Writing erotica in an interesting journey, but one I’m glad I took. I chose this genre for my first attempts at novel writing because of the theme I wanted to work with. I’ve already written about this topic in another post, “This Is Erotically Insane.” However, I’ve been reading erotica on and off for many years, and I must admit I like reading for sensual pleasure when I’m in the mood–and I don’t have a headache!
At any rate, I do get the comments of “Why are you writing in that category?” “Why don’t you write something else?” “Can you not write about anything else but sex?” The list goes on. Even one person very close to me said that they wished I’d write in another category so I wouldn’t have to keep my writing such a big secret. I can’t blame that comment there, because it’s true, I do keep a lot of this writing secret from my family, friends, and co-workers.
When other people are promoting their book in my writer’s group, I feel I usually have to bow out due to the genre in which I write. But the big question is: If I had it to do all over again, would I choose to start out in another genre? Well, not really. After all, I could have just started out in another genre in the first place. And what’s interesting is that many authors who write in a particular category seem to try their hand at erotica at some point in their career. I’ve often wondered why they chose to do that, and I’m sure the answer is simple: they want to try their hand in another completely different category.
Contrary to popular belief, writing erotica isn’t an easy way out. I’d love nothing better than to trounce anyone who thinks or says such a thing. Writing a novel is writing a novel, no matter what category you choose. In science fiction and fantasy, you have all kinds of machines, world-building, and magical things to create, and languages to boot. In mysteries and thrillers, you have the gotcha moments and action-packed scenes to create. When incorporating wars into your work, you have to plan the battles and who’s doing what, where, when, and how.
In erotica, you’ve got to try to weave an interesting story while incorporating sex scenes, and on top of that, if sex is actually the driving force in your story, then the challenge is even greater to create a story that’s interesting and titillating. So please have some respect for those who write erotica. They’re no less than other authors just because they choose to write more about carnal pleasures.
So what about all of you readers out there? Do you think Erotica is a lesser category than other genres? Do you think this genre will ever hit mainstream markets like Romances, Mysteries, and Science Fiction and Fantasies have? Feel free to tell me what you think!
Great post and as an writer of erotica and other kinds of stories, I agree with you: writing a novel is writing a novel no matter what genre you choose to write in. You have to write an erotic tale just well as any other kind of story or you will lose your readers.
I too keep a lot of people in the dark about my erotic novels, for a variety of reasons. When I do choose to tell people the reactions very from very interested and impressed to my favorite “Oh…so you write dirty books.” sigh…that one really bugs me…
Thanks for commenting, ivybmisbehavin! I’m glad I’m not alone on this. Yes, people are either impressed, disgusted, or laugh at you. And sometimes I hear my mother’s voice in my head, “Yeah, you’d rather be writing dirty books than working or doing something productive. 🙁
Oh! That’s a bit harsh! What I hear when I think of my mother is “So I bought one of your books…” gah! She liked it though! She’s very supportive. And speaking of VERY, I should have typed that the reactions VARY and not VERY. My 11 year old is better at grammar than I am…sigh…
Have a good one!