Whatever the reason, if you want to get into, um, penning erotic ﬁction, you should probably head down to Camden next month to savour the annual Eroticon sex writing conference. Here co-organiser and Kentish Town local Molly Moore gives us fresh-faced lambs some advice.
1. Find your passion
It’s tempting to start off by looking at which sex stories and books tend to sell well. But in my experience the best sex writing is often unusual – people with uncommon kinks and fantasies who can write about it with a genuine passion and real-world desire. There’s no need to try and imitate others – start from your own experience. What do you ﬁ nd sexy? Tapping into what you love makes it easier to bring readers along on the journey.
2. Ditch cliches
Erotic writing has a (very unfair) reputation for euphemistic language. Perhaps because the most memorable examples are hilarious – ‘love caves’ and ‘throbbing members’ can’t help but stick in your mind. Start writing with a bank of words that you actually ﬁnd sexy – and don’t be afraid to call a spade ‘a spade’ rather than a ‘huge tool.’
Often my own inspiration and fantasies comes from things I see – a couple snogging on a park bench, or a hot guy I brush past on the subway. Often the hardest work in writing – and erotic writing especially – is getting the inspiration for your story. So keep eyes and ears open for ideas to weave into your work, and if you’re having writer’s block, take a trip away from the laptop and see what inspires you.
4. Editing comes afterwards
When you start ﬁlling that blank page, it’s tempting to revise as you go – honing and perfecting each sentence. But this can often be counterproductive: by the time your scene reaches a climax you’ve forgotten what was sexy about it in the ﬁrst place. If you, like me, struggle with your inner editor, ignore the temptation to edit as you go, and focus on getting the idea down.
5. Talk about your ideas
It can be easy, when writing, to just lock yourself away behind a laptop. But good stories often come out of conversation – and many of the best erotic anthologies are the result of collaboration. Writers groups, the internet, and events like Eroticon are a springboard that will take anyone’s writing to the next level, and eventually get those stories in print.