Jmolly has already posted a lesson for the Writing Lab (Training as a Writer in a Writing Community). She's back, and the subject for today's discussion is...


So You Want to Write a Lemon
By Jmolly
Who am I? I’m a writer with 27 stories on Fanfiction.net, I beta 8 people and I’ve probably written 400 lemons within those 1.5 million words I’ve posted since 2009. I strive never to repeat myself. I don’t focus on lemons, but storyline. Oh, and you should thank Room340C (my regular Beta) for pre-reading this for me, because she is hilarious, and makes all kinds of comments that get me snarky. Now let’s get down to business.
So, you’ve been writing a romance story, or planning one out, and something has you biting your nails: how exactly are you going to go about writing that love scene? There are writers who get downright sick to their stomachs about it, I kid you not. That’s logical, because along with trauma and fight scenes, a love scene is very hard to write in a way that will please your readers. However, a well-crafted one can get you lots of respect.
In the fanfiction world, we call this ‘citrus’: zest, lemons, limes, lemonade, you get the picture. So. First things first: ought you to be writing it?
Number one rule: if you’re not an adult, you should not be writing about sex. Please stop reading now.
This is going to be a bit of an amusing article *sticks out tongue at Raum* because I’m writing about lemons on a T-rated blog. That means you aren’t going to be reading a lot of sexy words, even if you are as old as me. Is it weird that I find that adorable? Hah. Stick with me. I have a handful of excellent authors who have let me quote their lemons (and racy words shall be replaced with bleeps, just to tease my hostess). I heartily invite you to click on their links, and give the stories some love.

Part One: Should You Write a Lemon?

I write NC-17 rated lemons. The first time I posted something lemony, I was terrified, and my characters were not even having intercourse. People might have thought I was a –you know- (*looks both ways*) pornographer. Shh! Don’t tell my Mom, she’s old and you will kill her. By the time my monogamous couple progressed from petting to penetration, I had received positive feedback and was much more comfortable. Now I write lemons that are very graphic. Sometimes the content is controversial, and posting it still makes me nervous. There are certain topics, which, while pretty mainstream in some circles, are still taboo in others. So seriously consider your comfort zone before you post a lemon, because you are definitely going to hear what people think of it.
You will often hear people quote the old adage, ‘write what you know’. In some situations, this is Bullbleep. You don’t need to be a mother to write about being one. You don’t need to be a man to write from a man’s point of view. But be very careful about writing a love scene if you have never made love. Most of your readers will be able to tell. I have certainly written about things I haven’t tried, and I have written many love scenes from a man’s pov. But if you have no personal experience, you need to do extensive research (and I don’t mean ‘go out and have sex’, naughty!). As professional writer Jim C Hines says, “Know what you write.”

Part Two: What Kind of Love Scene Should You Write?
Part Three: Don’t Write a Lemon that Will Truly Embarrass You & Bite You on the {Beep}
Part Four: Constructing a Good Lemon: The Bones of It
Part Five: Constructing a Good Lemon: The Flavour

Thank you, Jmolly!
The complete tutorial is available here: http://www.sharepdfbooks.com/H4MKFIECF5I2/JMolly-SoYouWantToWriteALemon.pdf.html (.pdf, 442kb, with images). To download it, scroll down the page, enter the code and wait 20 seconds.

Jmolly's stories are posted on FF.net: http://www.fanfiction.net/u/2058077/jmolly. Don't miss them!
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  1. My God, what a good, interesting, useful read. I have battled with my lemons too, coz, like Jess, I don't want to repeat myself. I will keep this lesson in mind.

  2. Thank you for your comment, dear Camilla, and congrats to jmolly. Her tutorial is fabulous!

    - Raum

  3. Thank you for posting this great article, Jmolly and Raum! Writing lemons can be erm...daunting, to say the least. Thanks for sharing your experience and making the fandom a little lemony-sweeter : )

    1. Hi kikki7!

      I'm so glad you liked the article! Jmolly wrote such a great tutorial!

      - Raum


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