Porn 102
12 (More) Essays On The Art Of Writing Porn And Erotica


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From the Intro...

There is something immensely satisfying about writing a regular column. It’s a challenge to come up with new ways to explain and define the art of porn writing, as well as to describe the equally important art of selling said writing. A sometimes frustrating, but always enlightening, challenge...

But don’t get me wrong, writing these essays hasn’t been all hard work. Oh sure, I sweat and toil and tear my hair out as I wrestle each and every one of them into submission, but I also have more fun than should be allowed.

Hopefully I’ve managed to amuse and enlighten a few others along the way, whether by positive example, or, more often the case, as a glaring illustration of what not to do. Either way, in this, my second collection of essays culled from Absolute Write’s Porn 101, I hope you find all the inspiration and guidance you need to forge a career writing in this strange and wondrous genre of smut...


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Essays Include

Grab 'Em By The Throat!
Katy Terrega, determined to make the sale, reached through virtual space and grabbed the intended editor by the throat. Far from offended by her bold - if viselike – grip, he was, instead, taken pleasantly off guard. Not able to resist the pressure, he delved quickly into the body of the lead paragraph.

His attention thus secured, Katy allowed her grip to relax, if only slightly, as she proceeded to tell her story...

Learning From Rejection
Rejection is a big part of every writer’s life.

Even big-name, best-selling authors have horror stories to tell; it’s a fact of life that if you’re trying to sell your work, you will be rejected, and often.

Some of those rejections are because of something that you did wrong and, as such, are relatively easy to “fix.” Some, of course, are due to factors totally out of your control; the alignment of the stars, perhaps, or an editor’s bad mood. Those are not so easy. How to tell the difference? Well, that’s not so easy, either...

Adding Sensory Detail
If you want to branch out into the higher paying (or more literary) markets, you'll need to add a little more substance to your story. Your piece has got to stand out from the rest; it needs that extra something that will help it linger in the editor's memory. One great way to do this is to give your story a theme, some recurring detail or story line (apart from the sex) that weaves it's way through the entire piece. My favorite way to "theme" my stories is to add sensory detail...

Some Sad Truths About Porn Writers
Lest you think that we porn writers have it better than the rest of society; that we lead exotic, exciting and, of course, rampantly sexual lives, I thought I'd take a moment to disabuse you of that notion. To that end I've come up with enough ugly truths about porn writers to keep you, if you're a non-porn writer anyway, feeling smug for days. If you are a porn writer, hopefully after reading this you'll feel less like a fraud - "I can't write porn! I don't have trysts with strangers, multiple partners or a drawer full of sex toys that are illegal in 35 states!" - and more like a real writer; flaws and sad truths notwithstanding…

Some (More) Sad Truths About Porn Writers
Far from spending our days clad only in lingerie (or better yet, naked) in front of a hot (both literally and metaphorically) computer by day and practicing the latest in exotic and erotic sex play by night, we are more often found typing away in our jammies while the kids fight in the next room and then snoring our way through the night after falling asleep on the couch watching television. Not a pretty picture, I know...

The Happy Truth About Porn Writers
Why then, do we write this stuff? Why don't we get a normal day job like the rest of society? Why aren't we pursuing a career that comes with a regular paycheck and benefits (not to mention moral acceptability?)...

Ideas Are Everywhere
Most would agree that the world of porn, both written and visual, is not exactly "real life." Most of us are not, for example, having spontaneous and kinky sex with our neighbors, co-workers and strangers (and even if we are, it's often not a regular occurrence.) That leaves many beginning writers searching for ideas, since in this genre "write what you know" is not always feasible...

Writing (And Re-Writing) For Success
There are no magic bullets when it comes to achieving “success” in the porn-writing business. As with mainstream writing it takes hard work, a professional attitude, scrupulous attention to detail (especially when it comes to markets,) an ability to diversify and a bit of luck. But there are ways to lessen your time at the computer and still keep those checks rolling in, namely by exploiting what you’ve already sold. In a nutshell that means re-writing your various masterpieces to fit other markets...

Editor Etiquette
Sooner or later, in the process of evolving from “amateur” to “professional” smut writer, you’re going to come into contact with that most reviled and adored of beasts: The Editor. Now, don’t panic. Just the fact that you’re dealing with said beast means that you’ve achieved some success; this person likes your work and wants to buy it. Or at least wants to talk about buying it. That’s a good thing...

Don't Go There! Some Mistakes Not To Make When Writing Porn And Erotica
Don’t Go There! Some Mistakes Not To Make When Writing and Submitting Porn
It comes as a shock to many aspiring porn writers, but it’s the truth: Writing about sex for money is no different than writing about, say, model trains, for money. Well, okay, maybe there are some subtle distinctions to be made, but in the end, writing for money is work. It’s not, as many fledgling writers seem to think, a titillating and provocative foray into their deepest, darkest imaginations, although that has it’s place in good porn writing as well. But mainly it’s a down-in the-trenches, do-your-homework and keep-your-records kind of thing. In short, it’s a job...

Writing The Porn Article - Part I
Fictional stories and letters make up the bulk of the porn market, and are perfect for the beginning writer. But there is another, often untapped market out there as well. Mostly falling under the How-To category, articles are a staple in many porn magazines, just as they are in other genres. The difference - but don’t tell anyone! - is that in this market they’re not always 100% “true.” Oh, the basic information is usually accurate – “Ten Ways To Improve Your Sex Life” will contain “real” advice and tips, for example – but the rest, like those quotes from Bill on how he improved his own sex life, is often totally made up...

Writing The Porn Article - Part II
Now comes the bulk of the article, the body. This is where you present all of your information; tips, advice, quotes, etc. There are several different formats to choose from when writing the body of your article but the two most common types are the “straight” article, which is basically a continuous flow of information, and the “list” article, which uses topic headings or bullets to define the different segments...


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