Funny?

Are you trying to be funny? Never the start of a good conversation, is it? The section of THE ROAD TO AVERSAC I’ll be writing over the next couple of days should reduce the reader to a spluttering wreck if I hit it right. But…

If there is a secret to writing comedy, it’s Don’t Try To Be Funny. You’ve got a situation, you know your characters – leave it to them. Just let them loose in the scene and write about them. The other thing is, I find my own mood doesn’t have much to do with it. What’s required is energy. Given that, you can write with furious spite and it can turn out funny. Or you can be in one of those gentle moods when everything you say carries a raised eyebrow.

There’s no secret: you just have to try it. Which is what I’ll be doing today, tomorrow…

 

…and here’s a case in point. A slip of the tongue added a new dimension to one of my characters, who keeps in touch with a wider world through FACECLOTH “A bit of flannel freshens you up.” Funny? I don’t know. If the rest of the passage has warmed the reader up, it’ll work. In fact, it’s a weak wordplay that wouldn’t stand on its own but should enrich the action going on around it. Right now I must get back to it and see if I still like yesterday’s work. If not, it’s a walk round the block and try again…

Yesterday’s pages were supposed to be sidesplitting, but I was reminded of my Dad’s expression (he was a cartoonist) when my Mum leant over his easel, shook her head and said, ‘No Dear, that’s not funny’. I’m going to do what he did: mow the grass and then do it again.