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What's Your Pleasure?
Emma MacNeil

It happens to all writers at one time or another, regardless of the genre: you get into a rut. Most genres have ruts that are specific to their genre: non-fiction writers may find that their writing starts to sound the same, whether they're writing an article on kung fu or conservation biology. Horror writers might wonder if there's any other way to scare the living daylights out of their readers without using the same tired techniques they've used before.

The most common rut for writers of erotica is writing about the very thing that defines the genre: sex. After all, there are only so many ways to get tab A into slot B, and once you've been writing erotica for a while, you may find that your writing sounds formulaic and repetitive.

Before you resign yourself to boredom, take heart: with a little creativity and a lot of mundane events and personal experiences to choose from, you can pull yourself out of the furrow you're in.

What else turns you on?
Most erotica writers already have a good idea of what excites them. In fact, many writers of erotica start out by putting their own well-thought-out fantasies to paper. But go beyond even that. What little details turn you on? Slow, clinging kisses? Stubble rasping against your flesh? Or perhaps something a little more unexpected, such as the sharp sting of a well-timed spank or the feel of hands circling your wrists? Once you've thought of a few things, exercise your mind and your pen by creating a story around them.

Mundane can be sexy.
Writers of any genre can make a story out of common, unexciting events. Some of the best erotica is based on asking, "What if?" in an everyday situation. So, if you're searching for an idea, but just can't come up with one, focus on your life for inspiration. Perhaps you're on the bus on your way to work. You look to the seat beside you and there's an attractive woman reading her newspaper. What if you were to nibble the side of her neck? What if she were to turn around and nibble back?

Think outside the genitalia.
Not all erotica has to involve intercourse, or even nudity. One of the best pieces of short erotica I've ever written is about a woman finishing a marathon. The protagonist is hot, sweaty and her legs are pumping like pistons. She's just at the finish line, about to cross over the edge and - oh, God! - she's finally there. The protagonist's experience has a strong erotic bent, but no clothing is every removed.

What experiences have you had?
Personal experiences can make erotica richer and more sensual. I'm not implying that you should hop in the sack with the next person you see. But when you write your erotica, draw on your personal experience and passions. Better stories are often the result of knowing your subject personally. So, when you're about to put pen to paper, draw on an exciting experience you've had or a sensual place you've been. Mississippi might not sound like the most exciting place on the planet, but think of the wet, green heat of the Delta. Can you feel it on your skin? Make your reader feel it, too. Then weave in those afore-mentioned little turn-ons you thought of earlier.

Writing erotica isn't just about getting tab A into slot B (or slot C, for that matter). It's often the little details and surprises in a story that can make it more sensual and exciting. Explore yourself and your experiences, and you'll find that your erotica takes on a life of its own.

Copyright Emma MacNeil. All Rights Reserved.


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