Archive for the ‘writing tips’ category

Advice For Aspiring Erotic Fiction Writers

August 4, 2010

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.


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:

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:

Queer Tropes

June 16, 2010

This post has recently gone viral. It’s a list of queer tropes that are usually found in comics, movies, television shows and the media in general. Some good stuff here and it should be required reading for all writers.

Reading Is Fundamental

March 10, 2010

When people find out I’m a published writer, they often ask for tips on getting published or honing their craft. Mostly getting published, LOL! All the same, I’m always happy to share my experiences and share what has been effective for me.

Almost without fail, people are surprised when I inform them that one of the best ways of improving one’s writing craft is by reading.

Like a musician who explores different musical genres, or a visual artist who studies different mediums, a writer should also read and study different genres as well. Reading the works of others allows you to study their prose style, to see what is effective and what doesn’t work.

This isn’t always easy seeing as most of us have busy lives and don’t have time to sit down and curl up to a good book. It’s all I can do to keep up with my writing but I have to force myself to schedule a time to read as well.

It’s essentially research.

Just yesterday in the mail I received a copy of an anthology and I read through some of the stories. While reading, I asked myself, what moved me as a reader? What techniques did the author utilize that worked for me? What techniques should I incorporate into my own writing style? Where did the author miss the mark and what mistakes should I avoid.

Research is fundamental to anyone who is serious about their craft. You get to read some extraordinary stories and improve your writing in the process.

At least, that’s what’s worked for me.

Writing Gay Characters

February 17, 2010

On a community forum I belong to, a member recently posted this excellent article on writing gay characters.

While this certainly isn’t the end-all-be-all of writing gay characters, I think it certainly covers most of the major bases, as much as any article could. I think many of the points also apply to successfully writing minority characters in general (be they women, POCs, LGBTQs, etc.). The most important being that we’re three-dimensional people first and most of us don’t define ourselves by our orientation or other minority status.

In any event, have a gander.


January 22, 2010

So I’ve been quite busy. In addition to writing, doing a few interviews and an assortment of other projects, I’m going to be leaving the country this time next week. I’m so excited. I’ll be stopping in Seattle to visit some friends and afterwards, I’ll be headed to Vancouver, BC.

I have like a million things to do and I’m too excited to do them. In addition to packing and preparing to leave the country, I’ve been doing something else that I want to discuss today: networking.

I’ve always said that getting published is a matter of getting the right story to the right editor at the right time. This has proven to be true time and time again. When needing writers for invite-only anthologies, editors/publishers will go for writers who have proven themselves time and time again.

If the editor knows you, they can often lead you to other writing opportunities and of course you can do the same with other writers.

Just like most jobs it’s about who you know. So if you’re a writing aspirant, I would strongly urge you to join a critique group either in real life or online and join various writing forums. There are so many excellent resources that can be found from these places and you never know when it’ll lead to the next publishing credit.