Writing sexytimes

It’s ok, I’m not using any of the words. You can read this at work.

So I spent most of Sunday writing erotica (porn? smut? SEXYTIMES!) and was having a think about how I write, and how it definitely isn’t as sexy to write as to read. My writing process usually ends up as something like the following…

Write words.

Think of scene. That’s good – oh wait. That makes no sense. Go back and put extra detail in.

Write some more words.

Try to work out why the hell a manipulative, lying bastard would freely hand out information. Decide his boss told him to. Go back and add some more detail.

Work out a rough plot for the next few scenes.

Someone forgot to take their trousers off. Dammit. Go back and add extra detail.

Spend 15 minutes puzzling how three sets of genitals fit together.

Spend another 15 minutes puzzling how to explain that on paper.

Write more words. That’s pretty intense – oh wait, no, that doesn’t work…

Delete words.

Try to work out what the best words for things are without too much repetition.

Write words. Delete words. Write different words.

Decide I have a fixation with hair in my writing. Go back and change a few things.

Wonder why on earth I write this stuff. Does my brain like challenges?

Get to the end. Re-read.

Write more words to fill in some of the plot holes and problems that I missed the first time round.

Delete words.

Write more words.

Realise I’ve written 7000 words. HOW?


I suppose that erotica does have a certain mindset to want to write, but it isn’t usually “horny” – it’s usually a flash of an image in my head, followed by “huh, that does fit with the character – now how do they get into that situation?”. The motivation has to be as good as for any other action – if you wouldn’t walk down a dark alley with a lying bastard, why would you end up in bed with him? Particularly when you already know he’s a lying bastard? (Hint: in this case, he’s got something you want. Plus, he’s an honest lying bastard.)

To be frank, I like writing erotica. It’s not something I get to write in Greensky (not that it doesn’t happen, I just don’t see the point in that world) and so I enjoy it when I can find an outlet in another world. Erotica’s actually quite hard to write in addition to being a lot of fun; it’s a mix of action, emotion and thoughts all bundled in together – and particularly when you have to get all three right for the piece to work. I also find that transitions are important, and details are more important than the sex – I prefer to hint than to explain. And most people have enough imagination to fill in the, er, blanks *cough* *cough*.

But, let’s face it, it is porn. It is meant to be sexy and hot and raw. Some of the images in my head make me blush. Some of them do turn me on. But – and this is the thing that always makes me grin, and decide that I am definitely a writer – whatever emotion I’ve got from a particular image or scene always gets pushed aside about three seconds later with the mental monologue of “Oh for heaven’s sake what’s the word and that sentence still doesn’t flow right and what do you mean he’s still got his trousers on?!”

Writing erotica is one hell of a lot of fun, but it definitely ain’t as sexy as it sounds!

Author: kate

Kate Coe is an editor, book reviewer and writer of fiction & fantasy. She writes the sparkpunk GreenSky series and blogs at writingandcoe.co.uk. When she's not working, she fills her spare time in between writing with web design, gaming, geeky cross-stitch and DIY (which may or may not involve destroying things). She also reads far fewer books that she would like to, but possibly more than she really has time for.