How to Write a Dirty Story: Reading, Writing, and Publishing Erotica
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

How to Write a Dirty Story: Reading, Writing, and Publishing Erotica

3.79 of 5 stars 3.79  ·  rating details  ·  156 ratings  ·  19 reviews
For aspiring erotica writers -- and authors in any genre who want to make the "good" parts great
Susie Bright is the first and reigning queen of contemporary erotica. In How to Write a Dirty Story she reveals her tricks of the trade and shows you how to heat up sex scenes in everything from traditional novels and romances to science fiction and humor. Easing the aspiring...more
ebook, 256 pages
Published February 5th 2002 by Touchstone (first published December 14th 2001)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about How to Write a Dirty Story, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about How to Write a Dirty Story

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 367)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Usually with books on writing, I only find some information in it I can use. I was able to pull some things from this book that I found very helpful in improving love scenes in my writing. Love scenes for the romance genre are probably the most difficult scenes for any writer to write well. You have to include really good conflict, you have to write sensations and feelings in a very strong and unique way and of course the loves scenes have to move the plot forward. I found the characters splits...more
If there was a God, I'm sure he would've given me a way to give this abomination -5 stars, because that's precisely what it deserves. As I can't do that, I'm going to have to satisfy my deepest urges by not rating it at all; but make no mistake, the lack of rating is a definitive ZERO (or -5, if you want to truly understand the depth of my suffering).

Filled with the meandering details of the author's stupid fucking life at just about every corner, the book provides almost no applicable advice,...more
Sexual writing is no longer the shocker it once was (although always there will be those who denigrate such writing as “smut”, bless their little repressed hearts) but it can still have the power to titillate. Ms. Bright knows this and she is keen to inspire the next generation to bring their erotic fantasies, stories, novels, poems, etc. to the attention of the public. However, she realizes that publishing is not for everyone, that some people wish to keep their readership to a select few (thin...more
it was pretty good, DEFINETLY worth trying out if you're into getting more eros out of your prose! Great suggestions on reading, but some things are tricky to find. over all pretty good!
Cameron D. James
I found this book to be an enjoyable read, but the title felt a little misleading.

As far as a writing book goes, this one has a lot going for it. Number one is that it’s easy to read. A lot of those writing books are dry and clunky; it’s hard to write about writing effectively. However, Bright does just that. I whizzed through this book pretty quickly. The second main strength of this book is its empowering nature. The key message repeatedly emphasized is that absolutely anyone can write a dirty...more
Out of Date
I originally got and read this book when it came out in 2001 and decided the time was right for a re-read.

Unfortunately, it's a bit out of date. The landscape has changed dramatically for erotic writing. While some of what Susie Bright says is still true (writing erotica HAS improved my sex life...), it could definitely use an update.

My other issue with the book is that it doesn't truly deliver on it's title. When I get a book with "How to..." in the title, I expect to be able to do t...more
Melanie Neale
Loved this--I feel like it helped me with both "dirty" and "regular" writing, since there really ought not to be a difference anyway. But it's very real and very practical, and offers great exercises and tips not only for writing, but for marketing and publishing and what comes after the writing is over...the stuff that you don't learn about in school. Highly recommend!
I'm not a fan of erotic literature myself, thought Susie Bright's advice on how to write a good dirty story makes me wonder what I'm missing. As an author, I'm interesting in honing my craft. Bright's approach to capturing authentic, human emotion on the page compels me to apply her techniques to my own work. She writes to help us pour our own vitality into our work. Whether you're a fiend or a prude or something off the scale, reading this book as an author invites excitement and inspiration.
Tara Stone
I'm not planning on writing erotica, but I bought a couple of books about writing erotic stories in the hope that they would give me an idea how to fit sex into mainstream stories, and how to create the same level of intensity an erotic story has even if the story isn't necessarily sexual. I enjoyed this book a lot, mainly because of Susie Bright's writing style. She was just as friendly and inspiring in this book as she was in the other book of hers that I've read.
Tyra Masters-heinrichs
I really enjoyed this book. Even loaned it out to a couple writer friends who then went and bought it. Kind of says it all. I have filled my copy with highlights, and those plastic tabs.
I really recommend this book not just for those of you who want to write erotica, but for any writer trying to spice up their writing or who is approaching a difficult (for you) subject. The book has great advice, good humour and takes a serious look at the craft.

Take a look.
This is an insightful look at not only the mechanics of writing in general but how to take an honest look at ourselves during the writing process. I would recommend this book to anyone wanting to reevaluate their outlook on the social dynamics that continue to shape the writing industry and touch on the one subject that truly touches all of our lives.
It was an entertaining and informative reference for both writing and the history of sexual politics in the United States. Easily my first five-star book of 2012. I bought three other books based on the novel/anthology references in this book, and I scribbled down a few others too.
I already know how to write a dirty story. (Hi, everybody!) But this is more than just that — Susie Bright gives broad sweeps to what makes smut capture minds, both individuals' and society's, and gives a compelling history on modern day erotica.
Sep 08, 2013 Kelli marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
I registered a book at!
Cristina Garcia
GREAT book for anyone interested in writing, erotica or not. I absolutely loved it and recommend it to all.
I'm totally going to do it... and its gonna be AWESOME!!!!!... teeheehee
Fun book that had some really useful information. Easy, smooth read.
Stephen Heverin
How to Read/Write a Dirty Story by Susie Bright (2001)
Martha Garvey
Terrific book about writing, period.
Harley Easton
Harley Easton marked it as to-read
Sep 12, 2014
Lippy marked it as to-read
Sep 03, 2014
Candy Wyman
Candy Wyman marked it as to-read
Aug 23, 2014
Jasmine marked it as to-read
Aug 18, 2014
Karen marked it as to-read
Aug 14, 2014
xin bo zhao tzu
xin bo zhao tzu marked it as to-read
Aug 13, 2014
Sasha Cameron
Sasha Cameron marked it as to-read
Aug 10, 2014
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 12 13 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Joy of Writing Sex: A Guide for Fiction Writers
  • How to Write Killer Fiction: The Funhouse of Mystery & the Roller Coaster of Suspense
  • How to Write a Damn Good Mystery: A Practical Step-by-Step Guide from Inspiration to Finished Manuscript
  • Immediate Fiction: A Complete Writing Course
  • On Writing Romance: How to Craft a Novel That Sells
  • First Draft in 30 Days: A Novel Writer's System for Building a Complete and Cohesive Manuscript
  • Writing Mysteries
  • GMC: Goal, Motivation and Conflict: The Building Blocks of Good Fiction
  • The Weekend Novelist
  • Writing Dialogue
  • Writing the Novel: From Plot to Print
  • Story Structure Architect: A Writer's Guide to Building Dramatic Situations and Compelling Characters
  • Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook: Hands-On Help for Making Your Novel Stand Out and Succeed
  • Robert's Rules of Writing: 101 Unconventional Lessons Every Writer Needs to Know
  • Body Trauma: A Writer's Guide to Wounds and Injuries
  • Sex for One: The Joy of Selfloving
  • The Pocket Muse: Ideas and Inspirations for Writing
  • The 38 Most Common Fiction Writing Mistakes
Susannah "Susie" Bright (also known as Susie Sexpert) is a writer, speaker, teacher, audio-show host, performer, all on the subject of sexuality. She is one of the first writers/activists referred to as a sex-positive feminist.
More about Susie Bright...
Big Sex Little Death: A Memoir Bitten: Dark Erotic Stories The Sexual State of the Union Full Exposure: Opening Up to Sexual Creativity and Erotic Expression The Best American Erotica 2003 (Best American Erotica)

Share This Book

“What's so wonderful about experiments is that often they don't work. They do blow up in the oven; the Bride of Frankenstein does crawl out and strangle you with a black leotard while you shout your last prayers. It's only once you've tasted your own shocking failures, harebrained ideas, and sudden departures that you will realize something quite wonderful.” 3 likes
More quotes…