Hmmmm a day to feature thoughts from M. Leighton. What a thrill. Hands down she is one of my favorite author plus she is a rebel who likes to eat salsa while wearing a white shirt. What is not to love about her. Here is what M. Leighton had to say being after asked a tough question.
What is the most difficult scene for me to write? And how do I overcome it?
Wow! Who comes up with these doozies? Because that’s a great question! I had to really put some thought into it.
I’m sure the answer you’re most accustomed to seeing here is “steamy scenes” or “sex scenes.” And I’d say that’s pretty accurate. I’ve heard the same thing quite frequently from many, many other authors. I’ve been in discussions where my fellow writers will admit to finding the writing of intimate scenes embarrassing or excruciating. Some even find them laborious to write, and they hate them with a passion (pun intended). Not me! I’m definitely not one of those. LOL In fact, I’m quite the opposite. I’d say love scenes are the easiest for me to write. I get so involved in the romantic aspect of my stories and my characters’ lives that, to me, their hunger flows like honey. Yum yum!
But I digress. (See? I get sidetracked even talking about writing love scenes! Sheesh!) Back to the question. What is the most difficult scene for me to write? My answer is that there are a number of scenes that are very difficult for me to write. And they are all different scenes, too. Sound crazy? Probably. But let me explain.
Because I’m a pantser—which, if you’ve never before heard the term, simply means that I don’t plot out my books ahead of time—the most challenging scenes for me to write are the ones that bridge really significant plot points together. That’s mainly because, when I write one scene, I have no clue what might happen in the next one. That means that, in my head, there’s a bit of a lull as the rest of the story unfolds. It’s during these times that I flounder a bit, waiting for the characters to speak up or act so that their tale can move forward. It’s not uncommon for me to meet some secondary characters during these transitional times. In fact, that’s how Ginger, my feisty friend from the Bad Boys series, came to be. Olivia was deeply conflicted by her growing attraction to the Davenport brothers and becoming more so by the minute, and she needed some advice. As it turns out, Ginger was just the person to give it to her. I mean, no one said it had to be sound, logical or chaste advice, right? Right. And, for me, finding Ginger was a true treasure. I love that girl! I had no idea when I first saw her in my mind that she’d be such a livewire. But now, I wouldn’t want her any other way.
Once in a while, I’ll get stuck in that interim period for an inordinately long amount of time. It’s like a black hole in my head. No interesting characters pop up, no interesting events glisten on the horizon, it’s just mute. Quiet. Radio silence. Those times are the most challenging of all. It takes the equivalent of fictional dynamite to jolt my characters out of their stupor. That kind of TNT can only come in the form of something big. Huge, even. Like a death or a true game-changing event. But that’s one of the many beautiful things about fiction—it can be anyone or anything we want it to be, as long as it’s effective. And, for me, if it’s not effective, I treat it like a fish—I throw that sucker back in the water and wait for a bigger one to swim by. Because in the world of literature, there’s always another dramatic fish in the sea.
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