Jul 262014
 
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By Colin

Once upon a time, the market for erotic fiction was limited to one or two book publishers, occasional anthologies looking for new material, and the odd newsstand porn magazine. These days, a writer looking to publish has an incredible number of venues to choose from, both online and in hard copy formats. Back in the bad old days, no one had heard of an ebook; now, no one has heard of anything else. Not so long ago, a straightforward, contemporary BDSM novel was a rough sell. Nowadays, you can self-publish multi-volume space operas or sword-and-sorcery sagas in which power exchange is a central theme. Oh, and you can make all your characters anthropomorphic animals, if you want.

But some things never change, even in publishing. Hopeful writers—even in erotica, which is a notably hungry market—are still faced with dozens of new anthologies and zines that supposedly offer terrific exposure…but can’t afford to pay for stories. They’re just starting out, you see. As a matter of fact, they can’t actually afford even to send you a free copy of the issue or book that your story will appear in, should they finally accept it. But the exposure you’ll get by publishing with them is absolutely amazing. It’ll get you noticed by all those editors looking to fill slots in their Years’ Best Anthologies. Besides, a lot of their writers actually refuse payment, insisting on letting them print their work for free…and for exposure.

A friend of mine once responded to a call for materials from one such penniless venture with a hand firmly clasped on a not-to-be-mentioned portion of his anatomy and the growled words, “I got your exposure right here!

But all kidding aside, it’s a serious question, one that in my opinion doesn’t come up often enough: should a writer, at any level of experience, produce copy for free?

In most cases, the answer is no. Not because there’s a million dollars waiting for that story just around the corner (there probably isn’t) and not because these people are running scams (at least, not necessarily).  No, you shouldn’t give these people your stories for free for the same reason you don’t go home, cook a gourmet meal, and then serve it up on card-tables in the middle of your city’s business district. True, there might be some folks down there who could use a free gourmet meal, and might well be grateful for it. More likely, though, your prize-winning bouef bourignon will end up congealed and drawing flies, if not jostled by careless passersby and spilled onto the cold, cold ground.

As far as “exposure” goes, that is, to quote a certain old Kansas gentleman, a very overrated commodity. True, in the early days of the e-publishing boom, editors were cherrypicking writers off of Literotica and other free sites like nobody’s business. Today, not so much.

But…

There are cases in which publishing with a “for copies” venue might actually make sense. The big one is if the publisher in question has a reputation. I’m talking specifically about a reputation for putting out quality material, of course, but a reputation for controversy might actually work in your favor as well—always assuming it’s not the kind of controversy that gets your windows broken. I’m sure I don’t need to point out that researching a publisher’s reputation isn’t particularly difficult. Even if they’ve only put out one issue, or a very few books, there may be some reviews and other material about them that you can check out online.  Remember that Google is your friend in these cases.

If the publisher’s project regularly includes well-known writers on its Table of Contents, that’s another big plus. Such a publisher is going to draw readers much more readily than your average “We don’t have any money now, gang, but boy oh boy, just you wait…” outfit. Those readers will then have a chance to read your story as well as the work of the more famous guys.

But let’s say this really is a small-time operation, with plenty of dreams and moxie, but not much mileage yet. No famous writers in their stable, no juicy scandals, no hip street-cred. Is there any reason at all to write for them?

I can think of one: if they’re excited about an unconventional story that you really believe in and want to see published, but which hasn’t lit any fires with other editors. And if all indications are that they’ll publish it well and respectfully.

If, on the other hand, they’re not exciting any comments or (apparently) garnering any readers; if they look like they’re just sitting there, then it’s probably safe to give them a pass. And if all this advice sounds self-serving and a little cold-blooded, well, you’re not the one trying to get people to give you perfectly good copy for free, now are you?

 

Colin is a fetish writer and the single most prolific professional author of tickling erotica working today, with dozens of books to his credit. www.gigglegasm.com and www.ticklingforum.com.

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Jul 222014
 
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One of the questions beginning writers ask us most often is: “How do you know if you have captured the love in your characters’ lovemaking, and aren’t just writing a run-of-the-mill sex scene?” To answer that question, twelve writers offer their own thoughts and advice in this unique WriteSex Author’s Roundtable. In this last post of our “Putting the Romance into Your Sex Scenes” series, romance author Angelica French will discuss the difference between a sex scene and a love scene, and show us how to charge an erotic encounter with romance. Look for personal insights and how-to tips from our participants in this first-ever WriteSex Authors’ Roundtable. —Ed.

***

By Angelica French

I have to learn not to take umbrage. I get it a lot—the sly winks, the horrified looks, the gasps. The queries: How does it feel to write smut? Dirty books? Trash?

I love writing sex scenes. Yeah, I do. Maybe because I like sex so much. Maybe because I feel that sex in all its infinite forms is essential to what it means to be human.

To write sex scenes, I must become a character. I imagine the touches, the emotions, the sounds and smells. I use touch to experience what I am writing so I can capture the sensations accurately. Hubs loves my “research”!

But I do not write smut/dirty books/trash. I write stories about people struggling with the same issues they struggle with in non-erotic romance—it’s just that I add in the very real component of their sex lives as well. This makes some people uncomfortable.

In my erotic romance, Streetwalker, protagonist Carrie wrestles with heavy stuff. She is a victim who refuses to be one—but her refusal doesn’t change the fact that she is, nonetheless, affected by past events—and lives the life she does because of it. Streetwalker is, at heart, is a story of redemption, recovery and renewal. But if you didn’t get past the first page where she is bored while servicing a john, you might not know that.

Streetwalker includes sex scenes and romantic sexual encounters. The difference? To me, sex scenes focus on physical acts in themselves. Romantic sexual encounters focus on emotions.

I included kinky sex, BDSM, straight sex, same-gender sex, and other incarnations of The Act(s). Each of the scenes I wrote, whether tender romance or sex-to-humiliate was difficult in its own way.

In writing about sex, the author has to understand and relate so many aspects of the human psyche. How does it feel to hurt and enjoy the act of hurting? How does it feel to want your beloved to step on your back while you crawl around a room? How does it feel when your heart is uplifted and expanded by someone’s touch—be it gentle or aggressive, tentative or commanding?

How does it feel to try to connect soul and body while making love?

***

After 39 years as an educator, Angelica French “transitioned” to the life of full-time fiction writer. She’s an intrepid cook, game-player, and miniatures lover. She writes culinary mysteries, women’s fiction, historical fiction, short stories, plays, and erotic romance. Angelica has lived in every region of the country except the Pacific Northwest and has loved every single one of them. Her current favorite region is the desert Southwest. She is married to the most extraordinary man and has four children, one daughter-in-law, a grandson, and a dog named Maudie.

For more information Angelica French and her premiere novel, Streetwalker, check out her Guest Author Interview with Romance blog Happily Ever After Thoughts!

 

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Jul 182014
 
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By Nobilis

The ending of a chapter should always, always, give the reader a reason to look up, check the clock, and mutter, “Three hours’ sleep is enough, just this once,” and turn the page to keep reading. It should take discipline for a reader to put down your book. Willpower. Determination. The end of a chapter is an important moment, one that should not be squandered.

The great thing about chapters is that there is absolutely no rule about how long they must be. You could have one word, or ten thousand. This means that you can end a chapter virtually anywhere. Well, okay, ending a chapter mid-sentence is kind of weird, but you can probably think of situations where even that would be the right thing to do.

Chapters should always end with a moment of tension. The cliffhanger is an old standby, and in some stories it’s almost a requirement to end most chapters with the protagonist in sudden mortal peril. That’s not the only note to end a chapter on, however.

A cliffhanger promises a thrilling escape, but there are other promises you can make. You can start a fight scene, or a sex scene, or a chase scene at the end of the chapter. You can reveal a clue to a mystery, an important secret, or new character.

For example, here’s an excerpt from “Monster Whisperer,” a story I’m releasing in my podcast and on scribl.com, chapter by chapter. These are the last three paragraphs of chapter 6. For context, a Chocondris is a plantlike, woody tentacle monster, which is owned by Dale Clearwater, the eponymous Monster Whisperer.

Then the shuttle settled into the water, and the forward hatch hinged downward, revealing a ladder on its inner surface. A tall, dark-skinned man with short black hair wearing a bright green outfit emerged and leapt into the water. He raced up onto the beach and caught up with the Chocondris in mere seconds. He jabbed sensitive flower buds, and the Chocondris flinched and twitched. It spit spores at him, but he ducked under every little cloud without even a speck touching his skin. It tried to grab his arms and legs, but he slipped out of its coils with dizzying alacrity. On the rare occasions it could get a tentacle around one of his limbs, he twisted away, undoing its coil before it could solidify its hold. The Chocondris quivered with rage. It dropped Dale and Christine to bring more of its limbs to bear. The man retreated a few steps, then leapt back under a concentrated assault. He seemed to know exactly how far away to leap to stay out of its clutches as he retreated back toward the beach.

As soon as the Chocondris broke out of the cover of the trees, the shuttle’s capture beam caught it, plucking it like a weed. Like the others, it quickly disappeared inside the shuttle.

“Connie!” Christine shouted, stumbling forward to wrap her arms around the man. “You found us! I knew you’d find us.” She squeezed him hard then stepped away to point, beaming at Dale with her perfectly bright smile. “I told you my brother would find us!”

I went back and forth on whether to include that last paragraph in the chapter. Wouldn’t it be better to end the chapter on the hopelessness of the Chocondris being stolen by the mysterious monster hunter? After consulting with my beta readers, it became clear that no, that was definitely not the right course of action. It’s fine to end on a threat, with some monster appearing and threatening the protagonist with some dire fate, but if the threat evaporates as soon as they move on to the next chapter, the reader will feel tricked and cheated. The end of a chapter should make promises that the next chapter fulfills.

That’s why keeping that paragraph at the end of the chapter is the right thing to do. Instead of promising some kind of conflict with a mysterious monster-hunter, we’re promised an introduction to a new character. The next chapter fulfills that promise.

Generally speaking, that’s the best place to end a chapter if you want to keep your readers engaged with the story.

—–

Learn more about Nobilis and his work at his…

Website: www.nobiliserotica.com
Podcast: nobilis.libsyn.com
Twitter: @nobilis

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Jul 112014
 
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By billierosie

The fountains mingle with the river
And the rivers with the ocean,
The winds of heaven mix for ever
With a sweet emotion;
Nothing in the world is single,
All things by a law divine
In one another’s being mingle—
Why not I with thine?

Sorry, Percy Bysshe Shelley, it ain’t gonna happen.

Forget it. If that special something is missing, she won’t want to kiss you. Your lips will repel her. Your breath will disgust her. She won’t fall into your arms—no matter how much you weave your magic with those wonderful words—it’s just not going to work.

Am I talking about love? Lust? Sexual Attraction? Infatuation? Passion? I don’t know. I’m probably talking about all of them.

Love—unrequited love. Thousands and thousands of words have been written about it, by pens far more graceful and elegant than mine.

And the songs. Memories. Tears. We all have our favourites. Beautiful words, melodies, rhythms and harmonies, reminding us of that one time that special something happened. Making us yearn for it to happen again.

Thousands of Romance writers re-write the same story, over and over again. He’s a bastard. She falls in love with him, despite herself. The reader is in love with him, too. The reader is addicted to the re-telling of the story. The reader believes in that elusive something.

Nobody can bottle it, for sure; that thing that makes it happen. Perfume distillers with all their ancient skills have tried to capture it for centuries. It cannot be done.

If that something is missing, then it can’t be found.

A friend of mine, Lucy, had a guy doing some building work in her house. They started talking—she touched his hand…

Within a second they were in each other’s arms. Within another second their tongues were in each others’ mouths—it happened, just like that. No need to analyse it; there’d be no point anyway. That mysterious, elusive thing had happened.

Time stood still. The overworked phrase suddenly made sense.

What was it? Raw lust? I don’t know; neither does Lucy.

Lucy and the builder are still together, two years later.

But it can hit you at any time. I do believe it. Eyes meet across a crowded room/restaurant/rock festival. And he/she is there. The One. It may only last for an hour, or days. For some it can last a lifetime.

But what is IT? Where is IT? Why does one person make our juices flow, cocks stand to attention, while another person leaves us, well…flaccid and dry?

So I guess I have ended up talking about lust. Does lust come first? (pun intended).

Sometimes it smoulders, long and low. Think of all those office Christmas parties. Folks who, it seems, have barely spared a glance for each other all through the long year, are suddenly together. Alcohol lowers the inhibitions, and it hits you.

That happened to me, long ago. It took twenty years to burn itself out.

Then months ago, I was convinced it was going to happen again. A guy I knew from a long while back. But when we kissed there was nothing. Nada. Rien.

I felt sad, cheated, disappointed.

So did he…

***

billierosie has been writing erotica for about three years. She has been published by Oysters and Chocolate, in The Wedding Dress. Logical Lust accepted her story “Retribution” for Best S&M 3. She has also been published by Sizzler, in Pirate Booty and in their Sherlock Holmes anthology, My Love of all that is Bizarre, as well as Hunger: A Feast of Sensual Tales of Sex and Gastronomy and Sex in London: Tales of Pleasure and Perversity in the English Capital. She also has a collection of short, erotic stories, Fetish Worship, as well as novellas Memoirs of a Sex Slave and Enslaving Eli, both published by Sizzler Editions in 2012 and available for purchase at Amazon.
billierosie can be found at Twitter, @jojojojude and at her blog.

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Jul 072014
 
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One of the questions beginning writers ask us most often is: “How do you know if you have captured the love in your characters’ lovemaking, and aren’t just writing a run-of-the-mill sex scene?” To answer that question, twelve writers offer their own thoughts and advice in this unique WriteSex Author’s Roundtable. Each Monday a well-known romance author will discuss the difference between a sex scene and a love scene, and show us how to charge an erotic encounter with romance. Look for personal insights and how-to tips from our participants in this first ever WriteSex Authors’ Roundtable. —Ed.

***

By Gianna Simone

No question erotic romance has come a tremendously long way in a short period of time—and in my opinion, it’s about damn time! There’s nothing better than a wrenching love story accompanied by scorching sex.

Despite its rise to prominence, though, erotic romance has a major hurdle yet to clear: a misconception that if it’s erotic, a story is “no better than porn.” Everyone who writes erotic romance has likely, at one time or another, been on the receiving end of varying degrees of disdain. I am no exception, having had a similar phrase directed at me very recently. The word “porn” on its own draws very visceral reactions, and from what I’ve experienced, those reactions tend to be on opposite ends of a spectrum. You either love it or you loathe it. One of the latest catchphrases to describe erotic romance is “Mommy Porn”—which, by the way, I happen to despise. It arose from the popularity of 50 Shades of Grey, and seems to me to be a mocking term to refer to the millions of women who were awed by this story, thinking it the be-all and end-all of kinky sex books. Others think “Mommy Porn” is a great way to describe a sexy, erotic love story.

Maybe this is part of my social conditioning, but I’ve found that the word porn suggests to many people—myself included—a certain degradation of the women involved. From my perspective, porn reflects a lack of respect for women. Others will argue with this of course, and that’s okay. Everyone has their own tastes and opinions, and even the porn itself varies (at least a little) in this regard.

Certainly, rough and raunchy sex can be a part of great romance. Especially since for those involved, it’s a hell of a lot of fun. But when reading erotic romance, I prefer something else with that sex—the connection between two (or more) characters that transcends the physical dynamite, where they bond on a far deeper level. Emotionally, intellectually, passionately. It’s sort of become a cliché these days, but there is truth in it—the brain really is a very powerful sex organ. It goes beyond finding someone attractive in the physical sense, and that connection the characters make, to me, enhances the physical side of things. Pleasure is fun for the sake of pleasure, but reach a common point on an intellectual and emotional level, and the pleasure skyrockets!

That’s why romance in all its various forms has always been my favorite genre. At its core, beyond the sexual aspect, a romance is simply a love story. When people fall in love, there’s a joining that goes beyond the tangible, physical level, and to me that is the thread that makes romance a compelling read. There are so many layers to that bond: a need to protect, care for and about, and genuine interest and support for what the other person does and is interested in. Peeling back those layers, as the characters discover them, adds to the obvious appeal of the sexual relationship. Each person continues to learn things about the other that has nothing to do with sex, but tightens the that bond regardless.

For me, the most compelling way to touch on those parts of the relationship is quite simply, emotion. Sex alone does not make a romantic relationship—whether it’s vanilla, kink-lite, or hardcore BDSM. Emotion is the mortar that holds the bricks of the physical side of a relationship together. Of course, in a love story, nothing is ever quite that simple.

Keeping that emotional tension and connection high in a love scene isn’t always easy. In a love scene, the characters already have an unspoken yet intense conversation going on. I tend to focus on a character’s reactions, both physical and internal, to bring out the emotional tension as the scene progresses. Sure, there’s longing and desire, but there’s also excitement, security, trust, worry, apprehension and a host of other things racing through their minds. Yes, eye contact can convey a lot of those feelings, and certainly words can as well, but sometimes there simply isn’t a way to accurately vocalize what someone’s experiencing during an intense sexual encounter. Non-verbal cues such as a lingering caress, accompanied by a piercing stare and a fierce kiss, or a gentle squeeze of a hand, can be key to showing what’s in the characters’ heads while adding another layer to the lovemaking. Each partner’s delight in the other’s reactions show that these two people care for one another’s well-being and pleasure, not just their own immediate gratification.

In Prince of the Universe, Merry suffered badly at the hands of an alien from the planet Aldarra. When another Aldarran, Prince Vega, shows up on earth, she wants him out of her life ASAP. Vega is not quite sure what Merry’s been though, but he is determined to get past it and show her the passion they can share. Here’s an example of how aware he is of her emotions, and how he reassures her not to be afraid. Slowly, she begins to trust him, even if only a little:

 

Vega took Merry’s hands and placed them on the bed beside her. “I will not restrain you, but you must keep your hands here. Do not move them.”

She squeezed her eyes shut for a few moments, and another tear broke free. When she spoke, her voice quivered with fear. “I don’t know.”

“You can do this.” He ran a finger down her nose and she opened her eyes. The terror had eased, but a trace still lingered.

He would banish her fear, would show her that to give herself to him in this way was pleasurable, that he would take care of her needs and not harm her. He began by gently caressing her cheek, wiping away the tear that escaped her clenched eyelids. He continued tenderly stroking her face, her hair. He leaned over, and followed the path of his fingers with his mouth, smoothing soft kisses along her cheeks and forehead, brushing across her closed eyelids. The stiffness slowly left her body and he leaned close to her ear, nibbling lightly at the delicate skin. Her body once more began to quiver, but he no longer detected terror. Apprehension perhaps, but even that slowly faded. Her fingers clutched at the sheets, and he smiled at her efforts to obey his instruction.

He licked around the edge of her ear, and the thought he wanted her to do the same to him flashed in his thoughts. His own ears, with their contours so different from a human’s, were a very powerful erogenous zone. Did Merry get the same excitement he did from the act of having her ears licked? He repeated the motion, supremely pleased when she gave a little moan. He drew away to study her. The flush of passion stained her cheeks and a shuddering breath rippled through her, the pulse at the base of her neck jumping. He pressed his mouth to the spot, the taste of her perspiration sweeter than drucaray, his favorite sugary treat back home. He licked the spot and moved his mouth along her throat. The trembling that overtook her told him he had broken through her fear. His cock throbbed. Soon she would beg him.

He lowered his hands slowly to her breasts, and touched her with soft caresses until a moan escaped. Her eyelids fluttered, and she focused an unsteady stare on him. The haze in her eyes now came from passion, and his body heated in response.

Some uneasiness still lurked under her desire, waiting for the right prompt to free it and destroy the pleasure she felt. He needed to utterly extinguish every trace of her fright before he could see to pleasuring them both.

“Vega?” A tremor of agitation laced her voice.

“Do not fear.” He realized his expression of concern may have revealed his anger at the way she’d been previously treated. Forcing a softened countenance to his face, he resumed caressing her breasts, trailing his fingers around her nipples until they hardened and stood up straight. He pinched them, and drew a groan from her. He rolled the pebbled buds in his fingers and a fierce quiver swept over her. When she pushed into his hands, giving him more of her flesh to touch, he lowered his head and licked one hard nipple.

She squirmed when he sucked the tip deep into his mouth, lightly grazing her with his teeth. Her flesh writhing against his drove his need to a new level of torment. A low moan escaped her and her wiggling grew more intense, her hips undulating against him. Her response pleased him, and sent a bolt of delight sizzling through him, settling with ferocity in his now excruciatingly hard cock.

 

So there you have the physical sexual connection, and an emotional bond that arises from one partner caring about what the other feels. When I read an erotic romance, those are the things I’m looking for—the things that will not only get my body hot and flustered, but touch my heart as well.

***

Gianna Simone writes erotic BDSM-themed romance novels in just about every genre. A born-and-bred Jersey Girl with Brooklyn roots, she still lives where it all started. She married her very own alpha male many eons ago, and still has plenty of passion left over to read and write hot, sexy and emotional stories about people both glamorous and not-so-glamorous. And some of them are even downright un-heroic, which is part of what makes them so sexy, in her opinion!

You can find Gianna at her blog and her books at her Amazon Author page.

 

 

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