Writing Character-Driven Sexy Stories with Megan Hart - March 2019

Sex sells. That doesn’t mean tossing a half dozen “insert Tab A into Slot B” scenes into your manuscript. Megan Hart is here to help you create character-driven, emotion-infused sexy stories.

Your Instructor: New York Times bestseller Megan Hart

Where: Online — Available everywhere!

When: March 7, 2019 - April 4, 2019

Enrollment: 16 students

Price: $325

Class Description

Sex sells.

Most of you have heard that long before the Fifty Shades craze that opened up the erotic market to mainstream readers. The truth is, romance sells because romance readers devour content, and sexy romances sell like ponchos on a rainy day at the fair. This doesn’t mean you can toss a half dozen “insert Tab A into Slot B” sex scenes into your manuscript wherever you’ve got the space. It means creating character-driven, emotion-infused stories with heat levels to tempt any reader into clicking that BUY button.

Megan Hart wants to teach you how to do that. Beyond the simple act of intercourse, sex in romances is about connection, emotion, and characters. Without those elements, a book riddled with graphic sex is more apt to be simple pornography—not sensual, sexy or erotic romance and women’s fiction.

First, you’ll learn the basic differences in the types of heat levels. Figure out which fits your voice and style best. Decide what stories you want to tell and how the sensual elements fit them to push the story forward. Students will discuss what makes a story sexy, why romances are “romances” and not something else, how the heat levels are important, and possibly learn to cross into new comfort zones with erotic material.

Megan is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of more than forty novels, novellas and short stories. She’s been published since 2002. Her stories range from sexy romance to horror to thrillers to women’s fiction and back again, with occasional jaunts into science fiction or fantasy. Not all of her stories are erotic, but all of them contain character-driven relationships.

What This Class Covers

Week 1:

Erotic, erotica, erotic romance, erotic fiction, sexy, steamy, sensual… what are the differences, why does it matter, and how can you figure out what you want to write? You'll discuss language choices, plot elements, tropes and the do’s and don’ts of writing sexy fiction.

Assignment: Students will draft a story outline using the same plot and characters, but creating a different outline for a choice of several types heat levels to compare and contrast how similar themes can be presented in completely different ways. Students will have a chance to determine which heat level they’re comfortable with and how they want to move forward with their work.

Week 2:

Now that you've talked about the different heat levels and had a chance to feel how each works, you'll get into the character-driven aspect. This is where you'll really get into how you can utilize everything you've figured out for our characters so you can break them (and, thankfully, rebuild them!).

Assignment: Character development including backstory elements, personality traits, trauma, damage, points of pride and more. Students will work on creating characters who have a sexual connection per the plot, but also determine what else is going to make them fall in love.

Week 3:

BOW CHICKA BOW BOW

Writing the sex scene. Here’s where you get into the nitty gritty. How long, how hard, how much, how little. What’s important to include? Issues of consent, sexual protection, practicality—sure, it’s hot to have your characters getting it on in the hot tub, but what about chafing? What’s okay to say or not? How “dirty” can you get?

Assignment: Students will craft a sex scene using not only the physical but also emotional traits they’ve developed for their characters. They’ll explore whatever heat level they’ve chosen and layer the story with character-driven choices to deepen and strengthen the story by combining the sexytimes with the heart moments.

Week 4:

The final roundup. Writing to trend, traditional versus indie publishing, how/where/when/why to go about getting your stories out into the world. Questions and answers about all the material covered.

Assignment: Revise plot outlines and/or sex scenes based on crit and learning curve. Refine the work. Finalize a goal.

Goals Of This Class

  • Differentiate between heat levels of erotic and sexy material, and what makes a romance what it is
  • Learn to combine the physical with the emotional to create character-driven, emotional stories that also sizzle
  • Write a sex scene that does more than titillate
  • Explore the possibilities for sexy material in the market and determine individual plans for writing future sexy material
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