Happy World Book Night everyone. It was wonderful hearing about the crowds in Trafalgar Square. What have people been doing to celebrate near you? Me, I am officially reading for pleasure tonight. I've just put in a bulk order of books to start researching my next novel, but for now I am reading all the novels I have been dying to read and saving until the writing was done.
Maybe you are the same - night time is the only time you get to read for pleasure? It's also study time here, with near midnight workshops for the MA. I join writers from as far afield as Korea, Africa, Germany and Greece to write each week. One friend mentioned she had interviewed Victoria Wood recently, which reminded me of today's clip. I don't know how humour travels, but I hope you enjoy this. The Hostess Trolley does it for me everytime.
We had an interesting discussion recently about love scenes in novels. The MA group overwhelmingly did not like full blown love scenes in novels, which was interesting. Where do you stand on this?
I have a theory writing love scenes well is rather like trying to draw hands - the most difficult thing to pull off in terms of art. I've read plenty, everything from Henry Miller and Anais Nin to Erica Jong and Jackie Collins. Some work, some don't. One book I read recently (which shall remain nameless, it could be one of a hundred or so ...), had such badly written love scenes, I read them aloud to the pilot and certain excrutiating catch phrases still produce giggles. They marred an otherwise excellent book.
Maybe it comes down to personal taste. For me, the absolute master is James Salter. His prose is always flawless, and he is the single most seductive writer I know. This was a review in the Paris Review about one of his most erotic books:
Encountering James Salter’s A Sport and a Pastime for the first time is like finally springing for that Cabernet your friends have been praising for years and knowing from the first sip the bottle will disappear much too quickly. The novel unfolds in a series of seductions familiar in their outline—lovers, friends, even France itself—but in such exquisite prose that reading each page is to suffer the pleasure of an affair that must end in the morning. Witness the treatment even of a momentary character: “She has been a famous actress, I recognize her. The debris of a great star. Narrow lips. The face of a dedicated drinker. She constantly piles up her hair with her hands and then lets it fall. She laughs, but there is no sound. It’s all in silence—she is made out of yesterdays.” Wow. —Peter Conroy
Wow indeed. Salter's writing is narcotic, memorable. I can still remember every sensory detail about the summer I read that book. Maybe it's as simple as that. It takes a truly great writer to write beautifully about love and sex. What do you think?
If your juggling skills could give the Cirque du Soleil a run for its money this is definitely the blog for you. Books, art, music, family life and daily prompts to help you write that book you have in you.