HUMOUR IN FICTION

SPECIAL NOTE: 

Back from the wonderful Swanwick Writers’ Summer School, learned lots, caught up with old friends, made new ones, caught up with some writing (but never all I wanted to do!  This is always the way of it!).  Generally had fabulous time.  Even sold some copies of From Light to Dark and Back Again. 

I am planning to revamp my websites over the next few weeks so this becomes my main site with Fairytales With Bite and This World and Others incorporated into it.  I am planning to blog more regularly on here and less frequently on the others, but with links back to archive material.  Am hoping to become as full time a writer as possible given my circumstances.  Up until now definitely only part time but there is so much I would like to do and I need to increase my hours!

FAIRYTALES WITH BITE

My theme tonight ties in with my Chandler’s Ford Today post also online this evening, which is about humour in fiction.  I think this is one of the hardest things to get right, given humour is so subjective.   In my post for FWB tonight Humour in Fiction, I talk about how important it is for humour to come from your characters and for it not to be something that is forced on them.  Humour has to ring “true”.  Also I discuss how humour and the various forms of it can be a good way to differentiate your characters for your readers.

Great characters should show humour. Image via Pixabay.

Great characters should show humour. Image via Pixabay.

THIS WORLD AND OTHERS

In Using Humour I discuss what kind of humour your characters would come out with.  After all if you say someone has no sense of humour, doesn’t that give you an instant image of what person is likely to be like?  You may not be be right of course (though I think a lot of the time you would be!).  You can have a lot of fun developing the humour your characters would have.

FACEBOOK – GENERAL AND FROM LIGHT TO DARK AND BACKAGAIN AND CHANDLER’S FORD TODAY

My posts tonight are all based around my CFT article about Humorous Writing (and why it is a serious business)I use British English spelling incidentally.

I share some classic TV and audio clips of some of the finest comic writing I’ve loved and discuss why humorous writing is, I feel, the toughest aspect of writing to get right.  It is partly because humour is so subjective of course but also sometimes it doesn’t always “travel” well, either across countries or time or both.

Having said that, there are wonderful examples of humour that can manage this.  Am glad to say there have been some fantastic comments on this post already with great examples of unintentional newspaper headline humour too. Hope you enjoy.  I think I’ve found my favourite all time feature image for this one as well, thanks to Pixabay!  See what you think.

Humour can be shown in expression, writers must use words!  The right ones in the right way too!  Image via Pixabay.

Humour can be shown in expression, writers must use words! The right ones in the right way too! Image via Pixabay.

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CHARACTER RELAXATION

FAIRYTALES WITH BITE

I talk about Character Relaxation being a way of showing your readers more about your characters.  What do they do as hobbies?  Are they obsessed by them?  How do they treat others who get in the way of their “down” time?  How do their hobbies relax them to cope with whatever quest you are sending them on?

THIS WORLD AND OTHERS

Encouraging Creativity  ties in with my Chandler’s Ford Today post tonight given I talk about a poetry competition in that (more later).  Here I expand the topic to look at what we can do when we lose our spark and need to encourage our own creativity to come back!

FACEBOOK AND CHANDLERS’S FORD TODAY

I share news of a children’s poetry competition being organised by my local writing group, Chandler’s Ford Authors, in association with Hampshire Libraries and The Hiltingbury Extravaganza (a major fair in the area).  There are two age categories – 8 to 11 and 12 to 15 – and there will be prizes!  There will also be a presentation at our local library in September and it is hoped the winning poems will also go on to be published online by Chandler’s Ford Today.

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FACEBOOK – FROM LIGHT TO DARK AND BACK AGAIN

I talk about my trip to Swanwick Writers’ Summer School.  Really looking forward to it and catching up with old friends again.  Also hope to make new ones!  Am planning to catch up on writing the follow up to From Light to Dark and Back Again.  Have got quite a bit of that written but would like to get a complete first draft done.

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Feature Image - Children's Poetry Competition News

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GETTING AWAY FROM IT ALL

FAIRYTALES WITH BITE

In Getting Away from it All I look at what makes your characters feel they’ve got to get away and whether their break helps them or not.  I also discuss how we need to get away from our stories for a while so we can read them with fresh eyes to spot the flaws and the virtues of what we’ve written.  Hopefully putting the flaws right will increase the virtues of the tale and make it much more saleable!

THIS WORLD AND OTHERS

Titling looks at what I like to see in my titles.  I have to have a working title before I write the story (but if what I’ve come up with doesn’t seem quite right I remind myself it can be changed later.  I seem to need a “peg” to hang my story on!).

FACEBOOK – GENERAL

I talk about twist in the tale stories tonight and how I usually start with the twist and work backwards to get to the start of the story.  The trick is finding a twist that isn’t too obvious!

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FACEBOOK – FROM LIGHT TO DARK AND BACK AGAIN

I discuss my use of the first person in writing flash fiction (it’s more immediate, it’s like an instant short cut into the story and given the restricted word count, that’s invaluable).

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At my book signing.  Image taken by me.

 

 

STORY ENDINGS AND MAKING AN IMPACT

Am definitely on a theme tonight!

FAIRYTALES WITH BITE

In Story Endings I look at how I finish a flash fiction piece. I’m looking at the impact my story will have on a reader and it does influence how I write the story. I also discuss the classic “happy ever after” fairytale ending and how these days I am much more sympathetic with the “happy for now” approach.  (For one thing it is more realistic!).

THIS WORLD AND OTHERS

In Making an Impact (I told you there was a theme!), I again discuss story endings and their impact but I also talk about the advantages of outlining here.  You can work out what impact you want your story to have and, given there is bound to be more than one way you could achieve that with your characters, you can work out what you feel would work best and then go with that.  (This approach can save a lot of rewriting later – and has done for me).

FACEBOOK – GENERAL AND FROM LIGHT TO DARK AND BACK AGAIN

The theme continues!  I also share another joy of flash fiction, which is, having written your piece, there is nothing to stop you from developing it further into a longer, standard length short story or even a novel if the premise/characters are strong enough and you love the story enough to do so. (Both aspects of that would be necessary as the plot really does have to be strong enough and you’ve got to be prepared to put the work in especially for a novel.  This is where your loving the story so much you have to write it up as a book will help you enormously, but it can be done).

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Back cover of From Light to Dark and Back Again

Back cover of From Light to Dark and Back Again

 

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Flash fiction has the capacity to make a very strong impact quickly – image via Pixabay

 

 

WHY READING FAIRYTALES MATTERS

Couple of shortish posts tonight.

FAIRYTALES WITH BITE

In Why Reading Fairytales Matters I list five main reasons. Out of these I think my favourites are that characters don’t usually get away with villainy and also they are rewarded for heroism/doing the right thing.  If only life were like that!

THIS WORLD AND OTHERS

I talk about The Writing Journey tonight and celebrate the fact that each writer has a unique one.  Gives us plenty to talk about when we meet up at writing conferences, doesn’t it?!  On a more serious note, I look at (briefly) how being on a journey like this is not just about loooking backwards (at what you have done) but forwards (at what you hope to do).  I find that very positive.

FACEBOOK – GENERAL

I ask a couple of questions here tonight – how do I know when I’ve written a character “right” (no apologies for the grammar!) and how do I know when my dialogue sounds right.  See what you think.  Comments welcome.

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FROM LIGHT TO DARK AND BACK AGAIN

Nothing specific on Facebook tonight (I forgot!) but am glad of the latest reviews on Amazon.  Thank you everyone.  Link takes you to the page for both the paperback and Kindle editions.  I haven’t forgotten about having a monthly newsletter either but hope to sort this out by the end of the year and (once up and running) it should be no problem producing it.  It is the getting started here.  I’ve not used Mail Chimp before (though I do like it, I receive a number of author newsletters on it myself).

FromLightToDark_medium-2

 

 

 

 

 

 

STORY BACKGROUND

FAIRYTALES WITH BITE

I talk about Surprises in Books tonight (which also ties in with this week’s Chandler’s Ford Today post).  I look at what a writer wants to achieve in surprising their readers (and without annoying them!).

THIS WORLD AND OTHERS

To write a story of any length with conviction, the writer must know enough of the story background and characters before writing.  In Story Background I look at why you need to  know more than you actually show the reader and the importance of drip feeding information.

FACEBOOK – GENERAL AND CHANDLER’S FORD TODAY

My post on Chandler’s Ford Today this week is about collecting books.  This post is inspired by my going through my late mother’s collection of books and discovering some nice surprises.  For example she had a copy of, all things, Catch 22 by Joseph Heller in leather bound hardback.  Beautiful book and I’m looking forward to reading it.

Mum also had Chekov’s Short Stories which I’m also looking forward to reading and, for those of you who are thinking wasn’t Chekov in Star Trek, wrong one and time to go to your local library I think!

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FACEBOOK PAGE – FROM LIGHT TO DARK AND BACK AGAIN

I ask whether technology is a good thing in writing and show one way in how you can make yourself feel really, really old.  (I discovered how to do this at my book signing back in early July!).  I look back at how I used to have to do a manual word count (which would practically guarantee I would get a phone call at exactly the wrong moment) and share the joy of not having to literally cut and paste any more!  (This could be part 1 in a new mini series called Old Writer Remembers When…)!

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ASSOCIATION OF CHRISTIAN WRITERS – MORE THAN WRITERS

Sorry, forgot to do this earlier.  My post (for late July) was called The Gratitude Chip and why I think we should have one implanted!

 

GC - If only we were chipped

What a Gratitude Chip could look like.  Image via Pixabay