Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Bad Sex in Fiction

You could win a Pulitzer...or you could lower your ambitions and strive for the Bad Sex in Fiction Prize.

It's a real award. This year's recipient is author Rowan Somerville, whose way with words includes crafty phrases like "(he) twisted onto her belly like a fish flipping itself."

Sexy, right?

Crafting bad sex scenes doesn't necessarily mean you're a bad writer. Case in point: Jonathan Franzen, often hailed as one of the best modern fiction writers, was nominated for the Bad Sex in Fiction Prize.

But a good share of novels with awkward sex scenes are awkward all around. I'll refer you to many review copies of romance novels I've received.

If I ever write a novel, there will be absolutely no sex scenes. I will explain every romantic interlude with a simple, "They went into the bedroom, turned off the light and that was that."