1) What is erotic fiction?
This genre of fiction is one where the erotic elements are integral to the plot. Erotic fiction is not pornography — porn stories are written for the express purpose of causing sexual titillation. Plot, character development, and romance are NOT primary to these stories. They are designed to sexually arouse the reader and nothing else.
Erotic fiction does not prioritize delivering physical pleasure to the reader or describe physical intimacy for its own sake. The goal of erotic fiction is first and foremost to deliver a well-crafted story. Erotic fiction is literature — requiring the author to invest meaningfully and with equal attention to development of plot, characters, setting, and dialogue. The erotic elements (in the context of any traditional or non-traditional intimate relationship) play a major part in plot and/or character development. Erotic fiction may contain or reflect multiple genres and themes (ie: historical, paranormal, LGBTQ, BDSM culture, polyamory, contemporary, romance); however, for erotic fiction, the erotic element is the *primary* defining genre of the work.
2) What is erotic romance?
The definition of erotic romance varies according to who you ask and when you ask it, but Passionate Ink currently defines erotic romance as:
Romance in which erotic elements are integral to the plot and take the book beyond traditional romance boundaries. The erotic elements (in the context of any traditional or non-traditional romantic relationship) play a major part in plot and/or character development, and the end of the book is emotionally satisfying and optimistic. The story must end with a “happily for now” or “happily ever after” ending. A romance may contain or reflect multiple genres and themes (ie: historical, paranormal, LGBTQ, BDSM culture, polyamory, contemporary); however, for erotic romance, the erotic element is the *primary* defining genre of the work.
Passionate Ink’s co-founder Sylvia Day defines the varying “heat” levels in the following manner. We have updated this definition to reflect “Happily for Now” and offer additional insight from Passionate Ink’s Board, shown in italics. Passionate Ink’s charter for romance authors embraces the first two):
- Erotic Romance: stories written about the development of a romantic relationship through sexual interaction. The sex is an inherent part of the story, character growth, and relationship development, and couldn’t be removed without damaging the storyline. Happily Ever After / Happily For Now is a REQUIREMENT to be an erotic romance.
- One could argue that Erotic Romance takes “erotica” as defined below and elevates it / expands the literary component to the level of romance genre.
- Sexy (Steamy) Romance: stories written about the development of a romantic relationship that just happen to have more explicit sex. The sex is not an inherent part of the story, character growth, or relationship development, and it could easily be removed or “toned down” without damaging the storyline. Happily Ever After / Happily For Now is a REQUIREMENT as this is basically a standard romance with hotter sex.
- One could argue that Steamy Romance embraces the sexual evolution of a couple or key characters as important but not paramount/defining to the plot or its characters’ development. This genre may approach romance with very hot sex scenes but with less of a story/plot/character focus on the development and evolution of the sexual relationship of the characters than may be generally seen within erotic romance.
3) What are the benefits of membership?
- Networking with published and unpublished authors of erotic romance and literary erotica from around the world.
- Four free Passionate Ink Online Workshops per year (Jan-Dec) and discounted fees for all of Passionate Ink’s Online Workshops you register for beyond that.
- Members only private pitch sessions with editors seeking erotic fiction.
- Organized Chats with published authors and industry professionals accessible to members only.
- Discounted entry fees for Contests devoted to erotic romance and erotic fiction for published and unpublished writers.
- Discounted fee for special events hosted by Passionate Ink
- Passionate Ink Newsletter: The monthly newsletter provides opportunities for chapter members to publish articles, a great tool for publicity.
- Member Milestones, a section of the PI newsletter, is a place to celebrate all your achievements. Contest wins, awards, completed manuscripts, first sales, fabulous reviews and list placements are all milestones your fellow PI members will be happy to celebrate with you.
- Perseverance Fund that pays annual dues for members and prospective members who are unable to renew or join because of financial hardship.
4) Will you keep my personal information confidential?
Due to the delicate nature of writing erotic fiction, we take the privacy of our members very seriously. We do not offer a public membership roster to our members of their “real life” identities. Aside from select board members who must have access to member names for recordkeeping and RWA reporting purposes, no one else in Passionate Ink is aware of the private identifying information of our members if they choose to use a pseudonym.
4) Do you have a button or banner that I can display on my blog or website?
We’re working on it!