Whoo, first time posting here!
I suppose the common theme for me in crafting almost all of my stories is that I generally start with a character (or character type) and build the story around them, to showcase or explore the elements that caught my imagination. Sometimes this character is already in the middle of a particular situation, or sometimes I know I want to highlight a particular character trait, so that dictates the direction of the story.
At this point, my erotica writing process differs quite dramatically from when Iím writing more mainstream prose, because with the latter, I move to the outlining phase almost before anything else and then work on that pretty rigorously before starting into the prose itself.
With erotica though, I tend to start writing that particular scene that triggered my inspiration, and will ride that compulsion for as long as I can until the Muse departs and I have to step back for a while. At this point, I let the story germinate in my mind as I work on other things. This probably accounts for the depressingly-long pauses in between my submissions, but because the material comes from a much more impulsive place, itís hard for me to ďjust buckle downĒ and make it happen.
I usually spend at least a couple of weeks adding scenes here and there as I feel moved to write them, until a larger picture comes into focus. Then it becomes about connecting the dots. This is both the most satisfying and most grueling part for me, since it involves a lot of re-reading and continuity editing, not to mention making sure that I keep things as interesting as possible in between those more spontaneous scenes that Iíve already gotten down.
When the story (or chapter) is complete, I let it sit again. I have to make sure Iíve left it for long enough that when I come back, I can look at it with fresh eyes and make sure that I have the objectivity to cut the weak or boring parts, and flesh out or adjust the ones that remain. By this time, I have a mental architecture in place (I guess it would be considered any unofficial outline) of where I want the story to go, and itís my task to make sure that what I have written is in line with that.
Thereís one more waiting period (usually a day or two) after the previous step before I go back again and do any last tweaking. I do some hand-writing of my stuff, but most of it is digital, so Iíve been spell-checking as I go. Iím also pretty strict on myself about repeated word usage, and have a thesaurus on hand to minimize the effects of this. Sometimes, repetitions canít be helped, and I donít know that anyone other than me would notice, but it makes me feel better. This final pass is really just to make sure that the revisions of the previous step are holding up, and then itís time for posting!
Now, I will say that the exceptions to this process are those story ideas that I get from my dreams. Those are usually pretty character-oriented also, but they tend to come forth much more fully-fledged than my waking offerings, and itís an interesting exercise to race my own memory in documenting as much of them as possible before they fade. Once that happens, I shift back to my established process and itís back to waiting for my Muse.
In terms of my writing mood... This has varied over the years. When I first started, I was eighteen, single, and a virgin, so I definitely used erotica as a way of channeling some sexual tension. Nowadays, I usually start a sex scene with a fairly clear head (trying to think about what the characters have already done, what would be interesting or distinct about the particular scene Iím trying to write) but I have been known to get myself a little hot and bothered by the end of it.
Itís hard to say if it helps or not; sometimes it just happens. Jezzaz summed up the mechanics of it perfectly though:
Originally Posted by jezzaz
One thing worth pointing out is that, for me, the hardest bit to actually write is the sex! The thing is, there only so much variation on the actual act you can do. At the end of the day, Tab A goes into Slot B. Making that interesting and not something that everyone else has already done is actually much harder than you might think. I try and do it by making the reason for the sex be different, and to explore the different kinds of sex out there.
The last thing Iíll say is that while I donít personally use an editor (perhaps to my own detriment), I can certainly see the benefits as listed here by several authors, and might have to give one a shot myself.
P.S. Apologies for the Wall o' Text.