X-rated or Erotica – one genre that is difficult to pen, there are chances that you write excellently well or just go so blunt that you wrote the worst piece ever that would totally shame you.
I am so conscious about this, because, my next flick is a contemporary romance with a bit of erotica playing around. Hence, I started reading good number of books that fall under contemporary, erotica, X-rated, etc… This gave a clear distinction of what a good erotica is from the bad, firstly, Indian writers fail in diction more often than not. They write screw worthy words instead of right kinky stuff. Erotica gives you the liberty to pen explicit content and 18+ details but nevertheless, you are not destined to write something creepy.
Here is what you should know if you are writing Erotica or have it subtly playing its part in the novel.
One best writer who scooped me off with Erotica is Heather M Miles. Extremely well-written erotica which is even better than fifty shades of grey according to me, X-rated is one genre that is seldom picked in Indian Writing Arena, or, rather people would don’t want the tag and stuff the patty to call it a romance burger.
Writing sex scenes are pretty much same alike other scenes, but, you have to write it with extreme caution because sex scenes are going to paint the scene and the reader should rather feel good (Aroused – the best) but never ever screw their face saying ‘Ewwww!’ you get that? Please play around words that would make one feel better. Research enough, or rather write subtle than to use details but please don’t use euphemisms that are laugh worthy.
You need not write every minute detail of the scene, don’t start off with him pushing her on the wall to the final dressing part, your readers are well-sex educated, and you need not teach them stuff. Write enough but don’t flesh out that would make the reader feel bad about reading it. Bear in mind – sex scenes are never skimmed but read word by word, so this is where you have ultimate control over your reader and you can use this time to show how good a writer you are.
Don’t make a normal guy – a super gigolo type or a college girl like a strip tease performer all of a sudden. Give them the right details; sculpt them enough if you’re going to use it as such.
Rather, best is to write down your fantasy. Sex scenes or erotica novels are supposed to turn the reader on; else, you have failed big time.
When writing it down, keep off the thoughts that you’re family is about to read this and feel terribly bad about you, which happens in most cases though! I am lucky, that my parents don’t read my book.
Recently, I happened to attend the book launch of Author Ravi Subramanian, and during the Q&A session when we asked about self-publishing and vanity publishing, he said “According to the recent research and statistics only 72 copies get sold on an average of a newbie Indian author among which 60 are bought by their own friends,” which is absolutely true in most of the cases.
Let’s take a sneak at the vanity publishing industry for instance:
I recently saw a video where a lady ties her cows near a temple, and sells fodder for those who visit the temple to buy and feed the cow. She owns the cows, she gets the fodder from her own garden, and though it is her duty to feed her cows she makes it her business model to make money, to feed her cows and also makes money selling the cow’s milk.
In vanity publishing,
Cow – your manuscript
Fodder – your money
Those who buy fodder to feed the cow – your friends who buys the book for you
Cow’s milk – Publisher’s profit
If you want me to be brutally honest, I would also say that you get the cow dung – Royalty.
Do you know? The vanity publishers feel damn shy to shout out loud that they are vanity publishers, they hide their identity with a term “self-publishing book platform”
What prompted me to write this post? – well the picture below
I had a few bad experiences during my transition from a novice writer to the person I am who knows the sad truth about the publishing industry.
If I were the one who talks without giving it a second thought, soon after reading that message, I would have replied:
How on Earth you call your book a best seller?
Who the F*** gave you the liberty to give it a tag like that?
Who published your sick book?
How much did you pay for those fake reviews?
I would actually go on and on. Most of these fall under the filthy rich, the sick who sucked in love and failed miserably, the I want to become famous greed bitten imbeciles. I would be more than happy to meet someone who doesn’t fall under this category, but unfortunately almost 60% of those sick newbies who Facebook search the word “Author”, join all the writers-authors related groups and add the authors available fall in this category.
The most disgusting part is the fake reviews and fake ratings! Worst? – Yes buying 100 copies of their own book on amazon to get a better rating. A few newbie authors want to be the “best seller” but none focuses on building a readership. A few wants the word “Author” before their name but are really not. A few just wants pictures by their friends holding the book on their timeline but don’t care a damn whether they read. And the best of all, a few claim that it is absolutely okay to publish a book with grammatical mistakes – do you have an answer for a person who would pick a book to enhance their grammatical skills? What if you teach the worst to them? – Why are you not ready to spend on a good editor than on marketing? All you want is a search result with 10 different links talking about you but are you really worth it, who on Earth would actually Google your name? Grow up!
Have you seen such ratings ever before?
There are a few who stick reading to authors outside India pointing out the miserably failed so called best-sellers. I don’t have an answer, being an author is painful, the tag is burdening.
I am not trying to pull down anyone here, am not offended by what you do but please aren’t we responsible to take Indian literature to the next level?
Please stop publishing your college love stories, your school encounters, making out with your friend’s girlfriend, etc.. Oh yeah, I hear you, who am I to say that? right! But please what are you actually giving back to the world? Your novel will have your name inscribed even after you. Do you really want to write a book that has a bit of sex, a sucking love story, a super stupid conversation over a coffee, an unnecessary accident, an uncalled for betrayal et al. All these stories are taken, these are said – please stop! Stop writing your teenage stories.
I would like to thank the Indian authors who don’t fall under any of the or most of the or many of these categories.
I repeat that this post is not to hurt anyone or even about anyone in particular. Am just another author but not a best seller, and my book is not one of the bestselling. At least, forget that am an author – as the one who reads and reviews books day in and out, I very well know the standards of the Indian books that are getting published. I respect the authors who have written good stories, and my reviews are honest indeed.
Please write a good story, take the traditional publishing route or self-publish by yourself. Please don’t spend your or your parent’s hard earned money to vanity publish. (I did vanity publish, as I had no leads to follow, I was ignorant about the traditional and self-publishing route) Please ask for mentoring from a proper author rather than blindly spending on vanity publishing.
I just wanted to plead the others not to run behind the tag or fame.
God save the industry, please!
About me and my debut: I self-published my debut novella via a vanity-publishing firm as I was ignorant enough to understand how waste of a money it was and that I missed my chance of using other publishing ways, I thought I should write this post.
My debut is not a best-seller, but a good book. I don’t throw my book’s cover time and again asking my friends to buy – I keep writing and I am building my readership. I don’t have good grammatical skills and diction – but I employ a good editor as I feel responsible.
I organized a meet for aspiring writers in Chennai to help them understand the pitfalls in the publishing industry as well.
If this post by chance hurts you or your ideology – please pardon me!
Explored few methods that would be of use to budding writers and authors. This was one of the agenda covered during the “Writer to Author – The Transition” event. 1) Snowflake Method
The age-old method, but powerful. The most debated as well, so just a gist of it here.
Write the Soul of the story in one line.
Build 10 or more sentences that covers the major events of the story and completes the whole novel
From each sentence, start building chapters – End of this, you will have your chapters ready
Prologue, Epilogue and few parts more according to your thoughts will have your first draft
2) Sticky note Method
This method can be used by those who write thrillers, murder mysteries, or a novel based on events.
Start writing the bits of incidents on a sticky note
Now that you have scenes ready start sketching the story and place the events as and when required
Timeline throughout and ensure if they fall in place, else change the sticky notes as per preferences
If you think of a better event – replace the sticky note
Keep some sticky notes with you always and pen down events whenever an idea strikes, you’ll never know when a good idea would strike
3) Reverse Engineering Method
Let’s go backward for a change – trust me, this method works best for your second novel. The first novel is an experience, and hence every step you take with your second will be much better once such is this reverse engineering.
Start writing your climax first
You can now start the bits that would lead to this climax
This method can be used when you have the Climax in mind but have few options left in mind to route it. When you reverse the process, the climax will help you judge the best of the ‘Tunneled options’ in mind.
Keep writing the other chapters in which you have clarity and this would assist in directing to the climax. The best of the lot that makes sense will find its way.
4) Shadow Method
The method I followed for “I don’t wear Sunscreen” my first novella. Write the parts where you have enough clarity, and pass over the chapters to a critic/friend who will slap your face with questions. Start answering the questions with twists with the following chapters, this way you can keep off from surprising loopholes and dramatic scenes that has no essence.
For Example: I had a strong character in the story, for which my friend questioned what makes a person from a mediocre family and such a locality turn so strong, I need a reason for it. From there I weaved a background that worked well in the novel and convinced the readers. 5) Paper-clip method
In this method, you don’t outline the novel at all. You won’t have the genre in mind or the sequence, but just a few scenes or portions. Write them all in a paper and clip them, and then outline. This helps you to broaden and spread out from ordinary outlining methods or restrict yourself from writing within the criteria.
Start with Place and Time of events
From here, start clipping.
6) Answer the Big Six:
Answering these will help you keep an eye on the possible loopholes and define every step of your novel. It gives more clarity to you and your readers. You exclude the ambiguity and timelines would back you up throughout without a miss