Saturday, 9 August 2014

Five Tips from Emerald

Five tips on how to write erotica from Emerald:

1) Schedule writing time
While this sounds obvious, for me it’s tended to have a particular importance. Rather than just trying to “fit it in when I can,” it’s helpful to me to schedule time that’s to be purely devoted to writing. For me, this is internal as much as external--I have to firmly tell my psyche this is what I’m doing for this period of time and that it does not have permission to distract me with other things. Given my psyche’s tendency to do this, it’s both grounding and freeing to have specifically delineated periods when I am not obligated to do anything but write.

2) Invite stream of consciousnessI'm a big proponent of writing things down to allow them out of our consciousness. In my experience, once we do so, our mind doesn't feel such an urgent need to hold on to or keep track of said things anymore. If you're feeling stuck in writing or your creative process, start writing/typing whatever comes into your consciousness. Let it clear out. I see this somewhat like the writing equivalent of warming up before exercising. Even if a literal story idea or such is not generated, the very process may clear out something that was blocking your attention without your even being aware of it.

3) Take care of yourselfThis may not seem to have to do much with writing, but in my experience, it affects it profoundly. If I am not properly fed, energized, and rested, I don't concentrate as well, and if nothing else, this tends to make the editing phase(s) more challenging--and ultimately lead to a piece being less than what it could have been. When I’m on deadline, of course, such self-preservational considerations tend to fly out the window, which is all the more reason I find it helpful to attend to them when I’m not--if I’ve taken care of myself up until go-time, I might have more adrenaline and energy reserves to carry me through those short periods of ignoring eating, sleeping, and most other concerns until a deadline is met.

4) Allow space in the editing processI admit I have often not allowed time for this (see prior tip), but I have repeatedly found that if I allow time--days, weeks, months, or at the very least hours--between when I think I'm done with a final version of something and when I submit or publish it, I'm in a much better position to view the work as a reader would rather than as the writer does. The passage of time allows the attachment I feel to the piece to relax so that I can see things about it I tend not to when I've been working on it for the hours or days immediately prior.

5) Respect non-writing timeI have been known to make the mistake of chastising myself for "not writing" whenever I'm not. But sometimes ideas take a while to come to fruition. Just because you're not sitting at your computer doesn't mean nothing useful to your writing is occurring. A character may just be introducing her/him/themselves to you in your subconscious, or a twist or turn of events may be sprouting in your imagination but need more time to marinate before allowing itself to be seen. Spend the time you're not writing consciously and openly (rather than in frustration or berating yourself for not writing enough), and know that your receptivity is allowing the creativity in you to develop and flourish at its own pace. An apple ripens only when it's ready to.

Emerald is the author of many pieces of fiction including 'Who's on Top?' in Alison Tyler's anthology G is for Games. More of Emerald's work can be found by visiting:

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