- Paperback: 304 pages
- Publisher: Touchstone (February 5, 2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0743226232
- ISBN-13: 978-0743226233
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 30 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,071,223 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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How to Write a Dirty Story: Reading, Writing, and Publishing Erotica 0th Edition
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Authors of erotica have it rough, says Susie Bright in How to Write a Dirty Story. Their work is often judged before it is read. They are assumed to be sex gurus. And if memoirists find it tough to share their work with friends and relatives, imagine what it's like for sex writers. A third of Bright's book is devoted to general publishing issues. The rest deals specifically with erotica and should appeal to anyone whose writing includes sex scenes. Bright, who has been dubbed the goddess of American erotica, is refreshingly straightforward about her subject. She likens a great erotic story to a great striptease act. Ideally, an erotic story takes all the time it needs, arouses both the reader and the author, is judicious with clichés and dirty words, and doesn't involve a complicated description of body-part placement or an excess of sex noises. Most important, a sex scene propels the story forward. If the story would work just as well without it, the sex scene shouldn't be there. And the good news? Even "really bad lovers can write great erotica." --Jane Steinberg
Laura Miller Salon Every would-be and burgeoning author should read this.
Lavada Nahon Penthouse I invite anyone who wishes to get published to read How to Write a Dirty Story first! It will greatly increase your chances of seeing your words in print or online.
Linda Jaivin author of Eat Me and Rock 'n' Roll Babes from Outer Space What a fabulous book! Well-written (naturally), provocative (of course), and eminently sensible. It integrates all aspects of the process.
M. J. Rose author of Lip Service and In Fidelity From the exercises that Susie gives writers to the education she gives readers -- this book is a must.
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"How to Write a Dirty Story" is part creative-writing course, part self-help book, and part pep rally. Less formal and more personal than many titles on the subject, this is often more about inspiration than technique. (For a more formally academic treatment of the subject I would recommend Ashley Lister's "How to Write Erotica and Sex Scenes" (2013) or Elizabeth Benedict's "The Joy of Writing Sex" (1996), which focuses on erotic content in literary and mainstream genre fiction.) Bright's style is sympathetic, warm, personable and always engaging, aimed at helping her readers cast off their inhibitions and hang ups, open and expand their erotic imaginations, and take their first steps on the liberating journey of honest self-expression. I can personally attest that her approach works! The best how-to books can, on occasion, change lives, and this one certainly changed mine, encouraging me to get over my guilt and reticence about the sex writing I had been doing in secret for many years, an intense guilty pleasure I never imagined sharing with anyone.
Along with a series of exercises for testing and stretching the limits of our imaginations and better visualizing our fantasies, some of Bright's most powerful and valuable insights concern the ways in which a newly inspired and "out" erotic writer deals with the attitudes and reactions of his or her family. Reading this book helps us understand that we must be better than the bigots who despise us; we must outsmart them; out-enlighten them, and out-write them. We cannot--must not--displace one strain of reticence with another equally unhealthy form, because, in the end, silence is death. With some very good, practical advice on the craft of writing to go along with its quiet rabble-rousing, "How to Write a Dirty Story" is a deep, cool wellspring of experience, wisdom, and bracing encouragement. Wholeheartedly recommended
Because each short chapter can stand alone, and are only a few pages long, it's very possible to read the book on the subway, while having lunch, while riding the exercise bike at the gym (that's where I read it), or even while waiting for the bus without missing the events, or your stop, going on around you as you read. But do read it all. The material is distilled, pithy and to the point. The information reverberates with the ring of truth. And true to her claims the volume is very practical, is also an "inspirational book," "a book of Agitation and Propaganda" and "a Sex Book."
For readers such as I, who have written some erotica in secret, even if only in diary form, this book will help us all come out of the closet. The chapter "What's Going to Happen to Your Sex Life" is one of my favorites both for correctness and for inspiration. It's not at all politically correct and says things in no uncertain terms. There is no beating around the bush in this guide.
"This `tuning in' to the sexual world is, in itself, erotic. You fantasies will become infected with your vivid realizations. Your lover(s) will see a change in you. If your're satisfied with your present love life, it will be enhanced, if you're sick of it, your unhappiness will be a lot harder to hide."
"For some erotic writers, storytelling is the dress rehearsal for scenes they are hungry to enact in real life. For other authors, the fantasy on paper is as good as it gets: they don't want to take it further. Real life, in their case would be anticlimactic."
Ditto for the readers of erotica. They are searching for something and our prudish society has made it very difficult to discover and experience that longing via the written word.
Obviously I liked the advice in this self-help book. If you are a potential writer of erotica, this tome will build a fire under you, help you shed your own inhibitions and maybe even eventually bring your own special fantasies to life for each of us to share and enjoy. This book is a "glory hole" of rich ore. And it's a lot easier to get than panning for
Gold in the icy cold creeks of California or Alaska. This book is a treasure map. It will help the reader discover and understand themselves much better. That enlightenment will greatly improve your life. Well done, Goddess.