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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

Hard Business: Writing Gay Erotica
with Greg Herren

Rejection is Part of the Game



Thereís nothing worse than experiencing rejection in any aspect of your life. That hottie you want to fuck wonít even look at you. The promotion youíve worked your ass for went to someone else. And your brilliant story, with its vivid characterizations, setting and beautiful use of language, has been turned down by every single place youíve submitted it to. Rejection after rejection after rejection; how do you keep your dreams of being published alive when you keep getting those goddamned form rejection letters?

Itís incredibly easy to say that one should just shrug and keep plugging away and not take rejection personally. But the rejections you get from writing should not be taken personally. Yes, you pour your soul into your writing; thereís no question of that. You get your inspiration from within yourself; the characters and story come from your mind, and the words are yours. But having the story rejected is not a rejection of YOU. Donít take it personally. Rejection is just a part of the game, and you donít want to take your cards from the table and walk away. If you write, itís a part of you and you donít want to turn your back on an aspect of your life, do you?

Even with scores of stories in print, I still experience rejection. My work gets rejected all the time. And while I rarely write short stories anymore unless I am specifically asked to (itís primarily a matter of time for me; I get ideas for stories all the time and write them down somewhere so I wonít forget them), even then it is NOT a guarantee the story will see print in the anthology (or website, or magazine, or whatever).

Talk about OUCH.

Hereís a case in point. I was specifically asked by a magazine to write an erotic wrestling story; actually, a sequel to a story the magazine had already published the year before. Needless to say, I was incredibly thrilled. I liked the characters, and I really liked the idea of writing about a rematch between the two. I pounded out the story, worked on it for a while, revised and polished it, and then sent it off.

You can imagine my shock when it was rejected as being too violent.

ďHuh.Ē I thought to myself. ďItís a wrestling storyÖand wrestling by its very nature is violent.Ē This puzzled me, and the story itself was no more or less violent than the original story. But the truth was, the magazine had a new publisher, and the publisher was not into wrestlingóalthough the editor thought it was a good story. And it was the publisher who turned down the story, overriding the editor. So, that was that, and I had nothing to show for my work. No publication, no check, nothing.

But I didnít take it personally. Iíve learned over the years (of endless rejections) that itís all part of the dance. I no longer allow myself to take that dark journey into despair that rejection used to cause meóperhaps its because I have published, I am not sure. But I always tell writers to divorce themselves from their work.

You arenít being rejected. Your story is, and thereís a difference.

Thereís always another hottie in the bar, after all, and thereís going to be another shot at a promotion at work. If a hottie turns you down, you donít give up on sex. You donít quit your job because someone else got promoted instead of you. And by the same token, you should not give up on writing simply because you canít seem to sell that story. File it away and move on to something elseóanother story, a novel, something.

Keep writing.

Like anything, the more you do it the better you become. Andre Agassi didnít become a great tennis player without practicing and playing every day. And writing is the same way. You get better the more you do it. Every day that passes you are a better writer than you were the day before, as you get more experience with it, and more life experience.

Always keep writing.

Greg Herren
July 2006

"Hard Business: Writing Gay Erotica" © 2006 Greg Herren. All rights reserved.

About the Author: Greg Herren is the author of five novels and the editor of seven anthologies, including the bestselling FRATSEX and Full Body Contact. He also published a collection of his erotic short fiction, Wanna Wrestle? He has published in numerous magazines and anthologies, and works as an editor for the Haworth Press, which is launching a new line of gay erotic titles. He currently lives in New Orleans with his partner, editor Paul J.Willis, and their cat.

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Passion of Isis
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Sex in Uniform
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Sunshine and Shadow
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Secret Life of Oscar Wilde
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