One book leads to another...

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

What's So Funny?

Welcome, all! You’re just in time for the monthly (1st Wednesday) on-line gathering of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group, where you’ll find helpful tips, handy resources, the latest trends in publishing, and a comfortable place for hundreds of writers – just like you and I – to  share our writing journeys! 

Feel free to meander and mingle. Our gracious co-hosts this month are:

Even if you’re not there yet, sooner or later, your writing journey will undoubtedly lead you to the marketing stage, and this month’s IWSG Newsletter happens to offer invaluable guidelines for effective promotions! 

For member news and often funny movie reviews, our founder, Alex Cavanaugh has it all!  

Speaking of funny…
One sweltering morning on the somewhat crowded beach of a seaside village, I sought shelter in the shade of a utility pole to crack open a new book while my camping comrades, each in varying stages of late-night aftermath, laid sprawled around the camp beneath dampened towels and rapidly melting icepacks. Not more than a few pages into the book, I laughed right out loud and chuckled for several seconds after. At that unmistakable, “somebody’s staring at me” feeling, I glanced up to find that, in fact, everyone in camp was staring at me. “What was so funny?” they wanted to know. “Was I reading a comedy?” 

Actually, it was a Stephen King novel. So, it wasn’t exactly a comedy. But the spontaneous burst of laughter made me feel I could handle whatever the King of horror had in store for me. After all, I’d already connected on a realistic level with the fictional main character. 

According to “Dessert First” author Dean Gloster there are at least seven good reasons to include a bit of humor in serious fiction. I tend to agree, though I’m not (usually) a comedian. 

But what, exactly, is funny to whom? I decided to do a little research by way of interviewing a couple of my younger friends whose responses had my eyebrows twitching: Adult humor – whether they ‘get’ it or not, metaphorical sarcasm, and Dad jokes. 

Dad jokes?  The fattest knight at King Arthur’s round table was Sir Cumference. He acquired his size from too much pi.”  ~  

“Oh,” I said, “the jokes dads tell.” Like when I asked my dad (many, many moons ago) what he thought of my new (fake) perfume called “Evening in Paris” and he replied “Afternoon at the Garbage Dump.” Hmm, I think I’ll stick with the first two responses – at least for what I’m working on now.

Question of the Month: What personal traits have you written into your character(s)? 

While I’d much rather live vicariously through my characters, I’m sure there’s an inadvertent bit of me in many of them. For instance, in the acrophobic elevator mouse, a warrior with the sniffles, a ghostly bus stop dweller; befriending lonely riders. And then there’s the ghost who doesn’t know he is one – or does he?

Do you appreciate humor in literature? Do you use it in your writing? Do you know a funny ‘Dad Joke’?

I may be a bit slower with visiting this time around, but no worries, I’ll see you soon!