Friday, October 26, 2012

Romance Novel Thesaurus - Part I

As a romance editor and author, I come across many...flavorful words and descriptions of certain body parts, feelings, and sensations.

I thought I'd list a few euphemisms, adjectives and word choices...some good, some not, some just plain hilarious.

So, without further ado, let's get right to the gold, shall we?

Breasts: Bust, chest, breasts, cleavage are acceptable.

If you must use another term, soft orbs or mounds will get an eyebrow raise from me, but they're not bad enough that I'll stop reading.

Boobs are a no-no. I've never seen the word in a manuscript.

Stay away from from melons, hooters, bazookas, cans or any campy college-aged, high-fiving way to reference them. Obviously.

Jugs, knockers, 'the girls' all equal a big no.

Funbags is another inappropriate term. Hey, I'm just trying to save you from yourself, here.

On the opposite end, bosom only really works in historical romance, so keep that in mind.

Penis: This guy has so many euphemisms (including this guy). Most of them you really shouldn't use. Remember when you're writing to keep true to the tone of the piece. For instance, multiple references to cocks and dicks are seen more in m/m fiction than m/f. I don't make the rules, I just observe the patterns.

Acceptable terms: penis, cock, dick, erection, length, package, hard-on, bulge, and shaft.

Prick, rod, groin, hardness, and manhood are acceptable, but barely. Use sparingly.

Pecker, wiener and may as well be saying pee-pee. They're a no.

Baby-maker, twig and berries, fun stick...these are all terms I've seen and red-penned, because come on.

Dong was only acceptable for a short time in 1998 if you were under 15 or so. Keep it out of your book if you can help it. And that goes for schlong. Obviously.

Now, personally, I love meat injection. It's probably the funniest term I've ever seen used. Don't use it.

Pork sword? Really?

Please don't ever use heat-seeking moisture missile. I swear to God, people.

Now, I know, I're like, well, what can I use? Remember, you can always not use them. Him and her can always work in a pinch, and usually work better.

Example: "She took him into her mouth."

Nipples, balls and penis-head will get their own entries later, along with a lot of other terms. There are also common actions to go through, like kissing, or phrases for the way hair falls around the shoulders. However, there's only so much of this stuff I can stomach at a time without laughing like a ten year old, you know.


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