Saturday, January 21, 2012


I have been determined to read genres that I don’t usually read. I stumbled across Brava books and began reading erotic romance, both contemporary and paranormal. (Most definitely out of my reading comfort zone.) I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. The plots were great and the stories entertaining. I’m always interested in other writers’ styles, their thoughts and their writing process, so when I stumbled across Writing Erotic Romance by Alison Kent, I couldn’t resist borrowing a copy from the library.

Alison Kent says:

I find the number-one telling difference between traditional romance and erotic romance is that characters in erotic romance tend to fall into bed and then fall in love.

PLOT: Establishing motives, goals and conflict. A character’s outward desire (goal) and the exterior force behind it (motive) create the momentum of the external plot. Both the desire and the force behind it must be clearly defined, as together they will push the character into making choices and taking action. Throwing obstacles (conflict) between a character and his goal makes for compelling fiction, as it gives readers a hero to root for. Once you’ve established your character’s external goal and motive, you can then have fun deciding how to tell his or her story.

It’s not the position or the location that makes the scene erotic or edgy. It’s what’s at stake for the characters, the risks they’re taking, the conflict to which they’re closing their eyes that sends such a consummation scene into envelope-pushing territory.

Use sharp evocative words and short sentences to give a scene a sense of urgency. Longer descriptive sentences that employ more adjectives or metaphors will give a languorous quality to a dreamy or sensual scene.

Of course some of the good advice Alison Kent gives here can apply to all genres. Well, now for a change of genre, I’m off to read an action thriller - By the Light of the Moon by Dean Koontz.

Keep writing… and reading!


  1. It's easy to keep reading the same kind of thing, isn't it? Whenever I go to the library I make a point of selecting something at random that I wouldn't otherwise have looked at. Often I don't get very far with these, but I've discovered a few new favourite authors that way. Who knows, my next random choice might even be paranormal erotica!

  2. Hello Diane. Thought I'd mosey over and say hello. I'm glad I did. Interesting post. From the outside looking in, I think it helps a writer to read things off their own beaten track. Anything that widens the horizons has to be good, especially if it gives writers other options when playing God with their characters.

    (I'm going to try very hard now, to shake the image from my mind, of Patsy flying across the sky aboard a fire-breathing phallus.)

  3. That was very interesting, thanks Diane.
    I think I will be getting a copy of Alison Kent's book to broaden my views on writing erotic romance.

  4. Hello Patsy. Somehow I have a feeling you won't be disappointed. :-)

    Thank you for dropping by 'A man called Valance' and leaving a comment. Smiling at the image you presented of Patsy. :-)

    Hi Carol - You are welcome. I am finding changing my reading habits not only has opened my eyes to the different genres (with interest) but is helping my writing too.

    I appreciated all your comments. Thank you people x

  5. Interesting post, Diane - it's funny how different people are talking about erotica writing just now. Your advice is great. I don't tend to read (or write) anything remotely like erotica, but I don't mind the occasional steamy scene if it happens naturally within a good story and suits the characters. At least you're making us think!

  6. Hi Diane. It's lovely to meet another writer who also likes to read other people's work. We can learn such a lot from reading. You have reminded me that I haven't read a Dean Koontz book for a long time. Must give him another go.

  7. This is why I joined a reading group Diane, and I have read lots of varied stuff since. I read at least 2-3 books a month now and am working my way through the recommended reading lists. Haven't tried erotica though.

  8. Rosemary - Thank you so much :-)

    Valerie - Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment. I do agree, we can learn so much from reading. I'm half way through Dean Koontz's 'By the light of the Moon' - it's so good! I like the spooky bits but wasn't expecting the humour in it.. never thought I'd be laughing as I read a Koontz book.

    Maggie May - Thank you for leaving a comment. I can see the benefits of being in a reading group. Various books take you on many different journeys, which in itself is enjoyable and I believe beneficial to enhance our writing knowledge/skills as well. We can learn so much from different writers - some things work for us and some things don't. :-)

  9. Nice, i like the practical part to writing here...and reading outside your genre is great as well because still you are learning which makes you a much more well rounded writer...

  10. Hello Brian and thank you for visiting my blog and leaving a comment. I appreciate that. You made a very good point too about reading outside your genre and becoming a much more well rounded writer. Cheers :-)

  11. Thank you for that sound advice. I have a large collection of difference genre by bed as I enjoy trying new authors as well as difference genre

  12. Hi Jarmara. Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment. Good point about trying new authors too - we learn many things about various writing styles and what may or may not work for us. :-)

  13. Very nice blog...great posts.

    NEW follower.

    I am stopping by from the Top Writing Blog competition.

    Just wanted to say hello. This is a great way to find new blogs and visit ones you haven't visited in a while. :)

    Elizabeth - Silver's Reviews

  14. Hello and welcome Elizabeth. Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment. (And a lovely comment at that!) I will go over and and visit your blog. :-)