Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Official Launch of 'The Erotic Writer's Thesaurus' paperback edition!

NOW AVAILABLE IN PAPERBACK!

The Erotic Writer's Thesaurus (Amazon.com)
(also available in the UK, here)




With over 10,000 entries and more than 1,800 examples of words in ‘real-world’ context, ‘The Erotic Writer’s Thesaurus’ is the most thorough, in-depth, serious reference of its kind. Besides all the expected “obvious” words—with long lists of creative substitutes—users will also find entries representing a wide range of gesture and emotion, words to establish erotic context and setting including common expressions, expletives, “swear words” and insults with “clean” alternatives, plus many antiquated or obsolete words  and phrases of value to writers of erotic historical narrative.


The Erotic Writer’s Thesaurus differs from “traditional” reference books of this type in two significant ways. In most thesauruses, word lists are arranged hierarchically, that is, synonym lists will first show the nearest alternatives to the entry (headword) followed by more remotely-related words, all regardless of alphabetization. In almost all earlier thesauruses, headwords were arranged so as to reflect an editor’s judgment about which forms of a word were most common or useful, thus, a word like “exact” might be presented first as an adjective, and then as a verb, while in the same book,“advance” might be presented first as a noun, than as a verb, and then in its adjectival form “advanced”. All synonym lists in the EWT are arranged in strict alphabetical order. Where a word may belong to several parts of speech, those variants are always presented in the same order: verb, noun, adjective, adverb or preposition. Some words or phrases also function as intensifiers, interjections, or colloquial expressions, and these functions are indicated as appropriate. There are some words that defy synonymization, and so, occasionally, ‘The Erotic Writer’s Thesaurus’ also functions as a dictionary, offering brief definitions, which may be used as a starting point for more in-dpeth research.  


Praise for The Erotic Writer’s Thesaurus:

Believe me, if you write erotica or hot romance, you need this book
Janine Ashbless, author of ‘Named and Shamed’

Aside from its obvious utility, the tremendous fun of this thesaurus is in simply browsing its thoroughness: who knew the Yiddish word for buxom? That one of the many terms for having sex is “playing the blanket hornpipe”? So many possibilities...

LN Bey, author of ‘Blue


A landmark work, this is the last word—or rather the last 10,000 words!—in erotic vocabulary reference books
Jeremy Edwards, author of ‘The Pleasure Dial’


…an amazing achievement…‘The Erotic Writer’s Thesaurus’ is a major work of reference that also manages to be highly entertaining… It’s an aid to reading as well as writing; if you come across a term that puzzles you, just look it up here. And for we writers, whether or not we write erotica, chances are we can do it even better with the help of Terrance Aldon Shaw’s book.  

Sacchi Green, editor of the ‘Best Lesbian Erotica’ series
  
Every writer should have a copy of The Erotic Writer's Thesaurus on his or her virtual desktop. Not just for the writer of erotica; if sex or the erotic enters your work in any fashion, you will find this reference invaluable and just plain fascinating.
D. L. King, editor of ‘The Harder She Comes: Butch/Femme Erotica’

A truly invaluable resource, and an incredibly useful tool for my writing. I genuinely believe that this will be one of the most useful titles an aspiring erotic fiction author can purchase
Ashley Lister, author of ‘How to Write Erotic Fiction and Sex Scenes’


At last! The thesaurus I've been waiting for! Not only a definitive guide to word usage for authors of erotic fiction, but easy to navigate and brimming with inspiration for making more adventurous vocabulary choices. A must-have for veterans and new writers alike. I've no doubt that this has been a labour of love in its creation; a labour for which I'm hugely grateful.
Emmanuelle de Maupassant, author of ‘The Gentlemen’s Club’

With the American public’s appetite for erotica on the rise, Terrance Aldon Shaw’s The Erotic Writer’s Theraurus gives writers the language and creativity to publish successfully. Erotica involves risk, challenge, and non-conformity. “One’s destination is never a place but rather a new way of looking at things,” Henry Miller once wrote in Big Sur. This book allows authors to conjure words, to transform them into something powerful and magical. It should definitely be included on the reference shelf of any writer of erotica serious about their craft.”
Cole Riley, author of ‘Making the Hookup: Edgy Sex with Soul’
editor of ‘Too Much Boogie: Erotic Remixes of Dirty Blues’
(Making The Hookup, Too
A delight for all lovers of words and a must-have for smart erotica writers in search of the mot juste.
Donna George Storey, author of ‘Amorous Woman’




(also available in the UK, here)

Sunday, May 13, 2018

New on-line version of 'The Erotic Writer's Thesaurus'

Today, EftBB launches a brand new, fully updated on-line version of The Erotic Writer's Thesaurus a few days ahead of the publication of the unabridged print edition (available Tuesday, May 22, 2018 (see below)). As before, this free, abridged on-line edition is available to everyone. More comprehensive and consistent than the earlier version, the new on-line EWT is divided into two pages:



The old EWT page got its 10.000th hit yesterday (5/12/18), so this seems like an appropriate time to launch the new version.



Watch for the print edition,
Coming quickly to your favorite book-seller!



With over 10,000 entries and more than 1,800 examples of words in ‘real-world’ context, ‘The Erotic Writer’s Thesaurus’ is the most thorough, in-depth, serious reference of its kind. Besides all the expected “obvious” words—with long lists of creative substitutes—users will also find entries representing a wide range of gesture and emotion, words to establish erotic context and setting including common expressions, expletives, “swear words” and insults with “clean” alternatives, plus many antiquated or obsolete words  and phrases of value to writers of erotic historical narrative. For all serious writers, editors, and fans of adult genre and literary fiction.

Available Tuesday, May 22, 2018
through Amazon and Createspace,
All other seller shortly thereafter.
510 pages, 8.5 x 11, double columns, featuring 10-point fonts.
 (Note that most dictionaries feature between 4- to 6-point type)
$22.50 USD

Availability of other formats TBA






Sunday, April 29, 2018

Erotica for the Big Brain at Six—A Mission Statement


Hard to believe that I’ve been at this for a little over six years now. It had never occurred to me in all that time to post anything like an Official Mission Statement for EftBB, although I have articulated all these principles separately over the years. So here, at last, is something like a coherent mission statement:

(1) Erotica is literature—not smut, or filth, or garbage, but real literature.
(2) The quality of writing and storytelling in erotica should be subject to the same critical standards applied to any other type of literature.
(3) Well-written erotica is no less worthy of serious discussion and appraisal than any other form; it deserves the same level of critical attention—thoughtful long-form critique—as any other “serious” form.
(4) By regarding erotic literature with high expectations, and by working to raise the standards of craftspersonship and professionalism within the form, my aim is to show that it is not only possible, but perfectly natural, to be a creature of profound intellect, wisdom, and spirit, as well as a thriving, fully-realized sexual being. “Smart and sexy” is not an oxymoron. “Wise and sexy,” “sane and sexy,” “ethical and sexy,” and “happy and sexy” are not contradictions.

[NOTE TO READERS: As I race to complete work on The Erotic Writer’s Thesaurus by the launch date of Tuesday, May 22, I hope after that time to have enough breathing space to get back to a regular schedule of reviews, articles, and stories. Thanks to all EftBB's faithful readers for their forbearance in this hectic time. TAS]




Sunday, March 18, 2018

'The Erotic Writer's Thesaurus' Nears Completion


As of this writing, The Erotic Writer’s Thesaurus is nearing completion. Hard to believe I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel after nearly five years, but, then, I’m not complaining. I estimate another four to six weeks to complete the editorial work, and maybe another month beyond that to finish the formatting. The book will be widely available in paperback—a rather thick paperback at around 500 8.5 x 11 pages—and I am currently exploring the possibility of making a PDF version available on CD-R or even flash drive so that users can have easy access to it on their computers.

Still, I wonder, will anybody really want this book? Will the literally thousands of hours I’ve put into it make any difference when potential buyers balk at the price? (And the paperback will probably be a bit expensive given size and production costs. I estimate in the 20-dollar (USD) range.)  Will it be of any use to anybody? With over 20,000 entries, will people complain that it’s unnecessarily nebulous, too unfocused, or not nearly close to exhaustive? (An exhaustive exploration of erotic vocabulary would be impossible, of course, and, as with all reference books of this type, the book will be obsolete even before it hits the market.) Will all my hard work be for naught?

In any case, I plan to take a long sabbatical once the work is complete. I haven’t had a real vacation in over ten years, and, it seems, my whole life has been consumed by work to the exclusion of everything else. I’ve kept at it in spite of depression, illness (the last six weeks), and all the various headwinds that life has chosen to blow in my direction, determined not to quit, even though sometimes it feels like I’m rolling a rock up a hill in Hades. I will finish, but I want it to be over—and with good reason. After the recent launch of my novel The Seven Seductions—which appears to be going over like a gaudy lead balloon—and the continuing slog on the Thesaurus, I need a break, some breathing space in which I don’t feel obligated to have an opinion about…anything. Some time to recharge my creative batteries.

OK. Rant off.




Thursday, March 1, 2018

Short story by TAS in the final issue of 'A Café in Space'



Delighted and thrilled to have my short story Ad Astra included in the final issue of A Café in Space, The Anaïs Nin Literary Journal Vol. 15. The story was inspired by this short quote from Nin:

The life of the unconscious is life without pattern, certainty, or rigidity. It approximates the dream. It is pure flow.

This is a beautiful issue, chock full of valuable scholarly work, never-before published excerpts from Nin's diaries, biographical sketches, personal remembrances, poetry, and short fiction, with a number of fascinating black and white photographs depicting Nin and her circle. Kudos and thanks to editor Paul Heron!



Sunday, February 25, 2018

In a World... Demystifying The Blurb


For many authors, writing The Blurb is the most unenjoyable aspect of the whole creative process. I don’t know anyone who actually looks forward to it. But that’s hardly surprising: blurb-writing is one of those annoying but necessary chores that can neither be postponed nor procrastinated out of mind, an acute pain in the ass to be endured and, hopefully, done with as soon as possible. Perhaps one reason writers despise blurb-writing so much is because it’s a buzz-kill, the requirement coming precisely at that moment when the author is flush with the exultation of achievement, having only recently completed their masterpiece; the hero who just won the Big Game is nonetheless required to change the litter boxes and take out the trash. The Blurb is the party-pooper’s pin that bursts our happy-thought ballon.  

Then, too, the need to compose The Blurb often comes at a moment when the author is tired, having expended great energy to finish a book, and possibly beginning to suffer the natural symptoms of post-project let-down. It’s not exactly something that motivates people to drag themselves out of bed in the morning.

Must it ever be so? Let’s think a little bit about the elements of effective blurb writing, and how we might make it less of a chore.

At the beginning I said that writing a blurb is part of the creative process, and this needs to be born in mind. We don’t turn off our creative imaginations when it comes to composing The Blurb, it’s an essential part of the whole endeavor.  In many ways, it is also a challenge of craft: how many words do you need to compose an effective blurb? Fifty? Seventy-five? One-hundred? Three-hundred? It’s often possible, by working within a set of severe limitations, to create something not merely memorable, but powerful in its impact. So, as opposed to thinking of The Blurb as some looming shadowy menace with which one must do battle, think of it as nothing more nor less than a simple, garden-variety paragraph to be written.

But this is a paragraph with purpose! Regardless of how many words one has to work with, the paragraph that is The Blurb must accomplish the following: (1) Broadly synopsize the story, or at least, describe the problem the characters must face and overcome. (2) Compellingly introduce at least one important character. (3) Entice potential readers, not only to buy the book, but make them hungry to find out what happens inside.

Synopsis

As far as synopsis goes, The Blurb need provide little more than a thumbnail sketch of the beginning of the story; that is, describe the set-up. The author doesn’t have to know—and readers at this point don’t want to know—how the story ends, they only need to understand the problem or conflict that sets the story in motion. If that conflict is compelling—compellingly described—people will be inspired to explore. (Also note: the author doesn’t have to wait till the book is finished to write the blurb, but can compose it at leisure as the story takes shape.)

The Blurb sets up the story but does not finish it; gives potential readers a glimpse of the storyworld and the characters who occupy it, but does not flesh out details. An effective blurb piques readers’ curiosity, inviting them to pursue a tantalizing mystery.  It ought to go without saying—but often clearly doesn’t—that any well-written blurb eschews spoilers. The author’s primary aim in composing The Blurb is to whet readers’ appetite. Giving too much away too soon is as bad as providing too sketchy a description. Most readers’ attitude may well be “why bother?”

Perhaps the best way to pique curiosity is to pose a series of questions. As in a teaser for an old-fashioned dramatic series, it boils down to “what will happen?” Will the heroine escape the clutches of the wicked witch? Will the hero come riding to the rescue? Will love conquer all? If these are questions to which the reader badly-enough desires answrers, The Blurb has done precisely what it needs to do.

Character

Can you create a striking portrait of your main character with just a few well-chosen words? How much detail is required to make them come alive in the reader’s imagination? Is it more important to describe how the character looks, or how the character thinks or what they must do to overcome the difficulties that faces them?

The telegraphic nature of The Blurb allows for the use of descriptive modifiers that might otherwise be unwelcome in much serious writing. “Handsome, happily-married Jack falls madly in love with the beautiful mysterious Alison, who leads him into dark temptation… Is Jack under a witch’s spell…or is Alison the unwitting pawn of an even greater evil?” As a rule, keep the descriptions fairly broad, and allow readers to use their own imaginations to some extent.

Enticement

Regardless of genre or literary taste, The Blurb is akin to advertising fast food; you need to make the story sound tasty enough to get people’s mouths to water—you need to make them want it right now! And, just as a well-crafted opening sentence draws people into the story itself, The Blurb’s first line should grab them, suck them in, and make reading the rest of the paragraph, and then the whole book, inevitable.

Finally, here are some examples of blurbs I composed for my latest novel, The Seven Seductions. I began working on these a couple years before completing the book in December of last year, refining as required once the book was finished. I’ve included several versions of The Blurb in varying lengths. You may decide how effective (or not) they are.


(1) The Seven Seductions.
Short form (75 words)

Haunted by a demon’s prophecy…

Gretchen grows up dreading the destiny she cannot escape—not even within the walls of a convent— the lustful longings of the otherworldly creature she knows only as The Nameless One.

Now, after having become Sister Mary Chastity, Gretchen must struggle with the stirrings of her own long-buried desires. Can a handsome, carefree young artist help her to face her fears? Or is he, himself, the demon in human guise?


(2) The Seven Seductions
Medium (102 words)

Haunted by a demon’s prophecy…

Gretchen grows up dreading the destiny she cannot escape—not even within the walls of a convent—the lustful longings of the otherworldly creature she knows only as The Nameless One. Uncanny things have always had a way of happening ever since her older sister read aloud from a book of black magic, unwittingly awakening the demon. But now, after having become Sister Mary Chastity, Gretchen must struggle with the stirrings of her own long-buried desires. Can a handsome, carefree young artist help her to face her fears? Or is he, himself, the demon in human guise?


(3) The Seven Seductions
Extended (226 words)

Haunted by a demon’s prophecy…

Gretchen grows up dreading the destiny she cannot escape—not even within the walls of a convent—the lustful longings of the otherworldly creature she knows only as The Nameless One.

Uncanny things have always had a way of happening ever since her older sister read aloud from a book of black magic, unwittingly awakening the demon. But now, after having become Sister Mary Chastity, Gretchen must struggle with the stirrings of her own long-buried desires, the undeniable yearnings that overpower her flesh, and the guilt that inevitably follows when memory intrudes upon the present and dark secrets come back to confound her.

On “holy retreat” in a vacation house by the shores of a lake in the Great North Woods, Mary Chastity meets Magic, a handsome, carefree young artist who tests her vows even as he speaks to something deep within her heart. Can this beautiful boy help her to face her fears—or is he part of the future The Nameless One has foreseen for her all along? Is Magic the key to Mary Chastity’s salvation—or nothing less than the incubus itself in human guise?

All is ultimately revealed when past and present converge, and Mary Chastity is forced to confront her demons in a blazing finale that takes her to the very depths of Hell and back!




Monday, February 19, 2018

Steamy except from TAS' 'The Seven Seductions' on Janine Ashbless' blog


You can read a super-steamy excerpt from my new novel The Seven Seductions on Janine Ashbless' Blue Monday blog, here.

Enjoy!