When the author’s own scenes make him / her laugh
By Jeff Salter
Topic: Have you ever really had FUN writing a scene (or scenes)?
I try to include at least a little bit of humor in nearly all my stories, but I really went all-out when I wrote my two screwball comedies in the series, “Amanda Moore or Less”. These two novels were among the four full-length novels I wrote during a 24-month period between mid-2009 and mid-2011.
Curing the Uncommon Man-Cold – released in Dec. 2013 – was my fourth completed novel and it’s actually the sequel to the one I wrote later. Scratching the Seven-Month Itch – released in Sept. 2014 – was my fifth completed novel and it’s the prequel.
In each novel, Amanda Moore and Jason Stewart struggle to keep their relationship sane and moving forward… despite many external pressures and conflicts.
In Man-Cold, it’s obviously Jason’s man-cold that causes most of the problems.
In Itch, it’s Amanda’s domineering and suspicious friend Christine who creates most of the conflict.
I don’t know how well my screwball humor reaches my readers, but (as the author) in several scenes, I found myself laughing as my fingers were tapping out the dialog and actions of my wacky characters. Re-reading those scenes, I still laugh.
In Man-Cold – my first effort with screwball writing – I think my scenes were a bit more low-key. But I still found it humorous when Jason (basically hopeless in the kitchen) is trying to make tuna sandwiches and coffee for Amanda after she’s sidelined by an ankle injury.
But I think the jewel of that novel is the scene when Jason takes the injured Amanda shopping at the grocery. She’s in the cranky motorized cart and he’s zipping around the store and snatching fried shrimp from the lady passing out samples.
With that first screwball comedy under my belt, I think I was better equipped to develop funnier scenes in my second effort. In Itch, Amanda’s domineering friend Christine tries to convince her that Jason is cheating. Amanda doesn’t believe it at first, but when Christine keeps coming up with “proof,” it seems undeniable. But things get funny when Christine recruits two mutual friends – the spacy, free spirit Sunny and the level-headed teacher Maria – to catch Jason in the act.
To me, the funniest scenes are these:
* with Sunny and Maria on stakeout, outside a hotel in downtown Nashville. They have all kinds of problems, including a nosy cop who keeps telling them to move.
* a botched ambush of the presumed vixen in the story — this takes place in the dark, outside Jason’s apartment complex. To say it involves a stun gun only hints at the situations which develop.
* the complete team of four interrogates their captured suspect… and there surprises galore.
I fully realize that my descriptions of these scenes do not do them justice… but each is too lengthy to excerpt. And if I told too much about them, it would spoil the element of surprise when you get around to reading my two novels.
Here are the covers and buy links if you really want to have a few belly laughs. I did.
Scratching the Seven-Month Itch
By J. L. Salter
If Jason does have the itch, Amanda is after the tramp who’s scratching it. Amanda reluctantly complies with her posse of amateur detectives & sets out to catch Jason red-handed. Screwball comedy in the series, “Amanda Moore or Less.”
Novel, only $2.99 in digital formats; paperback also available (varied prices). Dingbat Publishing, 2014.
Curing the Uncommon Man-Cold
By J. L. Salter
A boyfriend with the sniffles is the last thing Amanda needs during THIS work crisis. How can Amanda get clueless Jason to leave… without first killing him? Screwball comedy in the series, “Amanda Moore or Less.”
Novel, only $2.99 in digital formats; paperback also available (varied prices). Dingbat Publishing, 2013.
[JLS # 562]