Rant, Smut Reporting

Unsolicited Advice for Budding Romance Novelists

“…the delve of his tongue into the moist aperture of her mouth.”


Please don’t write sentences like this. 

Let’s break it down, shall we?

  1. Avoid passive construction

“The delve of his tongue” is indirect. We have to keep reading to find out what, exactly is delving.

Also, “delve” is a verb; furthermore, it is a verb that is not particularly conducive to nouning. 

  1. Use fewer words

The key parts of this sentence are tongue – into – mouth. Everything else is window-dressing. Yes, we want evocative adjectives, but overwriting is distracting. 

  1. Beware the thesaurus

At TSR, we are on record with the fact that reading romance novels improved our vocabularies and helped us ace the verbal portion of the SAT. However, just using the thesaurus to find loose synonyms without some thought is not a good plan.

In this case: delve means to “reach inside a receptacle and search for something.” What is his tongue searching for? Her tonsils?

  1. Never, ever, ever use the word moist 

Maybe if you’re talking about fungus. “Moist aperture” is perhaps the least sexy combination of words I have ever read. 

This has been a public service announcement from your friendly neighborhood smut reader.

You’re welcome. 

2 thoughts on “Unsolicited Advice for Budding Romance Novelists”

  1. Apparently I had saved this post for later reading but never got back to it. The whole “…the delve of his tongue into the moist aperture of her mouth” had me howling. 100% agree that moist ALSO reminds me of fungi, for some reason.

    Liked by 1 person

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