Mar 25, 2010

Romancing Erotica

What I'm Reading: Angels' Blood by Nalini Singh
Listening to: Muse
Watching: Computer screen. Earlier: So You Think You Can Dance
Making Me Smile: Acceptance email today for Ice Cold Lover

With my first contemporary short KALLIE REVEALED coming out next month (April 20th) through Ellora's Cave, I wanted to talk erotica writing and what I've learned in the process.
I've learned writing erotica is *not* easy. In fact, love scenes that are full of emotion, that are visually graphic (and I don't just mean eliminating purple prose here, readers want vivid details, want to live the sex) and are just a little bit different to the many other intimate scenes out there in fiction land, can make you want to tug your hair out.
I've also discovered, for me at least, that though these scenes are the most challenging part of my writing, they're the most rewarding too, if done right (gulp!)
Let's face it, without great, explicit and believable love or sex scenes in an erotica, it really isnt erotica, and I, as a writer, have not only lost my readers expectations, but have failed in my job as an erotic author.
Damn - I'm scaring myself!!!
In KALLIE REVEALED I toyed a little beyond a hero/heroine love scene with f/f and m/f group sex. Although it wasn't heavy I still wanted the scene to be integral to the heroine's inner growth, wanted her journey to become one of self-empowerment and acceptance after a devestating event rocked her world and took away not only her joy for life, but a love for herself.
If there'd been no character development for my heroine, in my mind, her having gratuitous sex wouldn't have raised the act much above porn, and I'd have found myself uncomfortable writing it...the words wouldn't have freely flown.
Of course, everyone has different beliefs, different ideas and different tastes. (How boring if we didn't!) What do you as a reader find a turn-off in a love scene?
To celebrate the release of KALLIE REVEALED, I'm giving away an e-copy to one lovely commentator =)


  1. I think character development is important too Mel - in all stories - including erotica. But for me it's too tough to write so I'll just read your story. :)

  2. Hi Eleni,
    thanks for your comment!
    ...Well I've talked the talk, not sure I've walked the walk (lol!)
    Ever feel that writing is one giant learning curve that never stops =)
    And you're right, character development is tough, and what works for one won't work for another.

  3. Hey Mel

    Yeah on the release of your Kallie Revealed.

    What an insight into you as an author you post is - amazing. Your own values shine through in it, and your integrity as an author - nice post!

    For me, in an erotic scene if the emotional attachment/connection is missing and it is (as the lovely Denise Rossetti likes to call it - just docking procedures,) then its a turn-off.

    Can't wait to read another Mel Tescho story!

    Bye 4 now

  4. Hey Mel,
    Liked your comments about character development and the challenges of writing erotica.

    Congratulations on your release. I love your cover.


  5. Hi Tina,
    aww, you're so sweet! thank you.
    I can thank the wonderful Rachel Bailey for opening my eyes to the need for developing emotions within my characters =)
    So I wholeheartedly agree with needing an emotional connection =)

  6. Hi Sue,
    thanks so much! And I agree with you, the cover is lovely =)

  7. Congrats on Kallie Revealed!
    I agree on the emotional requirement. That's what allows me to get involved and live through the heroine.

  8. Congratulations on your upcoming release of Kallie Revealed and the acceptance for Ice Cold Lover. Exciting times!

    I get put off by short, low tension erotic scenes. You know, where there's little lead up and it all happens too quick and for no apparent reason. The ones where it seems like after minimal foreplay and one thrust she's screaming from multiple orgasms. For me, they lack sensuality and emotional development and they're usually boring to boot.

    Congratulations again, Mel and thanks for the insight with your post. Excellent stuff.

  9. Hi Becca!
    Yes! And don't you just love those stories because they've pulled you in and made you feel everything!!? *blissful sigh*

  10. Hi Cathryn!
    Thank you =)
    I completely understand what you mean. In short erotic stories it can be more of a challenge, (leading up to event) but no excuse not to show the tension =)

  11. I get turned off in a love scene if it's too false/cliched/icky sweet. It's got to grab me, make my pay attention and hit all the emotion for the characters.

    When I was young I read a rape scene in a waterfall that I remember to this day. Wish I could remember the book - sadly I gave it to Dad to read, and he promptly burned it and made me watch! LOL! Rebellious teenager - no wonder I like writing erotica!

  12. Hi Catherine!
    Yes, not much worse than reading a love scene that feels like it shouldn't be there - esp a rape scene!!

  13. Congratulations on the release of Kallie Revealed, Mel! And YAY ofn you acceptance for ice Cold Lover!

    Turn off in a love scene for me is if it gets too tediously technical - so over-description of the physical element at the expense of the emotion! As Tina quoted from Denise Rossetti, turning it into a "docking procedure"

    Great blog!

  14. Hey Sharon!
    thanks for the congrats =)
    You're so right about the physical mechanics all being there but the emotions getting left behind. As Denise also says, "emotion emotion emotion!"

  15. Aw, thanks for the kind words above, Mel!

    I agree with everyone else above about how flat a 'docking procedure' comes across. Luckily there are heaps of great erotica writers around!

    I think the good thing about your erotica, Mel, is that your characters are real and their situations are interesting. The fact that they're smokin' is just icing. =)

  16. Hey Rach!
    You're so right, there's some brilliant erotica writers out there.
    And thanks for your lovely comment! =)

  17. Hard to know if it was erotica I was reading but I read a shapeshifter/erotica once that had him in tiger form during most of the sex scenes. They really added nothing except to gross me out and I discovered a line I wouldn't cross! I'm okay with partially shifted where there's still a decent number of human parts but fully shifted bothers me.

    And it bothered me more that the author hadn't researched tiger biology because there are a heap of anatomical reasons you really don't want to have sex with a male tiger. Just ask a female one...

    Great post Mel. Sorry I'm so late... posting and me didn't work this week until today... go figure!

  18. hey Nikki,
    yes I can't say the idea turns me on - it would have to be a beautifully written to humanise it and make it work (is that possible??) And LOL on the ah, tiger, bits - ouch!!
    so glad it's working for you today, think there were a few troubles with it for some reason or another =(