Convincing, not Believable – Janine Ashbless

The Art & Craft of Erotica

with Janine Ashbless

Read Janine’s #SexySnippet of Sweet Hel Below here!

Erotica is about people. And sex too, of course, but the characters are what make a story worth being told. Whether they’re moving through a simple, easy to consume plot or something that’s much more emotionally twisted and complicated, it’s the characters who travel through the story and enable tension and conflict to rise within us, the readers. If we don’t have ‘well-built’ characters, then there is no story. Storytelling happens through characters. A good Erotica writer considers who their characters are and how to best present them–from beginning to end–by creatively examining purpose, strengths, weaknesses, flaws, sexual drives, uniquenesses, and commonalities in such a way that the reader’s eyes don’t want to leave the page, all while encouraging a hand to wander.

The Sexy Librarian’s Dirty 30 Vol.2 is nearly here. To kick things off, I wanted to share a post geared mostly toward writers and aspiring writers–a little #WriterlyWisdom, if you will, regarding CHARACTER by Janine Ashbless. Janine is an author who consistently enthralls readers and amazes me with her marvelous characters. She’s written a whole slew of short stories and several novels. She’s clever, she’s witty, and she’s an incredible storyteller who’s turned me on and even made me laugh a time or two. It is with great pride that Stupid Fish Productions is publishing a new story by Janine Ashbless in our upcoming collection.

Convincing, not Believable
Janine Ashbless

So, my tips for building believable characters in erotica are–

Hold on… Why would I want to write “believable” erotica characters? Aren’t we in the business of giving people fantasies? Aren’t we trying to get them off? Who wants an erotic story where the guy comes too soon and leaves in embarrassment, or the heroine accidentally farts mid-anal? We’re looking for ideals when we go to read one-handed fiction, aren’t we?

And isn’t “believable” subjective? If I hang out, say, with English tech-nerds, and you hang out with American truckers, our mental picture of what people are like is going to be very different.

Is Trump a believable character, come to that? Who wrote him?!

No, I’m not going to ask anyone to write believable characters. Instead, I’m going to urge y’all to write CONVINCING characters. Which is much less about appealing to a common denominator of lived experience between you and your readers, and a lot more about writing skills. If you can create the most extreme character, or the most unfamiliar, and still somehow persuade your reader to suspend disbelief and go along with your story, then you’re doing it right.

So here are my pointers. It’s all about giving your characters depth.

  • “Everyone is necessarily the Hero of their own life story” (John Barth) This is so important! Everyone has a reason for doing what they do, even if what they do looks shitty, or stupid, or self-destructive to outsiders. Everybody thinks that they are right. It is the author’s job to get inside the head of their characters, even the villainous or abusive ones, and write with empathy and understanding of their motives (which is NOT the same as morally justifying or validating their behavior, though some people might not agree with my distinction).
  • Good people very often do shitty things too, for various reasons. That makes for great stories and great psychological background. Messed-up or conflicted characters are fascinating to read about. A hero(ine) with no regrets and no flaws is not convincing.
  •  We’re all individuals! And the variation socially, psychologically and sexually among humans is close to infinite. Break stereotypes. And Don’t stick to what you know—do your research instead. Read stuff written by people you don’t like, and don’t agree with. Brace yourself and read the icky comments section. Put yourself in their shoes and write it from their POV. Use their vocabulary.
  • But there’s a reason for physical stereotypes in romantic/erotic fiction – “tall, dark and brooding”, “busty blonde”, “mousey ingénue”, etc. If our primary intention is to arouse our readers, then we probably have to tap into the cultural/biological/social norms and triggers for titillation. If you want to reach the maximum number of readers, use those triggers. Just go beyond them and make the personalities 3D too. My heroes are always going to be really good-looking (unless they are NOT, in which case I can fetishize their ugliness). And they will always, always have big cocks J

xxx
Janine Ashbless

website: www.janineashbless.com

blog:  www janineashbless.blogspot.com/

Facebook: www.facebook.com/janineashbless

The Sexy Librarian’s Dirty 30, Vol.1

The Sexy Librarian, Rose Caraway is diligently cataloging her next library of Erotica. But while you wait, why don’t you get acquainted with The Sexy Librarian’s Dirty 30, Vol.1! (There are actually 33 stories in this collection, but who’s counting?)

From Kass Goldsworthy’s  cuckolding story titled; “This Is What It’s Like” to Salome Wilde’s exploration into the life of a famous private detective and his unexpected sexual preferences in; “Noirgasm,” this erotica anthology will have your cravings well in hand. Sinclair Sexsmith’s, “Bully” will definitely make you pant–one spank at a time and editing extraordinaire, Rachel Kramer Bussel offers up a unique and endearing perspective of a couple’s closer-than-close relationship in her story titled; “The Weight.”

This erotic library is available in ebook and audiobook, so readers and Lurid Listeners alike will find horny coal miners in Landon Dixon’s “The Copper Kid,” a lonely relic collector who finds a very special marionette in Jade A. Water’s, “The Doll,” and refuge in Lynn Townsend’s, steamy rendezvous;“The Closet.” Follow a couple at the beach and experience their blossoming voyeurism as it takes off in Chase Morgan’s, “On The Rocks.”  Malin James, “The Reader And Her Books” seductively unfolds as a woman reveals her secreted stash of erotica to her lover. There’s a “Green Glass” dildo, an alien, a succubus, sexy flying Dutchmen, tension relieving bondage, public punishment, a geek with a troublesome sassy roommate–and even a selki!

Featuring the extraordinary talents of over 30 contributing authors who understand that sometimes Erotica fans like it hot, sometimes they like it rough, and sometimes they like it very, very… dirty!

Table of Contents:

1. This Is What It’s Like…..Kass Goldsworthy
2. Barcelona…..Malin James
3. The Bells…..Jade A. Waters
4. Bully…..Sinclair Sexsmith
5. Truth…..Emerald
6. Noirgasm…..Salome Wilde
7. The Copper Kid…..Landon Dixon
8. Low Card Flush…..Roger Leatherwood
9. Dear In The Headlights…..Angela Caperton
10. Just Browsing…..Michael M. Jones
11. The Doll…..Jade A. Waters
12. In The Closet…..Lynn Townsend
13. Green Glass…..Tamsin Flowers
14. On The Rocks…..Chase Morgan
15. Serendipity…..Jim Lyon
16. Lost And Found…..Elise Hepner
17. Stitching…..Amy Butcher
18. On A Mission…..Sybil Rush
19. Loosening Up…..Evey Brett
20. A Vision In X-Ray And Visible Light…..Nobilis Reed
21. Interview With A Succubus…..Martha Davis
22. Mystery Visitor…..Michael Lewis
23. Alpha Male…..Jean Roberta
24. Alien Sex…..Alegra Verde
25. My Christmas Gift For Cynthia…..Eva Hore
26. Flipping The Switch…..Victoria Blisse
27. Below The Sea…..T. Fox Dunham
28. Going Dutch…..Dee Maselle
29. Pound A Punnet…..Jillian Boyd
30. Always The Same, Always Changed…..Annabeth Leong
31. The Reader And Her Books…..Malin James
32. The Weight…..Rachel Kramer Bussel
33. Control “Z”…..Rose Caraway

The Sexy Librarian’s Dirty 30, Vol.1 is available in Ebook and Audiobook