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

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  239 ratings  ·  26 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
Paperback, 304 pages
Published February 5th 2002 by Touchstone (first published December 14th 2001)
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May 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is the second time I've read Susie Bright's guide to erotic writing. This time I'm trying to stay ahead of my two writing students, picking up tips and tricks to make them good fetish writers. If you're going to steal, steal from the best.

No other author encourages erotic expression and excites potential writers as intensely, and readers can easily kindle to Bright's persona: a constantly improvising, super-informed, street-wise firebrand for the cause of sexual expression. Fetishists who t
Mar 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Dec 21, 2008 rated it liked it
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!
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
Cameron James
Jun 24, 2013 rated it liked it
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
Myk Pilgrim
Decided it was well past time to give this brilliant book a reread and was not dissapointed.
Susie is a pleasure to spend time with, her enthusiasm for life, and groinal shenanigans is infectious.
(yes I realise that infectious is a poor word choice given the topic)
Susie if you're reading this, thank you for your insight and if I ever get the chance, I would love to buy you a few drinks to say thank you.
I recommend this book often, and to everyone who is writing ANYTHING - sex is a integral part o
Jan 25, 2009 rated it really liked it
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.
Tyra Masters-heinrichs
Jan 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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.
Rhonda Gilmour
Jan 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Just for a lark, I decided to try my hand at writing a steamy romance. Susie Bright's book provides oodles of valuable advice; she also gives the reader one of the best discussions I've seen on the publishing industry, including various types of publishing, agents, contracts, interacting with fans, and more. This book is an excellent resource for writers of erotica, but also for any writer who's looking to include some spicy love scenes.
Tara Stone
Oct 30, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2009
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.
Mar 12, 2009 rated it really liked it
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.
Melanie Neale
Mar 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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!
Mar 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
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.
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.
Bill Glover
Jun 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: erotica, how-to, writing
An interesting and insightful history and discussion of writing dirty stories in America.
Angie on Books
Sep 29, 2013 marked it as to-read
Inspiration for me to keep writing and publish my own erotica.
Apr 02, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012, non-fiction, grc
I'm totally going to do it... and its gonna be AWESOME!!!!!... teeheehee
Mar 26, 2008 rated it really liked it
Fun book that had some really useful information. Easy, smooth read.
Stephen Heverin
How to Read/Write a Dirty Story by Susie Bright (2001)
Sep 08, 2013 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
I registered a book at!
Mar 14, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read_in_2011
GREAT book for anyone interested in writing, erotica or not. I absolutely loved it and recommend it to all.
Paul Manytravels
This is a good read, full of interesting ideas and tips on how to become a writer of erotica, including tips on each aspect of moving from having a story idea to publishing and promoting the work. It is useful, inspire of having been written 17 years ago, but more recent changes in technology and in publishing, including in self-publishing, probably mean an updated version of the book would be more useful than the old, 2001, version I read and am commenting upon here.
Louise Lagris
Jan 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book gave me the confidence to set out on my own erotica-writing journey! It's an incredibly helpful guide to exploring your fantasies on paper — for yourself, for your lovers, or for publication.
Abilio Pacheco
Jul 18, 2019 rated it liked it
Good advice on the subject
Elizabeth Reeve
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Sep 14, 2011
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Oct 22, 2017
rated it it was amazing
Jul 29, 2018
Lilya Loring
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Feb 28, 2016
Stephanie Jacobson
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Apr 16, 2013
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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.

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