The Dead Robots' Society

Writers on Writing


Episode 220 – Brainstorming An Erotic Mystery

This week Justin and Eli help Terry brainstorm his idea for an erotic mystery that takes place in a world populated only by women. Fair warning, this has a bit of saucy language in it from time to time. We encourage you all to send in your own ideas and comments. Enjoy!

Terry’s current background notes can be found here. Feel free to send him your thoughts at

This week’s promo – New Fiction Writers



  1. I can’t help but feel frustrated after listening to this episode. I found Eli’s personal life choices and current circumstances overpowering the voice of the Heterosexual female. This discussion could of definitely used the input of a hetero female. The ones I know have strong feelings about their own sexual expression and I don’t see that disappearing even after ten years. In other words, there are women who strongly desire dick. Justines idea of a club where men erased up and acted as men was very plausible. The other thing I found frustrating was the lack fantasy involved in some of the thinking. I agree with Eli that the minute you intro a virus as such it becomes a fantasy which means “anything is possible.”

    I did want to add that I love the idea of the rich people will be those women who provide the mechanical and agricultural needed by society. Justin I think you also have to look at female gangs and the women’s prison system. There is certainly a ranking system present in both. You will have mobsters, gangbangers, prostitution and bullies in this new world. These are not gender specific attributes. i look forward to this being discussed on The Roundtable and I recommend a hetero female participate.

    Thank you all for another great show. No hard feelings Eli, I hope.

  2. Danny, we appreciate the input. We originally had a hetero female guest booked to be in on the discussion, but she had family issues at the last minute and had to back out. I scrambled to find another, but none were available, so we had to go with just the three of us.

    After the show I asked my wife (whom, had she been home, I would have brought on the show) about female criminals, and she agreed that there would definitely still be plenty of crime, even in so far as gangster type associations go.

  3. I actually thought Eliyanna was pretty balanced in this. I was thankful someone expressed what she did, as I was yelling them loudly in my head while listening.

    I was temped to actually stop listening, but she kept me going. By the end of it, I could kind of see the book, and was no longer annoyed by it. I did feel that I needed a better understanding of who the antagonists were.

    Still, it was interesting to listen to, and felt relatively well thought out. I kept wondering where the erotica element would come in, because there seemed to be so much else going on.

  4. It’s hard to put a finger on it now, but I remember thinking “I think that is what a straight man would want a world full of women to do, but I don’t think that’s how it would go down.”

    Usually it would be that I would hear part of the idea, like say, the idea that by being exposed to the virus, the women’s hormones are especially thrown out of whack, and therefore during that time of the month, the women are more drawn to strong men. My brain immediately thinks “NO! That just sounds like an excuse to put in a scene where they get really crazy and sexy with one another.” Then Eliyanna would basically point that out.

    I’m sure it was that, as a gay man, I am sensitive to LGBT issues. I was very impressed with the idea over all, and it made me think. I think it was that things were doled out over time, so that just as I was getting on board with one thing, another one would be brought up (like polyamoury) and I kept thinking “I was just about to be in your corner! Now you need to justify a lot more!”

  5. This is an incredibly evocative and compelling environment and will, I’m sure will continue to be a source of lively discussions. I’m genuinely eager to continue the discussion on The Roundtable Podcast. 🙂

    I don’t want to give away my best material, but a couple things occurred to me that might add to the discussion at hand…

    1. I noticed that the discussion focused largely on the world and not so much on the story. In fact, my biggest concern is that the world might overshadow an “erotic romance”. I’m not belittling romance by any stretch of the imagination, but it almost seems like you either need to write a sci-fi thriller set in this world, or write a romance in a different one. What struck me was that a romance set in the times JUST BEFORE the men have died off would be a VERY compelling romance venue. And you could then set a different story 10 years later (which could be very cool, too).

    2. One tactic I would imagine the government would initiate, as soon as the immanent doom of masculinity is clear, would be to seize every sperm bank in the country (and maybe sabotage similar institutions of rival nations). You had discussed the possible dystopian danger of mandated pregnancy but honestly a vast majority of the culture (I would think) would leap at the chance to have children.

    The government would likely start screening every woman for A) reproductive viability (to ensure the limited supply of genetic material has the best chance to sustain the race), and B) possible genetic “mutation” that could negate the killer virus. MAYBE, during this screening, they found the protagonist had some genetic anomalies that suggested perhaps she could bring a male child to term. That brings her on the radar of “the Big Conspiracy” AND a reason why the escaped soldier learned of her.

    Just some thoughts. SO looking forward to continuing this discussion!

  6. This is in response to the comment by Danny Terry.

    I’m sorry you found this episode frustrating. We had intended to have Philippa Ballantine joining us, but scheduling proved challenging. We still might have her on to talk about it in the future.

    I want to clarify something, though. Eliyanna was very specific hat most women wouldn’t be crossing the gender line while looking for love. I don’t intend to have more than 30% of the population being involved in any level of lesbian relationship.

    As for fantasy elements, I’m not seeing that at all. This is a man-made disaster, not supernatural. Anything certainly is not possible. The effects must flow from our world alone, and the effects that I put into place in setting up the world.

    I will be having a club that has elements of what Justin talked about, though I envision it having a lot more reach and purpose.

    Eli doesn’t need my defense, but I’m going to take a moment to give it anyway. We each bring a certain worldview to how we see a situation. Our biases, which we all have, color every opinion we hold. Eli was up front that she comes from a certain culture. And if you don’t think the lesbian culture will have a louder, more respected voice in a world only populated by women, then I urge you to think it through a little more.

    She brought the perspective she had to my story idea, and I appreciate her input. I won’t take all her advice, but I listen and consider every thought someone shares on this project.

    In other words, she brought everything I’d hoped she would to the conversation and more. If Pip comes on, we can hear how a heterosexual woman sees things, but it doesn’t invalidate one bit of the advice Eli shared with us.

    Thanks for your input. Hopefully the next time won’t be so frustrating for you.

  7. The is a response to Richard’s comments:

    Well, as a straight man, I’m struggling to open my thoughts on how the world would change. I don’t think I’m locked into my own biases, but I do think I’ve made a world in my head that is plausible.

    I admit the virus hormone idea was a bad one. I had pretty much decided against using it, but wanted to run it out since it had been a thought I’d had. Eli set me straight.

    The world is complex and one major change like this virus would change everything to one degree or another. There were just so many angles to talk about that we did jump around a lot. I didn’t get the time to talk the plot like I wanted to, only the background.

    For me, that’s important. The plot flows from the background and the immediate setup like a golf drive flows from the backswing and right up until the ball is struck. Then the story starts with all the momentum the background actions imparted it. Without knowing the background, I couldn’t plot.

    I added a word document to the show notes with the background much more clearly stated. Take a look at that and feel free to tell me what I missed and got wrong. I think you can see pretty well where the story will start.

    After I go on the Roundtable Podcast to talk about it again, I want to come back here once more. Feel free to send us a note about things you’d like us to talk about. Or just say them here.

    Thanks for the input. And for being such a hetero guy. 😉

  8. This is in response to Dave Robison’s comment:

    I’m looking forward to talking to you guys, not only to hash over the background, but to broach the erotic romance / suspense plot I’m thinking of. Hope you have a few hours free. 😉

    The world will be a powerful factor, but I don’t want to remove the erotic romance / suspence plot. I see them having to be immersed in various aspects of the new world to find who is behind everything and trying to kill them. The romantic and erotic elements will be blended with the suspence. I’d wager there will only be 4-5 sex scenes in the novel, as they feel right for the plot. I’m sure your guest host will have a lively opinion on that. 😉

    The seizing of frozen sperm and ova certainly would happen. Many more samples would be torrent from as wide an array of men and women as possible, banked for the day when a cure is hopefully found. Equipment, too, would be taken into custody.

    Attacks on other countries facilities is an interesting angle. Depending on how well guarded they are, that might prove dangerous. Somehing to think about.

    I’m sure the government has research going on into a cure at every possible level. Rumors of a possible cure could lead to military intervention overseas. Another interesting angle.

    Thanks for the input.


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