• Home
  • Posts Tagged'writing erotica'

Posts Tagged ‘writing erotica’

Emmanuelle de Maupassant Talks About Women Writing the Erotic

I can’t tell you how excited I am to have Emmanuelle de Maupassant as my guest today. If anyone knows the hearts and minds of women writing the erotic, Emmanuelle does. She knows because she’s interviewed nearly a hundred of them — I’m honoured to be one  — and many of you have been reading her fascinating articles with their very personal, very honest, view into the minds of  these amazing woman. If you haven’t but would like to, find them all on Emmanuelle’s Blog. Today she is going to share a little overview of her findings with a Hopeful Romantic.

 

Having interviewed almost a hundred women authors who explore sexuality through their fiction, Emmanuelle de Maupassant has created a series of articles capturing their thoughts on the importance of the ‘erotic’ genre.

 

Here, she gives us a glimpse at her findings.

 

emmanuelle-de-maupassant-erotic-fiction-versus-porn-what-is-the-difference-author-quote

 

I’m delighted to say that more women than ever are letting rip on the page, opening up their sexual imagination. We continue to battle for equal rights, respect and recognition, across every sphere imaginable, but when it comes to erotic fiction, our feet are firmly under the table.

 

Of course, there are some truly talented men writing erotic fiction too. Many would argue that gender is irrelevant in how we approach the page as writers: that we have the ability to portray any human being, from any time in history, and from anywhere.

 

It’s certainly true that some elements of the human condition are universal.

 

We all know what it is to love, to despair, to smile, or to regret. We know the fragility of life and we share wonder in the world we inhabit. And yet, as women, aren’t we best placed to portray what it’s like to walk in our skin?

 

Writing Women’s Sexuality

 

 As little girls, we’re taught all the things we should never mention, and never do; for many of us, it’s a lifelong journey to free ourselves of inhibition.

 

adrea-kore-erotic-fiction-author-quote

 

Adrea Kore reminds us, “Women writing and speaking about their own desire, being open with what gives them pleasure and turns them on … even finding the words for that is something that is still seen as taboo in corners of Western culture, let alone in comparison to cultures where women are more repressed ideologically, and socially.”

 

In expressing our understanding of our sexual self, looking at how erotic impulse shapes us, we recognize that we are more than intellect, and more than emotion. We are also ‘of the body’.

 

Tabitha Rayne notes that writing erotic fiction, “felt like discovering a new colour‘ and ‘opening a door to myself.”‘

 

Kristina Lloyd echoes this, saying, “Through writing, I’ve learned so much about my own sexuality and desire.”

 

Rose Caraway, speaking of her work in audio narration of erotic fiction, tells us, “Together, we’re helping people awaken… Each story narrated acknowledges sexuality, our own and others’, because it’s being read aloud. Those words want to be heard, making us stronger, so that we can better express and own our sexuality.”

 

Erotica is diverse as a genre, in content and style. We’re individuals, each with our tastes, our own ‘kinks’ and our own fantasies. Really, the possibilities are infinite!

 

With that in mind, a strong response coming through was that writers want to look beyond common ‘formulas’ in fiction. They want to write the unexpected. They want to explore not only our passions but our vulnerabilities, and our flaws. They want to show what drives us to make certain choices and the consequences of those decisions.

KD Grace asserts, “Few actions can change a story more dramatically than sex properly placed. I can’t imagine trying to tell a story without sex included. Neither can I imagine writing sex that isn’t an integral part of a story.”

 

nya-rawlyns-women-writers

 

Mirrors to versions of the ‘self’

In exploring the psychology of desire, erotic fiction has the power to delve not just our fantasies but our truths. It holds a mirror to versions of our ‘self’ rarely let out in polite company.

It commonly explores themes of identity, of connection, of yearning, of truth and deceit, of freedom and constraint.

Erotic fiction lends itself to exploration of ‘grey areas of morality’, as Tobsha Learner calls them: to the small lies we tell ourselves, and to the ways in which we manipulate or make use of others.

 

remittance-girl-author-quote-erotic-fiction-emmanuelle-de-maupassant

 

Remittance Girl states her desire ‘to write what frightens and unsettles us, as well as what delights us’. 

Erotic fiction has the potential not only to electrify us sexually but to deliver a punch to the emotional gut and to caress our intellect. Like all great storytelling, it has the power to provoke us at many levels.

 

Adrea Kore emphasizes, “Erotica writes into areas of the human sexual psyche and behaviour that some genres gloss over or shy away from. Erotica brings into the light contradictions between our inner sexual desires and our outward behaviour. What do we secretly long for, and to attain that, what lengths would we go to?”

 

nya-rawlyns-erotic-fiction-quote-women-writers

 

Fantasy v. Realism

Fantasy (all the ‘what ifs’ of our imagination) is a well-recognized aspect of erotic fiction. If not here then where else can we explore ‘the forbidden’. Janine Ashbless sees fiction as ‘a safe area in which to let our darker selves, our fears and our desires, out for a little exercise…’

It may seem contradictory to seek out greater realism within erotic fiction but many writers assert a desire to create recognizable, diverse characters (for instance, of all ages, and who vary from typical ideals of physical ‘perfection’) and characters with psychological depth, to better allow readers to empathize, and enter into alternate possibilities.

KD Grace explains, “I’m sick to death of weak, cardboard women being written as subs and mean, unlikable, men being written as Doms (or, even worse, as really creepy, stalker types). I want depth, I want a connection that has more to do with what drives the characters, and with the chemistry between them, and less to do with the trappings.”

 

Why Read Erotic Fiction

 

adrea-kore-author-quote-women-writing-erotic-fiction

 

Reading Erotic fiction can open our eyes to new understanding of our sexuality (and our broader psyche). It encourages us to push aside shame and it empowers us to express our needs and desires. For many of us, it’s the catalyst in finding our sexual voice. It can help erode sexual stigma, encouraging women, and men, to voice their desire more honestly.

Tobsha Learner notes the struggle to find ‘a sexy word for vagina – something that purrs as well as has claws’. Her comment is playful but she touches upon an issue at the heart of women’s writing of the erotic.

Our sexuality is multi-layered, and the ways in which we express our desire are just as complex. We are fluid. We are changeable. We are the tiger and we are the pussy cat.

We, as writers, are exploring the many facets of desire.

We are liberating our voices.

As the reader, you can liberate yours too.

 

To read the full series of articles, or to find out more about erotic fiction, visit Emmanuelle’s website: www.emmanuelledemaupassant.com

 

emmanuelle-de-maupassant-the-gentlemens-club

 

About Emmanuelle: 

Emmanuelle de Maupassant lives with her husband (maker of fruit cake) and her hairy pudding terrier. She is the author of ‘The Gentlemen’s Club’ (recommended by Stylist Magazine as one of the sexiest reads of 2015) and of ‘Cautionary Tales’ (inspired by Slavonic superstitions and folklore).

You can find Emmanuelle on Amazon: viewAuthor.at/EmdeM

On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/EMaupassant

And on Twitter: https://twitter.com/EmmanuelledeM

 

Sh! Women’s Store Hosting an Essential Elements of Erotic Writing Workshop Taught by Kay Jaybee & Me

 

 Sh-workshop-768x427

 

 

Would you like to write erotica? Maybe you’ve had a go but feel you’re missing something? Perhaps you’d really like to 13442263_1220482214628479_1390160962256925281_ntry, but the whole idea of writing it all down makes you blush furiously? Well here’s your chance to past the blush and write the sizzle.

 

Kay Jaybee and I are very happy to announce that we’ll be joint-teaching an Essential Elements of Erotic Writing Workshop in London at Sh! Women’s Store on the 23rd of September from 5:30-7:30 PM. We promise a sizzling evening of fun, filth and writing, all set in one of our favourite places on the planet, the fabulously sexy Sh! Women’s Store. That alone is enough to inspire erotic thoughts. Is there a better combination?

 

Kay and I are scheming and planning an inspiring, educational and filthy class, guaranteed to help you set aside your Sh!logointernal editor and get down to writing the good stuff in a nasty, fun way.

 

The cost is £20 per person and pace is limited, so be sure and sign up as soon as possible. (This workshop is open to
both sexes.) Follow the link for details and come join us prepared to write!

 

Wow! You Don’t Look Like an Erotica Writer

A summer post from the archives

I don’t look like someone who writes erotica. I get that all the time, and I have to smile. It’s a bit like being told, ‘funny, Scribe-computer-keyboardMG_07771-225x300you don’t look like you’re not wearing any knickers. You don’t look like you just had extra cream in your coffee. You don’t look like you’ve been reading Cosmo in the ladies room.’

 

Contrary to popular belief, most erotica writers actually do look exactly like eritoca writers. In fact I look exactly like an erotica writer. Problem is most people don’t know what erotica writers look like. And, fair enough, I have to admit we’re a very difficult lot to recognize, so I’m going to give a very short crash course in how to spot an erotica writer. Not that it’ll help much. We’re masters of disguise. But perhaps it will give you some idea of what you’re actually up against so you won’t feel so bad next time you discover that the woman checking you out at the pharmacy, or the bloke tapping away on his laptop at Starbucks, or the chick picking up her kids after school is an erotica writer.

 

First, you need to know what NOT to look for in an erotica writer. Unless said writer is doing a reading at a book store and is trying to look like people expect an erotica writer to look, the person least likely to be an erotica writer is the one dressed in fishnet stockings and nose-bleed stilettos. Likewise don’t expect her to be the one with peek-a-boo cleavage and a leather mini, or the one with ‘please f*ck me now’ make-up.

 

In fact, the most outstanding thing about an erotica writer is that she doesn’t stand out. In fact it behoves her not to stand out. She’ll be the one in the coffee shop in the corner in the back. She’ll be wearing jeans and a jumper because minis and tiny tops are just too damn cold and uncomfortable to sit around and write in, and erotica writers are endlessly practical. She probably won’t be wearing any make-up because the time it takes to put on a face is time that could be spent getting down the fab hot story idea that came to her while she was cleaning her teeth this morning.

 

Yep, chances are very good you won’t notice her at all, but she’ll notice you. She’ll notice everyone and everything around her, and she’ll filter it all through an imagination filled with possibilities, sexy possibilities, stories to be woven, and heat to be generated on the written page. She’ll have her head down, writing like a madwoman. And if she has a quirky little smile half plastered across her face, you’ll know she’s found the hot idea she’s been looking for.

 

Some erotica writers don’t stand out because hey they didn’t even make it to the coffee shop. They’re still curled up at home in their pajamas with a cuppa writing a story sparked off by a dream they had. They may be in their most comfy track suit, hair pulled back in a ponytail, feet snuggled in fuzzy slippers while they tap away on the laptop at the kitchen Writing pen and birds 1_xl_20156020
table. They may be scribbling away in a little purple notebook during their lunch break at the office.

 

It’s hard to say where they’ll turn up, or how they’ll disguise themselves, or what occupation they might take up in their every-day, non-erotica-writing life. But it’s a pretty good bet that when they do decide to reveal themselves, you’ll still be picking your jaw up off the floor saying, ‘Wow, you sure don’t LOOK like someone who writes erotica.’

 

Pointers for Writing Sex in Fiction

As a writer of erotic romance, I’m always trying to analyze the ways in which sex strengthens story. I’ve been very vocal in my belief that a story without sex is like a story without eating or breathing. Sex is a major driving force in our lives on many levels that I’ve dealt with in many blog posts. Because it is a major driving force in our lives it must also be a major driving force in story. Sex is a powerful way to create conflict and chaos in a story. It’s a way of allowing our characters to interact on an intimate level. And it’s one of the very best ways to cut through our characters’ facades and get an honest look at who they are when their guard is down and they’re at their most vulnerable. With that in mind, I’ve decided to share a few points that I always find helpful when I write sex scenes. For me, going back to the basics is always a great way to sharpen my skills. And I love to share the things that work for me.

Three occasions not to write sexwriting image 2

1. While writing children’s books
2. While writing the definitive work on antique saltcellars.
3. When you’re not a writer, you’re a bricklayer. Even then …

Three important reasons to incorporate sex in your writing

1. Sex adds tension.
2. Sex adds depth and dimension to a story, and gives it more humanity.
3. Sex adds intimacy and transparency to the story and helps the reader better know the characters.

Three big no-nos in writing sex

1. Sex should never be gratuitous. If it doesn’t further the story, don’t put it in.
2. Sex shouldn’t be a trip to the gyno office. Technical is NOT sexy.
3. Sex should never be clichéd or OTT. (unless it suits the story)

Four suggestions for writing better sex scenes
1. Write sex unselfconsciously. No one is going to believe it’s you any more than they believe Thomas Harris is a cannibal.
2. Sex scenes should always be pacey. Too much detail is worse than not enough. Sex should neither slow nor speed up the pace of the novel. It shouldn’t be used like an interval in a play. It should not serve as filler to bolster word count. It should always keep pace with the story being told.
3. Approach sex in your writing voyeuristically by watching and learning from your characters. Their personalities, emotional baggage and behavior traits will dictate how they have sex and how you write it.

4. You should always be able to feel a good sex scene in your gut. I’m not talking about wank material, I’m talking about The Clench. It’s a different animal. The clench below the navel is for the sex scene what the tightness in the chest and shoulders is for the suspense scene.

The power of good sex can drive a story in ways that almost nothing else can. Good sex can be the pay-off for a hundred pages of sexual chemistry and tension, but the pay-off is even better if it’s also the cause of more chaos sling-shotting the reader breathlessly on to the next hundred pages and the next.

 

Kelly Lawrence Talks ‘Passionate Plots’ – Using Dialogue to Convey Sexual Tension

Kelly Lawrence Passionate Plots postI wrote my new book, Passionate Plots as a guide to writing sex scenes both for emerging erotica writers and writers looking to branch out in this area, or who feel that their current story might benefit from some added heat. The main thrust of the book – as well as specific advice on writing a good sex scene and writing exercises to help you do this – is that sex scenes, whatever your genre, need to be integral to the overall plot and make sense in terms of your characters. One way to ensure that your erotic scenes don’t just pop up out of nowhere is to ensure that there’s some build-up of sexual tension between the characters involved. Here’s a little extract from the book on conveying those tension levels….

‘What is sexual tension? It’s that simmering between two people who are attracted to each other but are fighting it, or can’t be together for whatever reason, or the first time you talk to someone and you look at each other and just know you’re going to end up between the sheets, but you’ve only just met and you’re in public/company so it wouldn’t be polite to say anything. If the couple becomes long-term, sexual tension evolves into chemistry, where you’re finishing each other’s sentences and even your friends sense the simmering heat between you.

Sexual tension is crucial for your story if you’re writing an erotic romance or erotica; think of it as foreplay. In these genres sexual tension will be one of if not the major source of conflict. It sounds like an obvious point, but I’ve read a few erotica novels where, although the sex scenes come fast and furious, there’s little or no sexual tension, which results in the reader not really caring about the characters or even what happens next, flicking through to the sex scenes and discarding the book.

Even if you’re writing in another genre, if you’re planning on including erotic scene, it’s still important to have some levels of sexual tension that give the reader a build-up. Otherwise the sex scenes appear to come out of nowhere and can jar the reader out of the story. Sexual tension serves to give the reader a hint at the scenes to come, so by the time they reach the first love scene they’ll be not just expecting it but looking forward to it. It can also serve your plot in other ways; a little sexual tension simmering away can work with other points of conflict in the story to up the overall rising tension and drama. Particularly in thrillers and action-adventure novels, two characters battling outside conflict while sexual tension simmers away between them really adds to the levels of excitement and urgency. Just look at some Hollywood films for examples of this. The same principle can work in horrors and Westerns too. Historical fiction can also benefit from a good dollop of sexual tension and done well it can really add to the plot; think of the restrained and corseted Victorian era with all that passion bubbling under the surface for example.

Of course sexual tension is subtle and hard to describe; like that all elusive chemistry you know when it’s there but it’s almost impossible to pin down and define. Therefore, although our stories might need this form of tension, it’s not the easiest thing to convey in words, unlike a film where you can practically see the sparks fly between characters. Here is where you really need to be able to ‘show not tell’. Telling your readers there’s sexual tension between your characters, even in the first-person, won’t let them feel it.

So how do you do it? There are a variety of ways, from body language to interior monologue, but dialogue is one of the most powerful ways to convey that simmering sexual tension….

The use of banter between two characters trying to fight or avoid their attraction to each other is a strong device in romance novels, and if this is an area you’re not familiar with I suggest you read a few and see how other writers do it. ‘Banter’ can be used to refer to flirting, teasing, even a heated debate if it’s already been made clear the characters would rather be ripping off the others’ clothes than their head.  Whatever the context, banter is witty, fast-paced dialogue with a sexual edge. You can make this sexual aspect quite clear with the use of flirting or innuendo, or subtle with the use of subtext.

How do your characters flirt? Think about their personalities and don’t make your heroine turn into a pouty-lipped giggling hair flicker if she’s usually quiet and serious, or a ballsy no-nonsense kind of gal, or your down-to-earth guy metamorphoses into Mr Charmer. Let your characters lead.

Sexual tension between characters often arises due to some interpersonal conflict between them. This may be because of the situation they’re in, one a cop, the other a fugitive, to give an obvious example much beloved of Hollywood screenwriters, but is at its most effective when there is a conflict between their personality types. As we all know, opposites attract.

Innuendo is a great way of injecting an element of simmering sexual attraction into a conversation without the characters blatantly saying ‘I really fancy you.’

The only thing to be careful of is that your dialogue doesn’t become too obvious, with your innuendoes becoming blatantly sexual in a 1970’s skin flick kind of way. No ‘gun in the pocket’ jokes, please.

Sub-text is a subtler way to show tension of any kind in dialogue – it’s the reading between the lines, what the characters don’t say – and it only works in the context of what has gone before. For example, look at this simple exchange;

John ‘I’ve always liked to dance.’

Jane ‘I remember.’

This could mean anything. John and Jane could be old friends having a casual conversation at a school reunion, with no further implications. However if we already know that John and Jane are old flames that are still attracted to each other, and that this is the first time they’ve seen each other since a brief night at a friend’s wedding where John asked Jane for dance that turned steamy and ended up with him sweeping her out of the ballroom onto a balcony for a passionate embrace, then the exchange takes on a different meaning. We know they are now both thinking of that last frenzied embrace, and that the tension is growing between them.

What isn’t said can be as powerful as what is.

About Kelly Lawrence:
Kelly LawrenceUnconditionalRei Bennett Photography - Kelly 10Kelly Lawrence is a writer, teacher and mother from the West Midlands. She is the author of the bestselling erotic memoir ‘Wicked Games’, New Adult romance ‘Unconditional’ and two writing guides, of which ‘Passionate Plots’ is the first, to be followed by ‘Building Your Story’ in August 2014. She is currently working on a book aimed at young adults called ‘The Anger Games’ exploring teen trends in digital activism, and also writes historical romance and contemporary crime for Harlequin as Michelle Kelly, with ‘Sins of the Children’ her first major crime novel being released later this year.
You can contact Kelly here:
@lotuswriter
Buy Passionate Plots Here: 

 

 

 

 
  • Page 1 of 2
  • 1
  • 2
© 2017 K D Grace
The Romance Reviews

Site created and maintained by Writer Marketing Services | Sitemap
Social media & sharing icons powered by UltimatelySocial