The Joy of Writing Sex (research review)

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I read The Joy of Writing Sex: A Guide for Fiction Writers by Elizabeth Benedict (revised edition 2001) on Kindle, which may accounts for the boring cover image. Sorry about that – and apologies also for only citing a few particularly pertinent highlights from this detailed guide. This is because most of my Instagram followers seem to be related to me and I wish to spare their blushes. (1) “A sex scene is not a sex manual.” You don’t have to state the obvious. Mercifully. Remember the coach in Madame Bovary. (2) “A good sex scene is always about sex and something else.” Otherwise it’s porn. (3) “Take your cues from your characters.” If a sex scene doesn’t develop your characters and advance the plot (and hopefully further engage the reader) you’re just being self-indulgent and this is not the time or the place for self-indulgence. (4) Setting and dialogue (or absence of dialogue) are as important in a sex scene as in any other scene. (5) Surprise the reader! Pornography rarely surprises; a good sex scene can and should in some subtle character-enhancing way. #amreading #amwriting #amresearchingformynovel #romance

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About Hannah

Author of literary historical fiction set in the First World War. Revising my first book, writing the next, seeking representation. Mountaineer, gardener, traveller, off-road runner. Africa, modern history, coffee, roses, films, book and unrealistic romance. NHS midwife in a former life.
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