Disclaimer: complete newbie here, but noticed this thought process the other day and thought it might be helpful to others, also I am going to use the words erotica and sex without actually talking about anything erotic or sexy, hope its ok to post here.

I started writing because I have an active imagination that seems to prefer to create new characters and story lines to entertain itself instead of doing something more useful like applying itself to develop a solution for my leaking garbage disposal. These characters seem so full of ideas and busy lives that I felt like there must be some usable stories in there that would be of interest to others (ie publishable). The problem is [blush] the main thing that these characters were doing was having sex. So I thought, ok my inspiration will be this erotic stuff and I will craft a nice romance plot around it. I could get a great (at least to me) sex scene down but then...nothing. The characters would lie there satiated and satisfied in their post coital glow and DO NOTHING. They didn't have jobs, or if the did they didn't go to work, they were completely unmotivated to even shower, grocery shop, pick up their kids from school. They couldn't even tell me what drove their desire to hook up in the first place, the were unwilling to provide backstory, hint and personal stakes or even address any type of conflict I attempted to write into their world. They stood there like Sims waiting for me to tell them to go to work or go to bed or strike up a conversation, and when I directed them to they proceeded in such a clumsy, uninteresting manner that I couldn't get past more than a few lines outside of the bedroom before I was boring myself to death. In a nutshell, I was forcing everything and was, unsuccessfully, paddling upstream.

SO... one very early morning when I had an unprecedented quiet hour I asked myself "What was my initial inspiration?" The honest answer was...the sex. The truth was that my inspiration was the erotica but I was trying to write an (uninspired) romance and fit in the erotica. I started with a blank page (Word Document) and wrote the first scene again, but this time instead of trying to craft a story around it, I just let the characters be their randy selves. I have heard people say that once you really get going the characters will drive the story and ... let me tell you, these three hopped on to supercharged Mustangs and went crazy. They had conversations, went to jobs I didn't even know they had, reminisced about their childhood traumas, hooked up in different combinations than I had visualized (I didn't know HE was into THAT!!) and generally move the plot. I couldn't type fast enough to get all of their exploits down before they were on to other adventures. My inspiration was much better fuel for erotica with a romance wrapped around it than a romance with erotica sprinkled in.

That very long and rambling monologue (thank you for indulging me) can be boiled down into the lesson I took away from this: If you find your self blocked, start fresh and return to your original inspiration and see if it wanders some path on its own. You may have been trying to force it toward something that won't burn, but if you can let it seek a more natural path, the whole thing ignites!