Welcome to the introduction of Write Big Sexy Words: a new weekly feature on Fire & Honey. Every Tuesday I’ll be posting some big, smart, sexy words that we can all enjoy. If you’re a word nerd like I am, that alone will be fun, but if you’re also looking to expand your repertoire and use more robust, yet sensual and descriptive, language in your erotic writing, this may be the feature for you. I am excited to be reading more smutty, down and dirty fiction than ever before in my life, and I’m even more excited that there’s so much quality writing to be found and so many amazing memes and outlets by bloggers, for bloggers, to express titillating themes and ideas. My hope is that Write Big Sexy Words adds to the writing and reading experience in the erotica community.
Does Size Really Matter?
Yes and no. Solid writing should be clear and oftentimes clear means simple. That, however, doesn’t mean that the vocabulary of a piece of writing needs to be easy to be good. Likewise, studding an article or story with out-of-place and abstract terms can be really distracting to readers.
striking a balance
Use an authentic voice. If it’s not your style to describe “… her shiny red lips” as “… her lustrous vermilion pout” then you, as the author, need to make that choice. Sometimes less is more, but if you are going to mention those lips more than once, peppering in more robust synonyms can elevate your description and keep the flow smooth without being repetitive.
But Violet, what about Purple Prose?
It’s true, there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. Overly descriptive prose, sometimes called Purple Prose, is a pitfall of using highly dynamic words, especially adjectives.
In literary criticism, purple prose is prose text that is so extravagant, ornate, or flowery as to break the flow and draw excessive attention to itself. Purple prose is characterized by the excessive use of adjectives, adverbs, and metaphors. When it is limited to certain passages, they may be termed purple patches or purple passages, standing out from the rest of the work.
Purple Prose has its place, and is a style all its own. When used judiciously it can highlight a moment, especially in erotic writing. When used too freely and without due consideration, it can be exhausting. If you’re keen on heavy euphemism and the often humorous results it yields, check out #EuphOff, hosted by Livvy of The Other Livvy where some great writers are pouring it on thick this March and really using euphemisms for all they are worth!
So how does this work?
Every Tuesday I will be posting some big, fun, sexy words and their definitions, along with examples of using them in an erotic context. I’ll be sharing them on social media using the hashtags #writebigsexywords and #wbsw. If you have words you’d like to share or add, reach out and I’ll include them in upcoming posts. Likewise, I’d love to see how you write with big, sexy words, so please share if you’re including them or inspired by them in your posts.
I hope you enjoy using big sexy words as much as I do and remember,