I’ve got two stories, Ass Grabber and The Altar of Deimos up on Amazon. No one cares, but that’s okay. At this point I’ve done next to nothing in terms of advertising. In fact, having a blog is one of the steps I’m taking to rectify this, but more on that later.
One thing I know, of all of my traits that make me suited to be a writer, a mulish temperament is the most important one. I think it’s important to be prepared to get everything wrong, and to be stubborn enough to keep doing it.
My approach with erotica was initially wrong (see Selena Kitt), in that I didn’t do any research and wasn’t approaching it like I would “real” writing, like erotica is somehow fake. I banged out a novel on NaNoWriMo, which in itself wasn’t a bad thing, but really thought I would run through it a few times, get it edited, and publish it. It’s six months later, and I’m hoping I can make $20 selling a snippet to an anthology. I’ll find out in November.
In the meantime, I wrote and read a lot (it’s awful, having to read smut for research, just awful). One thing that surprised me was how important character development was. Many books started at slow burn, heating up bit by bit, and by the end when the characters were screwing, I was cheering them on. Others were nothing but sex, but still made time for revealing conversations, intimate moments, etc. My first book had a lot of tab A inserting into slot B, but no reason to care why. It was pretentious wank book.
And, that happened because I wasn’t treating erotica like writing. I wasn’t considering the tastes of erotica readers like I would my own. In some cases, I will tolerate bad elements. I loved Dune enough to read a few books by Brian Herbert, and they’re just not as good. By and large though, I want good characters and pretty prose in my writing. I needed the same in my smut.
Now, I have more fun writing smut. It’s less acrobatics and more psychology. One thing about my initial approach I will stick with though is focusing on quality first. It’s how I ended up abandoning my first book, the realization that it was going to take a lot of rewriting to get it to where it needed to be. At this point, it was easier to start over. The discipline I’d developed during NaNo did help in getting new work written, so even if the book wasn’t useable, it had been time well spent.
This is a wonderful post, and I recognize myself in this! When I started epublishing, I underestimated erotica, and I got a lot of it wrong. I mean, is it truly erotica if you don’t include physical sex? It might be… but it’s certainly not very salable. I was doing close-observed sexual *situations*, and IMHO they were awesome, but the sex was secondary.
My newer stuff threads the needle better: the stories start faster, there is more character development, more humor, the same sexual situations, but now with down-n-dirty sex. When that stuff hits the market, I’ll be curious to see how it’s received.
Great start on your blog! I’m subscribed!!!
Thanks Lindsey! I enjoyed poking around on your blog as well.
Maddie Cochere said:
I’ve been poking around here today, Antoinette. Our genres are polar opposite, but you have a lot to offer here, and there are some things for me to learn. I’m starting at the beginning of your blog, and will work my way through. I adore your gravatar. Did you draw it yourself?
Thanks Maddie. I do try and offer some information for every author, self-publishers in particular. My gravatar is from Colourbox, and I just colored it in with GIMP. I actually like your image a lot as well. I think it works really well with the branding of your books.