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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

It's All In The Delivery

Happy Tuesday Everyone,

Well, I'm looking forward to Friday's give away. I'm hosting Kim Lenox as she gives away her Shadow Guards series (pictures to come). Last night she sent me an email saying that she'll sign and personalize the books for the winner however the winner wants. (Which, I thought was really cool).

As many of you know, I have a critique partner (whom I think is just awesome). What you all may not know is I'm also a part of a critique group. So, I emailed out a story that's a side-project (because I was still working on one of my main projects and had nothing else ready for a critique and I wanted to send something). Several people thought some of my lines were really funny. One person said "You have a natural wit." I sat there reading that, with my jaw dropping. I work hard on those funny lines. I think they're hilarious, but since reading and writing is subjective, I don't know (until someone reads it) whether someone else will find them funny. But given that I like to make people laugh anyway, in some ways it is natural.

It's about how you set the line up. If it's something clear out of left field a person is not going to follow you. However, if it's along the lines of what's going on, then it's possible the line could be quite funny.

When I wrote the parody, Because Of The Pie I knew that in a parody I was going to exaggerate real life. In real life Les doesn't go on and on about chocolate chip cookies (in fact, if I remember correctly, that topic hasn't come up in our conversations) he also hasn't gone on and on about cherry pie. The point was, I didn't set out to write anything serious, so everything had to be funny, but also still make sense. You can be funny, but if it doesn't make sense then the punch line isn't really going to make anyone chuckle.

Christie Craig's book, Shut Up And Kiss Me is extremely humorous. But it's not just humorous because someone does or says something that tickles the funny bone, but because of he delivery. The woman is absolutely flawless in her humor delivery (she's also that way in person when she says something funny--it's very funny--she just knows how to shoot out that line for the ultimate laugh).

Another example of excellent humor delivery is Jennifer Crusie's Trust Me On This. I was laughing out loud at some of the lines her characters say. But they also made sense. It wasn't funny just to have comic relief, it was actually funny within the situation itself.

Kerrelyn Sparks makes lines and situations funny, as well. In The Undead Next Door, Jean-Luc is a vampire who puts a mind "whammy" on the heroine's ex-husband. Every time the ex-husband says something bad about the heroine that same ex-husband thinks he's a cockroach. To me, that was extremely funny. (My husband kept looking at me and asking "What's so funny?" I was laughing out loud).

The point is, humor can be an author's ally, but without the right delivery it can backfire. These authors have everything right:  situation and delivery.

Two things before I sign off on this post: don't forget Friday's drawing. It's gonna be great! Also, don't forget to pick up a copy of Melissa Ohnoutka's Faithful Deceptions :-)

Question for today:  What books do you find funny and why? (be sure to include title and author)

Have A Tremendous Tuesday!

13 comments:

nutspan said...

I loved Otis Spofford by Beverly Cleary... the book used to make me laugh all the time when I was a kid

nutspan said...

Of course I always love the Walter the Farting Dog books by William Kotzwinkle.. even though they are kid picture books I can't help but laugh

Tess said...

Too many funny books to list...a few (and there are tons more) authors I find funny are Christie Craig, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Jennifer Crusie, just to name a few!

Bethany said...

nutspan,

Beverly Cleary--great writer. I hadn't read that one you mentioned.

LOL sometimes kids books ARE really funny :-)

Bethany said...

Tess,

Yeah, there are other funny ones, the ones I mentioned were those who were off the top of my head. :-)

Patti Macdonald said...

I'd definitely have to add Janet Evanovich to my funny list. I love the way she's characterized her sidekick Lulu and her Grandma Mazur.
(On a side note, Morelli and Ranger aren't half bad either!)

Bethany said...

Patti,

One of my sisters LOVES Janet Evanovich's Plum books :-)

nutspan said...

Then there is Christopher Moore...lots of his books are funny

Bethany said...

nutspan,

What does Christopher Moore write?

Thanks for adding to the list :-)

nutspan said...

Lamb, A dirty Job, You Suck, and many more

Bethany said...

nutspan,

What genre?

Thanks :-)

nutspan said...

I guess you would say it is humorous fiction, sometimes biblical and then sometimes paranormal

Bethany said...

nutspan,

Thanks :-)