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2006 Authors Insider Tips

Beyond the Basics
With Tulsa Brown
The 30-Second Solution
Backstory vs. Flashback
Intimacy Begins With "I"
Hit the Ground Running
Make the Reader Leap
Meaningful Dialogue
Pulling the String
Central Image
Elegant Smut
Better Plots
Bitch Power

The Write Stuff
From Ashley Lister
Predefined Your Goals
Spell Ink Miss Takes
Plotting & Planning
Character Building
Speech Therapy
Talking Sense

Two Girls Kissing
With Amie M. Evans
Intro to Lesbian Erotica
3-Dimensional Characters
Submitting for Publication
Five Year Writing Plan
Setting Up Your Plan...
The Power of Naming
Language of Lesbian...
Sexual Description
What Can I say?

Hard Business
From Greg Herren
What Are Your Priorities?
How to Edit an Anthology
Follow the Guidelines...
A Cock is Just a Cock
But is it Still a Story?
Who Am I Fucking?
Potential Material
Rejection ...

The Business End
By Kate Dominic
Effective Cover Letters
How to Lose Contracts
Contracts: Agent Issues
Contracts: Read It!
Double Duty Bios
What's Sex?

Literary Streetwalker
By M. Christian
Ground Rules for Writers
No Muse is Good News
Effective Cover Letters
Location, Location
Say Something!
Dirty Words

The Erotic Book Docter
By Susie Bright
Marketing Your Book
Submission Concerns
Promotion Strategies

2006 Smutters Lounge

Pondering Porn
With Ann Regentin
Babes & Hunks of Erotica
Fantasy, Reality & Rape
Selling Ourselves Short
Selling Smut in Motown
The Frankenstein Bride
Frankenstein Revisited
Porn and Perfect Shoes
Porn's Passionate Pull
Instruments of Joy

Get All Worked Up
With J.T. Benjamin
Orwell's Eerie Parallels
Redefining Marriage
The Porn Menace
High-Quality Porn
About Profanity
Dirty Laundry
Big Brother


Wrong Reasons to do SM
by Midori

The Write Stuff
by Ashley Lister

Spell Ink Miss Takes

Accurate spelling is a necessity for those who wish to impart a clear and concise message. Itís true that everyone makes mistakesóand typos are easy to overlook. But the glaring anomaly of a spelling mistake comes with a hidden subtext. Each published and printed typo suggests the author isnít as bright as they think they are. If an author doesnít know how to spell a word, do they really know what it means?

You sing spell chequers is now scene as away too a void type Oís. Butt spell chequers own lee drawer a tension two miss spelt words. Eve on the most sew fist a catered check hers ah knot all ways a bull to sea if a word is out off con text. (Using spellcheckers is now seen as a way to avoid typos. But spellcheckers only draw attention to misspelled words. Even the most sophisticated checkers are not always able to see if a word is out of context.)

Spelling is arguably the most important element in the written word. Style, content, character, plot (and every other intellectual nuance in fiction) can only be built on a foundation of good spelling. Yet many writers assume, because they know what they wanted to say, everyone else in the world will psychically intuit the message they were trying to impart.

To view the worst examples of failing adult literacy one needs go no further than ebay. A disproportionate number of ebay auctions include typos. Regardless of whether people are selling labtops or shakespear memorabilia, there are an inordinate number who appear to have difficulty spelling their own names, let alone the items they are trying to vend.

Admittedly, ebay is never going to be held up as an example of fine literature. But itís worth remembering that the effects of reading frequent spelling mistakes are cumulative. The more typos a person reads, the less likely they will see errors in their own writing.

Again, this would probably only apply if a character in your story has "brought alot off guds frome ebay," but itís worth bearing in mind that these errors can influence a writerís output.

For his signature line, the erotic author Mike Kimera writes: "What you read is not what I wrote. I provide the text, you provide the meaning."

The same sentiment could be applied to ebay, although paraphrased slightly: "What you read is possibly what I wrote. Iím too dumb to construct a sentence. Spelling and grammar are not my strong suit. Youíve got a price and a picture to look at. What more do you want? The words are just a bonus. I provide a jumble of deformed sentences. You can struggle to understand what the hell it was I was trying to say."

Erotica demands accurate spelling more than any other genre. Literary fiction can excuse typos as "deviant authoring." Science fiction writers can feasibly argue that certain words will be spelled differently in the future. But erotica requires a smooth and uninterrupted narrative unimpeded by errors. Any mistake can cause inadvertent amusement and ruin the readerís mood.

To illustrate: in my novel Ruby and the Beast the protagonist watches a medieval party in full swing. Early English music plays in the background. Couples dance while the majority of revellers feast on freshly cooked meats. The heroineís attention is caught by a solitary figure jumping onto one of the tables.

Which, worked well until a pre-publication reader spotted the typo I had let slip. Instead of the word "figure," Iíd written "finger." Instead of seeing a dramatic point in a story of medieval machinations, the reader watched a dismembered digit dancing on the dining table.

There are ways to battle occasional errors in text. But they all boil down to the same thing: diligence. Reading. Rereading. Reading aloud. Reading after a time away from the MS. Reading backwards. Having someone else read your MS.

I donít know if it was Lincoln or Twain who said, "Itís better to be thought a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt." But I do know the same principle applies to publishing. "Its bet her Toby thaw Taff Hool, than too publish and ream move hall doubt."

Ashley Lister
October 2006

"The Write Stuff" © 2006 Ashley Lister. All rights reserved.

About the Author:  Ashley Lister is a UK author responsible for more than two-dozen erotic novels written under a variety of pseudonyms. His most recent work, Swingers: True Confessions from Today's Modern Swinging Scene (Virgin Books; ISBN: 0753511355), a non-fiction book recounting the exploits of UK swingers, is his first title published under his own name.
Ashleyís non-fiction has appeared in a variety of magazines, including Forum, Chapter & Verse and The International Journal of Erotica.  Nexus, Chimera and Silver Moon have published his full-length fiction, with shorter stories appearing in anthologies edited by Maxim Jakubowski, Rachel Kramer Bussel and Mitzi Szereto.  He is very proud to be a regular contributor to ERWA.
Email: Ashley Lister

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> 2006 Book Reviews

4 Erotic Ass-ets
Reviews by Ashley Lister

Review by Lisabet Sarai

Bad Girls & More...
Reviews by Ashley Lister

The Best of Both Worlds
Review by Lisabet Sarai

The Black Masque
Review by M. Ellis

Blood Surrender
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Review by Lisabet Sarai

Bound to Love
Review by Ashley Lister

Double Dare
Review by Ashley Lister

Filthy: Outrageous Gay...
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Review by Gary Russell

Forbidden Reading
Review by M. Ellis

Leather, Lace and Lust
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Mr. Stone & Lessons
Reviews by Ashley Lister

Nina Hartley's Sex Guide
Review by Adrienne

Oedipus & Rode Hard
Reviews by Ashley Lister

Orgasms & More
Reviews by Ashley Lister

Passion of Isis
Review by Ashley Lister

Sex in Uniform
Review by Ashley Lister

Six Top Picks
Reviews by Ashley Lister

Stirring up a Storm
Review by M. Ellis

Sunshine and Shadow
Reviews by Lisabet Sarai

Surrender & Dying for It
Reviews by Ashley Lister

Review by Lisabet Sarai

Wicked: Sexy Tales...
Reviews by Ashley Lister

Writing Naked
Review by Lisabet Sarai


Americaís War on Sex
Review by Rob Hardy

Review by Rob Hardy

Covent Garden Ladies
Review by Rob Hardy

The Commitment
Review by Rob Hardy

Eroticism and Art
Review by Rob Hardy

Expletive Deleted...
Review by Rob Hardy

Female Orgasms
Review by Rob Hardy

Government Vs. Erotica
Review by Rob Hardy

Heloise & Abelard ...
Review by Rob Hardy

International Exposure
Review by Rob Hardy

A Profane Wit
Review by Rob Hardy

Secret Life of Oscar Wilde
Review by Rob Hardy

Sex Collectors
Review by Rob Hardy

Sex Machines
Review by Rob Hardy