1. erebh
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    erebh Contributing Member Contributor

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    Where to start?

    Discussion in 'Erotica' started by erebh, Oct 13, 2013.

    So I've decided on my MCs, a few minor characters, a simple plot line (still need the bigger picture) but anyway: as per my earlier thread relating to the perfect formula for a money spinner, though I repeat I haven't started house hunting in the Hollywood Hills just yet, I'm wondering where to start.

    I'm imagining that readers of erotica are in it for the sex as much as, if not more than a damn good read and that customers in a bookstore will read the first page or two before buying. If that's the case do I need to start with a sex scene; a taster of things to come? Or have I got it wrong?

    I'm guessing the back flap will have the storyline less the sex as that's implied from the book being in the erotica section.

    Any thoughts?
     
  2. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    If it's to be a novel length work, do not start with a sex scene. That is a red-flag for porn. I've read a goodly number of erotic novels, and even in gay novels, you almost never see a sex scene any earlier than chapter 2, and the first one is always a tease for the reader, never a full money shot.
     
  3. Trish
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    Trish I've been deleted.. again Contributor

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    @erebh I agree with @Wreybies I don't think you want to start with sex. Instead, start with the story and let the sex follow as it will. Don't try to force it in there, just let it happen where it should. You'll get the same rights to a synopsis and such that anyone does. All the basic 'rules' (I use that term lightly) still apply. You're only changing the content.
     
  4. Lewdog
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    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

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    Start with the pizza guy ringing the doorbell, then go from there. :D
     
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  5. erebh
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    erebh Contributing Member Contributor

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    Thanks guys point taken. Chapter 2 though? Hmmm I had it planned for the end of the first originally then it struck me about my logic for the buying patterns of people.

    Not sure of the length of the story either. Should it be either 30k or 90k - as in one or the other, no inbetween?
     
  6. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Agreed. Even if the sex is literary rather than literal, foreplay enhances the experience, and makes the difference between sensuality and a jump and hump transaction.
     
  7. Trish
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    Trish I've been deleted.. again Contributor

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    Personally, I think it makes more sense to write it out and then figure out where it lands. The story is the story. If, upon finishing it, you decide you need to cut or fill, then do it. For me though, starting off with a word goal never ends well, lol.
     
  8. erebh
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    erebh Contributing Member Contributor

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    but there's a massive difference if it 'has' to be 30 or 90k. If I land on 60 or 75k am I goosed?
     
  9. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Not necessarily. One series I read made me wait until BOOK TWO - not chapter, BOOK - before delivering the 'goods'. ;)
     
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  10. Trish
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    Trish I've been deleted.. again Contributor

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    Ouchie :eek:
     
  11. Trish
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    Trish I've been deleted.. again Contributor

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    No. If it's too short, find ways to effectively boost and fill. If it's too long, find places to cut. If it's really too long, split it. Just write it, worry about semantics when you're done ;)
     
  12. Alesia
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    Alesia Pen names: AJ Connor, Carey Connolly Contributor

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    Okay then. Now I don't feel so bad about making the audience wait until chapter twelve :D
     
  13. Lewdog
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    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

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    Until Chapter 12? What are you? Amish?
     
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  14. Alesia
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    Alesia Pen names: AJ Connor, Carey Connolly Contributor

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    It's not really an erotic novel though. What I speak of would be the first full blown XXX scene in the book. Before that she talks about sex and makes out with a girl in a bar, but never actually does the deed until that point. (Rather explicitly says so. I'm leaving it up to the reader to decide weather or not anything happened between AJ and nameless drunk girl.)
     
  15. Lewdog
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    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

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    Gotcha, I was just busting your chops. ;)
     
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  16. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Are there earlier half-blown XXX scenes?
     
  17. Alesia
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    Alesia Pen names: AJ Connor, Carey Connolly Contributor

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    Not really unless you count what could be construed as lesbian foreplay. (Reference the mentioned scene with random drunk girl in the bar.) Beyond that it's just the narrator discussing how depressed she was in a hetero relationship dropping little comments like:

    Though that's hardly even NC-17 :p
     
  18. A.M.P.
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    A.M.P. People Buy My Books for the Bio Photo Supporter Contributor

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    4 books in, had to buy a short story compilation of hers to get the juice deets :p

    From all the harlequins and random sex stories I read, I found that you always have to read to get to the good parts.

    Part of erotica is for the reader to care/relate about the characters. It makes it hotter for the reader than just reading about two random strangers fornicating.
     
  19. Leigh Silvester
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    Leigh Silvester Member

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    My current doodle deals with sexuality and sexual identity, and sex is going to happen.
    There are two chunks planned and the first one will not occur until chapter 7.

    I presume foreplay is as important in literature as it is in real life.
    I'm quite looking forward to writing chapter 7 :).

    Starting on 6 at the moment.
     
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  20. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    I would go so far as to hazard that it's even more important than the sex itself. When sex is going to be present in a work, how naturally, how smoothly, and how enticingly the events culminate in the doffing of clothes is, in my opinion, an important measuring stick to divide erotica from simple porn.
     
  21. staceylouise
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    staceylouise Active Member

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    Hi. I'm a newbie here (hi to everyone!) And am to like you writing my first erotic novel. I'm normally into writing fantasy as in gothic, vampire ish stuff-I've actually been told that my'dark'work works best for me, but I came up with this plot, it's very steamy, with a few complications within relationships but involving minimal characters so that the reader doesn't get to drawn away from what they are supposed to be reading about and following the actual story, I've done a lot of research into writing erotica, sexual positions and slang terms for them, plus sexual body parts. I've written tons that I just need to devil and slot together, editing in their own way, but it does include underage sex. I guess this is going to be controversial? Due to fact that it's not right, abuse, and frowned upon-even sickened. But the role in reverse. The underage coming onto the overage? The main character being underage I feel makes the book outstandingly exciting already however controversial, but it will also be a huge dark deep seated turn on for a few. What do people feel about this? Sorry for jumping on someone's thread, it was the first thread that popped up at me in the erotica section.
    Oh and as for starting with a sex scene? Id sassy a big no no as you'd want to draw the reader in first, like a turn on so to speak, and a build up to the sex. That's what I think anyway :)
     
  22. SuperVenom
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    SuperVenom Contributing Member

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    Just wondering. If you have a story that has a significant wait for the good stuff. Where is the point where it stops being erotica and becomes a story with a sex scene. To me for it to be erotica there had to be a slight over balance in the erotic behaviour.
     
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  23. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Agreed, though there are definitely books that walk a thin line between one and the other. Rochard K. Morgan's The Steel Remains isn't shelved as gay erotica. It's over with the rest of the Fantasy books promising swords, wizards, epic battles and ancient intrigue. But read the reviews at Goodreads and overwhelmingly readers make some statement to the tune of Damn, I wasn't expecting all the explicit gay sex! I think that with the rise of Erotica as a valid genre, out from the back-rooms of independent urban bookstores, and into Amazon and iBooks, there may be more novels that ride that line to come in the future. The tired posturing that sex doesn't belong in a regular novel is quickly eroding in applicability.
     
  24. Bryan Romer
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    Bryan Romer Contributing Member Contributor

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    I thought coyness went out with the Victorian era. If there is going to be sex, just like if there is going to be explicit (non-sexual) violence, there is nothing wrong with smashing the reader in the face with it on the first page. I could write an erotic version of LOTR and start with Frodo having it off with a nubile Hobbit girl behind Bilbo's house, and in the middle of his climax he hears Gandalf talking to Bilbo about the Ring through a window, leaving him torn between duty and his hedonism. How does that in any way reduce the literary quality or story telling ability of the book?

    I would say that recent "erotica" delays the sex because many women prefer extended emotional and situational foreplay and find head on sex unappealing. What about the Dark One attempting to corrupt Boromir by offering him unlimited and extremely kinky sex? The sex itself would be the driving force behind Boromir's emotional torment and his eventual betrayal of the Ring Bearer. The fact that the sex scenes are extremely explicit and thrown at Boromir as a weapon without giving him time to emotionally prepare or rationalise would suit Sauron's cruel and harsh personality perfectly. And so forth.

    The idea that a strong focus on sex=porn=bad quality writing is equivalent to saying that lurid detail and explicit violence=penny dreadfuls and hence bad quality writing, is a gross oversimplification and deliberate framing of "explicit sex"=porn=bad. Larry Correia's books have more violence than you can shake a stick at, but his books are best sellers and he is considered a successful mainstream writer. But based simply on the detailed and extensive violence, his books could be dismissed as "gun porn" and unworthy to appear on the bookshelves.
     
  25. Mangyhyena
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    Mangyhyena Member

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    I'm going to say it depends on the story. Sex may or may not make a good opening, depending on the story.

    What your book definitely needs, though, whether sex is involved or not, is a hook---an opening (pun intended. They're always intended) so strong and captivating that a reader is literally hooked into reading further.

    Could you use sex in a hook? Absolutely, so long as it enhances the strong and captivating hook in some way. Can you use sex AS your hook, just the sex for the sake of hooking your reader? I doubt it.
    Examples:
    Two people having sex under a tree. The sex is graphic, but the reader has little or no idea who these two fornicators are. (This is not a good hook, IMHO.)

    Now, take the same two fornicators going at it. Sister Abigail sees them from the window of the rectory and covers her mouth.
    "Reverend Mother, I believe I just found Father Enigo and Sister Mary," she says, pointing. "Look out there, under the tree in the courtyard." (This could be a good hook, depending on the rest of the story)
     

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