Writing the Body: How to Use Physicality and Sex in Fiction

Writing the human experience is what crafting fiction is all about. Joy, despair, metamorphosis, hate, and love are integral parts of every story, as is physicality and sex. Intimate scenes that explore the body are some of the hardest to write; they can embarrass writers and fill them with anxiety.

You will learn how to develop and structure a love scene, and how these scenes can add essential depth to character and narrative. Through lecture, exercises and group discussion, you will work toward writing the physical bodies of your characters and using those bodies to emphasize theme, style and emotion.

About the instructor

  • Jen Sookfong Lee

    Jen Sookfong Lee was born and raised in Vancouver’s East Side, and she now lives with her son in North Burnaby. Her books include The Conjoined (forthcoming Fall 2016); The Better Mother, a finalist for the City of Vancouver Book Award; The End of East; and Shelter, a novel for young adults. Her poetry, fiction and articles have appeared in a variety of magazines and anthologies, including Elle Canada, Hazlitt, Room and Event. A popular CBC Radio One personality, Jen appears regularly as a contributor on The Next Chapter and is a frequent co-host of the Studio One Book Club. Jen teaches writing in the Continuing Studies departments at both Simon Fraser University and the University of British Columbia.

Currently not available for registration.

Instructional hours: 4

What will I learn?

By the end of the course, you will be able to do the following:

  • Develop physical outlines for your main characters
  • Use thematic threads to determine what your intimate scenes need to illuminate
  • Develop a plot map to see where and when intimate scenes can progress plot
  • Determine how you want your readers to feel with each moment of physicality
  • Structure and develop a key intimate scene       

How will I learn?

  • Short lectures
  • In-class discussions
  • Peer feedback
  • Participation
  • Exploration of samples provided by the instructor

How will I be evaluated?

In-class peer and instructor feedback.

Textbooks and learning materials

Custom course materials will be provided.

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