Workshop on Writing Erotica

By | July 22, 2013

A workshop on writing erotica

I did a workshop on writing erotica recently at the Penzance Literary Festival. I was certainly feeling rather nervous when I set out, clutching several books and cover illustrations plus my notes.

It was a very friendly group … some of them already writers but none of them published, as yet. It was a mixed group of males and females, all willing to listen and learn. I was hoping what I said would make sense!

I began with the definition of erotic. Sexual or earthly love and all named after Eros. It was a very open session with them asking questions and talking about their reading and writing. I was relieved as I hate simply spouting at anyone.

I asked what sold a book to them. They were fairly unanimous in saying usually it was recommended by a friend or the result of reading reviews. I asked about covers. They said as writers seemed to have little influence on making them so no, the covers had little influence on making them choose a book.  So go weep all you folks who spend hours creating and refining the cover! I’m not entirely sure they are right but looking at my samples didn’t do it for them. (Apart from one rather sexy young guy who most of the women simply  lusted after.) Maybe it’s this sort of picture we need to use!

I talked about language and how specific one needs to be. We all have our ways of using words and this influences the sort of stories we write.

I gave them an exercise to do. I wrote a very bland piece and asked them to make it sexy. It was amusing to see what they came up with. Several people wrote something totally different and some used my piece, adding adjectives and verbs to make it more.

I was so carried away by the experience, I quite forgot to take any pictures so sorry folks. Use your imagination to picture the scene … me and a number of assorted beings, all sitting round on a scorchingly hot afternoon in Penzance!

Teri Trojan

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