Writing A Racy Scene Without Explicit Descriptions

Available as a video excerpt on Rumble.

An explanatory excerpt (and proven test) of how you don't have to use explicitly detailed sex to involve the reader, but instead let the reader use their imagination...


“OK, this is a secret – you can keep a secret, can't you?”

He nodded, but sat back.

“Relax, Curt. I'm not going to seduce you or anything.”

And he blushed again. Right on cue.

“Look, the blurb from my books and your copywriting are almost the same thing. And if you write them right, you get the same effect.”

He got curious and leaned in again, wanting to get the rest of the secret.

Keeping my finger in the book to hold my place, I turned it over. “Hook - headline and first sentence.” I was pointing to the text.

“Right – they have to get attention and pull the reader in to the next paragraph.”

“Exactly. Now, this section is all setup, and this section is the build-up.”

“Sure – you tell the benefits here and explain the mechanisms there.”

“Then there's the cliffhanger...”

“The call to action.”

“Go to the head of the class!”

Curt looked up at me. “Wait, but you just described the fiction blurb. And it doesn't have benefits and mechanisms.”

“Ah, but you haven't studied your reader. What does a romance reader want?”

He thought for a second, answering in a mock announcer's voice. “'To be swept away by their passions'.”

“Looks like 'someone' has been reading these romantic novels.”

“Or having to sit through a few too many commercials and trailers.”

“Trailers are the same. You introduce the characters, put them in a setting, and develop a curious mystery.”

“And then leave them hanging.”

“Exactly.”

We were both beaming.

- - - -

“OK, let's get back to where they don't need to put sex acts inside books.”

He perked up. “Why not – it sells, doesn't it?”

“Actually, not as well as the ones that don't contain it.”

“How does that work?”

“Look at what you call the 'Call to Action' – otherwise known as the cliffhanger. See those three dots down there?”

“The ellipses.”

“Right. Karl showed me this, and it was the key to getting off my addiction. That ellipses replaces several pages of text.”

“And...”

“Exactly – the really juicy parts are written between the lines.”

“Here – read this section out loud.”

Curt began, stumbling at times while he did:

"His hand left her chin and dropped lightly to her shoulder.

"A light kiss on her forehead was to disguise his hand moving down her arm and over to the her side, where he now felt the ribs of her corset.

"Trailing down, and assisted by another light kiss on her cheek, his hand soon found the waist of her dress.

As his hand continued downward, her breath quickened. Soon his fingers were on the thin material covering her thigh..."

Automatically, Curt put his hand up to turn page.

I put my hand on his to stop him. He looked into my eyes, now just inches away.

And he sat back. Again, red-faced.

“See? It worked. You wanted to find out what happened next.”

“But I didn't.”

“But you still do want to.”

His eyes went down to where my hand covered his. And he swallowed.

I took his hand and pulled out his index finger. Automatically, he closed the rest.

“OK, let's go over this line by line. You read it out loud again. And I'll follow with your finger as you do.”

He started out and ran through those lines, again stumbling:

"His hand left her chin and dropped lightly to her shoulder.

"A light kiss on her forehead was to disguise his hand moving down her arm and over to the her side, where he now felt the ribs of her corset.

"Trailing down, and assisted by another light kiss on her cheek, his hand soon found the waist of her dress.

As his hand continued downward, her breath quickened. Soon his fingers were on the thin material covering her thigh..."

Again, he tried to raise his hand to turn the page. And again, I stopped him. “Now, nothing happened, did it?”

“Right.”

“Nothing explicit?”

“No.”

“But you want to know whether they did or didn't?”

“Right.”

“OK – but as I said, the really juicy stuff is between the lines. But you won't find it unless you really read with passion.” I started reading out loud this time, with exaggerated, dramatic inflection of that same text:

"His hand left her chin and dropped lightly to her shoulder.

And I explained: “So he's close enough to touch her, and she's letting him.

"A light kiss on her forehead was to disguise his hand moving down her arm and over to the her side, where he now felt the ribs of her corset.

“Oh – it's getting racy now: he distracts her so she'll let him get closer. She's got exposed arms on that dress, or whatever she's wearing. And a corset – which means restrictions of caste and social requirements – your structured life, again.

"Trailing down, and assisted by another light kiss on her cheek, his hand soon found the waist of her dress.

“Now, here we see she does have a dress over everything. So there's more exploring to do. Again, he's distracting her, but she wants him to keep going.

“As his hand continued downward, her breath quickened. Soon his fingers were on the thin material covering her thigh..."

“She's got the hots. And he's right on her thigh – so there's only some 'thin material' between him and her treasures.

“And – there's the ellipses.”

Now he was right next to me. We were close to each other and his shoulder was pushing against me. Which I didn't mind at all.

And yet, he still wanted to turn the page.

So I kissed him on the cheek.

He blushed again, but hardly moved, except to turn his own hand over to hold mine.

At that, I kissed him once more on the cheek, closed the book and stood.

“There you go Curt. A demonstration of the power of the ellipses. And we both have a lot to do tomorrow.”

I smiled, and went up the stairs to my room.

I glanced back and found he hadn't moved.

And while he said nothing, I could feel his eyes on me the whole way...


An excerpt from "Last Chance", part of "The Caretaker" Trilogy


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