(5 Tips for Writing Erotica They’ll Read Again and Again)
Many excellent writers have shared their writing tips already, and I endorse them all, but I wanted to mention a few personal guidelines I’ve developed over the years to take away the terror when I sit down to write a new story.
1. Writing a story is like seducing a lover. You want to intrigue, delight and ultimately move your reader so that she or he will want to come back to your imaginary world over and over again. It’s a tall order, but the easiest way I’ve found to connect with my ideal reader is to write about what intrigues, fascinates and turns me on. It doesn’t always have to be based on real experience. I’ve discovered many new varieties of sexual pleasure in fantasy, and later in the flesh, through my explorations for a story. However, unlike a lover, a reader can always tell when you’re faking it, so make sure you want to be there and enjoy.
2. When planning a seduction, you dress to look your best, turn on the charm, and give your partner your full attention. How does this translate into a story? Don’t stint on the planning phase. Let the ideas simmer, play around with the plot and characters, let them take on a life of their own. The “charm” is your willingness to make the scenes and all the senses come alive. Paint a picture for your reader, but also write a symphony of language and cook up deliciously naughty scents and tastes. Finally, a strong first line that grabs ‘em by the nose, quick and clever transitions, and a satisfying final line are the literary equivalents of courtesy to your “date.”
3. Put your story to this test: take way all the explicit sex and see what’s left over. If you still have a good story—even if it’s much shorter—then you’ve passed. Besides lots of hot sex, a good erotic story always has an intriguing plot, characters with humanity, and descriptions throughout that are sensual in themselves.
4. Stories that yield more pleasure on the second, third or fourth reading require that many editorial passes times ten for the writer. I believe a writer only deserves a reader’s attention when she puts her best efforts into shaping the plot, weaving a wonderful atmosphere, lighting a fire between (or among) the characters, and making each word work for its place in the story. This never happens in a first draft. Of course, first drafts require freedom and flow for the imagination, but after the shape of the story is set, put on your editor’s hat and earn the return!
5. Forget the orgasm. Well, not completely, but in a partial departure from real-life dating, the build up to the climax matters more. I barely remember the orgasms in my favorite erotic stories. It’s the delicious path to ecstasy that I seek over and over again. Story-wise, the climax is the significant change in the relationship of the characters—a moment which sometimes, but doesn’t always coincide with the orgasm. I’ll admit that one of my biggest challenges is writing about the orgasmic experience in a fresh, realistic way. Usually a few well-chosen sentences will get the job done, but they’re never the heart of the story. After all, if you set up the mood right, the reader holds the ultimate pleasure in his own hand.