Hello all! I’m writing here, drowning in liquor, preparing for a winter storm over the weekend. As I’m about to start my next story, I thought I would wrangle up some tips for the way I develop characters in an erotica.
Here is the truth of the matter: it’s hard to develop characters and have significant character growth in a story that’s only about 5,000 words long, and also is at least 40% sex.
But it can be done! It should be done! It’s your damn duty as a patriot and erotica author to do so!
Let me give you an example before my listicle. One of my favorite porn directors, Samuel Shanahoy, does films with a large cast of characters. In my favorite porn, Best Slumber Party Ever, Shanahoy does an incredible job of establishing the need of a single “nerd” character to be completely boned by this group of mega babes. You are dying for this character to get off by the end of it. It is your life mission to see this poor character, watching the group from the outside, get their pussy eaten until kingdom come.
That is the secret of a great erotica and even perhaps a porn: you are rooting for this person/monster to get off. How can you do it?
Step One: Establish A Desire
Ask yourself the following questions before you start writing. Why does your character want to get off so badly? Have they not been laid in a long time? Is there a kink they’ve always wanted to try, but have been too afraid to? Are they dying with lust for an unobtainable person?
Once you show us what the character wants and why, your readers will already be curious to see how the story ends. Will they get what they want? But that alone won’t make people invested in your characters. Now it’s time for Step Two.
Step Two: Make Them Human
Even if it’s not relevant to the plot in any way, I always try to throw a few details about the character’s likes, dislikes, and quirks. And this does not mean hair and eye color. I absolutely hate when authors think that hair and eye color matter. When you’re describing a hot guy you met at a bar to your friend, do you start out with “he had closely cropped chestnut hair and green eyes flecked with gray”? NO. You say “he talked about a boating accident he recently got in all night and I think he has a ton of money because he bought me five drinks.” That is the goddamn truth.
Talk about how neurotic they are with hand washing. Mention the scar on their left butt cheek from falling off their dirt bike. Say something about how they always wear jingling bracelets for safety reasons when they go out jogging. I don’t care! Just make them a little more complicated than hair color and eye color.
Step Three: Get Them Off (Or Don’t)
The “twist” in an erotica is always satisfied by the sexual act, so it’s your duty to either punish or satisfy your characters at will. A happy ending in this case is literally a happy ending, but you could also write something just as filthy an enjoyable if they don’t get what they want, and instead are spanked or forced to eat pussy.
This part is like a choose-your-own adventure. But it’s more like: choose the horrible thing that happens to your character. It’s important to close the narrative arc from the place you started, which is a fancy way of saying that the desires you establish in the beginning of the story need to be addressed/happen by the end.
“Give your characters a favorite food. I think that’s probably a good idea.” – Me
Aim to describe your characters like you would a best friend, or someone you boned once after meeting on Tinder. Just make them feel less like mannequins modeling jeans in the mall.
Now, I am going to get myself another drink and try to drown out my anxiousness about snow.