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Q&A – Fun Scenes to Write

By C.V. Lee
August 20, 2021
Photo by Ramakant Sharda on Unsplash

Like every other art form, writing requires much study and practice to become accomplished. Like a concerto has movements, so the tone of a novel can change from chapter to chapter. While some sections of a piece of music take hours of practice to master, others roll from the fingers with very little effort. So too, some parts of a novel an author struggles to get onto the page, making seemingly endless revisions to get it right, while other scenes flow from the fingertips, born with every color and nuance fully formed.

This month, I asked our lanterns to share a scene from one of the novels that was a joy to write.

Edie Cay found it difficult time to choose just one.

“The most fun I had writing (and it is a toss-up, because my characters are fun to write), was the first kiss scene between Os and Bess in The BOXER AND THE BLACKSMITH. Bess is so unaccustomed to romance, and even less accustomed to a man finding her desirable, combined with the fact that they are literally standing in a trash heap behind a bakery, her normal grumpy self is forced to take a step back.

Os takes a chance, knowing that she has the power to deliver a stunning blow both physically and emotionally, but he’s certain she is attracted to him. I loved writing Bess’s uncertainty, her attempt at humor to deflect the reality of the moment: this man really likes her.

It was a moment to puff up Bess’s ego, to put her off-balance, and fulfill Os’s wishes all at once. They’re cute together, being so smitten with each other and not knowing how the other will react. It was my favorite scene to write–so far. Although my new book, A LADY’S FINDER (out in 2022), also has a couple of really fun scenes, like a Marie Antoinette costume ball in a molly house that is a very close contender.”

C.V. Lee is working on the final edits of her work-in-progress (WIP), Roses and Rebels.

“My novel is set in the late 15th century, and although my story is not a romance, there is a section that focuses on the love story between two of the main characters. I used one of those scenes to focus on the clothing of the era, when doublets were getting shorter and men wore those hideous poulaines. I used it as an opportunity to break the ice between them and add lightness and humor into the narrative.

Mari Christie’s favorite scene to write also comes from a current WIP:

“Logic says I should answer this question from one of the books I have for sale, but the answer comes straight from my first book, Concrete Loyalties, currently being turned into a series called The Lion’s Club. The book centers around a group of gangsters in Brooklyn, New York in the early 1900s, and, as you might guess, it includes a LOT of curse words, and derogatory language about every race, ethnicity, gender, orientation imaginable. However, in this one scene, after the protagonist, Frankie Delaney, has spent several months in an alcoholic stupor following his fiancé’s death, his adopted father, the gangster in charge, has finally had enough. By the time the six-page scene was finished, 81 curse words had made it into the manuscript, which really must be some kind of record. I’m not saying all the curse words were what made it so fun to write—the father, Charlie Riley, is, bar none, my favorite character I’ve ever written—but there is something illuminating about letting a character take the reins and say exactly what he’s thinking, even if it’s not socially acceptable.”

Rebecca D’Harlingue’s choice has her character engaging in behavior she never would have envisioned for her life”

“In The Lines Between Us, I enjoyed inventing an elaborate ruse for Juliana to get a letter of recommendation to enter the convent in 1662 in Mexico City. She had escaped Spain because she was in danger, and the convent would be her refuge.

Juliana had to find a man who was both respected and greedy: someone with a good reputation, yet willing to write a recommendation for a total stranger. The money would be offered obliquely, to enable him to maintain his own sense of honor. 

Juliana listened to the gossip until she found her candidates. Putting money in her bag, she waited where she knew one of them would pass by, then she stumbled and dropped the bag. The first three men called her back. The fourth didn’t. He met her in response to the note she sent, saying she was a lady in need of aid from a gentleman. She explained about the letter, and she asked him to make a charitable donation for her, offering him an amount that she was sure would never find its way to anyone in need.”

Ana Brazil couldn’t pinpoint one, because—well you be the judge.

“I can’t remember any one scene, but it’s always fun to work out a writing problem when I’m walking. How do I up the conflict? What would the character really do? Why is this scene so loooooong? Then I come home, get out my computer, and write until I’m finished. I guess you could say that it’s fun when a scene comes together.”

Kathryn Pritchett is enjoying her foray into weaving together her novel with a parts of a beloved, timeless tale:

“I’m currently having fun writing about actress Maude Adams’s portrayal of Peter Pan in 1904. She was the first American to play the role—just a few months after it premiered in London—and it became one of her signature roles. I’ve enjoyed reading various iterations of Peter Pan by the author J.M. Barrie. He loved tinkering with a story even after it was in print or had been performed for many years—can you relate?

As I write about Maude taking flight to Neverland I’m also weaving in scenes from her personal life that show her breaking out of the conventions of her time. I’m also incorporating overlapping themes of lost children and absentee mothers that show up in both the play and in Maude’s life. It’s a challenge, but I’m enjoying sharing her journey through some of the lines and scenes of Barrie’s classic tale. And with Barrie’s own writing proclivities in mind, I figure I have permission to rewrite this scene until it achieves lift off!”

C.V. Lee
Written by C.V. Lee

C.V. Lee writes historical biographical fiction featuring forgotten heroes and heroines of the past. She is a member of the Historical Novel Society, Alli, and a founding member of Paper Lantern Writers. You can find her on Facebook @cvlee.histficwriter and on Instagram @cvleewriter.

View CV’s PLW Profile

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