By ANDREW MATTE
They say having sex is like riding a bike.
But to write about it, you need to take a course.
So about 200 rookie erotica writers are busy learning all the different ways to describe sex — and combine it with a decent plot.
Their hope is to become bestselling authors.
"If you can write and you have a few fantasies you want to get off you chest, then you might have something," said Felix Baron, a tutor at the Ottawa-based Quality of Course writing school.
The erotic writing course was born a year ago when the officials from the school recognized a fast-growing market for adult novels.
More than a dozen of the students who shelled out $700 for the one-year correspondence course have already been published, Baron said.
"The erotic genre is one of the fastest growing areas for publishers," said Baron, an author of 12 books, nine of which are erotica.
The ultimate goal is for students to sell a novel, but there are also anthologies where short stories can be published.
"What we do is have them work on shorter pieces while they're working on their novel. And many of the students have done quite well," he said.
The trick, Baron said, is finding a publisher, learning exactly what he or she wants and then writing a book that suits that publisher's style.
"A lot of it is about teaching them how to market their work and making their book saleable," he said, adding an author can earn more than $30,000 from a successful first book.
The course, which is much like the school's other courses in business and creative writing, includes 20 units on subjects such as creating characters, settings and a plot.
And there's lots about how to describe sex, with aa the details.
Baron said a good erotic novel is composed equally of descriptions of sex and plot line.
"If somebody takes an erotic book off a shelf and opens the page and there's no sex on it, they'll put it back," he said.
"This isn't romance. We don't close the bedroom door. We open ther door . . . and watch."e;
Baron said writing an erotic novel isn't that diferent from writing a mainstream book.
"You have to make the reader fell the sex. You've got to put them in the scene," he said.
"It's just like any other kind of writing. You need to make them fell what's written on the page."
Have the urge to learn more? The school can be reached at 1-800-559-7632.