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HEA in Erotica?

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By EelKat Wendy C Allen

"So I was reading an article about writing erotica. Like some of the points I agree with; like you should advertise your books based on their plot so if you're going to have aliens not showing that a little in the cover might get people to feel tricked into reading something they aren't into.   My problem is where she said:

“Be tactful about your ending. Like romance, erotica and erotic romance readers tend to expect a “happily ever after” or “happy for now” ending. Don’t let your audience down by offering them a great story, only to leave them hanging or disappointed by the characters’ outcomes. Even cliffhangers in series need to give the readers hope that all is well, if at least for the time being. If the main couple does not end up together, make sure there is a good reason for it, and that they are better off going their separate ways.”

Erotica to me is sexiness and plot that doesn't necessarily mean romance. Like if someone expects me to have an "and they both rode together on white horses into the sunset as the sounds of the ocean praised them like music knowing that they are going to live happily ever after" type ending, they aren't going to get that. If I ever do write that seriously I need to go to a neurologist right away because something isn't right anymore.

I do like to end my books with a feeling of time going on, but that doesn't mean that they are going to find happiness. So you get the idea that they are going to be going through even more difficult after the story has taken place. I think HEA can be in erotica, but it shouldn't be expected. That's more in the romance genre for me, which you can also do an erotica romance but I think it should be seen as separate for that reason.

I'm going to have to make sure on my cover it makes it clear that if you want a traditional romance type of a thing, that my book isn't for you. It starts of flirty, gets sexy, gets gory (like in Aliens), then gets a bit sexy at the end.

My book is science fiction, fantasy, erotica so it’s going to not be typical. I just don’t like the idea in erotica that you need it to be about romance when mine’s about a girl who, through sex is able to evolve as a person because it was the catalyst that started everything else.

The ideal reaction that I’m going for is, this is interesting, wait there’s sexy bits, then after I need to know what happens next.

The thing that irritates me about some romance books is that everyone gets paired off neatly and if the person who is the third wheel is also likable, they find a way to get someone else that’s “better for them”. It’s so contrived it drives me crazy. I don’t really read romance but I like whoever doesn’t do that.

If I do that I should be fine though right? I just feel erotica should be freer, to have that sexy bits but then to not be held down by anything else and be whatever fiction story you wish to tell as a part of it.

What do you think?"

Wow - I think you are a writer after my own heart: your question is as long as my answers usually are! LOL!

I've been writing erotica since the 1970s, and Happily Ever After aka HEA didn't start showing up in erotic fiction until the past 5 or 6 years. Old school erotica was more about "hook-ups" and "one-timers" or "being titillated" by fetishes, with no expectations for future romance. I've been in the erotica industry 35 years and no one, readers or writers, ever expected HEA in erotica, not until after Ellora's Cave came out with the Romantica line in about 2007. And the whole HEA in erotica didn't really kick off until after 50 Shades of Grey went viral (Is 50 Shades actually a HEA?, that women seems awfully depressed and desperate to me, and Gray’s a freak - seriously she can do better than him, can’t she?)

Yeah, I think a majority of today's erotic reader wants the HEA, but remember if you don't like writing HEAs than there are going to be readers who don't like reading HEAs, because you are not alone, no matter what you write, there is somebody out there who wants to read it. It may mean your book doesn't get published mainstream and will just be a small niche, but that's okay.
I think it falls under "knowing your readers". Who are your readers? Are they the new breed of HEA seekers or are the the old schooler who just want to read about sex with no strings attached? Know your target audience and write for them.

Me? My readers know not to expect a HEA. I don't write them. Of course I'm also writing erotic horror so my readers expect one or even both the MCs to be laying dead in a pool of blood at the end anyways. Nope, no HEAs in my stories, but my readers don't expect HEAs either. So, figure out what type of erotic reader you want, and write for them. You can't please every reader, so don't try.


The End?

No, you have NOT reached the end of this article! What you have reached is the end of what it currently online. The rest is coming, hopefully it'll be on here in a day or three so keep checking back. I will remove this message at the same time I put the rest of it online.

As my long time readers will already know a server crash took down most of the old free-hosted site on June 4, 2013 (which was online since 1997 and had reached 6,000+ pages). Thankfully everything was saved on a separate hard-drive and the site is being rebuilt with a new host and for the first time on it's own domain. YAY!

I am currently moving all 6,000 questions&answer articles to this site one page at a time, at a rate of about 4 to 7 new pages being added each day, so be patient. Not all links are yet clickable. This process started on September 2, 2013 and will be ongoing at least through to January 2014. (And it may be well into 2017 before all 6,000 pages will be back online if I continue at this rate of 5 a day.)



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For help in creating characters in genre fiction try:





Most of the articles I write in response to reader questions are genre specific, making the genre section of this web site the largest section.

My areas of expertise are:

#1 Horror and all of it's subgenres esp Gorn, Tales of the Macabre (Poe style) and Gothic Romance.

#2 "Dark" (BDSM) Medieval Historical Erotica, esp gay M/M.

#3 Alternate reality speculative/weird/bizarre science fiction

#4 Dark/Gory/Slasher retellings of folklore, nursery rhymes, and fairy tales



On occasion I also write Westerns, WWII War Stories, and Dark Fantasy.

Everything I write tends to have predominately non-human characters, usually alien races of my own invention that are trapped on Earth, along side Fae races (usually Phookas, FarDarrig, and MerFolk) and monster races (Vampires and their kin.)

I do not write happy endings, villains tend to win, good guys usually die at the end, and most everything I write falls under heavy "Dark Gallows" satire focusing on taboo topics. Everything I write, even my children's fiction, walks on the Dark Side. Most of my non-children's books are M-rated for adults 21 and older. About 90% of my books have been banned and most book stores refuse to carry them.

My stories are often short, rarely longer than 35,000 words (7,000 to 13,000 word average). I write nearly as many stage plays as I do short stories. I also write children's books (early readers, why tales, bed time stories, picture books, and quick classroom play scripts.)

I do not write novels (novels are books of 90,000 or more words, most being in the 120,000 to 240,000 word range), so questions specifically regarding novels are going to be answered in reference to my novellas (a novella being a story 25,000 to 90,000 words).

I rarely write articles about any specific genre other than those listed in the link headings above, because the genres above are the genres I write.

Keep these facts in mind when asking advice from me, about your own writing career. I will gladly try to help you out, but my knowledge of writing is limited to what I know and write in my own career.

If you are looking for advice on Westerns, War Fiction (other than WWII), Fantasy, Contemporary Romance, Mystery, Action, Adventure, Suspense, Chick Lit, Romantic Comedy, Humor, HEA, etc I'm probably not the best person to be asking your questions to. You can certainly ask and I will try to answer, but I don't write these genres so they are not my area of expertise.



Recommended Books for Genre Writers:

Below are books I use as reference when writing my own books, articles, and short-stories. A quick heads up, these are not linking to pages where I review each book, here on my website! I have . Each of the books shown below are linked directly to the site/book seller which carries it for sale, so clicking on any of the books below will take you away from my website.

PopShops™ affiliate stores



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On Writing The Quaraun Series



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The Quaraun Series On Amazon:

I am wondering why has Amazon moved the Quaraun books to the category "Transgender Romance" and also "Gay Erotica"? The base story is a deeply depressed, suicidal, drug addict Elf who's lover commit suicide and he's trying not to do the same. It's an old Elf in a tavern, monologuing a lot of flashbacks and back story scenes of his youth. These stories are dark, bloody, angsty, full of drug use, murder, rape, Medieval torture, mental/physical/emotional abuse, and references to depression and suicide - no romance in it, unless you count the occasional (and usually brutally violent) rape scenes that show up in nearly every volume - sorry - no clue what Amazon is thinking or why they moved these to Romance and Erotica, but these books are NOT even close to being Romance or Erotica on any level at all. When I published these books I put them in "Dark Fantasy" and "Yaoi". If they show up in any category other then "Dark Fantasy" and "Yaoi", it's because Amazon put them there without my authorization or approval.

~EelKat


The Autism Awareness Articles



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