Five tips on how to write erotica from Lisabet Sarai,
1. Set goals for yourself but be willing to be swayed by inspiration
Writing is a balancing act between reasoned, disciplined work and the crazy
dictates of emotion and imagination. I have a writing plan, for at least six
months into the future, and I have a plan for my time whenever I sit down to
write (e.g. how many words I expect to produce or where I expect to end up in
terms of the plot). However, things don't always go according to my plans,
usually because I'll have some other idea that twists the story in a new
direction, or maybe an entirely new story pops into my mind. I've learned not to
be too rigid. Sometimes the wild notions that throw me off the rails are in fact
just what I need.
2. Don't compare yourself to any other author
It's easy to get discouraged about your own writing career when you look at
other authors who seem to be more prolific, more popular, more savvy about
marketing, more eloquent, more original, or whatever. When those comparisons
start to haunt you, do your best to ignore them. Remind yourself that each of us
has her own voice, her own method, her own path to success. Negative emotions
like envy, guilt or a feeling of inadequacy will not motivate you to produce
quality fiction. Negativity tends to smother inspiration.
3. Learn and focus on your personal areas of weaknessListen to your editors, your beta readers and your critique partners. They will
help you to see general areas where you can improve your craft. We all have
them! Once you've identified these areas, pay attention to them when you're at
work writing (or in the editing process, if your methods involve a rough first
draft with lots of later polishing). Never stop focusing on quality and
4. Don't dismiss grammar and spelling as superficial nicetiesSome authors appear to believe that if a story is sufficiently original and
involving, then using proper grammar and correct spelling are unimportant
frills. I strongly disagree. Grammar, like vocabulary, dialogue, and
description, is a tool for conveying nuances of meaning. An ability to quote or
explain formal grammar rules is not necessary, but an accomplished author knows
how to use the structure of sentences to express her thoughts with greater
precision. Meanwhile, in today's digital world, there is no excuse for
submitting a manuscript full of spelling errors.
Submitting clean manuscripts will endear you to your editors. Furthermore, in
this fast-paced era of e-publishing, many publishers seem to be devoting less
time and effort to editing. Don't expect your publisher to fix your mistakes. If
you're content with a slapdash manuscript full of grammar and spelling gaffes,
you really have no right to call yourself a professional author.
5. Find a writing method that works for you personally
There are as many approaches to writing as there are authors. Some authors do
meticulous outlines and character profiles. Some simply sit down and write
whatever comes to mind. Some do three, four or more drafts, making major
revisions with each iteration. Others edit as they write, so that their first or
second draft is ready to submit for publication. Some authors can split their
time among multiple books or stories simultaneously. Others need to focus on
one WIP at a time.
You'll get advice everywhere about how you "should" write - in how-to books, on
blogs, in critique groups. Be willing to consider the proposed techniques, but
recognize that there is no one correct way to write. You need to experiment
until you find the approaches that are most satisfying and productive for you
personally. You may discover that these change over time, too, or that the best
techniques depend on what you are writing.
Lisabet Sarai is the author of countless pieces of quality erotic fiction. More of Lisabet's work can be found at: http://www.lisabetsarai.com and http://lisabetsarai.blogspot.com.