(Editor’s Note: This post was first published on 11 April 2014.)
We all want to write better erotica. Better erotica means more publications. And more publications can mean more money. At least that’s how I look at it. So what are these tips for writing better erotica?
Well, you have to understand I’m talking about the kind of erotic flash fiction that I like to publish in the Pittsburgh Flash Fiction. Let’s call this kind of erotic flash fiction realistic fiction. That doesn’t mean it can’t be imaginative. Oh, it can be. Every submission is judged on its own merits; and a lot of other publishers and readers like realistic erotic flash fiction, too. Realistic erotic flash fiction sales.
So, what tips do I have to offer for writing better erotica?
There are the usual suspects: tight writing, word choice, clarity, realistic dialogue and so on…But for me it all comes down to character and place. Are your characters believable and does the locale of your erotic flash fiction ring with authenticity?
One way to make your protagonist believable is to give him or her some inner conflict or doubt about something or someone. The inner conflict or doubt does not have to be on an operatic scale. Erotic flash fiction is not made for opera; but a little inner tension can go a long way toward making your protagonist seem real. Erotic flash fiction usually has room for only one conflicted character. More than one conflicted character can be too heavy a load for the story to carry.
And the inner tension will usually have something to do with the external tension of the story. The resolution of the one will usually resolve the other.
In my gangbang stories, the women being gangbanged are always the protagonist. Some are conflicted about doing porn and some are not. When the woman is not conflicted I will sometimes have my alter-ego who shoots the gangbang videos reveal an issue that he is dealing with. Sometimes an erotic flash fiction story is too short for inner conflict; the tension of the story is enough. Or the writer does not want to focus on any inner tension.
But inner tension can add depth to your erotic flash fiction.
Finally, we come to place. Place can be a bedroom, a bathroom, a livingroom, a car or the set of a gangbang video. To give your locale authenticity takes only a few concrete details about your locale; or as many concrete details that you think will make your locale real to the reader. It’s your call.
So, to write better erotica, make sure your characters act like real people and make sure your locale is made up of concrete details.
None of these tips are meant to be hard, fast rules. They are just to get you to think about your own erotica. And I’m sure I’m not telling you something you don’t already know; but it’s always nice to review what we know so that we don’t forget it in the heady rush of creation, in the business of writing erotica for money.
Hello hello hello, my brother and sister readers and writers of erotic flash fiction! It’s the Old Soldier reporting for duty. It’s an overcast day in Pittsburgh and the high will get only into the 50s. But I’m looking forward to a family get together later today. So I’m going to post this and get ready. In the meantime explore the blog. We all want to write better erotica. Discover how exciting flash fiction about sex can be.
This is the Old Soldier reporting for the Pittsburgh Flash Fiction, a blog about sex as art and entertainment.