Erotic Romance Readers: Would you help me with my research?

I am exploring how Erotic Romance readers experience the books they read. Specifically, in the case of this study, I’m interested in finding out whether you feel ‘suspense’ while reading erotic romance novels, even though you know that one of the inviolable genre conventions is that the story will end with an HEA (happily ever Continue Reading

The Paradox of Suspense Continued

If you are interested in reading more about the Paradox of Suspense, there is a fabulous multi-part online article by A.R. Duckworth at The Motley View: The Paradox of Suspense I – Introduction The Paradox of Suspense II – The Problem The Paradox of Suspense III – The Problem Cont. The Paradox of Suspense IV Continue Reading

Why Good Writers Write Bad Sex: An Exploration of Literary Prudery

Last year, Arifa Akbar wrote an interesting article in The Independent: Bad sex please, we’re British: Can fictive sex ever have artistic merit? I’ll be honest, I’ve been ruminating over this piece for about a year. First, let me give you some quotes from prize-winning writers and critics as to why they purposefully write unarousing Continue Reading

Examples of Bad Sex Writing at Literary Review

The Literary Review has a page with a number of excerpts from recent nominees and winners of the bad sex awards. Writers include: Philip Roth, John Banville, Amos Oz, Paul Theroux, Nick Cave, Anthony Quinn, et all. Bad Sex Passages at Literary Review.

Rick Gekowski Ponders the Difficulty of Writing Sex Well

In his post for the Guardian, Gekowski takes a look at the 2011 winner of the Bad Sex Award, and ponders on why it seems to be such a difficult subject to write about well. One can cite examples of convincing writing about other kinds of heightened and intensely personal experiences: of love and the Continue Reading

Lee Rourke Says Good Literature Can’t Have Good Sex

Lee Rourke, of the Guardian, opines that literary fiction always presents sex in unbelievable ways. He spends a lot of time ridiculing examples of failed attempts, but he doesn’t seem to feel the need to give his theory on why that is. When authors try to turn sex into something literary – something it can Continue Reading

Stanley Fish: Why Knowing the Ending Doesn’t Spoil it For Us

Great NY Times post by Stanley Fish on why spoilers don’t really spoil anything. A look into the arguments put forward by Robert J. Yanal and Richard J. Gerrig on what suspense really is and how, even if  you know the ending, you still get thrilled by the ride: I am persuaded by Gerrig’s account Continue Reading

Jonathan Gottschall on Why Fiction is Good For You

There’s an interesting article by Jonathan Gottschall, originally published in the Boston Globe, on the results of research on fiction and its effects on us: Until recently, we’ve only been able to guess about the actual psychological effects of fiction on individuals and society. But new research in psychology and broad-based literary analysis is finally Continue Reading

Big Red: On Happy Endings

Mardi McConnochie, over at Big Red posted an interesting blog on happy endings, how they are perceived and the author’s decision to write one. Sometimes I fantasise about republishing Fivestar with a different ending. It would be quite simple to do, and I know exactly how I’d do it. (I’ve spent quite a lot of Continue Reading

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