This week on Late Night Conversation, Doug sits down with Elizabeth Benedict, author of The Joy of Writing Sex, to discuss—you guessed it—writing sex in fiction. What craft elements are integral to a successful sex scene, what common hang-ups plague writers attempting sex scenes, the effect of AIDS on the writing about sex, and why are so many people reading (and enjoying!) Fifty Shades of Grey, all this and more on this week’s episode.
“We’ve read James Salter. We’ve read Philip Roth. We’ve read Henry Miller. We don’t want to read Portony’s [Complaint] again. [Contemporary] writers have a higher bar. They have to write about sex in a more elliptical way, sometimes funnier, briefer way. They don’t need to show the world they have the chutzpah to do a sex scene.”
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About our guest:
Elizabeth Benedict is a novelist, journalist, teacher, editor, and writing coach. She has published five acclaimed novels, including the bestseller Almost and the National Book Award finalist Slow Dancing, and The Joy of Writing Sex: A Guide for Fiction Writers. She is the editor of two acclaimed anthologies, the New York Times bestseller What My Mother Gave Me: Thirty-one Women on the Gifts That Mattered Most (Algonquin 2013) and Mentors, Muses & Monsters: 30 Writers on the People Who Changed Their Lives (Simon & Schuster; SUNY Press). For more information, visit ElizabethBenedict.com.