Erotica vs. Romance…and…writing naughty bits

18 May

I was recently asked how one decides if a book is going to be erotica vs. romance when an idea first comes to me. I don’t know how it is for other authors, but for me, well, it usually depends on the characters. Sometimes characters come to me and demand to be sexual beings throughout the book.

It’s all about getting to know the characters first. How do I do that? Well, I take my characters out for drinks. Now, in my book that will be out next year, the main character let me know right away, over a few beers, that she was a playboi and liked to have sex often and with lots of different women. ImageThe more I talked to her, the more obvious it became that her story would be erotic. Sex was too major a part of her life not to have that.

Now, over a couple of bourbons, the main character in my latest book informed me that, while she loves the ladies,Image she runs a gang in Chicago in the 1920’s so she has a lot more on her mind most of the time. ImageThis was interesting to me and we started out with her in a sex scene, but she made it clear that wasn’t to be the norm. So her story is being told as a romance.

My characters drive my story. I’m much more character-driven than plot-driven. And what they tell me generally goes. I don’t write from an outline, so the plot develops around what the character dictates. It may make me sound a little nutso, but I listen to my characters and let them call the shots.

Now, about those “naught bits.” Almost all of my short stories, and three of my four novels, have been of an erotic nature. Oh, that sounds fancy. Heck – they’re all about sex! So, the question comes up – how does one write them all the time? Where  is the inspiration? How does one keep the scenes fresh and exciting?Image

Let’s face it – lesbians rock! LOL Women love each other so deeply, so completely. And my characters are lesbians, so….. 

Actually, writing sex scenes is the hardest part of writing for me. I can picture it (Of course) and feel it, but putting it on paper isn’t easy. Why? Because I want to do it justice. I don’t want to write “See Jane kiss Kaysi.” Booooring. And I don’t want it to read like a how to: “She inserted body part A into body part B.” Still boring. And I never, ever, want the reader to think, “This is the same scene we had in chapter 2.”

So, writing sex scenes is very difficult.Image I want it to excite the reader. for sure. I want it to be an integral part of the story. It has to feel natural and real- not contrived or forced. And it has to be fresh and original every time.

Once again, we’re back to the characters. The sex scenes are based on the characters – what they like, who they’re into, how they behave. For instance, the main character in the book out next year is playful and fun loving. She’s more likely to use toys and maybe enjoy more than one woman at a time (you’re gonna love that book!!!)

The main character in the Prohibition book is more serious. She’s the type to really take her time with a woman. To find out what makes the other woman tick and please her accordingly.

I hope this blog answers the questions that were asked. Did they generate any more? If you have a question or comment, please leave it and I’ll do my best to answer it.

Thanks for reading!




Posted by on May 18, 2013 in Writing


7 responses to “Erotica vs. Romance…and…writing naughty bits

  1. Mary Anne

    May 18, 2013 at 14:45

    Well, you answered my question. But now I have one more……What’s the most surprising thing a character has ever said in one of your stories?

    • mjwilliamz

      May 18, 2013 at 16:18

      That’s a really good question, Mary Anne… The one that shocked me most in the story I’m writing right now involved a woman hitting on my main character, Helen. Their convo went:

      She took the drink from Helen, who studied her another moment.
      “I thought only nuns worked at the orphanage.”
      “Yeah. So?”
      Helen choked on her drink.
      “You’re a nun?”
      “I am. My name’s Mary Margaret. You can call me Maggie.”

  2. kbrodland

    May 18, 2013 at 15:12

    Oh my now how to write sex scenes is a question i have come up against when writing a story myself. Again, like you, the character dictates a great deal of what is going to happen.. Or even if there is going to be anything happening.And then of course, there is the situation where you dont intend to write a romance, but your characters say, thats what you think!!!
    So much fun isnt it..thanks for sharing
    Kathy B

  3. Kieran York

    May 18, 2013 at 15:15

    Writing a sex scene is as you described it. Oh my! Terrific blog, MJ.

  4. Jennifer Writings of a Mrs

    May 18, 2013 at 15:59

    Interesting read. Thank you for the post.
    I was debating last night about releasing a poem titled Devotion as I felt it teetered on the verge of erotica. But I posted it and I’m glad I did.

  5. Sheri Campbell

    May 19, 2013 at 19:33

    Thank you for sharing and the insight of writing erotica and romance. I have enjoyed your novels for several years now. Good as re-reads too.

    • mjwilliamz

      May 19, 2013 at 19:42

      Thank you, Sheri-
      I’m glad you’re still enjoying them!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: