Tuesday, March 10, 2015

The R.Greco And M.Christian Roadshow Was A Hit - Thanks!

(from R.Greco And M.Christian Presents)

A hearty thanks so all the wonderful folks who came to our classes and events - and special gratitude to the fantastic venues who allowed us to put on the R.Greco and M.Christian Road ShowSin In The CityWicked GroundsThe SF CitadelThe Center For Sex And Culture ... and the great folks at Leather, Lace And Lust who put on an amazing show!

Stay tuned for even more fun R.Greco and M.Christian sexy shenanigans!

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Confessions Of A Literary Streetwalker: Whatcha Say?

This is so fun: check out my brand new essay on erotica and dialogue over at the amazing WriteSex site.

“Dialogue can be tricky—”

“Whatcha mean ‘dialogue can be tricky’? It’s just people talking, right? How hard can it be?”

“You’d be surprised. For instance, a lot of people think that dialogue should be … um … er … ah … accurate. But if you wrote down how people actually talk it’s kind of … muddled … youknowwhatImean?”

“Okay, I getcha: you mean people should have distinctive voices, sound like human beings, but not cram those voices with the stuff real people actually say when they’re talking.”

“Bingo! It’s also important to know some basic dialogue grammar and punctuat—”

“—like dashes for when someone gets interrupted—”

“—right! Or when you…”

“Trail off, right? What about ‘OK’?”

“Well, the jury is out on that one. Personally I don’t like two huge caps in my dialogue. I prefer the more natural ‘okay.’ The same with tags, some people think that you have to have at least one tag at the end of a line of dialogue, but others say you don’t need any as long as it’s clear who’s doing the speaking—especially if it’s just between two characters, like us. Just be sure not to go too long without a tag as readers can sometime lose track of the characters.”

“I’m hip. I heard someone say that you should know who’s doing the talking by their vocabulary or style, but not to be so obvious that it’s clumsy.”

“It’s tricky, to be sure, but it really helps bring a character to life. Also, don’t hesitate to use typographic emphasis in dialogue, especially when it makes what a person is saying clear. Just stay away from ALL CAPS—”

“Jeez, no need to shout.”

“Or too many exclamation points!!!!”

“Which just sounds weird.”

“It’s much better to use simple italics … just be sure and put them where they’re most needed and not just willy-nilly as, again, it comes off as … bizarre.”

“Right. What also gets me is when characters talk all stilted-like. I mean, come on: you can be loose and be hard to follow but too stiff and it’s like listening to two damned robots.”

“To be sure! Try listening to your characters. Pay attention to writers who do dialogue well, or to good movies or TV shows. That’s how a writer learns, after all. You can also use … what is it called? Oh, yeah: grammar as a way of giving a character life like … pauses, like that. Or (watch where you’re stepping, buddy) asides, like that, or [can you tell me the way to the train station], he said in French. Stuff like that. But, again, don’t try to be too clever ’cause it’ll just pull readers out of the story.”

“What about if you have someone who’s … what did Bob say? ‘Quoting from another character’?”

“Yeah, that can be tricky. Technically you just have to put a single quotation mark in there like you did, but I don’t like to have people directly quote another character. It’s confusing, and unrealistic since we rarely remember what someone exactly said: kind of pulls the reader out of the dialogue.”

‘Then there’s the Brits—’

“Oh, yeah; that can be confusing: British copy editors often have single quotes for dialogue.”

“You know what ruffles my feathers?”

“Do tell.”

“When people think you have to have a whole new tag at the end of each line of dialogue, like repeating ‘said’ is some horrible rule to stay away from. I mean, come on, it can get real silly real quick: people ‘said’ then ‘uttered’ then ‘proclaimed’ then ‘spouted’ … sheesh!”

“I hear ya. The same goes fer people talkin’ way too much with whatcha might say is an accent. Get with it, folks: if ya can’t understan’ it it ain’t gonna work—”

“Or when youse puts in whatcha think is ah poinsonal style a’ talkin’ and all da happens is it’s either confusin’ or insultin’—youse catcha my drift?”

“Oh, yeah! Nothing worse that a character you can’t understand, or one who sounds like a poorly constructed stereotype. I understand wanting to show off someone’s character through their dialogue, but ya gotta do yer research and keep it down to a dull roar.”

“Like with historical characters. Oh, man, that gets my goat: when you got this Roman legionnaire saying, like, ‘okay’ or something like that. Or a Victorian British character using 21st century terms. Sure, too much accuracy is just as bad … ’cause I doubt anyone would ever understand a word they were saying … but that doesn’t mean throwing a bunch of anachronisms into a story, either. So, what about sex?”

“Here? Now? With all these people watching?”

“Ha-ha, Mr. Comedian. No, I mean what about dialogue with sex scenes?”

“Oh, that. Well, stay the hell away from onomatopoeias—”


“Now who’s the comedian? Onomatopoeia: ‘the formation of a word from a sound associated with what is named’, according to Webster’s. In erotica it’s oooooh, aaaaah … stuff like that. Sound effects, you could say. Always horrible in erotica. You can just write that someone laughed or moaned.”

“Oh, yeah, I know what you mean. Like you said, too, I guess: make sure your characters use the right words for what they’re doing.”

“God, yes. And research is important but, again, don’t let it get in the way of being clear about what’s happening. Back to the Victorians: they used a lot of slang for sex and body parts—so you can have fun there … just not too much or it can either get confusing or make you look like a show-off.”

“Okay, Mr. Expert: what advice can you give a writer about dialogue?”

“Well, for starters, feel your characters. Listen to them. Don’t worry about avoiding grammatical mistakes—you can always fix that later—just get their voices down on the page. Use your own life: the way you and your friends talk … just don’t be too literal. Try to push yourself: if you feel your dialogue could do with some work, read plays or listen to movies or shows with the picture off to get a feeling for how people talk.”

“Sounds good to me … but you forgot an important one.”

“Oh? Enlighten me.”

“Write nothing but two people talking to each other.”


Calling M.Christian versatile is a tremendous understatement. Extensively published in science fiction, fantasy, horror, thrillers, and even non-fiction, it is in erotica that M.Christian has become an acknowledged master, with more than 400 stories, 10 novels (including The Very Bloody Marys, Brushes and The Painted Doll). Nearly a dozen collections of his own work (Technorotica, In Control, Lambda nominee Dirty Words, The Bachelor Machine), more than two dozen anthologies (Best S/M Erotica series, My Love for All That is Bizarre: Sherlock Holmes Erotica, The Burning Pen, and with Maxim Jakubowksi The Mammoth Book of Tales from the Road). His work is regularly selected for Best American Erotica, Best Gay Erotica, Best Lesbian Erotica, Best Bisexual Erotica, Best Fetish Erotica, and others. His extensive knowledge of erotica as writer, editor, anthologist and publisher resulted in the bestselling guide How To Write And Sell Erotica.

In addition, he is a prolific and respected anthologist, having edited twenty five anthologies to date. He is also responsible for several non-fiction books, notably How to Write and Sell Erotica.

M.Christian is also the Associate Publisher for Renaissance eBooks, where he strives to be the publisher he’d want to have as a writer, and to help bring quality books (erotica, noir, science fiction, and more) and authors out into the world.

He can be found in a number of places online, not least of which is mchristian.com.

Monday, March 02, 2015

Meet And Greet R.Greco And M.Christian At Wicked Grounds!

(from R.Greco and M.Christian Presents)

As part of the blast-and-a-half whirlwind R.Greco and M.Christian Roadshow, come hang out with these two notorious (but nice) erotica writers at San Francisco's BDSM coffee house, Wicked Grounds on Tuesday, March 3!

Get your books signed, get your laughter on, hear about their upcoming projects and classes - and have fun!

Erotic Authors: Ralph Greco, Jr. & M.Christian 

Wicked Grounds, San Francisco
289 8th Street, San Francisco, CA 94103
Tuesday, March 3, 2015: 1:00PM to 3:00PM

Wicked Grounds is San Francisco's first and only kink cafe and boutique. We have a full cafe in San Francisco and host a wide variety of BDSM and related events, including workshops, classes, social gatherings, and munches.

Here's an opportunity to meet and greet Ralph Greco Jr. and M.Christian: two kick-ass smut writers and BDSM/sex educators who know how to have a good time ... either on the page or in the bedroom/dungeon!

In town as part of a whirlwind tour of kinky teaching and sexy authoring, Chris and Ralph (to their friends) will be available to chat about being an editor for Von Gutenberg Latex Couture Fashion Magazine (Ralph) and Renaissance E Books/Sizzler Editions (Chris) and their BDSM classes (such as Sensual Caning, Basic Bondage, Cupping, Breast Torture, and more) and their renowned erotica writing class series!

Come chat BDSM classes, get some books signed, and have a fun time with two fun guys...

This Saturday, March 7th: Next Leather, Lace And Lust Reading Event!

(from M.Christian's Classes and Appearances)

Leather, Lace & Lust: 
An Evening Of Erotic Storytelling and Sexual Merriment

From the tempting tease of delicate lace to the steamy heat of hardcore leather, these authors and performers will amuse, delight, and most of all excite you in all kinds of new and provocative ways; This is an evening of witty, carnal, and provocative literary endeavors that will tickle just about every kind of fancy, a festival of playful sensual fiction that will make you laugh, cry, and get that oh-so-special tingly feeling in your nether-regions.

In other words, a night of kick-ass erotica performed by ass-kicking writers!

Sponsored by WriteSex: Everything a writer needs to know about the business of publishing erotica!

Our featured performers include:
  • Molly Weatherfield: "Twenty years ago, a mild-mannered computer programmer decided to spend some quality time with her erotic fantasy life, and Carrie's Story - BDSM for smart girls - was born."
  • Blake C. Aarens is an author, poet, screenwriter, playwright, and a Black Girl Nerd.
  • Jean Marie Stine is the author of a number of pioneering works of erotica published in the late 1960 and early 1970s, beginning with Season of the Witch in 1968, which was filmed as the motion picture Synapse. Her erotic short stories and novelettes have been collected as "Trans-sexual: Fiction for Gender Queers."
  • M.Christian is a recognized master of erotica with more than 400 stories in such anthologies as Best American Erotica, Best Gay Erotica, Best Lesbian Erotica, Best Bisexual Erotica, Best Fetish Erotica and many others.
  • Dr. Carol Queen is the author of Real Live Nude Girl: Chronicles of Sex-Positive Culture, The Leather Daddy and the Femme, Exhibitionism for the Shy, and co-editor of PoMoSexuals: Challenging Assumptions About Gender and Sexuality (winner of a Lambda Literary Award in 1998; with Lawrence Schimel)
  • R. Greco's short fiction (erotic and 'straight' fiction) has been published in 7 countries, various anthologies and single author short story collections from Xcite Books in the U.K., C.F. Publications and with Renissance E Books. Ralph is also the co-host of an hour-long net talk program, "Peter Riot's Smack Talk", was a pre-school music teacher and has played his original music in concert festivals in Italy, the U.S. and England.
Saturday, March 7th
Doors Open at 6:30 - Performance from 7:00PM to 10:00PM
Center For Sex And Culture
1349 Mission Street
San Francisco, CA 94103