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Ok, given the amount of, quite honesty, terrible lemons I've come across on my journeys across the interwebs, I'm going to give all you lemon writers a few rules to consider when writing them. Feel free to ignore my advice; I am, after all, an amateur, but, really, even just taking in one of these will improve your lemons considerably.

Rule 1: Use metaphors and Euphemisms carefully

Trust me; some metaphor just make your work really, really unsexy. Be very, very careful when using them. A good way to tell if you've got a good one on your hands is to say it out loud; does it make you feel hot? Or does it just make you laugh? Some of the worst I've seen have been 'her honey pot', 'her triangle of femininity' and anything that sounds anything like 'they soared on the wings of love and exploded into infinity'. They all make you sound like a twat, especially that last one. (Also, try to avoid the word 'member' if you can.)

Rule 2: Explain how it feels, not what's happening

One of the things that turns me off most is getting through the opening part of a lemon to find that the action is described like a piece of engineering. Don't just say 'Body-part-1 entered Body-part-2, making you moan'. Explain what the main character is feeling (both emotionally and physically), not just what they are doing.  

Rule 3: The 'Rule of Three' is bullshit

The 'Rule of Three' states that if you include three of the five senses in a sex scene, it will be a lot more believable and generally more hot. That, my friends, is what we call bullshit; you should include four senses at the minimum. It's not that hard people; sight, sound, touch and smell. Include taste too, if it works in your storyline. It'll make your writing way, waaay more interesting.

Rule 4: Hint at a larger storyline

You'll notice that in all the lemons I have ever written and ever will write, there is more to the story then the actual act of fucking. For example; in my Snapped!Fem!France x Reader lemon, the reader is Fem!France's ex girlfriend, who left her for a guy, which emotionally tore Fem!France apart. While I don't show the actual events, they are referenced in the thoughts, feelings and attitude of the reader. Similarly, in my Incubus!America x Male!Reader fic, while nothing actually happens in the writing except the sexual act, the situation in which it takes place is referenced tons because it actually effects the storyline a lot. Which brings me to my next point…

Rule 5: Crank up the sexual tension

Make the reader and the character enemies, make somebody have second thoughts, do something- anything!- to raise the stakes, both sexual and emotional. Just describing people having sex is plain old boring; make it into a risk the two (or more!) have to choose whether or not to take. This is one of the undeniable truths in writing; sexual tension will make the description of the sexual act more satisfying for the reader.

Rule 6: Dialogue is hot; use it.

Because having sex in silence would be creepy and you know it. But don't just add random 'Aaaah's and 'Ooooooh's; they are generally mahoosive turn offs. Use dialogue as a way to express the – wait for it- sexual tension (see above).

Just a few words can be exciting enough in the right hands to keep a reader utterly engrossed.   

I know I may sound like a hypocrite because my 'Roxanne' lemon doesn't have any dialogue in it, but that is for a particular reason; the fic is meant to be creepy- it's showing what happens when love goes wrong.

Rule 7: Don't make the acts the same as every other Lemon out there

Your basic lemon formula is this; the hot guy of your choice confesses to the reader, then starts kissing her, it leads on to him 'pleasuring' her, she 'pleasures' him and then they fuck. I see this in almost every bloody lemon out there.

Now, I'm not saying you can't use any of this, but using all together makes your fic look clichéd and plain boring. Mix them up, cut bits out, add things in and make it as spicy as you like. But please, change something!

Rule 8: Anatomy please!

This is mainly just a side note, but I see a lot of yaoi fanfictions where no lube is used. Now, this will hurt both partners. A lot. Trust me. I'm not saying you have to have everything anatomically correct, but please be logical about big things like this.

Rule 8: To Birth Control or not to Birth Control?

I know that hardly any lemons do include birth control and, quite frankly, I can understand why. But remember, birth control doesn't automatically stop your fic being sexy (think opening condom packets with teeth!) and will stop people being distracted by the lack of it. (Because let's be honest; STI's aren't exactly the sexiest things on earth.) Not saying you have to include it, but you should at least bear it in mind.

Rule 9: Avoid adverbs

This is more of a general writing tip, but try to avoid adverbs as much as you can. Using them creates one of two effects; 'no shit Sherlock' (as in 'he shouted angrily') or 'what the fuck did you just say?' ('She shuddered vehemently'). There are occasions when it's ok to use them but try to use as few as you can.

Rule 10: Show both the physical and emotional side of the story

No matter what situation the lemon is written in, there will be emotions involved. They may vary wildly, but they are always there and they should make up a large part of what the story explores.
Feel free to ignore me folks. But please, just bare these in mind.

Haven't added a warning for now, but if you think I should, please say so.
Add a Comment:
 
:iconvihosia:
Vihosia Featured By Owner Jun 23, 2015  New Deviant Hobbyist General Artist
I really like this. I recently just made a journal including similar complaints and such. In fact, you hit a few things I believe I missed. Thank you very much.
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:icontamashievilo:
TamashiEvilo Featured By Owner Dec 25, 2014
I agree with this list. I see so many lemons that are either the same or could've been done better. Its about as exciting as playing the same video game over and over again for years. I like writing lemons, but I am embarassed some one will find it and I end up destroying them. T.T
Reply
:iconrelic-angel:
Relic-Angel Featured By Owner Dec 21, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Very well done and to the point.
Reply
:iconredlotuspony:
RedLotusPony Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
These are really good! I have been looking for some good advice when it comes to writing lemons. I have been in a mood to write smut for a while now, but I really need to train...

Also, thank you for pointing out the anatomy problem. Things being too big would only cause pain and get in the way.
Reply
:iconmayumidelacruz:
mayumidelacruz Featured By Owner Edited Nov 2, 2014  Student Writer
I've read one full fanfic in Fanfiction.net with different characters who _ _ _ _ _ with the reader, and It sounded all the same! Can you give some more advice?
Reply
:iconnaked-toes:
Naked-toes Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Try thinking about what kind of personality each character has and, from there, a) what their experience is likely to be like and b) what their goal is. For example, Alfred is younger, so he's likely to be inexperienced and a little sloppy, wheras somebody like Francis is likely to be more refined and know what he's doing. Francis is likely to focus on his partner/s wheras Alfred probably would be more preoccupied with not messing up. 

Also character voice is very important. referenceforwriters.tumblr.com… is a great resource for that, if a little too in depth for what's needed for a lemon. Still worth checking out though. 
Reply
:iconmayumidelacruz:
mayumidelacruz Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2014  Student Writer
thanks! It was really a big help :D
Reply
:icondarkdeleif:
DarkdeLeif Featured By Owner Jul 25, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Don't forget about the grammar and spelling! I've seen some lemons with pretty bad grammar and spelling, which just turns me off immediately. I've been waiting for someone to point out all of these things, and I'm absolutely pleased with your explanations and suggestions towards lemon writers :)
Reply
:iconnaked-toes:
Naked-toes Featured By Owner Jul 26, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Of course, but grammar and spelling are important for all writing! 

Thank you by the way :) They're some of my pet peeves as well, so I felt I had to put together this list
Reply
:iconthesomething4789:
Thesomething4789 Featured By Owner Jul 5, 2014  Student General Artist
im happy i came across this. i was going to start writing some but i was having a hard time to, seeing its not an easy thing for me to write it yet. but now i know some rules to make it good. 
Reply
:iconspeedxaaa:
SpeedXaaa Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
As much as I may sound like a bitch for saying this, I think there's one unspoken rule when it comes to writing sex: it's best to have personal experience with the sexual act(s) being done to write them with a totally full understanding. After all, when we write, we put a little bit of ourselves into it. This way you have a foundation to work from: what do I like or not like?

So I didnt sound as much like a bitch as I expected, hahahah. But dont get me wrong, I'm not encouraging teenage lemon writers to go out and randomly have sex with some chick or dude. Just saying that personal experience tends to make writing these types of scenes a LOT easier. :la:
Reply
:iconnaked-toes:
Naked-toes Featured By Owner Jun 14, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Oh no, I definitely agree! I've found writing smut way easier since losing my v card (and the subsequent experiences certainly helped as well uwu ) 
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:iconyellowpikmin88:
yellowpikmin88 Featured By Owner May 22, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Can lemons be posted here? It's just I have seen some here but others only post watered down versions and put the uncut work on other websites cause they say deviantart don't allow sex stories or you may get banned. Just want to know the truth.
Reply
:iconnaked-toes:
Naked-toes Featured By Owner May 25, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
According to the rules, no. Some people do, but I'd stick to linking to uncensored versions.
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:iconyellowpikmin88:
yellowpikmin88 Featured By Owner May 25, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Right. Thanks for that. It's just I've seen a lot of lemons here so I wanted to know
Reply
:iconnaked-toes:
Naked-toes Featured By Owner May 25, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
I'd try uploading to archiveofourown or a side blog on tumblr and posting links in the descriptions of dA posts. 
Reply
:iconyellowpikmin88:
yellowpikmin88 Featured By Owner May 25, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Good idea
Reply
:iconanimeloveshetalia:
animeloveshetalia Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2014  Student General Artist
Thank you for pointing out the word 'member' I'd rather use other terms such as dick, cock or... well... penis... that word does not turn me on when reading lemons. And also what is dialogue and can you please example a lemon dialogue for reference. Thanks. Much appreciated xx
Reply
:iconnaked-toes:
Naked-toes Featured By Owner Feb 26, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Dialogue is just characters talking to each other. 

I'd say my best lemons are fav.me/d65xupj and fav.me/d6va0au , so just see what I do in those as examples. 
Reply
:iconschwannie:
Schwannie Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2014
Oh a hetalia fan- I shall read your lemons c:<
Reply
:iconexuberantstarchild:
ExuberantStarchild Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2014  Professional Writer
Thank you SO MUCH!
I know a lot of people who need to read this!
This was much needed.
Thank you. :iconcheerplz:
I've read some - quite frankly - disturbingly painful to read lemons. They made me cringe because of the wording.
Not to name any, but I read one where... I don't know... it proper freaked me out as it was a reader insert and the other character basically just... raped you. It wasn't meant to be like that, but... O_o
Wow.
Reply
:iconnaked-toes:
Naked-toes Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
OMG, that is just... urg. I mean, I like dub!con in moderation, but if it's indistinguishable from rape then... just eww. 
Reply
:iconmaple-mochi:
Maple-Mochi Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2013
It's a nice advice, thanks for uploading this XD Heheh..
Reply
:iconmastermagi100:
Mastermagi100 Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2013
TIME FOR OTP AND HOMESTUCK X READER SMUT!!! :iconallthethingsplz:
Reply
:iconiliketodrawhomestuck:
ILikeToDrawHomestuck Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
:iconhussieplz::iconsaysplz:Oh dear God
Reply
:iconmastermagi100:
Mastermagi100 Featured By Owner Dec 22, 2013
I'm working on this weird homestuck x reader thing involving the reader getting transported into a books world and the one for karkat is 50 shades of gray o.e it's not up yet ._.
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:iconlazebe:
Lazebe Featured By Owner Oct 16, 2013  Student Digital Artist
Wonderful advice. It's interesting, but I've never really thought about how adverbs didn't have to be there. Most people just put them every sentence and I guess I've gotten used to or ignored that whenever I've read any kind of fanfiction, smut or otherwise. It's something to think about when I'm writing, and I thank you (vehemently) for that, lol.
Reply
:iconbloodymetalalchmist:
BloodyMetalAlchmist Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
lol 
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:icondoggymakeawish:
DoggyMakeAwish Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2013  Student General Artist
This is really really helpful, thank you!
Reply
:iconnaked-toes:
Naked-toes Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
It's no trouble at all love~ (◡‿◡✿)

Now go forth and write smut. (ʘ‿ʘ)✿
Reply
:icondoggymakeawish:
DoggyMakeAwish Featured By Owner Jul 25, 2013  Student General Artist
I will! <w<
Reply
:icontrinachan:
TrinaChan Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Okay with the "honey pot" one... I cant help but think 'there was someone having sex with pooh bear!?' That is just a little creepy for my tastes. Unless the were into the entire 'hi I'm (whoever) and I fuck bears...' Awkward.
Reply
:iconnaked-toes:
Naked-toes Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Oh Jesus fuck. :fear: That makes that phrase even creepier now.
Reply
:icontrinachan:
TrinaChan Featured By Owner Aug 2, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Haha! It's cool bro. Now you can just make a bad Winnie the Pooh bear pick up line from this and have your friends crying from laughing at it's awfulness or it creepiness. Either way it's all good. Still though LOL :iconlaughingplz:
Reply
:iconnisa-chan666:
Nisa-chan666 Featured By Owner Jun 1, 2013
Some good tips here. I would personally disagree with the dialogue one though: I think that if you have a good grip on the emotion and the body language of the partner who isn't the point-of-view character, then you can go without dialogue. I say this because I have seen far too many lemons where the sexual tension is just lost because of ill-chosen dialogue. It all really depends on the situation and the different strengths of the writer really.
Reply
:iconnaked-toes:
Naked-toes Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Fair enough. It's more of a personal preference really; I find it a little creepy when the characters just have sex without saying anything. Of course, as you said, it depends on what the dialogue is, though I'd say at a minimum, both characters should use dialogue to express consent.
Reply
:iconnisa-chan666:
Nisa-chan666 Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2013
Oh yeah, definitely. Consent has to at least be implied, otherwise it gets weird and uncomfortable....
Reply
:iconnaked-toes:
Naked-toes Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Unless it's specifically marked as dub!con or non!con, absolutely. Personally, I also like it when dialogue is used to confirm the characters are enjoying the experience.
Reply
:iconthe-one-true-koneko:
The-One-True-Koneko Featured By Owner Apr 14, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Wish I'd found this before writing the Lemon I put up on ff.net a while back. xD
Reply
:iconlilith-graves99:
Lilith-Graves99 Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2013
I'm working on a lemon right now and this is helping alot! :D
Reply
:iconnaked-toes:
Naked-toes Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
I'm glad it's of use to you. :)
Reply
:iconblackblossom659:
Blackblossom659 Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2013  Hobbyist Artist
Thank you this has helped a lot! ^^
Reply
:iconriverclan23:
Riverclan23 Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2013  Student
I think more people should read this.
Reply
:iconnaked-toes:
Naked-toes Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you very much. :) And thank you for the :+fav: too.
Reply
:icontygermane:
Tygermane Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Yay! Helpful tips to improve my smut!! :D. Thank you!
Reply
:iconxcreativepoppet:
xCreativePoppet Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
I will definitely refer to this. :)
Reply
:iconhetaliatardis:
hetaliatardis Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Do you mind sending me the link for the Roxanne one?
Reply
:iconnaked-toes:
Naked-toes Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Reply
:iconhetaliatardis:
hetaliatardis Featured By Owner Nov 10, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you
Reply
:icondashishugarpill22:
dashishugarpill22 Featured By Owner Oct 9, 2012
thank you cuz i didint know what i was going to do for a prussia lemon
Reply
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