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Today was a difficult day

September 9, 2011

When I started research for erotica I read erotica short stories and sex manuals for hours. Six to eight hours each day. Sometimes longer. It got so bad that I started to push a pillow against my mouth and just screamed. Explanation for the pillow: My place has thin walls. People hear my voice and think I am talking to imaginary people, only I can see. To any of my neighbors reading this: You are completely, 100% right. That’s precisely what I do! I scream into the pillow so they don’t call the cops thinking I have gone completely ape-shit now.

At the beginning that happened every two days, or just about every ten times I described someone’s genitals.

Today it was three times. My erotica writing is down to a snail pace. I am down to 400 words per hour.

Now understand that I am not whining about this. I would chew broken glass if I was convinced it would make me a better writer. I just wanted to inform you that I made the informed business decision to take a couple days off, to get some distance, take a new approach. Find something to like about writing erotica. Hell I could crank off a four thousand word science fiction short story right now without breaking a sweat, even after a day like this.

Erotica is what sells. Making a living at writing fiction is a privilege that needs to be earned. That was the only hole in my logic: 308 short stories does not seem that hard anymore, but 300 stories of erotica… This will require some serious mental restructuring.

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9 Comments
  1. Why not do both? If you want to take a break from writing erotica, then write SF or something and then go back to the day job writing of erotica. I think Lawrence Block did this, too, to keep himself fresh. So take that leaf from his book and run with it.

    You can always reconsider your goal to write all 308 stories in erotica; unless your erotica is selling in beaucoup numbers, why kill yourself writing it when you’d rather be writing something else?

    I write all over the place, and it’s not just because I like to read all over the map. My brain would mutiny otherwise. I write what I want to at the time, and sometimes, not even then.

    Write some SF, or erotica infused with SF, or whatever tickles your fancy.
    I’ll only hold you to the 308 stories in a year. ;) Stories don’t just sell based on genre. In fact, re-read “you have to write what’s hot” by Dean Wesley Smith!

    http://www.deanwesleysmith.com/?p=5231

    “The Myth: “To sell either to editors or on Kindle, you must write what is hot.”

    This myth kills careers, this myth stops thousands and thousands of book sales, this myth destroys careers.”

    Yep, I definitely call you on having your head in a myth on this one. :-)

    • I agree and disagree on me believing in this myth. I disagree, because this is not some “put a vampire into it”-meme. Erotica really has outsold SF since the first reader started paying the first writer for fiction. I agree, because this a sub-optimal approach to writing.

      I am taking a short break on the erotica, but I already have enough stories in the pipeline and will continue writing them before breaking the chain. I will set up a page explaining my reasoning behind the 308 stories of (mostly) erotica, which I think will shed some light on all this madness. :-)
      The real problem I had was just taking a wrong approach. And then taking the wrong approach more aggressively when the word count slowed down.

      • Fair enough point on the genre sales difference, but then, there’s that Stephen King quote. :D

        What DO you write when you’re not writing erotica, anyway? SF? I guess you’ll explain on the stories page.

        I’d be interested to see a postmortem on what your wrong approach was, too. I’d rather learn from your misstep than learn it via myself. LOL.

        (and yeah, bad idea to take notes “in media res”, or at the heat of the moment, in that instance and in general. (g) Take mental notes and work on strengthening those memorization skills. (trying to say this with a straight face, btw. LOL!)

      • Lots of time to talk about that, when I found one that works better. :-P
        Stay tuned.

  2. Also, DUDE. That is a lot of research! Mad props.

  3. Johannes permalink

    Just do some more filed research.

    • Fun fact: Girls don’t appreciate it when you break off of them while making out in bed, to get your notebook and scribble something down.
      No-so-fun fact: That was not a hypothetical example. ;-P

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