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'07 Authors Insider Tips

FictionCraft
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?
It’s 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 Writers’ 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?
Blog
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
M.Y.O.B.
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



Coming Up with Story Ideas



Sometimes generating short stories ideas is difficult. Everyone experiences writer’s block. I’ve heard students and seasoned writers complain that if they could just figure out what to write about or could just get started that they would be fine, but getting started was causing them to be blocked. Some times you just cannot focus on an idea or come up with a story start that speaks to you. New writers may feel pressure to select the "perfect" idea and fear that their choice will be "wrong". Established authors may feel that they have exhausted their supply of original ideas or that they simply keep retelling the same story with small changes. All of these things cause additional stress that with further interfere will the writer’s ability to come up with an idea for a story.

Whether you are experiencing block or just interested in a few new writing exercises, here are some of the methods I use to generate ideas for my short lesbian erotica.

Aha! Ideas

Have you ever had one of those days or weeks were everything you encounter strikes you as potential material for a short story? Mundane events and items trigger a reaction in your mind and you are over come by ideas for stories or characters. These are Aha! Ideas: story and character ideas that seem to come to you rapidly and from no where. If your muse is speaking to you at warp speed, it is usually impossible to address all of the ideas that bombard you. I record these ideas in full detail in my writer’s notebook for use later when my muse is on vacation and I cannot seem to generate a single good idea.

If you do not keep a writer’s notebook, then you should start. A writer’s notebook is a notebook of your choosing that you keep with you at all times and dedicate exclusively to ideas for your writing. I use a small assignment book that fits into my purse. Whatever your preference in notebooks is, select one that prevents you from ripping out pages. Make a pact with yourself to use the notebook only for writing ideas. Avoid putting to-do or shopping lists, phone numbers and notes to your self or doing any actual writing in the notebook. Essentially the notebook contains your notes on potential story ideas or brief character sketches.

You can record story ideas, character sketches, dialogue you over heard, and tape clippings or pictures that inspired an idea for a story or character. You can record brief sentences, actual scenes, or detailed plots. It is up to you. For example, a photo from a magazine may inspire a story idea. Rip it out and paste it into your notebook. Be sure to include as many details about your idea as possible. This can be done informally in fragments and with bullet points using key words instead of your best prose. But be sure to include enough detail to remind your self in three or four months of the original idea. The notebook serves as a holding place until you have time to actually use the ideas. This is of great value when your muse isn’t talking to you.

Mining Your Life and Your Fantasies for Material

Use actual sexual encounters as a starting point for your erotic story. Change characters and/or details, unless you are writing memoir. Feel free to enhance your encounter. Make the sex hotter or more elaborate, create conflict where none existed, enhance your self and your partner(s). Turn real life into fiction. Not all real life makes for good literature; however, using an actual encounter as the seed for a fictional story can bring new inspiration.

Likewise, use your fantasies. Have you always wanted to have sex in the locker room of your gym, but are too timid to actually do it? Are you curious about bondage, a three way, or a group sex parties, but don’t want to or haven’t had the chance to actually try it? Write about it in a story. All of your sexual fantasies are potential erotic short stories.

Searching the Calls

In addition to letting you know what kinds of stories editors are looking for; calls can serve as inspiration for stories. Some calls are more helpful then others to generate story ideas. For example, all of the calls for "The Best" of anthologies are vague and not really helpful for generating story ideas. The editors are looking for the Best of lesbian erotica with no strict themes in mind. Other calls are looking for specific stories that you may not have thought about writing until you read the call. Themed anthologies, such as cowgirls, bikers, NYC stories, athletic/sports dykes, prison, pirates, or Drag Kings, etc…, may serve to spark a story idea or an Aha! moment for you. Some editors go so far as to list even more detailed specifics about what they are looking for in a story. Likewise, check calls for other types of erotica. There maybe a call for a themed gaymale or straight erotic anthology that will spark a story idea for a lesbian erotic story.

Couples Sex Books

Sex-Aid and How-To Books are a great resource for both learning about sexual acts that you aren’t familiar with and for finding inspiration for a story idea. Reading about different sex acts can inspire you to write a story centered on that sex act. Likewise, books like 101 Nights of Grrreat Romance, where the pages are sealed and need to be torn open to reveal a predetermined sexual scenario, can be great fun and a source of strong inspiration. A few of my favorite reference books are listed in the Resource Section. Page through them until something inspires you or select a topic and read about it for inspiration.

Slips of Paper Method

The Slips of Paper Method is one of my favorite writing exercises. Use the Slips of Paper Method to generate just about anything from characters to places to story ideas to conflicts by changing what you list on the slips. Essentially you will have three piles of slips and select one from each pile to generate whatever it is you are looking for.

To get started, cut about 40 2x2 inch slips of paper and separate them into three piles. It is best to have at least ten slips in each pile, but feel free to have more and to reuse them.

To generate a character: list 3 physical traits on each slip of paper in pile A; 3 personality strengths on each slip in pile B; and 3 personality weaknesses on each slip in pile C. For example: Character A: A: blonde, 5’10, c-cup; B: driven, focused, loyal; C: self-centered, compulsive, fear of failure. Character B: A: short red hair, muscular, 5’5; B: committed, determined, honest ; C: closed minded, sneaky, stubborn.

To generate an erotic short story: list one to two conflicts on each slip of paper in pile A; list a location on each slip of paper in pile B; and list two sex acts on each slip of paper in pile C. Select one slip from each pile and use them with the characters you have generated to write a story. For example: A: Character A is dating character B’s best friend; B: at a ski resort in a hot tub; C: oral and bondage. Use these with the two characters above to write a story.

Be creative with what you list on the slips and daring with the combinations you make.

Personal Ads

Personal ads are one of the best free tools for inspiration for story ideas. In addition to character traits, many of the ads contain ideas for locations and activities, and, when put together with another randomly selected ad, they often include built in conflict.

Cut out 20 or 30 women-seeking-women ads and put them into an envelope. Keep the envelope near your writing area for use when needed. Randomly select two ads from the envelope and read them. The ads will provide basic character information that you can build on and often activities and settings can be drawn out of the descriptions.

What’s not written in the ads is as important as what is. Contemplate the ads and consider what you know about psychology and human nature. Then, ask yourself:

What is the person who wrote this ad like physically? Emotionally? What is she looking for in a partner? Are there hints of potential areas of conflict, locations for scenes, activities you might write about? Now write a story about the two people in the ads as a couple or having a sexual encounter.

One Element Method

I normally write character driven fiction, so strong, fully developed characters are critical to starting my writing process. I often find that if I know who I am writing about the other elements of the story (plot, conflict, location…) reveal themselves to me as I write. I usually start with detailed character sketches and let the characters reveal their story to me. The same can be true in reverse. By establishing one element of the story (the conflict, location, sex act…) the other elements will reveal themselves to you as you write. Experiment by establishing different elements and writing about them to generate story ideas.

Exercises

1.  The Slip Method: Generate two characters and a story idea then write that

2.  Personal Ad Exercise: Randomly select two personal ads and construct characters based on the information in the ads. Write a story about the two characters using information from the ads for setting and potential conflicts.

3.  The Book Method: Select a sexual activity you haven’t written about and read the entry in the resource book of your choice. Write a story centered on that activity.

4.  Elements Exercise: Pick one element and start to write about that element. Experiment with different elements as starting points.

5.  Combine any two of the above methods to generate stories. For example, 1 & 3 or 2 & 3.

Resources


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: Point of View

Amie M. Evans
February 2007

______
"Two Girls Kissing: Writing Lesbian Literary Erotica" © 2006 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' bio at the Erotica Readers & Writers Association.



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'07 Book Reviews

Anthologies

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

Cross-Dressing
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

Novels

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

Cockhold
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Continuum
Review by Ashley Lister

Dark Designs
Review by Ashley Lister

Equal Opportunities
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Enthralled
Review by Angelika Devlyn

Flood
Review by Angelika Devlyn

Gothic Blue
Review by Ashley Lister

Hotbed
Review by Ashley Liste

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

Love Song of the Dominatrix
Review by Angelika Devlyn

Ménage
Review by Angelika Devlyn

Riding the Storm
Review by Lisabet Sarai

The Silver Collar
Review by Ashley Lister

Split
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...
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Standish
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

Non-Fiction

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
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Mississippi Sissy
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Ron Jeremy
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Virgin: The Untouched...
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The Year of Yes
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