Hints

Hints for writing and proofreading

Reality

Capture your readers’ attention with a story. The easiest way to do that is to give it a basis in reality. Start with what you know about. If you are going to take off from your reality, do it with style and confidence, creating a new reality with your consistent rules.

Draw your reader into the scene by commenting on objects in the room or area. "Mike looked at Mary's houseplant collection and scowled; her need to have living things crowd their home was ridiculous."

Give your readers the space and time in which your characters live. "While the Fiats and BMWs of office bees going home to dinner whizzed along the street bordering the small Italian field, a farmer planted tender rice shoots. The figures of the wiry man and his laden mule were silhouetted against the twilight sky, highlighted occasionally by passing headlights. The field would be flooded when dawn broke, as it had on this date, for centuries. Mary watched him from her bedroom window, knowing she'd never feel such a calm when she went back to Detroit in the morning."

You must put the gun in the drawer before a person can grab the gun out of it and shoot. Don't do it in the same paragraph. The same can be said for cause and effect sentences. Establish the motivation earlier in the work.

Form

Decide if you are going to write a straight porn story with no outside story line or if you plan on writing erotica where there may be sex within a developed story. Take the time to actually develop a story with complete characters, it will draw your reader in. There are millions of "sex stories" on the internet, there are very few real "erotic stories" that are a pleasure to read.

Decide which perspective you want to use. First person perspective describes what "I" did, as in "My Wild Weekend." Remember that, when using first person, a writer may not describe what "I" is not aware of did or not directly witness. Second person perspective describes what "you" did, with the writer as a witness. This is difficult to use, but, if done well, can draw the reader into the role of a participant in the story. Third person perspective is the easiest to use and is by far the most common with three variations. It is possible to write, using third person, as an all knowing God-like point of view. A semi-omniscient God-like point of view is also common, where the all thoughts and motives of each character may not be expressed by the author. A third person - fallible perspective may be used, that may deceive the reader with misinformation or omissions. This is difficult to use. Don’t confuse them and don’t switch between them.

Avoid run on sentences. Keep your sentences concise.

Word Choices

Don't overuse the same word. If a word appears more than two times on the same page, find synonyms for the other occurrences.

Stay in the same verb tense. If you write in past tense (ran) be sure to stay in past tense, not slip into present or, oddly, future tense (running, will run). It's very disturbing. Readers find it more comfortable to read stories written in past tense; writers find it easier to write in past tense as it allows shifting through time in order to tell the story.

Replace passive verbs. "Am, is, be, was", followed by a verb, are all boring. Use interesting action words instead, turning "Mike is writing a letter" to "Mike scribbles a letter."

Use description words. By using descriptive words (orange, fast), you add an element of believability to your work. Next, take your adjective or adverb and find another, possibly more exact, synonym (sienna, lightening-quick) to add more interest. Tell your readers what something looks like (terra cotta), how it feels (buttery), what it smells like (ozone sharp), how it tastes (piquant), how it sounds (grating). Use colors (auburn) and sizes (minuscule) liberally; your readers will appreciate it. However, please avoid describing your characters all at once, as in a police report. Unveil something new as the story goes on.

Use interesting action words. Everyone knows what it is to "run." To be more descriptive and accurate, use a thesaurus or word finder to find synonyms for simple verbs, turning "Mary ran to the door" into "Mary scampered to the door" or "Mary bolted to the door." This gives the reader an impression of Mary's personality in the way she moves. Adverbs can be eliminated in this way, changing "Mary ran quickly to the door" to "Mary rushed to the door" making your work more concise and exciting. Show the personality of your characters through their actions, not with a single describing word.

Keep your pronouns straight. A pronoun always refers to the person or noun just before it; when in doubt, just use the name, don't assume the reader knows. You don't want to draw the reader out of the story, just to figure out your grammar.

Anatomical descriptions and actions can get boring. If you tell a story, rather than drawing a diagram, your reader will automatically paint the picture in their mind, adding their own details that will eroticize it even more. Also, stay either medical or colloquial with body part names, do not switch back and forth; please avoid euphemisms. Be anatomically correct when writing. If you are not sure where something is, look it up. Nothing will draw a reader out of a story faster than a silly anatomical mistake.

Proofread

Read your story through, aloud. This will help you discover if your punctuation and word use sounds natural. Americans, in particular, hear grammar problems, rather than seeing them. "Remove and delete any unnecessary, superfluous verbiage you may have utilized, that may seem extraneous, occurring in the body of the first or final draft your completed written literary body of work of erotica or poetry." "Remove any extra words." Be concise.

"Speelchek." Spell-check your work and be grateful that today's computer programs have them built in. The editor of The Masque runs every single thing through MS Word, this goes for punctuation and grammar, too. AOL’s e-mail system has a very good spellchecker, as well. You still must proof read the work again, several times, looking at each word. Many words fall through a spell checker, especially homonyms.

Walk away from the work for several days. This will help you separate from the work. Return to it and repeat all steps when reproofing.

The Foyer - FAQ - Contact Us