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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
Sluts


Editorials

Wrong Reasons to do SM
by Midori

Confessions of a Literary Streetwalker
by M. Christian

"Imagination is intelligence with an erection" —Victor Hugo


No Muse is Good News



People sometimes ask me about my muse. In other words, where I get the ideas for stories, or how I work.

I hate the idea of a muse and have to bite back the response that I had one once but I clubbed it into submission and now keep it chained up in my basement.

The reason I hate the idea of a muse is that, for me, it takes the responsibility for creation away from the artist and puts it in control of another. "We don't write stories," the muse seems to say, "but we give them as gifts to special people."

Bunk.

Here on earth, we have the writers who feel they have to wait until a story 'speaks' to them, or for a visit from their very own personal muse. Not to put down other writer's habits, but this also strikes me as bunk. Now, I'm the first to say that what writers do is extraordinary; damned near magical. After all, one person creating a work that can live for decades, centuries, and change millions of lives—if that's not incredible, I don't know what is.

Incredible, yes. Handed down from beyond—no. Not at all. Shakespeare, Homer, Hemmingway, Steinbeck, Vonnegut, Pynchon, Woolf, Mishima. Make up your own list. These men and women didn't have angelic or alien visitations, no mutant genes, no Formula X, no extraordinary gifts. They had brains and minds and worked very, very hard. Creativity, ingenuity with language, craft, flair, insight, wit, observation—these are all things that come with work, with practice, with trying, with experimenting. Not once, but over and over again.

Where is this coming from? Well, every once and a while when I put out a call for submissions for an anthology—or hear other writers talking about someone's project—I will hear someone say "Oh, I could never do that," or "That's not my kind of book," and I think about muses.

That kind of attitude, that a writer has to be "inspired" to write to a certain theme, or even a certain type of story, reminds me of that myth, that a story has to 'come' to a writer.

Good example: write transgendered erotica story. Okay, I agree the subject is a bit daunting but don't let that stop you. Think about it, play with it, do some research. What does gender mean? Who are you? What could you be? What must it be like to have been born one way, but know you should have been the other? What does our society say about sex and gender? Does there have to be only men and only women?

Think, read, play—and write. No muse is going to ring your doorbell and say "Have I got a story for you!" You have to do it yourself, you have to sit down (or walk around) and think, dream, stretch your creativity, and do it yourself.

That's the trick, you see—to be a better writer you have to work at it. Try new things, new techniques, new styles, new markets. Who knows, you might be the best damned transsexual writer ever, maybe you'll write a really great story, maybe you'll only write a good story, maybe your story will suck—but no matter the result, you've stretched yourself, tried something new. Inspiration and craft are not gifts from above, they're what happens when you put yourself out there and try new things.

As I like to say, the only time a writer fails is when they either give up writing, or simply don't try.

So try. Don't wait for inspiration. Don't wait for just the right market, don't wait for anything. Write. That's the only magic in a writer's life: the writing.

_____
"Confessions of a Literary Streetwalker" © 2003 M. Christian. All rights reserved.

About the author: M. Christian is the celebrated and renowned master of contemporary erotica, with stories appearing in over 150 anthologies, magazines and websites. He's the editor of over 18 anthologies, and several up-coming novels.
For more information, check out:  www.mchristian.com



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2006 Book Reviews

4 Erotic Ass-ets
Reviews by Ashley Lister

Amazons
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

Bound
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Bound to Love
Review by Ashley Lister

Double Dare
Review by Ashley Lister

Filthy: Outrageous Gay...
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Fire
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

Swingers
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Wicked: Sexy Tales...
Reviews by Ashley Lister

Writing Naked
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Non-Fiction

America’s War on Sex
Review by Rob Hardy

Callgirl
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