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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

Sexy on the Page
by Shanna Germain

Climactic Moments:
Putting Together Your First Draft

Shanna GermainHow to write your first draft of an erotic story (easy recipe):

Supplies Needed:
Pen and paper or computer
Crazy glue (or, for alternative method: friend with whip)

Step 1: Find a chair. Put lots of glue on chair. Sit. Write.

Alternative method: Find chair. Sit. Write. Get friend to stand behind you and crack you with whip if you even think about getting up between now and the next 3,000 words.

OK, so I admit that first recipe is cheating. Even though we all understand in our heart of hearts that thatís really the way to write a first draft, itís probably not all that helpful to most of us. But the truth is, I proposed this column months before I actually had to write it, and once the time to write it came, I began to get nervous. Thatís because, despite having written more first drafts than I can count, I still donít fully understand how I do it. Or how anyone does it. Which makes me wish that Iíd proposed a column called "How to eat your way through the fridge when you canít sit down and write your first draft." Now that one, I would be able to pull off.

And, then, even as Iím saying I donít know how to write a first draft, here I am doing it with this column. Granted, itís not fiction, but first drafts are first drafts. So as I write, let me analyze the process and see if I can find anything thatís useful to you.

How I write the first drafts of my erotic stories (in eight semi-easy steps):

1. First, Iím comfortable. Iím sitting in my big living room chair with my laptop and a cup of coffee. I like to have something to drink when Iím writing, not because Iím terribly thirsty, but because I like to have something to do with my hands (I think itís because I used to be a smoker). Also, it gives me an excuse to get up every once in a while to go to the bathroom.

2. I have a general idea of what Iím writing about. Sometimes Iíll sit down to start a story and Iíll realize, "Hey wait, I donít know what Iím doing yet." Actually, it happened the first time I sat down to write this column. OK, and the second and third time, but now here I am, fourth timeís a charm, and Iím plowing right along. I find that if I donít have an idea, a walk works. So does reading something. So does doing the dishes, but mainly because I hate doing the dishes, and I force myself to do them until I have an idea. Amazing how fast one will come.

3. I have my supplies near me. For fiction, that typically means any notes I jotted down about the story idea or the characters. I usually also have magazine pages or photographs that show something in my story: a place, a face, a piece of jewelry, whatever I want to be sure that Iím correctly describing. I usually also have the guidelines, if Iím aiming for a particular market. On my laptop, I have a number of writerly-like pages bookmarked, including a baby name page (for characters), any how-to pages that I find inspiring, any photos sites that might prove equally inspiring, and an online dictionary/thesaurus. While Iím writing a draft, I only (and this is crucial) allow myself to visit said writerly-like pages. Otherwise, itís just too easy to get lost in the web and not get a damn word down (trust me, this is experience talking here).

4. I have lots of time. Or no time. Both of these work for me. If I have a couple of hours stretched before me, I can settle in and get really comfortable before I start clicking away at the keyboard. If Iím pressed for time, and I find that I can just sit down and start working right away.

5. Iím willing to write down everything that crosses my mind. Every dumb thought, every clichť, every ridiculous impulse. What if you arenít sure if this is the beginning or the end? Who cares! Put it on paper. Because no one else is going to see it. Youíll have a chance to cut all of those things long before the story makes its way to my editor. And you might find, as I do, that the things you are tempted to leave out in the first draft are the things you come to like best because theyíre risky or funny or somehow outside the norm of what you thought you were allowed to put on paper.

6. Iím willing to put nothing down. What I mean by that is I make lots of big yellow highlighted XXes in my first drafts. These are places where I donít know what I want to say, or I donít know what someone looks like, or I canít remember the name of that restaurant where Susan gives Jakes a blow job under the table. If itís an easy thing to research, or if it affects the rest of the story in some way, Iíll look it up while Iím writing. Otherwise, it gets the big XX and I know to come back to it later. This keeps the momentum going and allows me to get something on paper that feels like a complete draft, with a beginning, middle and end, even if there are chunks missing.

7. I will not get up. I will not feed the cat. I will not wash the dog. I will not dig out my binoculars in hopes of catching the neighbor in his skivvies. I will not check my email and go through the junk mail just in case. I will not, I will not, I will not. Neither will you. What you will do is sit there and write until youíve finished. This is the one step that distinguishes those who want to write from those who have written. You can throw the other seven steps away and just do this one, and youíll still be ahead of the game.

8. I have a treat lined up for after. Yes, itís true: Iím as easily trainable as a dog. Promise me a soy mocha or a great movie when I finish a draft, and Iíll have it done in no time. There are writers for whom the thrill of finishing is enough, but I am not one of them. So, know what motivates you, and have it lined up for after, whether it be it a piece of cake, a long walk, or the chance to run around the house yelling, "Itís done! Itís done!"

When you finish your rough draft, itís good to just be done with it. Donít hen-peck it to death before the ink is dry. Instead, put it away or send it off to your critique group. You can come back and make it beautiful another day (see my next two columns: "Mťnage a Trois: Critique Groups and Others Who Can Get You Off" and "Multiple Orgasms: Revising Your Erotic Story" for tips on this), but for now just savor your accomplishment.

And now that Iíve finished this draft, Iím going to do just that. I hear a soy mocha calling my name.

Other Recipes for Writing Your Draft

Shanna Germain
July 2007

  Get Sexy on the Page with Shanna Germain in ERWA 2007 Archive.

"Sexy on the Page" © 2007 Shanna Germain. All rights reserved.

About the Author: Shanna Germainís erotic stories have appeared or are scheduled to appear in dozens of publications and anthologies, including Absinthe Literary Review, Aqua Erotica 2, Best American Erotica, Best Bondage Erotica, Cowboy Lover and She is a fiction editor for Clean Sheets and 42Opus, as well as a poetry editor for the American Journal of Nursing. You can see more of her work, erotic and otherwise, on her website,

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'07 Book Reviews


A for Amour / B for Bondage
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Best Women's Erotica '07
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The Butcher, The Baker...
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C is for Coeds
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Cream: The Best of ERWA
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Cream: The Best of ERWA
Perceptions by Cervo

Coming Together for the Cure
Review by Lisabet

Review by Ashley Lister

F is for Fetish
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Got a Minute?
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He's on Top
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Love on the Dark Side
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Lust: ...Fantasies for Women
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The Mammoth Book Vol 6
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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
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Burning Bright
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Call Me By Your Name
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Dark Designs
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Equal Opportunities
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Gothic Blue
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Review by Ashley Liste

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

Love Song of the Dominatrix
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Riding the Storm
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The Silver Collar
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Suite Seventeen
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Sweet as Sin
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Tiffany Twisted
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Top of Her Game
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Whalebone Strict
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Wife Swap
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Wings of Madness
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Historical Obsessions
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Homosex: 60 Years of Gay...
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Iridescence:...Lesbian Erotica
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Sex Guides

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Secrets of Porn Star Sex
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Touch Me There
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Concertina: An Erotic Memoir...
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Daddy's Girl
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Dirt for Art's Sake
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Entangled Lives
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Impotence: A Cultural History
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I, Goldstein: My Screwed...
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In Praise of the Whip
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Insatiable: ...Porn Star
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Letters of a Portuguese Nun
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Mississippi Sissy
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