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Thursday, July 21, 2011

Being Funny is No Joke

Yep, I'm writing about writing. Again. Because that's my thing right now.

This humor writing class is tricky. I love that the instructor is giving very specific and thorough feedback, but we have a bit of a disagreement in stylistic tastes. He's into stand-up and I'm into dramadies. He wants the funny to be slathered on generously and I'm more of a sprinkler of the funny.

And that's okay, because the point of this class is to learn how to bring out the humor. This means it's his job to point out every possible place we could potentially milk a story for more humor. It's like going to the batting cages, I suppose. You don't really spend all of your time playing baseball just batting (do you? I honestly know nothing about baseball), just like you don't spend all of your time writing focused on humor. Still, it's good to immerse yourself in the practice so you can call up the skill when you need it.

By contrast, I expect to submit the same work to my memoir writing class and have them find it hilarious but not quite as contemplative or personal as desired.

All this to say that I'm receiving positive feedback, both from the instructor on my assignments and from my classmates on my booth submission. But I'm feeling like I'm not funny enough. Or not as funny as I thought I might be.

On today's agenda: rewrite my post on celery migraines in a way that shows instead of tells about one of the stupidest moments I've experienced. Not that there's any shortage of those to choose from!

Update: There's a Groupon available today for $129 for a 6-wk Gotham course. Usually, these classes are $320 for six weeks. I'm assuming this doesn't include the $25 registration fee. Still, it's an amazing deal. It appears it can only be used on Nonfiction 101 and Creative Writing 101 - I've taken both and they're both really good, especially the Nonfiction course. I'm trying to see if I can use the Groupon for Business Writing since I've taken the other two but no answer so far.

This is not a sponsored post. Unless you count my usual sponsor, Joe.


Toriz said...

OK, first of all, I'm all for posts about writing, since I write (not as much as I would like to, but I'm working on that), and any tips are very much appreciated.

Secondly, take all tips in to consideration, and do whatever they say for the courses (especially if you get graded, get certificates, or whatever), but remember that at the end of the day you need to find your own style if you ever hope to get anything published.

And, thirdly, golden rule... Show, don't tell. Remember that from the start, and it will save you some of the revision work afterwards!

Astrid said...

I'm with Toriz all the way. I also love posts about writing, being a writer, it's a way of helping each other learn the tricks of the trade.

And the show don't tell, ugh, it's the single most important thing in writing. It happened to me when I took a screenwriting class. Fiction gives a lot of chances for one to fall into the explaining more, show less, but in screenwriting it's almost inconceivable.

We're all in the same boat, so, kudos to you and doing good through your course. You go, girl!

C. Beth said...

I thought Toriz' comment above was great...2nd paragraph in particular.

I think a humor class must be tough since it's so subjective. I hope you're getting more and more feedback from classmates!

Becca said...

Wow, that's awesome that you're taking a writing class. I don't think I am creative enough to do something like that! I would love a class on how to be more creative though hehe