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'07 Authors Insider Tips

by Louisa Burton
Formatting Your Manuscript
Scams / Choosing an Agent
Pitching Your Novel...
From The Call to Published...

Hard Business
From Greg Herren
Who Is Telling This Story?
Itís Work, Not A Hobby
Where Ideas Come From

Sexy on the Page
With Shanna Germain
Plotting Erotic Fiction
Seducing Your Muse
Creating Characters...
Description, Action & Dialogue
Fucking on Paper
Ten No-Nos of Erotic Fiction
Climactic Moments: First Draft
Critique Groups
Revising Your Erotic Story
Finding the Perfect Markets...
Just Submit Already
Rejections and Acceptances

Two Girls Kissing
With Amie M. Evans
Verb Tense Confusion
Coming Up with Story Ideas
Attend a Writersí Conference
The Fundamentals of POV
Should I Sign That?
Etiquette for Authors
Erotica is Serious Work
No Body Writes for Free...
Shameless Self Promotions
The Myth of Writer's Block

The Write Stuff
From Ashley Lister
The Time is Write
The Beautiful People
A Book by Any Other...
Synopsis: the Necessary Evil
Erotica or Porn?
Feedback Whine

2007 Smutters Lounge

Ashley Lister Submits
by Ashley Lister
What's it like being a writer?
An Apology to Salespeople

Get All Worked Up
With J.T. Benjamin
About Secrets
The Perfect Fuck
About Choices
The Age of Consent
The Kingmaker
Kids and Sex
The Price of Beauty
The G.O.P.
All Worked Up About Hate
Real Men

Pondering Porn
With Ann Regentin
Good Sex: A Physics Lesson
Meet Frankenstein
Thoughts on the Orgasm Gap
The Very Bloody Marys
The Doomsday Erection
Online Threesome Porn

Two Girls Kissing: Writing Lesbian Literary Erotica
with Amie M. Evans

Is Writing Erotica Serious Work?

Dear Amie,

Is erotica a serious pursuit, or is it a testing ground or a place to hone skills and a springboard to other more lucrative genres?

Wondering in Montana

Dear Wondering,

The answer to your question is both yes and no. Let me explain.

Literary erotica is a serious business. Publishers are, after all, business owners and want (need) to make money. They want to produce the highest possible quality product (i.e. erotic anthologies) they can to ensure their customers (i.e. the readers) return to buy again. If you are an aspiring author I encourage you to start now to think about writing as a job. Sure you should love and enjoy writing. And yes it is definitely an artistic endeavor, but ultimately writing is a job and you need to treat it as such. You should approach your writing career just like you would any other job you might have. After all, you, the author, are a subcontractor for the publisher. Is that image of writing as a career embedded into your mind? Great.

Now, Iíd like to be a heart surgeon, but Iím not trained to be a doctor so no one will let me into the operating room no less allow me to cut open someoneís chest and poke around in their heart. This is probably a good thing. Unfortunately, the same isnít true about writing. Anyone can write. And on a lot of levels thatís also a very fortunate thing. I think everyone should write. I am not sure everyone should be published or everything someone writes should be published, but everyone should write. Thatís one of the best ways to learn to writeóto do it. That and reading other well written works. Well, actually studying other well written works for style, character, plot, etcÖ

So yes, writing erotica is serious business.

Too often, new writers think they can write erotica as a stepping stone even if they donít really know how to write. This is just a naÔve, uninformed opinion. Erotica when done well consist of a fully developed story that contains graphic sexual content. You should be able to remove the sex and still have a story, if you cannot you arenít writing literary erotica. If you cannot write a fully developed story with multi-dimensional characters, adding sex isnít going to make your story better. Not to mention writing interesting, provocative, hot sex scenes is a skill of its own.

Writers should approach writing like another career. They should practice it, study it, practice it some more, honing their skills and talents. And then, once theyíve done this, they should start submitting their work to editors.

Most erotica authors also write in other genres. There are also a number of folks who write erotica almost exclusively. So if you are going to write erotica do it because you have a passion for it, not as a stepping stone. If you are going to step on it, make sure it is a stone you are interested in being on and not just a means to an ends.

Erotica can be a way to break into the queer writing word, but it isnít the only way to break into the queer writing world. If you donít take writing erotica seriously as a business, as a real art form, as serious writing, it will show in your prose and you will not "break" into anything. You will be marked as a sloppy, hack writer and dismissed. So my advice to you is if you donít like to write about sex, donít write erotica. If you think the erotica genre is "slumming it" please donít take up any space in our neighborhood, stay uptown. If you are visiting the genre just to get a few publishing credits before you move up, please show the hard working erotica writers and editors respect due to them by producing high quality work.

My mother once told me that if you donít love what you are doing you shouldnít do it because it will show in the quality of your work that you arenít enamored with the task. As always my mother was correct. If something is worth doing, the saying goes, it is worth doing well.

If there is an issue you would like me to address in "Two Girls Kissing," please email it to me (Amie M. Evans) with the column title as the subject line. To be added to my confidential monthly email list, please email me with subscribe as the subject line.

NEXT TIME: No Body Writes for Free, or Do They?

Amie M. Evans
August 2007

  More of Amie M. Evans' Two Girls Kissing in ERWA 2007 Archive.

"Two Girls Kissing: Writing Lesbian Literary Erotica" © 2007 Amie M. Evans. All rights reserved.

About the Author: Amie M. Evans is a widely published creative nonfiction and literary erotica writer, experienced workshop provider, and a retired burlesque and high-femme drag performer. She is on the board of directors for Saints and Sinners GLBT literary festival and graduated Magna cum Laude from the University of Pittsburgh with a BA in Literature and is currently working on her MLA at Harvard.
Read Amie M. Evans' full bio at the Erotica Readers & Writers Association.

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'07 Book Reviews


A for Amour / B for Bondage
Review by Ashley Lister

Best Women's Erotica '07
Review by Ashley Lister

The Butcher, The Baker...
Review by Ashley Lister

C is for Coeds
Review by Ashley Lister

Cream: The Best of ERWA
Review by Ashley Lister

Cream: The Best of ERWA
Perceptions by Cervo

Coming Together for the Cure
Review by Lisabet

Review by Ashley Lister

F is for Fetish
Review by Ashley Lister

Got a Minute?
Review by Ashley Lister

He's on Top
Review by Ashley Lister

Love on the Dark Side
Review by Angelika Devlyn

Lust: ...Fantasies for Women
Review by Ashley Lister

The Mammoth Book Vol 6
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Naughty Spanking Stories
Review by Ashley Lister

Quickies 1
Review by Angelika Devlyn

She's on Top
Review by Ashley Lister

Sixteen of the Best
Review by Ashley Lister


Amorous Woman
Review by Lisabet Sarai

The Boss
Review by Angelika Devlyn

Burning Bright
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Call Me By Your Name
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Review by Lisabet Sarai

Review by Ashley Lister

Dark Designs
Review by Ashley Lister

Equal Opportunities
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Review by Angelika Devlyn

Review by Angelika Devlyn

Gothic Blue
Review by Ashley Lister

Review by Ashley Liste

The Lords of Satyr: Nicholas
Review by Helen E. H. Madden

Love Song of the Dominatrix
Review by Angelika Devlyn

Review by Angelika Devlyn

Riding the Storm
Review by Lisabet Sarai

The Silver Collar
Review by Ashley Lister

Review by Ashley Lister

Suite Seventeen
Review by Ashley Lister

Sweet as Sin
Review by Angelika Devlyn

Tiffany Twisted
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Top of Her Game
Review by Angelika Devlyn

Whalebone Strict
Review by Ashley Lister

Wife Swap
Review by Gary Russell

Wings of Madness
Review by Angelika Devlyn

Gay Erotica

Historical Obsessions
Review by Erastes

Homosex: 60 Years of Gay...
Review by Erastes

Mammoth Book of New Gay...
Review by Erastes

Review by Lisabet Sarai

Lesbian Erotica

Iridescence:...Lesbian Erotica
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Sex Guides

The Path of Service
Review by Ashley Lister

Secrets of Porn Star Sex
Review by Ashley Lister

Touch Me There
Review by Ashley Lister


Concertina: An Erotic Memoir...
Review by Rob Hardy

Daddy's Girl
Review by Ashley Lister

Dirt for Art's Sake
Review by Rob Hardy

Entangled Lives
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Impotence: A Cultural History
Review by Rob Hardy

I, Goldstein: My Screwed...
Review by Rob Hardy

In Praise of the Whip
Review by Rob Hardy

Insatiable: ...Porn Star
Review by William S. Dean

Letters of a Portuguese Nun
Review by Rob Hardy

Mississippi Sissy
Review by Rob Hardy

Ron Jeremy
Review by Rob Hardy

Virgin: The Untouched...
Review by Rob Hardy

The Year of Yes
Review by Rob Hardy