Mar 252010

Writing is _______________ fill in the blank
as necessary as breathing

i hear many different things from writers and would be writers
but i never hear it is a business

maybe writers are afraid to put that creative genius into a category called business
business is all about pencil pushers
conglomerate take overs
it is cold

not matter how you slice it
dice it
stereotype it

writing is a business
your words are your product
and you should take that product very seriously!

I will leave it to those that know more
on getting published to answer those questions
that is not what i am talking about
but it is the end goal

what i want to address is your writer persona
most writers have an outside job that pays the bills
the writing being your passion
done after work
in the early mornings
sick days
in spurts

so already you are split into 2 persona
the writer and the worker
and in the beginning you do it as deftly as a surgeon with a knife
but many new writers
those without guidance
tend to as time goes on
the lines

and that can be dangerous

take this example
this happens way too often
especially to female writers of sensual words
you tell a neighbor
who tells a friend
what you do
maybe you share a story
before you know it some jerk
has come up to you
and starts making indecent proposals
when you smile nicely and firmly no thank you
they push harder
they make assumptions that because you can write a sex scene
and do it very well that
you have fucked around
had multiple partners
experienced anal sex
like to be spanked
tied up
or any other number of things their little minds assume go with the territory
and the greatest assumption from them is that
you are eager and willing to drop your knickers and do it right there on the kitchen floor with them

no one would make that assumption of Lisa Gardner, James Patterson, Robin Cook any of the multitude of suspense, horror or thriller novelists out there.

but if you write a sex scene like this for a client

“…He was inside me in an instant
Filling me
Pumping me
It was intense
His hardness my wetness
My nipples ached as they rubbed against his chest
I yearned to be able to wrap my legs around him
But I was hostage by my own devices
I cried as he swelled
As we both neared
His pumping became more fevered
His whispers in my ear
Guttural moans
I free hand ran through his hair
Pressing his face closer to me
His breath at my neck
The room spinned
Dom and submissive
Finally motionless
Nothing but sweat and irreversible smiles

even if like 9 1/2 weeks
it is just one scene out of 100
it is the only one they will remember
it is the one they will associate with you

So take your product’s visibility seriously
consider a pen name
develop the persona of you the writer
different from you the office worker
different from you doer of laundry
and master of the vaccumm cleaner and lawn mower
make that persona strong

be pro-active

get a mailbox, dont use your home address
set up email, twitter, facebook account specifically for that product
your business
the writer

Remember things you put on the internet or people say about you on the internet cant be easily erased. new employers will look at google to see if there is anything about you, blogs, photos hate mail that they need be aware of. Potential romantic interest will look to see what kind of freak you are. your parents might even take a look and not be all that happy.

make it harder for stalkers to harass you and your family
make it easier to be invisible

you never know what the future holds for you
you could find that after 5 or so years you would rather write childrens books, or be a sunday school teacher
dont give the narrow minded an inch to discriminate against you

i speak from experience
i have been harassed
and encountered job discrimination

So i learned the hard way
i make no apologies for me
or my business
i writesex
and i am one of the lucky ones that can combine passion and business

this has been oceania monroe for

Oceania’s sensual words

My Podcast Alley feed! {pca-f9a6c38a6ca7a3558b6adaaa44aa2568}

Mar 182010

By Thomas S. Roche,

I was originally brought on board here at Write Sex to be the “taboo guy,” sort of the William S. Burroughs of sex-positive erotica-writing instruction, the Luis Buñuel of the twenty-page blowjob scene or, in my fondest imaginings, the Lou Reed of the 1,500-word spanking vignette.

But for better or for worse, nowadays I’m not as much of a freak as I occasionally play on webcam. I’ve lately been obsessing more over appositives than ass-fisting, more about emdashes than emetophilia. Therefore, in this month’s column you won’t be reading about how to make your vampires sparkly but still spooky. I’m about to talk about a real literary taboo: second-person narration.

In case you’re not clear on what I mean by second-person narration, think “You unzip my dress” as opposed to first person, “John unzipped my dress,” or “I unzipped Mary’s dress” as opposed to the third person “John unzipped Mary’s dress” (or for that matter, maybe Mary unzipped her own goddamn dress — why does John have all the agency here?)

Got it? The “you” character may be the main character (most commonly) or, occasionally, a peripheral character in the action, an observer. This technique has been used intermittently in literary fiction. Commercial fiction, on the other hand, has historically been rather hostile to the technique — though the technique occasionally does show up on the best-seller lists.

With erotica, second-person narration has become much more common than it was ten years ago; similarly, it’s also much more common in erotica writing than it is in any form of commercial genre fiction like science fiction, fantasy, horror, crime fiction, or romance — though it does show up, occasionally, in all of those. To digress briefly, my view is that it works well in erotica, and is more common in the genre, because of a major change of culture. In the 1990s and 2000s, literary erotica has become less something people buy in sleaze shops and read by flashlight, and more something people use as a guide for developing their own sexual lifestyles, fantasies and behaviors — and sometimes even those of their sexual partners. But whether that’s right or wrong is a biiiiiiig long conversation I don’t have time for at the moment — so, hold that thought for some future date.

Second-person narration also works better in short stories than in novel-length works — in my opinion, because of the need for — or “habit of” if you prefer — writers to provide concrete character change throughout the length of a novel in order to make the thing feel like a satisfying feature-length whole. Short stories, on the other hand, are snapshots in time, and there not always the need to have backstory about “you,” as the main character, the way there is for a novel. As such, some of us very much like to put “you” in the story.

As one of the second-person technique’s most enthusiastic practitioners, I have to admit that — not to overstate it too much — you could be taking your creative and commercial life in your hands using this technique. A lot of readers find it alienating — and I mean a lot. The reasons for this I can’t really say; I hear it’s distracting; I hear it’s pretentious; I hear it reads like one of those Choose Your Own Adventure Books. Chris Baty, in his book No Plot? No Problem, the handbook of NANOWRIMO, even goes so far as to hold forth rabidly against second-person narration, essentially forbidding its use. I hope to someday meet Chris, so I can punch him hard in the mouth for that.

Regardless of whether you, or my many detractors, or Chris Baty or Kevin Costner’s character in Bull Durham think “pretentious” literary techniques blow chunks, it should be said that second-person narration has shown up magnificently in some important literary works written in English and other languages. Whether you like them individually or not, there’s no denying that, say, Italo Calvino’s If On a Winter’s Night a Traveler, Jay McInnery’s Bright Lights, Big City, Faulkner’s Absalom, Absalom!, Tom Robbins’s Half Asleep in Frog Pajamas, and the works of Julio Cortazar, John Barth, and Jorge Luis Borges — just to name a few — are works of note, “pretentious” or not.

I recently experienced one of the most powerful books I’ve ever read: Rape: A Love Story, by Joyce Carol Oates; far from being a hot ravishment fantasy, this novella is the most hard-boiled thing you’ll ever read; I found it much like having Oates smack me in the face with a lead pipe for 140 pages. But the “love story” of the title hinges precisely on the periodic use of the second person; for me, that technique is devastating. It brings an immediacy to that story that left me with nightmares and a bizarre feeling of melancholy hope. For all that the novel is brutal and violent, it is also at times bizarrely and disturbingly sensual.

Joyce Carol Oates notwithstanding, that is what attracts me to the second-person narration. To me, there’s a sensuality, an intimacy, that comes from describing another person’s experience. When we are reading or writing fiction, just where our consciousness “exists” at that moment is a matter of some mystical speculation for me. Why, then, would putting myself explicitly in the reader’s head prove more sensuous and immediate than putting myself in the head and body of an “I” character who is clearly not me?

Fuck if I know. But I know that every variation I try gives me a new chance to experience the fact of fiction anew.

Sure, if you’re trying to produce a commercial product that people will read book after book, second-person narration — or any unusual literary technique — may be a liability. If you want to be safe, you’re probably better off sticking with first-person or third-person narration. Readers are familiar with those, and you’re unlikely to raise any eyebrows.

But if as a writer you’re trying to “stand out” in terms of technique, stylistically unusual factors in your work — second person narration just being one very minor possibility — are your playthings.

And, perhaps more importantly, every different technique can give you a whole new perspective on fiction writing.

Writing is a learning process; to learn, you experiment.

And then…you unzip your dress.

Mar 112010

Many books, websites and courses tell you how to write and sell erotica. But they stop there. The fledgling writer is left with the impression that these two steps are all there is to it. In short, that successful writers of erotica earn enough to live on by simply writing and selling an erotic tale, and then moving on to the writing and selling of next one, never looking back.

Most of us would be starving to death if that was, indeed, all there was to it. Try it yourself and you will soon discover, via starvation, how absurd this idea is.

In fact, for many of us, especially those who write erotic short stories and novelettes, writing and selling the story are only the beginning of wringing the maximum income from it. When my friend Harlan Ellison (primarily a short story writer, whose example, while he does not write erotica, is germane) finishes a story, he first sells it to the highest paying magazine market he knows of. Then, a year or so later he sells it to some anthology it seems right for. A year or so later he puts it in a collection of his own stories. Next, he typically sells it to a magazine that pays it lower rates but whose contents page would be enhanced by a story with his name on it. Later other anthologists may also purchase the story. These steps sometimes transpire in a different order, but you get the general idea. He gets paid four or more times, usually more, for each story he writes.

That’s why when I sell a short erotic story the first time, if the magazine or anthology wants any kind of exclusivity on it, I insist on a one or two period of exclusivity, after which they can still keep the story in their anthology, but I can sell it wherever I like. At the very least, I absolutely insist on being able to put it in anthology of my own stories, after a one or two year period. This is, in fact, how many short story writers enhance their income and manage to pay the rent/mortgage.

The situation isn’t the same with novels or book-length collections of your own work, of course. Naturally, the publisher of a book wants exclusivity during the time they are marketing it and making it available to the public.

But there are still several ways you can leverage more income from your erotic novel/s.

Does your publisher have a strong presence (distribution to Amazon, B&N, Sony, and other major book selling sites) in both print books and ebooks? And what about audio? If they appear to be weak in one or more of the above, see if you can reserve those rights for yourself. Then search the web for information for publishers who do have strong distribution in those areas, and try to interest them in the rights you have retained.

Here’s another tip. The more books, novels or collections, you write and have out, the more copies of each individual book you will sell. If you only have one erotic book out and a reader buys and likes that one, all you can have is one sale. But if you have six books out, and a reader buys one for the first time and likes that one, that reader will inevitably come back for more. Resulting in one to five additional sales.

At my site,, we have seen this over and over. A new customer will come in and purchase a book by, say, Terri Pray, who has just written her 50th book for us. In a day or two and, sometimes even just a few hours later, they come back and buy a half-dozen more and they keep on coming back until they have read them all. And then they may discover another writer at our site they like and do the same. And from then on, they tend to purchase every new book by these authors.

The same is true of series. If you write six stand-alone books, each will sell better than if you had just written one book. But if all six are part of a series, and a reader likes the series, you have virtually ensured the reader will buy all six.

These are some of the key ways you can maximize your income from writing erotica. There are others. But, we will deal with those in a later installment of this blog.

Jean Marie Stine,

Mar 042010

I’ve sort of touched on keeping an eye out for story ideas before, but it bears exploring a bit more. Keeping your work fresh is more than a little important for any writer, especially for smut authors.

For me, stories are everywhere – and to be honest I don’t think I’m special.  It’s all a matter of keeping your eyes open, but most importantly PLAYING with the world around you.

It should be obvious that in order to write about the world you need to know something about it, but what a lot of people don’t seem to realize is that sitting in a coffee shop, scribbling away in a notebook while you ponder the imponderables of human nature isn’t likely to yield anything usable.  Getting your hands dirty, though, will.

By that I mean really exploring yourself as well as other people.  Look at who you are, why you do what you do – both emotionally as well as sexually.  The same goes for the people around you.  Spend some time really thinking about them, there motivations, their pleasures, or what experiences they may have had.

Dig deep: ponder their reactions as well as your own.  Sharpen your perceptions.  Why do they say what they say?  What do people admire?  Why?  What do they despise?  Why?  That last question should almost always be in your mind – directed outward as well as inward: why?  This depth of understanding, or just powerful examination, is a great tool for developing both stories as well as characters.

Along with studying the world, pay attention to good work no matter where you find it.  A lot of writing teachers tell students to get intimate with the classics – which I agree with, but also think it’s equally important to recognize great writing even when it’s on the back of a cereal box.  Read a lot, see a lot of movies, watch a lot of TV – and pay attention when something good, or great, comes along.  Don’t dismiss anything until you’ve tried it.  Examples?  Romance novels, comic books, documentaries, sitcoms, cartoon shows, old radio shows, pulps, westerns, and so forth. There’s gold all around you, if you dig around enough.

Not for the fun – playing.  Look at that guy sitting over there, the one by the window: Heavy, messy hair, chewing with his mouth open – easy to peg him as lonely, creepy, or even seriously perverse.  Easy is a shortcut, easy is dull, easy is lazy.  Instead try seeing him as something completely different than your initial assessment.  Maybe his mind is lovely and musical.  Perhaps his touch is gentle and loving.  Who knows, maybe he’s a sex magnet – with more boyfriends/girlfriends than he knows what to do with?

Say you’ve stumbled on a particularly good book, show, series, or whatever.  Great, bravo, applause.  Now write something like it.  Who cares that the show will never, ever look at your story, or that the medium is long dead.  Do it anyway.  Get into the habit of automatically either writing your own version or fixing what you see as a flaw in the original.

I love coming attractions, the trailers for movies.  Watching them, I always make up my own movie based on what I’ve seen.  Sometimes it’s better – at least I think so – sometimes not, then I look at what the director did better than I did when the flick finally comes out.

Playing and watching, studying, that’s the ticket.  If you keep your mind sharp, notice details, and examine yourself and the world around you as well as challenging and playing with story ideas, then writing a story for a very specific Call for Submission or for some other strange project will be easy and your story will be original and fresh.