1. Kennedy
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    Kennedy New Member

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    Erotica as a Way to Combat Writer's Block

    Discussion in 'Erotica' started by Kennedy, Apr 18, 2014.

    Hi all,

    I just joined your lovely forum and am planning, for now, to write mostly erotica, so I thought I may as well just introduce myself in this thread.

    I have been struggling with motivation and perfectionism as so many writers do, and so I really never wrote anything unless it was for school. Now I'm not in school anymore, and the desire to do something creative has become overwhelming. A lot of my day-dreaming is sexually oriented, to the point that it annoys me sometimes, and so I'm hoping this will be a healthy and productive way to release some of that tension.

    Also, writing erotica, I find I don't take myself as seriously and compare my newbie writing unfairly to "high brow" authors that I enjoy. I am able to let go and just have fun with it. It seems like the perfect way to begin playing around with character and plot as the stories are short so I'll get lots of experience trying lots of different things.

    Has this been anyone else's experience? Why have you guys chosen to write erotica?
     
  2. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Hey, Kennedy. Welcome!

    Here's the official newbie welcome I would have given over in the New Member section, just to get it out of the way and to be sure I've pointed you to the rules, which you should read.

    With that out of the way, I often find that erotica is harder to write than just a straight sci-fi or fantasy story. Think of the erotica part as being similar to certain kinds of poetry like haiku or poems that strictly fit a certain meter, syllable count, and rhythm. You know what you want to say, but you need to make it fit these parameters. Erotica, or at least what I think of as good erotica, is like that. You know what you want to say, but you need to make it fit some parameters to make it really work. There has to be a real story, a real emotional connection, and there has to be well written bow-chica-wow-wow that isn't just wedged in like "How much do I owe you for the pizza? Really? As much as that? Well, I'm a little short, but how about these? (BOOBS)" So, there's no less skill or art to it. In fact, I think there's more. Why do I write it? Because, like you, I have a pretty high libido and I don't think there's a thing wrong with that. I think it's silly that we pretend that sex is something that doesn't happen or only ever gets described as a metaphor.
     
  3. Kennedy
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    Kennedy New Member

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    This makes so much sense when I think back to erotica that I have read. Definitely something I just need to practice.

    On that note, what are your guys' favorite erotic stories that really exemplify the best the genre can offer in terms of character? I have been reading a bunch of the Amazon Kindle stories to try to get a feel for the genre, but other than that I guess I'm not sure where to go besides the websites like Literotica.
     
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  4. Bryan Romer
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    Bryan Romer Contributing Member Contributor

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    "Erotica" covers a very wide range of styles and intensity of um, eroticism. Perhaps if you name a few titles that you found to your taste, it would be easier to recommend something that would not either bore or terrify you.
     
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  5. Smoke Z
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    Smoke Z Active Member

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    I've written blatant self-insert fan-fiction, and continue to think about it when I'm not doing anything productive.

    I guess it is a little like masturbating in public.

    I was just imagining a piece where I would refuse to play the "Bowie's Area" version of the Labyrinth drinking game because I'd be too distracted by his sleeve details, so I think I'm a bit differently frustrated than others.

    I used to think of lemony stuff, but I never wrote anything worthwhile.
     
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  6. obsidian_cicatrix
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    obsidian_cicatrix I ink, therefore I am. Contributor

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    I find it difficult. It makes me feel exposed. I have a condition that causes me intense periods of hypersexuality and I've had to go out of my way to be disciplined in the suppressing of it. As a consequence, it doesn't come easily when it comes to expressing it, as it's almost like a form of self-sabotage, if that makes sense. But... therein lies the fascination. If only I could tease along a reader the way I tease myself. ;)

    Another member criticised me for not having enough... how did he put it... dick chat. He was spot-on. I can also fall foul of pitching a tone like a Carry On movie, all nudge, nudge, wink wink. Ugh!

    It could be that what I'm writing isn't erotic at all, just fiction with some detailed, extended sex scenes.

    I think my writing is having a bit of an identity crisis right now. I can't even specify who I'm aiming it at.

    Edit@ Ohh... @Kennedy Forgive my bad manners. Welcome to the forum. :D
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2014
  7. ddavidv
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    ddavidv Contributing Member

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    I like sex. :) I thought writing about it would be easy. I've watched enough porn to know what's hot and what's not, and know how to manage words, so how tough could it be?

    Well, if all one wants to do is write a script for a sex scene, it's easy. However, that doesn't make good reading. Writing a sex scene that is titillating and arousing while also melting seamlessly into a story with characters you will actually care about...that's hard.

    I know one of the things I struggle with is the terminology and language. I have to be true to my characters, so while one may demand that the other character "F*ck my p*ssy hard!", another may require a more subtle approach "Oh God, I want you inside me now!". How much is too much? Too little? I generally like things in-between: graphic enough that you know it's not for kids, but not so graphic that only a small portion of the readership will toss it aside in disgust. Maybe I'll be better able to answer this once I'm done writing my current novel. ;) But, the few scenes I've written thus far have been anything but a 'breeze'. It's a battle between finding my voice and learning what my probable market will be.
     
  8. Oddmentem
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    Oddmentem New Member

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    I have an unusual mind, I think. What I do is this. If I want to write or am inspired to write a sex scene, I do it. I save it in a folder marked as such. Then when I am writing a story and if the need for that type of scene comes up, I have many to choose from. It helps me to clear my mind to write erotica, though I do not always include it in my stories. And if I have written a very overt and naughty scene I can always tweek it to fit a story I'm writing.
     
  9. Kennedy
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    Kennedy New Member

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    This actually makes perfect sense to me. I'm kind of running into the same thing. Well, I was at work before earlier too (I have a job with lots of downtime) and I was terrified someone would walk in and catch a few words.

    This is what I thought, too. :p Funny it should be just as hard, huh? No, it really has worked so far in terms of me just writing something, anything down. Now the plan is not to get so distracted by video games.
     
  10. Bryan Romer
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    Bryan Romer Contributing Member Contributor

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    There is a general attitude that erotic work is somehow easier and requires less skill to write. From my experience, the opposite it true. Of course anybody and jot out a short story filled with sexual acts, but as you point out, writing a real novel with a plot that seamlessly incorporates the sex is far from simple. I've written and published a lot of it, so I speak from experience.
     
  11. cutecat22
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    cutecat22 The Strange One Contributor

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    I agree. Writing sex is not as easy as people think. Sex is not just sex if you are wanting it to be part of a story other than a device to get two people into bed.

    But sex and its many forms are part and parcel of human life so with a bit of thinking, there's no reason why it can't be a good and meaningful part of certain stories.
     
  12. PensiveQuill
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    PensiveQuill Contributing Member

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    Inspired by some recent discussions I set out to write a sex scene the other night. I had no idea it would be that much fun and several hours were consumed before I even realised it. I've now turned it into a novella length story about a character I really love and finished an entire chapter in several revisions. It's nearing completion.

    I realised writing this is far more engrossing for me than writing in one of the other genres. I don't know if I will set out to write erotica. I'm going to post what I've done and gauge some reactions to see if I've hit it or missed it entirely. And even then I'm not sure I would limit myself to just this, after a while it becomes quite fatiguing and I imagine like all good things, too much would become boring as well.

    But I did like what writing a good scene like this does for my favourite genre, fantasy. But I also mentioned to one of my friends the other day that I was writing (jokingly) smut. To which he replied he couldn't wait to read about my dwarf orgy. :dry: o_O. Oh well, you can't take it that seriously can you?
     
  13. obsidian_cicatrix
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    obsidian_cicatrix I ink, therefore I am. Contributor

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    One one my friends writes erotica. What she aims to do is make her male leads as improbable as possible, the complete antithesis of the knight in shining armour stereotype, and have her reader fall head over heels with them. She mainly writes with a sci-fi, fantasy bent, so her leads are all manner of aliens, orcs, you name it. I love her ability to initially repulse then have me nearly crying out to feel that same brush of a tusk against my cheek. ;)

    And the best bit... she writes her characters so well I don't feel the least bit dirty or perverted. :D
     
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  14. PensiveQuill
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    PensiveQuill Contributing Member

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    Sounds awesome, and fun. I got some erotica inspiration, at my local library was an innocent craft book with the wrong title...

    Knit your own boyfriend. :eek:. I kid you not.
     
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  15. obsidian_cicatrix
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    obsidian_cicatrix I ink, therefore I am. Contributor

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    Ha! Classic. :D I had a similar experience yesterday when working on an art project. Two words, describing a medical condition launched me to action. Love when that happens.
     
  16. elynne
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    elynne Active Member

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    Bryan Romer I'd be interested in talking about publishing erotica stuff someday... I've got some non-fanfic stuff that I've been accumulating for a while, but haven't been able to suss out if there's really a paying market for it anywhere.

    obsidian_cicatrix now I want to read your friend's stories! :D

    some of the stories in my AO3 archive is erotica (which I tend to call "smut," because to me smut sounds more friendly and less pretentious), and I've written a fair amount of other stuff that's either posted elsewhere (and I'm not going to say where) or isn't posted anywhere. the fanfic I'm currently working on was originally intended to be--basically a vehicle for a smutty dream I had, but has since turned into a full-fledged smutless story (though I recently figured out how to get the smut back into the story, so yay). why I write it... hmm. I have... on the one hand, rather unusual tastes in erotica, and on the other hand, extremely high standards for written works. the combination of these two things means that it's really hard for me to find erotica that I like--either it isn't quite to my taste, or it's written so badly it makes my toes hurt (or both; far too much is both). so, I write what I'd like to read. there's a lot of other more complicated reasons, but in trying to explain them I'm basically resorting to handwaving and wharrbargle.

    on the downside, I find that it's much harder for me to write smut if I'm not inspired at the time (ahem-hem), and I'm currently on a combination of necessary medications that have completely tanked my libido, to the point where I've been functionally asexual for years. my smut output has diminished in tandem. :/
     
  17. PensiveQuill
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    PensiveQuill Contributing Member

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    @elynne,

    I've put up some smut of my own on my blog. It was a nice little foray into the world of written porn but I'm still divided. I find that writing all that detail does get exhausting, it's not easy at all. And by far I still had to do more revisions of this style of writing to get to the same level of 'finished' than for regular writing. For me I find all the sex quite distracting, but on the other hand it did lend a lighter flavour to the story and helped me to get out of the heavy going mindset that I have around the fantasy genre.

    I'm in awe of anyone who can maintain that level of focus on what is a fairly limited subject matter in order to make a living from it. There's only so many body parts, techniques, toys to play with. I rather think that if this was your main thing it would get to the point where you have a standard lexicon of 'stuff' that you literally just recycle over and over in various combinations and spend most of your time coming up with a somewhat simple plot to slot it into.

    One advantage I see though is that 1000 page trilogies are not required in this genre, in fact, not even that marketable. It seems to revolve around novella's which I have to say do seem to be an attractive project if you're procrastinating on other projects. Still undecided but I will finish my novella if for no other reason than to say I did it.
     
  18. elynne
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    elynne Active Member

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    I think that having a low libido but strong curiosity (and a nearly nonexistent squick factor) has helped me there. there's really no limit to what people will find erotic. I used to say that people would do anything for a fetish except set themselves on fire, and then somebody introduced me to "fire play"--an entire forum devoted to it, in fact. I used to hang out with somebody who was turned on by manufacturing equipment. watching "How It's Made" was almost free porn for them.

    also, for me the story around the sex is the important part. my "fantasies" aren't just sex scenes; they're situations, personalities, emotions. which is how I can go from a smutty dream to 15,000 words (and growing) without actually including any smut... ;)
     
  19. PensiveQuill
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    PensiveQuill Contributing Member

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    Actually I take it all back. I just re-read what I wrote and died of embarassment. Not for it's content but the way it was written. Feeling antsy, yes I am. But at the same time I have to admit that I don't think going there really helped me much. It just made awkward sentences even more so.

    2 cents
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2014
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  20. elynne
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    elynne Active Member

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    still, I liked your post, @PensiveQuill. yeah, it's embarrassing at first, even if you're the only one reading it, but I promise that just like anything else, practice will help--not just help make your writing better, but also help you get over that hitch of embarrassment on re-reading, so you can read what you've written critically instead of just cringing. I'm currently just starting on an erotic scene myself, and alternating between "THIS IS SO CLICHE OH GOD I CAN'T STAND IT IT'S HORRIBLE" and "... wow, this is... really hot." ;)
     
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  21. PensiveQuill
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    PensiveQuill Contributing Member

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    Okay I'll weigh in here again since some of my angst has worn off. But re-reading it, the worst part for me is my dialogue. Oh God its hideous! There's no dirty talk in it, its just crap dialogue. The bits I'm most proud of are the filthy bits if you like, I think the wording there is okay and describes whats happening without sounding too 'naughty lady book'. Its the other stuff around it that reads horribly. A bit like watching Twilight on film, wooden acting all round. I actually burst out laughing within the first 10mins of that film for the god awful acting and script. I was reminded of that moment of hilarity when I re-read my story.

    The action, happy with that. I think the scene has good bones in terms of what happens and why. But I had no idea how shitty I am at dialogue.
     
  22. cutecat22
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    cutecat22 The Strange One Contributor

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    You don't always need dialogue in a sex scene ... try it without ...

    I came across the dialogue problem with one scene I was writing, I wanted something comical but not crass as the two characters had just made it on the breakfast table. He ends up saying something like "every time I have breakfast I'm going to think of this moment and get a hard on." Her reply was something like "Then I'll have to make sure I'm always here to reap the benefits ..."

    It made me laugh and roll my eyes when I read it but the test readers thought it was fab.
     
  23. PensiveQuill
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    PensiveQuill Contributing Member

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    Thanks for the tip. The dialogue occurs in the seduction phase of the scene, there's none of it during intercourse. The seduction phase is only a few lines that explains the otherwise unexplainable actions of the MC.

    As it happens I've re-read this again. The worst of my writing is in some lack of linking one paragragh to the next and that hideous dialogue. But 2hrs later, I think I've nailed it. I cant post it to the wrkshop because its hugely long.
     
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  24. cutecat22
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    cutecat22 The Strange One Contributor

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    Can you post some of it??
     
  25. PensiveQuill
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    PensiveQuill Contributing Member

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    Sure but still deciding which parts. I definately want feedback on the graphic sections, but some other sections as well. Have to find the offending or otherwise bits.
     
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