Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Small Things I've Learnt As An Erotic Romance Writer: Part 2

Yeah, there's a part two. I didn't just pull that first one out of my ass, you know. I've seriously beardedly considered this series of lectures, and I have a pointer and a podium and everything. And now I'm going to pull more things out of my ass, and point at them with my podium.

So, the subject of today's deadly serious lesson on important things: epithets.

And by that I don't mean a cute name for something, like "man's best friend". I mean, don't use loads of daft epithets when you're writing M/M or M/M/F, because you've used he too many times and it's getting confusing. You've just accidentally told the reader that Man A has three arms, because you referred back to him instead of referring to Man B.

But even so, resist. You must resist. I know you don't want to use their names again. Using their names constantly can end up like this:

"Eugene stroked his fingers down her spine while Walter licked her shoulder. Walter kept licking, then Eugene pinched. Eugene and Walter pinched and licked until she was in a frenzy. She deserved to be punished, after all. Both Walter and Eugene were pretty pissed at her, because they knew she was secretly the author's avatar, and the author had seen fit to give them non-sexy names like Walter and Eugene."

Which no-one wants. But even so. Resist using daft epithets. Stay away from:

"The skillful neurosurgeon ran his finger over the courageous pilot's spine."

I mean, what? What? I'm trying to enjoy a sexy story here. The last thing I want to read about is something that sounds like surgery going wrong. I mean, I'm pretty sure that neurosurgeon is headed for a lawsuit of some kind. That courageous pilot is going to be pissed, when he wakes up.

Just use he. Use he, or their names. If you have to, stick with something simple, like:

"The taller man."

And remember, the more adjectives you use, the sillier it's going to sound.

"The taller, blond, tattooed man feathered kisses over the shorter, dark haired, non-tattooed man's rump."

Not even the word rump in that sentence can out-funny the insane epithets. But using he, their names, or just organising the action in such a way that the hes don't clash means you avoid all of this unintentional hilarity. If you're writing M/M/F or M/F/M or variations thereof, just stick the woman in between them. Have her do something, in the middle of them doing something. If you're writing M/M, have one of them think about something before the next action, or make sure each action that the hot dudes perform lasts a while.

Which sounds really basic, and like crappy advice. I dunno. I've probably got no idea what I'm rambling about. The beard's getting itchy and someone's drawn a giant ass on my whiteboard.



  1. You haven't addressed the gnarly problem of how many times you can say 'his cock' within a scene of more than one man...

  2. hm jo..didnt is truggled with that problem before??? all the cockcentered action caused by the fact that there where three of them???

  3. Jo- I think if someone's going with:

    His cock touched his cock and then his cock rubbed his cock and when he moved, his cock was touching the other cock.

    They're probably going wrong. I think at least five cocks would have to be removed from the above, in order for it to work. Writers have to vary their cocks. Throw in a few dicks, pricks, penises and wangs, people! But of course, no fleshy tools, purple headed flowers, staffs of love, swords of truth, etc.

    Danielle- Many cocks cause such terrible struggles. Wait...that didn't sound right...