On Writing: Taking Notes

Note Taking

by Reed James

Organization is so very important when it comes to writing. You may think writing is easy. You just sit down and let your fingers fly across the keyboard. But if you really want to write something meaningful (I know, a guy who writes smut is talking about writing something with meaning) you need to take notes.

Have an outline to guide you as you write. It doesn’t have to be super detailed, that’s really up to your own tastes, but you need something down to give direction, to know where your characters are going, what challenges they’ll face, and how experience will change them. I prefer to outline the major points of the story and then see where inspiration takes me as I journey to those points.

Next you should keep notes. If you have a character, say a minor cop that likes to chew a specific brand of tobacco, you should write that down in your notes. You may never even plan on using the character, but down the road you just may realize you need him/her to fulfill some part in your story and you’ll want those notes to keep the character traits consistent. Believe me, someone will spot the discrepancy. Keep notes on everything, descriptions of characters, of places, mannerisms, ticks, fears, relationships. If you do this from beginning, it will save you headaches down the road.

Have a system to find your notes. The most detailed notes in the world will not help you if you can’t locate the information. Whether you write your notes down and keep them in a filing cabinet or you have them as files on your computer, have a system. Use subfolders, consistent file naming, or whatever method you want, just be able to find those notes when you need them.

Do not rely on your memory. If you haven’t written a character in a while, you’re liable to grow fuzzy on some the details. Read your notes, that’s why you wrote them down to begin with. You’re only human and human memory is mutable. It changes, shifts, distorts with time. Maybe you’re that rare person that can hold all those details in your head. Good for you. But I bet the vast majority of us (yes us, I have made this very sin before) just are not capable of doing that.

Readers love consistency. It shows that you care enough to put hard work into your writing. So do the best you can, be the best you can. Whether your writing a novel exploring the myriad aspects of the human spirit or smut, put your all into it. It may be what separates you from the thousands of other writers out there.

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Win a Free Copy of ‘Girl at the Bar’ by Reed James

Win a free copy of my upcoming Girl at the Bar, releasing 04-21-14. Leave a comment below with a good email address by Sunday 04-20-14 8 PM PST and be entered in a drawing to win a copy of new erotica! One person will win and receive their conformation Sunday night!

Aurora sometimes feels like she fall in love a hundred times a day. There are just so many beautiful, vivacious, exciting, and wonderful women out there, and she wants to love them all. Like a butterfly, she flits from flower to flower. She only wishes she could stay in love.

On New Years Eve, she’s out at the bar with her friends and sets eyes on Ursula, a gorgeous, leggy beauty with raven-black hair and emerald green eyes. Aurora’s in love. Only there’s one problem—Ursula has a boyfriend.

Aurora boasts to her friend that she could seduce any woman, no matter how straight, and has her eyes – and her heart – set on Ursula.

Excerpt:
“Just show me, Ursula. Stand behind me and guide my arms. I want to be as good as you are!”

She swallowed. “Isn’t this a bit of a date cliche?”

I rolled my eyes. “C’mon. I thought we were friends. Don’t make it weird.”

“I… Okay.” She moved up behind me, her breath quickening. Good, she’s interested.

I stood at the table, almost trembling in anticipation, as her arms wrapped around me. “Put this arm like this, Aurora,” Ursula instructed, moving my right hand. Then she grabbed my left, sliding it down the stick. She tried to keep her body from pressing against my back, but that was impossible.

She was warm and firm and soft and wonderful. I smelled her perfume, a light, spicy scent that almost made me swoon with its loveliness. Her breath tickled my neck. That wonderful ache intesified between my legs, hungry for her touch. I shifted my hips, letting my rear press into her groin. My heart pounded; my skin tingled. The pool stick was smooth and cool; her hands soft, trembling with her excitement.

Find out if Aurora will be lucky in love and sex in ‘The Girl at the Bar’ by Reed James.

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Sample for ‘Girl at the Bar’ by Reed James

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The Girl at the Bar is the first in the Seducing Straight Women Series. Aurora is 23 and her life’s a mess. She falls in love at the drop of the hat–she just can’t stay in love. While out at a bar with friends on New Years Eve, she makes a drunken bet to seduce 100 straight women in a year for $10,000 dollars. Aurora has her sights set on raven-haired and emerald-eyes Ursula sitting at the bar. Only problem… Ursula’s with her boyfriend. That’s not going to stop Aurora from going home with the ‘Girl at the Bar’. Coming 04-21-14 by Reed James.

Chapter One

I sometimes feel like I fall in love a hundred times a day. There are so many beautiful, vivacious, exciting, and wonderful women out there, and I want to love them all. I’m like a butterfly, flitting between flower to flower. Wonderfully pink flowers full of succulent nectar.

I only wish I could stay in love. It would solve so many problems.

My phone vibrated, buzzing on my nightstand. I tried to ignore. I needed more sleep. I buried my head beneath my pillow and squeezed my eyes shut. Sleep started to return, a comforting, black darkness that smothered my thoughts into blissful…

That damned phone!

I should have turned it off instead of leaving it to buzz loudly on the dark-stained wood of my nightstand. I opened my eyes, staring balefully at my phone. It sat next to my alarm clock, the red digits displaying 12:04 PM. It wasn’t even three in the afternoon yet! Far too early to wake up.

I grabbed my smart phone, swiped the screen and saw a dozen messages from someone named Natasha. “Who’s that,” I muttered.

I could feel the anger of whomever this Natasha was through the inordinate amount of capitalized letters and exclamation marks in her texts. “Aurora WHO THE HELL IS THIS!!!??!!” the first message read, linked to a instagram pic of me and a tan, dark haired girl grinding together on the dance floor of the Clam Diver, the hot, lesbian club I loved to go with.

I studied the photo, wracking my sleep-deprived mind. This was last night, I decided.

I smiled, remembering the petite, shy girl I had met last night. She had the most beautiful, tan skin and I fell in love with her the moment our eyes met. I had been pleased to discover my new lover had no tan lines anywhere on her lithe body when we stumbled into my bed around four this morning. I could still smell her flowery perfume in my bed.

I frowned. Where was the girl. Lacy, I think her name was. Or was it Macy? Stacy? It may have been Tracy? I struggled to make my sleep addled brain think. My phone vibrated again. Another message with far too many exclamation points from Natasha.

I wanted to scream.

Instead, I stretched, deciding sleep was pointless, and rolled out of bed. I lived in a loft apartment converted from some old office building. The floors were beat-up hardwoods and the walls cement bricks painted white. My bed was in the southeast corner before a set of large windows that gave a magnificent view of Commencement Bay and the Port of Tacoma. Sometimes I would sit here and watch the massive, orange cranes unload cargo ships for minutes, fascinated by the frenzied activity.

Then I’d get board. I have the attention span of a butterfly, and I would flit off to find some new amusement.

I passed my floor mirror and paused to peer critically at myself. My long, fiery-red hair tumbled in a mess down my shoulders and back. Silver glinted from the barbell piercing in my right nipple and the green scales of my serpent tattoo flashed metabolically. The snake curled around my right breast, it’s forked tongue flicking out at my nipple like he was licking me. I turned and winced when I saw the slight plumpness around my butt and waist. I put on five pounds. All those Christmas cookies!

Sighing, I stumbled past the Japanese triptych I used to partition off my bed from the rest of the loft – a vain attempt to make it feel less like a wide-open hanger and more like a home – heading for the bathroom.

The shower was running. Tracy must be in there. Or was it Marcy. Kelsey? No, that sounded wrong.

I tottered past my second-hand living room furniture I had scrounged up at various thrift stores – none of it matched, and all of it showed its age, but when you were poor, you made do – and reached the small kitchenette. I set a pot of coffee peculating, and plopped naked on a chair. Then I laid my head on my small, round kitchen table.

I could catch a nap waiting for the coffee.

The pounding on my door woke me up. “The fuck,” I muttered, stretching and brushing my fiery-red hair out of my face. I stumbled to the door, bare feet padding on the hardwood floors.

A bleached-blonde woman with a round, Slavic face – quite beautiful, with high cheek bones and gorgeous, blue eyes and dark lashes – stood n my doorstep. Anger twisted her vaguely familiar features, red suffusing her cheeks. Then she blinked, looking me up and down. Cold air rushed in around her; I shivered and realized I was naked, my nipples hardening in the icy breeze.

“Hi, uh, Natalie,” I greeted, pulling a name out of my sleep addled brain.

“You whore!” she screeched. “You don’t even remember my name!”

“Sorry,” I muttered, racking my brain. “Um, it starts with an N, right?”

She just starred incredulously at me, then her anger came roaring right back at me. “It’s Natasha!” Right, angry texter. “Who the hell were you dancing with last night!”

“Um…” I started to say and she brushed past me.

“I can’t believe you cheated on me, Aurora!” raged the blonde. “I thought we had something! Didn’t Saturday mean anything to you?”

Saturday? My brain didn’t work without coffee.

“What’s wrong, Natasha?” I asked. I vaguely remembered that night. “We had fun, what’s the problem?”

“You were grinding all over that slut! That’s the problem!”

“No, I mean you and I, we had some fun, but that was it? Why are you overreacting so much?”

“But…” her voice quivered. “We had something magical that night. Didn’t you feel it. It was more than sex. We made love.”

It was all coming back to me: the flirtatious dancing at the club, the passionate kisses we shared in the cab ride to her apartment, and the even more passionate sex we had in her bed. My heart beat with excitement, the memory of our love bubbling back up. She was gorgeous—leggy, piercing blue eyes, smooth skin.

“We did make love,” I sighed. “It was a magical night.”

“Then why were you grinding on this woman?” she demanded, holding up her phone and showing off the pic. “Who is this women?”

“Um, Stacy,” I answered. “Or maybe its Nancy? I’m bad with names.”

The bathroom door opened and Lacy – or Macy or whatever her name was – stepped out amidst a cloud of steam, her tan body glistening with moisture, as beautiful as the sun burning through the morning’s fog.

“Gosh that was refreshing,” she said with a smile. “I hope you don’t mine me stealing all you’re hot…”

“What’s she doing here?” snarled Natasha. “You brought her home with you? How could you, Aurora?”

“Well…” I tried to explain.

“I thought you loved me!”

“I…”

“Did you even love me?”

“Yeah…”

“Did our night mean nothing to you! It was only two nights ago!”

“Let me…”

“I’m not the type of girl that just has one night stands! I only slept with you because you said you loved me!”

“Please…”

I just couldn’t get a word in. Her face grew more and more red; poor Stacy froze like a deer in headlights beneath the never ending barrage of Natasha’s tirade. Then my new lover started edging towards my bed, grabbing her mauve party dress, pulling it over her head. She was retreating, lucky girl.

Coat slung over one arm, heels and panties clutched in the other hand, Macy slipped past us, waving weakly at me, and escaped. I wished I could follow her, but that would mean leaving Natasha alone in my apartment. That seemed like a bad idea. I had a number of breakable objects in here that I quite valued.

“Listen…” I tried to say.

“Didn’t you feel how our souls touched. Didn’t it mean anything to you, Aurora?”

Oh bother.

“How can you hurt me like this? How can you…” Tears brimmed in her sapphire eyes and her momentum faltered.

“We met at a club and had some great sex,” I told her, finally getting a sentence out. “But that’s all it was.”

“You said you loved me,” she sobbed.

“I did love you,” I told her, reaching out to stroke her face. “How couldn’t I love such a beautiful, sexy woman. You’re irresistible.”

She sighed, rubbing her cheek against my hand. “You do love me?”

Wait, what? “No, I mean, that night was magical and I couldn’t help but love you…”

Her lips tasted sweet and minty as her tongue wiggled into my mouth. I froze for a second, caught complete off guard by her sudden, passionate assault. Her body pressed against mine and I melted into her kiss. There was no room for thought, her lips were too insistent, her body to inviting. My innards were a maelstrom of passion awakened by the kiss of this beautiful woman.

I let my hands roam her body, unbuttoning and unclasping, helping to get her as naked as I was. I burned to feel her silky skin pressed against mine. Her fingers teased and prodded my intimate flesh, light, fluttering touches that stoked my passions. I buried my face in her neck; she smelled wonderful. Rose and lavender.

We fell into my bed in a tangled heap of searching hands and kissing lips. I had to touch every part of this goddess. My fingers traced the line of her arms until I captured her hand and brought her fingers to my lips, licking and sucking them.

“I love you,” she panted as I kissed up her arm.

I hesitated for a moment, trying to fight down the roar of emotions in my head and think for once. It was too hard, she was too irresistible. A statue carved to perfection by a master sculptor that demanded my admiration. “I love you too,” I whispered back, my heart beating with the emotions.

She squealed in delight and pulled my lips down for another wonderful, mind-numbing kiss. She rolled us over so I lay on my back, her bleached-blonde hair falling in a curtain about us. “I love you so much,” she cooed.

No you don’t, I wanted to say. It’s just lust—right? You can’t really fall in love this fast. Instead I moaned, “Yes, yes! I can’t even describe how much I love you!”

Her lips were fire as she nuzzled my neck, her soft breasts and hard nipples rubbing against my body, igniting more nerves. She kissed lower and lower, burying her face between my breast. She took great delight in kissing my snake, starting at the base of my breast and circling up to my hard nipple. I gasped as her tongue played with my piercing, flicking and toying. Sparks crackled through me, my back writhing on my soft sheets.

I burned between my legs. An insistent fire that needed to be doused. “Lower, please!” I moaned. “I need you to love me!”

Natasha teased me the entire way, letting her hair and breasts drag across my stomach as I writhed in desperate need. Her tongue traced my ribs then probed my bellybutton. I gripped the sheets, arching my back. I needed her mouth on me. I needed the fires doused.

“Oh please! Please! I need it so badly?”

“What do you need?” A naughty grin painted her face nestled between my thighs. She was so achingly close.

“Eat my pussy!” I gasped. “Make me cum! Please! I need your love!”

I exploded. Her tongue was skilled, exploring my flower as delicate as a butterfly, probing her tongue into all the sensitive, wonderful, achingly delightful spots. My climax rippled through me and I could smell my passion: a tart musk mixing with the scent of her rosy perfume.

“Yes, yes!” I moaned, another orgasm building inside me. “I love you! Make me cum! I want to explode all over your wonderful mouth!”

A finger slipped into me; my eyes shot open at the intrusion. Her tongue flickered on my tiny pearl and pleasure vibrated through me. She worked her digit in and out of my sheath, wiggling it about and touching every wonderful spot inside me.

“Keep cumming!” she purred. “I love it! You taste divine!”

Her finger curled just right. I erupted and howled wordlessly. Passion shot through me. Rapture consumed me. I never loved a woman more than Natasha at this instance. I cried my love out as pleasure crashed through me again and again. I collapsed on my sheets, drenched in sweat, staring up at the metal rafters unable to move.
Natasha crawled up my body, smiling proudly, my passion glistening on her lips. I pulled her down for a sweet, gentle kiss, savoring my tartness. Her breasts pillowed against me as I held this wonderful, beautiful creature, our lips sharing our love.

At this exact moment she was the love of my life.

“Let me return the favor,” I purred and she smiled.

Coming 04-21-14 to Amazon and Smashwords

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On Writing – Facing Fears

Writing is never easy, and writing erotica can be even more daunting. You’re taking your fantasies and sharing them for the entire world to read. Maybe you’re ashamed of them, or maybe you’re just afraid of what your friends and family will think if they find out just the sort of kinky things you’re into. Fear was my number one hurdle. And not just fear that my mom would find out what I was writing (the woman has a very anti-porn stance and kicked me out of the house when she found my own porn collections). I was afraid of criticism.

I was afraid to share even my non-erotic writing with friends and family. What if they don’t like it? What if they hate it? Could my self-esteem survive the crushing, vitriolic hate that I feared I would get? It took me years to overcome that fear. I started by posting anonymously on the internet, finally sharing my writing instead of letting sit on my hard drive for years (or even decades, and trust me you don’t want to read the stuff that’s been there for decades).

“Why don’t you shove a pineapple up your ass,” was one of the first comment someone posted on my writing.

I learned something—I could take vitriolic hate. I had thicker skin than I thought. I was even tempted to write a witty comment back like, “I did, and it felt great, I have a cactus that’s ready to be shoved up yours.” I didn’t. No sense in feeding the trolls. And then the positive comments came and I started to realize just how much I wasted my twenties. I could have been writing, getting better, sharing my works, for all these years.

Writing has been my dream since junior high school. It was my dream and yet I let fear keep me from pursuing it. So if it’s your dream to write, to paint, or sculpt or to do anything else—pursue it. Don’t let your fears or small minded, hateful comments, like the pineapple one, hold you back. If the criticism isn’t constructive, discard it, otherwise take it as an opportunity to learn, to grow, to get better. If someone is negative, but not hateful, think about what they said. Maybe there completely off based, but maybe there is something that you could improve. No one’s perfect and everyone can get better. I strive everyday to improve my writing, I welcome any criticisms so that I can improve my craft.

Life is too short and too precious to waste it on fear. Live to your fullest and follow your dreams, else you’ll soon be old and filled with regrets.

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