I am trying to get myself back to regular blogging, and one thing I think will help is having some regular features. So every Tuesday I'm going to share something I've learned about erotica writing based on my writing for the past 15 years and editing for the past 10. I'll do my best to make them practical. Of course, this is my utterly subjective POV and you are welcome to take or ignore or vehemently disagree with my advice. These are things that have worked for me or things I've noticed from other people's work. They aren't all going to work for everyone, but if you're like me and often get stuck in coming up with plots or characters or figuring out what the next step is with your erotica, these may give you a little boost.
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Now, I don't mean that every time you write erotica there should be three or more people. Two people, or even one, are more than enough for good erotica. But I've found that after writing dozens of two person stories, sometimes I want to add a little more to the action; I want those "extra" characters to help drive the action. There are some major advantages for the writer of adding a person:
more drama - who is the third (or fourth/fifth/etc.) person? are there three or more single people joining forces, or a solo person joining a couple? If it's a solo person with a couple, whose POV is the story told from? How did they all get together? Was it spontaneous or very well planned?
more emotion, more POVs - whether they are polyamorous, swingers, first time threesome enjoyers, the emotional stakes are often higher. You can tell the story in first person, second or third, as always, but either way you go, there's more people to take into consideration. If it's a couples with person A and person B getting it on with person C, told from person A's point of view, A gets to observe B and C, interact with each and see how they interact with each other. Maybe person A thinks they know everything about B, but learns something new about them they'd never considered even after a long time together by watching them with C. I think here is where three or more people can truly add to the stakes of a story like this.
more physical description - you're adding at least two eyes, two hands, two nipples, two ears, etc. to the mix, so you have more room, plus if you've got, say, three people, there are so many more possible permutations to the physical action); voyeurism and exhibitionism - this is practically built into the story when there's more than two people, and can be played up to the hilt; teasing/talking about one of the characters to another - with two people, of course there are plenty of dirty talk opportunities, but with three or more, you can talk about someone right to their face, tease them by discussing them as an object, play up their helplessness or their power; two people can tag team dirty talk a third. There's really endless room for the kinds of conversations that may ring false with just two people.
your story stands out - unless you're writing for a specific menage or multiple partner market, if you make your characters polyamorous or swingers or simply solo sexy folks who get together in some fashion, you're making your piece stand apart from those writing about two people. This isn't some magic bullet that will get your piece published, but it is a way to possibly stand out and also could lead to future writings. In the above example, maybe your first story is from person A's POV, but a future story deals with that same couple but is from person B's POV.
To see an example from my writing, check out the excerpt of my sexy, sadistic dom with two subs (and a bonus one for the sake of the story) tale "Dual Mastery" at Tamsin Flowers' Superotica Avent Calendar. The story is from Best Bondage Erotica 2014 which you can read in print or ebook or listen to: