Advice For Aspiring Erotic Fiction Writers

I recently had the pleasure of reading the following post which i think gives some very sage advice about entering the genre of erotic fiction writing.

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I recently received my first query from a stranger, asking for advice about erotic writing. Here is what I wrote to hir.

  1. Know why you are writing, and who you are writing for. Is it to write down your fantasies? To document an erotic experience? To seduce a lover? For performance? For publication?
  2. Give yourself permission to be explicit.
  3. Read erotica that inspires you and turns you on.
  4. Erotic fiction is still fiction; studying fiction writing improves your erotic writing.
  5. Do more than one draft. It always helps.
  6. Take an erotic writing class or workshop series.
  7. Talk to other erotica writers and share your work with each other.

If you are interested in publication…

  • Don’t expect to make a living; it is very difficult to make a living as a writer of any sort. Erotica pays very little, and you would need to be incredibly prolific, lucky, and exactly on target for the market to get a shot at eking out a living doing this.
  • Be patient with the process. It is rare to hear a response to your submission quickly. No response may be a rejection, or just a longer timeframe. Also, print publishing, especially takes a long time, usually at least 9 months, if not longer, from when you submit to when you hold it in your hands. E-publishing is a shorter time frame.
  • Know the market. This means that you need to read erotica that is published in the venue that you want to submit to.
  • Read the call carefully and follow the submission guidelines.
  • Submit your work before the deadline, ideally soon after the call is out; many editors build collections as they receive submissions, so the earlier you submit, the better chance you have.
  • Be ready for rejection, and don’t let it stop you from writing and submitting your work.
  • Decide how important print is to you. There are a lot of e-markets, but some writers want to hold the book in their hands.
  • Figure out whether you want to use a pseudonym, and be consistent in the name(s) you publish under.

If you want resources on erotic writing, I recommend the following:

http://www.erotica-readers.com/ERA/AR/Erotica_Authors_Resources.htm
http://www.amazon.com/How-Write-Dirty-Story-Publishing/dp/0743226232

I also recommend reading the things that erotica writers write about their writing process. You can often find this in the introductions to their collections, and their blogs. This book is an invaluable resource:
http://www.amazon.com/Burning-Pen-Sex-Writers-Writing/dp/1555836151/ref=sr_1_15?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1279383719&sr=1-15

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