And here I’m talking about being too wordy. Prolixity. (I just stuck that in to show off. I only found out what it means five minutes ago.)
When you learn about writing you are encouraged to describe, to bring to life images and places and scenes through vibrant word painting. You read rich, elaborate descriptions by great novelists and you think, ‘I have to be like that.’
It took me a while to realise that, no, sometimes I don’t have to be like that. And when it comes to erotica, it’s often better if it isn’t like that.
Fair enough, there are times when you do need to be more verbose and indulgent in order to imbue the scene with a rich sensuality. But when it comes to creating an effective mind picture for your reader, sometimes less is indeed more. The urgency of sex needs to be reflected in the urgency of the writing.
The terminology we use in erotica is a good example. When I first started writing, posting my pieces nervously on the internet, feeling I lacked identity as a writer, I strove to find many different terms for anatomical parts. I used them all.
Take, for example, the cock.
I’ve used a few of these in my time: love shaft, pole, handle, manhood, meat and even … penis (how flaccid can you get?).
It took me a while to call a cock a cock.
Cock is one of the most satisfying and wonderful words in the English language (second only to fuck) – why waste it?
Go on. Say it out loud. You know you want to. And it feels so good.
Not only does the word itself trip off the tongue and teeth so perfectly, it also sounds appropriate. It’s almost onomatopoeic, if you can have onomatopoeic nouns.
The same is true for sex generally. There will be genres and situations which require a different style, but, essentially, I’d rather call it as it is.
Here’s a little extract. I wish I had more published works to choose from. In my amateur incarnation I have hundreds of thousands of words, but I’m still a fledgling with regard to bona fide publishing. Anyway, this roughly fits the bill; there’s little beating around the bush here. (What?)
It’s from my story, ‘Willing Spirit, Hungry Flesh’, published by Xcite Books in the Santa’s Hot Secrets anthology (also to be found in A Seasonal Victorian Spanking). In it, we meet Emma, who has taken herself off to an isolated cottage at Christmas. She’s not alone for long – the cottage is haunted. But the ghost of the World War One army officer who appears is gorgeous and pleasingly palpable. Emma is only too happy to welcome him in.
Emma was lost; her orgasm hurtled forward unstoppably. ‘Fuck, coming!’ Pleasure shook her limbs, forcing out a wail.
He barely paused for breath. ‘I’m taking you from behind. Kneel.’
If his dominance surprised her, she didn’t question it. She wouldn’t argue with this officer. Strong hands tugged her over and pushed her shoulders onto the bed, propelling her arse high in the air.
She could hear his breathing rapid and fast behind her and the slicking of his hand over his cock as he primed it for entry.
‘It’s going to be hard and fast this time, Emma. I can’t hold back.’
‘Just fuck me.’
Gripping her hips hard in his hands, Harry positioned his cock and thrust. The air was expelled from her with a grunt. He had filled her to the hilt in one go, forcing her into the pillows. ‘Do it again.’
He did. Pulling back, almost falling out, he ploughed back into her with a primal moan. ‘Hell, you’re tight. Fuck! That is glorious!’
Emma grinned. Even if he was an Edwardian officer and a gentleman, she could still break his composure.
I know, I know, it’s April and this is set at Christmas, yes, but that’s not particularly significant to the story. And anyway, if you’re in Britain, it’s still so fucking cold that it may as well be midwinter!
Oh, and here are some links: