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10 Things You Should Know About Writing Erotica for NaNoWriMo

I’ve been lurking around the NaNo boards, because it’s that time of year again.

There are a ton of absolute novices asking questions.

With the tiniest bit of experience, I’ve got some advice:

  1. The actual sex part of the sex scenes will not take up nearly as much space as you think it will, unless you start adding crazy stuff. You’re going to need more people, props, and limbs.  You’re going to need more scenes. Just bank on it.  When in doubt? Add a sex scene. This is how people end up writing dinosaur porn. Or, in my case, threesomes and sex parties.
  2. In that vein, if you’re writing erotica (and not erotic romance) add a subplot with two different characters altogether. Write scenes with just minor characters. Write about an entire group of people. It works for Tiffany Reisz. It works for Laura Antoniou. It can work for you. This is part of why so many erotic romances are actually erotic suspense books–it needs some subplot.
  3. Use all five senses, and check in with three or four others for good measure.  Sure, there’s Tab A and Slot B, but there’s also hot and cold, grounded and dizzy, the discomfort or excitement of the invasion of personal space (this is called “proprioception,”) and, of course, the fuzzy line between pain and pleasure.
  4. If you’re planning on m/m or f/f for the first time, know this ahead of time: you’re going to have pronoun confusion. Lots and lots and lots of it.
  5. Get used to hearing people say you’re writing porn, and get over being offended that someone might think you’re writing porn.
  6. Don’t worry about writing “too much” sex. Do you think that horror writers are all, “I just think this vampire novel is too fangy.” Do you think military thriller guys sit around worrying that their characters are just being way too bad ass with all the blowing shit up and shooting bad guys? Fucking, no. Write the sex. Write it loud and proud. Add more.
  7. That being said, if you write in public, always make sure your laptop is facing the wall.  The last think you want is Uncle Creeper sneaking up behind you, then giving you the eyebrow waggling nod.  That’ll kill your creativity.
  8. There are only so many words for body parts. It’s NaNoWriMo. Go ahead and use the worst euphemisms. It’ll be hilarious later.
  9. You can’t come up with anything so weird that the internet hasn’t already outdone you ten times over. There’s Darkwing Duck erotic fanfic.  There’s adult baby forums.  There’s talking pants pornYou’re probably not going to out-weird the talking pants porn. So don’t sweat it. Let your freak flag fly.
  10. You’re going to be sick of sex at some point. Just completely grossed out by the whole idea of it. You will recover.

Good luck, NaNos!

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2 Trackbacks

  • By Writing Erotica for NaNoWriMo on October 28, 2013 at 7:18 pm

    […] Joan Defers has a “10 Things You Should Know” post. […]

  • By In which I squeeeee on Joan Defers | Lindsey's Tendency on October 30, 2013 at 7:14 am

    […] Joan wrote some advice to erotica writers doing NaNoWriMo (which is coming up in a few days, ya’ll). From 10 Things You Should Know About Writing Erotica for NaNoWriMo: […]

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