Monday, February 17, 2014

Plot Twist!

I grew up smack in the middle of a grunting group of boys--a circumstance I refer to as being raised by wolves. Perhaps because of this, I special in humanizing heathens (turning out-of-control preschoolers into competent first graders).  What saved me during childhood is the same thing that preserves my sanity today:

I learned to laugh at myself.

My dad, the Grand Poobah of bad punnery, taught me this lesson early in life.  Even when questionable comments come tumbling out of my own mouth and my face is burning with embarrassment, my gut reaction is, This is going to make a great story! And when others pop off with something truly witty and unexpected, my level of appreciation is expressed in a blasting laugh that frightens small children and animals. (For reals.) Over the years, I have come to believe that laughter really is the best medicine (unless you suffer from appendicitis, in which case laughter would be a counterproductive measure), and I have come to treasure those who make me laugh regularly.

What does this have to do with writing? Well, I don't know about you, but there's enough reality in my reality without spending my off-hours trudging through overly-serious fiction.  Characters must struggle, overcome challenges, and deal with setbacks, but they DO NOT have to wallow in the depths of despair.

It never hurts to tell the funny side of the story. In fact, it keeps readers from falling asleep, putting the book down, or reaching for something else.

In the immortal words of Donald O'Connor from Singing in the Rain:

Make 'em laugh!
Make 'em laugh!
Don't you know everyone wants to laugh?

Take the time to find your funny, embrace it, and share it with humanity.  We could all use a good laugh.
Thanks for visiting! How do you feel about funny characters and dropping them into ridiculous situations? Let's talk about it!

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