Monday, January 4, 2016

Whither the Erotic Writer's Thesaurus?

Undoubtedly, the most popular and frequently visited page on this site is The Erotic Writer's Thesaurus. It's a project I've been working on with intermittent enthusiasm over the past several years, and I have been gratified by the community's overwhelmingly positive response, as well as the following for my weekly posts about usage on Facebook.

Now, however, I need to make some decisions about the future of this resource. The 'beta' version on this site hardly reflects the vast amount of new information I've added to the master document over the past two years--and I very much want to share all that information. Originally, I had envisioned an e-book reference with full internal navigation and cross-referencing. However, there are several serious obstacles to the achievement of that goal:

(1) The Thesaurus would simply be too huge, with far too many hyperlinks to be viable as an e-book. It would actually be rather difficult and confusing to use. And without the resources and support of a major publisher, there is little practical way to realize the project either in print or electronic form.

(2) In either form, there would be no guarantee of sales, especially as in this day and age people can simply Google the wrong answers from various sites around the web. (Don't get me started on open-source venues, or those sites that seem to be geared more towards the display of advertising than the actual dissemination of accurate information.)

(3) I don't have the full time to devote to a project of this magnitude--unless I want to give up my writing career altogether for the next two to five years, along with pretty much everything else in my life. Writing is my passion, not data-entry. I am currently working on entries under 'I', and, although there are a lot of entries already included under the subsequent letters, there is still a considerable--and seriously daunting--ways to go.

So, what are my options?

(1) I can do a massive update to the page here on EFTBB, reflecting what I've collected so far. The main difficulty here is that I can't figure out how to include rudimentary navigation on a Blogger page. Existing links within the Word document have a tendency to go haywire when transferred to EFTBB. Thus, a lot of manual searching would be required on a user's part. And, of course, while this up-date would greatly expand the resource, it still won't be complete--and it might never be.

With this new up-date, I would split off the Notes on Usage section, making it available as a discrete page.

(2) I could possibly start a dedicated website for the resource, which should retain much of the internal navigation. I would also probably be able to offer the site's contents as a PDF. The problem here is that while I'm dedicated to offering this resource for free, I don't have the money to pay for a site out of my own pocket, nor do I want to sell advertising for it (thus becoming like so many other useless on-line 'data-deserts' as mentioned above.)

(3) I could turn the Thesaurus into a kind of quasi-open-source community effort, with vetted volunteer editors given the authority to add new entries and information. I would be happy to do this so long as my formatting conventions were adhered to within a margin of consistency. As to how I would do this, I don't yet know, and, given the severe time constraints under which so many of us live our lives, it might not be quite as practical a solution as it appears on paper.

At this point, I'm leaning towards the first (and by-far the simplest) option. But I would very much welcome any comments or ideas you, the site's faithful users, may have. Contact me at with your input. I won't be making any final decisions for some time, so there's plenty of opportunity to comment.



(Honestly! It's too bad. I really did like this cover!)

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