Saturday, 29 November 2014

Five Tips from Valentine Bonnaire

 Five tips on how to write erotica by Valentine Bonnaire:

1) Read the erotic classics. Here’s a tiny list from Goodreads:
I say this because they are the classics for a reason! A few people aren’t on here: James Joyce, for example, or the Marquis de Sade. It’s hard to get hotter than some parts of Joyce’s Ulysses. Anybody who had a banned book is probably really good. Really, really, really good!

2) Write what you know. Write your own gender. I say this because when you do this, the reader is really going to “get” what you are saying. I never write a sex scene I haven’t done or would do in real life.

3) Read erotic poetry! Neruda, Paz and “The Ink Dark Moon” are all favorites of mine. Read outside the genre as well. Sometimes the most erotic book ever will not be called an erotic book. I found Jeanette Winterson’s “The Powerbook” to be one of the most erotic books I’ve read.

4) Start small and be published in the right places. I chose and the Erotica Readers and Writers Association for that. The latter has a fantastic writer’s list. Getting your first feedback will be invaluable as a confidence builder. Trust the editors!

5) Find your niche, and if you use a nom de plume stick with it! I made the mistake of switching once and that wasn’t so good. Keep track of your publishing credits and when you have enough join things like Poets&Writers. Take in a writers' conference or two? Get your courage up by doing a reading. That’s harder than it looks. The first time I let a conference workshop leader read one of mine, she said she had to stop. The piece was called “Gardenias” and the word that stopped her in her tracks was, “wet.” Never underestimate the power of language. We work with such loaded and oftentimes sacred words.

Valentine Bonnaire’s work can be found in the archives at as Adrianna de la Rosa and Valentina Bonnaire, and at ERWA in the galleries and Treasure Chest. “Flowering” will appear this year in The Mammoth Book of Quick and Dirty Erotica edited by Maxim Jakubowski. Three chapters of “Man in the Moon” appear in “From Porn to Poetry 2” edited by Susannah Indigo.

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Five tips from Saskia Walker

 Five tips on writing erotica from Saskia Walker. 

1. Make time: Try to make a regular routine for your writing. Even if it's only fifteen minutes a day on your lunch break, or twenty minutes before the rest of the family get up in the morning, a regular routine will help you achieve your dreams.

2. Tenacity: It's rare that a writer becomes a publishing sensation overnight. Even big name authors receive rejections. If you receive a rejection, keep writing, and resubmit! Your writing might not have been right for that editor but another editor might love your voice. Best of all, every time you write it'll teach you something new. Hang in there!

3. Be patient: There's a lot of waiting involved in being an author -- waiting to hear back about a query or submission, waiting for a story or book to reach publication -- to name just a couple. Don't wish your life away waiting on the news, move onto the next project in between times. If you work that way, you will hone your craft and your output will soon snowball.

4. Research: Before you submit work to a publisher contact some of the authors you see published there and ask about their experience. Would they recommend the publisher? Study guidelines too. Be absolutely sure you're subbing your work to the right place and in the right format.

5. Enjoy!: Have fun and enjoy your work. If you do, that will shine through on the page your readers will have fun too. You can't wish for a better reader reaction than that.

You can find out more about Saskia Walker and her writing at

THE HARLOT ~ February 2013. THE LIBERTINE ~ March 2013. THE JEZEBEL ~ April 2013.

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Five Tips from Donna George Storey

 (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.

Happy writing!

Donna George Storey is the author of Amorous Woman (recently released as an ebook) and a new collection of short stories, Mammoth Presents the Best of Donna George Storey. Learn more about her work or

Saturday, 8 November 2014

Five Tips from Jean Roberta

 5 tips from author Jean Roberta:

 1) Keep a dream diary, or at least tune in to your own stream of consciousness once in awhile, and jot down what slides through your mind. The most random, seemingly inappropriate or irrational thoughts or images can be the seeds of a very interesting piece.

 2) Make time for writing. (This is easier said than done.) If necessary, put a DO NOT DISTURB sign on the door of your study or bedroom.

 3) Don't discard any piece of writing completely, but be willing to make big changes. If your novel, poem or story has been rejected a few times, consider ways to revise it. Something about that piece intrigued you in the first place. Try to find that core, and try to make it as clear as possible to your imaginary reader.

 4) Before defining yourself as strictly a poet, strictly a short-story writer, or strictly anything else, dabble in different genres. An idea that doesn't seem to gell in a work of fiction might work in a poem. A story full of dialogue could be turned into a play. An overly complicated, "plotty" short story might want to become a novel.
(Note: if you're an erotic writer who wants to be known as a strict Dominant, you might have found a useful sideline.)

 5) Don't try out your work-in-progress on relatives or close friends first. They are too involved in your life, and they will probably think the work is about them. Get feedback from people who know you as a writer.

Jean Roberta is the author of 'Something Natural' from Seriously Sexy, Vol 1. More of Jean Roberta's work can be found at

Saturday, 1 November 2014

Five Tips from Cheyenne Blue

 Cheyenne Blue’s Top Five Writing Tips
(or at least the ones that work for her)

1) Find a physical space that becomes your writing space. It can be your messy desk in the corner staring at a blank wall, your favorite cafĂ© that does great coffee, or a nook in the garden overlooking the roses. But it should be a place that when you’re there, you’re there to write.

2) Turn off the internet when you write. Yes, even your email. Otherwise, the need to know the plotline of that Dr Who episode from 1972 can become more important than words on the page.

3) Blocked? Oh yeah, baby, it happens. Don’t use writer’s block as an excuse.
Write through it. Refer to your notes and plod on, getting those words down. You can edit later. Often, simply getting the words down frees up your writing and you’re back on track. Dr Wicked’s Write or Die ( is my productivity tool of choice for this.

4) Don’t be precious about your writing. Accept that it’s not perfect, take feedback, particularly from editors. If you have a first reader or critique group that you trust, listen to them and take their suggestions on board. Don’t be the sort of writer who scares away honest critique by your reaction.

5) Edit. Edit. Editediteditedit. It’s important to leave enough time for this, especially if you have a looming deadline. Ideally, set your story aside for at least a week before your final edit. Otherwise, your brain sees what it expects to see, rather than what is actually there, and all sorts of errors can slip through. I find reading aloud helps too.

Over the past ten years Cheyenne Blue’s erotica has appeared in over 70 anthologies including Best Women's Erotica, Mammoth Best New Erotica, Best Lesbian Erotica, Best Lesbian Romance, Girl Crazy, Cowboy Lust and Girls Who Score. Visit her website at