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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?
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?
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

The Write Stuff
by Ashley Lister

The Time is Write

The story goes that Samuel Taylor Coleridge was inspired to write Kubla Khan from an opium dream. On awakening he claimed to have "a distinct recollection of the whole," and set about to write it down. Before he’d managed much more than a handful of lines, he was interrupted by a visitor on business: an individual whom history has labelled as "the man from Porlock."

The man from Porlock kept Coleridge occupied for an hour, by the end of which time the majority of detail from Coleridge’s dream had faded beyond the powers of his recollection. And, although Kubla Khan is a magnificent poem, we are left to wonder how much more magnificent it might have been had he been able to complete the verse without the interruption.

But there’s a lesson we can all learn from this. In fact there are several lessons.

1) Drugs are bad. Seriously, if you need to get drugged for inspiration then you’re not a writer: you’re a stoner. Also, if Coleridge had not been out of his head on the remnants of an opium jag, he might have been able to deal with the man from Porlock more swiftly. Some would argue that the dream might not have come to him if he hadn’t been junked up to the eyeballs. But the truth is there are no drugs more inspirational than the human imagination. My opinion is, if Coleridge had not been scouring the house with a case of the munchies, or trying to impress the man from Porlock with the eighteenth century equivalent of fridge jokes, the business matter would have been resolved in minutes and Coleridge could have gotten back to writing his envisioned version of Kubla Khan and given the world with the more magnificent poem.

I’m not saying that people should not do recreational drugs if their local laws permit such indulgences and they have a penchant to devastate their sensibilities. But I do believe that substance abuse is of no value to writers or literature in general. Most of the stoners I’ve known are affable individuals but I wouldn’t want to read anything produced by any of them. When someone has descended to a level where they think their private sock collection is worthy of anecdotal merit, it’s pretty clear that any writing they produce is going to bring a new and unimagined definition to the word tedious.

Seriously: drugs are bad. If Coleridge hadn’t been such a stoner he might have realised there’s a typo in the title of The Rime of The Ancient Mariner.

2) Writers should learn how to deal with unwanted visitors. The phrase "artistic temperament" is often bandied around as an excuse for unforgivable rudeness from those who are creative. But the truth is: writers work in a different way to other labourers on this planet. Most regular jobs are made up of small elements that can be interrupted for the break of a coffee, a conversation or a quick knee-trembler in the photocopier room. But writing isn’t like that. Writing is an immediate process that doesn’t suffer interruptions. The importance of that distinction is something all writers should learn and value.

If I’d been in Coleridge’s position, I would have ignored the visitor and let the bastard knock at the front door until his knuckles bled. If I’d had to go to the door to greet him I would have said, "Man from Porlock, I’m writing a poem. Fuck off." It’s a simple enough statement that would have explained the rudeness, clarified my position, and effectively dismissed the visitor. Those people who visit writers don’t usually like being told to fuck off but, in my experience at least, many of them have come to anticipate and act on this style of curt greeting.

Admittedly, the man from Porlock would then have gone to a nearby pub, complaining about the rudeness of the stoner poets in the area (with their artistic temperaments) and speculating that all the Lake Poets were bringing down the property values in and around Keswick and Penrith. But his whining would have been a short-lived thing. When you’re known locally as "the man from Porlock" it should be obvious that you don’t want to upset the local poets because your main form of address already sounds like the opening line to a very bawdy and uncomplimentary limerick. Too much whining and soon everyone will be singing; "There was a young man from Po’lock; Who was cursed with a very small cock…"

All of which shows how important it is for writers to learn not to let others interrupt their work. The easiest option is to set aside a convenient time of the day and declare it is "a writing period." The length of time is unimportant. Most writers find that they work to a variable schedule and can have two or three writing periods in a day. But the important thing to remember is that they are fixed times when the writer is not to be disturbed.

Those with families will be aware that this is not as easy as it sounds but, under the poetic licence of artistic temperament, strict guidelines can be set for partners and children. In my household it is known that writing can only be interrupted for the provision of sex or beverages. Everything else will wait until the end of my fixed writing period.

Writing is not easy and the imagination is a fickle muse. If her gifts are not treated with appropriate respect it will not be long before she stops presenting them. And, as the ultimate advantage to having this scheme in operation, you can henceforth tell all unwanted visitors to fuck off, and then brush over this obscene rudeness with the excuse of artistic temperament.

Ashley Lister
December/January 2007

"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.
Ashley’s 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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'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