How to Write Erotic Fiction

The first step is to familiarize yourself with the genre. Read published erotica, research characters and plotting, and understand the themes.

Like any story, erotica follows tropes and templates. Be aware of what is expected, and aim to deliver the entertainment promised by your cover and book title.

1. Know Your Characters

When writing erotic fiction it’s important to have a clear vision of your characters. You want them to be believable and relatable. Readers often pick up erotic books looking for escapism and the fantasy of something new, something different from the humdrum of real life.

They’re also looking for a story that is entertaining and satisfying. A great way to do this is to build up your characters. This can be done through description, action and dialogue.

Avoid using double entendres or words with multiple meanings unless they are intentionally provocative. For example, a prehensile lobe protruding from the nape of your heroine’s neck is far more exciting than a sinus cavity concealed coquettishly in her armpit.

Attending erotica writing events and joining online communities is another way to build your network and learn more about what readers expect from the genre. These groups can be a good place to meet other writers, find writing partners and collaborate on projects. They can also help you decide if erotic fiction is the right fit for your writing style and goals.

2. Know Your Setting

Many people are hesitant to write about sex and romance, but well-written erotica is a niche that’s not going away anytime soon. In fact, it’s one of the most popular genres on Amazon and has a dedicated reader base that’s growing.

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When writing erotica, setting is key. It sets the mood and tone for the story and should mesh with the specific kink you’re exploring. It’s important to explore all aspects of the kink so readers feel completely satisfied with their reading experience.

Avoid relying too heavily on characters to create erotic tension and focus more on the settings and situations. This will add a sense of mystery and excitement to the story that draws the reader in.

It’s also a good idea to study the endings of bestsellers in your chosen subgenre and learn how to craft your own climaxes. Try to find patterns and themes that resonate with readers. Lastly, consider publishing your erotica through self-publishing to avoid paying a publisher a cut of the profits. This option is gaining popularity, especially with the rise of digital-first publishers like Kindle Direct.

3. Know Your Themes

A big part of writing erotic fiction is knowing your themes. Whether you are writing about a character’s sexual escapades or the sexy setting, you need to know what readers expect in your genre. You can gain an understanding of the conventions of erotica by reading books and short stories written in your genre. Also, it is helpful to study how authors develop their characters and plots in a story.

Once you’ve mastered the fundamentals of writing erotic fiction, it is time to start practicing. Many writers choose to write fan fiction in the beginning, until they’re confident enough to try writing a novel. Some writers even publish their work on a website, acting as a portfolio for potential readers and editors.

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One thing to keep in mind when writing erotica is that you may want to consider using a pseudonym. There is a certain stigma associated with writing about sex that could negatively impact your career if revealed in real life. However, this is not a universal rule and is entirely up to the individual writer.

4. Know Your Audience

When writing erotic fiction you have to know your audience. Not only are they looking for explicit sex but they also want their libido stimulated by an exciting story that has them at the edge of their seat. To do this your sex scenes must be well written with clear and effective descriptions. You want your description to be evocative and even graphic but not tasteless or misogynistic. It is for this reason that many erotic writers use pseudonyms and may choose to keep their erotic writing separate from other genres of fiction.

Some erotic publishers will also have guidelines for what they’re interested in publishing and what they won’t. For example, they may not publish stories that depict rape or bestiality. These guidelines can be based on moral beliefs or a fear of legal action and bad press, but they’re still important to consider before sending your work out.

Ultimately, saleability is the primary motivation for many erotic writers, and it’s an important factor to consider when you’re creating a story. However, there are also other benefits to erotic writing, such as honing your descriptive skills and increasing your awareness of the physical space that characters occupy in a scene.

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5. Know Yourself

Sex is a common element in many genres of fiction. In erotica it serves to advance the story and characters through sexual anticipation, arousal, and action. In romance it is the vehicle for character development and growth. In thrillers, it is a clue or an action sequence. In a mystery, it is the discovery of a solution.

Writers must be aware of the impact sex has on their readers in order to hit all of the right beats. If a scene doesn’t connect, or the pace is off, it can make a story feel disjointed and less interesting.

Readers of erotica are looking for escapism and pleasure. To evoke the proper feeling, it’s important to use the right tone and description. For example, erotica writers should avoid using disgusting or laughable euphemisms for genitalia and sex acts. It also helps to use adjectives sparingly. Overusing them can turn a story into a cliché. Lastly, authors should be aware that writing erotica can stigmatize writers and may even cause them to lose credibility or be taken less seriously. This is why some erotica writers choose to use pseudonyms.

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