I have no intentions of ever trying to write the “great American novel”. I really like writing erotica. It’s fun and makes people happy…very happy if I’m doing my job correctly! Just because I’m writing in a fun genre doesn’t mean I don’t do my research. If I’m going to write erotica it is going to be the best damn erotica I can write!
Here are a few of my “go to” resources.
I simply adore thesauruses! They are such a useful writing tool. I always stare in wonder when other writers tell me they use the “computer thesaurus”. There are 32mil books in print/ebook around the world right now. At any given time there are 4mil books on Amazon. This does not include those who are writing with the hope of being published.
Now think about most of those people using the limited number of options offered by the computer thesaurus. Boom! You’re all using the same damn six synonym options for “anger”. Where is the originality? The unique voice?
Here are a few of my favorites. For links, etc. Go to my Goodreads Author page. www.goodreads.com
Roget’s Super Thesaurus by Marc McCutcheon – This is my main one. It not only gives different word options but phrases as well. I tend to highlight the common words I often look to replace for easy reference. For example: command, gentle, force, beautiful.
These next few are amazing! The authors Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi have several different versions.
The Emotion Thesaurus – For each emotion it gives a definition, physical and internal signs and plot actions as well as writing tips. Excellent resource!
The Rural Setting Thesaurus/ The Urban Setting Thesaurus – For each setting they give a detailed description and then cover all the senses – sights, smells, tastes, touch, sound.
Romance Writer’s Phrase Book by Jean Kent. So I bought this book back when writing a romance novel was just a twinkle in my eye and bodice rippers were in vogue. Admittedly the phrases are a bit stilted but I usually just flip through and draw inspiration from the individual words. For example, I might see “his eyes lowered on a fierce scowl” and only pull “scowl” from it.
Thinking Like a Romance Writer by Dahlia Evans – I bought this recently to see if I could get some updated inspiration. I don’t really use most of the book think “swollen masterpiece” as an example of what to call a cock but I do like the word lists for feelings, facial expressions and different words for “said” (I try to use said as little as possible in my writing because it is not descriptive enough).
Banish Boring Words! by Leilen Shelton – This is a kid’s thesaurus and it is awesome! Quick and simple lists of character traits, colors, shapes, sensory words, emotions, action verbs. I love this book! haha
For anyone who reads my books, you know I like to sprinkle in lots of historical details. I don’t just say the heroine is wearing a pretty blue dress, I describe the style, fabric, etc. I am also a fan of dropping in daily life details you may not even notice but I know makes for a richer reading experience.
Here are a few of my favorite resources if you write in the Victorian genre.
Inside the Victorian Home: A Portrait of Domestic Life in Victorian England by Judith Flanders
How to Be a Victorian by Ruth Goodman
A Royal Cookbook: Seasonal Recipes from Buckingham Palace by Mark Flanagan, Edward Griffiths
Murder Mystery Research
My upcoming book out October 7th, “His Dark Obsession”, is a Victorian murder mystery so here are the books I used to research poisons, the criminal element and the legal process.
The Arsenic Century: How Victorian Britain Was Poisoned at Home, Work, and Play by James C. Whorton
King of Poisons: A History of Arsenic by John Parascandola
The Art of the English Murder: From Jack the Ripper and Sherlock Holmes to Agatha Christie and Alfred Hitchcock by Lucy Worsley
Did She Kill Him?: A Victorian Tale of Deception, Adultery, and Arsenic by Kate Colquhoun
The book I’m currently working on is a Western. I am doing allot of research. I want to avoid the “Hollywood” version of the West and capture the real details.
Writer’s Guide to Everyday Life in the Wild West by Candy Moulton
Western Words: A Dictionary of the Old West by Ramon Adams. This is a great resource but you have to read through it since it is alphabetical by the old west terms not the term you are looking to replace with a more authentic vibe.
How the West was Worn by Chris Enss – Awesome wardrobe resource. Has all the details you would need.
Hiker’s Guide – If you are writing a book that takes place in the outdoors, like most Westerns, I recommend picking up a hiker’s guide. It will tell you about the flora, fauna, general atmosphere, weather. I have one for the action area of my current work in progress.
I hope this helps! Happy Writing!