tagReviews & EssaysThoughts On Writing Erotica

Thoughts On Writing Erotica


Thoughts On Writing Erotica: POVs, Plots, Pacing, And Pudendas

To begin this discussion, I would like to start with MY definition of Erotica vs. Pornography, and Erotica vs. mainstream fiction. Many people are confused over the lines between mainstream fiction that has erotic elements in it, and true erotica. Likewise, there is great confusion, and differences of opinion, as to where you draw the line between erotica and pornography.

Pure pornography has no story line, no plot, no characterization, minimal to no build-up, and minimal to no seduction. The prime example of this are the "movies" the pornography industry has been pushing for the last upteen years-especially the "compilations" that show nothing but graphic sex scene after graphic sex scene. Unfortunately, too many of the stories seen on this, and other sites, fit that description as well. Pornography as stand alone entertainment is totally worthless. It even fails as good turn-on material because they miss the whole point of how people get turned on.

Sure, I enjoy seeing naked women thrashing about in pleasure on a bed as much as any other man-but for crying out loud, I want to see HOW they got themselves into that situation. I enjoy seeing women fully dressed and fantasizing how their bodies look BEFORE they start taking it off. But most important, I want to see how the seduction takes place. Last but not least, I want to see foreplay, and foreplay, and more foreplay. For me, the seduction and foreplay is 100 times more erotic than the graphic sex scenes. However, I do love graphic sex scenes when well done, and once I'm properly turned on.

As a minimum I want to have enough time to get an erection before I'm supposed to be yanking my pud, and I really need some foreplay at the very minimum. These pornmonger idiots all cut out the best parts when they skip right to "the action."

True Erotica will contain all of the above mentioned seduction and foreplay, but it will also contain at least a minimal story line. But here is the catch. The story line has to be based on, and revolve around sex. If the story line also has a plot, then the "plot," such as it is, is essentially: "who is going to seduce whom, and how is it going to be done." Within this minimal plot, or story-line, you need to do a little scene setting, characterizations, and set up the scene, or scenes, where the seduction is going to take place. Once the seduction has taken place, they've gone through the foreplay, and they've taken that final step to move into the nitty gritty of graphic sex, your story is over. Erotica ends at that point. Anything beyond that is pornography. Now it is okay to have pornography in your story-as long as you have erotic story techniques to take us to that situation.

Conversely, some one who writes a murder mystery, or a thriller, that just happens to be laced with lots of sex, is NOT Erotica. Mainstream book stores sell a lot of that type of literature as Erotica, but it is not erotica. The reason this type of material is not erotica (at least in my view) is that the murder plot, or the thriller plot, or whatever plot it is, gets in the way of the erotica. In order to be erotica, the plot has to revolve around sex, not about killing people, or robbing banks, or whatever. That stuff is mainstream literature that just happens to have some erotic elements in it.

Okay, now that we've defined the terms of what we mean by erotica and pornography, etc., let's get down to the basics of writing.

First we will discuss plot and story line. Many people confuse these two elements, and indeed, sometimes there is a very thin gray line between the two. Story line is when character A goes to point B, then point C, etc.

Plot is:

1.At least one of the characters in the story must have a goal, or some purpose or thing he/she/they is/are striving for.

2.There is some sort of conflict involving your character(s) and the goals he/she/they is/are trying to achieve. It might be external, in the way of obstacles, threats, etc., or it might be internal-meaning the character goes through some serious agonizing before taking step four.

3.There should be some sort of suspense. This is provided by little details the author can sprinkle in along the way in the story, and by the obstacles your main

character(s) encounter along the way to the main goal.

4.Conflict resolution. The character(s) finally achieve(s) his/her/their goals.

In a murder mystery for example, the dead body is usually found on page one. This states the problem the story will revolve around. The reader immediately knows that the plot of the story will be how the detective solves that murder case. The conflict is all the obstacles he/she has to go through before solving that case. Details throughout the story then add suspense and increase the tension of the conflict. Then on the last page, or next to the last page there is resolution: The murderer is found, killed, and/or arrested.

In a short story, erotic or otherwise, you do not have entire chapters to work with, but you still want to try to follow that basic outline. Is the guy really going to get that girl or not? Whatever the premise of your story, guy-girl, girl-girl, or whatever, in order to have a really good story there should be some doubt in the beginning of the story that this couple/triple/group is going to actually get it on. If that element is missing, then all you have is story line with no real plot.

If one's goal is only to write stroke material (and I have certainly done so myself on occasion) you can get by in most erotic genres (except incest-more on that in a moment) with just a story line. A story line without a plot still gives you ample opportunities to provide at least minimal defining of your characters and also allows ample opportunity for setting up the situation and getting into foreplay before you go pornographic.

What defines a good story from good stroke material, or great erotica that is also great literature from just plain good erotica, is plot based on the above four steps. When writing a standard girl-guy story it is extremely difficult to define a believable plot having conflict and suspense-without resorting to mainstream gimmicks (killing people, etc, the bank robbery, etc.), all of which destroy the erotic element. The reason for this should be obvious. Guy-girl sex is an everyday occurrence. There are no barriers (either psychological or otherwise) preventing these two people from ending up in bed. The reader knows from the first sentence what is going to happen. There is virtually no suspense. So, just do your story line and get on with it. ---Unless-one of them happens to be married, or there is a great age difference, or you can come up with some other valid reason why Guy and Girl might not be able to go to bed. If you can do that, you need to put it right up front and that gives you your conflict and creates a little suspense for the reader.

Perhaps the easiest way to create plot, conflict, and suspense in erotica is via incest-if you do it right. Because incest is such a huge taboo in our society, right off the bat you have instant, immense conflict. Your character(s) is/are going to have to cross one of the biggest barriers in our society, so don't take it lightly. Writing an incest story gives you an opportunity to get inside the character's mind and show us all the internal conflict that person is going through. However, if you just have the people take off their clothes and jump in bed you have nothing but pornography again and you don't really need the incest angle because you have no intention of writing a gripping story.

A while back I read an essay on incest in stories on this site by 1337_girl. In this essay 1337 outlined 5 steps that people generally go through before they step across that line and actually engage in an incest relationship. You might even play with that a little more by adding a few steps such as:







Serious Temptation



If you follow this game plan, or the 5 steps that 1337 outlined, or something along these lines, you have your plot, conflict, and suspense all laid out for you. Here is the catch, though, you can not give your characters a full life-time to make that decision, as would be the case in real life. So, you have to try to go through each of those steps in your first 5-9 pages.

The easiest way to show the readers this conflict is to use the person being seduced as your POV character. That way you are inside that person's mind when they are agonizing over these steps. If you choose another character as your POV character, then you still have to show us the conflict being suffered by the person being seduced. You can do this via dialogue and/or body language, facial expression, etc.

In fact, any story in which seduction takes place, there is an opportunity to illustrate at least some sort of conflict in the mind of the person being seduced. Incest stories are perhaps the most potent because of the taboos and barriers. However, first time Lesbian stories work well too. (Maybe that's why so many of my stories seem to be incest and/or lesbian stories).

In short, it is the process of seduction that makes an erotic story truly erotic, and the more conflict and suspense you can fit in to the seduction mode, the better your story will be.

Once you have decided what type of story you want to do, your next decision is to decide who the main character(s) is/are going to be, and which POV you are going to use.

Wide sweeping historical novels generally require an omniscient 3rd person POV. Most smaller scale genre fiction calls for close-in 3rd person POV. Detective novels can get by with a 1st person POV because you generally just follow the detective around as he/she picks up clues and solves problems.

In erotica you are better off using a 1st person POV than a 3rd person-especially if you plan on having more than two people take part in the sexual activities.

One reason I prefer using a 1st person POV for erotica is because erotica is about feelings, be those feelings emotional, or purely physical/sexual. And, using 1st person is a lazy man's way, or a short cut, to getting at those feelings. It can still be done via 3rd person, but it is a lot harder. It is also a lot harder to do the internal monologue/internal conflict that you need in any good seduction story (especially incest) if you are in 3rd person. A 1st person POV gives you the immediate intimacy you need to illustrate internal conflict.

The second reason I prefer writing erotica in a 1st person POV, is that erotica, when you get down to the nitty gritty pornographic parts, is all about body parts. And, if you have more than two people taking part in the action you are going to get all bound up in pronouns. Because, if your POV character is already 3rd person POV, and then every other character in the room is also 3rd person by definition, you (and your readers) are going to get lost in the he/she/his/her jumble and no one will know who is doing what to whom. If you can keep one of your characters to "I did this, I felt this, and she did such and such to my such and such" it is a lot easier for you, and your readers, to keep things straight.

Once you've selected your POV, set down your plot (if you have one), and started on your story line (must have at least minimal story line), you next want to think about how you are going to draw your characters. Even in a basic stroke story, most readers really want to know who these people are that are going to be getting it on. In a few lines you can tell us a little bit about them, and give us a reason as to why they are where they are, and why they are doing what they are doing (You generally want them to be doing something other than sex, before the sex actually gets under way). You (and your readers) will want to have at least a couple of your characters appear to be real people with real lives instead of just being cardboard cutouts or windup sex toys.

Working these issues out will help you develop your story line, which is the next element in the story.

Connected with the unfolding of the story line is the pacing. Connected with the pacing is having the ability to increase tension as your story unfolds. Here, again, incest stories provide us with the best examples of how you can build that tension. Pacing is all important in being able to string your reader along while gradually turning up the heat in your story. If you turn the heat up too fast, your story will climax (no pun intended) before your readers are ready for it-especially if it is an incest story.

In an incest story, you ideally need to have a series of little incidents that put the idea of incest with a particular family member into the mind of the POV character, or the character being seduced. The first couple of incidents only open up the curiosity angle, and are usually met with revulsion and/or denial. But, as your story unfolds, and a couple more of these little "incidents" occur to the subject character, his/her mind begins to change. You can illustrate this by a blush of the cheek, or a rush of blood to the person's private parts, a sudden erection, a wetness of pussy, etc. Then, at the same time you can contrast this with the internal agony the person is undergoing as they still try to deny and/or fight off these "unnatural" desires they are starting to feel.

Then, as your story line/plot continues to progress, you ratchet up the heat a little more. A couple more incidents, each one a little more brazen than those before. Now your POV character is really getting turned on, and the flames of passion and arousal are so great that the will to deny, or fight it off, begins to crumble. One of my more successful examples of following this step-by-step approach took place in "DRESSING DADDY" ch. 03, where an 18 year old girl seduces her mom. (Please excuse the ploy to get you all to read my stories).

At this point the seducer/seductress moves in for the kill. You ratchet up the heat yet another notch and your POV character has no choice but to succumb to the overwhelming desires welling up within him/her. Now you can start the serious foreplay section of your story line. But don't rush this--especially in an incest story. Moving too fast in an incest relationship in real life might cause the person being seduced to suddenly get frightened about it and break off never to allow themselves to get into that situation again. Likewise, moving too fast in an incest story, will destroy the credibility of the story in your reader's minds.

You see, a person succumbing to the temptations of incest will want to be able to tell themselves at first that "well, okay, a little foreplay and affection is not going to hurt anyone, and it is not like going all the way and really doing it."

So, spend plenty of time on the foreplay and move things along step by step until there is no turning back. At that point, your erotic story-line plot comes to an end and you can get into the nitty gritty of graphic sex if stroke material is your goal.

At this point, we should say a few words about vocabulary. Cock and cunt are great words for writing graphic sex scenes. They are certainly a lot sexier and tend to be more of a turn on than do the more clinical expressions such as penis and vagina. But they are not the only words available to you. There are numerous others such as "hard-on," "shaft", "pussy," "slit," etc. that work just as well. Be sure to use them all. Do not use the same word over and over and over every time a certain body part is mentioned in your story.

In fact, in the early stages of your story line you might want to use the more "polite" or "clinical" words for certain body parts such as "bosom," and "breasts," instead of "tits," and the above-mentioned penis and vagina in place of the more pornographic terminology, so that the "pornographic" nomenclature will have more effect when you start getting into the heavy foreplay and real sex action. All that being said, the word "pudenda" seems a bit clumsy in any except the most rare of circumstances. The main point here, though, is to strive for variety in your vocabulary-not just with regards to body parts, but throughout your writing in general. Try to avoid being monotonous.

The next issue on our plate to discuss is how to bring your story to life. In any writing class you take, they are going to tell you rule number one in writing fiction, and this is: "Show don't tell."

For example just to write: "She's really getting hot, I can tell," doesn't really do anything for anybody. Instead, you might want to try something like: "Her cheeks turned red. A flicker of a smile danced across her lips. Goose bumps sprouted up and down her arms. Her breathing grew noticeably heavier and quicker. Her breath felt hot and damp against my cheek." Or, to be a little more graphic depending on where you are in the pacing of your story-line: "Her nipples suddenly grew taunt and pressed against my chest as we danced." Or, "the hot muskiness of her sex wafting up from her pussy assaulted my nostrils and enflamed my brain so much I could taste her horniness."

Or, something like that. The idea is to provide the reader with a vivid picture of what is taking place and let them figure out for themselves from all these various cues as to what stage of arousal the characters are in. This will also get your readers more involved in the story.

The concept of "show don't tell" brings to mind rule number two in writing:

"We have five senses. Use them."

In the above paragraph of examples I used all five: sight, touch, hearing, taste and smell. It is the use of these senses that will create that vivid picture in the minds of your readers. Using the senses also draws your reader into the story and makes them feel like they are a part of the action-which is the whole idea of writing a sex story, or any other story for that matter. If you fail to use the senses, your story will fall flat no matter how good your plot is.

The sense of hearing is one of the easiest to use, but easiest to forget when writing erotica since people tend to just focus on body parts. But, the sound of "high heels clicking on a hard wood floor as she approached me" conjures all sorts of erotic imagery. And, it is that sort of imagery that will draw your reader into the story and make the story/fantasy seem all the more real to them. And, you'll actually enjoy writing these scenes more if you think in those terms. Be imaginative. The more "real" you can make your story for your readers, the more intense will be their fantasy experience in reading your story.

The sense of taste is essentially the same as the sense of smell, except that it enters the brain from the tongue and mouth rather than the nose. However, if your story-line offers opportunities to use the sense of taste in and of itself, then do so.

Finally, once you have completed your story and have proof read it (please be kind to your readers), it is now time to submit your story. However, before you do, please CHOOSE YOUR STORY CATEGORY WELL!

For example, if your story has any anal licking or anal penetration by dildo, cock, or what ever, it belongs in the anal category. Even if it has other elements in the story, it is an anal story so place it there. If you do feel compelled to place it in another category, then please have the courtesy to put something in the title or in the subtitle letting people know that there is some anal action in this story-such as "Suzie takes it up the poop shoot," or whatever. Since 87% of the public finds anal sex to be repulsive for medical, sanitary, and/or personal reasons, why offend your readers by sucking them into a story then hitting them in the face with something like that?

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