Thinking of taking part in NaNoWriMo? If you’re a fan of the recent boom in erotic stories and erotic romance in general then chances are your story will have some sexy scenes. Although these are great fun to write, they can also be notoriously difficult, even for otherwise bestselling authors. If you don’t believe me, check these out;
How not to do it – the Bad Sex
Every year in the UK the Literary Review gives out its Bad Sex in Fiction award. To give you a few examples, here are a few (anonymous)
snippets from winners and runners-up in recent
I was immersed in the slush of her moist
‘She began to gasp. "Oh dear, oh my dear, oh my dear dear God, oh sugar!"’
The bed shook and bounced and walked tiny fractions across the moving
His manhood had swelled to its fullness and strove for release.
A freshly made ear and a freshly made vagina look very much alike.
…these sorts of gyrations and five-sense
Believe it or not these phrases are all from best-selling authors in genres ranging from literary, romance, thriller and mystery.
So…how do you do it? Well, I don’t pretend to be an expert, and one person’s sexy scene is another person’s turn-off, but as a full time writer
of erotic romance I’m happy to share some of the tips I’ve learnt along the way.
Below are a few extracts from my forthcoming writing guide, Passionate Plots, to help you along the way.
Erotic language and creating your own
One of the hardest problems for writers wrestling with erotic scenes, especially those fairly new to this, is what to call things? Specifically, body parts. Personally I prefer to call a spade a spade. Or a cock, a cock. It’s certainly preferable to euphemisms such as ‘manhood’ (though these may have a place in historical settings where the characters would have used those terms) or overly anatomical terms (frenulum) and most readers will be turned off or in fits of giggles if you start talking about his manly weapon or the delicate, dewy petals of her lady
Having said that, straight to the point words such as ‘cock’ and 'pussy’ may be deemed as too pornographic or even offensive to the reader. Which
leaves the writer in a bit of a bind.
There are two approaches to this. Firstly, use words that are direct but not too explicit or anatomical. Here a few ideas.
Head (of penis)
Cleft (vagina or vulva)
Use these words in a direct manner without adding flowery adjectives – so no tumescent shafts or pearly nubs – and you can’t go too far wrong. If you don’t like these words, find some of your own. Keep a little
notebook to build up your own erotic vocabulary, and you’ll soon have a list of words and phrases to use when you want to change the heat levels or substitute one word for another simply to avoid repetition. ‘Shaft’ instead of ‘cock’ for
There’s also another approach. Don’t name the genitals at all. Consider the sentence he slid inside
her, masking her gasp. It’s explicit, to the point, and quite sexy. Yet no names have been used, because we don’t need them. We know exactly what he is
sliding where. Similar expressions would be
He entered her
She rode his body
She caressed his length
He pushed his fingers into her
As he tasted her, he looked up wickedly from between her thighs.
Try some phrases of your own, see how other authors do it, and record the phrases you like. Then have a go at writing a few sentences with
each. You’ll have the outline of a steamy scene before you know it.
You can read the rest of this article, including ways to spice up your sex scenes using the five senses, at
No, not Movember....but NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month. I have to confess its the first year I've actually taken part. I'm planning to use this month to get cracking on the sequel to my YA novel 'Unconditional' which I'm calling 'Unbreakable' to be followed by 'Untouchable' next year. Each part of the trilogy follows the love story of one of three friends, and 'Unbreakable' is Rianne's story. Unlike the virginal history buff Ashley, heroine of 'Unconditional' Rianne is a teenage mother with a dark past, who finds herself caught between the sexy but dangerous Heath and reliable Mitch. I'm really excited about this story, but because it contains some darker elements which draw on similar experiences of my own, I've been struggling to get started. So I'm going to throw myself in to NaNoWriMo and 'just do it!'
NaNoWriMo isn't just for professional/published authors but for anyone with a story in them - which pretty much means all of us. Go to http://www.nanowrimo.org to sign up and join in the fun!
To celebrate Halloween and the forthcoming release of my YA book Unconditional, I've published a sexily sweet paranormal story 'A Different Type of Demon' FREE for three days over Halloween to Amazon Kindle, and as a ADDED BONUS it comes with the first chapter of Unconditional. Scarily good huh??! (cringy sales pun, I know...)
get it here
My first literary short story was shortlisted for the Writers Forum fiction comp, which I'm very pleased about as it was a new style of writing for me! Here is a sneak peek below, and you can read the rest on Wattpad....
My heels jab the pavement like knives. Any Normal Girl would be
balanced precariously in these boots, tottering unsteadily even without the
influence of alcohol or drugs, but I wear mine like weapons. One of the tools of
It’s cold out tonight, the wind lashing my thighs under the hem
of my ridiculously short skirt. Another tool. For practical purposes as well as
image; it makes for easy access. The other women are lined up the road like
soldiers, each inhabiting their own particular spot. We all look the same in the
We don’t talk to each other much. A few muttered words here and
there, the sharing of fags, and warnings of who to avoid. Nothing too personal.
There are certain things you never say to each other. No-one ever talks about
their families, or their pasts, and certainly not their dreams for the future.
Most of us know exactly what the future holds.
And then I see her. Normal Girl. Tottering down the pavement
From the distance she could easily be one of us; same outfit,
same big hair, too much make-up. Only when she comes closer would you be able to
see that she isn’t one of us, that she doesn’t have that grubby hollow-eyed look
about her, or any faded bruises not quite covered by cheap concealer, or
tell-tale marks in the crook of her arm. It’s her walk that gives her away. That
‘these shoes are killing me and where the hell am I?’
I don’t know why I do it. The other girls are looking at this
stranger in our ranks as if she might be a threat, a new worker trying to find a
patch, or as if she could be prey, with a well-padded purse to plunder. There’s
no reason for me to care. Especially about a Normal Girl, and a silly one at
that, too silly not to know that this isn’t a street you walk down on your own
late at night, swinging your expensive handbag like a
Yet I go up to her, smiling in a way that I hope looks friendly.
‘Got a fag?’ I say, in my most non-threatening manner. She looks
at me, her eyes a little unfocused, swaying on her part-time stilettoes. Her
lips are glossy, her teeth white and even. If I was in any doubt the teeth give
it away. None of us have teeth like that.
She reaches into her bag and pulls out a half empty packet of
fags and a lighter. In the dim glare of the street lights I see a packet of
condoms in her bag. This makes me smile. Another tool of the trade. Do Normal
Girls run through the same check list before they go out for a night on the
town? Heels, check, short skirt, check, condoms, check. I wonder if she has a
pen knife tucked into her boots too; you can’t be too careful these
‘Are you ok?’ I ask. She looks at me in surprise, then looks
around and frowns. I see a light dawn in her eyes as she takes in her
surroundings and the faces looking at her. She takes a step back, the fag packet
still held out in front of her. I take one before she changes her
‘I was looking for the taxi rank,’ she says, leaving the rest if
the sentence unspoken, yet hanging in the air between us,
I didn’t mean to end up here.
‘It’s back that way,’ I wave my arm vaguely. She doesn’t take
the cue to leave but just stands there staring, then passes me her lighter. I
light my fag, glancing back over my shoulder to see the others looking in our
direction, having all moved a little closer together. Them and us. I belong over
there. Yet something in Normal Girl’s face gives me an inexplicable urge to make
sure she is okay. There is something unsullied about her, in spite of the
condoms in her bag and the smell of cheap wine coming off
A car crawls past, its headlights sweeping over me, and I wonder
what she sees. It carries on, equally slowly, and I don’t need to look back over
my shoulder to know that the others will have stood to attention, forgetting
about us for the moment. I look again at Normal Girl and make my
‘Come on, I’ll show you the way to the taxi rank.’ I walk past
her and she follows me, falling into step so that we’re walking side by side,
both in our short skirts, pulling on our cigarettes. Normal
She keeps giving me little sideways glances, both nervous yet
curious. Like she wants to ask questions but is worried I might turn on her,
steal her handbag and pretty jewellery and disappear into the shadows with the
others, who will of course have seen and heard nothing. On another night that
might be my intention but for reasons I can’t explain, that’s not the case
‘I don’t know my way around here,’ she says unnecessarily, then
more surprisingly, ‘I’ve not been out clubbing
‘Why are you on your own?’ I shouldn’t ask, shouldn’t get
involved, but I find myself wanting to know.
‘My friend left me. She went off with some
‘Crap friend,’ I say. She nods. I wonder about the condoms in
her bag, and decide they’re just for effect, to look cool in front of the
obviously more experienced friend. Some of the girls up the street don’t even
bother to carry them anymore but me, I’m still careful. Still trying to preserve
my health in the hope I get a chance to be something else one day. That’s how I
know there’s still a little bit of a Normal Girl left in me
We get to the end of the road that will lead her back into town
to the taxis and I point out the way. I should take her all the way maybe, but
she got this far on her own and besides, I’m losing money walking her around.
‘You’ll be okay from here.’
‘Thank you.’ She looks like she means it, her eyes all wide and
grateful, like a rescued puppy. I shrug. It’s no big
Then her face crumples a
Finally...the cover image for my first YA romance 'Unconditional...' will be published by Lodestone in print and ebook 28th February 2014. So excited!!! Here's the back cover copy...
A boy like Joe, fresh out of prison and 'from the wrong side of town', is out of bounds...especially for straight ‘A’ grade college student Ashley, but she can't seem to keep away. He's the one that she wants, and she wants him to be her 'first'...but at what cost? With her family acting mysteriously and her friends turning against her, Joe seems to be the only person she can turn to, but can she really rely on him...or herself?
'A sweet, yet sizzling hot YA romance that had me feeling like I was seventeen and experiencing first love all over again.' Kirsty Moseley, bestselling YA author of Free Falling
I'm excited to say I've just got a contract for my first full length paranormal romance, 'The Lady is a Vamp' with Silver Press. When asked for any images I had in mind for my main characters that I would like to be kept in mind for the cover design, I had to use the one on the left for no nonsense alpha male New York cop Nick. Yum!!! Ideas for Ruby and for the cover pose are below, and the story's set to be the first in a series. In fact, I'm working on the second as we speak...
Ruby in full vamp mode
Pose I like for the cover....
Just what is it about a Regency hero that is so sexy? I must admit when I was first asked to write a Regency romance I rolled my eyes a little. I’ve never been a huge fan of Jane Austen – shock horror for a romance writer, but I write on the erotic side of the romance genre, and that period always brings to mind tea in china cups and old ladies in crinoline. Not very sexy, surely.
The more I dug into the period though, the more I realised why it remains a popular era for readers of hot and steamy romance. The erotic potential was spine-tingling, in fact. It was a time when handsome men in tight breeches danced under the stars with women who had never been kissed, while beautiful courtesans were the toast and talk of the town. A time of men fighting duels to the death to defend the women they loved, of notorious gambling halls, decadent fashion, daring revolutions and whispers of scandal. If I had to sum the period up in one word it would be this; juicy.
And the men! Pirates, spies, smugglers and highwaymen…this was the ultimate age of the bad boy. So, pen in hand and those hot guys in tight breeches firmly on my mind, I sat down to write my first Regency romance. Blushing courtesans, mysterious highwaymen, duels at dawn and a lot of steamy erotic scenes. It’s the most fun I’ve ever had with my clothes on. Here’s a little sneak peek of ‘The Virgin Courtesan’ out in ebook 1st October with Harlequin Books. Enjoy….
As a writer of both erotic fiction and erotic memoir, the lines
between the two can often become blurred. All memoir, even though it is ‘true’
is tweaked and filtered to fit a coherent narrative and while it may be truth it
is a subjective truth. Certainly with erotic experiences; we may be feeling
something completely different to how other participants remember the
of course is ‘made up’ yet most writers whether consciously or unconsciously
write from the ground of their own experiences and knowledge. Certainly when
writing sex scenes, which is why it’s often especially difficult to write an
erotic scene from the perspective of another gender! In fact in my upcoming
writing guide, ‘Passionate Plots’ published by Compass Books late 2013, I
include a writing exercise that uses memory to craft a sex scene for writer’s
new to the genre. Our own experiences are always a good starting point when it
comes to writing erotic scenes. The beauty of fiction however is the reader
doesn’t know which experiences are or aren’t your own. Of course, if you’re
writing good fiction then the reader will be too immersed in the characters to
think of the author at all. You can let your imagination go where it pleases. I
recently wrote an erotic scene involving oral sex in a stable with a cowboy.
Although I used my own sexual experiences as a springboard, creativity took over
from there, as – unfortunately – I have yet to have sex in a stable with a
cowboy! I love writing paranormal and historical erotic romance in particular as
I can take real flights of fancy.
When it comes to writing memoir, it’s a very different process.
As the writer you’re constrained to a certain degree by the facts as you see
them, and this leads to a spiralling inwards rather than a creative leap –
digging down right into your own dreams and memories and feelings. Although I
found writing my memoir ‘Wicked Games’ a cathartic process, it was also an
unsettling one that left me feeling vulnerable. There’s no hiding behind your
characters when you are in fact the character! It’s tempting to gloss over the
most revealing parts, but that often takes away from the intensity of the scene.
Erotic memoir is very popular at the moment, although as a genre
it’s nothing new; in fact we get our word ‘pornography’ from the Ancient Greek
‘pornographia’ which means the ‘writings of prostitutes’ referring to memoirs
that popular courtesans of the period often wrote to entice future clients – and
probably, in time honoured girl talk tradition, share with each other too! Anais
Nin’s erotic memoirs became literary classics, in stark contrast to today’s
somewhat patronising ‘mommy porn’ labels.
Erotica as a genre is so enduring because all of us to some
degree like stories and like sex. Put them together and you’re onto a winner.
Erotic memoir, as distinct from its fictional counterpart, is I believe so
popular because it gives us the forbidden feeling of delving into someone else’s
most personal thoughts and deeds. It’s almost an act of voyeurism, and that’s
partly what makes it so hot for the reader and sometimes unsettling for the
writer; it’s like inviting the world into your bedroom. Of course as the writer
you can pick and choose what to include, but leave too much out and it will feel
inauthentic to the reader. Include everything, and you feel as though you’re
walking around naked.
Often when writing ‘Wicked Games’ I struggled with including
particular scenes that left me feeling raw, yet I knew would be brilliant for
the book. More often than not I included them, and I think that feeling of being
exposed made the writing better. I do wish my friends wouldn’t insist on reading
parts of the book aloud when we’re in a public place
Of course there’s the option to ‘fictionalise’ a real encounter;
I recently published a piece of ‘flash fiction’ that was originally a journal
entry, and very real, but with longer pieces this can mean losing out on two
counts. The writing lacks the appeal of being a memoir, but is more constrained
than fiction. My advice to anyone considering memoir is just do it, but consider
leaving the country afterwards.
Having said that, I’ve found that if you tell people you write
erotica, no matter how fictional your work, they will still assume you have
indeed had all the experiences you write about. So I would just like to take
this chance to state; the scene in the sex club with a pack of shape shifters?
Most definitely fiction. Mostly….