People have been writing erotica for centuries (The Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio, anyone?). In the last decade or so, though, the stigma attached to erotica writing has faded enough that it is now a billion dollar industry. People are producing erotic fiction stories that include anything from heteronorm male/female interactions to sexual interludes that include ghosts, werewolves, and robots.
If you are thinking about writing erotica but don’t know where to begin, here are a few erotica writing tips for beginners to help you get started writing erotic fiction stories.
Learn About the Genre
It may sound a little snobbish but porn and erotica are two different things. Although they both deal with the topic of sex and you can make money writing both, the two genres depart from each other in a distinctive way.
In porn writing, the sex scene is the entire story. Story setup, plot, and character development is minimal and exist only to get you and the characters into the bedroom. While sex is an integral part of an erotic fiction story, the characters are developed and the story follows a plot line. It’s the difference between viewing clips of porn online and watching a plot driven adult movie.
A good way to get a feel for the difference is to read erotic fiction stories by published writers like Mitzy Szereto and Erica Jong. There are also lots of websites where you can read erotic stories for free written by professional and amateur writers. I assure you, you’ll quickly get a sense of what is and what is not erotica.
Study the Basics of Fiction Writing
So now that you know erotic stories are character and plot driven, you need to know how to create great characters and develop compelling erotic story plots. There are many resources online that will teach you about writing great fiction. Two books I recommend for character development and plotting are ‘Characters and Viewpoints’ by Orson Scott Card and ‘Plot’ by Ansen Dibell. You can find both of these at online and offline book retailers.
Decide on an Erotic Fiction Genre
The erotica category of writing started as a subgenre of the romance industry but has grown into an independent genre with many subgenres of its own. You can write softcore, where the sex is only alluded to, and hardcore where the sex is described in graphic detail. Other categories include science fiction erotica, paranormal erotica, gay and lesbian erotica, horror erotica, chick lit, and many other styles.
Most people find it easier to write stories in a genre they are familiar with. This means if you enjoy fantasy books, you may be more comfortable writing about the hot romance between two elves. Whichever genre you decide to start with, it is important to do your research.
Research, Research, Research
Nothing ruins a story faster than ignorance, especially when it comes to sex. Unless you are writing science fiction, fantasy, or paranormal erotica, your sex positions should be humanly possible and your characters should all be equipped with the proper parts.
Anatomy 101 is your friend. Learn how the sex organs function and what all is involved in sexual arousal. I assure you, there is more to sex than erections and orgasms. Your reader is likely to know a little something about sex and anything odd or unbelievable can cause them to dump your story.
Get Your Erotic Fiction Stories Reviewed
The best way for new erotica writers to hone their craft is to join a writing group. But not all writing groups are created equal. To get the best feedback, join a writing group tailored towards erotica writers.
Prior to submitting your work, spend a little time on the site reading stories uploaded by the other members and the type of comments they received. If most of the critiques read like “Good read” or “Nice story” find another writing group.
These types of comments indicate the writing site is nothing more than a feel good group and the most you will get out of it is a few strokes to your ego. If you are serious about getting published and making money, then you want a group who will be fair and honest in their evaluations. The group should tackle your spelling, grammar, characterizations, plot, and other story elements.
Be warned, though, high quality writing sites like this expect you to put in the same amount of effort in your critique of member stories. The benefits you receive, however, are well worth the trouble.
Whether for publication or your own personal enjoyment, erotica writing can be fun and fulfilling. The best piece of advice I can give you is to not rush your success. Take your time, be persistent, and enjoy the ride.