The author blog of C. J. Ivory

Tinkerer with words. Dresser-Upper. Adorer of Steampunk and VictoriaNoir fiction. Occasional Lawgineer.

June 26, 2011

Do You Know What's Funny? Well, That Makes One Of Us

Comedy. Ah, that turned-up smiley face mask. So much nicer than Tragedy.

And yet so damned elusive...

As some of you will know, my current work in progress is a satire novel, Peering Up The Trouserleg of Giants. My previous novels have had humorous overtones, but they have not been out-and-out humour novels.

Honestly, Gentle Reader, I don't know what possessed me. Being funny is damned hard work. The hilarious material I write one day (oftentimes giggling maniacally at my own cleverness), suddenly becomes pale and insipid the next day. As my husband reads through my current work, I sit tensely, unable to concentrate on anythign else, ears pricked for the slightest sound of laughter. A snort? A giggle? Anything would do.

Eventually, of course, he does laugh, and then I - unable to help myself - ask "What? What was it?" But half the time he's likely to say something like, "Oh, I just saw the cat do something funny." And then, of course, I'm plunged into the depths of despair, that not only is my writing not funny, but it's not even diverting enough to keep his mind off the darned cat.

So why do I do it? Well, every now and then you get a kick. Once in a while you read through a scene that was funny when you write it and -blow me down - it's still funny now. Occasionally my husband will laugh out loud, and when I ask him nervously what the cat did, it turns out that he was guffawing over some sparkling piece of wit that I - yes, I - came up with!

Those little moments make humour writing worth it. Now, if I can just figure out how to achieve them wholesale...

6 comments:

Trisha said...

LOL. I'm sure it's very funny. But forcing oneself to be funny? Not that easy....

Dana said...

I give you a lot of credit for writing humor. It's tricky, and I can never seem to do it right.

Jonathan Dalar said...

I absolutely love love love humor! That being said, I don't write it. I just ain't that good. Yet. I hope.

Humor is a tricky mistress. It's probably the hardest genre to write. By a long shot, too. They say humor and horror are kissing cousins, and I agree. Overdue horror and you have something quite laughable. Overdue humor and it is a train wreck of horrific proportions that you can't help shudder in revulsion at.

Best of luck writing this!

Sandra Patterson said...

Somebody once said "Comedy is a serious business". Good luck with your book but if this post is anything to go by you have nothing to worry about.

Charlotte Jane Ivory said...

@ Trisha and Dana - yeah, let's see if this is the last humour novel I write!
@ Jonathan - so true about the humour/horror line, I have seen some stand-up comedians who illustrate this nicely!
@ Sandra - thanks for the encouragement, you sweetie!

ralfast said...

I don't know funny from Adam, or at least I can't say I'm funny on demand. I write what feels right to me, which as best will put a smile on my readers face. But I can't say that I know what I'm doing.