Friends with benefits.
Doing the dirty.
*grins* Do I have your attention yet? ‘Cause trust me, I can go on …
A little over a month ago I wrote about the difference between erotic romance and erotica. I also mentioned a kick-ass, well-loved editor, Bob, with Insatiable Press I met and his challenge on writing erotica. To review: Erotica deals with sex. Not porn, no. Alternatively, to put those words together, a porno. But more so, building a relationship, a connection on sex. It does not matter how it happens, as long as it does. Moreover, with erotica, the more, the better, the sooner, the happier said editor will be.
That being said … as many of you know, or maybe it’s a new announcement, I’m with a group of talented women who write different genres of fiction. Our writer’s group is called Coffee Talk. I tossed the gauntlet down in said group, and challenged my girls to a little erotic action. (Sorry boys, only on paper.) The response was instantaneous—yes! So the six of us out of the group started immediately on producing some quality erotica material, and the experience so far has been enlightening. However, the research has been fun! *wiggles brows*
We sat down recently and discussed the journey, and I took some notes …
D.C: Alright ladies, for the record, what’s the normal genre you write.
Michaela: So far I've been sticking to Crime Drama and Sci Fi, but I'm excited to be throwing my hat into the erotic ring.
Renea: Erotic romance
Lea: Crime fiction/suspense. Preferably high-speed action scenes that end with a little bit of gore, among other shocking details, he he ;)
Sophia: I have two paranormal romance short stories out on Amazon. I've also completed 20,000 words of a paranormal murder mystery that will someday, someday be a novel. To me, "paranormal" is more of a subgenre, but it seems to be the theme common to my writing. I'm intrigued by all things different and spooky, and I've always had a soft spot for monsters--be they antagonist or steamy male lead.
Valerie: Paranormal romance
D.C: Hell, sometimes I wonder if I’m still trying to choose what I want to write, but with all the different genres, I seem to be peeking all over the place. I started out with paranormal romance, but I think I will end up sticking to romantic suspense. It is, after all, where the bad boys like to play. *grins*
Okay, next question. How has your experience writing erotica changed from your normal genre?
Michaela: I've had to try to concentrate on lust rather than emotional connection, and the sex side of the story, instead of "fade to black" so that has been a challenge.
Renea: There is less focus on the elements that lead to sex and more focus on the sex itself. Also in writing erotic romance sex tends to be the result, whereas in erotica it is the catalyst.
Lea: How many times do you think we can get Renea to say sex? *laughs* I wrote graphic sex scenes in my previous work as well, so that isn’t new. What’s changed is the story’s edge level, and the type of characters. While I used to “impersonate” a bad guy and explore his motivations, the people I’m portraying now are quite normal. That’s refreshing. It doesn’t mean they have a clear conscience, but at least their [somewhat horny] personalities are easier to handle.
Sophia: *whispers to Renea* Lea said horny. *chuckles* I've decided to give a first person contemporary story a try. No monsters or cool magic to fall back on, just two characters, two regular human beings and all of the complexity that lies between them. It's going to be a challenge, but a fun one.
Valerie: I was really worried I wouldn’t be able to do this, after all, I’m a romantic at heart and leaving out the love aspect had me a little concerned. I stuck with the same genre since that is my comfort zone and came up with an idea.
Since I’m already used to writing sex, I simply bumped up the heat, tossed in some new terms for body parts and voila!
D.C: Heck, a difference? Is there much with my writing? *chuckles* I will refrain from answering that as besides the love, I really do not see too much of a difference.
Do you notice anything different about writing erotica?
Michaela: I've needed to expand my vocabulary quite a lot!
Renea: It has less of a fantasy filter. That’s not to say that erotica doesn’t play out fantasies but the outcome is more real than ideal.
Lea: What kind of fantasies, Renea? *wiggles brows*
Renea: *blank stare*
Lea: *laughs* While building a classic story with a plot and sub-plots, I keep a constant erotic “awareness”, sort of like considering every word through a smut lens filter before putting it to paper.
Sophia: It's more ... visceral. Sensory details are very important.
Valerie: *looks at Sophia* Sensory? Oh, you mean sex! I’ve found erotica is actually easier because sex is your main focus. A quickie in the kitchen or a long, sensual scene in the bedroom. The rest of the story is simply filler, a way to get from point A to point B.
D.C: *Can barely breathe at this point* Alright, what would you say has been the funnest part about writing erotica? I, for one, like the ability to make that instant lust connection. Well, it does come first in my WIP, but heck, not for long … *sings*
Michaela: Researching and then envisaging the character dynamics and physical positions for the scenes. I'm pretty sure my husband would say that's the best part too :-)
Renea: *smirks at Michaela* I just bet he does. The look on my husband’s face when he reads in print all the naughty stuff that runs through my head. Well… really it was more the devilish smile that followed.
Lea: Incorporating sex into every chapter, one way or the other, to maintain the erotic tension throughout. I’ve found it’s not too hard, and boy is this project a fun ride (every pun intended)!
Sophia: *laughing at Lea* I think you have to have a sense of humor to write erotica. You're writing about sex, SEX, this crazy, instinctive act that drives us all. It's actually pretty profound. As an erotica author, you need to be able to lighten it up by laughing at how many synonyms you've used to describe male genitalia-- for me, that's been the most fun, the terminologies.
Valerie: Trying to figure out how to position my characters. I almost feel as if I need a Ken and Barbie doll. I mean, can people actually bend that way?
D.C: *blinks at Valerie* Did you just say what I think you did? *glances at notes* You sure as hell did! *laughing* What is the one thing that you cringe about? I’m thinking I am about to give my Pops a heart attack. He just can’t read my work! (And no, Dad, I still will not become a sci-fi author. *winks*)
Michaela: Anyone from my family reading it!
Renea: I cringe when writing seems forced or when you can feel in the prose that the writer is uncomfortable with the topic they are exploring. The author needs to be completely comfortable for the story to achieve the suspension of disbelief needed for a truly arousing piece.
Of course, there are topics that make me cringe and for the very reason listed above, you won’t find me writing about them.
Lea: None I can think of. I thoroughly enjoy having free rein in my writing.
Sophia: Honestly? The P-word for lady bits. I haven't used it in my writing and cringe when I see it elsewhere. You would think multiple viewings of The Vagina Monologues would have cured me of the affliction, but nope.
Valerie: I don’t know why, but being more descriptive had me blushing at first. Oh and how to refer to the female anatomy, I wasn’t used to throwing out the P word. *laughs*
D.C: *takes notes* Okay, so the girls do not like pussy. *dodges some inanimate object flying through the air* Any particular research you've conducted for your erotica piece?
Michaela: I've broadened my reading library to include erotic works, published and from free sites. And some parts are actually based around real people and events in my other life, so I've tried to tease more information out of them on the QT :-)
Renea: Not for this piece.
Lea: Well, as I’ve always been very naïve about the whole gay thing, I’ve had to study photos, videos, and detailed descriptions … Heh, I’m pretty sure with this new in-depth knowledge of mine, so to speak, I could convince any man to want to have it with another guy. *grins*
Sophia: My male lead is from El Salvador. He and his family moved to the US to escape his country's twelve-year civil war. It's important that I get the political and historical facts right, so it's involved a fair amount of research.
Valerie: Absolutely! I’ve been reading erotica. I’ve delved into both erotic romance and straight erotica so I could see the difference.
D.C: I had to research a specific criminal case from a few years back. *makes a face* Alright, ladies, can you tell us a little about your story?
Michaela: Natalie comes home one day to find her arse husband has left her. Her best friend, Chantelle, drags her along to work that night as a makeup artist for a gentlemen's club. Chantelle puts Natalie in costume and send her out on the floor to grab some drinks, and to boost her confidence. Little does Natalie know that her friend is setting her up for much more ...
Renea: A marketing professional becomes the interest of a Noble prize-winning doctor responsible for saving her sister’s life.
Struggling with feelings of admiration, gratefulness and attraction, Elaine must make a choice when the good doctor asks for her participation in a personal matter. Does she agree, knowing she’ll be changed forever or decline and always be haunted by his promises of pleasure beyond her greatest imagination?
Lea: Two handsome bicyclists stop at a bed & breakfast in the French Alps. The young hostess Anne loves her husband Brian, but is a bit disappointed by the lack of sexual excitement in their relationship. It turns out that their guests, grounded by a storm, are more than willing to provide a little drama to their lives!
Sophia: Spanish professor Arturo Salas is a good man. Raised in war-ravaged El Salvador, he's witnessed humankind's capacity for evil firsthand--and as a result vowed to always live a life of honor. He's an educator, a community activist, and attends Mass several times a week. But he's also having an affair with one of his students, a naive girl twenty years his junior.
Valerie: Katrina’s father is dying. His journal tells of a mysterious emerald that holds healing powers hidden in the depths of the rain forest. In order to find it, she must hire Damis, a local demon to take her on a journey through the Amazon. Kat gets more than she bargained for when Damis negotiates sex into the deal.
D.C: Yesterday, she was the bane of his existence. Today, he wants nothing more than to take her to his bed. Tomorrow, he learns her name.
Note: All the pieces are works in progress and I know many often either blog about their experiences with these pieces or post about it on Facebook.
To follow along with the girls, check out their websites or Facebook pages listed below. To connect with the rest of the team, be sure to visit us at http://coffeetalkwriters.com. Many have published pieces, and we would all love for you to check them out. They can be found on many different retailers, details listed on each website, and we all would of course, love to hear from you!
D.C. Stone: You're here!