Sunday 4 November 2012

Finding a style (and learning lots of things!)

Writing erotica - specifically short erotica - has definitely been a learning experience over these past couple of months. Coming into it I started writing more or less the same as I would in any other genre, and looking back I'm not particularly fond of my earlier stories as a result. At least not in the context of them being "erotic shorts". The two Erica stories I started with for example would probably work better as more of an erotic romance rather than quick steamy romps. There's way too much padding and character development/minor drama, especially in the second one. Ravaged in the Stables as well is probably my least favourite of my shorts, I wrote that one straight after my first two even though it ended up getting published later. The build up is way too slow, and there's a ton of superfluous information (well, superfluous in an "anthropomorphic wolf-fucks-girl-in-stables" sense), to the extent that it reads like more of a fantasy piece than a kinky short. Also the cover is terrible. I've been thinking of redoing a few of my early ones, and Ravaged is definitely at the top of the list.

I think with stories like Confessions of a Slut Puppy and His Girlfriend's Daddy (those italics really make them seem a lot classier than the titles imply :/) I started to settle into a much more suitable erotic style. I figured out that, hey, when you're writing about hot, intense sex it's probably better to do it in the first person. A third person perspective definitely distances the reader from the action, and characterisation in such a small space is trickier when you're not inside the protagonist's head the whole time. Not that there's a ton of characterisation in 3000-5000 word erotic stories anyway, but at the very least a bit of personality spices things up a lot more than a bland empty shell. Speaking of bland empty shells, I wasn't too happy with my dabble into vampire erotica recently either. Taste Me, Take Me has gotten by far the lest attention of all my stories, and while that's another story I'm not too proud of the cover for (why did I keep thinking dark reds on black worked well?), I feel like the fact that the characters are completely devoid of personality didn't help much. I wanted to go with the idea of this kind of cute rock chick having a ton of hot sex with a pair of vampire studs after a concert, but it turned into more of a low-key thing about the sensations of having paranormal erotic blood-drinking experiences instead. If there's one thing I'm cottoning on to, it's that big emotions are better in short pieces. My natural tendency is to write things very slow-paced, setting up characters naturally and organically over time. But that's stupid when you're not going to be with them for more than twenty minutes or so. Taste Me should've been about the main character being totally pumped after a wild performance in front of thousands of people, then getting passionately fucked by a pair of vampires at the after party.

So I'm just the teeniest bit self-critical, as you can see.
Not to worry though! I've always thought a healthy dose of self-criticism always drives a writer to keep adapting and improving their techniques, and to try out new things. I think I've finally gotten my head around what makes a hot title cover, and I'm very excited about a few ideas I've got for upcoming stories that deal with lots of intense emotions, fast action, and hot sex. ;)

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