Wednesday 23 January 2019

Turning it up to 11. When a scene needs as much as you can give it. #parodies #competition .@HeideGoody .@IainMGrant #wip #writingworld #writertips .@rararesources

Scene Writing


Heide Goody and Iain M Grant

On a scale of one to ten, how extreme do you want your scene to be?
If it’s comedy or horror then you should consider dialling it up to eleven.
So, what exactly do we mean by that? Let’s imagine a comedy scene where we want the comedy to come from our main character suffering social embarrassment when they’re on a first date.
What might we think of doing to our character?
– they lose all of their money somehow and cannot pay for anything.
– they dye their hair for the occasion and it goes wrong, so they CANNOT remove their hat.

Either could work. What would we score them: maybe eight out of ten?
How might we turn them up to eleven?
– they lose all of their money somehow and cannot pay for anything — they work out a deal with the restaurant where they will do some waiting in lieu of payment. The downside is that the restaurant wants them to do it NOW as there is a rush on, so our hero must keep disappearing from the date to go and secretly wait on other tables, all the while attempting to keep things “normal”.
– they dye their hair for the occasion and it goes wrong, so they CANNOT remove their hat. Every possible reason for removing a hat must subsequently be encountered, from minor etiquette reasons to an animal getting inside the hat. It should culminate in someone important demanding the removal of the hat.

This is where it can be very useful to write in a partnership, or find some other way to stretch your ideas. It is a muscle that you can develop yourself, if you routinely make the assumption that your first idea might be pedestrian or cliched. What does your second or third idea look like? Keep going until you have the idea that feels as though you have really maxed out the concept you were aiming for.

What about horror?
If you’re going for any kind of gross-out horror, then the concept is very similar.
Here’s an example from our novel A Heart in the Right Place:

Nick has broken into his neighbour’s house to retrieve something of his, and we wanted him to be incriminated by finding a body. The person could have been poisoned or stabbed, but we wanted something spectacularly horrible, so we came up with the idea of using a power tool. In our version of turning it up to eleven, we decided to use all of the power tools.

In the middle of the hallway was a Black and Decker workbench. He recognised it because his dad owned one just like it. There were several power tools clamped to the workbench. Nick wasn’t sure what they all were, but knew his dad would not only know what each was called, he’d also know how to operate them and what sort of job they’d be used for. Nick was pretty sure the scenario in front of him was not one recommended by any of the manufacturers. Each of the tools had its gouging, drilling, sawing bits turned upwards, and the mutilated remains of a man’s body lay face down on them. The whirring sound Nick heard from outside was made by several tools which were running. Some of them stuck out from the back and side of the man’s body. There was even a lengthy drill bit, still spinning, poking out through the skull.
Oz?” asked Nick. He felt like an idiot. He felt sick.
Oz was in no state to confirm or deny his identity. Chunks of his body had splattered the walls. Blood had pooled on the hall rug, seeping through and spreading to the skirting boards. The parts left on the bench juddered with the tools’ movements, as if Oz was having sex with his workbench. The dog was licking at the dead man’s dangling hand. Perversely, Nick thought this was particularly wrong.
No. No. This isn’t right?” he heard his mouth say. 


A Heart in the Right Place
All Nick wants to do is take his dying father for a perfect father-son weekend in the Scottish Highlands. It’s not much to ask, is it? A log cabin, a roaring fire, a bottle of fine whisky and two days to paper over the cracks in their relationship.
However, Nick didn’t plan on making the trip with a dead neighbour in the back of his car. Or the neighbour’s dog. He really didn’t plan on being pursued by a psychotic female assassin intent on collecting body parts. And he really, really didn’t plan on encountering a platoon of heavily armed mercenaries, or some very hungry boars, or a werewolf.
A Heart in the Right Place - a horror comedy about setting out with the very best intentions and then messing everything up.

About the authors:
Heide Goody is the stupid one in the writing partnership and Iain Grant is the sensible one. Together, they are the authors of over a dozen books.
The ‘Clovenhoof’ series (in which Satan loses his job and has to move to Birmingham) has recently been optioned by a Hollywood production company.
Heide and Iain are both married, but not to each other.

And now for the competition!
Giveaway – Win a gorgeous Moleskine Passion Traveller's Journal (Open Internationally)
The Moleskine Traveller’s Journal is a structured before and after record of every journey you make, from weekends away to life-changing trips and everything in between. 
Note down your travel plans before you leave and list all the things you hope to see and do, then add maps, photos, tickets and keepsakes when you return. 
The Traveller’s Journal is a place to dream, get practical and create a unique and lasting paper archive of your travels that you’ll want to revisit again and again.
·        premium box with themed graphics related to your passion
·        hard cover with themed debossing, rounded corners, elastic closure
·        2 ribbon bookmarks
·        double expandable inner pocket
·        front endpaper with ‘in case of loss’ notice
·        ivory-coloured 70 g/m² acid-free paper
·        tabbed sections to guide your note-taking
·        themed introductory pages
·        400 pages 
·        themed stickers to customize your journal
·        Moleskine S.r.l. creates and sells FSC®-certified products "
*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will be passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.
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