Writer’s Craft #80 What Makes A Story Erotic?

Elizabeth Black
Elizabeth Black

Elizabeth Black writes erotica and erotic romance from her home by the ocean in Massachusetts. She lives with her husband, son, and four cats. Her fiction has been published by Xcite Books, Ravenous Romance, Circlet Press, and other publishers. She is venturing into self-publishing for the first time this fall with her two erotic fairy tales – Climbing Her Tower (erotic Rapunzel) and Trouble In Thigh High Boots (erotic Puss In Boots). Friend her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/elizabethablack. Follow her on Twitter at https://twitter.com/#!/ElizabethABlack.

It seems to me everyone and her sister is talking about “50 Shades Of Grey” as if women never before dove into the pages of a smutty book. Nonsense! Women have been devouring these books for decades, if not longer. And many of those books are much better written than “50 Shades Of Grey”.

Erotic fiction is much more than hot bodies humping each other until they reach orgasm. Erotica focuses on the main character’s personal growth through sexual activity. There are character and relationship development but the primary focus is on the sexual act. Erotic romances focus on the main character’s growth through intimacy and the relationship dynamics. Sex is very important but the romance between characters is key. Women who read erotic books are looking for that spark of love and lust between the main characters and they want to be swept away in fantasy. Sex in these books both arouse and elicit intense passionate reactions from the reader. It’s not rote and emotionless as it is in porn.

Thanks to “50 Shades Of Grey”, erotic fiction is no longer the bastard stepchild of book genres. Women want their smut so let’s give it to them!


2 thoughts on “Writer’s Craft #80 What Makes A Story Erotic?

  1. I have to admit I feel like a repressed romance writer–many times I get carried away in scenes and then have to go back to censor them–it takes a lot of crafting to write a sex scene well–to me it needs physical description mixed in with illusion…I’ve had to re-write mine many times before I felt they were ready for prime time…but oh, the fun of writing them!
    I sometimes feel cheated in books where the hero and or heroine get together and then in the next chapter they wake up…too little for my taste…but then again there’s a fine line…

  2. I suspect most men are squeamish about the emotional content of sex and have a very difficult time writing coherent –and believable– erotic scenes. I relatively recently posted a short scene on a trusted board for critique and boy oh boy, did I get critiqued.



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