10 Erotica Writing Tips, Tip #1
10 Erotica Writing Tips, Tip #1 by Rowen Starr
I hope you find the following tip useful and if you don’t, pretty please, a big beautiful please, with a juicy, red, brimming with juice, cherry on top please, tell me why! I am still learning too. First 5 comments will get a link to their blog placed on my main page.
Tip 1: Good Writers Borrow, Great Writers Steal (I stole this quote)
I took a Masters Degree in Creative Writing. One of my fiction professors was known for regularly dating and having sex with his students. Very not cool, but so was the Berlin Wall. This was a different time when smoking in class was just being discussed as “hmmm, maybe ashtrays shouldn’t be built into the desks.” Good idea.
His sexual antics were no big secret to anyone, even the College administrators knew about it. His exploits were seen as a cute side-effect of a neurotic mind. He picked his way through my classmates like a common cold. He partly seduced them by coming up with insightful and deep comments- it was obvious it was his intellect and not his chain-smoking good looks.
He said on one typical day- I think it was raining- “good writer’s borrow, great writers steal,” which sent the class into a swoon, soaking up his brilliance as balm to our withered, jaded souls. No one realized this wasn’t something he thought up, but a quote he stole and passed on as something he came up with all on his own.
I spent years attributing the quote to him, without checking it out. I am a writer after all and not a jounalist. Years turned into decades and, over time, I mentioned this quote to hundreds of people. No one pointed out where the quote came from. From time-to-time I may have passed this off as something I came up with.
It wasn’t until I was writing out this tip that I conducted an online search of the quote; I was going to attribute to my prof and thought I better check it out. I quickly found out several writers had used this quote. It is thought Oscar Wilde had originally come up with it, but he probably stole it from someone else. T.S. Eliot came up with his own version, which probably caused Ezra Pound to have another fit. Some bloggers insist this quote came from Mark Twain.
The not-so-subtle irony is we don’t know exactly who came up with this quote on stealing quotes because it has been likely stolen so many times we don’t know who, with any certainty, came up with it first. For a good discussion see the blog http://keithsawyer.wordpress.com/2010/09/17/good-writers-borrow-great-writers-steal/ which one blogger points out “It turns out that no one’s even sure who said this first, or what the exact quotation is. Somehow, that makes the point even more strongly than the quotation itself, doesn’t it?”
At the time I had given my prof the benefit of the doubt that this was something he had brilliantly thought up himself. I still think he is a genius. My point is read some really great classic erotica, or not-so-great work. Read anything you think is good and dissect why it works, like a mid-evil astronomer deciphering the sky. Good ideas are not copyrighted so if you read something you like, take a good, long look at why and imitate it.
Disclaimer: this advice may or may not help you get laid and remember, no one likes a plagiarist.
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