Sunday, 19 May 2013

Writing Comedy – and Loving It! It's an addiction....

“I had the flu once.  It was terrible.  I couldn’t eat a thing for three hours.”

I hope you giggled at that line.  I think it’s one of my best.  And yes, I am a tad fond of eating.  In fact, you could list it as my major hobby.

My name is Melodie Campbell, and I write comedies.  (This is a self-help group, right?)  Sure I’d like to kick the habit and write a ‘real’ book with literary merit.

Okay, so that’s a lie.  Leave ROWENA AND THE DARK LORD behind?  Not write a sequel?  I’m starting to hyperventilate.  Actually, I love writing comedies.  It’s in my blood.
<crowd gasps here>

Some people are born beautiful.  But most of us aren’t and we look for ways to survive the slings and arrows of life.  Sometimes we choose to hide behind a mask.  That Greek Comedy mask was the one I picked way back.

As a means of self-preservation in the cruel world of teenagers, I looked for the ‘funny.’  More often than not, I made fun of myself.  This was easy to do.  I knew the target well and there was a wealth of material.  And it didn’t hurt anyone else, so people liked it.

When I left school and had a ‘real’ job, I started writing stand-up on the side.  I rarely delivered it – usually I wrote for others. That led to a regular newspaper humour column, and more.

So when it came to writing fantasy novels, I fell back into ‘safe mode’.  Write it funny.

Worse than chocolate and foreign Counts…  Comedy writers take a situation, and ask themselves ‘what’s the worst thing that could happen now?’  And then, what’s the funniest?

But why do it?  Why does an otherwise sane individual write zany and some might say silly comedy, and risk the inevitable hit from critics who say your book is without great literary merit? 

One reason, and one reason only: many readers love it.  Their comments and reviews are heart-lifting.  I’ve lightened their day with adventure and laughter, and in some cases given them a story they can escape into, over and over again. Yes it’s true.  It wouldn’t be fun to write if I didn’t have warm and generous readers.

Excerpt from Rowena and the Dark Lord
I was beginning to get a very bad feeling.
“Did you volunteer for this job?”
“Yes.” Howard was now relieving himself off to my right.
Why?” My voice was perhaps a little harsh.
“To get out of fighting, of course. Everyone says there’s going to be a big battle. It seemed like a good time to leave the castle.”
I rolled my eyes. So now I had a complete newbie horse dude who was also a coward to look after on this trip. Howard the Coward. Lucky me.
“Can we sit for a bit? I’m exhausted.” He plunked down on the grass. Then he sprang up again.
“Ow! Ow! Ow!” He ran around in circles.
“What is it?” I watched in amazement.
“A bee! I sat on a bee.”
“Are you sure it’s a bee?” I said, crossing my arms. “Maybe it was a wasp.”
“Does it matter?” He was jumping up and down.
“Well, if it’s a wasp, you’re okay. If it’s a bee, the stinger will still be stuck in you. So when you sit down again…”
“Ahhh!! Take it out! Get it out!” He lifted his tunic and bent over.
I turned away. “I am so not doing that.”

ROWENA AND THE DARK LORD, book 2 in the Land’s End series, is NOW AVAILABLE 

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And the one that started it all: ROWENA THROUGH THE WALL, book 1 in the Land’s End series

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