeared on some rather odd mirror sites. So I stopped posting there. Very luckily, I found Awesome Dude. :icon_thumleft:

JJ Janicki's new story Learning to Fly is one of my favorites,but <gasp>, It's a Nifty story.</gasp>

No, it's a JJ Janicki Story. :smile:

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Paul and I have found some really good stories and authors on Nifty. Both of us usually read in the YoungFriends section. Yes, there are many stories I find distasteful, but the good thing... I don't have to read them. If I could write stories like you guys I would post them where ever someone would likely read them... Nifty, AD or the local grocery bulletin board.

You all make valid points. Just don't get carried away and hurt feelings, nobody needs that.

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Then I found out that you can't have your stories removed from Nifty. Ever.

I too started reading on Nifty. I even posted my first story there, but it's not there anymore. I know it was there at one time, because I got a lot of comments on it. One guy wrote to tell me that he loved my story, but it was the first time that he had read anything on Nifty that had no sex in it. LOL

Maybe that's the reason my story's not there anymore. It had no sex.

But you're right. Nifty is a great resource. Most of you started out there, and Nifty spurred your creative minds to do something better. It was a great catalyst to motivate you to reach for that higher level. AwesomeDude and you all wouldn't be here if not for the motivation to do something better.

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