Why No, My Face Is NOT Red

Back in December, I was involved in a discussion about (I paraphrase) how to get used to using “naughty” words in your writing, when they weren’t in your everyday vocabulary.

“Naughty” words should be treated just like any other words, as tools to get meaning across, to communicate meaning as accurately as possible.

For instance, do those particular words suit the story you’re writing? If your character wouldn’t say or think the word, then you shouldn’t use it.

I think a key to using transgressive words beneficially is to make those words, whatever they are, work for you. If you have to work to use them, reach down deeper into your unconscious, then they become a feature, not a bug.

It’s excellent writing exercise. Think of a sexual word you have never used, or perhaps a sexual act you’ve never written about, and then use it in a scene.

You might uncover more than you bargained for by transgressing your own internal boundaries.

About Victoria Janssen

Victoria Janssen’s first erotic novel, The Duchess, Her Maid, The Groom and Their Lover (Harlequin Spice, December 2008), was translated into French and German. Her second Spice novel, The Moonlight Mistress (December 2009), was translated into Italian and nominated for a RT Reviews Reviewers’ Choice Award. Her third novel is The Duke & The Pirate Queen (December 2010). She has also published erotic short stories as Elspeth Potter. Her blog features professional writing and marketing tips, genre discussion, book reviews, and occasional author interviews.
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2 Responses to Why No, My Face Is NOT Red

  1. Savanna Kougar says:

    Hmmm… interesting. Certainly, I've expanded my use of sexual words. More, I've expanded my ability to describe sex.
    However, I don't think I'll be transgressing any personal boundaries. I made a promise to myself I'd only write what I want and my heroine want to experience.

  2. Victoria Janssen says:

    I made a promise to myself I'd only write what I want and my heroine want to experience.

    That, also, is a valid choice. I think of my stories as more fantastical, though. I don't intend them always to feel real.

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