Tuesday, August 7, 2007

It’s Hard Writing Erotica

It’s hard writing erotica romance. Okay, everyone has permission to laugh out loud with that little tidbit. But in all seriousness, writing erotica means using sharp words (some would call crude or dirty words) that are essential to the story. The joy of reading erotica is that it should get you all hot and bothered in a good way. When I started writing erotica I found this great book by Susie Bright called, How to Write a Dirty Story.

Bright’s book made me laugh and take pride in the honesty behind those “dirty” words we all like to say, hear and even read.“You might be able to fake an orgasm, but you will never be able to fake your way through writing a sex scene. Every reader will know you’re a fraud. The biggest hurdle as an erotic writer is to write believably,” writes Bright, adding, “Erotica is harder than usual in this regard, because sex is such a touchy subject, and we have to overcome so much cynicism and consumer-oriented titillation.” Bingo! she’s dead on.

I honestly believe that to be a successful erotic writer, you personally need to thoroughly enjoy sex and the mechanics of how it works for both men and women. As a writer, you need to know when it’s suitable to use the word penis, cock, shaft, vagina, cunt or pussy. Do I get all hot and bothered with the word penis? Probably not, but sometimes even in an erotic story, that might not be the authors intent in the beginning.While vagina and penis conjure up a more medical description of that particular anatomy, write cock and cunt and you’ve probably snagged the reader's attention. More important than those hard “c” words, you need to have all the fundamental elements to a good story.

If you don’t have developed characters, plot, and tension between the hero and heroine, and use timing in your story to develop those luscious sex scenes, it simply won’t work, or it won’t read honestly. And sometimes that means making your sex scene rough, sweet or juicy. The key factor in erotica writing is the intensity of sex, the use of those “naughty” words to further one's imagination and how sex relates to the plot.

Writing a sex scene just for the sex won’t snag your reader. And that’s where we encounter the “hard” part of erotica writing.As an author you always need to ask yourself, “How does this sex scene relate to the story? Is it essential? Does it enable the reader to learn another aspect of a character? Does it leave the reader with an emotional-impact?" And if you can’t read your erotica writing out loud, then don’t write it. Or better yet, teach yourself the power of those naughty words. That was one lesson I took to heart from reading Bright’s book.

Bright writes that the goal of an erotica writer is, “To discover the sexual and aural power of speaking erotic prose, to test literature you’re unsure of. If it doesn’t work out loud, it’s not going to be successful for silent readers, either." To become as fluent speaking erotic language as you are writing it—one enhances the other. And after you finish, she writes, you’ll never believe again… “That erotica is meant to be private, that speaking verse and prose is a dull exercise, that reading aloud is only for actors, and that words can’t be sex.”

1 comment:

Expiration Date said...

Renee, I am SO honored by your recommendation and praise. SOB SOB SOB. There's nothing like having a fellow writer recognize your efforts, so thank you!

Susie