I taught three workshops at the recent RNC in Las Vegas. Two of them were How To Write Erotica and Finding The Erotic In You.
Preparing for each of these workshops made me take pause to consider what I did to channel the erotic in me in order to write erotica. An interesting introspective.
First of all, I don’t really think about it too much while I write. I have an idea in my head about the story and then, as I said time and again during the workshops, the characters take me through the journey. It comes easily when I follow their lead, especially when I determine their (the characters) dynamic and my/their plot direction, but that can change during the course of the story too.
There have been several times when I’ve gotten so engrossed in the story that I stop and suddenly recognize I have not added any spicy or erotic bits. I can get so wrapped up in the drama or adventure that I really do forget that it’s a romance or erotic romance novel. I actually love it when that happens because I know that I am truly in the zone. It’s easy to go back, reread sections and add bits to heighten the arousal factor. If a story lends itself to the romantic or steamy then it’s pretty easy to do. I do dozens of rereads and rewrites throughout the process of completing a book so there are plenty of opportunities to tone things down or spice things up.
Writing the erotic or romantic sections is not difficult when the characters are connected, and that part is up to the writer to create. You have to dig deep into your own experiences as well as have a vivid imagination. Use them wisely, use them well. They are your tools. Finding the right language to truly portray the mood and emotion of the moment is also important. Your audience wants to really feel the characters in moments of passion or lust and you have to be honest and open and not let them (your audience and your characters) down.
Look at a blank page as an occasion to release all of your innermost desires and fantasies, then create a story around those visions to build and drive your story forward. Or, create your story and insert (no pun intended) those passionate passages in.
It can work either way. The important thing is, follow your instinct and your character’s lead. They know the way.