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.

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