So you want to be a writer of erotica.
First off, don’t think because you’ve had sex in positions other than the missionary position that erotica is going to be easy to write. Anyone can list their fantasies out on a page, or describe what they did with a partner. The challenge is to make your scene relevant to the reader, so that they will enjoy what you’ve written to the point they have to put the book aside and, ahem…deal with the urges that your writing has made them feel. It sounds easy, but it isn’t. The human mind is complex, and what turns on one person may leave another feeling cold. The limits
for what crosses the line also vary from person to person. Lastly, realize that once you delve into the steamy, wet realm of erotica, you’ll never be able to go back. You will have written, “One of Those Books.” While some readers will be overjoyed that you went there (and perhaps clamor raucously for more), others will be not so thrilled. Lastly, like all writing, you will need to promote your erotica, which means sitting at a vendor’s table at a convention with your books visible to all, including your parents, your coworkers or boss, and your children. Make sure you’re ready for that.
I see a nod of commitment and resolution. All right, then. That leads us to the next hurdle, which is what to write. If you’re writing a short story for an anthology, you may already have a theme given by the anthology title (i.e. all my short stories in Make Me Behave 2 include BDSM, specifically spanking). Having a theme makes it easier to think up a plot idea. But don’t be afraid to come up with your own. Use anything that inspires you, or that you think is sexy (i.e., my erotic short Stalking You featured a werefox being hunted). This inspiration could be a real-life experience you had (or wanted to have), a setting which makes you feel sexy, or even something out of the ordinary which made you pause during your workday with the lusty inner thought of What if…? Jot down your idea, then do an outline of the story. You don’t have to have names or graphic details yet. That comes later. Remember that good erotica has a believable plot. Great erotica has a good enough plot that the story would still be readable if all the sex was removed
(though of course, it would be much less stimulating).
Here, finally, we get to the sex. This part is what will make or break your book. Most people are not reading erotica for the plot; they are reading it to get them hot and bothered. Make sure your sex is hotter than a blazing forest fire in a drought-stricken pine grove. Read through each sex scene from end to end. How did each make you feel? If the answer for any is “bored”, label the scene “draft 1” and start again on a fresh page. If you didn’t get to the end of the scene because you went looking for satisfaction, then you’re on the right track.
You’ve now got the sex scene, the setting, and a good outline for the rest. Now comes the part that’s sure to make you blush, if you haven’t already. It’s time for research. This is not usually book research, though that’s also a possibility. You need sex props for your erotica to make it sizzle. This can be any of a number of things, like specific actions your characters take in their relations (BDSM, etc.), sex toys (there are an infinite number of these online or in your local
adult bookstore), sex games without bondage (see Kama Sutra, or Arabian Nights; Scheherazade didn’t seduce her king on the power of her words alone), or even some new “help” you come up with on your own. The only thing to remember is to make your finished scene somewhat plausible. I once read a romance with an Indian riding bareback with a woman riding him, having sex to the gallops of the horse. All I could think of as I read the sensuous passage
was how painful that would be in real life, which meant I couldn’t lose myself in the action, much less get excited about it. And we’ve all seen movies with people having sex on stairs. Three words: don’t do it.
Once you’ve mastered the plausible angle, you’re almost done. Flesh out the story put the finishing touches on it, and send it to a friend who likes naughty books. If they give it the green light, draw up that email to the publisher, and hit send. Then go have a glass of wine, and congratulate yourself. It doesn’t matter what or when you hear back from the publisher. You are now a writer of erotica. Congratulations!
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