I’d Rather Laugh

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Our resident hound asked, “ Have you ever really had FUN writing a scene (or scenes)?”

My immediate reaction to this prompt was, “Of COURSE I have fun writing. That’s why I do it!” But then I thought back to the past two months, which have been spent completing and editing a story that I’ve been working on for over six months. Actually, this was the second version of the story, which I’d started more than a year ago. But life intruded, and for several months, it was difficult for me to carve out time for myself, and many of my activities were put on hold, including writing.

When we moved and my husband was released from the hospital, I put my foot down and demanded writing time, at least a few hours every day. I found it really difficult to get back into the story. For one thing, my two hours of writing time was normally a few minutes here and there, sandwiched between doctor and therapy appointments, dispensing medicine, administering breathing treatments, and taking care of meal prep. It seemed that every time I’d get my head back in the story, I had to pull myself out of it in order to deal with the present. I couldn’t complete an entire scene in one sitting, so I started to view writing more as a chore than as a pleasure.

I finally managed to carve out some uninterrupted writing time when my writing groups started sponsoring Zoom write-ins, where we checked in with each other at the top of each hour. I joined one, explaining to the coordinator that I might not be able to work the entire time due to disruptions. I explained to my husband what I was doing, and told him that if he needed something, he could send me a text. I was floored when my phone stayed silent, and for three straight hours I was immersed in 1840s England. I joined these write-ins two or three times a week with the same result, and even missed a few check-in times because I was so focused on what was happening to my characters. Finally, I was able to finish the book (which was supposed to be submitted in August) and hubby has happily returned to needing my help on a regular basis.

I have the most fun writing scenes that have a bit of humor in them. I don’t write  slapstick comedy like the hound does, but every now and then an amusing situation will pop into my head. In my recently completed manuscript  I thought it might be fun to take my hoity-toity hero down a bit. Here’s what I came up with:

****

When Grace’s maid opened the door to his knock, the scene greeting him left him stunned. Four young boys and two adults ran about, shrieking and jumping onto the furniture. Papers were strewn everywhere.

“What is the meaning of this?” he roared. 

Everyone froze, and there was silence — other than a fluttering sound coming toward him. Before he could react, a bright red parrot landed on his head.

Grace appeared at his side. “At last! Bertram, you naughty boy. Come, your antics have earned you several hours in your cage.” She reached up and lifted the bird, crooning to him gently as she carried him off as the maid and housekeeper straightened the furniture. Frederick and his friends busied themselves gathering the errant flyers and sorting them into piles. 

****

On the other side of the coin, I find  scenes that contain pain and sadness are more difficult to write. In this same manuscript, there’s a death, and it took several write-ins to complete that scene and the ones immediately following. I guess I’m happier dealing with happy times.

If you’re a writer, what types of scenes do you most enjoy writing?

About Patricia Kiyono

During her first career, Patricia Kiyono taught elementary music, computer classes, elementary classrooms, and junior high social studies. She now teaches music education at the university level. She lives in southwest Michigan with her husband, not far from her five children, nine grandchildren (so far), and great-granddaughters. Current interests, aside from writing, include sewing, crocheting, scrapbooking, and music. A love of travel and an interest in faraway people inspires her to create stories about different cultures. Check out her sweet historical contemporary romances at her Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/Patricia-Kiyono/e/B0067PSM5C/
This entry was posted in creating scenes, Daily life, Dealing with stress, experiences, Life, Patricia Kiyono, Preparing for writing, The Author Life, time management, writing and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to I’d Rather Laugh

  1. Jeff Salter says:

    Firstly, my hat’s off to you… dealing with all your family / medical / home responsibilities as diligently as you do.
    Next — I love that scene … as short as it is, the reader gets a complete picture of the chaos and the embarrassment of that guy who walked in.
    Finally, I can’t recall a particular death scene that I’ve written — except in “horror” short stories.
    But there was one particular scene that I knew would generate a tear in my typical readers… because it made me tear up when I wrote it and when I re-read it. It’s a tender moment between a grandfather and granddaughter — after I decided to include the scene (which I felt the novel truly needed), I had to go back and ADD that granddaughter to the rest of the story. It was that important to me. When I re-read it, I still get emotional.
    Oh… and I’ll let y’all know about my funny scene on Hound Day.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Patricia Kiyono says:

      Can’t wait to read your scene – and see if I recognize it! Emotional scenes of any kid can be difficult to write, because you want the reader to FEEL rather than simply SEE what’s happening.

      Like

  2. Diane Burton says:

    It’s hard to find the fun in writing when Life takes over. You’ve had (still have) a lot on your plate, yet you’re able to finish your story. Amazing. Congratulations! I love to write humorous scenes. Sometimes, slapstick; other times, witty dialogue. Your scene was delightful. I expected the parrot to leave a deposit on his shoulder. You’re very smart to insist on some time to yourself. Take care of yourself.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Patricia Kiyono says:

      I knew you’d understand, Diane. You definitely have some amusing scenes in your books, which is why I love reading them. What a great idea to have the parrot leave a deposit!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Once again, my heart goes out to you. I know how hard all of this is. It’s hard on the patient and it’s hard on the loved ones/caregivers. All the concerns are very nerve-straining and energy-sapping.
    That you are hanging in there and doing even more than giving in is an accomplishment, never forget that. You may not feel strong at times, but you are.
    Fun stuff! Write when you can, as you can. Zoom meetings are better, much better than none. Take what you can, when you can, and take care of Patty, too!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Patricia Kiyono says:

      Thanks, Tonette. The Zoom write-ins have been life-saving, not just for getting things done, but for my sanity, too. There are all sort of in-person write-ins going on in various parts of the city, especially now that NaNoWriMo has begun, but this way I don’t have to worry about not being here in case something comes up.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. diana-lloyd says:

    I love reading and writing dialogue. So much can be gleaned about each character from their word choices and manner of speaking. Writing witty dialogue is the best. Characters can say things that resonate with a reader in a personal way. A clever word choice can make a reader smile and even repeat the words in their own life. Such power!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Patricia Kiyono says:

      I agree! Dialogue is so much more fun. Sometimes I’ll write pages of dialogue, and then realize that they need to be DOING something while they’re talking. Thanks so much for weighing in, Diana!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. When you’re pushed for time as you’ve been it’s not much fun to write. I’m glad you’ve figured out a way to get back on track.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m so glad that you were able to participate in those Zoom write-ins and get back to writing. I am really looking forward to this book! When will it be released? I enjoyed that scene, I love reading your scenes that have such a subtle humor to them that I smile. They’re so fun to read.
    I do emotional scenes well but I think that is because I can use writing as something similar to therapy. I enjoy writing happier scenes but I am happy writing the sad scenes too. Probably because I am just so happy to be writing.

    Liked by 1 person

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