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The Joy of Writing Sex: A Guide for Fiction Writers
     

The Joy of Writing Sex: A Guide for Fiction Writers

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by Elizabeth Benedict
 

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Twelve years after it was first published, The Joy of Writing Sex remains the classic writer's resource on creating compelling sex scenes. Elizabeth Benedict covers all the issues, from the first time, to married sex and adultery, to sex in the age of AIDS.

Her instruction, supported with examples from the works of today's most respected

Overview

Twelve years after it was first published, The Joy of Writing Sex remains the classic writer's resource on creating compelling sex scenes. Elizabeth Benedict covers all the issues, from the first time, to married sex and adultery, to sex in the age of AIDS.

Her instruction, supported with examples from the works of today's most respected writers—among them, Dorothy Allison, Russell Banks, Alan Hollinghurst, Joyce Carol Oates, Carol Shields, and John Updike—focuses on crafting believable sex scenes that hinge on freshness of character, dialogue, mood, and plot.

In this revised edition, Benedict addresses the latest sexual revolution, intimacy on the Internet; adds new interviews with Edmund White, Darren Strauss, Stephen McCauley, and other writers; and updates her selections to include examples from the best fiction of the past few years.

Editorial Reviews

Philadelphia Inquirer
. . . The Joy of Writing Sex proves again that when it comes to books, quality is what counts.
Scott Turow
. . . the most enterprising how-to book of our era . . . sane and straightforward and — he said bashfully — very interesting.
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.
Ilene Cooper
Novelist Benedict ("Slow Dancing" [1985]) offers valuable advice on writing about sex in the context of good fiction. Much of her text is taken up with the words of other writers--John Updike, Robertson Davies, and Dorothy Allison, among them--who provide their own takes on how to use explicit sex in literature. The largely commonsensical advice isn't likely to make the earth move for too many fledgling writers, but that doesn't mean it won't be good for them: "Sex is nice but character is destiny" ; "A good sex scene is always about sex and something else." Along with pure how-to advice, Benedict supplies some thought-provoking literary criticism on sex in the modern novel, and, yes, there are plenty of X-rated examples for those whose interest is as much recreational as professional. (As Benedict notes, "It's OK to be aroused by what you write." ) Despite its sense of fun, this volume is far more substantive than most how-to-write manuals and is certain to be of interest to aspiring writers of literary fiction.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781466851290
Publisher:
Holt, Henry & Company, Inc.
Publication date:
08/06/2013
Sold by:
Macmillan
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
256
Sales rank:
826,910
File size:
350 KB

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

Elizabeth Benedict is the author of five novels, including Slow Dancing, which was a finalist for the National Book Award, and the national bestseller, Almost. She writes nonfiction for many publications, including The Huffington Post, The New York Times, Allure, Tin House, and Daedalus. She has taught writing at Princeton University, the University of Iowa Writer's Workshop, Barnard, and MIT, and lives in New York City.


Elizabeth Benedict is the author of five novels, including Slow Dancing, which was a finalist for the National Book Award, and the national bestseller, Almost. She writes nonfiction for many publications, including The Huffington Post, The New York Times, Allure, Tin House, and Daedalus. She has taught writing at Princeton University, the University of Iowa Writer's Workshop, Barnard, and MIT, and lives in New York City.

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The Joy Of Writing Sex 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
SimoneMJ More than 1 year ago
I obtained some helpful writing tips from this book. Very informative.