Saturday, February 6, 2010

Sometimes you feel like a nut...

As some of you know, my bio short bio goes like this: Ashlyn Chase describes herself as an almond Joy Bar. A little nutty, a little flaky, but basically sweet, wanting only to give her readers a delicious experience.

Well, most of the time, I write humor...or try to. Lately, my muse--Thalia, the muse of comedy seems to be on vacation. Or, that doesn't stop me from writing. Oh no. I refuse to give in to writer's block! I just power through it by writng something else. That's why I often have two or three novellas or short stories coming out along with a big single title.

My latest single title is finished! YAY!!! At least the first draft is. There are a few humorous moments. At least my critique partner laughed in all the right places. But it's not funny enough for me. Anyway, I learned this trick recently--from another blog of all places! Take those chapters that are giving you fits and copy them into a separate file. Now you hjave the freedom to play. Nothing is destroyed if you decide to take bold risks on those few pages. And often you'll find things you can do better.

I would imagine this not only works with comedy...although the wonderful Angie Fox is also a hilarious writer and she's the one who offered this tip. I'd be curious to know if anyone else tries it, how'd it go for you?



Savannah Stuart said...

I've never tried this but I really like the idea! Thanks for the tip :)

Wynter Daniels said...

I like the idea, too. And it would work for any genre.

Michelle Polaris said...

I've tried it and it brings a peace of mind to have a complete copy separated with which to play. It works. You go girl! Of course, I haven't done it with comedy. My characters may joke from time to time, but light and fluffy they ain't. I liked the reminder I can do this, however. It can get rid of some desperation. Congrats on finishing up another single title.

Cara McKenna said...

Oh, I'm a total whore for the paste/paste method—I never would have survived as a writer in the pen-and-parchment or typewriter days.

Every one of my works-in-progress gets its own "scraps" file, where I put what I suspect are brilliant literary gems that I can't quite crowbar into the action. By the end of the story I've usually found a home for the best nuggets, or else I add them to my little digital arsenal of ideas ready for use in future projects.

Jina Bacarr said...

By all means, Ashlyn, you should "play" with your scene. Copy and paste is the name of the game.

Also, remember that your characters talk TO each other, not AT each other. You can also write just dialogue, no description, then read it aloud as if you're writing a play. You'll get a better feeling of the "flow" of the scene.

For example, here is an excerpt I wrote re: my Naughty Victorian Lady blog where I wrote the piece as all dialogue:

(I've only excerpted part of the blog here for space constraints--remember, we're in 1876)

Lady M: “I hesitate to embarrass myself in front of you–”

Lady R: “Am I not your oldest and dearest friend?”

Lady M: ” ‘Tis shameful to say this even to one’s oldest friend, but I feel so…dry down there. No wetness at all. As if the essence of my femininity has been stolen from me, like that maid I sacked who doused herself with my most expensive Paris perfume.”

Lady R: (Smiling) “I know what you need, my dear. Something that will spark your libido and make it dance a lovely waltz.” (Giggle.) “Or a wild mazurka.”

Lady M: “You mean I should consult my physician about those genital massage sessions I heard about from Lady Hartford?”

Lady R: “No, dear, nothing so drastic…or so extravagantly priced. There is a better way to get ‘in the mood.’ “

Lady M: “Tell me, please.”

Lady R: “Read a romance.”

Naima Simone said...

Hi, Ash!
Actually I have one of those files! Since I'm a change-phobe it makes me feels secure knowing I have the original version in a file so I can go tear up and wreck those certain scenes as I please. A lot of times I end up with something I'm really pleased with. But anal me still holds onto the original...just can't throw anything away...

Congratulations on finishing the new manuscript!!

Rayna said...

I'm glad you found this tip helpful, as I did. Did I mention I stole the idea from the awesome Angie Fox? LOL.

I'd like to try it with my completed first draft, but I just found out where the shopping distict is here. (I'm in Bangelore India) I have rupies burning a hole in my pocket and it seems pretty safe around here.

So, I'm not procrastinating--not really. I mean, if I don't shop now, I may never have another chance, ya know?


Ashlyn Chase said...

Oops. I let somone borrow my laptop and never switched the identity back to me.

That last comment was from Ash, not Rayna.

Dalton Diaz said...

You made it to India and found the shopping already! Woo-Hoo!
I use this method all the time, and I'd also be lost without cut and paste. I love to move paragraphs around for flow, etc.
Ash, have a great time. Wow, I can't believe you're in India!

Stephanie Adkins said...

I've never heard of doing this before, but I'll definitely be trying it. Great tip, Ash! :)