Writing for FUN

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)?

Absolutely!

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.

Analysis

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.

Summary

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.

http://tinyurl.com/S7MI-JLS

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.

http://tinyurl.com/ManCold4

[JLS # 562]

About Jeff Salter

Currently writing romantic comedy, screwball comedy, and romantic suspense. Fourteen completed novels and four completed novellas. Working with three royalty publishers: Clean Reads, Dingbat Publishing, & TouchPoint Press/Romance. "Cowboy Out of Time" -- Apr. 2019 /// "Double Down Trouble" -- June 2018 /// "Not Easy Being Android" -- Feb. 2018 /// "Size Matters" -- Oct. 2016 /// "The Duchess of Earl" -- Jul. 2016 /// "Stuck on Cloud Eight" -- Nov. 2015 /// "Pleased to Meet Me" (novella) -- Oct. 2015 /// "One Simple Favor" (novella) -- May 2015 /// "The Ghostess & MISTER Muir" -- Oct. 2014 /// "Scratching the Seven-Month Itch" -- Sept. 2014 /// "Hid Wounded Reb" -- Aug. 2014 /// "Don't Bet On It" (novella) -- April 2014 /// "Curing the Uncommon Man-Cold -- Dec. 2013 /// "Echo Taps" (novella) -- June 2013 /// "Called To Arms Again" -- (a tribute to the greatest generation) -- May 2013 /// "Rescued By That New Guy in Town" -- Oct. 2012 /// "The Overnighter's Secrets" -- May 2012 /// Co-authored two non-fiction books about librarianship (with a royalty publisher), a chapter in another book, and an article in a specialty encyclopedia. Plus several library-related articles and reviews. Also published some 120 poems, about 150 bylined newspaper articles, and some 100 bylined photos. Worked about 30 years in librarianship. Formerly newspaper editor and photo-journalist. Decorated veteran of U.S. Air Force (including a remote ‘tour’ of duty in the Arctic … at Thule AB in N.W. Greenland). Married; father of two; grandfather of six.
This entry was posted in Jeff Salter, Man-cold, screwball comedy and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Writing for FUN

  1. piratediva08 says:

    I believe if an author is having a great time writing a scene (or novel), it shows in the writing in a good way. And that is picked up on by the reader. In turn, the reader will have a great time with the story. I don’t write comedy, but I do add humor to offset my darker themes. For me, it usually comes out in banter.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I agree, that is where the humor in most of my works comes through. I find it easier me than TRYING to be funny, which I may not accomplish(!)
      Thankfully, we aren’t all writing the same things the same way.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Jeff Salter says:

      Jenn, I remember some comical moments in the pirate story of yours that I read.
      Sorry, I can’t recall the title. My kindle doesn’t show titles after you pass the title page.

      Like

  2. Yes, Jeff, funny stuff! I still find “One Simple Favor” to be your funniest work,but I will laugh along with you on these.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jeff Salter says:

      thanks for the compliment. And thanks for reminding me.
      I’d temporarily forgotten about the humor in 1SF.
      Yes, I agree… there are some great scenes in that one.

      Like

  3. My choice for your funniest work is “Stuck on Cloud Eight.” I laughed all the way through it. I also found the humor in “The Ghost and Mr. Muir” a delight.

    There is humor is all of my stories, mostly to relieve tension from the suspense. But also because I just plain enjoy making my character real. Without humor in our lives, living would be quite dull. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You have a great sense of humor, and it comes through in most of your work. I’m sure your readers enjoy it as much as I do.

    Like

  5. trishafaye says:

    As much as I’ve laughed after reading your Facebook posts, I KNOW your books will be just as funny – at least at the appropriate parts. I’m off to go check some of them out!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s