How to write sex stories using a formula plot template

Note: This guide doesn’t teach you the way to write pornographic short stories. There’s no single way to write about sex, and since sex is such an emotional and often spontaneous activity the topic lends itself to free-flowing, spontaneous writing. Having said that, good stories tend to follow a logical progression of events based on cause and effect. Good writing also caters to human psychology; readers want realistic characters with reasonable motivation, rising action, a climax and closure at the end. This guide takes all of these elements into consideration and lays out a useful formula to writing short pornographic stories.

This guide is a modified version of my general formula plot template, which will give you a bigger overview of formulaic story structure. I also have a couple erotic choose your own adventure templates you can use.

Getting Started

Before you can write a story you need to decide what the story is going to be about. The trick to picking the right story isn’t to have a million brilliant ideas. The trick is to eliminate 999,999 of those ideas until you’re down to one. In order to do that you need to ask yourself two questions:

1. What do you want to write about?

2. What do your readers want to read about?

I would advise any writer in any genre to write about what they, themselves want to read about. Trying to guess what other people want to read can drive you mad, but since we’re all humans with the same brains and hormones, that means someone out there wants to read the same thing you do. If you write about your interests you’ll be able to flesh out your story with details that express your passion and make your story more genuine, and since you’ll be speaking from your own experiences and fantasies you won’t have to think too long and hard about how to express yourself. Plus, you’ll have more fun writing for yourself, and the more fun you have writing the more fun others will have reading your work.

The Introduction Scene

Every sitcom or movie you watch will begin by introducing the main character. Pornography is no different. Movies can spend the first twenty minutes illustrating who the main characters are, what they want, where they live and what they’re doing with their lives. Sitcoms have to do all of that in less than one minute. Pornographic vignettes have to do that in a few paragraphs.

There’s no set length for how long each segment of a story needs to be. It needs to be as long as it needs to be to say what you need to say. So don’t get hung up on the length of your writing. Just make sure you say what needs to be said. Understand though that people read pornographic vignettes to live out a quick fantasy. They don’t need or want to know the characters’ entire life stories. They just need you to set the stage for their fantasy and move on towards the climax.

Here are the details you do need to include in the first couple of paragraphs of your story: A physical description of the main character. His/her name, location and maybe their occupation. You also need to relate the state of your character’s sex life. Chances are there’s something missing in your main character’s sex life. They could be lonely, just getting over an ex, taking their relationship to a new level, looking for their next fling or even avoiding sex for some reason. Whatever the case may be the reader needs to know what the main character wants and how they feel about their sex life. This brings your characters to life, makes them easier to relate to and gives them credible motivation for whatever they’re going to do for the rest of the story.

If your story starts with your main character leaving the house and having sex with some random person for no reason your story won’t flow; it might not even make any sense. Another very important reason to get into the main character’s mind is because sex is as emotional as it is physical. Half the eroticism of pornographic writing is exploring the emotional aspect of sex. In order to relate that you need to explore your characters’ thoughts, desires, expectations, insecurities and reactions.

Since every pornography story revolves around the main characters you need to write believable characters. The best way to do this is to use yourself as the main character, and have the person “you” have sex with be someone you actually know (or at least have seen). It might help you to use your real names when writing the first draft. Then change the names when you’re finished. When you write about real people they’ll feel like real people and you won’t have to worry about inventing every detail out of thin air. Of course, since fantasies are exaggerations of real life you don’t want the details to be completely based on reality. You can and should tweak the descriptions, thoughts and behaviors to meet the needs of the fantasy (and to protect the real identities of the people the characters are based on).

The Cataclysm Scene

Once you’ve established who your main character is, where they’re at in life, what they’re missing and what they want then you’ve set the stage to give it to them. During the introduction segment of the story the main character was going on about their life as normal. In the cataclysm segment the main character goes somewhere or meets someone that opens up the opportunity for the main character to fulfill their unfulfilled desire.

In an action movie the cataclysm would be an intense event that completely throws the main character’s life off track like an alien invasion or the death of a loved one. In a sitcom the cataclysm would be an idiosyncratic opportunity or inconvenience. In pornography you don’t have to get so creative. The cataclysm is usually nothing more than the main character meeting the person they’re about to have sex with.

If the main character already knows the person they’re about to have sex with then the cataclysm needs to be some event that changes the nature of their relationship. The easiest way to orchestrate this is to have one of the characters take a chance and hit on the other one either for the first time or harder than usual. Whatever happens both characters need to have a reason for doing whatever it is they’re doing. Usually the reason they’re stepping out of their comfort zone is because they’re really, really horny, they have a strategic goal they can achieve by having sex or they have some philosophical/emotional justification/need.to.

The Decision Scene

Your story began by introducing your character, and then something happened to your character that opened up the opportunity to fulfill their sexual fantasy. It goes without saying that your character is going to accept this opportunity, but it’s important to tell the reader why. At the moment when the main character accepts the opportunity you need to get into the character’s head and explain their thought process. It may only take a sentence or two, and the reason may be as simple as the character being uncontrollably horny, but the reader needs to know this in order for the events that follow to flow logically and for the reader to fully empathize with the character they’re living through vicariously.  Your story can still be successful without this detail, but details are the difference between a good story and a great story.

The Crossing The Threshold Scene

You can’t lead your story up to a point where two people have decided to let go of their inhibitions and then immediately start having skin-slapping sex. There needs to be a transition scene that raises the emotional and physical energy in your story. If they just had full-on sex right now the story would be over. The reader wants to be teased and aroused before getting to the climax. Since your reader wants to be teased and aroused your character needs to be teased and aroused. So it pays to dwell on this phase of the courting ritual long enough to build some sexual tension. Have your characters make out and pet each other, and make sure to explain how the main character/s feel and think about the situation they’re in. Focus specifically on the first time your characters touch and the first time they kiss.

The First Rising Action Scene (Foreplay)

Once you’ve built up the sexual tension a bit you’ve set the stage for the clothes to come off and the characters to finally get their hands on each other’s genitals. Have your characters give each other oral sex, hand jobs, fingering or whatever foreplay your characters are into.

This scene should raise the physical and emotional connection between the characters Get inside their heads and elaborate on how elated they are and how they can’t believe what’s happening. Tell the reader how badly your character wants more. Describe how hard, wet, sweaty and hot the characters make each other.

The Second Rising Action Scene (Sex)

After your characters are on the verge of bursting physically and emotionally you can finally allow them to have penetrating sex. Describe the physical act in detail. Describe how it feels inside and out. Make the action go faster and faster. Let the characters lose control emotionally and tell the readers how the characters feel and what they’re thinking.

The Climax Scene

This segment of the story isn’t just about bodily fluids. This is the fulfilment of someone’s wildest dream. That’s a huge occasion that’s going to affect them emotionally. Take a moment to dwell on how emotionally and physically satisfying the experience is to the characters. Say how it affects them. Say how relieved and fulfilled it’s made them. Illustrate the emotional impact by how the characters act.

The Walking Off Into The Sunset Scene

Your readers don’t care where your characters are going to be ten years down the road. So you don’t need to dwell on the post-sex events of their lives too much, but at the same time you can’t just end your story with, “…and then he came. The End.” Your readers are human beings, and human beings expect narratives to have closure.

Don’t overthink the ending, and if you’ve structured your story logically so far, the end will write itself. You just need to have your characters do the next logical thing that they would do in the situation you’ve created for them.

Like every other segment in the story it’s not enough just to say what the characters physically do with their bodies. You need to tell the reader what the main character thinks and feels about the experience. How has it changed them inside? How has it changed their life? How happy did it make them? How will the experience change their life? What are the chances they’ll do it again?

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