It occurred to me that we haven’t heard from Delia for a while so I trawled through her ramblings and found this one, Delia on the Final Kiss (and related subjects.)
Good evening romance fans. My name is Delia Darling and I’m delighted to welcome you to another in my series of master-classes on How to write a Romance Novel. The matter for discussion in this class is an area where many romance writers fail – the final kiss. Now you may think that writing a kiss is a piece of cake but you would be wrong. Remember this is the high point of your novel. Your readers have been waiting breathlessly for this supreme moment and you must not disappoint them. I cannot emphasise enough that this is the climax (no pun intended) of your work and you must give it your all. However, there are elements that some of my fellow so-called authors introduce which you would do well to avoid.
Firstly, I have a deep aversion to “tongue.” Tongue is an ugly word suggestive of cold, meat sandwiches. Tongue isn’t sexy. However, I’m afraid its use is almost unavoidable. I try to slip it in as quickly as possible and then move on. For example: “He moved towards her, his eyes burning into hers with a passion that knew no bounds. As he caught her to him she melted into his embrace, half swooning in the torrent of his passion. He bent his head and captured her lips, his tongue setting her mouth aflame as she yielded to him like a flower unfolding its petals to the sun.”
Another pet hate of mine is nibbling. For goodness sake don’t let you hero nibble at any portion of your heroine’s anatomy. While you may personally find nibbling quite pleasurable (as indeed do I) the word is a complete romance pooper as it is associated with hamsters, which naturally leads one to think of gerbils and we really don’t want to go into all that here. With a little imagination you can convey the impression of nibbling without actually using the word: “He lifted his head and gazed down at her lovely face. Her eyes were starry with rapture, her cheeks delicately flushed. With a groan of longing he buried his face into the hollow of her slender neck, his lips and teeth savoring her sweet-scented flesh.”
Lastly, I implore you, let us have no tweaking of nipples. How anyone can find that abominable phrase remotely erotic I cannot imagine. When your hero caresses the heroine it should be done tastefully and within the romantic context: “His hand slid to the warm swell of her breast and delicately teased her tender peaks of sensation until she lay helpless in his arms, quivering with desire.”
In conclusion let me say this: to a man the kiss is merely an aperitif, to a woman it is a meal in itself. In romance novels, as in life, the hero who understands this simple fact need never be hungry again.