How to Write an Erotic StorybySusanJillParker©
How to write an erotic story?
I write fiction. I write erotica. I write erotic fiction. Now locked in that particular genre for the past five years, that's all that I write.
So, being that this is a how to story, specifically how do you write an erotic story, shall we begin? Honestly, I don't have a clue how to write an erotic story, I just do without thinking about it. I guess, after having written so many erotic stories, without even thinking about what I'm doing and how I'm writing them, the stories just come naturally to me. Yet, even though I have no idea what I'm doing, I'm one of the few writers on this site who routinely writes in 30 of the 35 Literotica categories.
I write: Anal, BDSM, Celebrities, Erotic Couplings, Erotic Horror, Exhibitionism & Voyeurism, Fetish, First Time, Gay Male, Group Sex, How To, Humor & Satire, Incest/Taboo, Interracial Love, Lesbian Sex, Letters & Transcripts, Loving Wives, Mature, Mind Control, Non-Erotic, NonConsent/Reluctance, NonHuman, Novels and Novellas, Reviews and Essays, Romantic, Sci-Fi & Fantasy, Toys & Masturbation, Transsexuals & CrossDressers stories, non-erotic poetry, and erotic poetry. Having never had anal sex, having never been tied and blindfolded, having never met a celebrity, or had sex with anyone not of my race, I don't have to be a cross dresser or addicted to toys and masturbation to experience any of that to research and feel enough of it to write a compelling story. A bit prolific, an understatement, I've written stories on Literotica since 2007, I have written stories and poems under the names of AndTheEnd, BostonFictionWriter, CarBuffStuff, PositiveThinker, SuperHeroRalph, SusanJillParker, and WmForrester.
Actually, my apologies, I'm sorry but I can't tell you how to write an erotic story. I can only tell you how I write an erotic story. Are you ready? Come closer to the screen so that not everyone can see. Let's begin.
It's simple. Just before I go to bed, just before I put my head on my pillow, and just before I close my eyes, I think of a story that I want to write. While I'm sleeping my brain percolates my idea and writes the story for me. Seriously. This sleeping writing technique seldom fails.
As soon as I awaken, I'm a writing savant. I'm typing as fast as I can to write the story before I forget it. Sadly, I've forgotten more stories than I've written and I've written more than 1,000 stories, more than 100 poems, and more than 7 million words that have amassed more than 150 million hits on Literotica alone. I recently deleted 250 stories from my BostonFictionWriter name to rewrite and re-edit them as e-Books. A slow process but once I have a whole library of e-Books to generate income, I hope my patience and hard work will pay me dividends, that is, so long as I can trust a publish to give me an accurate accounting of royalties, sometimes harder to do than to write the story.
My writing sleeping, writing technique of allowing my brain to percolate my story as I sleep works for me and may or may not work for you. I've honed my skill of telling my brain what I want by even having it awaken me at a certain time and it does, right to the minute. Weird. It makes me wonder what else my brain can do while sleeping if I put my mind to it. I've tried telling it to give me the lottery number but that hasn't work yet.
By allowing my brain to think of a mainstream fictional story or an erotic fictional story before retiring by just thinking of a character, an image, or a category, gives me a story to write the next morning. Never having to stare at a blank page while wondering what to write, I don't write anything other than fiction. Writing non-fiction to me is like French kissing my brother.
Yet, if I wrote an incestuous, erotic story about French kissing my brother then, no doubt, after kissing him, I'd be on my knees sucking his cock too. Again, I don't have to French kiss and/or blow my brother to write a realistic brother and sister incestuous story. Now the aforementioned is as incestuous as it is pornographic writing, that is, until I develop my brother's character by the use of dialogue, description, and imagery and write the rest of the story with a bit of tension. Yet, not only am I digressing but also I'm jumping ahead.
How to write erotica is the same as me telling you or, more aptly, showing you how to write, which is preposterous as no one can tell or show you how to write. If you know how to write, you can write erotica or anything else for that matter. Whatever you write, the secret behind good writing is practice. Just write, write, and write is all that you need to do to hone your writing skills. It helps if you read too while you're writing.
As it is with most writers, my best writing is inspired writing. Inspired writing? What's inspired writing? When I first started writing, as does everyone, I stared at a blank page while wondering, 'What should I write? What should I write?' I don't stare at blank pages anymore. I just write.
How did I reach that place where I don't stare at a blank page while wondering what to write? I only write when I feel that I want to write and I never sit down to write unless I'm inspired. It could be an image, a thought, or a word that inspires me. It could be something I saw on the news or when I was out for a walk. Anything that I see, hear, feel, smell, and/or touch can give me the inspiration that I need to write a story.
When I first started writing my window of inspiration was only open for five minutes. Trust me, you'll know when your writing is inspired. As if you're possessed, the words flow. Instead of having to think about what words to write, you're writing whole sentences and entire paragraphs as if someone else is depressing the keys. I wrote my first story in that way. I knew the beginning, the middle, and the end, even the title of the manuscript and the titles of the chapters too. Sixty thousand words later, I wrote the story as fast as I could type it. It's weird when that happens.
Even though it was inspired writing, because my window of inspiration was only open a few minutes a day back then, it took me six months to write my first manuscript and a year to edit the thing. I'm no grammarian. I hate editing and I respect those who can edit. I'm not an editor. I'm a creative writer. Yet, everything that I write, I read over dozens of times before reading it out loud twice, not an easy feat to do when some of my stories are 30,000 words and that doesn't even include the 60,000 word novels, and 120,000 word chapter stories.
Yet, the more that I write, and I written a lot over the years since I've been seriously writing, the longer my window of inspiration remained open. Now my window of inspiration routinely stays open for hours at a time, five to six hours seems to be my maximum to write anywhere from one thousand to twelve thousand words every day. Only when tired, ill, and/or distracted by thinking of something else will my window remain closed. It's the rare day that I don't feel like writing. Rain or shine from 5am until noon, I'm writing whether on a computer or by hand. If I'm not writing a story, I'm thinking about a story.
You can pay tens of thousands of dollars to attend college classes majoring in English with minors in English Literature and/or Creative Writing while listening to a professor pontificate and taking endless, useless notes that you'll never read again, once the final exam is over, as I did. Or you can just read, as I did too, before committing yourself more to writing by going to school and earning your bachelor's degree in English with Literature and Creative Writing minors, as I did too. For those who want to teach someone how to write, you can earn your MFA, Master's of Fine Arts degree.
Only, for those looking for a shortcut to become a writer without paying your dues by reading, writing, going to college and spending your life practicing writing by writing, sorry, but there are no shortcuts to learning how to write. Unless you're self-taught, wicked smart, wicked perceptive, and/or gifted, you can't see and wouldn't recognize what the writer does while writing his or her story. Once you learn the process of writing, there are no secret formulas, writing is just disciplined, dedicated, and hard work. What I like about writing is creating and developing stories. Writing whatever I want whenever I want to write it, it's just me, my story, and my characters.
If you're serious about writing, you should start by reading a good writer, my advice to you is to read the classics. That's always a good place to start. Begin by reading Shakespeare, Hemingway, Faulkner, Fitzgerald, Twain, Dickens, Hawthorne, Emerson, Cervantes, Austen, Melville, Tolstoy, James, Shelley, Wilde, Dumas, Woolf, Joyce, Homer, Bronte, Salinger, Wharton, and Morrison, the list of classics are endless and is a good place to begin before even tackling the endless list of current writers. What the writers do with words and sentence structure is as exciting as it is seamlessly magical. Just feeling their book in your hand before even opening it to read it is powerful.
The best thing that I ever did was to earn my bachelor's in English. Why? Having to read two to five books a day to maintain my course load, reading so many varied authors made me aware of not what I've learned but how much I didn't know. With every one book that I read, there were thousands more to read. As if a disease, I couldn't wait to finish one to start another. Truly, after reading so very many of the classics with more unread than read, it's no longer a mystery to me why so many writers are depressed, alcohol and drug dependent, and/or kill themselves, especially back then before television and the Internet. So very many stories, too many stories, are as dark as the doom that the writers must have felt during those modern times were filled with illness, depression, isolation, and desperate desolation.
It's funny how we all think that modern times are the times that we are living now when they're not. We only have to look back to the prior centuries to know that we're the same fools that our ancestors were in believing that they were living in modern times. I suspect that modern times haven't happened yet and won't happen until humans have evolved much more than they have now. Now, with still so much crime, illiteracy, greed, and hunger, not much better than our cave dwelling ancestors, we're all still barbarians under the surface.
Honestly and seriously, I'm sorry to write this but... No one can teach you how to write. Either you have it in you to want to write or you don't. Those of you who are real writers with some level of home schooling, talent, and/or college credits know what I mean. Yeah, sure, a teacher can teach you all the rules of grammar, a literature professor can broaden your horizons by giving you a list of which classics in literature to read, and/or a creative writing professor can teach you the basics of good creative writing. After leading you, they can't force you to write. They can't sit beside you while you're alone in a room writing, creating, developing, reading, rewriting, and editing. All of that is up to you.
Writing is a never ending process. Writing is discipline. Writing is loneliness. Most times exciting, writing can be boring, and/or stressful. Writers are cursed because writing is something that we must do. Writing is our passion and our cross to bear while seeking the write word, simile, metaphor, or imagery.
Always so critical of storylines and characters, even when not writing, we're continually creating stories in our over active minds. When we watch a movie, not only do we already know the ending but also we have a better ending in mind. Like anything else, no one can make you write just as no one can teach you how to write. Either you have that driven spirit to write or you don't. For those of you who are serious about writing, not only do I suggest you read everything you can but also take as many creative writing courses and creative writing workshops as you can. Moreover, take a few courses in screenwriting, not so much to become a screenwriter, but to see what a writer does when writing a novel when compared to what a director does when making a movie.
If you're looking for secrets on how to write erotica, there are no secrets. Secrets? Back up. Seriously, there are no secrets to writing erotica or to writing any story. Like everything else, writing takes practice. The more that you write the better writer you'll be. I figure in 40 years, so long as I continue to write, when I'm 80-years-old and in a nursing home peeing and shitting myself or an insane asylum ranting and raving, I'll be a wicked good writer by then.
Everything you do, no matter what you do, is because you want to do it. Everything you do, no matter what you do, is hard and not easy. If something is easy to do than it's not worth doing it. You'd be bored instead of challenged. If writing was easy instead of being so very painfully hard, when done writing your creative masterpiece, you'd never receive that self-satisfaction that you've accomplished something really important in your life.
Do you want to be a better writer whether writing non-fiction, fiction, erotica, or porn, my advice to you is to just write? It doesn't matter what you write. Write what you know, write what you want, and write what you feel. Also stretch yourself by writing in different viewpoints, perspectives, voices, and in a diverse number of categories. You won't know what you enjoy writing until you're writing it. Much like living, writing is a lifelong apprenticeship and the longer and more you work at it, the better writer you'll be. Just as there are no tricks, gimmicks, or shortcuts to writing a good story, there are no tricks, gimmicks, and shortcuts to becoming a better writer.
Admittedly, there are those writers who are gifted and born to write. I'm not one of them. I'm just a hack. Working hard to perfect my craft, my passion and discipline to write is bigger than my talent. Yet, not ready to give it up, I love writing stories, even if they don't sell and even if they're not read. They are still my stories that I wrote, created, and developed. Being that I can only write what I know, unless I stretch myself and force myself to do a bit of research, they are my characters who needed to be released from my head and they are all part of me.
My philosophy that no one can teach you how to write erotica or any other type of story is true with most things in life. For you to do them, you must have that driven desire to do whatever it is you want to accomplish. Much like driving a car, once you learn the basics and the rules and laws of the road, you're free to drive. If you're licensed to drive and know how to drive, you can drive any car, no matter if it's a Ford Focus or a Chevrolet Corvette. If you can write a story, you don't need me to tell you how to write erotica. Nonetheless, just for the fun and sexual excitement of it, let's persevere down the sexy road of writing erotica.
Unfortunately or fortunately, depending upon what the readers prefer reading, this site is filled with writers and readers who mistake pornography for erotica. Trust me, they're not nearly the same. To me, pornography is much like eating plain toast without butter and jam, boring. This site is filled with stories of undeveloped characters and talking heads having sex with one another from the beginning of the story until the end of the story without even so much as the writer naming and/or describing the characters. How boring is that when the reader can't imagine what the characters look like in the story they've invested their time to read. How unfair is that when the writer didn't take the time to show, not tell, his readers what his characters look like?
For me, a story that doesn't have developed characters is not a fun and/or an exciting story to read. When all the characters are one dimensional and are as flat as this page, the reader will never connect with the story. If a writer can't take the time to develop characters, no one will care about the characters and/or the story. If there's one secret to good writing, develop your characters. Once fully developed and once living and breathing, your characters will grab the keyboard from your hands and tell their own damn story, which is the reason why I'm able to write in so very many categories without having to experience so many sexual things. The only time that writing what you don't know is transcendent and dependent upon something else is when the writer develops characters enough to allow them to tell their own story and from their own experiences.
While we're on the subject of characters and characterization, what do your characters look like? Do you know? Of course you know what your characters look like otherwise you wouldn't be writing and/or reading about them. Then, why aren't you showing the rest of us what your characters look like? How dare you cheat we readers out of the biggest piece of your story and out of the most important part of your story? You, the writer, owe the reader, for investing their time to read your story, to develop your characters. It's your responsibility as the writer of the story to show the reader what your characters not only look like but also act like through their actions and who they are through their dialogue. Even though writing pornography may be, writing erotica is not just about writing the sex scenes.
Surely, you've read about thousands of characters. Surely, you know what characters look like, don't you? If you don't, you ought to know what they look like. Before you were the writer, you were the reader after all, if anyone should know what characters look like you should know what characters look like. Right? Characters are different for every story you say? Perhaps, not really, but okay, I'll take that as a plausible answer.
First of all, if you don't know what your own characters of a story look like then you haven't developed your characters. If you, the writer, can't see your own characters, then there's no connection between the writer and the reader and the reader won't read your story. Tell me. Whether you're a writer or a reader, what do your characters look like? C'mon. I want to know. You've already hinted at a character description by naming your story the Life of Emma or Jesse Gets a Job. What do Emma and/or Jesse look like and, as important, why do they do the things that they do? Being that they're based upon a human, perhaps they do something totally out of character.
Do you have a favorite description of characters because even if you say that you don't, I dare write that you do. I know that I do. My favorite characters somehow always tend to look much like me, tall, blonde, busty, and with blue eyes. As a writer, I can only write what I know and all that I need to do is to look at myself in the mirror to see a character that I'd like to write about and most times that's me. Yet, not all my characters look like me. I'm free to imagine any and all kinds of characters. Yet, I'm cheating the reader by keeping all of that character information to myself by not developing my characters fully so that the reader can see and feel what I see and feel when they read about my characters in the story that I wrote.
Looks are arbitrary anyway. Being that I'm an American living in America, I think I'm good looking and there are as many who would agree as there are as many who would disagree. Yet, when we travel the world, because I don't look like the woman of their land, whether they are Asian, African, or Arabian, I may be deemed unattractive, totally disgusting, even.
By the writer allowing the reader to see and feel our characters is the reason why we need the writer to lead us to where we, the reader, need to go to understand the story through character development. Without using a heavy hand and weighing down the story with lecturing narrative and writer intrusion, instead with just a gentle nudge, a good writer can put us in that special place of suspended disbelief to actually believe that the fictional characters we are reading about are actually living, breathing, and real. How cool is that? For just the price of a book, the magical entertainment of suspended disbelief is wicked cool to me.