- Paperback: 256 pages
- Publisher: Holt Paperbacks; Revised edition (February 1, 2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0805069933
- ISBN-13: 978-0805069938
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 30 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #907,176 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
The Joy of Writing Sex: A Guide for Fiction Writers Revised Edition
Use the Amazon App to scan ISBNs and compare prices.
"Children of Blood and Bone"
Tomi Adeyemi conjures a stunning world of dark magic and danger in her West African-inspired fantasy debut. Pre-order today
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
Even though writing about sex probably ranks on the joy scale somewhere between reading about it and having it, Elizabeth Benedict feels that many writers don't do justice to the act. So she has developed a novel idea: a guide book for fiction writers seeking to create better sex scenes. Benedict, a teacher in Princeton University's Creative Writing Program, doesn't concern herself with pornography but rather with a contention that sex scenes are pivotal in carrying the plot, story and character of some novels. Her point is emphasized through many interviews she conducted with authors on their experience with and views on writing about sex. Now, if she would only visit the film industry . . . --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Library Journal
Novelist Benedict (Safe Conduct, Farrar, 1993), currently on the faculty of Princeton University's Creative Writing Program, has written a book for fiction writers who would like to write better sex scenes. She is not concerned with pornography but with using sex as an element of plot to carry the story forward. The author quotes from many writers whom she interviewed to illustrate her points, from Sandra Cisneros on the young girl who lost her virginity at 12 in Woman Hollering Creek to Carol Shields on sex between long-married couples in Stone Diaries to Allen Barnett in a chapter on sex in the age of AIDS. Benedict's focus is on writing good sex scenes, which don't rely on clinical sex but rather on character, dialog, and plot. Well done; recommended for writing collections.?Lisa J. Cihlar, Winfield P.L., Ill.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
For instance, she concisely answers one of the most agonizing questions beginning writers have: "What do I call it". Meaning the genitals of a man or woman character. I mean (I went through this myself) I don't want to offend anybody, and the terms used by practically everybody would be vulgar in polite company, but I don't want to be cute or evasive or trite. So what do I call it? A fellow writing friend of mine asked me to read some of his work, and in it he referred to a man's member as his "manhood". I laughed so hard I almost fell out of my chair. I do not want to evoke that reaction in one of my serious works of fiction, however few erotic scenes they might contain.
So in answer to this question which has undoubtedly agonized many of the best writers (James Lee Burke calls it a "phallus", which is technically correct but might not be immediately recognized for what it is by the average reader) in comes Benedict riding a white horse and waving a simple answer over her head. Like anything else, you call it what your character would call it. Bang! Simple as that, and right on the nose. A doctor might use clinical terms, but most others will use the common and vulgar terms amongst friends and lovers. Like Alexander, Benedict cleaves the Gordian knot with a single sword stroke and settles a question about an issue so many writers worry about and never seem to get right, in their attempts to be polite. Don't worry about who you might offend. Think about what the character would call it, and have the character call it that. Period. It isn't like 99% of people have never heard the word "d*ck" before.
That's just one single practical bit of advice you get from this book. There is such a density of useful knowledge in this short book it should weigh as much as if it were solid Uranium. Again, like I said, there's so much good teaching about good writing in this book, even if your own fiction contains no intimate scenes whatsoever, you have much to gain from reading Benedict's book.
A caveat: this is a book about writing about sex. The author, quite appropriately, includes extremely explicit segments quoted from some of the best writers of erotica or simply erotic scenes in history. Informative, and very instructive (not just in writing about intimate scenes) but if that sort of thing offends you, you should probably avoid this book. But if not, you need to read this book. You will learn a lot about not just writing intimate scenes well, but about writing well, period.
One thing that I really enjoyed is that the author doesn't ignore important topics: AIDs, Adultry, incest, and many other things. She doesn't treat any subject as taboo, nor does she approach them with embarrassment. They are simply topics she discusses.
I was pleased to see that she touches on all types of sex: first times, married sex, adultery, recreational, etc etc. She brings up points that anyone writing a sex scene needs to think about, and reminds you that sometimes the sex isn't the main purpose of the scene, and that it doesn't have to be graphic to get the point across.
I found this book to be much more helpful than others. Instead of telling people how to prepare, it uses examples to show Benedict's points, and picks those examples apart so the reader can understand exactly why such things are necessary.