What is JacketFlap

  • JacketFlap connects you to the work of more than 200,000 authors, illustrators, publishers and other creators of books for Children and Young Adults. The site is updated daily with information about every book, author, illustrator, and publisher in the children's / young adult book industry. Members include published authors and illustrators, librarians, agents, editors, publicists, booksellers, publishers and fans.
    Join now (it's free).

Sort Blog Posts

Sort Posts by:

  • in
    from   

Suggest a Blog

Enter a Blog's Feed URL below and click Submit:

Most Commented Posts

In the past 7 days

Recent Posts

(from Amy Fellner Dominy)

Recent Comments

JacketFlap Sponsors

Spread the word about books.
Put this Widget on your blog!
  • Powered by JacketFlap.com

Are you a book Publisher?
Learn about Widgets now!

Advertise on JacketFlap

MyJacketFlap Blogs

  • Login or Register for free to create your own customized page of blog posts from your favorite blogs. You can also add blogs by clicking the "Add to MyJacketFlap" links next to the blog name in each post.

Blog Posts by Date

Click days in this calendar to see posts by day or month
<<August 2014>>
SuMoTuWeThFrSa
     0102
03040506070809
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
31      
new posts in all blogs
Viewing Post from: Amy Fellner Dominy
Visit This Blog | More Posts from this Blog | Login to Add to MyJacketFlap
Just another WordPress site
1. Seriously Funny

“You need to make her suffer.”

As I spoke these words to a friend today, I caught the horrified glance of an older man sitting at the next table.  No, I wanted to tell him, I’m not a professional hit girl.  I’m an author.

Today was my monthly critique meeting at Wildflower Bakery (highly recommend the new chicken pomegrante salad, by the way), and I was offering my usual variety of advice.

Kill him off.  You’re not in enough trouble.  Can’t you drive her closer to despair?

Why?  Because I think books need some pain.  Some gut-wrenching-heart-tearing conflict.  A really good moral dilemma is always nice and a problem that can’t be solved is lovely.  I want to take my characters, destroy their hopes, challenge their dreams and saddle them with bad hair days.

And I write funny books.

Believe it or not, you don’t need to do just one or the other.  You can have both in a book.  In fact, I happen to think those are the best books of all.  Still, I know it’s a tricky thing, and I get asked the question a lot:  How can you write about serious subjects and yet make them seem funny?

Here’s the thing.  Serious subjects are serious.  A tragedy is a tragedy.  What changes–what affects how you see that event– is the person dealing with it.  It’s the same in real life, isn’t it?  Some people fall apart, some people dive into their sadness and live there, some people look for the silver lining, some people avoid and downplay.  And some people deflect and deal — with humor.

Like everything else in a book, it all depends on your characters.  I’ve written characters who are so intense that could never respond with humor. If that’s your character, then you have to stay true to who they are.  But what if your character has a sense of humor or irony?  If they look at the world with a brave face?  If they are the type to put others at ease with an easy quip?  If so, then you’ll find the opportunity to bring humor to what isn’t a bit funny.

So even if you love laughter, don’t shy away from conflict.  Your story needs that.  And if you have deep dark conflict, don’t be afraid of humor.  There can be room for both.

And to the man at Wildflower Bakery today.  Um…sorry.  I really need to hang a sign above my table:  ”Writers at work.  Approach with Caution.”

 

 

Add a Comment