Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Sex Sells - Five Tips For Writing Erotica - And One Big No-No

Sex sells.  And it seems like hundreds of new writers of erotica are popping up every day, especially now that self-publishing has taken off.  Ebook readers are faced with thousands of choices in erotic fiction.  Unfortunately, many of them in my opinion are pure crap.
People may buy your 10,000 word book for just under a buck based solely on the title or the cover.  But if there's nothing inside but a mish-mash of poorly written sex scenes, they probably won't buy a second book from you.  There are too many genuinely good writers out there competing for that same dollar.
Recently I skimmed through a "how to write sex" book by a male author.  The guy started out bragging about how he just got started, he knows nothing about writing, never read much himself - but he's already making enough writing erotic books to buy all the booze he can drink.  He refused to divulge the pen name he uses so it was impossible to check out his story.  But judging from the quality of his self-published Ebook, I believe the part where he says he knows nothing about writing.
Here are five tips for writing erotica that I've picked up along the way from some very good writers - and one no-no I learned from the booze-swilling braggart:
1.  Come up with a good story.  Most readers of erotic romance are women.  And most women want the romance part as much as they want the erotic part.  
2.  Remember show and tell.  Bring all the senses into your writing.  Let them hear the harsh smack of the Dom's paddle echoing off the stone walls of the dungeon, shiver at the chill of the whipped cream that the hunky pastry chef smears on her nipples, catch the scent of the leather blindfold.
3.  Use real words, not tacky cliches.   Unless you're writing a story set in Victorian times, try to refrain from having the hero's throbbing manhood brazenly invade the heroine's nether regions.
4. Create characters we can like.  I want to imagine myself as the heroine, not hate her for being a whiny, spoiled brat or a slut with no redeeming social value.  Same goes for the hero.  No one wants to be romanced by a man with all the depth of a stick figure.
5. Go ahead and break the rules - AFTER you learn them   Good writers of erotic fiction know the basics.  They grab the reader's attention right off the bat and tell a compelling tale.  The sex is woven into the fabric of the story.  We all know famous authors who break rules, switching POV ( that's point of view), popping in and out of their characters' heads from one paragraph to the next.  But they can get away with it because they've learned how to make it work.  If you start out ignoring basic rules, don't be surprised if your readers become confused or annoyed.
And the One No-No I learned from the booze-swilling braggart:
Don't Treat Your Readers Like They're Stupid.  You may think people will buy anything if it has enough raunchy sex in it, but trust me - things like grammar, spelling, punctuation and the ability to put words together and form a cohesive thought really are important.  If you've never been an avid reader, you probably don't have any business trying to be a writer.


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