I had originally planned to write this post about differences between fantasy versus reality when it came to subjects of the sexually taboo, but the research I made on this subject opened up a larger reservoir of information for me to share about fantasies, in general. As authors of erotica and smut, we often like to push the boundaries of what’s possible in the otherwise vanilla sexual encounters we are more used to on a day-to-day basis. For many, this has meant stepping into the realm of the magical, supernatural, and sci-fi. For others, they push the line of the socially acceptable. Surprisingly enough, even the things that cause us to retch in disgust can also capture our attention, driving us to want more.
The name may not allude to this, but the laundry list is a commonly-made mistake among most first-time writers, whether it be writers of erotica, smut, or other genres. It’s an understandably easy mistake to make, but it’s still enough to turn off any reader from the get-go. I mentioned this in an earlier post where I explained a few things to help take your writing to the next level, but I’d like to give this one a bit more emphasis.
Do you remember those ‘Choose your own adventure’ books from the 80’s with the elaborate cover art, written by Edward Packard? I remember first finding one in middle school, around 20 years ago now, and thinking how innovative I thought it was. My school’s library had dozens of them, and I think I read every single one of them.
I remember when reading Stephen King’s memoirs, there was some insight he gave, and I’m paraphrasing: “A bad writer can become a good writer. A good writer can become a great writer. But a bad writer cannot become a great writer.” In following this, I wrote 9 Tips to get you from Amateur to Less Amateurish which was an outline of writing advice collected from a variety of popular authors. Sometimes, I go back to that article to remind myself of what I’m doing wrong now, and what I should be doing. Now it’s time to move onwards and upwards. I’ve collected some more tips to explain where to go once the quality of your writing is no longer the problem. It’s not as many tips as last time, but still just as helpful.
In recent days, I’ve been seeing quite a few people on Facebook groups and Reddit pages discussing the viability of erotica as a source of substantial income. Since the craze ran during 2015-2016, everyone and their mother turned up to lay their stake into that particular oil well. For a while, things were going well. Demand was higher, and supply was much higher, and it had never been a better time to start as an erotica writer.
I hope you’ll all excuse some of the brashness I’ll be using in this post, as I’ve become somewhat frustrated with the current standards of erotica-writing. Let me begin by saying there are TONS of great writers out there with some amazing work going out on a regular basis. With that said, when I first came out into the erotica genre, I was very happy with what I was finding. There was a website I got all my stories from(very small site, only a handful of stories compared to Literotica or LushStories), but every time I read a story, I was always bewitched by the situations contained within, and lost myself in the elegant stories that made me blush. It was because those stories were so well done, it inspired me to try and write a few myself, and aspire to the same quality.