The purpose of the prize, according to the Literary Review is "to draw attention to the crude, badly written, often perfunctory use of redundant passages of sexual description in the modern novel, and to discourage it." We think there are a few other bad habits authors have developed and they should be discouraged. So here are some more awards we suggest the Literary Review consider for next year...
2. The Love is... Award - This award would be riddled in romance and possibly loathing in a pool of my own sick. It would go to the most nausating, ridiculouly passionate and extreme description of what it is to be in love. I think Jackie Collins is leading the nominations! "Falling in love is like getting hit by a truck and yet not being mortally wounded. just sick to your stomach, high one minute, low the next. Starving hungry but unable to eat. hot, cold, forever horny, full of hope and enthusiasm, with momentary depressions that wipe you out." Congratulations to her! Squeamish Nicola
3. The Forgetting that the women in your book are people Award - This is one literary award that I won't mind being awarded almost exclusively to men. Because I'm not talking about writing one-dimensional characters across the board. This one goes to the writers who manage brilliant ideas; fantastic flights of fancy and interesting casts. Some of the time. Isaac Asimov is an obvious early contender - a man who could imagine self-aware artificial intelligence but not women with any degree of character. Martin Amis is another. I read London Fields ten years ago and all I can remember about Nicola Six is that her breasts are brown and close together. Squeamish Louise
4. The Kissing Klaxon Award - Thanks to Go Fug Yourself and the rude shock of moving to a primary school where the only books the girls read were Sweet Valley Twins I know that there is a romantic device some authors are rather fond of. A man with floppy hair will being in move closer to our heroine, as she bites her lip nervously, perhaps throbbingly if such a thing can be achieved he will put her at ease with the words - which he always murmurs: "I'm going to kiss you now." I propose these authors be forced to allow their books to be reprinted with this sentence replaced with the following sentence 'He moved closer as Bella/Jessica/Anastasia bit her lip, his deep blue/brown/grey eyes framed with black lashes grew wide. "KISS KLAXON!" he yelled before swooping towards her lips, his mouth wide..." You'd read that right? Squeamish Kate
5. The It's A Knock out Award - The most overused, annoying clichÃ© in my book (well not in my book, because it's an annoying clichÃ©. And also because I'm too lazy to write a book) is characters being knocked unconscious. Too many times I've read stories where the author has written themselves into a corner and to prevent their novel shrinking into a novella need the villain to escape. Or want to jump locations without having to write any chapters explaining how people got there. Far too often they resort to the classic 'blow to the back of the head by unseen attacker.'
Strangely the next chapter never focuses on the hero being rushed to hospital with severe concussion and spending the next 24 under observation. I'm sorry but if your villain can't think of a better escape plan than basically asking the main character to close their eyes and count to 100 then they don't deserve to escape. And there's far cleverer ways to suggest the villain has a secret ally than smacking the reader over the head with the information. Literally. Gareth