My thoughts on writing tips found online and in published works (with some random thoughts thrown into the mix).

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Guest Post by Beth D. Carter

About Writing Erotica and Being Published

There is perhaps no other creative outlet that bares the writer's soul quite like writing. Whether it’s writing poetry, songs, or stories, the modern-day bard has to tap into deep recesses of the soul. Writing stories can be a rollercoaster journey, full of emotional ups and downs as the writer tries to convey believable characters and situations. A writer pours their very essence into their creation, much like Dr. Frankenstein into his monster. Add a little electricity and pretty soon the author is shouting “It’s alive!”.

It is very easy to stay within the confines of what is comfortable and normal in your set boundaries, being a reader or a writer. But erotica romance writers have the double-edge sword of writing not only quality stories, but writing sex scenes that sizzle. But many of us erotica writers continually battle the preconceived notion that we write porn and that we write sub-par work. We’ve had our intelligence insulted, our feelings bruised, and our talent questioned. Some people think we even live what we write, that our moral ethics are nonexistent. But for me, for many of us, writing sex is hard. It’s perhaps the hardest aspect of my job and I do a lot of research, do a lot of interviews, and pour a lot of imagination into bringing each character to life

And then the writer turns in the manuscript, along with his or her heart, hopes, and dreams. So what happens when it’s out of the hands of the writer? The good thing about eBook publishing today is that it is opening a wide berth for non-traditional writers, but still, the only way to sell yourself is to have a wonderful, completed manuscript. A great concept, a hook, a fully-developed plot with enticing characters…this is what publishers are looking for.

Read other books, learn how other authors write and notice the use of adjectives in the right places at the right time. Writers are readers and readers are writers. Give different characters different voices. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read stories from friends and each character was basically the same. People are different and writing them should be the same way. Be careful of point of view. Since you are an unknown you can’t switch POV’s from person to person within the same paragraph. Once you’re Lisa Kleypas it’s perfectly okay, but until you sell 14 million books, you have to watch the POV. And lastly, don’t have your hero or heroine be something that you know nothing about! If you aren’t a genius and don’t know how to write mathematical equations, then don’t have your hero be John Forbes Nash, Jr. Characters need to be believable and if you can’t pull that off then you won’t have a wonderful manuscript.

Lastly, listen to your characters, they will usually tell you which way to take the story. I never ignore my characters or my intuition. Your novel is only as good as they are, so don’t be afraid of the voices in your head.

Erotica writers have the double-edge sword of writing compelling stories around sex scenes that sizzle on the page. But stepping outside whatever box makes you feel safe is a way of exploring a part of yourself you may have been afraid to face, whether as a reader or writer. I constantly push my own boundaries because I never want to stagnate my stories; to fall into the trap where I substitute character names but have the same plot and the same expectations. And I never rest of my laurels. I think I still have a lot more to learn on writing my full potential.

-Beth D. Carter

I am a full-time writer and stay-at-home mom, which means I watch a lot of Pixar films. Over and over and over again. I hate washing dishes but I love cooking. I hate washing clothes but I love wearing them. I try to write characters who aren't cookie cutters, ones who are full of angst but where love redeems them. I push myself to write complicated situations that I have no idea how to resolve, forcing me to think outside the box. Music inspires me as do the boats and arguing seals in the marina where I live. I hate people who don't pick up their dog's crap in public places and I really hate people who are rude and condescending. I especially hate discrimination in all and every form. The perfect birthday presents are gift certificates to bookstores. And I love to hear from readers. I’m really easy to find on Facebook or Twitter.

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