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Character and plot development in erotica Options · View
seeker4
Posted: Friday, May 31, 2013 12:31:57 PM

Rank: Story Verifier
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I am, in fact, working on a new story. The first run at it didn't seem right to me, though and I wonder what other Lush writers think. I ended up with about 4000 words of fairly well-written (in need of editing but good for a first draft) character development and no sex. It's getting there but I found I was getting more interested in building the scenario around the main character than getting him into the sack (figuratively speaking since I think the first sex will be outdoors). So, I restarted with a new version that gets things moving faster (e.g. begins with a short sex scene but one that is rather peripheral to the actual story) but I feel like I'm losing some of the context and some of the rationale for the main character's behaviour by doing so. I know he's going to have sex and I know who it will be with, it's just that the story feels like it needs some detailed exploration of the whys and wherefores of his actions.

How far can you go with an erotic story with only some flirting and context?

Does sex need to happen sooner rather than later to make it a true erotic story?

How much non-sexual character and plot development can you have before it's no longer an erotic story, but a mainstream one with explicit sex?


My first Lush Stories poem is a competition entry!

Thoughts From Our Old Flat

The April Stories:

April's Secret - A college student learns a sexy secret from his girlfriend's past

The Pastor's Secret - A lonely minister seeks solace from an escort
Guest
Posted: Friday, May 31, 2013 1:03:08 PM

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Joined: 12/1/2006
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What a character does,how they do it, when they do it, why they do it, all display the inner "person". That's how -- I think -- character development happens best in erotica. We don't need to know what they ate for breakfast, what school they went to, or if their cock swings to the right or the left. The more varied their sexual behavior, the deeper the character is developed. Can they be tender as well as passionate? Do they really enjoy what they are doing and what's done to them? Are they romantic or just hooking up for the night? Give the reader sensual details, not a list of their attributes.

If they are just flirting, it's not erotica, in my opinion. It's just normal fiction with some "romance of a sort". See what the title of this forum thread is? "Lush Sex Stories Forum". Sex. Not character vignettes, not flirting, but sex. What's the plot of a sex story? Sex is. What's the story of a sex story? How the characters act and react before, during, and after the sex acts. Your use of the phrase "getting him into the sack" -- again only my opinion -- sounds a little callous, but that's just me. Is he wanting to make love with another human being or just get a quick fuck to get his nut off? In good erotic fiction, the sex is not peripheral. It is the raison d'etre.
seeker4
Posted: Friday, May 31, 2013 1:15:46 PM

Rank: Story Verifier
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Actually, "in the sack" was a bad choice of words. The whole point is a guy getting away from a hedonistic lifestyle that he's fed up with and finding that escape (partly at least) in a truly passionate encounter(s) with a woman (versus the promiscuous, mindless f*cking he's been getting). What I'm setting up is the dissatisfaction that drives him into it.

I'm not trying to make the sex peripheral so much as wondering how far one can go with building up the situation that explains the sex without making the sex peripheral.

You've got some interesting points there, yourmisterdark. Thanks for the input.


My first Lush Stories poem is a competition entry!

Thoughts From Our Old Flat

The April Stories:

April's Secret - A college student learns a sexy secret from his girlfriend's past

The Pastor's Secret - A lonely minister seeks solace from an escort
Guest
Posted: Friday, May 31, 2013 1:57:37 PM

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Joined: 12/1/2006
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If that's his motivation, then the "struggle" between his usual habits/behavior and the more tender seduction of his intended (less experienced) partner is the story. From, umm, "easy" to complex, as I see it.
Centifolia
Posted: Friday, May 31, 2013 4:52:09 PM

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Joined: 5/17/2013
Posts: 9
The difference between pornography and erotica is the fact that one seeks only to arouse, while the other sends a deeper meaning. You have your own ways of showing your art, nurture it well.
Dancing_Doll
Posted: Friday, May 31, 2013 5:30:21 PM

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I wouldn't worry about it at all. Many of my stories don't hit a full sex scene until around the 3500-4500 word mark. I like the build-up and sexual tension as well. I think it makes for a more interesting tale. Of course - then I get deep into the sex and that carries for several thousand words as well. My rule of thumb is that if you're taking time with a longer build-up don't skimp on the sex scene once you actually get to it. I think a proper short story should have some character and plot development, otherwise it just ends up being a 'penthouse letter' style quickie.

Buz
Posted: Friday, May 31, 2013 11:07:45 PM

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If you have a well written and interesting story going, then don't worry about the long build up. Think of it as long foreplay. That just makes the finish that much better.

Milik_Redman
Posted: Friday, May 31, 2013 11:17:18 PM

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I really don't like writing a simple, get together and screw story. For a story to take a life of its own, it must have a story that would be engaging without the sex. The plot must have a point beyond getting into the sack, and the characters must be interesting on their own.

My best stories have managed to do this. When I have such a story, then the sex comes more easily. The characters themselves will dictate the action because they are rounded enough that I know what they would do in the situation they find themselves in.

To me, this allows the story to develop naturally and it will have a believable flow that won't distract the reader. The suspension of disbelief will remain intact.
RumpleForeskin
Posted: Saturday, June 01, 2013 10:58:04 AM

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Seeker, write your story and worry later about the 'heat level' category, such as: porn, erotic, torrid romance, etc. Including yours truly, several Lush writers also post on the so-called 'blue site' storiespace.com their works that might not be, as Nic once put it, "Lushy enough" to appeal to this site's typical reader.

BTW, few can compare to Dancing Doll's ability to ratchet up sexual tension in the opening to a story. Holding the attention of readers, many looking for little more than wham-bam-thank you ma'am strokers, is a rare talent.

glasses8

Writing is not necessarily something to be ashamed of, but do it in private and wash your hands afterwords. - ROBERT HEINLEIN

Feels So Right, It Can't Be WrongMore steamy, seductive, straight step-sibling sex, 2-3

FROM:
Becky -- FOR: Matt -- With Love:
a Festive contest winner – honest

HOW HUMANS DO IT: a fish-eye view of sex an Editor's Pick - no kidding
overmykneenow
Posted: Saturday, June 01, 2013 1:04:58 PM

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Posts: 1,213
Location: United Kingdom
From your outline it would seem to me that the eroticism comes from his internal struggle rather than any relationships he has.

The characters you introduce should be as throwaway as his attitude to sex.

You already have two leading characters: what he is and what he wants to be. The conflict between them could be a powerful source of eroticism.

Just a suggestion of course. Look forward to seeing what you've come up with

Warning: The opinions above are those of an anonymous individual on the internet. They are opinions, unless they're facts. They may be ill-informed, out of touch with reality or just plain stupid. They may contain traces of irony. If reading these opinions causes you to be become outraged or you start displaying the symptoms of outrage, stop reading them immediately. If symptoms persist, consult a psychiatrist.

Why not read some stories instead

NEW! Want a quick read for your coffee break? Why not try this... Flash Erotica: Scrubber
seeker4
Posted: Wednesday, June 05, 2013 2:34:49 PM

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Thanks all. Some useful thoughts and advice here. I've backburnered the story temporarily, not so much because of this issue but because it had hit a point where I wasn't sure where it wanted to go next (yeah, I'm one of those writers who doesn't do outlines and such but believes that the "story writes itself"). I'm working on something else (possibly ending up as a triptych revolving around various members of a familly, but with no incest involved) in the meantime.



My first Lush Stories poem is a competition entry!

Thoughts From Our Old Flat

The April Stories:

April's Secret - A college student learns a sexy secret from his girlfriend's past

The Pastor's Secret - A lonely minister seeks solace from an escort
elitfromnorth
Posted: Thursday, June 13, 2013 6:09:43 PM

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Joined: 2/12/2012
Posts: 1,633
Location: Burrowed, Norway
Buz wrote:
If you have a well written and interesting story going, then don't worry about the long build up. Think of it as long foreplay. That just makes the finish that much better.


Think Buz touched on the important thing here; if you're having a long build up then you need to get a way to captivate the reader quite quickly, maybe in the first couple of paragraphs. That doesn't mean you have to give it up all in the start, but just a hint of something that makes the reader go "Ok, this could be good."

I have nothing against a long build up, but then it is vital that the build up is very good and to be honest it has to be vital to the story. A sentence here and there of the sort of "He threw away the cheap sandwich and got moving again" is ok, but just don't spend too much time on things that doesn't drive the story forward.

Pretty much imagine the story as an old man telling it, and then weed out whatever part makes you think "oh for christ sake old man, get on with it!"

"It's at that point you realise Lady Luck is actually a hooker, and you're fresh out of cash."
Metilda
Posted: Thursday, June 13, 2013 7:52:41 PM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 3/10/2013
Posts: 1,218
Location: United States
seeker4 wrote:
Thanks all. Some useful thoughts and advice here. I've backburnered the story temporarily, not so much because of this issue but because it had hit a point where I wasn't sure where it wanted to go next (yeah, I'm one of those writers who doesn't do outlines and such but believes that the "story writes itself"). I'm working on something else (possibly ending up as a triptych revolving around various members of a familly, but with no incest involved) in the meantime.



Hehe - yeah! You're a writer - congratulations :D
I've had that happen a lot - and only for more complex stories do I write an outline to follow (so I stay on track ) . . . but for snags and issues - I jot down notes on the characters and their motives.

I had a similar problem with Tent and Pegs - My story had to start slow - introduce the setting, why they were even in the desert to begin with (helps to establish her interest in him) . . . so when the reader arrives at the sex - it seems logical.

But that wasn't enough - I made it more complicated than 'boy and girl know each other for a long time' when I decided that she - being a northerner - would misinterpret his southern nature as him being flirtatious (he opens the door for her, calls her sweet names). Then, stuck in the middle of nowhere, she's facing this time with him - while he doesn't have deep feelings for her at all . . . so I put more distance between them - and was faced with "How do I overcome the gap"

I scribbled out quick notes - and chatted with people, complaining about my issues - and then a good friend here said something about 'isn't water sexy' (or something like that) - and I went 'perfect'

I tipped her off the edge of the creek and into the water - she almost drowns and he saves her.

Then they have sex. (which created another issue - how do you have sex with someone who almost drowned - on the edge of the creek? . . . without losing the sexual tension - someone else helped me with that, as well - in a good conversation about the normal progression of sexual events)


You mentioned he's living a Hedonistic lifestyle - well that's fascinating . . . why? It sounds like you're wanting to use this intro-sex scene (though non essential) to boost sexual tension - or reader interest. You should consider all the many ways your character's life IS interesting. . . and focus on that - and work with your idea in a positive way rather than fighting against it.

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