Saturday, April 4, 2009

Beginner's Ball #3 - Leave it all on the floor!

The Beginner's Ball is a blog series by writers relatively new to the world of erotica--Erobintica, Marina St. Clare, and myself so far. We'd love to have others join in our dance. If you'd like to take your turn hosting, please contact one of us. Check out the first and second in the series, and please join us in the comments.

Tango Dancing
Originally uploaded by lrargerich

I've started my erotica journey by bringing to fictional life some of my tried-and-true fantasies, and I assume I'm not alone. What sparked your first few stories? Were there any that just came out of the blue, or were they based on scenarios that already had airtime on your inner broadcasts?

A bit of advice to first-time novelists that I heard a long time ago has stuck with me: don't hoard any ideas for the future. If it fits, put it in. When you're writing a second novel, you will have a stock of new ideas.

But with erotica specifically I have worried about what happens when I've used up my personal fantasy list. In other areas, I do have faith that there's an eternal spring from which fresh ideas constantly well up. There's no reason that erotica should be different, and yet emotionally I'm a little stuck there. Perhaps it's because the wellsprings of sexuality feel very personal and quirky to me.

Yet surprise surprise, once I start writing a story, of course my characters take on a life of their own. My protagonists aren't me, and they show me what they want to do and how, which doesn't necessarily match up with what I would choose.

I called this post "leave it all on the floor," but what sparked the idea was actually a foot race. I'm a very slow runner, so I'm just competing with myself, but it's important to me to get to the finish line with only enough left for that last sprint--"leave it all on the road." Every endeavor must have that concept. You put everything you have into the task at hand. Then you rest and rebuild. As you do that over and over, you build and strengthen your capacities--and you never have to worry "if only I had done a little more." Leave it all there--whether it's on the ballroom floor, the road, or the page.

It's one of the eternal mysteries--where do ideas come from? How is it that countless millions of words have been put together since we developed language, and yet fresh combinations are found every day, every hour?

I don't know, but I do believe that wellspring will never fail. Each of us has access to our own spring, choked as it may get with the weeds and tares of life. I trust that more ideas will come if I let them.

New writers, do you have fears like these? Experienced hands, have you been through fallow periods? How did you emerge from them?