It takes special skill to write an interesting and page-turning
novella. Add the attempt to try and turn your reader on
within the short pages of a novella, and you have an even
more difficult task.
Author Virginia Nelson is visiting the Fantasy Floozies today
to give us Five awesome tips in writing an erotic romance
novella! Before we get into her tips, check out her
- First off, thanks for having me on the blog. That said, my
number one tip for writing an erotic romance novella is…get
very thick skin. To be any kind of writer, you’ve got to be
able to roll with all sorts of ups and downs.
From rejection letters to bad reviews, writing in general isn’t
a great choice for those easily swayed from their dream.
This is at least two-fold for the erotic writer since you can
expect everything from completely inappropriate messages
on your social networks—“So, you write dirty books? Bet
you need lots of help researching for that, right?”—to the
genteel social snub.
I prefer the snub, myself, but if you’re going to be offended
when someone makes comments about the genre, consider
a pen name because someone will. If you’re like me, you can
shrug and say, “Yup. I write dirty books. I get paid to say
- My second biggest tip for this would be, cut
all the fluff. In any book, you want to make sure every word
counts, every scene moves the plot forward, and no excess is
left on it before you’re done.
There are things you need to know about your characters
and their motivations that the reader doesn’t really need to
know. You needed to know—to get in their head—but the
reader would rather just read the story. In a novella, words
are even more valuable. If you can cut a scene out of your
story and the story still flows beautifully, chances are very
good you don’t need it at all.
- Third, build a team. Writing is a solitary sport.
Like swimming, you’re only really competing against yourself.
Other authors are the only ones who actually understand
what you’re doing. If you manage to build up a strong team
consisting of crit partners who can keep up with you, who
aren’t afraid to tell you when you suck…beta readers who
can just read, and friends and family who are going to be
your never tiring cheerleaders, you really can’t fail.
If everyone believes in you and is waiting for the next
chapter, it’s a bit easier to force yourself to do the butt in
chair time that is needed.
- Fourth, research. Sure, you’re writing a novel
there’s going to be graphic sex involved. If you’re writing
BDSM, though, and have only lived a very vanilla sex life, you
need to dig a little to find out what you’re writing about.
If you’re writing the story of a cop, but he doesn’t ever go to
work in your book, perhaps you don’t need to know every
procedure he would use but you still have to understand the
things he would know because they’re going to change how
that character thinks, even if why he thinks that way never
makes it onto the page.
- Fifth, never fear writing sex scenes. They’re just
like any other scene. You’re showing the reader the
development of the relationship using their physical
reaction to each other. There are hundreds of different kinds
of kisses and countless ways to make love. Are they angry
with each other but desperate for each other’s touch?
You’re not just writing sex. You’re still telling the story and
letting their bodies show the reader what’s going on. Get
past your own personal inhibitions because your character
might not share them. Just write…like any other scene, your
gut will let you know when it’s just right.
If erotic romance is what you want to write, go for it.
Novellas are harder than full length novels because you
do have less time to make the reader not only care about
these characters enough to want to see them in bed but to
want them to make it out of the bed into a hea/hfn ending.
Harder isn’t always a bad thing. Sometimes
harder can be a whole lot more fun.
About the author:
Virginia Nelson spends her days chasing
three very active kids around. When she is
not doing this, or plotting taking over the
world, she likes to write, play in the mud,
drive far too fast and scream at inanimate objects.
She can often be found listening to music that is far too loud and
typing her next fantastic tale of blood, sex and random acts of
Romance, in Ms. Nelson’s opinion, is not about riding off into the
sunset on the back of a horse with the knight in shining armor— it
is about riding the dragon. If the knight can keep up… well, that is