Thursday, March 25, 2010

Subjectivity (Or Why You Don't Get My Humor)

Currently reading - Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith

I'm still toiling away on my AVT edits. It doesn't have the humor some of my other books have had, though I do have a sarcastic side-kick. In fact, there's a couple of plot points that still make me bawl, which is why I hide in an out-of-the-way table at my favorite writing cafe' while working on the manuscript.

Tragedy is often one thing every human will agree on, whether it be the Haiti earthquake or an abandoned puppy killed on the road. Pain and grief are universal conditions.

So is humor, but the odd thing is what makes one person laugh may be something that makes his companion shake her head in disbelief. The Three Stoodges come to mind. This subjectivity can make a humorous novel a hard sell.

Even if a writer evades the gauntlets of agents and editors, she has to consider how her readers will perceive her humor. Is she too quirky or too snarky? Will the heroine be perceived as mean-spirited or a kook?

Yet, another balancing act on the way to publication.


  1. YES! Thank you for nailing this. Maybe this is why I love making readers cry - it's so much easier to do than consistently making them laugh.

    Does that make me evil? LOL - kinda

    Thanks for coming by and cheering me up! ;D

  2. Definitely, on the humor. [nodnod] I do the funny in some of my stuff too, and most people seem to like it. Or maybe the ones who don't just aren't commenting? :D

    My most popular story so far is a fairly major tear-jerker at the end. It's also the story that's gotten the most bad ratings on book sites, so.... [wry smile] There seems to be a pretty strong divide between readers who like to cry and readers who don't.


  3. @Victoria - Feel free to be evil. It works for me! LOL

    @Angie - I'm surprised by the bad reviews on the tear-jerker. I think the only time I really got upset by a tear-jerker ending was reading Where the Red Fern Grows. But then I read it for the first time shortly after seeing Ole' Yeller. Maybe a slight connection?

    Thanks for stopping by, ladies!