Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Why I Love Writing "Scenes" (You Know Which Ones I Mean)

***PSA - I know I've been a bit of a Debbie Downer with the whole Trying to Get Published thing. I don't like it either. Accept my apology, sweet readers? I'm going to try my darndest to blog most about what makes me most happy - actual writing
Maybe some good karma will flow from my outbox along with my queries. Now, on with the post.***

So. Let's say you're having a bad writing day.
We all have 'em.

Maybe you've just discovered a plot hole you just can't figure out how to fill.
Maybe your dialogue sounds wooden no matter what you do.
Maybe you can't, for the life of you, find this character's voice.

What do you do?

Well, conventional wisdom would tell you to fill out a character worksheet.
Or do some freewriting. Or maybe outline a little more, or brainstorm with CPs.

That's all well and good, but most writers I know?

They write a kissing scene. 
(Or something a little more...intense. You know what I mean.)

As we've all heard me whine, I've consistently hit one stumbling block with Chrome - not hearing the main character's voice.

In fact, as I was whining to one of my saintly, patient CPs, I was only hearing Havah's voice when she was with (and, um, with) her boyfriend.

So I wrote those scenes. (And some Scenes, too.)
And I loved writing them.
And I loved the characters.
And I felt joy in working on the story.

And then?
I realized why:

I "heard" Havah so well when she was with her boyfriend because that's when she is most open, most vulnerable.
 That's when her soul is most laid bare.
 She doesn't have any defenses up, she's not putting on any masks.
She's not trying to be someone she's not.

It's at those times when she's most honest with herself.
And THAT'S WHY it's at those times when I can hear her most clearly.

And then I remembered.
For all my sugar-coated memories about how easy it was to come by Merrin's voice in ONE....
it's probably because the very first scene I ever wrote from that book was when she and her boyfriend fly, and then make out in a cornfield.

So, yeah.
If you have writer's block? Maybe you should write a Scene.
And maybe it doesn't mean you're just a dirty mind masquerading as a writer.
(Not all the time, anyway.)

Okay, sweet readers of a writerly-persuasion, fess up - do you love writing Scenes? (you know the ones I mean.) Do you make such elaborate excuses for yourselves?


  1. What a great post! I do exactly the same, and it's a bit of a wicked thrill even knowing those scenes will never make it into the MS. BTW, I love the term "Debbie Downer" and am hereby declaring my intention to steal it! Happy writing - and don't worry too much about the setbacks, whether they're agenty ones or writerly ones. I had pretty much a whole year of em up to last November, but these things don't last forever, they just make you a stronger writer. ;)

    1. Thanks!

      And, um...these scenes are definitely in the MS.
      But that doesn't mean ONE doesn't have at least two of them. One that was written in a different MC's PoV. I called it "character development." *snort* :D

      Thanks for the encouragement. I'm trying to let a lot of the stress go. If I can't control it, what's the point of crying over it, right?

      You are AWESOME. THanks for stopping by. <3

  2. I think that is awesome awesome advice. Writing just a scene we're looking forward to or a scene that has us excited is a great way to open up the gates and get to know our charactes better.

    1. Thanks, Katie! I think of it as fanfiction on my own stuff, sometimes. After all, I might be the only fan I ever have. *snort*

      Thanks for your comment. You rule. <3

  3. Sheree(Jennybryce)March 14, 2012 at 4:19 AM

    There is something about opening up yourself to the possibilities of body and soul that frees the mind to wander to the places where you are the you that you save to show to only the truly special people in your life. It is a mask less madness that makes you feel good. Feeling good frees you from doubt and lets that little light shine that is yours alone. It's benefits befit the page and beyond. Being good takes effort. Just being takes wisdom .

    1. letting my characters be themselves, I'm letting myself be...MYSELF?

      You are a genius, I'm certain.

      Thanks for your comment. <3

      "Just being takes wisdom." <333333

  4. So... last night I told my husband, "I need you to make out with me as research for my story." He thought I was kidding. I was not.

    It's funny, but the Kiss in the Rain was one of the first scenes I wrote for LYM, before I completely knew where the rest of it would go...and even so, it stayed basically unchanged once the rest of the story was written. I think when we nail the scenes that best represent our characters and what they're going through, the rest falls into place. Which means there is no wrong place to start. Especially if it makes us smile :)

    1. Gina, you cannot talk about that Kiss in the Rain without sending me into raptures. I think this theory holds true for that, absolutely. God, that was amazing.


  5. You know, I don't really write out of order, but just thinking about writing a kissing scene for the sci-fi space opera got me all shivery. You are a genius, L! :) I may have to try and tackle that this morning, just to play with something. I want writing to be fun again, and that sure sounds like fun!

    1. If you don't write out of order, how are you going to have a Scene ready to send me when I have a bad dayyyyyyyyyyyy? Don't you know how needy I am????

      Write it. WRITE IT.

  6. Ummmm...I am avoiding my kissing scenes!! There are two that I'm avoiding intentionally, and they are 1. The First Kiss kissing scene, because I still don't know exactly how I want it to happen and OMG I WANT IT TO BE PERFECT. and 2. This other kissing scene that has been in my head FOREVER since before I started writing the book, which I'm really excited to get to, but am kind of using as motivation to write. Like...keep going Amanda, then you'll get to THAT scene. I write out of order all the time, but yeah. Still have to write THOSE scenes. You are totally right about the kissing scenes opening your characters up, I'm wondering if I should just skip ahead and write that second kissing scene :)

    1. And THAT's why we refer to them as "dessert" scenes. Sometimes they're a reward for hard work.

      BUT. If you find yourself writing one? Don't feel guilty, or dirty, or whatever. Just call it "process," and write something BEAUTIFUL. I know you will. <3

  7. Wow--I never thought of it that way! Scenes as a way into the smart. I've always thought those Scenes came to me first just because I have a vaguely dirty mind. :)

  8. I don't think a comment from me is even necessary on this post...but yes I love the kissing scenes, if anyone wants to send me some ever that would we awesome :D xoxo

  9. I'm with you Hershey Girl, send me kissing scenes! I feel like mine are so bland!

  10. Strangely ... I've never written a Scene. I've written scenes with kissing, but usually it's only one or like thirty seconds of kissing, and the char's all, "WAITASECOND!" To be honest, I get impatient with lots of kissing and lovey-dovey stuff in books. I must have a heart of stone. BUT! I do have Scenes coming up in my WIP. More romantic type scenes (like, romantic words but not making out), but still, beyond what I've ever written. I don't know if I'll ever have make out scenes in my stories. I'm not sure why? I guess it's because, while I always have some kind of romantic storyline in my stories, they're never the main plot of the book. But I'm just grasping at straws now.
    Maybe I should try writing one. Because I feel like I'm missing out.

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