Writing exercise from ‘Passionate Plots’ blending fact and fiction;
Part One – How do you define ‘erotic?
Etymologically, the word ‘erotic’ derives from the Greek erotikos, meaning ‘of love’. The World English Dictionary gives its definition as ‘concerning or arousing sexual pleasure’ and the American Heritage Stedman’s Medical Dictionary as ‘of or concerning sexual love or desire’. Fairly straightforward, you would think.
Except that sexual desire and arousal is very subjective. Before you attempt to write something erotic to arouse other people, you need to have a sense of exactly what the word ‘erotic’ means for you. What words, images, situations and sensory experiences do you find arousing?
Take a large sheet of blank paper and write the word ‘erotic’ in the middle. Create a word web, quickly writing down as many words as come into your mind when you think ‘erotic’. Write down whatever springs to minds, be it other words that are particularly evocative for you, a snatch of past memory, even a smell. Don’t think too hard, and most definitely don’t censor yourself.
Part Two – Write your own sex scene using memory.
Now you’re going to have a go at writing a full length sex scene. I don’t want you to have to do too much thinking about who your characters are, what you’re doing and why for this exercise so to ensure that your erotic scene already has developed characters and a plot, we’re going to use a real memory. Yours. Pick a favourite past erotic encounter; it can be anything you choose as long as it’s a good memory, and turn it into a sex scene. Of course you may find yourself tweaking certain details and you could even tailor it to fit in the plot of a current story you are writing or planning, but in terms of the sexual content, use your memory. If you want to detach from it a little, write in the third-person rather than the first.
Use some of the words and phrases from your own erotic glossary and think about where and when you can add sensory detail to create an evocative picture. Let yourself be immersed in the memories as you write.