How to write bestselling erotic fiction like 50 Shades of Grey

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Think you could give E.L. James a run for her money? We bring you an author's guide for how to write erotic fiction.

Producers revealed for Fifty Shades of Grey film
The news that 50 Shades of Grey has been made into a film was met by reactions ranging from excitement to severe eye-rolling. But one person sure to be feeling very satisfied is author E.L. James - the franchise made £33 million in profit this year alone.

If that's not inspiration to pick up a pen and start thinking dirty, we don't know what is. To get started read our advice from top selling erotica writer and author of Wicked Ambition, Victoria Fox:

Think big


"Bonkbusters are so much fun to write because your imagination can run wild. Take readers to multiple exotic locations, introduce loads of brilliant characters and give them a really juicy, fun-packed story."

Keep your chapters short


"The key is to keep people reading, so your book should be impossible to put down. They should force readers to devour just one more page until before they know it they're hurtling towards the final stages.

A good way of doing this is to make chapters no more than a few pages long. Leave the readers on cliffhangers and notes of suspense."

Visualise your scenes


"When I'm writing I think of it like a film. I try to see the places and players in my mind, on a big screen. This helps keep the experience cinematic for readers, and to really transport them into the story."

Lose your inhibitions.


"It's no good writing sex scenes if you feel self-conscious. Sure, it's weird at first, but you have to let go and have fun. Never worry about family reading it – write for your friends, as if you're sharing a gossip over cocktails."

Avoid euphemisms


"For me, weapons, sheaths and loins just aren't sexy. Use words you'd use in normal conversation – I find the punchy four-letter ones the best! The language you use informs the feel and style of your book. Sex tells us heaps about a person, so think what it is you are trying to say."

When you hit a sex scene, write it in one go


"Try to get into a rhythm and push on till it's complete. Sex scenes are difficult to edit. You wouldn't break off and return to it in real life, so why would you in fiction?"

Start something


"It's amazing how many people tell me they want to write a book but they can't find the time, inclination or self-discipline. The only answer to this is to get on with it. It sounds intimidating, but if you can manage a thousand words a day then you'll have a novel in four months."

Read within the genre


"If you want to write a bonkbuster, start with the best. I'd recommend Jackie Collins' Lovers & Gamblers and Jilly Cooper's Riders. These are the books that made me want to write my own. Isolate what you enjoy and borrow aspects that you love."

Grow a thick skin


"Every author has faced rejection at some point. The important thing is to believe in yourself, love your book, and persevere. You can get there!"

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Do you fancy yourself as the next E.L. James? Tweet us @handbagcom

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