This past weekend I took a sex writing class with Edan Lepucki, the founder of the Los Angeles Writing Workshop and author of the forthcoming novel CALIFORNIA (Little, Brown 2014).
I learned that cliches glare but trite kills. Romantic urges overwhelm but too much distance alienates. Language can hit too hard or too soft (pun intended). Without the body, the mind is unmoored (and same goes with the inverse statement). Also, asking too much or too little from the scene will leave you unsatisfied.
So when you sit down to write sex, make sure that your craft kit is organized and your tools are sharpened and ready to go.
First prize for the stamina of a sex scene goes to: the sixty pages devoted to Wolf and Phoebe from Jennifer Egan’s first book, Invisible Circus.
Have you applied for a residency or received a grant for the arts? How about even thought about applying to get financial support or resources for a project but been scared off by the process (added on October 25th!) If so, share your experience with Litwrap in the comments below, and enter our drawing for two VIP tickets to the Millay Colony’s 40th Anniversary Party @ Roulette on October 28th from 7pm – 9:30pm.
Melissa Buzzeo will read your palm, Kristin Prevallet will offer hypnosis, Selena Kimball will analyze your handwriting, Kathe Izzo will fall in love with you, Mark Wunderlich will read your tarot cards.
(value: $50 each, which includes first-in-line status for palm-readers, a specialty cocktail, and a goody bag to take home) You can also get as many tickets as you like by donating to Millay Colony for the Arts, here.
My First Novel: Tales of Woe and Glory (Writers Tribe Books)
Edited by Alan Watt
Note from a reading at Skylight Books on Friday October 4th, 2013
So you’re writing your first novel, eh? Here’s how you might be thinking it goes. Work hard every day, adding 1,000 words to the story that you’ve been dreaming of publishing. Finish story and get a bunch of friends to tell you it’s the bomb (but it needs some fixing). Fix those things and get some manilla envelopes and stamps at the post office and ship until someone says “yes!” Continue reading F-Yeah, First Novel
I took the idea of reading archaeologically to heart and went back to read from Invisible Circus (1994) to A Visit From the Goon Squad (2010). My theory: As you develop your writing, the themes that were once explicit become implicit and all the more powerful. Here are three I found throughout:
One: Somebody Fucked Up
Invisible Circus (1994)
We learn right away that one of two sisters visited Europe and found herself dead after falling or jumping over a cliff in Italy. Opps! Death, suicide, that’s a big blunder. The other sister explores the mistake and makes one of her own. Continue reading Three Great Themes In Jennifer Egan’s Books That Get More Subtle with Each Book And I Know Because I Read Them All