What’s it like attending an erotic fiction writing workshop?

Earlier in the week, I received an email from Write Stars inviting me to attend an erotic fiction writing workshop. WHAAAT? Now, it’s not something I’ve ever thought of attending. A writing workshop, yes. But erotic fiction? Erm… I’m not planning on becoming the next EL James.

Once the surprise passed and common sense set in, I thought, love scenes are bloody difficult to write (ever heard of Literary Review’s bad sex in fiction award?). So why not go along to the workshop and pick up some tips on writing raunchy love scenes for the novel that I might write in a few years.

The Saturday morning class – Passion on the Page – started at 9.30am with a champagne breakfast. Given we were going to talk about sex on a Saturday morning, alcohol was the perfect relaxant. The class was taught by Katherine Garbera, a prolific author of steamy novels who writes for Harlequin’s Desire and Blaze imprints. She started writing at 23, whilst working as a receptionist. It was a boring job and there was a spare computer at work, so she started writing during lunch. 61 books later, she is still excited about the genre she writes in and completes four a year.

Passion on the Page with Katherine Garbera

Champagne breakfast at 9.30am

Writing workshop with Katherine Garbera

Hard at work writing our kissing scene

Erotic writing workshop with Katherine Garbera

That’s Katherine on the right

Katherine’s writing tips:

  • Her writing process starts with 5 minutes of playing spider solitaire followed by 15 minutes of writing. The card game “cleanses the palate” and prepares her for the next scene she needs to write.
  • Pick a couple of words that fit the theme of the book and put it on the computer.
  • She collates her research and notes in a ring binder, and uses sticky tabs to bookmark important sections.
  • Write your first manuscript quickly. At this early stage, “there is a lot of self-doubt and neuroses”.
  • “I don’t talk about what I’m going to write in my new books. It loses its magic.”
  • “Things that turn me on are also the things that turn my readers on.”
Erotic fiction writing workshop with Katherine Garbera

Pudding after lunch

“Write what you want to read.”

Find out more about writing workshops by Write Stars and Katherine’s Passion on the Page workshop

Disclaimer: Write Stars gave me a free place to this workshop for the review

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